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-   -   Not at all impressed with (UN) IMPRESSIVE AUTO (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=899864)

lennon31987 01-27-2012 03:17 PM

Not at all impressed with (UN) IMPRESSIVE AUTO
This is an extremely condensed version, I have no enough hours in this day to fully get into every minute detail and instance but this will give readers plenty of insight.

I am sure most, if not everybody on this forum is familiar with IMPRESSIVE or, as I call them, NON-IMPRESSIVE auto. I know many people on this board have used them and posted positive responses, I also know thereís as many if not more on here whom have had a horrible experience. My m3 had broken down in the end of August, heard what sounded like marbles in a can rattling. I had it taken to my shop where we found metal in the oil pan and knew something had catastrophically failed. I searched around on the forums and found that IMPRESSIVE had done many engine swaps including a 330xi s54 (which actually excited me and made me think I can give them a shot), called up and spoke with John. At the time, John was extremely helpful, I told him the symptoms and in a instance he knew that I had spun a rod bearing, to which he stated the replacement would be, ďno problem, Iíve done so many of these engines broĒ.

Car was flat bedded the next day over to his shop (the tow guy is VERY good, I would use him again). A few days later they had the diagnosing; it was in fact the rod bearing. John had said that the crank needed to be machined and etc., so we went ahead and placed an order for all OEM parts new. (Connecting rods, crankshaft, gaskets, cylinder, and head bolt, etc.) Crank was taken to 2 different shops, the first didnít want to touch it or some excuse like that and the second found that it was actually cracked, so it needed to be replaced. There was a wait on the crank shaft which is understandable as no dealers had them in stock in the US and the part had to be ordered and delivered from Germany. This was in September, John asked me for cash up front for parts which I gave to him and didnít hear from him for about 3 weeks, they never called to update me on the status of anything throughout this entire process its always me trying to track John down. The car was finished in November, 21st to be exact and I paid the rest of the bill and picked it up. My clutch did not feel right but John insisted it was the guibo which he changed as he said mine was cracked. It felt as if my pedal didnít fully depress ( I have an upgraded clutch, far from OEM), I knew I had to do the proper break-in with this motor and adhered to the guidelines to the teeth (1k no revs about 4k, varying throttle and RPM, this in itself was a chore). Around 600 miles on the highway, I hear a pop and immediately started to smell burning oil. Not only did I smell it but I could see it pillowing out of my hood when I came to a light, I pulled into a parking lot and opened the hood. My engine was smoking for a solid half hour as I could see oil had spewed all over the engine compartment and was baking on the side of my block (thank god it was 32 degrees out that night). As I waited for Sha (johnís tow guy, who as I mentioned is 100% professional) I prayed nothing would explode. I spoke to john on the phone and he did not seem at all worried or bothered by this issue, saying it was most likely just a line and itís no big deal.

Fast forward two business days, I call him (as usual) and he says that the timing chain broke and it snapped my valve cover but my vanos looked fine. They replaced the said parts and he said they reassembled it and there was some code on. Ended up the vanos was shot (how I have no idea) and it needed to be replaced. Another line item on to the bill but it was going to get done and be perfect. I again waited until the job was allegedly completed and picked up the car. When I got there to pick up my car I discovered that (2) of my PERFECT OEM powder coated ZCP wheels had been rashed up. John immediately said it was most likely my mechanics that had the car prior to him but this just isnít the case as my shop never ruins anything of mine and has built several of my cars without issues. (in retro spec I should have just had them do it but I didnít). I told him it would cost $125 per wheel which is what I paid for them and he said I was over paying and his guy would do it, again ďno problemĒ. So he took my two wheels to be fixed, I also discovered that the shop has reversed my car into something and cut into my custom molded rear dumper with CSL diffusor (see pic below) of course John was not there when I picked up the car and I was under time constraints so I took the car home, damaged. John had refunded me $125 for (1) wheel in which they put TOUCH UP paint on (which does not match at all and looks like garbage) and I had on the car in the interim a beat OEM 19 inch wheel with a totally beyond bald and bubbled tire. I brought the car home, changed my wheels to OEM 18s with blizzacks and put the garbage wheel in my trunk to be brought back to IMPRESSIVE because he needed to return my wheel, paint my bumper AND fix the CONTINUING OIL LEAK from my car.

