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Thread: SE WI: Reputable Service Shops (Detailing, Service, Tinting, Etc)

  1. #1
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    SE WI: Reputable Service Shops (Detailing, Service, Tinting, Etc)

    Based on regular members that post here, the following are a list of shops in the SE WI area that work on/specialize in BMWs.

    Concours Motors (Dealership)
    5990 N. Green Bay Road
    Glendale, WI 53209
    (800) 604-4213
    (800) 604-2792
    http://www.concoursbmw.com/en_US/

    Zimbrick BMW (Dealership)
    2400 Rimrock Road
    Madison, WI 53713
    (608)443-3900
    http://www.zimbrickbmw.com/

    Alpine Import Specialists
    2201 W. Bender Rd.
    Glendale, WI
    414-228-8292

    The Little Car Shop
    4251 N. Green Bay Rd.
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-263-2500

    European Auto House
    4618 W. Woolworth Ave.
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-358-3552

    O'Reilly Motor Cars
    324 W. Cherry
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-273-6789

    Mraz Import Automotive
    3240 Gateway Rd
    Brookfield, WI 53045

    (262) 781-0074


    (recommended on e46fanatics.com)
    Matt's Foreign Car Specialists
    55th and Vliet
    414-475-0525

    State of The Art Import Auto Repair
    6210 W State St
    Milwaukee, WI 53213
    (414) 431-2900

    IF you know of a shop

    Please post the name, address, and phone #. If you know of a shop that specializes in certain areas - i.e. Powdercoating, exhaust, etc. please post that up as well.


    Thanks
    Sachin
    Last edited by sachin528; 01-24-2008 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    I can tell you right now that Randy at State of the Art is a complete tool. My friend Jake who owns Topstreet Performance leased the back of Randy's building out a few years ago just to get started. The guy is a hack and overcharges like none other. He speciallizes in Honda/Toyota, has hardly seen a BMW, Audi, or Merc, and charged some poor 19yo kid to put a 6-speed swap in a VR-4.

  3. #3
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    I've always recommended Foreign Car Specialists in Madison, WI. Chris Beebe has owned the shop since 1968, and is very familiar with BMW's. Ask him to see his vintage BMW Isetta! They know what they are doing for sure. I would ask specifically if Chris or George can work on your car. One time my engine was running a little rough, I asked Chris about it and he told me to start the car and pop the hood. He put his ear down near the cylinder head and proclaimed the #3 spark plug to be misfiring. So we put a new one in... and sure enough, it solved the problem. This guy knows cars.

    I worked there for about 8 months last year, so I know the shop pretty well.

    Foreign Car Specialists
    1313 Regent St.
    Madison, WI 53715
    608-255-3441


    Don't even consider taking your car to Zimbrick BMW in Madison. Those guys are hacks, and will bend you over with the bill. They price gouge badly, even if you just go in to buy parts!

  4. #4
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    nice to see you posting ryan. thanks for the call today, long time no hear from ya...

    edit to make this post worthly of being in a sticky thread.

    kelly moss motorsports here in madison was recommended to me by a couple people through the years.

    i would also recommend mike polley, he is a member here but pretty busy so plan accordingly if you're going to try to reach him.
    Last edited by beatniks325; 12-07-2006 at 10:15 PM.
    Hold on let me get my laptop and read this on the toilet.
    --DrDub

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowman View Post
    I've always recommended Foreign Car Specialists in Madison, WI. Chris Beebe has owned the shop since 1968, and is very familiar with BMW's. Ask him to see his vintage BMW Isetta! They know what they are doing for sure. I would ask specifically if Chris or George can work on your car. One time my engine was running a little rough, I asked Chris about it and he told me to start the car and pop the hood. He put his ear down near the cylinder head and proclaimed the #3 spark plug to be misfiring. So we put a new one in... and sure enough, it solved the problem. This guy knows cars.

    I worked there for about 8 months last year, so I know the shop pretty well.

    Foreign Car Specialists
    1313 Regent St.
    Madison, WI 53715
    608-255-3441


    Don't even consider taking your car to Zimbrick BMW in Madison. Those guys are hacks, and will bend you over with the bill. They price gouge badly, even if you just go in to buy parts!
    First I have heard of negative remarks about Zimbrick. Acura of Brookfield, ZImbrick's store in Brookfield is one of the best, as others can attest to, for more than just Honda/Acura. Extremely courteous, professional and very helpful.

    IIRC, Kevin has had decent experience with Zimbrick.

  6. #6
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    I worked at Foreign Car Specialists and I did (well I guess I still do but that's a different story for a different day ) get parts at wholesale price. I did learn though that Zimbrick BMW charges 25% over factory cost. This is a common practice although most dealerships are much closer to 10%.

