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  1. #1
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    Alexandria Bavarian Service experiences?

    Has any1 ever used Alexandria Bavarian Service on Raymond Ave. across from Potomac Yards?

    Your personal experiences please.

    Thanks


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  3. #3
    pt///m3
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    Yes | No

    been there once...good exp...

    I always hear they are the best in the area. Grant, the owner, is supposed to be fantastic.

    No other first hand knowledge...perhaps check with the local chapter of BMWCCA?

    Oh yeah, they are very expensive.

  4. #4
    John in VA
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    You'll be happy with the work...

    Grant Randall (owner) is extremely knowledgeable, from the 2002tii to modern cars.
    As far as expensive, it's relative. A local independent shop here in Purcellville (between Leesburg and Winchester) charges $90/hr - more or as much as the dealer!

  5. #5
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    I called once to ask how much some fluid changes

    were & joked about piecing together an Inspection2 "on the cheap".
    The guy who answered the phone basically told me "we don't want your business...you can probably find some1 to that for you...goodbye."

    @ first i thought he was kidding, then the dial tone came ringing in my ear.

    TIFWIW, but lets just say I took their advice & took my business somewhere else.

    They've gotten good reviews from ppl, but I guess I'll never be able to comment.

  6. #6
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    Yeah. I had the same experience. Seems that...

    ...the owner, Grant, tells potential customers that he doesn't want their business.

    It's a bit of reverse psychology that he plays. Funny thing is that it actually works on the arrogant/ignorant/spineless types that are the stereotypical BMW owner.

    Interestingly, my car found its way to Grant's shop once. Turns out it was sent there (without my knowledge/permission) by the folks at Wagon Werks. Long story short, Grant didn't have clue one as to what was wrong with the car. As if dead batteries are all that hard to diagnose.

    Glad you steered clear of their shop. Probably would've been an expensive mistake if you hadn't. Rgds...
    - John
    '92 850i Twin Turbo

  7. #7
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    Yes | No

    I should add that my query was recently in the


  8. #8
    750x2
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    Turned down

    Based on previous recommendations I called to set up an appointment, only to be turned down over the phone, because "we don't do 750s".

    Took my business elsewhere.

  9. #9
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    They want the customer to beg for their services.

    Once the customer begs, the wholesale screwing can begin. Interesting psychological ploy don't you think?

    Kind of scummy if you ask me. Rgds...
    - John
    '92 850i Twin Turbo

  10. #10
    teerockness
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    Re: yup, sounds about right


    Ya, sounds similar to my experience as well. Basically had to go thru a quasi phone-interview in order to get my car in. At the time, I kind of understood it - Grant seemed to be annoyed by the typical BMW owner - (e.g., drive it til it breaks, then complain about the cost), so I did put my car in for some work. To quote Grant, he was interested in building a 'relationship' with the customer. Okay, fine, whatever.

    The downside of all of this is that after spending a good bit of money there, I've had a hell of a time getting a hold of him. There were no 'incidents' or bad blood to speak of - all bills were paid - I just think that he is so damn busy that all that talk of 'building a relationship' goes out the window when the deal goes down. And man is he busy - I've never seen so many cars lined up in the morning.

    I had no complaints about the quality of the work, and obviously he is cheaper than the dealership.

    Of course, Grant ought to send a percentage to Arlington BMW, who are, in my opinion, so incredibly incompetent they are making Grant a rich man by virtue of how many repairs they screw up and how many people they are incredibly rude to.




  11. #11
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    Yes | No

    I wonder what that makes their current customers?


  12. #12
    Paul Michael Brown
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    ABS Rocks!

    Late to this thread, but wanted to put in a good word for Grant Randall and the boys at ABS.

    These guys are SERIOUS Bimmerphiles and there is *nothing* they cannot do when it comes to turning a wrench. (Check the archives for a report on all their hard work replacing the %&%#@! EDC shocks on my 1991 850iA with a totally sweet OEM setup.)

    That said, I concede that Owner Grant Randall has no patience for owners who: (a) cut corners on upkeep; (b) insist he fix some (but not all) problems on the car; (c) whine about the shop rate, the parts markup, etc. etc. etc.

