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Mozart's Garage / Overcharged

1 2650 Sawmill RoadSanta Fe, NM, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 505-471-2272

Mozarts Garage OMG $20.00 per spark plug and 5 hours to diagnose a radiator leak. Santa Fe New Mexico. Hello fellow victims. I took my 600SEL Mercedes to this person and told him I was told it was overheating and told him to diagnose it and tell me what it needed. The company responded with the fact that it wouldn't need head gaskets but would need about $7, 000 in other repairs. These included spark plugs at almost $20.00 each and 4/10ths of an hour to remove a battery that didn't even have a strap holding it down. I asked him to give me a break down of all costs and I had them reviewed by two different shops who told me I was clearly being ripped off.

The parts were priced at twice the retail price and the labor rates were high and the hours were 1 1/2 times the most the other shops would charge me. When I brought this to the attention to the owner his response was simply 'I have a shop I have to pay for'. Apperantly running a shop now according to him involves ripping people off for repairs that are incredibly overpriced and when I asked him to stop repairs on my car he added a couple of hours at almost $100.00 an hour at the very end for 'Other items not defined'.

So, the final result was I got an inspection which should have taken an hour, a brake job and a thermostat for $2500.00. And to top it off they left my V12 skid off after working on the car and they just threw it out in the dirt for my tow truck driver to pick up. These people pretend to be very 'Wholistic and Karma based' nothing can be further from the truth.

This shop is based on ripping people off and when people cannot pay these crazy rip off prices they simply offer them next to nothing for their cars and then fix them up and sell them themselves to make even more money. P.S. watch out for their young staff telling you they will fix your car at their private homes for $45.00 an hour.

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  • Mo
      14th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Mozart's Garage Responds

    My name is Stephen Clarke, owner and operator of Mozart's Garage in Santa Fe, NM.

    FYI: In his complaint, "Luke" registers his objections. Oddly enough, "Luke" made the idential complaint to [redacted] under the name "Mike." "Luke"/"Mike" is actually Glenn Blackmore - at least that is the name under which this transaction was recorded.

    Thanks to ComplaintsBoard for providing easy-to-use format for rebuttals, especially since I wouldn't have known about this person's situation otherwise: there has been no communication between ourselves since the vehicle in question was picked up from my shop on October 3, 2008, and thus no opportunity to resolve any outstanding (unknown) issues.

    'Luke' identifies himself as a victim. As such, he is probably not disposed to consider that anyone could be dealing straight with him. We certainly did, and in addition we gave him a $237.98 break on his bill because we felt sorry for him and how his vehicle was not in as good a shape as he had been led to expect. He got good value for his money, specifically:

    On 9/29/08 a Glenn Blackmore (we don't know of a 'Mike' in this regard, but I will proceed on certain assumptions) did bring a 10/1991 Mercedes-Benz 600 SEL, W140, VIN WDBGA57EXNA036496 with 87, 574 miles on it into our shop. He had gotten it under favorable circumstances and our instructions were to 'make it as good as new', including all needed services and repairs. Now, one must be reasonable about such things and this might not mean the same thing if the vehicle was a clapped-out 1960 VW van. But this was Mercedes' top-of-the-line product in 1992 and Glenn said he was good for it.

    So we did our inspections and Glenn signed off on R. O. 247745 which itemized, priced out, and authorized the following (this list includes the last two items which were noted on follow-up R. O.s 247501 and 247505):

    'Replace both cylinder head gaskets if inspection warrants'
    'Incorporate mandated vehicle upgrades and possible options'
    'Inspect for all needed repairs'
    Transmission filter and pan gasket set
    Oil pan lower section
    Serpentine drive belt
    Left catalytic converter
    Front brake discs (cross-drilled) and pads
    Rear brake discs (cross-drilled) and pads
    Steering idler arm bushing kit
    Multiple chronically typical electrical problems
    1 each left and right rear door window regulators
    2 sets valve cover gaskets
    Spark plugs
    Ignition wire set
    2 distributor caps
    2 distributor rotors
    2 distributor rotor spark shields
    Coolant flush
    Air and fuel filters
    Repair interior door panels and misc. trim
    Coolant temperature sensor and sender

    Upon further inspection and in the process of proceeding with repairs we determined that the cylinder head gaskets were probably not (as he had been previously advised by persons unknown) the cause of his overheating problems and we declined to try and charge him for that very expensive piece of work. We also determined that the coolant loss and evaporate splash resulted from, not a radiator which was faulty at the time, but by overpressure caused by a stuck thermostat. These repairs were completed at great savings to the client, a factoid which I note he does not comment upon.

    Later on client opted out of doing the window regulators. Finally, client had us cease operations on his vehicle, saying he could get it done cheaper elsewhere. Although many parts had been ordered and received and were waiting to be installed we did stop at that point without charging client anything for restock or shipping from and to supplier.

    Other items to note:

    We did charge client $17.85 each for premium spark plugs. This was in line with his request to make it a really trick ride (note cross-drilled brake rotors which he was really happy about and were glad we had already done when he called up to request such), so we did our best and used our best.

    'Other items not defined' does not appear on any of the above-cited R. O.s, and prices itemized for parts and labor adds up to total amount billed, approved, and paid.

    Since we stopped work-in-progress, more than one part was supplied back to client not installed; this was per his request. One of these was the plastic trim-shroud underneath the engine compartment, not a 'skid plate' as client asserts.

    Although I do try to operate in an ethical and conscientious manner, I let my work speak for itself and have never loaded up my representations with irrelevant blather about karma and wholisms.

    Victim's last paragraph is nothing but make-believe. Client did attempt to seduce my tech into working privately further on his vehicle on the side, outside the shop, but was refused. Maybe this is why he is PO'd.

    Occasionally, problems do arise in the complicated process of diagnosing and communicating about potentially expensive issues on a vehicle. But rarely in my experience have I encountered such a flagrantly false piece of untethered fantasy. I am almost amused. Almost. I invite anyone who would like to follow up on this and vet me or my operation to email me at or call at 505-471-2272, 9 - 5:30 MST.

    Stephen Clarke
    Mozart's Garage BMW/MBZ Services, Inc.

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