Yates Automotive Svc.

  • 2.6 of 5 stars
2 reviews

317 E. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22301, us

(703) 683-5300


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Has ASE certified mechanics
Happily gives binding estimates
They are always honest
They are competent
Their repair price is reasonable
They complete the work in a timely manner
They respond well when they screw something up
They take the time to explain the problems and necessary repairs
They treat male and female customers in the same manner
They are always honest
I would use this mechanic again
I would recommend this mechanic to others
They fix the problem the first time
The shop is located in a safe neighborhood
The hours of operation are convenient for customers
They are near public transportation (or provide loaners, shuttle bus, rides as needed)
Nov 15, 2010
We have been using Yates for at least twenty years, and they have serviced all of our vehicles: Toyota Camry, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Accord, GMC Yukon. If they cannot repair something, they tell you so and do not charge you for something unnecessary. They are competent and do the job right. They are not the cheapest, I am sure, but they respond immediately when you need even a small thing done, like a headlight bulb replaced. They are convenient to the Braddock Road metro stop.
Sep 09, 2015
  • JM2
A recent failed car inspection led to a series of bad repairs at Yates Automotive at 317 East Braddock Road in Alexandria, VA that had Mr. Yates providing some pretty incredible explanations. At the end of August, I received a ticket from the city of Arlington that my car inspection had expired, and so a few days later I went to my closest repair shop for what I thought would be a quick, easy inspection. To my surprise, the car failed because it needed new brake pads and rotors. I took it down to Yates Automotive to have it fixed. I had been there once before: 2000 miles of driving prior, I had gone in for a 50,000 mile check-up for the car, and it received an overall clean bill of health for brakes and other major items. But now, the bill to fix the brakes so the car would pass inspection would be $597, and since I now had a failed inspection, a ticket for missing the inspection, and I was going on vacation in a few days, I reluctantly agreed to pay and left my car there on a Friday and picked it up the next day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until two days later that I remembered that very recent inspection. How could a car go from the brakes getting a clean bill of health all the way to needing new rotors and brake pads in a mere 2000 miles? Even if I somehow stood on the brakes for an entire 2000 miles, I’m not sure I could go from brake pads within tolerances to wearing everything down so that I needed new rotors that quickly. I drove the car on Sunday, and it soon became clear that something was quite wrong with the new brakes. They began going “thunk” like the sound a car makes when a tire is going flat, except that it only happened when I hit the brakes. As I was driving back to my house, the “thunk” became louder, until you could hear it outside the car. As Yates was already closed, I left them a phone message (they never returned the call), called them again on Monday morning, and went in first thing that day. The associate called me a few hours later to tell me that the rotors that they had put on that weekend were bad, and they had to switch them out. When I picked up the car later that day, I spoke with Mr. Yates. I asked how I could go from a clean bill of health for the brakes to needing new rotors in a mere 2000 miles—I could understand maybe 10,000 miles, but only 2000? Why wasn’t I told at that time that the brakes were getting worn back then, when I could have just had the brake pads replaced rather than the much more expensive need for rotors, too? What good was an inspection that couldn’t catch something that obvious? With the failed inspection, bad brakes, time off work to get all this taken care of, and now leaving late for vacation that day, I asked Mr. Yates how he was going to make things right, and this is where the conversation became quite strange. Mr. Yates asserted that the brake pads hadn’t actually been that low 2000 miles ago, and if I hadn’t gotten my car inspected, I would have been just fine. This made no sense to me. I was already a month past inspection and had received a $50 ticket, so I didn’t see how skipping a car inspection so that my brakes wouldn’t officially be declared failed made safety, ethical, legal, or financial sense. He tried to argue that the rotors placed on my car on Saturday weren’t really that bad; they just needed a little adjustment and he put new rotors on to be safe (the very loud “thunking” sound plus the statement that the rotors were bad by his associate on the phone that morning belied this point). Mr. Yates said that he had done right in fixing the problem because he replaced the bad rotors he had put on less than 48 hours ago with new ones, and saw no reason to discount the overall price or any other remedy. (As a final irony, even the loaner car they gave me had a “service engine” light on, which does not seem say much for how they maintain their own vehicles.) The Yates family is a pillar of Alexandria—they’ve done a lovely job of fixing up that corner of Braddock Road, own a bunch of other property in Alexandria, and even bought Gorgeous George pizza place recently. I therefore hope this crazy exchange was due to a heated discussion, and doesn’t reflect how the Yates family usually conducts business. Obviously, I won’t be going back and will certainly not recommend it to friends.

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