Russ Bloedel's Svc Station

★★★☆☆

About Russ Bloedel's Svc Station

Hours
Mon-Thu 9am-5pm

Automotive

Automotive
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A neighbor told me he??d been going to Russ Bloedel??s for years and always had good experiences. I had driven past the place several times and noticed its lot was always packed full of cars. So RB??s seemed worth a try. Unfortunately they ended up giving me one of the worst experiences I've ever had with a repair shop.

My car had begun shaking badly after another mechanic replaced its timing belt. The shaking was at its worst when the car was in park but persisted when driving. I called up RB??s. The mechanic I spoke to assured me he??d worked on my make and model so many times he knew the car ??better than the dealer.? He said the problem was likely the engine??s balance shaft being misaligned during replacement of the timing belt and that I??d need to leave the car with him for ??a couple days? before he could look at it. So on a Thursday I made an appointment to drop the car off the following Monday morning.

2 days later, RB??s still hadn??t looked at my car. When I called at the end of the day on Friday, the mechanic told me the same thing as when I first called ?? probably the balance shaft, and did I want him to take apart the timing belt cover etc. to find out for sure? But he also said the front main motor mount was starting to go bad; that it almost certainly wasn??t the cause of the vibration and that the mount wasn??t failing yet. So I told him to go ahead and take the timing belt apparatus apart but to NOT replace the front main motor mount.

Another week passed without any word, so I called up RB??s that Friday morning. The mechanic said the balance shaft wasn??t the problem after all, and that neither was the front main motor mount, since he went ahead and replaced it but the car was still shaking. He said he also checked for bent pulleys, and there weren??t any. The final thing he said he could check was the fly wheel, which would only take about a half hour (as compared to the 4-hour search to determine if the balance shaft was the problem, which, interestingly enough, he opted to do first?)

He called me back at the end of the day and said the fly wheel was fine, that he was totally stumped, and that I owed him $365. I reminded him that I??d explicitly told him not to replace the front motor mount, and we settled on him knocking $45 of the bill (about half what he wanted to charge me for the mount). I picked up the car, still shaking as badly as when I dropped it off, and I cut RB??s a check for $320.

2 days after I got the car back, the 6-month old alternator belt snapped. I looked under the car and found that 2 of 3 bolts were missing from the belt wheel and the 3rd was hanging on by just a thread.

Having lost all faith in RB??s (who either somehow managed to overlook the loose/missing bolts on the belt wheel while inspecting the pulleys or who caused the problem themselves while investigating the pulleys), I decided to look at the rest of the car myself. Keep in mind, I??m not a mechanic. I??ve owned a Haynes repair manual for about a year and haven??t done anything more complicated than changing front brakes. But it took me all of 20 minutes to find the likely cause of the car??s shaking. That would be the section of the metal sheet around the bracket of the driver??s side motor mount that had RIPPED AWAY FROM THE FRAME RAIL, leaving a ragged gap (6? long by 2? wide) that caused the engine to sit on a slant, canceled out the motor mount on that side, and transmitted all of the engine??s vibrations directly into the car??s body.

This was all clearly visible with the car??s hood up ?? no complicated disassembly, specialized tools, or decades of experience needed. RB??s acted like they went over my car with a fine toothed comb when they would have had to go over it with a blindfold on to miss this! There is just no way anyone could have missed it while inspecting my car??s 3 motor mounts ?? 1 of which RB??s replaced themselves!

So the best case scenario is that RB??s crew are less competent mechanics than me (in which case I promise to NOT fix your car for a much lower price, and I won??t need two week??s to do it!). However, the worst case scenario is that RB??s found the real problem at least as fast as I did, but they couldn??t make any money on it (either because they??re not welders / a body shop or because they figured I might not pay the $500+ to fix my $1,500 car), so they just billed me for a bunch of crap I didn??t need.

Who knows? But either way Russ Bloedel's really does blow. I would have done better to flush $320 down the toilet. It would have saved me a bunch of time and trouble, and maybe an alternator belt, too.

1
★☆☆☆☆

A neighbor told me he??d been going to Russ Bloedel??s for years and always had good experiences. I had driven past the place several times and noticed its lot was always packed full of cars. So RB??s seemed worth a try. Unfortunately they ended up giving me one of the worst experiences I've ever had with a repair shop.

