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360 Beware of independent service facilities

Discussion in '360/430' started by Orvis 360, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. Orvis 360

    Orvis 360 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2018
    10
    I apologize about the long post, but I would like to share an experience with an independent service facility in Salt Lake City, Utah so hopefully no one will have to go through the heartache and monetary expenditure I have.

    I own a 2000 360 with the F1 transmission. I had issues with the transmission sticking in gear (accumulator or power unit needs rebuilt) and my local independent service facility did not have the software or expertise to work on the system. So they referred me to a shop in Salt Lake City, Utah which is not far away (my local shop has been great through this whole situation). The shop in Salt Lake assured me they could do the work -remove and reinstall the power unit and F1 actuator, and adjust the PIS. They run a Lamborghini and Mercedes race car at Utah Motorsports Complex, so on outside appearances, appear to be a competent and experienced shop.

    The shop in Salt Lake removed the power unit only (both the power unit and F1 actuator were to be sent to GTE Engineering for a full rebuild) and eventually shipped the actuator, but did not package either component with due diligence, so both were damaged in shipping. They also did not insure either package, so I paid for the damages (they refused to take responsibility for the shipping damages and not insuring the packages).

    After being shipped back, the hydraulic lines were crossed and after a week of trying to figure out how to install the lines correctly (they blamed the instructions from the Ferrari workshop manual for the error) they eventually connected the lines correctly.

    Long story short, multiple TCU fault codes were thrown, and when I picked up the car (two months later), I was told there were no readable codes and the light would turn off after I drove the car for a while. When the light didn't turn off, I took the car to the Ferrari dealer, who utilized an SD3 to determine that the shop in Salt Lake City had either damaged the third gear shift fork (transmission will need to be replaced or rebuilt) or the actuator is damaged. The Master Technician told me the car should have never left the shop, and he had never seen so many codes stored in a TCU. They were so numerous he couldn't print all of them out.

    Needles to say the car is being shipped out of state to be repaired correctly by an experienced shop with impeccable resume. I really want to thank this community for the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this experience, if it is outside the guidelines of community standards, then please delete my post.
     
  2. imahorse

    imahorse Formula Junior

    Nov 25, 2017
    273
    WI
    Full Name:
    Dustin
    Sorry you had a bad experience. While there are a lot of places that do terrible work or make fake service records, throwing a blanket statement on independents isn't necessary.
     
  3. Michael B

    Michael B F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Apr 28, 2004
    3,617
    US of A
    Full Name:
    Michael
    You know Orvis, I feel for you a bit but you are way off with your title and stance. Just because one rouge independent failed you does not in any way give you the opportunity to discount the many-many solid Independents that do know what hey are doing. Take one small moment & think about what you are saying towards many business owners who you have not ever had any dealing with. What gives you the right to rate them this way? I ask how you can make that disparaging remark towards them without ever setting foot in their stores.
     
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  4. HH11

    HH11 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Sep 4, 2010
    3,016
    Agreed. Plenty of horror stories from dealers as well.

    I find independent shops to be the best option.
     
  5. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 13, 2009
    13,338
    Charleston, SC
    Full Name:
    Curt
    Sorry you had a bad experience. The F1 system and transmission can be challenging to diagnose and repair.
    I have a independent that I really like... you can't make a blanket statement about indys. It's kind of like saying all Ferrari owners are pretentious d-bags who know nothing about their cars. Well.. I fit that mold... but there are many others that don't. :)
     
  6. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    5,933
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    I would add that you should/could ask around on this board for recommendations. There are good independents in SLC but it sounds like you didn't know or didn't ask the pertinent questions nor check references. I am sorry for your experience. Remember that there are only a hand full of great mechanics for these cars and they are well known in the community. Plus, as noted previously the dealer isn't always competent either.
     
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  7. Orvis 360

    Orvis 360 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2018
    10
    I apologize about not articulating my post adequately, this was not meant as a blanket statement against ALL independent repair facilities. My point was that I felt I exercised due diligence in selecting the shop and was taken.
     
