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Can anyone recommend a good independent mechanic in the Northern NJ area? I am looking for a reputable shop that will use OEM Porsche parts for all scheduled maintenance, and prefer not to pay inflated dealer prices. Thanks
 

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I have used Powertech in Rockaway, Bergen Imports in Cliffside Park and Autosport in Englewood for my out of warranty work. Powertech is a bit of a hike for me now, so I haven't used them in years.

They have all done good work for the most part, but none are that much cheaper(for labor) than the dealers. I think they all use the 'book rate' for the number of hours to do any normal job (e.g. - 'replace spark plugs = 1.5 hours), but their hourly $ rate may be a bit lower than the dealer.

There are a couple of benefits you get from using an Indy.

The first is the greater experience they often have over the techs in a dealer. Though there is often a 'master tech' in a dealer overseeing all work, the more mundane stuff is usually done by less experienced staff. This situation can also happen at an indy, but the smaller the shop, the less likely you are to have an unknown person working on your car. Many Indies are run by former dealer mechanics.

The second benefit is their flexibility when it comes to making mods, installing owner supplied/Non OEM parts etc. If you are interested in saving money, this can be a great way. Suncoast, ECS etc. often have much better priced quality parts than those the dealer or Indy can provide.

To a large degree Indies succeed or fail by reputation. Do your research and talk to someone at the shop you are interested in.

Here's a list that might be useful -

Porsche Repair Shops & Mechanics in | PCarShops.com
 

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Can anyone recommend a good independent mechanic in the Northern NJ area? I am looking for a reputable shop that will use OEM Porsche parts for all scheduled maintenance, and prefer not to pay inflated dealer prices. Thanks
Would never trust my car to Powertech. Read the timeline below and make up your own mind. The duct tape in my transmission even beats my car getting stuck in 3rd gear driving away from their shop and the zip ties they threw around my shift cables. Top notch price...lousy work:

August 7, 2014:
Fuel gauge was not functioning probably. Powertech diagnosed it as a faulty fuel sender unit and added more fuel to check calibration. Of course Powertech didn’t ACTUALLY calibrate the unit…more on that later.
Cost: $788.

January 19, 2015:
Have Sachs Sport Pressure plate installed, but only a stock clutch replacement and a resurfacing of the dual mass flywheel were recommended. Also, the parking brake handle was pulling up too high, which Powertech adjusted.
Install New Clutch: $4763
Adjust Parking Brake Handle: ~$200

Picked up the car from Powertech, drove onto the highway a short distance away, go to shift out of 3rd gear…nope…transmission stuck in 3rd gear. Got off at the first exit and pulled into a fast food parking lot. Call Mike Daino. “Well, I already left for the night. Can you make it back to the shop and get picked up or have it flat-bedded?” So, my wife now drives back another 30 minutes to come get me after I limp my Porsche back to Powertech entirely in 3rd gear on a brand new clutch after paying a nearly $8,000 bill (had 3 radiators replaced as well). The following day the car needs to be pushed into the shop and manually pulled out of 3rd gear from underneath the car. No explanation on what caused the problem.

February 1, 2015:
Emailed Mike Daino about zip ties I found around my transmission shift cables under my car. Two days later, Mike replies back and suggests I call, which I do, and he says the zip ties are there for an added measure to keep the cables in place. I express my displeasure at not even being consulted on that, plus I had to replace / reroute one of the zip ties since it was crushing a rubber boot around one of the cables.

March 30, 2015:
Email Mike Daino about the parking brake handle:
“The problem now is that the handle is off center when raised. It pulls right (passenger side). This has caused a crack in the plastic housing. To avoid bringing the car back to you for a minor issue, I figured I’d adjust it if I could. In short, even after adjusting the cables at the wheels by turning the adjustment knobs through the rotors, the handle hasn’t moved at all, and the problem still exists. The further up I pull it, the further right it goes…putting more pressure on the cracked housing.”

April 10, 2015:
Powertech examined the hand brake lever, partially disassembled it and reinstalled and repositioned the retaining pin (which it would certainly seem was incorrectly done the FIRST time).
Cost: an additional $367

May 1, 2015:
It appeared the hand brake was malfunctioning again. Powertech couldn’t find anything wrong with it. No charge. Picked up the car and came away with another problem with the fuel gauge. Emailed Mike Daino the following day:

Of course I can’t seem to drive more than a mile without an issue. At least it’s minor: the fuel gauge again (see below / attached).

As I drove away from your shop last night, the gauge read 4/4. I knew something was wrong. It never gets past 3/4. Anyway, after 25 miles or so it started going down, and looked to be ok. 10 minutes later, it crept back up. I filled it up since I didn’t know how much fuel I had. It took about 5 gallons. After driving another 80 miles today, it’s still pinned at 4/4.

So my question is, what is covered under warranty? I know Porsche has a 2-year warranty on their parts, if it’s the sending unit again. Is labor included?

POWERTECH REPLY:
May 4, 2015

It’s a calibration issue with all-wheel drive 996’s Rich. There are actually two sides to the tank and only one side is read.

Fill the tank to the top and then run it down until the reserve light comes on. Then fill it after that and you are good to go.

Mike

Of course I know about my own gas tank to begin with but I still tried this -- multiple times -- to no avail.

How many times should I trust Powertech with this issue? Almost 1 year since it was “fixed“ and it has not worked properly ever since…until another shop got it right the FIRST time.

September 23, 2015:
New shop properly diagnoses the problem. The fuel gauge needed to be properly calibrated. They calibrated the fuel gauge to the sender unit. A manual process and tedious to perform. That notwithstanding, almost 2 years later, the fuel gauge is still working perfectly.
Cost: $203.

May 5, 2017:
Upon hearing intermittent noises from my engine compartment, the new shop finds:
TECH FOUND DAMAGED CLUTCH RELEASE BEARING DUE TO CRACKED CARRIER.
TECH ALSO FOUND LARGE AMOUNT OF GRAY DUCT TAPE ON CLUTCH FORK AND PRESSURE PLATE.
LIKELY DUCT TAPE ENTRAPPED CAUSED DAMAGE TO CLUTCH COMPONENT. DUAL MASS FLYWHEEL AXIAL PLAY WAS FOUND OUTSIDE ALLOWABLE TOLERANCE FOR SECONDARY PLATE LONGITUDAL MOVEMENT.
REMOVED SACH PERFORMANCE CLUTCH PRESSURE PLATE AND STOCK OEM TURBO CLUTCH DISC.
SIGNIFICANT WEAR VISIBLE TO PRESSURE PLATE SURFACE.

Diagnosis Cost: $328
Repair Cost: $4615

Well, needless to say after the DUCT TAPE WAS FOUND IN MY TRANSMISSION as well as the myriad other issues documented, my car has never been and will never be back to Powertech.
 
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