I brought the car back to IMPRESSIVE and waited until it was finished. Once again, I took a cab from my office in midtown back to IMPRESSIVE and picked up my car, it was raining out so I could not fully assess the quality of the repaint that was a necessity (due to them backing up my car into something) but it looked OK. I also grabbed my, allegedly, fixed wheel and tossed it in the trunk. I again drove the car home thinking everything was now good, and parked her in my garage. I live in NYC and keep the car out on LI so that weekend (3 days later) I went home and looked under the car, and again to my surprise, OIL LEAK. Called IMPRESSIVE back up and dropped the car off again and was told they would use dye and figure it out, I said explicitly that it was leaking from the top and explained exactly where I believed it was coming from. Spoke to them a few days later and it was in fact something related to a Vanos hose (was lead to believe on the last FIX that john said he replaced the houses and they couldnít find the leak, I asked him DID he drive the car? And he said no they let it run for a few hours) so this meant to me, not a mechanic, that the car needed to be under load to leak oil which was evident by the fact he couldnít find a leak and it would leak every time I drove the car home. So again, a fix on top of a fix, this was clearly an installation error once again.

Picked the car up last evening and my clutch just doesnít feel right, and there was some oil on the ground at the shop. At this point I am fed up with the jerking and the turn around. I did not previously mention but will here that I was charged the 2% CC processing fee which is the business cost of accepting a CC to begin with. He simply passed that fee off to me which is actually illegal unless I was offered a cash substitute that was lower than said price (see the excerpt from VISAís website below, ďMerchants are not allowed by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express to pass along their credit card processing fees to consumers. Merchant agreements with these companies prevent any surcharge or fee from being added to the purchase simply because the form of payment is a credit card. But (you knew there would be a "but"), merchants can offer a discount off the normal price of a good or service for paying with cash or check. Read more: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-ca...#ixzz1kfkCkWhf

No substitute was offered and even my bank just confirmed that isnít legal and brought that point up to him on the phone this morning, to which he said it is legal and they would not be refunding me anything. I will leave out the cash values for now as they are irrelevant in informing our community here about a shady merchant but values are significant.
At this point I would highly recommend not using IMPRESSIVE for anything at all, there is no consistency there at all, the mechanic who built my engine has been fired and replaced and the new guy was essentially fixing and cleaning up the old guys mistakes, I had said that there should be no mistakes and if I wanted mistake I would have done this job myself on my free time in my garage and not paid, what I believed to be professionals, to do an unprofessional job. I will gladly elaborate on any of these points via PM as I do not want to bash other work that I saw occurring there that was sub-par at best. The representative from my credit card company got back on the line with me this morning after speaking with John and said that was essentially a wasted call and he is pointless to speak with.

To be brutally honest the worst part about this has been Johnís attitude throughout the process, he is extremely unprofessional and starts screaming on the phone. He routinely would interrupt me and not even allow me to get in a word until I had to tell him to shut up and let me speak, as I am the customer paying him and he should listen to what I am saying and not shove sentences down my throat the entire conversation. Routinely would say Iíll call you back or at the end of the day and he would never call, I would have to chase him and he would give me some BS excuse that he was busy or something. He would berate me on the phone saying whatever I want, and lie about things like my car was on the lift the entire time it was at the shop (hence that reverse mark which was made in midair apparently). Never have I dealt with somebody who is just so disrespectful to a customer ever. Now in my field of work if you say you will call somebody back you best call somebody back, blatant lies and episodes of disrespect are not part of legitimate business, but then again all the signs now point to it not being legitimate so I guess itís all fine in IMPRESSIVEís book.

