Here at RetroRoo we pride ourselves on being able to take our full knowledge of Subaru vehicles and apply it to every Subaru service or repair. That sounds like something any shop can do, right? And it really should be something that every shop does, but for some reason not every shop does.
We know Subarus inside and out!
A Subaru specialist is going to diagnose your Subaru faster than a typical all makes repair shop. Why? Because these vehicles are quirky and believe it or not are often feared and avoided by many shops. They aren’t typical. They can be very different than domestic cars – even other imports. We stick with what we know and wish other shops would too.
Quite often we get a car in that was diagnosed incorrectly and worse yet it is at the customer’s expense. For example, Subarus are rather known for head gasket issues that lead to overheating and leaking oil. Shops that throw a water pump, thermostat and a radiator at the problem aren’t doing you any favors. They are replacing items that are probably in good condition!
Only about 5% of the cars we see in our shop for head gasket repair need parts like a water pump or radiator. The water pump is often done as a preventative maintenance item with the timing belt along with other items on the front of the engine because we have removed the engine from the car to service it but not with a head gasket replacement. As an example of how other shops often don’t fix the problem but try other parts, in 2012 we saw no fewer than 25 aftermarket thermostats in cars that had been overheating and taken to a shop for repair. The cheap thermostats that other shops install actually make the problem worse! It’s a classic case of knowing where and from whom to buy parts from. If you don’t buy the best part for the car you can do more harm than good very easily.
Don’t let all this information about aftermarket parts and getting the right thing scare you if you are working within a budget. Nearly everyone has to work within budgets for car repairs and here at RetroRoo understand that! We are happy to work with you on that. Every time you bring your car in for service we inspect the entire vehicle for problems so that you can be kept informed. We want you to know what your car needs and how long you can wait to fix it. We can often spread out the cost of what your car needs over the next few months or year to make the repairs affordable. We also take the time to let you know when it is going to be cheaper to bundle certain repairs together in order to save on labor. We have the customer’s best interest in mind at all times.
Recently we had a car come in that had been seen by another shop. The customer felt something was not right about the estimate they had received and wanted a second opinion. This quote had brakes and struts on the estimate but no head gaskets. The heads were leaking badly and were the first thing needing repair on the car. The struts weren’t leaking or bouncy or bad in any way. The brakes had life left in them but we would recommend replacing them in the next 6 months. This customer was happy to fix the car, in the correct order, and not have the car break down or become unsafe in any way. We still haven’t needed to replace the struts. That was a job estimated at $850 at the other shop – money that was spent on the engine work instead. The other shop didn’t offer the head gaskets because they weren’t qualified to do that sort of work-so they pushed the customer to fix things they are comfortable doing. Sounds almost criminal to me but it’s the way of the automotive world.
If you fear your mechanic, please try us. You can count on us to be honest and tell you what you need and what you will need in the future if it’s possible to delay repairs. If the car is going to be extremely expensive to keep on the road in the next year we won’t hesitate to tell you that. If its in good condition we will tell you that too! There’s just no reason to be dishonest about it. It’s not fair to you and it’s not how anyone should be treated.