Vanguard Motors, as an essential business, is open for service and repairs. Social distancing and enhanced cleaning procedures are in place.
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.
Took an 02 BMW M3 I was thinking of purchasing to Vanguard for a pre-purchase inspection based off the glowing reviews here. Gary was very thorough - he went over everything with a fine toothcomb, taking photos of all the trouble spots and pointing out even the tiniest flaws in the paint. I ended up buying the car, and three weeks later I'm driving to work and hear a loud bang followed be a sound like something was scraping along the ground. I was dreading having to pony up the big bucks, but turns out it was just a bolt that holds the differential to the frame that fell off. I was so relieved, Gary called me and said he'd tightened the bolt and the whole thing was just a fraction of what I thought I'd have to pay. Gary provided outstanding service, turning it around in the same day. Definitely AAA+.
Gary and the crew at Vanguard do a great job on my 29 year old Porsche. They did a correct rebuild of my worn synchronizers in the transmission, getting it right the first time. They know these cars well, and are great at troubleshooting problems, without having you spend unnecessarily. Want a detailed explanation of how something works, why it broke, and what will it take to fix it? No problem! Everything is explained carefully and understandably. My son has had great service there on his older BMW, too. Great shop!Larry
First, condolences on buying an out-of-warranty BMW. Second, you'll be glad you've found Vanguard. So far they've always been able to schedule this car promptly, and the work always gets done on time. I like that Gary goes through a thorough explanation of the work he does, and I've never had the slightest sense that he's done something unnecessary. A little anecdote illustrates Gary's attention to detail and love of these cars: When I bought this car the little plastic cover on the negative terminal on the engine block was broken off. When I first took the car to Gary, he mentioned that it was broken, and I just put that at the bottom of my to-do list. A time or two later when I picked up the car, the cover had been replaced, and he never mentioned doing it, and he never billed me for it. I like that.
I totally agree with the previous reviews of this place. I've always had my cars serviced by shops that were recommended by friends or word of mouth. Gary is awesome, he takes the time to describe what's being fixed and you know you're getting straight answers and service from this shop. It's always fun to see what cars are in the shop, there are usually some interesting cars sitting in the wings.
I've been bringing my car to Gary @ Vanguard Motors for a few years now. He's done work ranging from routine oil services to tune-ups, to malfunctioning power locks, to exhaust work. I've always been happy with their service. In my experience Gary is exceedingly thorough and honest. If you bring your car to him for a certain problem, he'll be comprehensive enough to highlight other issues if there are any. He'll keep an accurate and thorough record of these issues and give you an estimate of how long before they should really be serviced. He won't recommend work that isn't necessary and he really gives you confidence that he cares about your car and wants to build an ongoing relationship. Vanguard's rates are reasonable compared to the dealer, and the location is really convenient (10th Street in SOMA). I've found other mechanics that are less expensive, but you'll trade off either quality of work, or location, or some other thing. All-in-all they're worth the money you'll pay them, much better than going to SF BMW three blocks away where you'll be financially raped. As a prior reviewer noted, Vanguard only works on BMWs or Porsches. It's obvious, because they know your car inside and out. If your car doesn't have one of these two badges you have to go to another shop.
I can't say enough about Gary Grande, his wife, and the whole Vanguard team. These guys will take the time to explain in detail what needs to be done, why, and help you prioritize the services if there are multiple to be done. They live and breathe BMWs and Porshes, and it shows in their excellent work.
I started taking my BMW to Vanguard a few years ago and have been really pleased with their work. All service to be done was explained very well and they are extremely honest. They could have sold me a lot of expensive work but only recomended doing what was truely necessary. They are a porsche and BMW only shop so they are really knowelegeable and passionate about BMW's. They are not super cheap but the piece of mind that the job will be done right and and not getting ripped off is well worth it.