Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

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Moonrakers
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Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by Moonrakers »

Hello everyone.

There are always requests for recommended mechanics and garages, so I thought I'd do a write-up of a North London Garage for the forum, just in case it comes in handy for someone in the future.

Automerc is a long-established indie, run by a partnership who really know their stuff. They have recently moved to new premises and now have an excellent large workshop with several lifts and a detailing bay, as well as connections to handle all kinds of work from the basics to full restorations. German cars are their specialty - I came to know them after purchasing my other car, an elderly Mercedes. They have brought that car back to an excellent, reliable condition and over recent years have always provided good service and faultless work every time, including great support with many issues along the way.


While they have all the modern diagnostic tools for MB, BMW and Audi, and work on some serious modern machines, what I love about them is their knowledge and experience of older vehicles, proper experience that most garages lack for the quirkier or older vehicles. Ivan is the business manager who you'll speak to if you call - he's friendly, efficient and delivers on his promises, and will help plan work without the hard sell. Joe is the chief mechanic, and he's great - he will not throw parts at a fault and spend the customer's money in the hope of a lucky fix, rather he will use his great experience to trace the problem before addressing it (often when others have failed, including main dealers.) Their second mechanic is Adrian, another hard-working and competant guy.

My 'new' T25 has just been with them for a thorough inspection and some remedial work: everything that I knew was wrong was efficiently spotted and fixed properly, and the appraisal was honest. It's running perfectly after a top-end rebuild and a new exhaust, and the wasserboxer is no mystery to Joe who's seen plenty in his time, despite his regular diet of old-fashioned straight-eights, classic German stuff and computerised modern motors of all kinds.

Their labour rates are not the lowest - this is London after all and it's no back-street workshop either, but I have never had anything but good service and quality work, whether servicing, minor repairs or more major overhauls. You get what you pay for... if you are in London and have had problems with a different garage, need a second opinion or are a new owner looking for a trustworthy business to deal with, give them a call.

And no, I'm not a relation of theirs! I just feel that good work should be praised on the forums, much as bad work is discussed for the benefit of others. To be honest, I have not always had good experiences with garages to say the least, and it's made a big difference to my experience of running older cars to have a good one to rely on.


Tim
Current VW: 1986 Devon Moonraker, pop-top, 1.9 DG, 5-Speed

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royt28
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by royt28 »

it might be better if you tells us what work they did on your t25 & most important what the costs involved were.

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waltraud
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by waltraud »

Thanks gor the tip, I for one appreciate this info and know how frustrating it can be to go around places that dont know
Too much about older vehicles.
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by scottbott »

are they in harringey?,near Turnpike lane?
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by ghost123uk »

Thanks for the input Tim,

Moonrakers wrote:My 'new' T25 has just been with them... It's running perfectly after a top-end rebuild and a new exhaust, and the wasserboxer is no mystery to Joe who's seen plenty in his time,

A rare beast is a man that is happy and confident in doing a WBX top-end rebuild 8)
Tell us a bit more about what was done and how much it cost.

All being well, I can add them to our wiki list of T25 recommended garages.
Got a new van, but it's a 165bhp T4 [shock horror] Accurate LPG Station map here

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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by Moonrakers »

Ok guys, here's what was done, and the cost as requested You can make up your own minds whether this is good value of course, but the results have been excellent and as fellow Londoners will know, labour rates here are higher due to the higher costs of the garage's high commercial rents.

As documented in a previous post, my exhaust (original 1985 unit) refused to let go - despite soaking in release lubricant and plenty of heat, 4 studs sheared when turned. Rather than spend an unknown amount of hours of Automerc's labour welding nuts on to try to turn the studs out, we decided on taking off the heads to get a machine shop to drill them out cleanly, carrying out a top-end refresh at the same time. Automerc handled this and incorporated the engineer's services in the final bill, and this cost was modest.

So here was the job list:

Thorough vehicle inspection, all systems + chassis and body, with report.
Remove engine, strip off cylinder heads, send to engineer to drill out broken studs
De-coke engine, check valves, pistons and bores
Reassemble engine with new gaskets and valve stem seals
Check and adjust auto choke system
Clean carburettor. Check and adjust carb settings and operation.
Assemble and fit complete new exhaust system
Adjust gearbox linkage
Replace leaking fuel tank breather hose and re-seal displaced fuel tank grommet
Replace battery
Unblock windscreen washer jets
Clean / valet exterior

Labour total: £450

With all the parts, including fresh oil, coolant, gasket kits (OEM), 61AH Bosch battery, an air duct hose and all other parts for engine reassembly plus the engineers costs (£90), a full tank of fuel and the dreaded VAT of £215, the final bill was...