    They wanted to charge me $79.21 (list price - $63.37 wholesale at 20% discount I got) and some change for a guibo for my e30... I went with bavauto at 34.95.

    Wholesale rocks! I got a windshield replaced for $128 when some nematode threw a beer bottle into it in downtown Madison. That was the entire cost, including all parts and labor.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowman View Post
    I worked at Foreign Car Specialists and I did (well I guess I still do but that's a different story for a different day ) get parts at wholesale price. I did learn though that Zimbrick BMW charges 25% over factory cost. This is a common practice although most dealerships are much closer to 10%.

    They wanted to charge me $79.21 (list price - $63.37 wholesale at 20% discount I got) and some change for a guibo for my e30... I went with bavauto at 34.95.

    Wholesale rocks! I got a windshield replaced for $128 when some nematode threw a beer bottle into it in downtown Madison. That was the entire cost, including all parts and labor.
    I need my windshield replaced. What can you do for a 318ti (same windshield as any e36 sedan)? Cash...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatniks325 View Post
    nice to see you posting ryan. thanks for the call today, long time no hear from ya...

    edit to make this post worthly of being in a sticky thread.

    kelly moss motorsports here in madison was recommended to me by a couple people through the years.

    i would also recommend mike polley, he is a member here but pretty busy so plan accordingly if you're going to try to reach him.
    Mike does a lot of work on my E36 aswell, great guy and incredibly knowledgable and familiar with BMW's.

  9. #9
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    Detailing
    Auto and Truck Elegance
    N15w22180 Watertown Rd
    Waukesha, WI 53186
    (262) 542-2022

    (Have not personally used them - they were recommended in another thread - although when I was at Acura of Brookfield, the pre-owned car department used them for reconditioning all the pre-owned vehicles. We (Acura) was happy with the work)

    Tinting
    Sunbusters
    300 Travis Ln # 18
    Waukesha, WI 53189
    (262) 549-9075

    Kartunes
    Autosound & Security
    300 N. Chicago Ave.
    South Milwaukee WI 53172
    414-571-1077

    BlackOut
    3515 S 108th St
    Milwaukee, WI 53228
    (414) 329-4000

    Wheels and Tires
    Mark Rinderle
    2079 S 35th St
    Milwaukee, WI 53215
    (414) 384-7830

    Big Bear Tire
    N58W39834 State Road 16
    Oconomowoc, WI
    (262) 567-4449

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    Race Gas (100+ octane)

    Quote Originally Posted by 540i6spdWI View Post
    Ok, I've done some research, and these are the places I've heard about...

    Citgo in Evansville has 110 *Verified by calling, they do sell 'racing fuel' but the counter girl was unsure if it was leaded or unleaded
    Deals on Wheels outside of Cottage Grove has 116 (55gallon drum only)
    Stop & Go at Center Ave and Rockport Road in Janesville has 109 *Verified by phone, they do sell race gas, but unsure of lead or octane
    Moore's Towing on Mineral Point Road (middleton?) has 110
    Meffert Oil in Waunakee has 110
    Zurbuchen Oil in Verona has 109
    BP in Lyndon Station has 111


    If anyone knows of more please add them to the list!
    Quote Originally Posted by dustent View Post
    I finally made it to the Citgo in Evansville, completely by accident. I was shocked to see race gas on 3 pumps. I put 3 gallons in a full tank of gas, made a noticeable difference for me on my way to Lake Geneva and back. I recently switched to my hotter "winter" plugs and I could tell I was running more timing with the addition of the race gas.

    Specs:
    Citgo Race Gasoline
    RON - 113
    RdON - 110
    AKI (R+M)/2 - 110
    MON - 107
    Color - Red
    Lead, gm/gal - 3.0+

    Yes, it is leaded. You can pay at the pump too, so I assume you can buy it 24x7.
    Quote Originally Posted by dustent View Post
    Moore's Towing
    3802 Mineral Point Rd
    Madison, WI 53705

    I spoke with these guys a couple months ago. They sell Torco 114 octane race gas. I just did a mapquest on them and it's only 3.6 miles from my house! I'll stop down there and see what their setup is and what they charge.

    HOWEVER

    Moore's Towing looks shady. There are two above ground tanks for race gas, the ones with the old school dial meters. Not sure how fresh the gas is. There is a tacky side outside proudly announcing everyone who's had a check bounce there.

    I opted for the 20 drive to Evansville. I've run 3 tanks of 110 octane and 93 octane blend (60% premium, 40% race). Everything seems to be working fine and my car absolutely loves the race fuel. Not sure how much the N/A cars will respond to this, but with the supercharger it's a big deal.

  11. #11
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    Anyone know a good performance exhaust shop in the Milwaukee/surrounding area? I'm looking for a place that can work with stainless steel, not sure if there is any place around that can do mandrel bending.

