I don’t know if anyone still reads here considering how little I post any more, but I’m putting this info out there for informational purposes. I had a hard time finding a good mechanic shop so I’m hoping that this info will help someone else in the same boat out.
We used to use the Firestone Mastercare at Military Circle. They were OK. I was never hugely impressed by them, but they did competent work at a reasonable rate. They did have a habit of trying to “upsell” by trying to convince you to have them do work other than what you were there for, which was annoying, but I’m very well practiced at saying “no thank you”…however we started having issues with them a couple of years ago.
First, they failed my truck on an annual safety inspection because of a tiny tear in a wiper blade. The guy had a very hard time even showing me the tear that he was failing me for. They wanted to charge me $60 to replace the wiper blades before they’d pass the inspection. I changed them myself for $15.
Then my wife started having issues with them over her car. She took it in to get the oil changed before a drive to Indiana while I was on a business trip. They convinced her that the car wasn’t safe to drive unless she had the hoses and belts replaced…but after they realized they didn’t have one of the hoses in stock, they declared that it would probably be OK to drive to Indiana on that hose as long as she brought it back to get it replaced after the trip.
So it’s OK to drive when they don’t have the parts, but if they’d had the parts, the car was unsafe without them? Really?
A few other incidents followed, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when they tried to tell my wife that her radiator was cracked and she needed a new one but, strangely, there had been no evidence that the radiator was leaking. I was, again on a business trip, so I had her take it to a mechanic friend of ours to check it out to be sure…he verified that the radiator was not cracked or leaking and that was the last time we darkened the door of Firestone mastercare.
We then went through a plethora of mechanics in this area and each and every one of them had issues. My friend the mechanic is a good mechanic, but is a very small operation and doesn’t have the diagnostic equipment or tools to work with modern cars, he’s more of a “classic cars and motorcycles” kind of guy. Some mechanic shops just didn’t strike me as particularly competent, some tried to rip us off in one way or another (trying to overcharge, or fix things that weren’t wrong), some the staff was rude or downright jerks. We just couldn’t seem to find a shop that did good work, charged reasonable rates and were honest.
That all changed on Friday. We’ve had an ongoing problem with The Wife’s car; a loud “roaring” road noise and slight vibration when steering, especially at highways speeds. I thought it was probably either a CV joint or wheel bearing, but didn’t have time to mess with it myself. The Wife found a mechanic shop with good reviews on Yelp so we gave them a try.
Accurate Tune on the corner of 14th and Monticello in Norfolk is now officially our “go-to” mechanic shop.
The Wife called them Friday morning and asked if they could get the car in. They assured us that they would be able to take a look on that day (almost never happened at Firestone).
When we dropped the car off, JT at the front desk was straightforward, friendly and professional. He outlined what they would do to troubleshoot and assured us that they would get to the bottom of the problem.
A couple of hours later, JT called and verified that the problem was the driver’s side wheel bearing. Since the bearing is integral to the wheel, they’d have to change the whole wheel. They quoted a price of $240 which I felt was very reasonable for such a repair and we authorized the work. BTW: I’d had a similar problem with my truck a few years before and replaced the wheel myself. The part was about $90 and it took me about 6 hours to do the work.
Anyway, they called back a few hours later and told us the work was done, we went and picked up the car. They did not try to “upsell” other service, they didn’t try to tell us anything else was wrong with the car, they just fixed the problem, the first time, perfectly.
The problem is resolved. JT even called The Wife the next day to make sure everything was OK with the car after the repair.
So, if you’re in the market for a good, reliable, honest mechanic in Norfolk, VA; my mechanic is Accurate Tune Plus on Monticello and, so far, I recommend them wholeheartedly.