6/12/2008
5

For 4 years, since I bought my car at Santa Monica Subaru, I've been taking it there for service, i.e., per their maintenance schedule. Recently, SM Subaru shut down without warning, leaving me high and dry, not cool. But....as it turns out, it was a blessing in disguise. A Yelp search brought me to Hillside Automotive. I read that they've been voted South Bay's Best Auto Repair Shop.....3 years in a row! Wow. And it's a 10-15 minute drive from my home, as opposed to going all the way to SaMo. Life is good! hahaha So yesterday I met Dave Carney, the owner (see photos). My car needed brakes (I kinda knew that) and Dave explained all about brakes to me, all the technical stuff I never knew. I ate muffins in the waiting room, that had been baked by his wife, as my car's condition was assessed.....and that waiting area is as cute as the previous reviewer described (see photos). The ladies room....just as cute! Haha, I took a picture of it. As I was waiting, I opted to move outside with my book, to the patio under a vine-covered trellis, next to the sweetly-landscaped rock garden/fountain. How peaceful & lovely. Most impressive was the thoughtful care that went into assuring the customer's comfort. Much appreciated by me, and all too rare these days. I cannot say enough good stuff about the efficiency & friendliness & personal attention I received at Hillside Auto. My car needed attention in a few areas, as it turned out, and I knew I was in good hands. It's another Yelp success story. I decided to rent a car, as my car had to remain overnight. Enterprise will be my next review, haha! And I was delighted to get a call from the repair shop at 10am this morning to tell me my car was all ready! I was shocked they had done the job so quickly. They told me they were aware I had a car rental and had tried to keep it within the one-day time limit! Where you gonna find service like that?! So I picked up my car ahead of schedule. It was all clean, they had washed it! (And they did a better job than the carwash, haha.) My old parts that had been replaced were in a plastic bag waiting for me, in case I wanted to keep them. I met Dave's wife, the lady who bakes the muffins! She let me take her photo! I was delighted to learn they had fixed my broken seat belt, just as a courtesy. My car had been test-driven by 3 different people, to make sure it was OK. In fact, it runs so quiet now I can't even hear the engine. I don't think it ran this smooth when it was brand new. So...thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Carney and staff for operating an honest, reputable business. What a joy to experience such fine service. It's my pleasure to give you this much-deserved shout (on Yelp, the website you had never heard of until today, when I brought you a Yelp pen....hahaha...) See ya when the next oil change is due! Update: 6/20 As all customers of Hillside Auto do, I got a thank-you note in the mail today. This is in addition to the follow-up call from the owner, just to see if everything was well and good after my repair work was done. And I have discovered yet another wonderful surprise about my car.... the stereo speakers seem to be working in stereo, which they never did before. Or maybe it's just that the car runs so quiet I can hear them now? I dunno, but it's great.

10/31/2007
4

Last Sept., 2007, I initially tried to make an online appointment for an oil change, but when I didn't receive a confirmation like I was supposed to, I called super early, like 7:30 a.m.-ish to see if I could get in. They asked if I could be there in about an hour, so off I went. Free wi-fi Clean & cutely decorated waiting room and outdoor patio if you want fresh air Complimentary water bottles, coffee, croissants Complimentary ride to wherever you want to go after you drop off your car. Don't know what the maximum miles radius is. Cleanest, cutest ladies restroom I've ever seen at an Auto Repair shop. Includes free car wash. I was in and out in about an hour Voted "Best Independent Repair Shop 2005-2007!" in the local newspaper Received a "Thank You" note via snail mail AND a "Thank You" phone call from the owner himself a few days afterwards I would have taken -1 because the manager acknowledged that their online appointment system was down, but I'll give it back because he fit me in on short notice on a Saturday a.m. -1 because price quoted on new customer coupon (ishoptorrance.com/direct…) didn't factor in tax and waste disposal fee. I KNOW those are a given for any oil change, but still would like it all spelled out because there was a difference between the initial quote on the New Customer coupon ($17.95) used to lure you in and the final grand total. The calculation was weird (I'm not saying shady, though). Here's what my receipt says... - $10.07 (coupon) $14.74 (Fram Oil Filter) $13.28 (Chevron 10w30 Motor Oil) $3.00 (Hazardous Waste) $20.95 (Subtotal) $2.31 (Tax) $23.27 (Grand Total) Still overall a much more pleasant experience than the local EZ Lube, and I did get a complimentary car wash.

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