Food for thought before you hand over your cash fellas. 4 months, 5 plus trips back and forth and thousands of dollars later and issues are still not fully resolved. Everything is going to be sorted properly and I am looking forward to moving on from this horrible situation which has caused extreme agita and stress. (From what I hear from people hanging out @ IMPRESSIVE, this is the common case with many people, they say ĎNever Againí)
Cheers fellow forum members.



lennon31987 01-27-2012 03:17 PM

Reserved #1

BigDRick323 01-27-2012 03:27 PM

Where is that located, I have taken my car to so many shops I have almost lost count, nobody seems to be able to do anything right on a bimmer. Even the dealerships (I mean stealerships!) :(

Jelly335 01-27-2012 03:39 PM

Damn bro sorry to hear that :( that's messed up. I had a problem in the past before that's why never went there again. Well hope everything is good now and your car is running well again dude

lennon31987 01-27-2012 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by JELBMW330I (Post 14024400)
Damn bro sorry to hear that :( that's messed up. I had a problem in the past before that's why never went there again. Well hope everything is good now and your car is running well again dude

hey man! hope all is well, havent seen you since the days of the bestbuy meets! please feel free to share your experience with the rest of the community here. cheers!

lennon31987 01-27-2012 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by BigDRick323 (Post 14024349)
Where is that located, I have taken my car to so many shops I have almost lost count, nobody seems to be able to do anything right on a bimmer. Even the dealerships (I mean stealerships!) :(

queens, NY

John@Impressive AutoWerk 01-27-2012 04:44 PM

We are very sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with any of the work which was provided to you. I realize you spent a lot of time writing this thread but it is not completely accurate, and extremely over dramatized.
1) You initial complaint was that we did not update you at all during the long wait for your crank shaft. This is not true since I personally put you and the dealership on a three way conversation over the phone and they explained to you that the part is delayed and i asked them to provide you a tracking number which they did for your part so you could be up to date on its status.

2)You claim we damaged your wheels at the shop, there is not proof that this ever happened nor was the car ever near a curb that this could have happened but since you were doing so much work to your car at our shop and your car was in very good shape we offered to pay for its repairs, as a professional curtesy. Saying the wheels looked like Garbage its a huge dramatization as the damage was not extensive nor our fault.

3) You claim that we were trying to cover our tracks by firing a previous mechanic that rebuilt your engine and hired a new mechanic to fix his problems. There is literally no truth behind this, our head mechanic took his annual vacation which he takes every year to spend time with his family that lives outside the country and we hired a BMW tech to take his place for the time being.

4)You had a complaint that we damaged your rear bumper, yes this was an unfortunate incident i do not know when this happened but we extended our apologize and fixed everything with no charge to you, You started saying that you did not get to inspect that paint job well that day due to the rain, its has been several weeks and there has been no complaint from you about the paint quality so i see no reason to question our painting.

5) You had so many complaints as to you constantly traveling to come pick up and drop off your car, you failed to mention that several times you did not come during business hours, since we close at 5:30pm every day and we waited till after 7:00pm several times just so that you could pick your car up. Besides those incidents we usually went out of our way to make due for any special requests that you had for us which we always honored, although every time you always asked for another request, and always every time it was free of charge, such as free clock springs, the gumbo was for free, smoke test was for free, dye test was free, vanos gasket free, valve cover gasket was free, and several other free parts.

6) You also failed to mention that your car was originally brought to us from another shop, a shop which did not want to work on your car any longer due to your demanding attitude and never being satisfied with any work due to blaming all issues with your car on mechanics working on it.

7) The link you provided about charging for credit cards contradicted your own question. We do offer a discount for customers paying with cash, we also do not usually except credit cards, and at the bottom of that page you attached a link to it stated that a business is allowed to charge a fee if they do not make credit card payments a regular part of their business. We did speak with your credit card company and they told us you have no substance to your claim since we did work on your car and the issues which we were payed to fix we did.

