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Car Repair

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Black Hawk
posts: 88
reviews: 1
Car Repair

Between a late model Ford or a late model BMW, which is easy to have repaired or maintained in Maz? Is it crazy to bring a BMW to Maz?

Hope this is not too off topic.

Mazatlan, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,038
reviews: 8
1. Re: Car Repair

Off topic or not, I don't know. But I can say this, I would absolutly go with the Ford. To my knowledge there is NO BMW dealership in Mazatlan. Perhaps in Cullican 200 miles away. Certainly in Guadalajara. However there ARE a few late modle beemers here, and I am sure some of the mechanics COULD work on them. Parts however............

Black Hawk
posts: 88
reviews: 1
2. Re: Car Repair

That was my thinking too... Thank you!

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,411
reviews: 4
3. Re: Car Repair

I enquired about that on my last trip, albeit a different brand of car and was told by several people that there is ONE excellent mechanic that can work on all vehicles. If a part was needed, an aftermarket part could be used until you got home or a factory part could be ordered from the closest dealership.

Things like oil changes, air filters etc. any mechanic can do.

Black Hawk
posts: 88
reviews: 1
4. Re: Car Repair

Thank you! This is a great forum. Wonderful folks.

California
posts: 2,207
5. Re: Car Repair

Mazatlan does have mechanics who are very talented. However we're talking basic transportation cars, not high performance / highly engineered vehicles like yours. Even if there were a person who could work on all vehicles, BMW's are very technical cars that require the right kind of electronics to work on them. With the exception of some dealers, mechanics in Mazatlan have VERY limited electronic options.

Roger is doing you a favor to warn about parts. I can't tell you the number of times I've been asked to bring something down, and for common vehicles too. For example the local Toyota dealer has very little for a vehicle more than about 5 years old. The guys driving Toyota 4WD's trucks are always scrambling.

On that note the concept of buying aftermarket parts is nonsensical. The part still has to be compatible with a BMW, and regardless of the country or locale parts stores don't carry things that are a one in a thousand item. We're not picking on Mexico here, as someone taking a Ferrari to North Dakota isn't going to find local parts either.

Jerry I'm sure you hate the idea of leaving your BMW behind, but bringing something like that into Mazatlan will end up being a major headache. Stick with the Ford unless you want to go to the nearest BMW dealer in Culiacan for service.

Edited: 2:27 am, December 29, 2012
Black Hawk
posts: 88
reviews: 1
6. Re: Car Repair

Excellent points all. More than likely will bring the Ford down.

Glendale, Arizona
posts: 459
reviews: 10
7. Re: Car Repair

>>On that note the concept of buying aftermarket parts is nonsensical. The part still has to be compatible with a BMW, and regardless of the country or locale parts stores don't carry things that are a one in a thousand item. <<

Dead on.

There is no such thing as "after-market" parts for so many things that can go bad on ANY vehicle. The only "after-market" items that might be true for are batteries, tires, belts, hoses, etc. etc. But when it comes to drive line components, i.e engine, transmission, etc., it would likely have to be shipped in from Cullican or other major hub.

That said, do not discount the skills of the mechanics who work for the major dealers. Many of them undergo extensive training on repairing the brands they carry, and they also likely have the necessary tools and diagnostic equipment to make the repairs.

As some of you know, I had to have a battery replaced in my Durango this year while there. and had the Dodge dealership take care of it, Everyone from the guys who came to the hotel to the cashier who took my hard earned money were very professional. Thus, I wouldn't hesitate to have them do more extensive work if it became necessary.

And before someone questions my expertise to pass judgement, I spent 12 years as a mechanic in my dad's garage when I first moved to Phoenix in the 1960s. Except rebuild auto transmissions, I did eveything including complete engine rebuilds. I still do a lot of the work on my own vehicles. So I've been covered with a lot of grease. LOL

Edited: 8:54 am, December 29, 2012
Mazatlán
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,073
reviews: 13
8. Re: Car Repair

I went against all advice and brought down my gently ageing Mercedes. I made sure it was in top condition first, and she spent more than a few hours in the shop. The mechanic assured me there was at least a few 100,000 miles left in her, and that's proved to be true. It was over a decade ago, when she made the road trip, and hasn't required much in the way of repairs at all. That said, I don't drive this car in the heat of summer. She is a winter car here (to protect the interior from sun damage).

True it's not that easy to find a mechanic that knows these types of cars, but they are all willing to perform scientific experiments, if you let them! I brought down a repair manual (purchased from Canadian Tire) that shows pics of all aspects of the vehicle. Many a mechanic has curiously thumbed through it. :-) Things like oil changes, brakes, muffler, is not going to be a big problem, speaking from experience. Any other parts, can be ordered, and as long as the mechanic knows what to do, it's good. There is a guy that will work on BMW's but not on Mercedes. Another mechanic we know, orders in foreign vehicle parts via Tijuana. He was delighted to discover that a VW oil filter fit perfectly into the little Benz.. (He had the VW sales guy bring a little kit of filters over so they could experiment). Success brought smiles all around. Especially from us!

Since life is short, and if you are attached to your car, bring it on down. I'm glad I did, because it's a comfortable ride on these rough streets. The other car we have is a Dodge Caravan, and that is a mechanical nightmare...so they all can have problems... or not. Enjoy.

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,411
reviews: 4
9. Re: Car Repair

Well the car I enquired about is my newer Jaguar. It only has 70,000 Kilometres on it and I'd LOVE to drive it there on the Maxipista. I would never bring down my older one as I use that one for winter.

Aftermarket parts ( Motorcraft ) are used frequently on older Jaguars because it just doesn't make sense to spend for example $3000 CND on an ABS module ( actual quote from my mechanic ) when a used one or an aftermarket one can be installed for a third or less of the price.

I was assured by a reliable source that the newer one could be safely repaired there if anything went wrong with it.

As for the BMW, a friend of mine drives the top of the line model and he gets minor repairs done in Mazatlan and major repairs if needed in Culiacan.

Glendale, Arizona
posts: 459
reviews: 10
10. Re: Car Repair

>>Aftermarket parts ( Motorcraft ) are used frequently on older Jaguars because it just doesn't make sense to spend for example $3000 CND on an ABS module ( actual quote from my mechanic ) when a used one or an aftermarket one can be installed for a third or less of the price. <<

That's about like saying a Caddy can use many Buick or Chevy parts., i.e AC Delco, etc. LOL

Actually, your Jag was likely built when Ford owned Jaguar for close to 20 years. In fact, as you now know, they used a LOT of Ford components in the Jags. So the Motorcraft parts are more like normal dealer-brand supplied ones rather than after-market ones. They just carry the Ford parts brand rather than the Jaguar name and cost.

I doubt very much that there are many main parts on any BMW that are interchageable with another vehicle brand, though. Obviously, there are lots of after-market items for general routine upkeep/repair, such as tune-up parts, oil changes. But when a fuel injector, water pump or some such things goes belly up, they will probably be hard to find in Mazatlan.

Edited: 4:11 pm, December 29, 2012