Totally unsolicited & unbiased car repair recommendation - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 07-15-2009   #1
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The Ranch, Colorado
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Totally unsolicited & unbiased car repair recommendation

I'm not associated with the shop, and I just got such great service from the guy I wanted to spread word.

Automotive Express on 6th in Lakewood.
Not putting phone number or address because it's not a commercial.

My XTerra has had a mystery ailment since I had the timing belt replaced at 150K miles (about three weeks ago). Lost a lot of power, erratic shifting, and lost 25% of my gas mileage. The place that originally changed the belt re-did it for me, saying yeah, they made a mistake. when I picked it back up But after the rework it was still down power and MPG by enough that I hated driving it over Castle Rock & Monument daily to work. And the "Check Engine" light came on last week...

So I asked a friend if he knew anyplace, and he recommended the above, and now I see why.

Took it in and the manager & I both expected it to be more bad work from the original shop on the timing belt. Manager even said if he found evidence of error, he'd photograph it & write it up so I could go back to the original shop and redress the money I'd spent there (to their credit, the rework was free, and read on...).

Well, it wasn't the timing belt, Manager discovered. Then he asked if he could keep it a couple days to solve it, which I was fine with since it was suck driving anyway. He tackled the mystery like it was the Da Vinci code, giving me thorough reports of a couple needling problems arriving as the mileage ticks up (it's a 2000 model with 150K miles) and tracking the problem to the distributor, and a disintegrated bearing.

Offered to replace the bearings (after ordering them) and explained the difference in cost and future durability of car if I replaced bearings versus the whole distributor, and i went with the latter.

Ran down to the Springs today and it was a champion again. And the shop really didn't charge me enough. 15 hours of labor, lots of research, and the new distributor for under $650. He discounted me various points of labor as he said "to be competitive". Explained tons of things to me (like how an exhaust leak isn't an oxymoron and why exhaust is important to the running of the car - fascintating stuff to this car-dumb dude, though I do know the basics.)

Look, I don't mean to blow the guy here on the Buzz, but most of us always wonder if we're getting the straight and level from our auto-mechanics (those of us who don't do it ourselves). I know why my friend recommended him. The Manager (not sure if he's also the owner, but I assume so) only took over the shop two months ago, and his bays were empty of cars at 8 a.m. on a Wednesday, so i wanted to do my part to spread good word of mouth. I've never seen a more detailed invoice of work done, complete with info that would help another mechanic if I decided to take it elsewhere of the readings he got from various tests and diagnostics.

He works on all models.
I was duly impressed, and now you know.

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Old 07-15-2009   #2
 
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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awesome! Appreciate the recommendation.
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Old 07-15-2009   #3
 
Littleton, Colorado
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Excellent timing--have had a headlight issue with my tacoma for about a year now, keep burning out one or the other after just a month or two, and getting tired of replacing headlights in the dark after take-out beers--lol! --you say they service all makes right?
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Old 07-15-2009   #4
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The Ranch, Colorado
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Well, I think we should probably assume "all" means "most" because someone could drive in with an Edsel or Studebaker, right? But a tacoma: pretty sure that's on his list.
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Old 07-15-2009   #5
 
Littleton, Colorado
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thanks, I'll check 'em out. I meant to add: "but I've been wary of the toyota specialty shops" to my original post--it's always such a crap shoot trying out a shop
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Old 07-28-2009   #6
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Weld county, Colorado
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sounds good...im glad one of my fellow mechanics are living up to the expectations i have of them...as a mechanic i see things go wrong all the time...its not weather or not you make mistakes but how you make up for them
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