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Awesome Experience @ Speed Element

Old 08-12-2008, 12:11 PM
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Awesome Experience @ Speed Element

I just wanted to start this thread to talk about the great experience I've had with Speed Element in the past several weeks.

About a month ago, my car needed new pads. I called them up and asked if they had a set of Axxis Ultimates in stock. The person I spoke to said they did, and that he would hold them for me. Well, when I went in, Rob couldn't find them. However, as I was driving down to Orange County the next day and my pads were basically gone, I needed some kind of pads. Rob was able to scare up some Hawk rears and Axxis fronts for me, and discounted the price to close to what it would have been for all Axxis pads. (FYI, Hawk HPS pads are about $25 more than Axxis).

Then, I went to Speed Element to have an uppipe gasket installed.

[*** RANT ON ***] I'm going to rant a bit here, so feel free to skip down if you don't care to read it. I had gone to another Bay Area shop (who shall remain nameless) about a year and half ago and they completely botched the installation of a PnP manifold. I didn't realize it at the time, but my manifolds were leaking on both sides, and the manifold-to-uppipe connection was so loose that my uppipe came completely undone eventually (on the freeway no less) and was just hanging there by the turbo. To make matters worse, I had those parts installed before I got tuned, only to have the tuner tell me that he thought there was a leak somewhere and therefore had trouble getting my car to spool as quickly as it should have. I went back to that shop, had them check for uppipe leaks, only for the guy there to tell me there was no leak, except for the downpipe-to-catback connection, which he charged me ~$50 to fix. I thought this would fix the problem, and I paid the tuner an additional hours worth of time to re-tune my car. Big surprise, same result. It wasn't until much later (when my uppipe damn near fell off) that I realized my car had been leaking the entire time and that I basically paid for a tune twice for no reason. [*** RANT OFF ***]

So anyways, back to the point. I called another Bay Area shop to ask how much it would be to install a manifold-to-uppipe gasket. They quoted me somewhere between 2 and 3 hours. WTF. I could do this myself in less than an hour, so this seemed outrageous. I called Speed Element - they quoted me 30min. I made an appointment, and they were able to install the gasket for ~$50 OTD (including the gasket). Rob said everything should be fine, but that if I realized anything was wrong later on, to let him know.

A few weeks later, I still felt like something was leaking. I spoke to Rob about bringing my car in to have the uppipe checked out. The mechanic looked at the uppipe and said he didn't think anything was leaking, but swapped out the gasket just in case, and sealed the whole thing with hi-temp silicone. He then noticed some carbon build-up around the passenger-side manifold and said it was probably leaking where the manifold connects to the motor. Rob quoted me 30min of labor + price of the gaskets ($20 - $10 for uppipe, $10 for manifold). Well, the mechanic replaced the passenger-side gasket and realized what the problem was - the previous shop had used a single-layer copper gasket and had not even tightened it down all the way. The mechanic knew the other side would be the same, so he replaced that one as well and sealed both sides with hi-temp silicone. They still charged me only 30min of labor plus the price of the 2 gaskets (uppipe + 1 manifold) even though they replaced 3 gaskets and spent more time doing both sides.

At the end of the day, I felt they had gone above and beyond the level of service I've become accustomed to lately. Nowadays when people care more about low prices than quality of service/knowledge, a lot of us have come to accept the bare minimum in service. Well, it's good to know that at least one shop in the area has found a way to keep the best of both worlds.
________
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:22 PM
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that's awesome! we got some good shops around here.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:23 PM
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rob is the man

and single, only on the weekends though.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mot View Post
rob is the man

and single, only on the weekends though.
LOL thanks Tom.

Glad we could help you out too Kyoung.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:01 PM
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what is this speed element you speak of?
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:06 PM
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what shop did the first install, let us know so we can stay away.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:17 PM
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+1 i just took my car there and they work quick and efficiently and are awesome on pricing...
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by kspek View Post
what shop did the first install, let us know so we can stay away.
I don't want to flame the shop on a public forum. Aside from the time I went back and asked that they check for leaks, I didn't give them an opportunity to fix all of their work. It'd be one thing if I had diagnosed leaks from the various places, pointed them out to them, and then they still refused to fix it, but that's not what happened. Sure, they thought nothing was wrong the first time, but it's not like I asserted that something was in fact wrong and gave them the opportunity to make it right.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:10 PM
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well from what you said the install was half ***'ed cheap single copper gasket multiple loose bolts.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:17 PM
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good job Rob
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kspek View Post
well from what you said the install was half ***'ed cheap single copper gasket multiple loose bolts.
I did. But, since I did not return to said shop, letting them know of the multiple problems, they did not have an opportunity to make it right. The shop was relatively new at the time, and maybe they needed to work out some kinks. For all I know, it could've been the mechanic's incompetence and not necessarily the shop. Who knows, the mechanic may have since been fired. While there may be some respondeat superior issue involved here, I don't want to dwell on it. Lesson learned. In any case, I think that in a relatively close-knit community like the one we've got (the Subaru community, that is) it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense to go flaming a shop/tuner/etc. on a public forum, especially when they haven't had the opportunity to fix the wrong.

Let's not turn this "Speed Element is awesome" thread into a "XXX shop is crappy" one.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:36 PM
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+1 for Speed Element

great group of guys

keep it up
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:31 PM
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+1 for speed element, they are always able to help me out
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:43 PM
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+1 for Speedelement...down to earth fellas and very professional.
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:17 PM
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Thanks for the thread, its good to know there is one decent shop in the eastbay. I have never taken bussiness to speed element ,rather I have spent atleaste 30k at the other major shop in the east bay (You guess which one). And have never got any breaks (i don't expect free hand outs..) but, what really pissed me off was when i got low balled by the shop who knowingly knew what price would be a fair offer for my part that they wanted. I just thought it was not cool of them (or a certain main person) to give such an unfair offer considering i've taken bussiness to him when he first started and subies first were imported in 2002.
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