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|Mon - Fri:|
Phone: (860) 266-7735
Steve's Automotive & Repair
Steves Automotive Repr & Tire
I started bringing my fleet of cars to Steve's about two years ago. I'm always treated like a family member. They are fast, courteous and friendly. On two occasions I had tire problems and they took me in right away and fixed my problem in a very timely fashion. Every repair is discussed prior to doing the work. there are no surprises.
I can't say enough about these guys. Every single time I have brought my cars in there, (I have 4 of all shapes and sizes)they have always taken the time to diagnose, explain and repair everything at very reasonable costs. They are professional and courteous to every customer and never talk down to anyone. My cars have come out of there much better than if I had taken them to the dealer and for a substantial amount less! Definitely use Steve's Auto. I wouldn't go anywhere else!
I recently had a tire blow out on Route 2 while traveling on business. I looked up local repair shops on my smartphone and Steve's came up. I called, Steve answered the phone and told be he would meet me on the highway. Steve drove to me on the highway and helped me finish putting the doughnut tire on my car. I followed him back to the shop, where he ordered a new tire and put it on. I walked out the door with a reasonable invoice, great service, and a hot cup of coffee. I would highly recommend Steve's to anyone!
I had a very similar experience here which is making me wonder if this is a practice they use to make some quick money. I took my vehicle in for an oil change and tire rotation and ended up with a $260 bill. They called me and told me they couldn't get my lug nuts off and they would have to cut them off and replace them all. I asked how they could get stuck and they told me that happens when water gets in and they rust. How dumb do they think I am? I told them I get my tires rotated twice a year and the last time was about 6 months earlier and there were no issues with removing them. They told me they had already stripped a few of them but just wanted to inform me before they did the rest. So what am I supposed to do at that point? They then said they would give me a break and get me a full set of lugs for around $99. I reluctantly agreed assuming that was the final cost - nope, like the other review yet another $99 for labor to remove them. $200 for new lug nuts that they stripped? Stay away...
I noticed my wife’s tire was low on air and drove into Steve’s to have it looked at. They were able to accommodate me without an appointment. After waiting for a bit, they indicated that my wheel lock key had broken while attempting to remove my wheels. They said they ordered another tool to remove the wheel locks, but the distributer was ten minutes away and it would take some time for him to get over there. We decided to have breakfast across the street. Upon returning an hour-or-so later, they were still working on sealing the tire. Once the wheel was balanced, they asked if I would like to have them remove the remaining wheel locks and replace them with regular lug nuts, in the event I had another flat tire. I asked if it was a big deal, and they said: “no”.
After the job was complete, I received a bill exceeding $160 ($30 for tire repair, $30 for 4 lug nuts and $99 for labor)! I told the technician that the charges were extremely excessive, and he replied “we get an hour’s labor to remove wheel locks and I was working on your car for over 2 hours.” I explained that the majority of that time was spent waiting for the tool to arrive! Since my wife was late for work, we paid the bill and left.
I drove to my local Lexus dealer and explained the problem with the wheel locks, but I was unable to locate the old locks, despite asking for them at Steve’s (they were not put back in the car following the repair).
The Lexus dealer explained that they wouldn’t have charged me for the wheel lock repair, as they use their own set of keys, not the customers. I also called a local tire dealer, Town Fair Tire, who also indicated they would not charge for removing the wheel locks. The following week I called to speak with Steven, the owner. After explaining my dissatisfaction with the cost of the repair, he proceeded to justify the charges and defend his position. I explained that I spent 10 years as an automotive service manager and would be embarrassed to charge anyone $160 to repair a leaking tire and remove a set of wheel locks. I explained that regardless of how much time it took for HIS technician, I know how much time it should’ve taken. I didn’t get into the fact that he was charging a straight-time diagnostic charge for what is generally considered a maintenance item (Maintenance items are calculated at a lower labor rate, commensurate with the lower-level of technical expertise required for such repairs). I did not wish to argue with Steven and simply asked if he was willing to reduce the charges or not. I explained that I would simply make a different choice when servicing my vehicle in the future. Steven said “it really doesn’t matter if your return for service or not” and indicated that he was not willing to concede on the charges.
In retrospect, I should’ve asked for a cost estimate prior to having any work done. At no time was an estimate ever given to me. I will most certainly never have any future work done at Steve’s, nor would I recommend them as a reputable option to anyone else. If you happen to find yourself without another choice, I strongly suggest getting a written estimate for any repairs in advance.