Termite’s Suggested Automotive Shops and Services

One of my main hobbies is collecting, restoring, and tinkering with cars. Naturally, what comes with the territory is getting to know others in the same community, if you will. Sure, I do most of my own work, but often times I get stuck, don’t have time to do it, or have an urgent need that must be done faster than my hobbiest experience can task. The result, going to a shop for service…

 

Let’s be fair, noone wants to take their car to the shop. With today’s $90+/hr labor, and the markup on parts, who can blame you! Sometimes, you just can’t help it; you must limp your baby into the hands of another man…

 

Through the years, I’ve gotten to know MANY shop owners and technicatians from the East Coast to Texas. Sometimes, I’ll even go to just hang out and chat; no work required. My wallet loves those visits most of all, so does the gray matter in my head. These encounters are a great opportunity for learning, sharing, and just some nasty shop jokes!

 

What am I getting at? Well, I’d like to offer up some reviews and suggestions to my friends, family, and acquaintences. Word-of-mouth is a powerful thing. Sure, you can watch a TV ad, or read a sign as you travel by, but what does that really tell you? Nothing. The experience of another is a viral and useful tool. That is, if they are being honest about their experiences.

 

Below, you will find a list of shops and services I send people to when asked, “hey, who do you suggest for *.*?” These are in no particular order or favortism. Hell, I’ll even alphabetize them, if it makes people feel warm and fuzzy.

 

General Repairs and Maintenance:

First, let’s just put this out there; I make no commitions or kick-backs on these reviews. The only satisfaction I get out of doing this, is knowing others are receiving great experiences, and being treated fairly. I put my reputation on the line with these, and back each shop I suggest. If you have troubles with any of them, I would love to hear your stories. Who knows, maybe I’ll go kick someone in the taint for effing up your job…

 

German Car Specialists – Formerly DBC Tuning

[European and Exotic Specialist – other makes/models also accepted]

San Antonio, TX

My cars they have worked on:

Stands for Dave, Berk, and Chris Tuning. The three owners/operators. I’m not 100% certain if they are all involved still, but I mostly talk with owner, Berk. Berk is always ready to take on a new challenge, and his crew of VERY skilled Technicians will diagnose and take care of your problems. Lead Technician Mark will amaze you with his knowledge, without even having to open a repair manual or Google your problem. That man’s brain is a vault of an automotive surgeon.

My first encounter with these guys was before they became a shop, and were simply selling parts out of Prestige Perfomance shop. We were all members of the same car “club” and traded advice and jokes on a local South Texas Forum. Honestly, it wasn’t the greatest of starts either. There were some mixed words on public forums, but we settled our differences when we realized that text on screen has no emotion. Don’t you just love the interwebs!?

Now, I have much respect for these fools, and send many Rackspace co-workers and friends there for their specialized needs. They appear to have a huge following of regular Rackspace Customers, and you know how we feel about Fanatical Support… Almost everyone I have sent there has become a repeat customer and had great things to say about the quality of service. Of course, there are those few edge cases of disatisfaction and bumps, but you can’t please everyone and there are bound to be some odd-ball experiences that can damage a reputation. My personal experience has been 100% satisfaction every time.

You can read more on my experiences with DBC on my blog.

Hi-Tech Automotive

[European, Import, Domestic, and Big Diesel]

6519 Prue Rd.
San Antonio, TX

(210) 877-2929

My cars they have worked on:

  • 2004 Mercedes ML500
  • 2006 Mercedes C230 Sport

There used to be this mobile mechanic, Noah Shegrud, that would frequent the grounds of Rackspace Headquarters. His name would pop up on internal emails, and people would always be asking for his number. One day, he was in my area of the building, talking to another co-worker, and I just started up a conversation. From there on, we became friends, and would often share stories. Mostly I love learning new tips and tricks from him. The occational trip out to see his band play or BBQ is always fun too.

Business started to slow in the off-season, and Noah decided to take up residence at Hi-Tech. No longer doing the mobile thing, he began to multi-task the bays at Hi-Tech like a boss. (Yea, I said “like a boss”. I’m not sure if that will be the last time I say it on my blog, but here’s to hoping.) No kidding, I’ve been there while he was actively bouncing between three cars on the racks. I don’t mean, finish one and move on, I mean, a little bit on this one, wait for a part, a little bit on this one while it runs and warms up, move to the next, and so on. He kept track of everything he was doing on each, while holding a converstation, and made it look easy! This was all aside from the other cars the other mechanics and his boss, Oscar, were working on at the time.

Noah comes from a background in Big Diesel, but the boy knows his grease and gears of all sizes. If is sucks in air and fuel, and farts it out, he can fix it or advise how.

Hrm, I see a common trend of Rackspace and connections, but that’s mostly due to the thousands of employees we have, and well, that’s my life; so, that’s where I meet people mostly.

Young, experienced, and energetic about making sure your vehicle is fixed right at a fair price, Noah, Oscar and crew will do you right!

LexToy Auto Clinic

[Lexus and Toyota Specialist – other makes/models also accepted]

San Antonio, TX

My cars they have worked on:

  • 1984 VW Rabbit GTI
  • 2004 Mercedes ML500

Owner, Carlos is a true, genuine soul. Nestled across the street from the old Rackspace Headquarters on Walzem Rd., this shop would see daily Rackspace drop-offs. It was simple; drop off the car, walk across to work, pick it up later (assuming it was a simple job). So convenient!

I would often spend my lunches with the guys, just talking and helping around the shop. Hell, there were a few times where I changed the oil and installed a radiator in a few Rackers’ cars. Did I get paid? No, that wasn’t the point. I loved doing it, and it helped out a busy shop and someone I consider a friend.

Carlos and his guys loved Rackers bringing repeated business. With our moving clear across town, to the old abandoned Windsor Park Mall, you would think LexToy business would decline. This is not true at all, and an example of the excellence in care Carlos and team provide. Rackers are willing to make the added trek, to drop off their vehicles at LexToy, just to have the reliable familiar faces work on them. Trust is a great thing.

I just went by there today (2013Aug21), and I saw more customer cars on the lot than I’ve EVER seen in the past.

A true testimate to Carlos’ character, is his unwillingness to steer customers in the wrong direction or do the typical chain-shop upsale. He will NEVER simply sell you a service just to make a buck, or suggest a job that can absolutely wait until your next check-in. Priority on customer satisfaction over profit is notable here; “customer first” attitude.  That’s enough to make me want to add a tip on top of service cost from time to time!

The Mobile Concierge

[All the things.]

San Antonio, TX (Coming to Austin, TX)

Have you ever been stuck at work, scrambling to figure out how you’d have time to take your car in for inspection? What about that regular maintenance that needs to be done, but you just can’t get away for. Need a wash and detail? They can arrange for a mobile service to come to you. Time is money, right?

Mobile Concierge is a white glove service that will help you schedule services, pick you up from the shop, or pick your vehicle up and drive it to the shop. They arrange everything for you, for a small fee, so you don’t have to worry about it. Besides, your time at work is worth more than your time not at work…

Owner, Craig has worked with me on a few different connections with local shops, to get them on his radar of offerings. He’s always looking for new clientel of all walks. He wants to make your life simpler, and their online scheduling app is just one small proof of that desire.

Not only have I pointed customers to The Mobile Concierge, but shops as well. Not one complaint has made its way back to me yet. We are off to a great start.

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