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Old 07-16-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
Greg B.(blue 06 WRX)
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Question What do you want in your shop?

When you go to an auto shop what do you expect?

(Ex.Dyno, Alignment Machine,etc.)

(Using this thread for future reference)(hopefully)
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #2
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Location: Smallville, KS

Alignment rack, dyno, multiple lifts with appropriate staffing, decent waiting room
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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07 2.5i wagon


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Old 07-16-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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Location: SoCal
2008 STi


depends on what services they offer. if i buy a set of rims from a shop then i would want them to do all suspension work, body work (fender pull / roll) and alignment. otherwise i wouldn't expect to get an alignment from someone that is just doing my build.
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:59 AM   #5
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2004 WRX wgn P1RANHA
'07 Tribeca


Hmmmmm..........excellent question.........

How about Maria Menunous with tape over her mouth?
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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04 WRX STi
Java Black


If they had big brested women serving beer in the lobby I wouldn't mind that
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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A hydraulic lift.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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Location: Cheney, WA
95 V4 STi-RA swap
Stage 49.8


I would like a hydraulic lift, a TIG welder, and a hot girl to help me that also knows the difference between an EJ22T and a EJ207.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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2004 WRX Wagon
WRB not so minty fresh


a "full service performance shop"?

Well my own Business Plan calls for :

Showroom: 1,000-1,500 sq ft, adequate lighting, floor staff 2-5 people depending on traffic, consulting area away from sales counter, product displays (no inventory on sales floor), restrooms, coffee/water area transitions to waiting area.

Waiting room: ample seating, glass viewing of entire shop, vending & complimentary fresh goods, enclosed/private consult room, current reading materials, TV

Services: full mechanical coverage (tune up to restoration), alignment, wheel/tire services, dyno, A/C services, emissions/safety certification. Scales/chassis set up. Sublet, but onsite additional services:, glass services, tint services, audio/video/security services.

I expect the shop to have enough insurance coverage to have my car there no matter what happens, on site, off site, or in the hands of a sublet or employee... this i a BIG one with me..

Its had to say really.. if you are going to build a brick-mortar store, your first decision is niche/specialie in 1-3 specific brands, or try & support anything that rolls up. Granted you won't turn away business you can provide, but what the perception on the street? If you are a Subbie only shop: then you can offer more specialized services, you can have pre-set tint patterns, alarm systems pre-wired ready to go, etc.

If you are trying to appeal to all markets/genre's of the car enthusiast market.. its a much bigger task.

in my opinion, any performance shop owner who opens without dyno, alignment, tire/wheel, & A/C services capability is shooting themselves in the foot, unless those services can be sublet within 5 city blocks of the proposed location & their insurance covers the movement of vehicles off property.

If you look @ the successful, multi-brand performance shops, they are truly high-end, they offer it all or can get it without question, & they have the resources to make customer expectations reality...

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Old 07-16-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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funk er chicks
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It not to be a hangout for every mad tyte teenager in town.
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #11
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2008 WRX 4D Stage 2


For my shop at home if I can get a press, gas welder setup, and a lift I am set. I am working on getting a press and gas setup this year. I have most of the hand tools I need and air tools.

I guess a tig welder would also be nice. I have a nice MIG welder right now.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:24 PM   #12
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'05 OBXT
Min bil är svart


Originally Posted by Greg B.(blue 06 WRX) View Post
When you go to an auto shop what do you expect?
That I will read a magazine from 2005 that I've already read there six times.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:39 PM   #13
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I will say that I do not expect TXwrxWagon's ideal shop. Otherwise, I'd expect $900 an hour rates. Shop and showroom space cost money.

An ideal shop for me (and being realistic) would have adequate shop space with appropriate lifts, and appropriate tools. If the shop is going to tune cars, then either they would need to have a dyno or subcon with someone closeby to do dyno runs. I personally know that owning and running a dyno is expensive. Joe Marko at HMS Motorsport had one for a while when he was in Marblehead still (2 locations ago) and sold it because it was unable to pay for itself. There are not a lot of places in New England that have a dyno. There may be 5 but I don't think there are more than 5.

I don't need a plush waiting room, but if the shop had a rat car to lend me to go do other things, that is a huge plus for me. Heck....a 78 VW Rabbit is fine. I don't have the time to hang around for the 4 hours it takes to get my car done.

If you happen to go into a shop and find Guitar Player magazines, I've been there. I always take my old issues and leave them anyplace I might have a wait.

