Its always hard to find trustworthy and honest technicians in the service industry, but many of us find that to be especially true with mechanics. I was pleasantly surprised to have finally found MY mechanic in The Car Doctor. I first used the company because they are conveniently located right across the street from my apartment building and only 2 minutes away from my job, but I keep using them because I trust their diagnoses and I trust that they'll take care of me to the absolute best of their ability. Steve has always been fair, honest, straight-forward and quite a pleasure to work with. I find them to be competitively priced, although you cannot put a price on this level of service and care and the peace of mind I have when I leave my car with them!
I heard a random thumping noise coming from my front, passenger side wheel well. Even though the noise was short lived, I decided to get it checked out in case it came back. I took my car to Ourisman Fairfax Toyota to check it out. After completing a $136 diagnostic to identify the source of the sound, the service technician, Nick, called me to tell me they weren't sure what caused the thumping sound but suspected it was a heat shield and condensor making the noise. The tech resecured the heat shield and placed foam around the condensor to address the issue. During the diagnostic, they also found my car to have other repair issues as follows:
Leaking Axle Seal-Estimated repair cost: $658 (including necessary realignment)
Leaking crankshaft seal- Estimated repair cost: $485
Leaking oil pan seal-Estimated repair cost: $385
Total estimated cost of visit: $1,664
Nick STRONGLY encouraged me to complete the service, especially the axle seal. He basically made it sound like it was dangerous to drive the car without making the repair. This experience justifies the anxiety I always feel when I take my car to that dealership for any service, no matter how small. They ALWAYS tell me I need something else. Given the high estimated cost of the repairs, I sought a second opinion. I found The Car Doctor, rated A, on Angie's List. I called The Car Doctor and listed the repairs I was told I need and asked for estimates. These are the estimates they gave me:
Leaking Axle Seal-Estimated repair cost: $320
Leaking crankshaft seal- Estimated repair cost: $220
Leaking oil pan seal-Estimated repair cost: $385
Total estimated cost of visit: $925
Needless to say, I made an appointment for the following morning with The Car Doctor. Saving $603 dollars was motivation enough not to have the work done at Ourisman Fairfax Toyota. I took my car to The Car Doctor the next morning and dropped it off. About four hours later, The Car Doctor (Steve) called me to say they looked at everything I mentioned over the phone and my car didn't need ANY OF THOSE REPAIRS AT ALL! Steve looked at everything himself. He said he saw a drop of oil coming from my oil pan but it would be a stretch to call it a leak and that I could probably go another 20k-30k miles before it would need to be addressed. He had no idea why the dealership said I needed all of those repairs. Even more, he didn't charge me a thing for the second opinion. I was totally prepared to pay $925 to get everything fixed. I'm sure Ourisman Fairfax Toyota could claim they are the experts and why should I trust The Car Doctor? To that, I could easily ask them what motivation The Car Doctor would have to tell me there is nothing wrong with my car? The Car Doctor could easily have taken advantage of me and collected their $925. Being reviewed on Angie's List, they have all the incentive in the world to give me a correct diagnosis of what is and what is NOT wrong with my car. Their A rating, by multiple reviewers, also gives me confidence in their analysis. I probably should have said this earlier but my car is a 2006 Corolla with 87k miles on it. That should be nothing for a Toyota that I purchased because they are supposed to be reliable, low maintenance cars that last forever with few repairs. If I were to judge the quality of my car strictly by the constant recommendations for repairs given to me by Ourisman Fairfax Toyota, I'd think Toyota's were terrible cars. I'm just so dumbfounded by this experience and will never take my car to Ourisman Fairfax Toyota for anything ever again. I may not ever purchase a Toyota again because of this. From now on, I'll be taking my car to The Car Doctor for all necessary services from this point forward. Thank you Car Doctor for proving that some mechanics can be trusted.
The Car Doctor has serviced my Honda for years and, without exception, they have done excellent work at a reasonable price. The real benefit of finding a trustworthy mechanic/shop is when they give you options and/or actually turn down business because you don't need the repair.
These guys seem like they're interested in establishing long term relationships with their customers based on quality work and honest assessments of a car's condition. They merit five-stars in my book for honesty, integrity, and quality work.
