DC-area Audi Mechanics
April 12, 2010 10:56 AM   Subscribe

I need to find a good Audi mechanic in the DC area.

Any recommendations for honest mechanics in the DC area that specialize in VW/Audi repairs that won't charge me an arm and a leg for basic maintenance?

Searches on Yelp/Google have been less than fruitful -- the local dealers are apparently incompetent crooks, while the (precious few) positively-rated local garages seem to focus exclusively on domestic makes.

Right now, I just need an oil change and brake pads. However, it'd be nice to know if there's a local expert that could take care of something more complicated (which is becoming a depressingly common occurrence with this car).

FWIW, I drive a 1999.0 A4 2.8, and would prefer a mechanic that is reasonably Metro-accessible.

Side-question: How do I know when I need new brakes? I know I'm about due for them, and the pads are starting to look a bit thin. How thin is too thin? Of course, the mechanic will tell me I need new ones if I ask...
posted by schmod to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (9 answers total)
I can't offer a recommendation since I'm in SoCal, however I found my totally awesome Audi Mechanic throught he boards at audiworld.com. No need to even join or post, just searching the archives will probably bring up some local recommendations!
posted by Joh at 11:02 AM on April 12, 2010

vwvortex.com also has good audi boards.
posted by rhizome at 11:08 AM on April 12, 2010

try fairfax auto repair on mathy drive. I used to go to them when in the area and had generally no complaints.
posted by cusecase at 2:46 PM on April 12, 2010

The Mechanics Files on the CarTalk website. Link is here has user based reviews.

I have had pretty good luck using their searches. Found some places I never would have considered going until I read the reviews.;
posted by WickedPissah at 5:09 PM on April 12, 2010

Best answer: How thin is too thin? Well, new brake pads on an A4, not counting the backing plate, are about 8mm thick when they're brand new. When they're 3mm or less, it's getting to be about time to replace them. I know, 3mm seems like just barely less than half, but the less material, the worse the pads are a dissipating heat. So those last two or three millimeters will go faster than the previous three millimeters.

Good luck with your search. Check out iATN.net. iATN is a global network of automotive technicians and the site is set up mainly as an AskMeFi just for techs. They have a shop finder feature on their website. I'm a member, and I'd have to say that the site is populated mainly by very bright and dedicated people, myself excluded.
posted by Jon-o at 5:18 PM on April 12, 2010

Mefite Jon-O was (is?) an Audi mechanic in Philadelphia - if he doesn't see this thread perhaps you could memail him to see if he has a suggestion for you.
posted by davey_darling at 5:21 PM on April 12, 2010

Should have previewed.
posted by davey_darling at 5:23 PM on April 12, 2010

I had a 2001 A4 that came down with a bad case of being an Audi, so it needed several post warranty repairs. I just took it to the shop my family has always taken their Fords to. It's just a gas station service center, but they do most everything. But like you said, it seemed to focus on domestics. They were great.

A good shop is a good shop. That's it. On the off chance they encounter something too complicated they'll tell you. Most of my repairs were half the cost of the dealer, and they used OEM parts. My wheel bearing went (something you should be concerned about if you're brakes are going) and dealer quoted me $600. Kevin at my shop quoted a little over $200. He then called the dealer, ordered the part from them, and drove down the road to pick it up. 2 hours later I'm back on the road.

It's a car, not a spaceship. The domestic shops will probably be fine.
posted by robotnixon at 7:08 PM on April 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks Jon-O. Looks like I'll be heading to Capitol Hill Auto Service, who are decently well-regarded on Yelp, and sponsors on iATN.

CarTalk wasn't much help. The Audi specialists listed there are far away, still apparently awful, and had outdated reviews.

I totally get the "it's not a spaceship" comment, although my old mechanic had a knack for "having seen the same problem before," and generally getting me back on the road faster than the other garages in town. I was hoping to find a similar guy in DC, and suppose I'll have to settle for a good "all-round" mechanic.
posted by schmod at 8:29 PM on April 12, 2010

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