8) We usually consider that customers are always right and you always had complaints that you wanted us to fix as well such as she you had an error code for lighting which you stressed was a big issue we needed to fix which was just a bulb that was out.

Your entire post was just slander towards our business and had little truth to it and the truth that was there was Extremely unappreciative of all the trim and work we put into your car and over dramatization of any issues. We still had someone speak with you today and offered to work with you in anyway you wanted to, even if you were not satisfied with our shops work we offered to give you pointers on what to tell the next shop you wanted to take your car to, but you did not want anything from us. You claim there is so many unsatisfied customers from our shop this is not true, we have worked with hundreds of people and rarely get complaints and not to the quality of our work, if anything it would be for time constraints as we are usually very busy because people trust us with their cars, because they know we will take car of them. If you are interested in taking care of anything with us we are always willing to help.

BigDRick323 01-27-2012 05:02 PM

you both sound selfish, stubborn and spoiled, glad I dont live in new york, any new yorkers want to solve this.

Sent from my VM670 using Bimmer

Act of God 01-27-2012 05:21 PM

I need to learn how to do all of my own work lol

SMUUUUUV 01-27-2012 05:25 PM

:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn: :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:..... :hi:

Bemwe_03i 01-27-2012 05:27 PM

omg cliffs

zhenkaaaM3 01-27-2012 05:32 PM

Damn, took me a whole 5minutes to read the post. Looks like OP went through alot of stressful situations with his car and is taking it out on Impressive. I am not backing OP or impressive up because there is 2 sides to every story. Its just better to go your seperate ways.

1sickbmw 01-27-2012 05:39 PM

I been going to impressive for quite a while I never had a problem then again a business can't satisfied every customer specially like OP who nag a lot on the forum they never stayed open late for me I was told to come back tomorrow you got VIP service damn:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

Len013091 01-27-2012 05:41 PM

How does a double row timing chain break, snap a valve cover, and not completely destroy the valve train?

04yfz 01-27-2012 06:14 PM


Originally Posted by youngproexec (Post 14024886)
I read all of this. Im sorry for whatever you went through, but was it entirely necessary to publicize this on the forums? First of all, I have no affiliation with Impressive, and if you've seen any of my threads you'd see that Im a Motorcepts "fanboy" all the way. However your talking about a forum sponsor here. With his sponsorship, the forums are enriched with promos and discounts. If you had an issue with John or whomever, you should've dealt with it between the confines of yourself and John. Posting stuff like this on the forums is basically like crying over spilled milk.

Before posting you should've considered the possible 'consequences'. Here are a couple questions to help you know if youd made the right choice:

What do you hope to accomplish by posting this? For John to reverse the present ? Posting stuff like this burns bridges. There will be a time when you'll need someone to help you out in a bind, but by posting and publicizing your 'unfortunate' repair issue you'll scare them away. Im sure there are others who are 'silently' watching and you've just ruined any future networking with them. In addition, you've probably burned your bridge with a powerful bmw shop. I understand your fustration, and trust me I've had my fair share, but this was totally unnessecary. John like many others has a business, and if you were that unpleased go somewhere else, Period.
If it turns out that John was doing wrong by you, then he'd pay for it sooner than later dont you think? Karma is a B-I.

Was this nessecary? Have we forgotten about talking in person and resolving issues without internet confrontations? Im sure John will take care of it if you made your demands and expectations known .

All in all, John is a cool guy. Sometimes people get under stress because they have alot on thier plate. Sometimes in life you have to be the bigger person and suck it up. Demand what you want in a respectful way and you'll be sure to get it. John is a stand up guy, and does go out of his way to help out his customers. Talk with him, explain what the issues are and exhaust all other options. In closing, with all this said, you should've just resolved this issue with John and the crew at Impressive. There was absolutely no need to pollute the forums with this. These threads are so annoying because everyone thinks that by posting and bad mouthing someone, especially a forum sponsor that they will get their desires granted.

