Side Mechanic?
July 9, 2006 10:06 AM   Subscribe

How do you find a mechanic that takes side jobs?

I have a BMW 330XI. In my last town, a friend found a mechanic who would let me buy parts and bring them to him. This was great b/c there is usually a 100% mark up on parts so it saved me a lot of cash. Now I'm in Denver CO and I tried to find a mechanic that takes side jobs or a place that will allow me to bring parts in but I have not had any luck. I need to get my brakes fixed and I HAVE NO INTEREST IN DOING IT MYSELF. I posted a Craigslist ad and asked at a few places but have not had any luck so far. Does anyone have any suggestions? BTW- I have one of those after market warranties that cover some stuff but not the brakes. So I go to the dealership but never come into contact with the mechanics hidden in the back.

Bonus question- is there any way to get the AC to not turn on every time the key is turned? Even if it was off last time I turned off the car it automatically starts.
posted by hokie409 to Technology (10 answers total)
hokie409: what year is your car? i think on some models the car can be programmed not to do that. you'd probably need to take it to the dealer or someone who has the computer interface though.
posted by reverendX at 10:18 AM on July 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks reverendX. It's a 2001. It sure would be nice to turn it off. I use the key to open all the windows and sunroof before I get in and then... OH the AC has been on for the last 10 minutes too. What a waste.
posted by hokie409 at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2006

The fans will go on but the AC will not automatically go on if you click it off. I'm 99% sure the little snowflake denotes the AC as oppose to just blowing air. It's an annoying feature but I found it will not blow air at you unless its at an optimal temperature.
posted by geoff. at 11:00 AM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: I'm pretty sure the 2001 model has a whole slew of options that can be dealer programmed. (stuff like if the doors lock automatically when you start driving, etc..) I think it will depend on your relationship with your dealer if they charge you for this. I seem to remember that they were giving people 1 free program session in order to configure your car the way you want it. (I found a list of options that you can have the dealer modify.)
posted by reverendX at 11:17 AM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: I ended up finding a mechanic who works from his own garage on the weekends by asking the cashier at Kragen Auto Parts. Perhaps try asking one of the workers at your local auto parts shop for a recommendation.

A good mechanic friend is priceless.
posted by freudianslipper at 11:21 AM on July 9, 2006

A friend and I were returning from a road trip when his '95 Saturn broke down. He had it towed to a Saturn dealership and they quoted an insane amount for parts (I can't remember which part needed to be replaced. The radiator or transmission or whoknowswhat). We found the part for much cheaper (like less than half the price quoted by the Saturn dealership) at an auto part store and brought it to them. The dealership only charged for labor.

The moral of this story is that the key to bringing your own parts is just asking the mechanic. It seems like a pretty common practice.
posted by necessitas at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2006

Trade your 330 in on a nice condition vintage 88 or 89 635, plus about $30,000?

posted by baylink at 12:54 PM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: You might try to find an online forum and ask in your specific region for a recommendation. I'm very active in the Audi community and that's how we spread the word for good mechanics who do work on the side. You might want to start here and ask in the forum for your region.
posted by white_devil at 4:30 PM on July 9, 2006

My parents found a UPS mechanic who was willing to moonlight. Your best bet might be someone who works for a company with lots of vehicles but could use some extra money.

I can't answer the obvious followup question- how do you find such a person. I'd imagine you could try going to UPS and asking around, but eh....
posted by JMOZ at 6:17 PM on July 9, 2006

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