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Old 10-18-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
Ovaltine
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Question Kon Auto

Hey all,

My 96K service is coming up and now that Total is gone, I'm looking for a new mechanic.

I've heard all the horror stories from Richmond and I had a bad experience at Specialty. I called up Don Dock Subaru and they quoted me $700-$800 for 96K service.

I also called Kon Auto (proclaimed Volvo/Subura specialist @ 1327 Venables St.) and the guy said he charged $120 for labour for 96K -- with parts, he estimated around $300. Substantial savings! But it almost sounds too cheap for him to do all the proper work (with quality parts), unless he's baiting me.

He seems to be highly recommended by some of my non-Subie-driving co-workers who go to him. I also noticed some Vancouver NASIOCers praise him back in 2003.

What worried me is that he asked if my 2000 Impreza with a 2.5L engine had a turbo... and if it was SOHC or DOHC.

Long story short: Anybody have recent experience with Kon Auto? Should I roll the dice or take it up the ass from the dealership?

Me wish Cody was still around.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:47 PM   #2
Keiho
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Why not bring it to 5zigen?

He does just about the majority of most people's Subarus here, and if there's only one negative I have to say about him is that he's too full with work that he doesn't have time for me!
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:50 PM   #3
OnlyKor..
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hrm... kon auto.... sounds like "Con" auto. lolz
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:54 PM   #4
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hrm... OnlyKor...... sounds like "OnlyHor". lolz
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:59 PM   #5
OnlyKor..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarpauld View Post
hrm... OnlyKor...... sounds like "OnlyHor". lolz
How'd you guess??
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:42 PM   #6
andys
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Default kon

kon auto is insane. you can't understand a word he says and they are always working past 10pm - seems like 7 days a week.

Kon is a freak. He goes WAY out of his was to get you fair prices on parts. He delivers when he says he will (for the most part) and he ALWAYS gives you back your old parts with a FULL explanation of what went wrong and how it has affected the old parts. The problem is you can't understand the explaniation and then you wonder why he's punching you really hard in the arm. Anyway, all my friends go there and they are to the point where they don't ever stress about car crap anymore. I think Kon is the real deal.
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:54 PM   #7
ShawnRS
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[quote=Keiho;15659807]Why not bring it to 5zigen?


Okay what shop does Onlykor work for?
I am in the same boat now that Total (Cody) is gone.

Shawnrs
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:39 PM   #8
itachi1314
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Kon's is the place right across from Fujiya right?
I drive by that place all the time, looks pretty shady but it's always packed with cars when i drive by, waiting to be worked on. So looks like they got alot of customers.That's always a good sign, right ?

-KC
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:30 PM   #9
admiralbien
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I've had experience w/ Kon Auto, yes, he can be a bit difficult to understand but that's pretty much because he was always speaking Cantonese to me which I don't really know too well. But he's very genuine and as far as I know, a very good dude
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:34 PM   #10
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I've heard Kon auto is really good too. One of my dad's coworkers brings his forester to them, and swears by them. My dad went there once, and couldn't understand a word he was saying...but my dad figured the guy seems ot know his stuff :P
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Old 10-18-2006, 05:47 PM   #11
OnlyKor..
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[quote=ShawnRS;15661848]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keiho View Post
Why not bring it to 5zigen?


Okay what shop does Onlykor work for?
I am in the same boat now that Total (Cody) is gone.

Shawnrs
errr... you mean 5zigen right?
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:20 PM   #12
Ovaltine
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What/where is 5zigen's shop?

Thanks for the input guys. Yea - his English is pretty hard to understand. I made him repeat a lot of things to me on the phone til he was almost shouting. Time to bust out the Cantonese...

Yea, what I keep hearing is that he's a straight-shooter and that he doesn't try to upsell people on work they don't need.

I'm scheduled to bring my car to Kon on Friday -- I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:12 PM   #13
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I would like to know where 5zigen's shop is too. I got some work coming up for the car too.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:59 AM   #14
Ken
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I'll post something to weigh in on the dealership for the flip side. I've gone to two lower mainland dealers and one in the Okanagan, as well as a few independant mechanic shops.

I just had my 48k km service done today at Docksteader, and the experience was good. Here are some pro/cons whether big or small I've experienced. It probably reads a bit biased after coming out of 4years of going to independent shops, and my good experience at the dealer today:

Competent Dealership pros:
- I got a free courtesy car (I figure because i'm shelling out enough cash at once)
- They'll wash your car and vac (I declined it because I'm picky), and be oriented for fine details (filling up fluids, check brake leve, tire wear, etc)
- They're good at catching other stuff that may be wrong with your car (recall notices you are not aware of, Subaru parts that are defective)
- They'll service it at the appointment you scheduled
- Overall sound of mind that you have your history with Subaru in case of future warranty claims
- I find things are done correctly the first time and I don't have to waste time going back a 2nd or even 3rd time. (Time is very important if you're busy at work, other appointments to keep)

Dealership cons:
- More expensive.
- May be inflexible with your custom needs, depending on dealer.
- Still susceptible to feeding you BS, but if you find the right place they're fine.
- More difficult to build a good rapport with a larger service facility vs. a small independent shop.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovaltine View Post
Hey all,

Long story short: Anybody have recent experience with Kon Auto? Should I roll the dice or take it up the ass from the dealership?