£1290


To my mind, this is good value... DIY mechanics with their own workshops may disagree, but I live in Central London without the luxury of off-road parking let alone a decent garage, so I rely on mechanics for all the big jobs.

The van sounds great and drives beautifully, with better performance and mpg's evident as a result of proper tuning. I have received excellent service as usual from these guys, and I know that they will stand by their work and correct any faults if I experience any issues down the road. So far with my other car, the only problem I've had with any of their work had been down to a faulty part rather than workmanship, and this wax corrected with no questions asked and no charge.

They told me that working on a flat-four is not an everyday job for them, and so they spent longer than usual on the job but without charging me extra. So, take your Wasserboxers over to Joe - now he's had the practise on mine, he'll be faster on yours!

This weekend I'm off camping for the first time - Ive just replaced the speakers and head unit, but to be honest the engine's sounding great on that new exhaust and I've been opening the window and revving it like a kid for the last couple of days instead of turning the stereo up... Happy days.

Cheers all, thanks for reading.

Tim
Current VW: 1986 Devon Moonraker, pop-top, 1.9 DG, 5-Speed

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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by Moonrakers »

ghost123uk wrote:Thanks for the input Tim,

Moonrakers wrote:My 'new' T25 has just been with them... It's running perfectly after a top-end rebuild and a new exhaust, and the wasserboxer is no mystery to Joe who's seen plenty in his time,

A rare beast is a man that is happy and confident in doing a WBX top-end rebuild 8)
Tell us a bit more about what was done and how much it cost.

All being well, I can add them to our wiki list of T25 recommended garages.

My new van came from near Chester, maybe you saw it about before I abducted it to the South. Had a nice trip up there, very pretty area and tempting camping opportunities all over the place I would have thought. I plan to head back up soon to explore.

If you need any more info regarding this thread, just let me know. I posted it due to previous bad experiences with other older cars Ive had - finding a garage that cares about old or quirky vehicles and also has the ability to work on them successfully is not easy, is it? There is nothing worse than being charged good money for someone to 'attempt' to fix an issue before handing the car back, often worse than it was before. I am convinced that Automerc never jerk customers around this way, and they appreciate the enthusiasm some of us have for classic vehicles too. It's always nice to be able to recommend someone and help others avoid the shady operators.

Cheers, have a great Summer.

Tim
Current VW: 1986 Devon Moonraker, pop-top, 1.9 DG, 5-Speed

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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by ghost123uk »

:ok

They are in the wiki now. see http://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/Ga ... fic#London" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:ok



Only a very very small point, can anyone spot the slight mistake in the list of work done :wink:

.
Got a new van, but it's a 165bhp T4 [shock horror] Accurate LPG Station map here

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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by Moonrakers »

ghost123uk wrote::ok

They are in the wiki now. see http://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/Ga ... fic#London" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:ok



Only a very very small point, can anyone spot the slight mistake in the list of work done :wink:

.

Aaargh! I can't work it out. I hate proving my ineptitude publicly (again). But I will admit freely that I am a bit of a cretin when it come to mechanicals, as well as being a T25 newbie.

This week I fitted a new skylight, mudflaps, new door speakers, a 12v power socket and a twin USB charger in the dash tidy, but that's about the limit of my skills. If I've got my grommets confused in my post, just remember I never claimed to be clever!

Thanks Ghost

Tim
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by Oldiebut goodie »

ghost123uk wrote::ok

They are in the wiki now. see http://wiki.club8090.co.uk/index.php/Ga ... fic#London" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:ok



Only a very very small point, can anyone spot the slight mistake in the list of work done :wink:

.

I don't know these funny petrol engines at all but is it a case of them not having valve stem seals? Can't think of anything else.
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Re: Recommended Garage - Automerc, London

Post by ghost123uk »

And the prize goes to OBG :ok

(Tim, it wasn't your words, it was they said they replaced valve stem seals and WBX engines don't have valve stem seals. Like I said, only a small point).
Got a new van, but it's a 165bhp T4 [shock horror] Accurate LPG Station map here

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