  8. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    5,933
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    All good. Welcome to the board. This is a great community and will generally help if asked; I have seen some amazing things here. Start a post in the regional specific and ask for recommendations for an indi mechanic. You will get some good ones. They might well pop up here as well.
     
  9. Orvis 360

    Orvis 360 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2018
    10
    My post was not meant to demonize ALL independents, I apologize about coming off that way, only the shop that damaged my car. What I find interesting about your reply is the "piling on" of you and the other posters. We do not have a dealership in Boise, Idaho and if you read my post you would realize that I use an independent for the majority of my service work. GTE Engineering is an independent repair facility as well and I am thankful for Serkan who is the owner. Without him giving guidance and direction to the clowns that damaged my car, it would still be sitting in their shop in SLC. Guess what, the shop that is going to fix my car is an independent as well, I know shocking right? So before you assume or impute nefarious intent to my post, maybe ask for a clarifying statement of intent? just throwing that out there.
     
    MrAwilson likes this.
  10. vrsurgeon

    vrsurgeon F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 13, 2009
    13,338
    Charleston, SC
    Full Name:
    Curt
    Understood.. just standing up for my man... :)
     
  11. Orvis 360

    Orvis 360 Rookie

    Sep 1, 2018
    10
    I checked references in NASA which is the local race series at UMC. The shop in question races in NASA and also services GT3 and other cars raced in that series as well. I also checked with local Ferrari owners and owners of Lamborghini and other exotics who had used the shop. This is in addition to the better business bureau. Thank you for assuming I am incompetent to do basic research on who will be working on my car. Do you have a quick questionnaire you would be wiling to share with the group? Thanks again for the input, this has been a tremendously enlightening experience to say the least.
     
  12. kes7u

    kes7u Formula Junior

    Oct 18, 2017
    499
    Shorewood, MN
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    Welcome to the forum!

    Have to develop thicker skin to hang around here!! :confused:

    Independent service facilities are generally better thought of than dealerships. I think it was your title warning of all independents because of your experience with one in Idaho. I understand that you weren't claiming that all were bad, but I think your title could certainly have been worded better.

    Please stay around. I think you'll find that piling on is both a participatory and spectator sport around here!!!

    (Not sure if you did this originally or not but with Ferrari, and particularly with older Ferraris, it is not enough to find a repair facility that is well thought of, but one that has significant experience with your particular car. Oh well. Just water under the bridge at this point.)

    Kevin
     
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  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Actually you did and you stated it emphatically in the title. I have been in this business over 40 years and was at one point the shop foreman of the worlds largest Ferrari dealer service department. I can assure you there are train wrecks with and without a Ferrari franchise agreement in place. You chose badly and went out of your way to insult an entire class of businesses.
     
  14. Skidkid

    Skidkid F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Aug 25, 2005
    5,933
    Campbell, CA
    Full Name:
    John Zornes
    Kevin called it well, they need experience with your specific type of car. In my local area there are many shops to service a GT3 and race them; there are only a handful that I would trust with a Ferrari. For example: I didn't take my car to one of the very well known (respected) mechanics because he was primarily working on older cars and wasn't equipped to properly service my newer car. Plus, sometimes stuff happens with any shop. It really comes down to how they handle it.

    I should add: nice attack for what was a fairly friendly post that welcomed you to the board.
     
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  15. efg2014

    efg2014 Formula Junior

    Sep 14, 2014
    378
    Northern California
    The lesson to be learned from Orvis's unfortunate experience is :

    1) Don't make blanket statements, or you will get scolded on this site :)
    2) Check on ferrarichat for recommendations
    3) Visit the shop and if you don't see a number of Ferraris of your model be cautious.
    4) Check on-line review sites(i.e. Yelp). Again with a grain of salt.
    5) Ask rifledriver. Though I don't know the man the few comments I have read of his, over the years, tell me he is competent, no nonsense and honest.
    5) Hope and if you are religious pray that you reduced or eliminated the risk of a bad situation occurring.