  12. #12
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    ZMC VIP Auto Salon

    Check out zinovimotorcars.com if you guys need any paint work or Aftermarket products give me a call.


    Ask for

    Billy Z

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zmc View Post
    Check out zinovimotorcars.com if you guys need any paint work or Aftermarket products give me a call.


    Ask for

    Billy Z

    I might need my E30 repainted this summer... Lachsilber. It needs some dings filled here and there too. what do you think a ballpark price would be?

    you can PM me if you want.
    Current: 1988 325is m20b25
    2004 GSX-R 600
    1978 yamaha rd400
    1975 yamaha rd350B
    Sold: 2004 GSXR 600
    Sold: 05 honda 600rr
    Sold: 87 E30 325Is With T3 Turbo/intercooler
    Sold: 96 1.9l Z3
    Sold: 97 318ti with s50 swap
    sold: 95 m3
    Sold: 89 Garret Turbo'd e30

  14. #14
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    Help!!

    Need recommendations for shops in the Appleton area........anyone??

  15. #15
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    If in the findlay area DO NOT go to Autobahn Garage he tried to rip me off by saying i needed a new engine when it was my starter that had gone bad.

  16. #16
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    Towing
    Wolf Towing
    1504 Summit Ave
    Waukesha, WI 53188
    (262) 544-9653

    I think this is the company I used before - I am almost positive it was Roger Wolfe or something like that, and this is the closest I found.

  17. #17
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    Well, as a few of you know I had some work done at The Little Car Shop and was not too happy with the results. I was going to keep quiet about it until what I had found today really gets to me.

    When I had the car picked up I had left the plastic engine covers off but made sure to leave all the hardware in place. When I got the car back the hardware was missing so I had to purchase new hardware to be able to put the covers back on.

    The plastic positive jumpstart cover was missing.

    Found a broken electrical connector next to the positive jumpstart connection.

    The fan shroud missing the plastic fastening hardware, had a broken tab and was just left hanging. Had to buy new hardware to attach the one remaining tab. Good thing I caught it before it dropped on top of the spinning fa while driving.

    The cover behind the left headlight was missing the plastic fastening hardware. Had to purchase new hardware to reattach.

    Found a broken electrical connector on the throttle body.

    They changed the oil but didn’t bother resetting the dash indicator.

    When they put the rear seat back in after reconnecting the battery they left off the plastic covers for the seatbelt. No big deal I though, I’ll just snap them on myself I thought. Well, they didn’t fit. Why? Because they installed the rear seat with the middle seat belt underneath so the seat bottom wouldn’t drop all the way down. Not really a big deal if it was the first time you’ve ever worked on a BMW but in my opinion this is inexcusable from any shop claiming to be experts.

    Now today I’m also suspect that they didn’t put the BMW coolant in the car that I supplied. The car had the green stuff in prior but the radiator and block were drained before I pulled the head. I had supplied a gallon of BMW coolant that I had bought for the job. I open the coolant reservoir up today to find green coolant inside. I’m sure it might have been possible for some remnants of the green stuff to mix with the blue BMW coolant but considering how these guys handled the rest of the job I have my doubts. FYI, they did only charge me for a half gallon of coolant so I assumed they used what I supplied.


    This all started with a head gasket replacement on my 525iT that I started but got in over my head on. By the time I was done I was in to them for $3100. They ended up sending the head out for dynafluxing and surfacing, replaced the timing chains and guides, thermostat and housing. For $3100 I would expect a lot more attention to detail and no missing parts. Maybe they treat customers better who have mint e30 M3s or restored 2002 models instead of beat up e34 tourings. Regardless, there’s no way I will ever have them work on my cars again.

  18. #18
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    Mark,

    I am glad you posted this up. Please post up your experience at Goff's in Pewaukee as well.

    Also, check your PMs.

    -S

  19. #19
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    O'Reilly Motor Cars
    324 W. Cherry
    Milwaukee, WI
    414-273-6789
    they overcharge as well. basically i TOLD them what was wrong (alternator was dead) and they still did a $100 inspection to see what was wrong. the inspection list was funny- blah blah check these wires, blah blah check intake boot blah blah blah and then last checked alternator output FAILED. they then charged me $220 service to change it (its a 45min job tops) and i asked for an oil change and they gave me some 3k mile service and charge $50 for it.

  20. #20
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    I need to put new rotors and pads on my E30 and my buddy is not too keen on putting his jeep on blocksto letme borrow his jack stands and tools.... so it looks like im gonna have to pay the service shop..

    But just so you know i called Alpine import and they quoted me 175.00 to mount the rotors pads and flush the brake fluid

    and european auto house quoted me 225.00

    But as for little car shop... i have nothing but negative comments for them.