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Old 07-16-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by nhmtns View Post
That I will read a magazine from 2005 that I've already read there six times.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:53 PM   #15
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'06 WRX


I would prefer to see at the minimum, mouting/balancing, alignment, lift, welding ability, car audio/electronics, and a decent body man. If at all possible a dyno would be great. I also agree that having a decent waiting area is nice, but I would much rather be able to go get stuff done or just do something. So locate yourself next to something worthwhile if you can.
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Old 07-16-2009, 01:54 PM   #16
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smurf blue


Originally Posted by Greg B.(blue 06 WRX) View Post
When you go to an auto shop what do you expect?
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:01 PM   #17
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2003 WRX
Sonic Yellow - Stage Taxi


to be greatly disappointed in the results.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:23 PM   #18
Uncle Scotty
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a dishwasher

a big...hd dishwasher...preferably one found out for pick up on the side of the road that just needed a bit of a whack to get working again

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Old 07-16-2009, 02:31 PM   #19
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2002 WRX


Originally Posted by bigpatskize View Post
If they had big brested women serving beer in the lobby I wouldn't mind that

I thought I was going to be so original till I read though and found your post
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:33 PM   #20
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Gray/Silver two tone


A free whore in the waiting room.

Um, really, an experienced tech who has the right tools for whatever job I need done on my car. Since I have access to my own shop, that means, pretty much, nothing except tranny work and some engine work will see my car in a shop again.
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Old 07-16-2009, 02:53 PM   #21
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1993 Impreza L 1.8T
Lotus Storm Titanium


-hot tank and machining services.
-weld aluminum.
-willing to give advise even if you arent making money off it.
-biggest thing though: friendly people. i hate walking into a place im about to spend money in on my car and having them being completely rude acting like they dont care.
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #22
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06 WRX


To know exactly how much the bill will be before the work is done. "Oh we had to do this and it was an extra 40 bucks" **** pisses me off, I mean I understand there are things that you cant always predict but dont surprise me with them...

ALSO if a shop is doing something I expect them to be able to do everything involved. Like mentioned if they can sell you 18x9.5 wheels with 245/35/18 tires and do a alignment they SHOULD be able to pull/roll the fenders...

Also like mentioned friendly mechanics. Not just the owner but a "Hey how you doing?" from the guys actually working on the car would be nice too.

And of course no rig jobs. "Good enough" is generally not actually good enough at least for me...
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:25 PM   #23
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For them to have all of their parts listed, instock and ready to ship. Nothing says "I'll come back and tell all my friends" like waiting 3 months for something.

Friendly, knowledgeable staff who help you out, rather then make a quick buck on their products.

"You wanna buy a VF34? Well how about our 35R kit, it's onsale!"

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Old 07-17-2009, 03:34 PM   #24
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2009 Slow WRX
Slower Prius


Ideally, I'd want the shop to have a dyno, alignment racks, more than 2-3 lifts, and staff who know what they're doing, but still friendly. I would like to be able to get all the routine stuff done here, and maybe if I have a problem with the a/c or something, they can fix that also. I like the tech to know what he's doing, but able to dumb it down a bit if it's something really complicated that I just can't understand.

It would be nice to have a display with the highest selling parts, and a good amount of stuff in stock there, so I can buy it and take it home that same day. Individual consultation rooms would be really nice, as not everyone wants to let all their business and expenses be known. I would prefer to be able to go there for anything and everything, so a halfway decent waiting room would be nice. Maybe a sofa or two, tv with something better than just news, vending machines, and while you're at it, get a stripper pole and some pretty ladies

Maybe a paint booth also. I realize this more than likely would never be seen at a shop, but it would be nice if some touchup work needed to be done.

Most importantly, be friendly to the customers, and remember their names.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:23 PM   #25
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I expect a shop to be able to do more than me.

But then again, I've got a lincoln 220v mig running 75/25 mix, and a miller synchrowave 200 which can easily do aluminum with a nice reserve 80lb argon tank.. Jackson Nexgen helmet (i love it!). Oh, and lastly Hypertherm Plasma Cutter.. (but this one is now giving me some false arc starts.. bleh)

I was thinking about getting a lift, as that is truly the only large equipment I think that I dont have.

Among the other great tools:
Stud gun (body work)
Supply of sheet metal for various projects

I can tell you what I like to see in a professional shop though.

1. Cleanliness. Starting with the restroom. If its outdated, if its dimly lit, the restroom does wonders, even if the waiting area is small.
2. Customer waiting area- One of the cheapest things you can do for your customers is to provide wifi, or even a computer that they can surf the net with.
3. Professional staff. Uniforms help.. a lot.
4. Treating the car like it is gold. That means floor mat covers, seat covers, steering wheel covers. No smoking in the cars, or around work areas. I had a bad experience years ago with a mechanic- he wore his dirty oil covered overalls and drove my car around smudging black grease all over my cream leather seats. It never came out. His greasy hands from working on stuff was his fingerprints all over my headliner and radio. Fender covers are a must.

5. Dont take on more work than you can finish. Be realistic with your timelines.

6. Safety is #1- if your workers or yourself is injured, all your projects come to a stop. This means a clean work environment. Noise control. Eye protection. Eye wash stations. Halon from the ceiling. fire equipment. In my home garage, I have 2 first aid kits, and 4 extinguishers within 15 feet. Cheap insurance.

7. Organization- Keep your workbench clean. Put tools back. Take a moment and organize the parts that have come off the car. Also make sure you are tracking your inventory.
8. Dyno machines are expensive!
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