Subaru Crew Best Service Facilities

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited April 2014 in Subaru
Share the best, or your favorite, place to have your Subaru serviced.

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  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I've had both our Subarus serviced at Russell Subaru in Catonsville Maryland. I've been going there since 1996, and haven't had any problems.

    Now... as to their sales staff—they've got at least one real bozo that I know of, for sure.

  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaMember Posts: 2,984
    Two excellent body shops in the Ottawa area.

    European Auto Care Bentley Ave. Nepean.
    Hunt Club Collision Leitrim Road gloucester.

    Excellent Mechanic Hunt Club Auto Service.
    1434 Hunt Club Road Ottawa.
    Cheers Pat.
  • bluesubiebluesubie Member Posts: 3,497
    I've tried four others in Central NJ. They have a very knowledgable technical staff, helpful service advisors and reasonable prices. They have customers from NYC and PA.

    Last time I was there I met a lady from my town. She also chooses to make the 35-40 minute drive because it's worth it. Went to the showroom on my last visit and thought I was talking to the sales manager. Turned out he was the President of the Dealership.
  • cin4cin4 Member Posts: 30
    Thanks for setting this site up! As a new Subaru owner, it will be good to see what others have to say about dealer service in my area (Austin, TX.)

    To anyone whose Subaru is no longer under warranty, I highly recommend Import Auto Center in Austin for service. I took my Mazda to them for years, and they did great work - always right the first time. Once I'm no longer covered by warranty, I'll be going back to them.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    But isn't this what "Dealers and pricing" is for? I will post all comments on the subject there instead of here, too redundent.

  • bluesubiebluesubie Member Posts: 3,497
    I was thinking the same thing. Although your favorite service facility doesn't have to necessarily be a Dealer.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'd rather see it all in dealers and pricing than have a separate topic, otherwise it will get outta control the # of topics we have in here...

  • bluesubiebluesubie Member Posts: 3,497
    Like the i-club? :-)
  • kwelsskwelss Member Posts: 21
    I've got the world's best mechanic (tm)-- honest, efficient, frighteningly competent-- who does Japanese cars as well as European.

    He's been taking care of my Honda Civic for years, and I'll be taking my Subie there for service in the future.

    Anil Shah
    Fremont European
    (510) 226-9010
  • kate5000kate5000 Member Posts: 1,271
    I think, negative references should be posted.

    For repair, I definitely do NOT recommend Bay Fair Auto Repair shop in San Leandro. Their owner (Mahoni) is kind of ok, but nowdays almost all the work is done by his underlings, and they screw up all the time.

    For a body work, stay away from B&S Hacienda shops in Livermore and Pleasanton. Just read about my 3+ months ordeal with getting rear-ended Forester fixed ( in the Meet the Members thread) and you'll see what I mean.
  • bert14bert14 Member Posts: 8
    I'm considering buying my first Subaru (after years with Toyota wagons), and for me service is one of the most important factors in deciding on a dealer. What can anyone tell me of the dealership and service departments west of Boston and in southern New Hampshire? Reliability, warranty use, loaners, reasonable prices, loyalty to customers, parts availability, etc.? The nearest dealer to me is in Concord, Mass. They're about to open another showroom and shop in Acton, Mass. I'm willing to travel further, if necessary.
  • texsubarutexsubaru Member Posts: 242
    Since someone specifically asked: So far, had all my service performed at Gillman Hyundai Subaru on South I-35. Absolutely no complaints so far, but it did bother me that there was a lengthy period last year when they seemed to be having hefty turnover in service advisers -- every time I called or came by, had to deal with someone different.

