Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Auto Mechanic in Albany - Broadway Auto Clinic

I drive a 2002 Audi wagon (an A4 Avant, 1.8t with a 5-speed stick, for those who care about such details). After 5 years it's approaching 100,000 miles, and I thought it was time to get some things done.

I bought it at Langan West, a Porsche/Audi/VW dealership on Route 5 on the way to Schenectady. For most of the life of the car I took it to the dealership. I wasn't completely satisfied, but most of the time things seemed to be okay.

I heard about Broadway Auto Clinic a couple years ago. The owner, Rick, is known and respected within the small community of Audi fans in the area. One time my car stopped working and the dealership said they wouldn't be able to fit me in for 2 weeks. So I took it to Broadway Auto Clinic then and they did a great job. The price was fair and the problem was solved.

I hadn't yet broken my addiction to the dealership, and I also got a lot of routine stuff done at a Monro Muffler across from my old office -- that way I could leave the car in the morning and it was very easy. I was very happy with Monro, by the way, but the heavier duty stuff was beyond them and they were open about that.

So recently I got new wheels and tires for my car. When I got them put on, the local mechanic I went to said that I needed an alignment, and that he didn't have the right equipment. He recommended Broadway Auto Clinic so I made the call.

I had been thinking about replacing and upgrading the shocks and also installing a chip that gets more boost out of the turbocharger. Rick knew about all of these things and gave me solid advice about what to do. The cost of parts was reasonable (I had priced some of them myself before talking to him), and in the end my car came out better than it was. Better, stronger, faster. Must be some bionics. :-)

They also did the work in a timely manner. And one thing I noticed while I was there was the number of people who came in, dropped off their cars and appeared to be perfectly happy and trusting of what would happen. This was very hard for me, having seen too many Seinfeld episodes about car mechanics and having been burned once or twice over the years myself.

In the end I did leave my car in their hands and did not get burned. With the caveat that I'm not an expert in judging car repair shops, I am happy to recommend Broadway Auto Clinic, especially for Audi and VW owners, and really for most cars. Their website is at: Broadway Auto Clinic.

Oh, one other caveat. Their e-mail didn't work right for me and I had some other, minor communication difficulties when I was first getting ready to set things up with them. That had increased my anxiety. Once the ball was rolling, however, communication improved and I'm completely satisfied.


Anonymous said...

I have visited Rick's shop a number of times and I learned my lesson. I will admit, their work is great, but watch out!! They will real you in and rack up the costs. Everyone I spoke with in my office had the same experience - you just have to stop and think of all the high costs you end up paying him and all this really necessary?? Miraculously my car stopped having monthly problems when I stopped taking ti to Braodway Auto Clinic.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps after going there, your car was fixed properly, and no longer needed their services so often? I've used Rick and Sandy for years, and I've been very happy. Rick is an honest guy, and I've personally seen him talk potential customers out of expensive repair work that other shops told them they needed. He is intense sometimes, but his heart is in the right place, and his wife is a good person as well.

Initially, I went there a few times to allow them to peck away at my cars many issues, but I go there only for oil changes lately, because my car has been running perfectly since they fixed it. They find everything that's wrong, and maybe that's why it may seem as if the bill is high.

He let me know early on he would not be cheap, and explained why.

Partially, because he won't use cheap parts from China, and partially because he pays his help well, and that's why he's had the same techs for so long. Most other places use cheaper parts, so their bill may be less, but the overall quality and longevity will suffer. I’ve called around, and it’s true.

If you don't want to pay his prices though, you have choices. Pep Boys, Monroe, etc... Bla! I used to go there myself, but I am happy to pay for quality parts, and quality techs. He's still a lot cheaper than the dealer!!

Unknown said...

I was hesitant to publish the negative comment above, but decided to let it go. My main concern is the whopping contradiction:
"their work is great"
"my car stopped having monthly problems when I stopped taking it [there]"
They did persuade me to do more with my car. I remember specifically that they suggested I should get a timing belt. I was suspicious and checked around on the web. The consensus was that it was indeed time to change it.
Rick also persuaded me to do a bit more in suspension upgrades as well as a slightly higher level of chip upgrade (to get more boost out of the turbo). I have been quite pleased with the results.