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need Mechanic, Austin, TX


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14 replies to this topic

#1 aisha999

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 01:14 PM

I just moved to the Austin area and I need a mechanic for my '96 Outback. I've had a check engine light problem for three years and have put over a thousand dollars into mechanics who couldn't fix it permanently. Now my car will not start if it's warm, I have a fuel smell, it will die if I'm driving when the temperature just reaches normal, etc... I know Subaru's are a special breed and I need a special mechanic but I don't want to resort to going to the dealer.

Anyone know a good Subaru Guru in Austin?

Thanks!

#2 Legacy777

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 05:27 PM

Have you had any mechanic tell you what the code actually is?

If you go to autozone they'll read the code for you and tell you what it is.

From your description of the problem, I would tend to think it's a temperature sensor issue....but that may not always be the cause. It might be some wiring that is cracked and shorts out when temp rises.

I don't know of any mechanics in the austin area.

If you check out the texas forums on www.nasioc.com there should be some people that can suggest a good mechanic in that area. They also do shop days, so if it's a simple sensor, they should be able to help. My username is the same on both boards.

#3 SevenSisters

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Posted 24 February 2004 - 07:16 PM

Get the code(s), ask the USMB what it (they) mean(s), buy the part, put in the part.

#4 aisha999

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 10:10 AM

I took off the cover under my steering wheel and couldn't see any flashing lights to read the codes so I don't know how to get them. The last mechanic who looked at the car said it was showing a miss fire on cylinders 1 and 3. He said that was impossible and that it might be the O2 sensor but he had to give it a tune-up before he could check that. He gave it a tune up, new spark plugs and wires, etc... and said in the end the O2 sensor was fine. He reset the codes and gave me my car back. Two days later the light went back on and I'm back to square one. I've had the timing belt replaced a few years back and it's fine. Since that time, new symptoms have come up (not starting when it's warm) so there may be new codes, I don't know.

I love love love this car but I've had nothing but trouble with mechanics who can't diagnose it and I'm definitely not a mechanic myself. I'm starting to get very frustrated.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

#5 mtsmiths

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 05:33 PM

rather than a bad car. I don't know what the miss and hard starting is, but the vast majority of CEL lights on later Subarus are bogus O2 sensor faults, and should be ignored. Anyone that gouged you hundreds of dollars to get rid of a CEL was knowingly ripping you off, IMHO.

I found an indy when I was working back east for the summer by looking in the phone book for a foriegn parts store that listed Subaru along with the other cars they sell parts for. Then I called them and asked who to go to. I got a guy who knew what he was doing, was cheap, and had me on the road in less time than promised. Good luck.

#6 Guest_lothar34_*

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 02:28 AM

I don't know which part of Austin you live in, but this is the place I took my car when I lived there:

http://www.smartpage...donauto62022335

They're on Burnet near 183. My brother and I both went there a few times, and they seemed honest enough, but I really can't vouch for them. Also, I didn't have the Subaru when I lived there, it was an S10 Blazer that they worked on for me.

#7 Legacy777

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:31 AM

lothar,

You always been in Houston? What part of town do you live in?

#8 aisha999

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 11:53 AM

No, I'm in Austin. North Austin off Spicewood Springs.

#9 calebz

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 12:35 PM

Bummer.. I just spent a week in austin.. I could have had a look at it.. But its a 4 hour drive from where I usually am..:(

#10 Guest_lothar34_*

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 03:23 PM

Originally posted by Legacy777
lothar,

You always been in Houston? What part of town do you live in?



I've been in Houston since I joined this board. I've lived here from 1977-1996, then 1999 through now.

I'm near Bellaire and South Rice (1 mile south of the Galleria). I think we went through this once before. You're out near Bellaire and the Beltway, right?

#11 Legacy777

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 06:13 PM

you know we might have gone through this before....hehe...I dont' remember.

I used to be out near dairy ashford & briar forest. I moved last summer and am basically off of westheimer and chimmney rock. So much closer :)

#12 Guest_lothar34_*

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Posted 26 February 2004 - 07:42 PM

I knew you were out west somewhere. I didn't know you'd moved in by the Galleria though. How do you stand the traffic over there? I hate driving out that way.