    Haven't had anything done at the other Subaru dealership in town -- Austin Subaru, near Highland Mall -- because when I've called for quotes on parts or services, their prices been consistently and notably higher. (They share their service dept. with adjacent Austin Infiniti, and I guess the Infiniti pricing rubs off on their Subaru service.) To be fair, they've certainly seemed helpful and responsive every time I've talked with them -- just not at all inexpensive.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    Import Motors, Morse Ave. in Schaumburg is great. The guy who owns it used to be the senior tech at the local Subaru dealer till they dropped the line (they were Audi too and Audi got fed up with people buying Subarus instead of A4s and gave them an ultimatum). A lot of the (now non existent)Subaru dealer customers went to this guy and when a new dealership started a year later they refused to sell him parts as they said he was taking "their" business. Then when the new mechanics at this new dealership realized that John knew more than any of them combined and his brain was better than their parts computer they started selling him parts again but not telling the boss as he gives them advice over the phone when they have trouble or can't locate things!
  • yellowbikedonyellowbikedon Member Posts: 228
    Glad to hear there's someone in the Schaumburg area who's good. I drive 22 miles from my home to have my LL Bean and my wife's '97 Impreza serviced at Liberty Subaru in Libertyville. Two super technicians work on Subarus, Elisha and Axel. Both know the marque and really do like the product. These guys are knowledgeable. Best of all, Liberty Subaru offers free washes to its customers! The dealership sells about 40 Subarus monthly are are anxious to continue their strong growth. Service after the sale is understood by management!

    Each time I'm at the shop (weekly, for a free wash and some chit chat) I'm amazed at the number of Subarus being serviced that sport license plate frames from competing dealers. Not a bad testimonial!

    By the way, other than routine maintenance, our Subarus continue to run without problems!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Avoid them. Sloppy work on my other car. They're in Gaithersburg, MD.

    They should be called Auto Body Dimentia!

  • cin4cin4 Member Posts: 30
    Thanks texsubaru for the feedback here and on the main Forester area on Gillman & Austin Subaru. I'll be up for my first oil change in a few weeks, and will also need to have a couple of minor things tweaked. I think I'll give Gillman a try, since I won't have to take time off from work to bring my car to them. Besides, it's a longer drive to Gillman for me, so I get to do a little more cruising with the moonroof open!
  • erics6erics6 Member Posts: 684
    I'm curious about the kind of service folks in the Portland area have gotten at both dealers and independent shops. Any recommendations? Places to stay away from?

    I've had good pretty good luck with Wentworth Subaru. Carr Subaru totally screwed up my last Subaru by not re-installing a transmission housing bolt.

    The best place I've found is Jay's Garage on SE 7th and Morrison. He specializes in Subarus and Hondas. (He figured out solutions to problems that none of the dealers could or wanted too.)

    Since we're on the topic of auto body shops, I'd stay away from Mackin's Hollywood Auto Body. It took me a day off work to force them to do the job right. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the job they did. Has anybody found a good auto body shop in Portland?
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    Glad to hear their shop is good. Must be better than their bodyshop. My wife had a little altercation with the front fender and a Maxima. As the car was only 6 months old I insisted that it be done at a shop associated with a dealership. The Schaumburg guys had just closed down so Libertyvile was were it went. They didn't do a very good job to say the least and left out some parts! They were very good about it but its a long way to drive to have them put back on little non functional things and while I could understand why they and the insurance company may be willing to accept a creased body panel in the engine compartment wall, you'd think they could at least respray it so it wouldn't rust as it had bent enough to expose bare metal!
  • hondafriekhondafriek Ottawa CanadaMember Posts: 2,984
    I would not be accepting any creased panels anywhere after an accident, this is just evidence of a piss poor repair as well it will signifidently reduce the resale on your vehicle believe me once any body see,s an unrepaired inner panel it makes the damage look much worse than it actually was, I for one if I was evaluating your car for a potential purchase would take one look at the creased panel and walk only you know if the damage was minor or major anybody else will immediately assume the worst so In your case I would be at the insurance demanding the damage be repaired properly.
    Cheers Pat.
  • cptpltcptplt Member Posts: 1,075
    You are probably right I should have gotten it fixed but the hassle factor to have them replace everything was too great.I'd already spent too many hours making my insurance company use totally new OEM parts and not "salvaged" ones.Good thing I didn't have an OB, they were waiting 4 months for front fenders and bumpers for those! I intend on keeping the car till it rusts into the ground so resale value is not a big deal right now anyway. Maybe when my itching for a WRX becomes too great it will be!!
    Unless you are a real nosey so and so like me and really crawl around under the car and look, you can't see the problem, not without major difficulty.The parts missing - its like a splash gurad for the engine compartment -were missed by two other dealers when they did the 15 and 30K services.At least they said nothing. When it was finally out of warranty and I took it to Import Motors they noticed it the first time they had it up! John whom I trust unreservedly said there were no major structural parts damaged and its run like a dream for 40K since the accident. In fact , first time my wife took it back to Libertyville for them to touch up the paint on those creased panels, they had to call and find out what I was complaining about! They couldn't see it even though I had pointed out the general area to her to show them! Maybe thats why they didn't fix it first time! They need glasses or brighter lights in their shop!
  • bert14bert14 Member Posts: 8
    Any Subaru owners west of Boston? See my question at entry 12. I enjoy the entries from lots of Sube owners from Texas and Maryland, but not too many Nor-easters seem to wander around these parts. I'm still interested in knowing your opinion of service quality from the dealership in Concord/Acton, Mass. How about Arlington, Mass.?
  • dsackmandsackman Member Posts: 145
    Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City, California gouged me by charging over $150 for a 7,500 service on an '01 Forester. Have a look at the details in Dealers and Pricing.

