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Bonfe's Auto Service & Body Repair

Phone: (651) 222-4458 Fax: (651) 225-9664 View Additional Phone Numbers 337 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102 View Additional Email Addresses

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According to the information provided by Bonfe's Auto Service & Body Repair, this company performs the following repairs: collision, frame, refinishing and detail work. The mechanical shop performs full mechanical repairs, diagnostics, and tires.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

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Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 1

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Bonfe's Auto Service & Body Repair
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 01, 1978 Business started: 01/01/1952 in MN Business started locally: 01/01/1952
Licensing, Bonding or Registration

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Bldg, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul MN 55155
Phone Number: (651) 296-2803

Business Management
Tom Bonfe, Owner/Manager Anthony Bonfe, Owner
Contact Information
Customer Contact: Anthony Bonfe, Owner
Principal: Tom Bonfe, Owner/Manager
Business Category

Auto Repair & Service Auto Repair - Suspension Auto Repair - Steering & Suspension Auto Repair - Shocks Auto Repair - Tune-Up Auto Repair - Windshield, Glass Shops Auto Services Auto Services - Oil & Lube Auto Body Repair & Painting

Alternate Business Names
Bonfe's Auto & Mechanical Service
Industry Tips
Auto Glass Information Auto Repair and Services

Additional Locations


    337 7th St W

    Saint Paul, MN 55102 (651) 224-7571 (651) 222-4458


BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

9/10/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: Brought Caddillac in with low power, timing chain slipped one cog. Car was repairable. Got it back with the engine destroyed. My 2000 Cadillac engine was low on power, so showed the car to my mechanic, who told me it was probably a slipped timing chain. He told me the car was till repairable at this time. David, my mechanic, has worked on car engines for 40 years and is 62 years old. He doesn't do much mechanical work anymore, so I brought the car to Bonfe's on Friday,July 17th, 2015. I told them to run the codes then call me. They never called on Monday, so I went into the shop to see what was up. At this time they told me that my engine was destroyed. I told them that the car engine was not destroyed when I dropped it off. When I dropped it off the engine still started, and there were no catastrophic engine failure sounds: such as banging pistons, rocker arms, or valves. The engine was quiet, just low on power. I then asked ************ Bonfe, where my car was, and they said it was out in the yard. I then asked them where the keys were and they told me to get them from the guy in the shop. I then left to go out and check out my car/engine. At this time they did not tell me that they had opened up my engine, and not to try to start it! When I went out to my car I tried to start it, and it banged like someone had thrown a hundred bolts into the engine. I then went back inside and they looked at me and said: "You didn't try to start it did you!". And when I said yes I did try to start it. They then said "Oh you shouldn't have done that we don't have the engine back to together, now you have damaged your engine even more" At this point I got very angry and asked them who gave them permission to open up my engine, and why didn't you tell me that you had opened up my engine before I went out to start the car? This is their responsibility, if they are going to open up an engine 1) they need permission and 2) they are required to tell the customer that the engine is open and in an unsafe mode. And they are required to tell the customer not to try to start the car. They never relayed any of this information to me! I believe they set me up to start the engine so they could then say that I ruined my own engine. During this on-going heated conversation with them in their office, they also admitted that when they opened up my engine (without permission) that they also dropped part of the busted plastic, cam guide down into the engine block. They are liable for this mistake as well. I don't know what they did to destroy my engine so completely. My mechanic says they may have revved the engine before they ran the codes. This could have caused the timing chain guide to bust completely and to destroy the rocker arms and valves. They definitely did not follow the rules for working on a customers car. And they definately did not tell me that the engine was open and not to start the car. And they definately did not call me up to tell me what the codes said like I had asked them. And they definately did drop the broken plastic cam guide down into my engine. For all of these reasons, I am requesting that they fix what their mechanics have destroyed. I am requesting $3500 towards the payment of a new engine. One other point. This engine was replaced with a new Jasper motor 4 years ago. And other then this loss of power had never caused me any major problems in 4 years.