    If you only care about the bottom line, take your car somewhere else. If you are SERIOUS about maintaining your E31 in the Washington, D.C. area and you want to deal with indepedent shop that is as fastidious as you are, give Grant a call at 703-836-2002. Sure, his phone manner is sometimes curt. But I'm convinced that's an act designed to screen out the idiots who will waste his time. If you are devoted to 8-series upkeep, you'll get along just fine. Will it be cheap? Definitely not. Will the work be done with an attention to detail equal to the elite tuners at Alpina or PTG? You bet.

    And if you're very, very lucky you'll stop by one summer night to pick up your car and catch Grant in an expansive mood as he washes his 3-series touring. (Didya know he used to race BMW bikes?) The next half hour will be like a graduate seminar on all things BMW. And when you drive away you just might be convinced that stock is trick and you'll come join me as I worship at the altar of stock.

    PMB

  13. #13
    CalypsoDiver
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    Re: Alexandria Bavarian Service experiences?

    Curry's in Chantilly is hard to beat. They advertise a free loaner, and they actually have one. Not a referral to Enterprise like several BMW Dealers do. Work is always top quality. They only do what is needed. Friendly, and a good value. They've beaten NTB on tires several times. I've taken three cars there over many years, and they are consistently the best!

  14. #14
    DC318is
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    Re: been there once...good exp...

    Too expensive, go somewhere else.

  15. #15
    Bala Chandran
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    Re: ABS Rocks!

    Second that opinion. Been taking my 1998 z3 there for about 2 years.

    Before that, took it to a bunch of dealers who charged my tons of money and didnt even know how to change a spark plug. ABS took over the car after hearing my sob story, and it has been running like a dream since.

    - Bala

  16. #16
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    I too like Foreign Service in McLean.


  17. #17
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    Curry's Auto

    Has anyone been back to Curry's lately? And how is their work/pricing? I've been calling around to figure out where to take my car for simple maintenance, and NoVa is really expensive (compared to Boston)...

    Any suggestions you might have would be appreciated!

  18. #18
    TedV
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    From an ex-longtime ABS customer

    I bought my 1991 325iC in 2001 with only 30k miles on it and as I live a (long) walk from Grant's shop decided to take it there. All was well at first when I didn't mind just basically writing a blank check. They do good work though it is not inexpensive. This last summer I brought it in for an Inspection 1 and asked them to also adjust the valves; when I picked it up the valves were not adjusted but they had decided my power window switches were a bit sticky and the glovebox latch was not working quite right. When I complained that the switches worked fine and that they didn't even rekey the lock cylinder for the glovebox latch (which didn't always work but worked well enough) I guess I must have gotten a black mark on my file. Grant was obviously irritated I complained and told me to make an appointment for the next week if I wanted the valves done.

    So a month or so ago I brought it to Grant asking him to do an Inspection II sans the air and fuel filters (had been recently replaced at a dealer while on a road trip) and instead apply that part towards replacing vacuum lines. For the first time they had no time for me that week, instead I was told to bring it by the next Monday. I did that and went through the usual hassle of juggling cars with my Wife, etc. I went by to pick it up that afternoon and Grant told me they couldn't get to it and he didn't remember telling me I could drop it off. No apology, just a "we'll try to get to you next week." Man was I steamed - even bad dealers don't pull that crap.

    So I dropped by Martin Motorsports this last Monday and while they were not open the owner Gary was there and gave me a tour of the shop. A real BMW enthusiast and nice guy to boot. Very nicely laid out with all the right tools and such, and an added bonus they are a TireRack distributor (big savings!) Long story short I have a new shop, am bringing it in Tuesday, and they have absolutely no problem with skipping the oil and fuel filters and applying it to vacuum lines :)

    I think Grant's best customer is one who knows nothing about the car other than to drop it off with a blank check on the front seat. If that is you, you'll probably do well with him.

  19. #19
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    RRT in Dulles. They build racecars for a living

    & actually know what you REALLY need.
    Still new enough & not jaded.

  20. #20
    Doug
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    Re: Alexandria Bavarian Service experiences?

    I've had similar experiences as others in this thread. I have been to ABS serveral times and have been happy with the work. If you catch Grant at the right time he can be incredibly friendly, at other times he can be extremely rude.

    He is a TireRack distributor, but if he doesn’t like the tires you request he will tell you that they are junk and that he doesn’t need your tire business.



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