I came upon the car doctor completely by accident but I'm glad I did! I was on my way to work at 7am when my '96 miata broke down--the accelerator would no longer depress. I was able to pull into a turn lane and put my hazards on before the car couldn't go any further. I looked around and there just happened to be an auto repair shop right across the street--the car doctor. They had good yelp reviews so I figured why not? It was an hour until they opened so I had the car towed to their parking lot and waited for someone to show up. One of the mechanics greeted me, asked what was going on and said he was waiting for his manager to open up the place. Mike arrived shortly thereafter, took down my info, told me he'd be in touch by noon and I headed off to work. He called me within 2 hours and told me the car was fixed. The throttle cable had slipped out of place and just had to be put back in its place. $65 later my car was working and they even updated my inspection which was due that month. Seriously couldn't be happier!
They had a bay reserved for me when I got there. My car was being serviced inside of 5 minutes. They had just had breakfast delivered and asked me if I wanted some pancakes. :-) In checking the car, they found a locking lug nut missing. They called around to area businesses asking if they had a spare one they could sell me as opposed to a set of 4, which I didn't need. They were done inside of 45 minutes. The mechanic reviewed a couple things with me that could wait until next time and there was no pressure applied at all to try and sell me things I didn't need. These are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.
I've been taking my Hondas to this place for over 10 years. One can always expect honesty, and a competitive price. My '04 Odyssey had a recall and I took it to the Honda dealership, they told me I need $4k worth of work done. After I left I drove to the Car Doctor and they told me I didn't need all the work right away. And of course some of the work the Honda dealership said I needed was crazy like corrosion on the battery, which the car doctor said, eh not so much, as well as new windshield wipers, which again, eh not so much. So CD said I really just needed $1,00 of the work done at the time and provided me with a schedule of when I absolutely needed the other work done. Sigh, such a relief. If you are looking for honesty and people to do the work right, you can count on the Car Doctor.
Every time I've felt somewhat comfortable about a shop or mechanic, they've done something to screw me over. There have been only two exceptions....
1) My buddy was a service writer at various places and dealerships in Northern VA, but he moved to TX a few years back
2) Car Doctor
From the owner on down to the mechanics, they are honest, tell it like it is, do great work and are pleasant to deal with.
I was referred to Car Doctor through a friend of mine who is probably the most critical person when it comes to mechanics (he used to be a mechanic on a pro race team) so I took his recommendation seriously. And man, am I glad I did!
I have not only been happy with their work, but they have saved me money by giving me the honest truth about what's wrong and what I should...and should NOT fix.
After years of bad experiences, it's nice to finally find a shop that is worth ANY stars. And Car Doctor deserves every one of these 5 stars and then some.
Great shop for Hondas. We had our Odysseys serviced at Honda of Tysons for years with mixed results. When the trans went at 100,000 miles and they wanted over $6,500 to replace it with no real break on cost, we looked for a different shop. A few friends recommended The Car Doctor and the reviews were good, so we tried them. Steve was very helpful and identified exactly what was needed and a plan to address it. In the end, they replaced the trans, added a cooler and did some other minor repairs for $2,000 less! The service was great and the car is running like new. We have since had other vehicles serviced at the shop and are completely happy with the results. There rates are pretty standard, but they will triage what is really needed and not waste time or your money on unnecessary repairs.
Our '04 Cavalier had been driving us nuts for way too long with a low rumble that my father told me was likely the wheel bearing. We first took it to VA Auto & Tire at Loehmann's Plaza on 50 and they said they replaced a bad bearing but the sounds never disappeared. They charged us $20 for a test drive but clearly did not get on the highway even when I indicated the problem only happens above 50mph.
I finally got around to fixing the problem and decided to go with The Car Doctor based on their positive reviews. The manager Steve was very helpful when I dropped it off and called with a thorough description of what they found. It turns out the last guys replaced the bearing but not the bearing hub which was causing the rumbling sound, which they would have caught had they taken it on the highway after doing the repair.
Steve told me the sound was gone after they took it for a post-repair test drive. I verified it myself and was overjoyed to drive in relative silence down the beltway. They also caught a faulty oil pressure sensor/valve that was causing a leak which explained the drops on the driveway.
They were able to take care of all of this in 1 day. I dropped the car off at 8:30 and had it back by 5:00pm. It's safe to say we will be taking our car back to The Car Doctor for years to come.
Disclaimer: *No interest if paid in full within 6 months* $299 Minimum purchase required. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within 6 months or if you make a late payment. *Minimum monthly payments required. Applicable to purchase make January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. APR: 22.8%. Minimum Finance Charge: $1.00. CFNA reserves the right to change APR, fees and other terms unilaterally.