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Old 08-19-2013, 10:22 AM
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 13,598,201 times
Reputation: 10136


Back in that Other Place, we knew a great local mechanic shop with three locations. Over time we built up such a relationship I actually brought in donuts on my final trip there. They often didn't even charge me for labor on oil changes (even when I tried to remind them). They had mechanics who actually solved problems, actually understood the vehicles.

I need to find that great shop full of highly competent, pleasant people that goes the extra mile. The place that solves problems and where it will matter if once in a great while, they have a rough day or moment, and they get a pass for it. It needs to be big enough to have a chance to get squeezed in, but small enough to become a valued client.

I can never get that at a dealer; I don't even believe in dealer service unless there's no alternative. This area may be the exception, but it would be hard as hell to convince me. So, where should I start taking our Toyotas?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:47 PM
284 posts, read 564,721 times
Reputation: 336
Gary's Automotive. I think it's over close to Costco. Bad first experience (and only) with Peterson Toyota so now we take our Toyota's to Gary's.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:52 PM
Location: Boise, Idaho
621 posts, read 1,501,770 times
Reputation: 493
Boise Foreign Auto on Emerald. Great owner and staff and really geeky about taking care of cars. 27th Street Automotive helped us out, too, and they were also great but we've landed at Boise Foreign Auto now that we have a Honda and Toyota and they are close to home.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:04 PM
3,692 posts, read 8,513,424 times
Reputation: 4810
Used to sell software to auto mechanics in Idaho. Try Driven Automotive in Meridian, specializes in Toyotas and is a factory trained tech if I remember correctly. Boise Foreign Auto is good too.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:09 AM
Location: Aloverton
6,564 posts, read 13,598,201 times
Reputation: 10136
Heh, funny you mention Peterson. Knowing no one else and taking the safe (if expectedly costly) route as a noob, we went there. They advised new rear tires. Only $400!

I am finding that the hardest part about living in Boise is faking a decent attitude when I am really just having a suck day and not feeling very friendly toward people. Best I can mostly do is retreat into mountain west taciturnity, come home and endure the blood pressure headache. However, when the Peterson tech quoted me $400 for two tires--after quoting me $75 for a headlight (maybe over $300), and $50 for an oil change--I admit my control snapped. Forgive me, Boise. I laughed. Hard. For five full seconds. I didn't say anything else except 'We'll pass on the tires' but I think he got the message because our bill mysteriously ended up about $20 lower than originally quoted.

It was one thing to go to the dealer once, when stuff had to be taken care of and we didn't want to roll dice, but with opportunity to research, no way.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:49 AM
Location: L.A.>Boise>Japan>L.A.>?
229 posts, read 649,031 times
Reputation: 160
Yeah, dealerships are the pits. My truck was relatively new, and I had to take it back after a couple months because some wires were crossed and more juice was being sucked from the battery than normal. When they gave it back to me, I was told I had this needing replacement and this not looking good and this ready to fall off. Support the independent places that need good word of mouth to survive.

I had a lifelong mechanic that focused on Japanese cars before I moved here, so I had a bias going about wanting a place that specializes in just Toyotas or Asian cars. Read good things about Boise Foreign Auto as well, but they're popular and therefore busy. Couldn't get my truck in within a reasonable timeframe, so I went elsewhere. Their quotes and labor charge seem to be on the higher end around here as well. Ended up at LTS Motors who only focus on Toyota cars. Nice guy but pricey. Went for regular service at first, and then I was told major service was needed. My former mechanic was laughing when I told him what they were quoting me. I set my bias aside and ended up at Benchmark Automotive in Garden City (got some recommendations here despite it not being a specialty shop). Between that place and the transmission repair shop next door, I saved hundreds of dollars compared to LTS. I dig the main guy there--friendly, no BS, and most importantly I trust him 100%. Didn't know about Driven Automotive until I read it here, but they're a bit out of the way for me anyway.
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