I wanted to preface a couple points before I get to subject at hand. First, I enjoyed visiting the shop and interacting with the employees, and especially Will. He gave me some unique insights and information about the shop that lend more interest to the compelling story of how the shop was founded and the obstacles overcome in arriving where the business is today. Second, I typically do not like to make comments or reviews via the online forums without addressing issues with those who can effect a remedy. To that end, I notified the owner of the issues outlined below more on 22 December 2014, and thus far, have not received a response, letter etc. hence, this review.
The BMW X5 was towed into IAS with the intent of diagnosing and repairing the cause of the cranking but not starting issue. After about a week, the tech articulated to us via a phone call that they had diagnosed the issue as to why; the spark plugs were old and not firing properly. We agreed for the work to be completed, which it was. We picked up the car and took it home.
Subsequently thereafter, the car had a couple issues firing but, it would generally start after a bit of cranking; think it was due to cold weather and the fact it was not driven much being contributors etc., we did not pursue further diagnosis as we had been told it was the sparkplugs that were the issue. Having been replaced, it was a reasonable assumption. This would prove to be founded in a false diagnosis.
We embarked upon a trip to Florida, leaving on 12 Dec, intending on returning the 20. We proceeded to our first stop in transit, Walterboro SC. When we awoke the next am, the car, no matter what we did, would not start. Hoping it was due to the frost, we waited until it was warm but, the eventuality was the car would need to be towed.
We called our tow services and arranged for it to be dropped off at the nearest BMW dealership, in Charleston SC, nearly 70 miles away.
By the time we reached and settled the car at BMW, it was nearly 3 pm. Bearing in mind we still had to drive to our destination, over 6 hours away, we proceeded to unpack our car and rent a replacement, at our expense.
The dealership called a couple days later and indicated to us the fuel pump was not working properly and needed to be replaced. In addition, they found several other items that needed addressing, specifically, the hose assemblies were leaking and required replacement; there was an oil leak on the filter seal that would require replacement and they indicated our tires needs to be replaced as well.
The issue here was that after nearly a week in IAS, these issues were not identified; albeit, beyond the fuel pump not necessarily germane, it would seem a reasonable expectation that if a car in being diagnosed, issues like these would be identified so the customer could be notified but, this is a side bar to the main point here. Whereas we are not disputing the claim the sparkplugs were in need of replacement, the fact remains the central issue, the fuel pump, was misdiagnosed, which had a direct causation of the car eventually having to be towed again for what should have been diagnosed and repaired by IAS.
To help frame the issue, and the effects of the misdiagnosis, below is a snapshot of the time and costs associated with the improper repair; this is beyond the time and monies spent at IAS:
1. Time: the initial time and inconvenience. We were in effect delayed more than 8 hours on Saturday, 13 December due to the car having to be towed to a dealership etc.
2. Time: this initial delay caused us to miss a preplanned family engagement which had been in the works for months.
3. Time: dealership was closed on Sunday hence, work could not be completed until the following week.
4. Time: extra time to return to the dealership upon return from the trip.
5. Added time due to distance: the dealership was 70 miles, one way, out of our intended travel path. This in effect added 280 more miles (70 were traveled in the tow truck) to our trip overall.
6. Money: the repairs are not the issue however; having to rent a car at our expense, and pay for the additional fuel travelling the additional miles to and from the dealership was borne by us exclusively. The car itself was $300 plus 2 tanks of fuel, for a total of about $370 added expenses not previously factored.
The above is just fraction of the total costs in time with family and frustration at having to deal with an issue that should have been resolved by your shop. I would reiterate, the fact the repairs needed to be completed are not in question rather; the misdiagnosis of the larger issue is. In totality, the above listed is a direct result of IAS plainly getting it wrong.
The intent of this review is to inform, and no more. If IAS is unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes, and act in a reasonable manner, then they are not the shop I thought them to be.
Going forward, even though the shop is close, and we prefer to spend money locally, we will not be taking any of our 3 German brand cars back to IAS. At least with the dealership there are
accountability mechanisms in place that can provide a reasonable remedy when the get it wrong.