Me wish Cody was still around.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:54 AM   #15
Mirage
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Another vote for Eric/5Zigen.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:57 AM   #16
Keiho
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Just PM 5zigen, he's an independent mechanic.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #17
jtsoi
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Hi,

Found this old thread so I figured I would revive it.

I'm a new Subie owner and I'm looking for a local mechanic in lower mainland to do my 96k service on a 2006 WRX Wagon. I'm located in Richmond.

Anyone have recent service done at Kon's or by 5Zigen?

Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #18
RE3Rotor
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I had some work done by Kon last year and it was a pretty decent experience other than I was without my Foz for two months.

Dales Alignment in Langley can also perform the regular service if you are willing to go for a drive. I have dealt with Jason/Daryl on many occasions and they have always delivered above and beyond my expectations.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
jtsoi
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Great! Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:10 PM   #20
Drakar
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I can 2nd for Dale's, as mentioned the team there is top notch and will treat you right, their old school business, they want repeats, not rip you off and send you packing.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:39 PM   #21
Sibsy
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A few people I've worked with bring there cars to Kon and I've heard nothing but good things. One friend said there was one incident where something wasn't fixed right at first, and she had no problem bringing the car back and Kon making good on it straight away.
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:26 PM   #22
MMMMMNAA
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Glad i found this thread, and hope to update it soon as i'm taking my 2001 Outback in for a head gasket and some brake stuff.
I have only spoke to Kon (Kevin) the once on the phone to make an appointment but had no problem understanding him at all. In fact he asked me if i was Asian? and iam infact Scottish. I already like this Guy! i will post up with how the experience goes.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:44 PM   #23
Crzy Joe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ovaltine View Post
Hey all,

My 96K service is coming up and now that Total is gone, I'm looking for a new mechanic.

I've heard all the horror stories from Richmond and I had a bad experience at Specialty. I called up Don Dock Subaru and they quoted me $700-$800 for 96K service.

I also called Kon Auto (proclaimed Volvo/Subura specialist @ 1327 Venables St.) and the guy said he charged $120 for labour for 96K -- with parts, he estimated around $300. Substantial savings! But it almost sounds too cheap for him to do all the proper work (with quality parts), unless he's baiting me.

He seems to be highly recommended by some of my non-Subie-driving co-workers who go to him. I also noticed some Vancouver NASIOCers praise him back in 2003.

What worried me is that he asked if my 2000 Impreza with a 2.5L engine had a turbo... and if it was SOHC or DOHC.

Long story short: Anybody have recent experience with Kon Auto? Should I roll the dice or take it up the ass from the dealership?

Me wish Cody was still around.
The shop I normally use, used to subcontract all their major Subaru work to Kon Auto.

Anyways long story short. Kon was Specialty Subaru's Chief Tech back in the early days of Specialty. When Kon moved on to establish his own shop. I believe Specialty while scrambling to fill the large void lost by losing Kon. Specialty actually subcontract all major engine/transmission out to .... wait for it..... KON Auto

That was then.

So yeah, the guy is brutally honest and difficult to understand. If he says to expensive to fix and get a new car. He means it. But I don't know if he is still wrenching himself, or if he has well trained apprentices doing it now.

Kon and 5Zigen are the two I would trust for MAJOR work.

I love replying to two year old posts!
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:52 PM   #24
BCFreeskier
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Here's my take on Kon. I'm on my second impreza, and have done almost all my servicing at Kon.

Pro's:
- Price. Kon will cost so much less than the dealership, you will think he forgot to do something. Last time I was there, I did my 48K service and back brakes (pads and rotors) for $700. Kon explained that I basically got a free brake job with my 48K service
- Bring your own parts. Kon is totally fine with customer's bringing their own parts, and will just charge you labor to install.
- Speed. Kon doesn't like cars staying on his lot longer than a day, so he gets the work done quickly
- Precision. I've never had to take my car back after getting any service done.

Kon's (pun intended)
- Understanding him. Make sure you speak to Kon in person, because he speaks really quickly with a thick accent. you want to make sure that you are on the same page with the work you are getting done.
- He's too cheap. Kon will skip service on the car if he knows it doesn't need it. this can be a bit disconcerting if you're the type that wants to over-maintain your car.
- Location. Once you drop your car off, you're stuck at Clarke and Venables without a way to get to work. Car2Go are tricky to find around there.

All in, this guy is an honest mechanic who does great work on subaru's. i wouldn't hesitate to send anyone here.
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Old 10-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #25
sagalbot
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I've had my Impreza in twice in the last year and both experiences were great. He works very fast and from what I can tell doesn't cut corners.

The tight space in the back yard can be a bit of an issue. He had me park my car back there and after a 20 point turn I had it tucked away nicely in the corner. One of the other guys started backing an outback out of the garage and it was dangerously close to my bumper. I waved but the guy kept backing up, eventually bumping into my fog light cover. I really didn't care much (the car has lots of scratches), but Kon was pretty upset with his employee. There weren't any scratches on either vehicle, and based on how pissed Kon was I'd say this doesn't happen often.

Each time I've taken the car there I've expected to pay double what I ended up paying. The price is unreal. The ONLY downfall as far as I'm concerned is that Kon is really tough to understand. He is an awesome guy either way.
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