HoMsEy4LiFe

Recommended garage in montreal (changing the alternator)

30 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I know this questions has already been asked but I cant seem to find the topic anymore. I'm looking for a garage to change my alternator/serpentine belts/idler pulley. I was able to find a shop that sells the alternator rebuilt for 200$ (Réusinage Voltech) but no luck so far for a garage that has experience with smarts. Everyone I call, they admit to never having done the job before....

Then I found this place, mécano solution laval, says they specialize in Benz and smart. When I called for a quote, 160 for alternator and 200 for labor (3 hour job....). Based on the wiki I read here it shouldn't be a 3 hour job. So does anyone know a garage in the Montreal area (preferably anywhere between, or near, downtown area and ville St-Laurent) that know what he's doing and charges a fair rate?

And before anyone suggests it (this is mainly why we're all on this forum right?) I tried doing the job myself, but having never dropped the engine and my limited tools, I wasn't successfully able to complete it. Also I have an oil leak that's originating from somewhere near the inter cooler, I think, that I need to get checked out.

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3 hours seems about right as its a PITA to do. Someone will hype up I personally dont know any shops that way.

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Really you're confirming the 3 hour estimate, I honestly thought it was way less than that. Alright, I'll wait for a few more replies in case someone has a better suggestion before I call back for an appointment.

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By the MB book they state 1.6HR shop time just for the alternator assuming nothing goes wrong on the decade old car. So 2-3 hours is a safe assumption for a non MB shop.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Having just done most of what's needed for your job myself(I replaced my starter motor) for the first time, I think that charge is reasonable. Your oil leak could be sourced at the Intercooler, and that will be a extra $ for parts and labour. If the intercooler box has never been modified so it won't rub on the intercooler, you will need to epoxy the tubes that have been damaged and grind down the lip in the box the rubs against it. Or you may have to buy a new intercooler (I believe around $400 from MB).

I have my old one still here, which has been epoxied and was not leaking when I replaced it last month for a new one, you could have it for $50 plus postage.

I'm in St. Catharines, Ontario, so not familiar with garages in Montreal, sorry. Just my 2c.

Edited by dank1945

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Alright thanks for the info, I'll take it in sometime next week and I'll let you know for the intercooler.

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The estimate you were quoted was very reasonable. I've done the job a number of times, sometimes in 2hrs and then as long as 5hrs.

A cabrio will add considerable time to the job, and there are also ''glitches'' that add time.

I know of one instance where the owner was charged $1000 to have the alternator replaced at a local garage.

Replacing the intercooler at this time would also be a good idea. Much easier to do when the engine is lowered.

Good luck!

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Seized panel bolts, especially those at each side and the lower ones at rear will add a considerable time to the job due to owner negligence.

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Double amen! Normally I apply heat to free seized bolts and nuts but cannot in this case since the plastic panels would melt or catch fire.

Therefore, all smart Smart owners should add those bolts to their PM system to ensure they never seize up.

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We digress, but it is worth mentioning: when reassembling after the starter and intercooler replacement job, i dabbed copper anti-seize grease to every bolt.

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We ought to start a thread about bolt maintenance and seized bolt removal.

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I agree!! I hate sezed bolts and now see more and more because of the ageing of the cars and the harsh Canadian climate.

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Thanks for the advice all, I'm gonna be passing by the garage tonight to get a more thorough diagnostic. I'm also gonna mention the intercooler to see if he suggests changing it as well. I have one more question though, is it possible to do Tolsen's restrictor mod to heat the engine up faster without his homemade plug? It's currently 5 degrees out and the car still wont heat up past 60 degrees. Would be nice to get some heat in the cabin!

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Seized panel bolts, especially those at each side and the lower ones at rear will add a considerable time to the job due to owner negligence.

Excuse my ignorance but what panel are you referring to that would be seized to remove the alternator or drop the engine?

Rear body panels are held on with seven torx screws. The lower four tend to seize because more exposed to the elements. Try slackening them off to confirm. Always apply grease when refitting.

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So here's an update if anyone from the montreal/laval area is reading this. There no surprises with the alternator replacement, 160$ alternator and 2 hours for the job 140$ for a total of 300$.

Oil leak was diagnosed to be from the pipe, so he basically just patched that up. An oil change goes for 70$ (50$ if you simply want oil/filter without the Mercedes mambo jumbo inspection). The garage is decent, prices are good and also lends you a courtesy care if you need one (first non dealer garage I've been to that does that). But I did notice my change from my dash drawer disappeared..... can't prove anything though

Well that's it, thanks for everything!

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How about identifying these guys with full name, address and phone#?

Right, I thought I did in my first post. Garages' name is

Mecano solutiion,

880, rue Berlier, Laval, QC, H7L 4K5

450-663-0454

mecanosoultion.com

The owner is Fred, I think his name was

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On 4/8/2016 at 9:19 AM, smart142 said:

The estimate you were quoted was very reasonable. I've done the job a number of times, sometimes in 2hrs and then as long as 5hrs.

A cabrio will add considerable time to the job, and there are also ''glitches'' that add time.

I know of one instance where the owner was charged $1000 to have the alternator replaced at a local garage.

Replacing the intercooler at this time would also be a good idea. Much easier to do when the engine is lowered.

Good luck!

 

im wondering why the cabrio is worse...what is different in hard top vs cabrio in regards to changing the alternator?

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Mine is a Cabrio and changing its alternator is no easier or worse than on a coupe. 

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The cabrio has a bulhead that needs to be loosened for access.

The 2 large T45 bolts on each end get very corroded in the Canadian climate. The majority of times heat is needed and that poses more of a problem because on the passenger side your close to the plastic fuel tank and on the drivers side your close to the abs/brake lines.

I've had those T45 strip and then its grinding or drilling.

All this adds more time when compared to the coupe.

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Tolsen's smart is - or at least has been - rustier than all of ours combined so I suspect he must know this!

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I have only removed that Cabrio steel bulkhead to clean rust off it and to apply protective paint. Bulkhead is partly hollow just like door sills and I have therefore filled the cavity with used engine oil so my bulkhead won’t rust and disintegrate from the inside. Having struggled with its fixing bolts my bulkhead is now held in place with stainless steel bolts. 

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8 hours ago, MikeT said:

Tolsen's smart is - or at least has been - rustier than all of ours combined so I suspect he must know this!

Not rusty no more after its life extension. I welded up more than forty rust holes, coated all of the exposed underbody in two pack epoxy intended for ship ballast tanks. Also applied six or seven litres of bitumen based underbody Schutz.  The bitumen self heals and is also very good sound proofing.

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