*** PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO USE JAPANESE AUTO REPAIR IN PORTLAND, OR***
Fact: Japanese Auto Repair (JAR) charges $85/hr and often has a minimum
Quality of works and fairness: Very Questionable. I firmly believe that JAR misdiagnosed my initial car problem which ended up costing me a lot more than the initial estimate they gave.
Suggestions: Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion from other shop before you commit to any works.
Conclusion: I will not recommend JAR to anyone and hope I will never have to take my car back to their shop. Not even for the 1 year warranty on parts and labors that they offer but never provide a hard copy of the details warranty unless you demand for one.
In the event that my car breaks down for the same problem within the next 6 months, I will report JAR to the Better Business Bureau and take them to small claims court.
I have a ?94 Toyota Camry LE V6 (93K miles) which was serviced at JAR in Feb. 2009 after reading previous reviews from the Car Talk Mechanics Files. The owner Dennis Lee seem like a nice enough man, and his primary mechanic is John (didn?t see anyone else there) seems like a decent guy. My car Check Engine Light (CEL) came on and while driving the overdrive O/D light would flashes on/off and tachometer would rev each time over the weekend so I took my car to JAR the following Monday. John called me later that morning and informed that my car speed and shaft sensor needs to be replace and that would solve my problem. In addition, John suggested that the following items should be replace: a lower engine mount, transmission oil, differential fluid, and two valve cover gaskets. I want to point out the fact that I did JAR a favor by allowing them to do the additional works on my car on good faith thinking that if they solve my CEL and O/D problem, the additional works can help them out in this tough economy. Unfortunately, my faith in the decency of others was misplaced when it came to JAR. Anyhow, I negotiated the cost of the job and was told it would cost me around $1200. I also asked that my sparks plugs be replace and JAR charged me $20 per plug, that?s $120 (I check with AutoZone and other online auto supply carrier, their most expensive plugs for my car is $8/per) on top of the estimated $1200. I understand that everyone needs to make a profit, but this sort of markup is simply OUTRAGEOUS. The bill came to a total of $1385 went I picked my car up on Monday afternoon. Within 2 miles after leaving the shop, the same problem recurs so I took it back to the JAR immediately and left my car overnight. The next day I picked my car up in the afternoon and was told everything is fine. Needless to say, it was not fine because I end up taking my car back for the 4th time. John from JAR called me and informed me that this might cost me an additional $700-800 to diagnose and replace my ECU (car computer). The frustration was just simply overwhelming. I lost much sleep over my decision to have JAR repair my car, because I felt cheated and couldn?t trust the quality or reliability of the work that was being done on my car by JAR. After the 2nd trip back to JAR during that first week, I posted my car problem on the Car Talk forum asking for inputs and advice and I received many excellent feedbacks from others. In general, everyone suggested that I take my car somewhere else. Unfortunately, I already paid the $1385 for the works done and thought that JAR would stand behind their work and fix my problem without additional cost to me. I was naive to place my trust in JAR and it cost me an additional $400 which total $1785. After my personal experience, it?s obvious that JAR does not stand behind their works and it ended up costing me more money then the actual value of my car. All I got in the end was doubt, a used ECU with a 30 days warranty and an empty promise from JAR.
I hope that after you read about my misfortune that you heed my warning and take extreme care in your decision to choose a shop and mechanic to work on your own car. Like the saying goes, ?Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice shame on you.?
?Money made through dishonest practices will not last long.?
P.S. From the very beginning I stressed to the owner of JAR that I don?t have much money and that this car is my family only car. Both my wife and I use public transportation to get to and from work. We use our car mostly on the weekend to get grocery and to run errant. I now question how many of the things that JAR recommends to change on my car were really necessary?
I hope my personal recount of what happens to me will help you in your time of needs.
A fellow Oregonian.