#13 Legacy777

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Posted 27 February 2004 - 09:20 AM

I hate the traffic too....pisses me off something good, however I've got all the backroads pretty well down so I avoid most if not almost all of the really bad portions. I've lived here since July and don't remember the last time I've driven through the westheimer/post oak intersection.

Big draw to the place I'm at now is that I have a pretty good sized garage and it's 5 min from work.

#14 Fuji Fellow

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Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:37 PM

I lived in Austin for 8 years, and I can tell you a little about places there to get Subarus worked on. I lived on the south side, near William Cannon and I35. That happens to be very close to Gillman Mitsubishi / Subaru. I only mention that dealer because they were physically close, and I could ride my bike over there to pick up parts or something I may have ordered.

But like you, I learned to avoid using their service department. For one thing, their rates are HIGH, and then they do LOUSY work. Poor attention to detail, such as bolts left loose, plastic parts broken, etc. And half the time they don't even have parts on hand, everything has to be ordered... usually isn't the right part when it gets there. It's obvious this dealership doesn't WANT do do Subaru work, more like they're just being forced into it by the head office.

For THE BEST place in Austin for major mechanical work on Subarus (in my humble opinion), check out an independent ASE garage called JOE ANGEL's GARAGE. They're on South 1'st Street, address will be in the phone book. Their rates aren't exactly cheap, but they're not as high as the dealer... and they do EXCELLENT work, AND they use OEM parts. Joe Angel's one of those shops that's a class act, where you get the feeling they really care about what they do.

Back to the AVOID column: Japanese Auto Repair in Austin. Despite their name, I was told when I went there that they don't have a Subaru tech, and they don't want to work on Subarus. That could have changed by now, but I kinda doubt it.

Fianally, if you're looking for used Subaru parts, there's a place just to the southeast of Austin called Jim Reed Motors (number will be in the book too). Jim Reed is a Subaru-only junkyard. It's in a little town called Elroy, which is about 5 miles out of Austin on Highway 820. They also sell rebuilt Subarus there. I've dealt with them for little items like fan blowers and such (and in fact they bought my dearly departed 82 Hatchback when it was totalled by some careless moron in Austin). It's a family business, definately country rural attitudes and the current owner there can be a jerk... but if you get past that you can find darn near ANY Subaru part you're looking for.

Hope this helps.


I just moved to the Austin area and I need a mechanic for my '96 Outback. I've had a check engine light problem for three years and have put over a thousand dollars into mechanics who couldn't fix it permanently. Now my car will not start if it's warm, I have a fuel smell, it will die if I'm driving when the temperature just reaches normal, etc... I know Subaru's are a special breed and I need a special mechanic but I don't want to resort to going to the dealer.

Anyone know a good Subaru Guru in Austin?

Thanks!



#15 Fuji Fellow

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Posted 31 March 2004 - 07:23 PM

There are a couple more shops I wanted to mention, in the Austin area. One of them is called Leonard's Garage, which happens to be just a quarter mile right down S. 1'st Street from Joe Angel's Garage that I praised in the previous post. Leonard's is something of a performance shop, specializing in aftermarket exhaust systems, wheels, and general engine service. I haven't used Leonards for anything except the exhaust system (all new from the Y-pipe on back), and they do great work. For a later model Subaru, I'm sure they could process your DTC codes and help with driveability issues.

The last shop that I want to mention here, is actually not in Austin, but in San Antonio. I moved out of Austin a year ago, and live in Seguin now (closer to work), and so my most all-time favorite Subaru service shop now is a place called EURASIAN AUTO, in San Antonio. They're on the north side, just off 281 north of the San Antonio airport. EURASIAN works on Mercedes and Subaru, and they are simply SUPERB. They're another 'class act' shop, like Joe Angel's, that does GREAT work, has reasonable prices, and uses OEM parts. PLUS, they don't give you any attitude if your Subaru happens to be in it's 'golden years', :).

My current Subaru is an 88 GL 4WD wagon, that was used and abused before I got it. It was always struggling with one wear-related issue after another... but EURASIAN has put it right for me. It feels like a NEW CAR now. I can't praise this shop enough, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anyone in the whole Central Texas area who needs Subaru service, to consider making the trip to EURASIAN in San Antonio.

This might sound like a commerical, but no, they're not paying me anything to say this. I just believe in Subarus, and in praising and supporting good shops that help us keep our Soobs on the road.




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