    I bought two cars from this dealer in the last six months and they have/had a very good reputation. This experience cerainly puts a bad taste in my mouth.

    So, for servicing, do not go to Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City, California.

  • originalbitmanoriginalbitman Member Posts: 920
    Daniel... you forgot to mention you signed the service quote for $149. Admittedly Carlsen is suggesting more than an oil and a filter change which is the recommended Subaru 7500 mile service. But we all need to be responsible for what we sign our names to. They are only guilty of overcharging (gouging) you if they said they were only doing the oil and filter. The rest of the stuff you agreed to on the service order could perhaps add up to the $150.

    I'm defending this dealer because I have had a very good relationship with them. I have never felt they misrepresented what they were doing.

  • originalbitmanoriginalbitman Member Posts: 920
    Aside from feeling how things add up on the service order and how much we pay for it we should also be aware of just what it is we are getting. Last year when on a road trip to Wisconsin I stopped in Appleton at the Subaru dealer for my 3k service (oil and filter). They were quick, courteous and cheap ($27). Unfortunately after checking the oil 50 miles later I found the crankcase to be way overfilled. Another example of why the best service is done by you... if you have the facilities to do it yourself. Same for rotating your tires. Do it yourself and you will be sure the lug nuts are not over torqued.

  • subearusubearu Member Posts: 3,613
    Just got back from my oil change/tire rotation. My dealer, Frank Gentile in Racine, WI, was perfect. No pressure to do their 7500 service either. My cost - $38 - and they told me that up front before the service was done.

    Incidentally, my Outback was tending to pull a bit to the left. I thought maybe the rotation would take care of it - and whaddya know - it's trackin' straight!

  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    No flag for me?

  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    Mike: I was wondering the same thing. All I could think of was it's a way for posters to know from where other posters hail from (like the profile couldn't do this??) Dunno.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    It's where you live. I may change my address to see if a Brazilian flag works! :-)

  • sdqsdq Member Posts: 4
    I bought a 2000 Outback from CitySide Subaru in Arlington MA a little over a year ago.. Dealing with CitySide was very reasonable and they have been fine for service so far. I did not enjoy my experiences with some of the other local Subie dealerships.

    My OB has the LSD because I got the winter package. It has plenty of power (although I don't do any towing) and gets very good gas mileage (28 mpg highway in the summer, around 25 in the winter).

    My wife drives a '95 Camry wagon, which has been a fine car. A Toyota salesman told me they stopped making wagons because the only place they sold well was here in New England, and of course because they wanted to push the SUVs.

  • ramnlcramnlc Member Posts: 2
    Bought my 01OB ltd at Concord/Acton at $300 over invoice. I've only had the 3K service, and they were prompt and quick, even washed the car. I'd like to hear if anyone had problems with them.
  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869
    Wow, didn't even notice this new topic.

    My best Subaru service experience has been with Santa Cruz Subaru. Extremely friendly and professional team. I would even go as far to say that they have been the best service I have ever received from any dealership. For those of you who live in the Bay Area, it's worth the drive over the "hill" to Santa Cruz.

