I do NOT recommend Auto Spec:
Let me say that Auto Spec told me that mid 80s
Toyota engine rebuids are one of their specialties.
I brought my 80s Toyota in to have the engine
rebuilt. I was told that it would cost $800 and
that it would take about 5 days to take the engine
out, rebuild it, and reinstall it. I told them
that I needed the Toyota back in about 5 days
because I needed it for work and they assured me
that it wouldn't be a problem.
I was told that if I paid the shop to take the
engine out and reinstall it, instead of doing it
myself, they would double the warranty from 12,000
miles to 24,000 miles. I agreed to this as it
seemed like a bargain at $100.
To be fair, they did charge the price that they
The first problem was that it took 8 WEEKS to get
my Toyota back the first time. The engine didn't
sound right when I picked it up. I discussed it
with them at length before I left and was told
that it was normal. I even brought it back a week
later and they told me again that everything was
Within a few weeks I had antifreeze in the oil.
The first thing the owner told me is that I didn't
put enough oil/antifreeze in it or that it was
somehow my fault. I'm not a mechanic but I know
to keep the fluids topped off and to otherwise not
abuse the vehicle.
I had another shop diagnose the problem and found
that it was either the head or head gasket. Auto
Spec finally ageed to look at. They took the head
off and found that the head was not flat and a
piece of the head had broken off, which allowed
the coolant to leak into the oil. When I asked
about it he said that they tried to weld it during
the rebuild and they thought it was marginal but
good enough (I give them credit for being honest
about this). I was not told of this problem
during the rebuild.
It turns out that a new head is only about $100
and if I had known this I would have paid extra to
have the head replaced during the first rebuild.
I'm reasonable, the engine had alot of miles on it
and I didn't mind putting money into a rebuild.
So again to be fair, they did work out a fair
price to install a rebuilt head. The problem is
that it took another EIGHT WEEKS to have the head
replaced. Every time I called it was a new
excuse; the wife's car broke, the owner's car
broke, etc. I even offered to pick up the part
myself so I could get my vehicle back but was told
I had Auto Spec replace the head and the head is
working, SO FAR.
About 2 months after the head was replaced I had a
major oil leak on the bottom of the engine. I
tried to get Auto Spec to look at it but now they
didn't know who I was. I had the receipt with me
for the head work but not the rebuild and they
used this as an excuse to not warranty their work.
At this point it was still less than 12,000 miles
since the rebuild so it was well within warranty.
I decided that since it took so long for them to
work on it anyway that it would be better to take
it to another shop. As I said I need it to get to
I had another shop look at it and it turned out to
be the oil pump on the front and bottom of the
engine was leaking. Instead of replacing the
gasket between the block and pump during the
rebuild someone had siliconed around the OUTSIDE
of the pump instead of doing it the right way by
taking the pump off and replacing the gasket.
This was obviously done at Auto Spec as no one
else had worked on the pump or anything close to
To summarize, I think that Auto Spec is more
incompetent than dishonest. They're not well
organized and they cut too many corners. The low
price compared to other shops is nice but this
doesn't really do you any good if you don't get
your car back for 2 months.