Desired Settlement: $3500 towards the replacement of a new engine.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2015/08/31) */ On Friday July 17th ************* drove his 2000 Cadillac Deville into our shop and said the car would not go over 15 MPH. **** parked the car in our front entrance and turned the engine off. My certified Master technician drove his car approx 30 feet into his stall to diagnose the issue. Our technician could not test drive the vehicle with how poorly it was running. Upon diagnosing the issue, my tech had to remove the valve cover to check if timing chain jumped a tooth or teeth, also heard some noise internally on the engine. Once the valve cover was removed, he found that the Timing chain guide failed, timing chain jumped on the cam and the vehicle is out of time. This engine is a interference engine, meaning valve to piston damage. Rec. replacing engine. What ever happened from the time **** left his house and drove to our shop the internal damage had already happened and by driving it running so poorly with a timing chain jumped and the timing off caused internal failure. **** is claiming that WE revved his engine so long and hard in our shop that we caused the failure. With the timing off there is no way anyone could rev the engine at all. The damage was already done. When we tried to explain the situation to **** he accused us of damaging his engine and said "you did this because you do not like me." I am not sure why he would say that. I do not even know ****. We have Master Certified technicians that hold them selves to higher standards. My Top Master Certified technician Joel was the tech that worked on his vehicle and he did nothing wrong. He simply diagnosed that there was and is internal engine damage and it needs a new engine. **** was not happy with what we told him and did not believe the facts. He paid his bill and we told him the car needs to be towed from our shop. He went out on our back lot with his key and tried to start to car. The engine made alot of noise because we still had the top engine valve cover removed. **** told me that he was going to have his friend who is a really good mechanic fix it. The next thing I get is a letter in the mail from **** stating that I either have to pay him $3500 now or he is taking me to court and suing me for $9000. I do not feel that we need to make a resolution with **** because this 100% was not our problem. The damage was already done. Thanks *** Bonfe Bonfe's Auto Service ***copied and pasted from email. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2015/09/01) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) Their response is ludicrous. It does not address the fact that they opened up the engine without permission and then failed to tell me that the engine was open and the timing chain off. They failed to tell me this knowing that I was going out to get my car and to check it out. And knowing that I would probably try to start it, since it was running when I brought it in to them. They are lying when they try to say that the timing chain was off when I drove it in. Had it been completely off the car would not have started nor run. The timing chain had slipped one cog, the engine was no where near the point of a catastrophic engine failure. Again I repeat, the engine had no sounds nor symptoms of a total engine failure when I brought it in to them to run the codes. My mechanic of 40 years inspected and listened to the engine with a stethoscope before I ever brought it in to them. When I went to pick up the car, only then was then engine destroyed. They can't have it both ways. A car with total engine failure doesn't drive for a half mile to the shop. It won't drive 10 feet. In fact it won't even start. A dozen mechanics will tell you that if the timing chain is completely off like they are trying to say, there is no way that I could have driven it into their shop!! They are lying. They did completely destroy my engine, while it was in their care. And yes in the past I have not gotten along with Brad in their shop. And would never have brought my car there, except they were very close to where the problem started, and I saw that their garage door was open. They are liable for the amount of $3500 for all of the reasons mentioned, and mainly because they, unconscionably , did not tell me that they had opened up my engine and then left the parts of the engine lying on top of the engine, with the hood closed. How could it be an accident that a supposedly professional auto repair shop did not tell me this, when they knew I was walking out to start my car??? For this alone they are 100 % liable. Notice how they did not mention this in their previous response. How convenient for them to let me turn over the engine, thus damaging it further, muddying the waters even more with regard to my damaged engine. Final Business Response /* (4000, 9, 2015/09/10) */ I want to start out by responding to ****s insults. We run an adult business with certified master mechanics. We have been in business in the same location for over 60 years. In the past 2 weeks **** has personally insulted me by calling me a liar and in a text message he called me a putz. I have never personally met **** and he has no idea of my character. I run a very professional business that stays busy 5 days a week, 10 hours a day year around. I work on over 15 cars a day, 75 cars a week and over 3900 cars a year. Why would I or my 20 year certified master technician decide to deliberately rev up and destroy an engine on a 2000 Cadillac. Does **** think that I was trying to destroy his engine for a sale of an engine? Not likely. Neither myself nor my technician would want to replace an engine in an old 2000 Cadillac. It just does not make sense. I would never insult someone by calling them names. I can simply say that **** is being mis informed. You can not simply tell what is wrong with a car or see the damage with a stethoscope. What **** is not doing is listening to a very reputable shop with certified master mechanics telling him what is wrong with his car. If a customer brought a car into my shop and had a brake grind, We would have to lift the car on a hoist and take the tires off the car and then take off the caliper to do a proper brake inspection. That is basic diagnosis of a brake job. If a customer brought a car into my shop and told me he had a rattle or clunk in the front end of his car I would have my technician test drive the car, put it up in the air and diagnose the problem by removing the front sway bar and or re clamping or removing exhaust shields. Sometimes we have to disassemble other front end suspension components to verify the noise---THAT is just basic diagnosing. I have a Mazda Tribute in my shop right now that came in with low power and to diagnose the problem we had to cut an exhaust pipe to look inside the catalytic converter to see if it is plugged or not---again-basic diagnosis. **** had his friend check his vehicle out and after that he drove it again and could not go over 15 MPH. First off if his friend was so sure the timing chain skipped the car should have been towed to a shop but **** wanted to save a tow charge and decided to drive it--furthering damaging the engine. When my technician moved the car into his stall and turned the engine off, he hooked up a computer scanner to check for codes. When he tried to start the engine again it would not start, my technician tried to start the vehicle a couple times, the engine sounded like the timing chain was off. He removed the valve cover---BASIC DIAGNOSIS, and found that the timing chain indeed jumped a bunch of teeth (timing off). Our Technician than went ahead to find/figure out what made the timing chain jump, and my tech found that the timing chain guide was completely broken and that we found chunks of it in the oil pan, (using a bore scope/inspection camera), We did not nor could have broken this piece as it is a internal part of the engine. In ****s statement he said "a dozen mechanics will tell you if a timing chain is completely off like they are trying to say". I am not sure where **** heard that we never said the timing chain was completly off--we said "once the valve cover was removed we found that the timing chain guide failed, the timing chain jumped on the cam and the vehicle is out of time, this engine is an interference engine, meaning valve to piston damage. REC replacing engine The bill that **** paid at my shop was $90. That's it $90. I am sure we did not take apart and destroy his engine for $90 When we told **** of the situation and he decided to get a second opinion. We told him to tow the car. Yes we did leave the valve cover off because who ever was going to look at it after it was towed would want to see the internal damage and you can only see the internal damage by having the valve cover off not just by using a stethoscope. Trying to start a car with a valve cover off is not going to cause damage even on a good running engine. **** is reaching for a reason to blame us for a problem that was already there before it came into my shop. Again--I will stand by my original statement---This is 100% not our problem. Thanks *** Bonfe Bonfe's Auto Service St. Paul 651-224-7571 ***copied and pasted from email.

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