Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: My Island
My Ride: imolarot II M
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.