    Other Bay Area dealers:

    Stevens Creek -- Absolutely the worst. Service has deteriorated to new lows recently due to high staff turnover. I once brought my vehicle in for service and it just sat there all day because they were "too busy" to get around to it!

    Carlsen -- Not too bad, but I would expect better from the largest volume dealer in CA. They provide free loaners when you bring your vehicle in for big service intervals (30k, 60k, etc.).

    Oakland -- Average. They also service Toyotas.

    Marin -- Heard some positive feedback from a friend who had his Forester looked at there.

    Hope that helps,

  • seamus3seamus3 Member Posts: 98
    ken: i am in san fran right now(myself and two of my friends are on a road trip to texas) and i need to have my oil changed. it is 11:30 PM and tomorrow we are on our way south. are there any good places in the bay area where i can walk in and get an oil change. i've heard bad stories about Q-lube and shops like that. I just need a cheap oil change and i can't wait all day.

    i posted this in another forum, i didn't see this one.
  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869

    I've tried several quick-lube places in the Bay Area. So far, all of the places I have been to has done the job right -- no overfilling. Here's a list of places I've been to:

    Jiffy Lube - San Mateo, around 25th Ave on El Camino
    Chevron Oil Stop - San Mateo, corner of El Camino and 20th
    Jiffy Lube - Cupertino, Wolfe and Stevens Creek

    Most of these places will charge about $30 for an oil change.

    If you want, you could also try calling some of the dealers in the area. They might be able to take you for an oil change "while you wait".

    Ron Price: South San Francisco, 650-589-9788
    Carlsen Subaru: Redwood City, (650) 365-6390
    Santa Cruz Subaru: Santa Cruz, (831) 420-1500

  • flj168flj168 Member Posts: 12
    I have some very good service from Wins ton Tires in Day City for oil change and a free tire rotation. With a coupon in the mail, it's around $20. I usually bring my own oil filter.

  • seamus3seamus3 Member Posts: 98
    we took care of it this morning. we had the little stands to put my car up on but we needed a jack to put it up that high. that is when i remembered i had one in my car. underneath our backpacks was a 4000 pound jack. a quick run to the auto parts store and an hour later we were on our way. we made it as far as tuscon, a friend of ours is from here so we have a place to stay. on to texas tomorrow.

    thanks for the invite bitman.
  • hsilvahsilva Member Posts: 10
    Anyone have any experiences with service in the Rhode Island Area?
    Just bought a new Forester and will probably use the dealer I bought it from, but would like any feedback on area service. Thanks.
  • kate5000kate5000 Member Posts: 1,271
    no, not for my Forester (yet). But hubby's Accord needs a new set of rubber badly... In the past, we used large chains (Grand Auto, Pep Boys) but it proved to be chancy: one time they did a good job, another time they screwed up.
  • kenskens Member Posts: 5,869

    I've used America's Tire Store with good results. They're the retail version of Discount Tire.

  • bblachabblacha Member Posts: 160
    I've used Liberty Subaru for major maintenance services, since they offer loaners to customers. They are up in Bergen County. Good experience, they did the job right for all I could tell.

    After the management change, I stopped using World Chrysler-Jeep-Subaru (former McGloin Buick-Subaru) in Monmouth County. Their new mechanics took a couple visits to tighten the drive belt correctly after changing it. And failed to reinstall the fasteners on the splash shield - a routine oil change task on the Forester.

    Now that I'm in Austin TX, I use Austin Subaru - it is more expensive, but a short drive for me, and they wash and vacuum the car with even an oil change.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Skipping those fasteners is like begging for a rattle. I'd have dumped them, too.

