Mark Wagner has been working under the hood of international automobiles since 1972. After securing a master's degree in mechanical engineering in Germany, Wagner ferried both his family and his familiarity with foreign cars to America, where, today, he teams up with the ASE-certified techs in his repair shop. The factory-trained mechanics dole out everything from tune-ups to engine, brake, and transmission repairs. And all of their work is backed by a 15-month, 15,000-mile warranty that prevents cars from worrying about waking up and seeing their name in the classified pages.
Inside the service department at Michael's Chevrolet of Issaquah, technicians treat GM vehicles to routine maintenance that takes between 20 and 45 minutes. An oil change introduces up to six quarts of standard oil to engines; drivers who need synthetic lubricant can upgrade for an additional fee. The shop's mechanics will also perform a 27-point inspection and rotate the tires to ensure even wear, leaving the vehicle wagging its bumpers and grinning from headlight to headlight. Motorists can take the opportunity to teach their cars some personal responsibility by having them register online through the appointment scheduling page.
A full-service repair shop, Stingray's team of technicians executes everything from oil changes and alignments to engine repairs and electrical diagnosis. Each member of the team has at least 10 years experience, and most repair work comes certified with a 24,000-mile or 24-month nationwide warranty. Their certified services include major and minor repairs on most makes and models of both foreign and domestic cars, such as Chevy, Toyota, and Lexus. As they don't work on commission, they also strive to offer honest opinions on necessary repairs and the latest Dilbert comic.
The ASE-certified technicians at Valley Automotive can never really graduate from school. Every staff member undergoes a mandatory 50 hours of training each year, learning about all the advancements and quirks of fresh vehicle models so that they can better receive them for treatment. Their services encompass basic procedures—oil changes, wheel alignment, and maintenance inspections—as well as more complex electric and automotive repairs. Flushes for brake fluid, transmission fluid, and cooling systems de-gunk their patients' many pipes, and prepurchase exams inform guests of malfunctions before they buy rings for new rides.
In the interest of convenience, the shop provides a shuttle service and loaner cars for clients whose buggies need extended stays. Its website also compiles frequently asked questions and guidelines for prolonged automobile life. Guideline suggestions include reducing the weight in your vehicle by unloading the trunk, cleaning mud from the undercarriage, and refusing to pick up even the loneliest-looking boulders. These tips speak to the trust-based approach of employees, who, in addition to enjoying 4x4 jaunts and customizing their own cars, prioritize professionalism over quick fixes.
With America's Best Car Care Plan, ASE-certified technicians keep autos running smoothly by injecting car insides with up to 5 quarts of clean conventional oil (upgrades to synthetic require additional charges) and performing a host of auto-maintenance services. Brake inspections and adjustments grant drivers the peace of mind that cars are safe and equipped for inclement weather and duck-crossing signs that come out of nowhere. Two tire rotations ensure automotive equilibrium can find long-lasting balance and tire grooves wear evenly.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.