    Before I chose the independent shop, I was always taking my car to the dealership. After a few painful experiences I decided to change shops. Not an easy task with such a specialized car. I contacted an old acquaintance, who has retired from cars, but was a Ferrari judge in Monterey during the yearly shindig. He recommend a shop. After some research and talking to the owner I realized, yes this was a reputable Ferrari shop and no they didn't have much experience with 360 or newer cars. I passed on the shop. The shop I chose had about 40 Ferraris parked for service. All the way from 308s to 458s. Just seeing the cars put me a ease and today I'm a happy customer.

    We all need to thank Orvis for bring the topic up so we don't lull ourselves into a bad situation.
     
  16. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,949
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    Do not agree Ferrarichat is a good place for referrals. Being in the business I see real horror shows referred regularly. Ask people you know in the region. You get a far better read on the type of person making the referral. One more good reason to be involved in FCA. You will have a large base to draw from. No method is perfect.
     
  17. futureferraribuyer

    futureferraribuyer Formula Junior

    Jun 23, 2010
    286
    I used a well reviewed independent shop for my 360. They stood behind the work but I had to go back every time because something was not done correctly. For my F430, I was fortunate enough to have Eugenio service it. He does everything himself, documents everything with pictures and shows you everything that was replaced or repaired. Everything I had done was done correctly the first time and the car is returned to be perfect condition (without missing screws, rags on the floor, dirty like the first shop). I never used the dealer because they are not open on weekends for service and I don't want my car sitting around outside until they can get to it. Also I never know who's working on my car at the dealership - it may be an experience mechanic or a trainee; I've had plenty of problems with dealership work on my other cars so feel extremely fortunate to have the work done personally by Eugenio.

    So there are excellent independent shops and not so good shops like everything else. Reviews and referrals help, but I want to meet the person who's going to work on my car and see the shop.
     
  18. 3POINT8

    3POINT8 Formula 3

    Jan 23, 2014
    2,103
    i have a great indy here in pdx fwiw
     
  19. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 19, 2008
    31,556
    Clarksville, Tennessee
    Full Name:
    Terry H Phillips
    Great one here in Albuquerque, too.
     
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  20. JSP

    JSP Karting
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 5, 2013
    65
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve
    In Dallas as well. Norwood AutoItalia.
     
  21. SGMDCFD

    SGMDCFD F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Sep 27, 2006
    2,635
    Northern VA
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I am very fortunate to have 2 outstanding independents here to use
     
  22. KC360 FL

    KC360 FL Formula Junior
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 20, 2017
    927
    Melbourne Florida
    Full Name:
    KGC
    When I started my first business I was young and inexperienced. Yet, to be sure, I did my homework on any job I knew I had the competency to do-- just needed to study the procedures, details, and research, research, research. I made no mistakes. I could not afford them. I took on jobs I knew I could do even though I had never done "it" before. And as I said, I never had a major mistake that made anyone unhappy with my service.

    Yes there are a lot more folks out there not like me than like me. But to believe just because a shop is busy as an independent it must have competent caring techs on your car, well, I think we have all seen that this is not always the case. Even now after 28 years in my current business I have stayed small. Small means I have a handle on every job in the shop. I can oversee every detail-- and I do. To be sure, there are other shops that are much larger that I personally know of that haven't a clue what they are doing a majority of the time but the Dog and Pony show convinces their customers that they are the best.

    As a customer you need to do your research and spend some time vetting the shop before you bring your Ferrari in to them. The independent shop I have do the work on my 360 was vetted before a 360 I wished to buy was even found yet. I did my homework before the fact not after the purchase.
     
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  23. delaney

    delaney Formula Junior

    Nov 8, 2003
    637
    St Petersburg, FL
    Full Name:
    PETER DELANEY
    A truly excellent Indy also here in St Petersburg.
     
  24. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    9,836
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    For Ferraris, it is important for the technician to have direct experience on the model, or engine that your car has. Find that tech.
     
  25. frankgoodson

    frankgoodson Rookie

    Dec 25, 2008
    34
    I think the best method it to talk to the shop's customer and ask them for feedback.
     

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