Everyone remembers the mistakes, but not everyone remembers the good things. That why If im unpleased, I'd discuss it with the person face to face, not on the phone, or over this internet forum, but face to face. If you look at my threads about a shop Im always praising them. No matter who they are. We need to remember the good things... I hope you get this resolved. Good luck :str8pimpi

What else does he have left to do besides share his experience to prevent others from having the same issues? If the problems he's had haven't been solved by talking over the past 5 months it's pretty obvious he's pretty much SOL.

It's funny because I'm sure he originally went to Impressive because of what seemed like a great reputation they had on here due to a few fan boys in the past. If he shares his experience, at least it can prevent others from being disappointed in their expectations.

bigpaulie69 01-27-2012 06:15 PM

Cliff Notes:
Basically OP is complaining about everything and considers his car to be flawless and any issues are the fault of Impressive, and Impressive tried to fix anything they could for him, despite multiple problems being the issue. OP sounds like you need a shop that is gonna take your 2006, 2005, 2004, or whatever year your car is and hand you back a brand new car with no issues -_-. Its a BMW and at this point getting to be an older BMW problems come with the terirtory, if your not willing to deal with them and are gonna blame everything on a reputable shop i recommend getting a different car, because 90% of teh people on this forum can share their experience with you about having an issue with their come up that took forever to solve or kept coming up. These cars are far from bullet proof.

aero93 01-27-2012 06:48 PM

I appreciate people speaking up wether they have good or bad experiance with a company and this will give others insight on your experiance. I wasnt there and don't realy jnow what happend but if the post above me holds any truth then they misdiagnosed the car or didn't fully diagnose it and I would be pissed too. It's the owners decision if he wants to fix a 2000 dollar problem or a 6000 dollar problem and it dosent seem like he had the full picture of what the extents of the damages were

Thanks again for posting op

* not affiliated with op or John from impressive

E36 HaTeR 01-27-2012 07:05 PM

Yea that wheel repair looks like sharpie black marker was used.

Also if the bumper was damaged at the shop why did he have to see it first and complain before it was fixed?

Ive heard stories about this shop before and I even called john once looking for an m54b30 for my dads car, he told me 2500 and I said okay that's way overpriced, and went and picked up a ZHP motor from another shop for 1000.

After my buddies story I was disappointed. he went to get a part and john sold it before he got there when my Friend told him he was almost there was inconsiderate because he told him he was on the way (hour drive from his house)

Good luck fixing your car op if ypu decide to do it on your own I can come and lend a hand if you need one. If I learned anything is if you want something done right you have to do it yourself.

SMUUUUUV 01-27-2012 07:24 PM

Bottom line is this.... Everyone may experience different situations at different shops and decipher different situations differently. We all have our choices to go to whatever shop we choose. We also have the choice to praise or denounce any shop we choose depending on the experience with that shop whether privately or publicly. If you have not walked in his(op's) shoes please do not try and lace them up. His experience is what it is, his. This is a public forum so he is speaking publicly. Some of us shout it out and some of us move in silence...:shhh:

Trazom 01-27-2012 07:25 PM

I just want to bring out some points.

If there was something wrong, did they offer to fix it? Clearly so.
They fixed your bumper for free which you didn't even show any pics. You can't even say for sure if the other shop did this or not.

Now the problem with your engine. Your car is not new. There are things that could go wrong and I know that they would look into and try to make sure its resolved. Impressive has been in business not because of one time scams. They have been in business because they have continued to offer reliable and good valued service for many years. Lets be clear about this. Years, not 1. Not 6 months. But many many years. They have a lot of experience with these vehicles. You have a vehicle that needs special parts. They don't keep cars because they want to. That place is always full of vehicles and they NEED to move cars out of there.

Every business is going to have unhappy customers which we should understand. But if anything happens the Impressive shop is always trying to make it up. Everything you said they have tried to fix. So yeah, its ok for you to post your experience but make sure all the facts are there.

A good business is a business that tries to make the customer happy even when he's unhappy. Impressive has offered to fix anything for you. If anybody can't read then go up there and read it again.

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