    I needed a heater valve to get my heater working again last winter and it took them 3 months and about 10 phone calls before they got the part. Finnaly i replaced it and then they called me. Worthless. Plus they said they didnt wanna work on my car because it had a modified engine (FI). But i wasnt asking them to work on the engine...???? You dont get it? neither did i.


    I wont ever be going back there.
    Current: 1988 325is m20b25
    2004 GSX-R 600
    1978 yamaha rd400
    1975 yamaha rd350B
    Sold: 2004 GSXR 600
    Sold: 05 honda 600rr
    Sold: 87 E30 325Is With T3 Turbo/intercooler
    Sold: 96 1.9l Z3
    Sold: 97 318ti with s50 swap
    sold: 95 m3
    Sold: 89 Garret Turbo'd e30

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by straight6pwr View Post
    they overcharge as well. basically i TOLD them what was wrong (alternator was dead) and they still did a $100 inspection to see what was wrong. the inspection list was funny- blah blah check these wires, blah blah check intake boot blah blah blah and then last checked alternator output FAILED. they then charged me $220 service to change it (its a 45min job tops) and i asked for an oil change and they gave me some 3k mile service and charge $50 for it.
    Here's a good one:

    I brought my S50 E30 Cab replica in because it flunked emissions and they're the only 'approved' emissions repair facility that I knew worked on Bimmers. $200 to check it over including a road test (mileage was exactly the same as when I brought it in). The diagnosis? It needed new cats fabricated for my unique car. Cost? Are you sitting down? With tax, close to $4k!!!! Bye,bye. The car ended up passing with a can of 'Guaranteed to Pass' and an understanding DMV worker.

    Milwaukee is a small town. Shops get reputations....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by david55838 View Post
    ...Cost? Are you sitting down? With tax, close to $4k!!!! Bye,bye. The car ended up passing with a can of 'Guaranteed to Pass' and an understanding DMV worker.

    Milwaukee is a small town. Shops get reputations....
    Are you kidding? thats ridiculous. I think some shops quote work based on the quality of car not the job. Maybe if you brought a beater e30 in there they would have charged you a few hundred. Thanks for the info
    Current: 1988 325is m20b25
    2004 GSX-R 600
    1978 yamaha rd400
    1975 yamaha rd350B
    Sold: 2004 GSXR 600
    Sold: 05 honda 600rr
    Sold: 87 E30 325Is With T3 Turbo/intercooler
    Sold: 96 1.9l Z3
    Sold: 97 318ti with s50 swap
    sold: 95 m3
    Sold: 89 Garret Turbo'd e30

  23. #23
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    After reading the recommendations here for a BMW shop after we stopped doing business with Alpine. We ended up taking it to European Auto House which actually turned out to be very close because they moved into a location in Mequon. 1st time we dropped the car off because the car had all sorts of problems including overheating and car not starting all the time. Mechanic seemed very knowledgeable especially he felt confident about the starting issue and that it was an ignition switch causing the problem. After a laundry list of what the problems were and a $300 bill which did not even include the ignition switch and that it had to be ordered still. The switch was important because the non starting problem is a PIA because it can leave us stranded sometimes. So we brought it back the following week when he got the part it and so we were hoping that the problem with the electrical system would be solved because he was very confident that this was the issue. Well after picking it up to the tune of a $500 bill it fixed nothing and the starting issue is still a problem. On top of everything a bunch of things ended up being broken on the dash. The cruse control cover was hanging down, the tape deck cover no longer stayed down. The driver side seat controls is loose.

  24. #24
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    You know, as I reread this thread, almost EVERY shop in Sachin's list has had someone post here with a bad experience. Since my maintenance and troubleshooting skills are minimal, I fantasize about an independent shop where the customer service is friendly, the techs are knowledgable and the prices are reasonable. Is this the Holy Grail in Milwaukee?

    It's starting to seem that way!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by david55838 View Post
    You know, as I reread this thread, almost EVERY shop in Sachin's list has had someone post here with a bad experience. Since my maintenance and troubleshooting skills are minimal, I fantasize about an independent shop where the customer service is friendly, the techs are knowledgable and the prices are reasonable. Is this the Holy Grail in Milwaukee?

    It's starting to seem that way!
    No, it's the Holy Grail in the Milky Way Galaxy!

    You can be the best shop in the world but it's impossible to make everyone happy all the time. As long as human beings are running the show mistakes will be made and people will complain.

    It doesn't look like anyone's posted anything bad about Alpine Imports. I've had the best luck with them so far. Not perfect but unlike some of the other places they haven't done anything to my cars (so far) that would make me not go back there.
    I spent most of my money on cars and beer... The rest I pretty much wasted.

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