Vanguard Motors, as an essential business, is open for service and repairs. Social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures are in place.
Dilemma: My 1988 BMW M5's throttle was revving on it's own! Solve: I called my usual BMW guy, Sokol, at EuroMotor Cars (also an amazing place for OBDII cars and newer). He said that he does not work on this type of car, so he referred me to Gary/Paula at Vanguard Motors. I called on Tuesday, and Paula answered. I told her that I was recommended by Sokol and described my dilemma. She said that Gary would not be in until Thursday and proceeded to set up an appointment for me.Two days later I arrive at the shop 15 minutes earlier. I am sipping my coffee, and the doors open at about 7:58am (shop hours are 8am-5:30pm). I go inside the well kept office and see an array of BMW and Porsche magazines and books that caught my attention (also, some neat model cars, Bimmers of course, displayed randomly around the office.I was greeted nicely by Gary and introduced me to his wife Paula. Both were so very nice and inviting. I explained my dilemma. He listened closely until I finished (which I thought was pretty cool since most auto shops will not even listen to what a customer is saying).We went to go look at the car. Gary looked it over for a few minutes and tried to replicate the problem I was having. He could not. He suggested that he look into it more and give me a call. As I was waiting for a cab, one of his customer asked if I needed a ride? I WAS SO SURPRISED and said sure. He gave me a ride all the way across to the Embarcadero and we talked about BMWs all the way there. Also he mentioned that he has been a customer of Gary's for a long time.As the day went by, approximately 2:45 pm, I decided to call him. He explained to me what was going on. And said that he can explain more with visuals.When I arrived, Gary was as inviting as he was early that morning. He took the time to explain and show the solve that he was going to do to the car. The temporary solve was because of part being sent from Germany, which Gary had sourced out. He showed me things on the car I did not even know about! So to make this long story short, I have to wait for the parts and will be back again.I left the place with a good feeling...:)
Let me start by saying that I don't yelp very often, but I was inspired to do so this morning after speaking with Paula. I called because my 2001 325ci wouldn't start and nothing in the world stresses me out more than car trouble. Once I pathetically described the symptoms, she immediately diagnosed the likely problem as a dead battery. Giant phew! Gary was recommended to me back in 2006 and I haven't gone anywhere else since. They are always super nice and explain in terms that even I can understand. I also appreciate when they rank the problems (e.g. urgent, not so urgent, can probably wait another year) so I don't get so overwhelmed and my checkbook likes it, too.
Wow I had a major issue with my gas tank last Friday and had it towed to Vanguard without notice. I was in a real pickle. They were so nice. And then to top it off they called to tell me it was just a hose. I wouldn't have known. Which means what looked like an expensive issues won't be. There guys are great, friendly, honest and flexible. I just found a new place for my really old BMW. I am so impressed. What a nice change of pace compared to another BMW place in the city, (name I won't mention) who were cold, and charged me a fortune to check out something that was in fact not an issue. Thanks Gary! I am so relieved and impressed.
I trust Gary to work on my car. He is a solid mechanic who I was referred to a few years agoI have a pretty rare and pricey Porsche, so having someone who knows these cars well means a lot to meGary has done a variety of work on my car- oil seals, clutch, as well as basic maintenance. He is able to work things out well with the aftermarket warranty I have for the car, and is reasonably priced
I agree with all of the other postings here. Gary and Paula are fantastic. Gary is super anal, meticulous, hard-working, and extremely knowledgeable. I highly recommend Vanugard. He's taken care of my E39 528i for over 5 years, and before I totaled my 911 cabriolet, he maintained that also.Gary is extremely conscientious, and he always deliver on time and on budget (barring unforeseen circumstances, which can happen, of course). Paula is a joy, and super responsive. All in all, I fully trust Vanguard and have referred many friends there over the years.
A friend of mine recommended Gary to me for my 94 BMW 325i about 8 years ago. I will never take my car anywhere else. I have received nothing but the best service (Paula and Gary truly make me feel like family). I have taken my car into them on numerous occasions for problems on my aging car and have been completely satisfied with their work. Gary has also educated me tremendously about what to look out for by way of preventative maintenance as well. Last time I took my car into them, I was given an estimate, then recieved a call back a few hours later...Paula had found out that a part that needed to be fixed was still under warranty, so it was my estimate was cut in half because of bothered to do the extra research.Don't know where you can get that kind of service elsewhere. Gary and Paula are my kind of people. Hard working and thorough.
Gary and Paula run a tight ship at Vanguard. I was originally referred to Vanguard a few years ago, when my BMW mechanic at the time could not figure out a problem on my car. Gary was able to fix it right away. In time, I eventually came to rely on Gary and his team for all my automobile maintenance jobs and repairs. They are trustworthy, professional, and knowledgeable of all things BMW (and Porsche too). Love them!!!
As a woman who doesn't know much about cars but owns a BMW that is now more than 15 years old, I have come to rely on Gary and his team at Vanguard Motors for their professionalism, honesty and depth of knowledge. It's not often a mechanic will advise you of what is "more important" to be fixed as opposed to a less pressing repair and then help you with the cost breakdown. It's not often you find a mechanic who will inform you when you're spending more on the car than you should. Whether it's an electrical malfunction, headlight to be fixed or engine inspection, I am willing to spend the higher labor cost because of the level of expertise and forthrightness that Vanguard offers. I am so happy with Vanguard, I'm more likely to buy a beemer again just so I don't have to worry about finding another mechanic in town!
When my 10 year old BMW 528i started to die on me, I took it to my normal mechanic who recommended to replace parts that were not needed, I know this because I paid for the parts to get replaced and on the drive home the SAME exact thing happened. The car wouldn't drive above 50 mph, and since I commute to and from work, this is NOT good! It was pretty stressfull since time and money were an issue. I already spent $800+ at my "other" mechanic. After contemplating about selling my BMW, I decided to bring it to Gary who was very professional. Gary and his techs worked on the car no more then 2 days, and fixed the problem. It was a electrical wiring issue that caused the crazy problems my car was having. My other mechanic replaced the throttle body, saying it was stuck close, OMG horrible diagnosis! It didn't fix the problem MR! In other words, bring your BMW to a BMW specialist.. don't cut corners trying to save money.If it wasn't for Vanguard, I'd probably be $20,000 in debt from buying a new car! XOXO!
2001 325iPros: Fair, not high (for BMW expert shop) pricing. Also gives 10% parts-only discount for BMW CCA membership. Very knowledgeable and willing to share (answered every technical question in as much detail as I wanted); Very thorough (found other *real* problems in addition to what I came in for and told me what and when others would show up in this vintage and mileage car); Local family-run small-business (Gary and Paula, friendly, conscientious, remembers customers names and problems); Honest (final cost met initial estimate, Gary seems willing to explain in any level detail you want about your repair. Also, I wanted to have something done and Gary advised wasn't needed though it could've been an easy $150 more.) Considerations: Only Monday to Friday 7:30 or 8 to about 5:30 (but since it's a family, they and their mechanics have to have a life too!). I don't know if you can make arrangements for later pick-up. If you can get the Polish+soda deal for a buck and a half at Costco just down the street, then as the five stars tagline says, it's "as good as it gets" in a bad world.