  • cin4cin4 Member Posts: 30
    Because I didn't want to take time off from work during the week, I made an appointment on a Saturday with Gillman Subaru for my first oil change, figuring that they could also fix a couple of rattles, an upside-down tie-down, and an improperly installed door cladding. I was VERY specific about the items to be fixed when I made the appointment, especially the rattling moonroof which was my biggest concern. They changed the oil, fixed the tie-down & cladding, and then informed me that they couldn't fix the moonroof on a Saturday because only one mechanic was working. (The mechanic went for a ride with me so he could hear the rattle, but never took anything apart to see what the cause was, so it wasn't a case of them not having the parts.) I was pretty hot, since I a.)had made an appointment and b.)described the problems before I brought the car in. They even had my list written down in their appointment book!

    Seems to me that they should have informed me at the time I made the appointment if certain repairs can't be done on a Saturday. I'd have gone to Austin Subaru intstead, which is more conveniently located for me.

    So my advice is, if you choose to use Gillman, make sure they can do the repair the same day (assuming they have the parts, of course.) Otherwise you may find yourself making 2 trips to get things done.

    Oh, it feels good to vent!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Haaa, here in the NY area saturdays are reserved for oil changes only @ dealers. The closes one that even attempts to do work on sat is like 50 miles away.

  • ron3805ron3805 Member Posts: 22
    Anyone have any suggestions for servicing in the Seattle area? I just bought a Forester in January and took it to the dealer for a 3000 mile oil change which cost almost $30 (about $5 over a Jiffy Lube-so no big deal) and was told very upfront that the 7500 oil change--which included a tire rotation--would cost about $100! Seems just a tad steep!
    Thanks anyone..Ron
  • rangerron7rangerron7 Member Posts: 317
    I agree that it's steep. I got 'taken' for $130 a few weeks ago when I brought my OB in for the 7500m servicing.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    $100 sounds OK. There are 5 lugs per wheel, so 20 lugs in total. If they properly torque each lug nut (I'd ask), check the tire pressure including the spare, change the oil, then that's a fair price.

  • p0926p0926 Member Posts: 4,423
    Juice- You're kidding.... right? No way I would pay $70 to rotate four tires. That's what? 10 mins worth of labor? They may tell you that they'll use a torque wrench but I'll bet a month's pay that they'll use an impact wrench. How would the avg customer know the difference? Besides yourself, there aren't many people out there who own a torque wrench. And I'm guessing that those who do rotate their own tires.

    -Frank P.
  • cin4cin4 Member Posts: 30
    It appears that oil changes are about all this dealership does on Saturdays, too - they just didn't have the courtesy to tell me that little fact when I made the appointment and listed everything I wanted done. I spoke with someone there yesterday who identified himself as the boss of the service manager, and he agreed that they should have told me that they couldn't do that repair on a Saturday at the time I made the appointment. That was as far as he went, though (no "what can we do to make you happy & insure that you come back") Anyway, I've read good things here about Austin Subaru's service, so I'll give them a try for the moonroof repair and let everyone know how they do, since I know there are others from Austin who check this site.
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    I don't remember the address but on Lake City Way a few blocks north of 145th street is a repair facility that specializes in Subarus only. They are on the west side of Lake City Way as you head north and before you start going down the hill towards Sheridan beach and Lake Forest Park areas.

    I bought my new WRX from Carter Subaru on about 175th and Aurora. They gave me free oil changes for as long as I own the vehicle. Their service dept is now open 7days a week.

    If I find any more places as I'm driving to get beyond my 1000 mile break-in (@ 800 so far) I will let you know. :-)

  • texsubarutexsubaru Member Posts: 242
    I'm a little surprised by your experience because the Gillman folks were quite upfront with me about only doing the relatively simple maintenance stuff on Saturdays (think I mentioned that in a previous post), so I'd guess either (A) the person you made the appointment with was rushed/not paying quite enough attention when you called, or (B) he was betting -- and lost the bet -- that the source of your rattle would prove to be something that, like the tie-down or cladding, was a very quick and easy fix.
  • ron3805ron3805 Member Posts: 22
    Thanks for your responses about the $100 7,500 oil change.
    Especially Stephen..I know about the Subaru only location on Lake City Wy..I have been there for many very long minutes waiting for southbound traffic to clear the 145th light. I think I may try Carter and then if they don't work I'll try the other place..I am always nervous about going to an independent unless I get a specific recommendation from least Carter is AAA recommended.
    again thank you, Ron
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