My car had begun shaking badly after another mechanic replaced its timing belt. The shaking was at its worst when the car was in park but persisted when driving. I called up RB??s. The mechanic I spoke to assured me he??d worked on my make and model so many times he knew the car ??better than the dealer.? He said the problem was likely the engine??s balance shaft being misaligned during replacement of the timing belt and that I??d need to leave the car with him for ??a couple days? before he could look at it. So on a Thursday I made an appointment to drop the car off the following Monday morning.

2 days later, RB??s still hadn??t looked at my car. When I called at the end of the day on Friday, the mechanic told me the same thing as when I first called ?? probably the balance shaft, and did I want him to take apart the timing belt cover etc. to find out for sure? But he also said the front main motor mount was starting to go bad; that it almost certainly wasn??t the cause of the vibration and that the mount wasn??t failing yet. So I told him to go ahead and take the timing belt apparatus apart but to NOT replace the front main motor mount.

Another week passed without any word, so I called up RB??s that Friday morning. The mechanic said the balance shaft wasn??t the problem after all, and that neither was the front main motor mount, since he went ahead and replaced it but the car was still shaking. He said he also checked for bent pulleys, and there weren??t any. The final thing he said he could check was the fly wheel, which would only take about a half hour (as compared to the 4-hour search to determine if the balance shaft was the problem, which, interestingly enough, he opted to do first?)

He called me back at the end of the day and said the fly wheel was fine, that he was totally stumped, and that I owed him $365. I reminded him that I??d explicitly told him not to replace the front motor mount, and we settled on him knocking $45 of the bill (about half what he wanted to charge me for the mount). I picked up the car, still shaking as badly as when I dropped it off, and I cut RB??s a check for $320.

2 days after I got the car back, the 6-month old alternator belt snapped. I looked under the car and found that 2 of 3 bolts were missing from the belt wheel and the 3rd was hanging on by just a thread.

Having lost all faith in RB??s (who either somehow managed to overlook the loose/missing bolts on the belt wheel while inspecting the pulleys or who caused the problem themselves while investigating the pulleys), I decided to look at the rest of the car myself. Keep in mind, I??m not a mechanic. I??ve owned a Haynes repair manual for about a year and haven??t done anything more complicated than changing front brakes. But it took me all of 20 minutes to find the likely cause of the car??s shaking. That would be the section of the metal sheet around the bracket of the driver??s side motor mount that had RIPPED AWAY FROM THE FRAME RAIL, leaving a ragged gap (6? long by 2? wide) that caused the engine to sit on a slant, canceled out the motor mount on that side, and transmitted all of the engine??s vibrations directly into the car??s body.

This was all clearly visible with the car??s hood up ?? no complicated disassembly, specialized tools, or decades of experience needed. RB??s acted like they went over my car with a fine toothed comb when they would have had to go over it with a blindfold on to miss this! There is just no way anyone could have missed it while inspecting my car??s 3 motor mounts ?? 1 of which RB??s replaced themselves!

So the best case scenario is that RB??s crew are less competent mechanics than me (in which case I promise to NOT fix your car for a much lower price, and I won??t need two week??s to do it!). However, the worst case scenario is that RB??s found the real problem at least as fast as I did, but they couldn??t make any money on it (either because they??re not welders / a body shop or because they figured I might not pay the $500+ to fix my $1,500 car), so they just billed me for a bunch of crap I didn??t need.

Who knows? But either way Russ Bloedel's really does blow. I would have done better to flush $320 down the toilet. It would have saved me a bunch of time and trouble, and maybe an alternator belt, too.

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I needed an estimate. I found Russ Bloedel's internet information. I called and Russ himself answered. I was able to bring my car in the same day. Russ and his crew know what to do and I recommend them.

5
★★★★★

I needed an estimate. I found Russ Bloedel's internet information. I called and Russ himself answered. I was able to bring my car in the same day. Russ and his crew know what to do and I recommend them.

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A great garage for personalized auto care and repairs. Prices are reasonable when compared to auto dealers and national repair chains. Service is honest and efficient. Car inspections are especially good because they don?t try to upsell to other services/repairs. Bloedel?s is family run, so you are always dealing face to face with the owners.

PROS: personalized service
CONS:

4
★★★★☆

A great garage for personalized auto care and repairs. Prices are reasonable when compared to auto dealers and national repair chains. Service is honest and efficient. Car inspections are especially good because they don?t try to upsell to other services/repairs. Bloedel?s is family run, so you are always dealing face to face with the owners.

PROS: personalized service
CONS:

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