In praise of Harix/ A1 Automotive - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2012, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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In praise of Harix/ A1 Automotive

My Elise has 94k miles on it and for the past year the throwout bearing has been quietly complaining that it's getting old and just wants to die. I really didn't want to deal with it, since it's a big labor job and the clutch was still fine. But a couple of weeks ago, the throwout bearing started screaming every time I started the car and wouldn't shut up, so I started exploring my options.

Dealers and a few popular reputable shops here in So Cal all wanted a minimum of $1200 labor for a new clutch and I just couldn't swallow that on a job that I could suffer through and do myself. But then a Harix/A1 thread popped up here on Lotustalk and I couldn't find a sour note about him anywhere. Even the Yelp reviews were fantastic, so I went down and introduced myself, got a quote and made an appointment. He agreed to do the job for $600 labor! and was able to supply a stock clutch for $290. No way was I going to spill any of my own blood at that price!

I brought it in the next week and it was done in two days. The original clutch was in fine condition and the flywheel didn't even need to be machined, let alone replaced. Just a surface clean up in place. Harix sent me photos on my phone of the progress, including a rear engine mount that was completely shagged. He was able to source a used mount for me from another lotustalk member in my neighborhood and I purchased that and ran it down to his shop (the job would have actually been done the next day from drop off, had the engine mount issue not come up). He also installed my Manley inserts since he had them apart.

The car was returned, but the next morning my garage smelled of gear oil. Sure enough there was a substantial puddle under the car, and I suspected that one of the axle shaft seals had been galled in the disassemble/reassembly process. I called Harix, he sent a flatbed and confirmed that was indeed the case. No bitter feelings on my part since I knew the part had 94K miles on it, 8 years of heat cycling and saturation and contraction/expansion - it was probably ready to disintegrate. He installed a new seal at no charge, topped off the gearbox fluid and did a nice job detailing the engine pan and diffuser and even dropped the car off for me!

The professionalism/level of service/speed/quality of work/price was unmatched in my 29 years of car ownership.

Harix is on this forum, owns a Lotus and doesn't waste your money or his business with a gratuitous exotic upcharge.

I now have a place to take ALL of my out-of-warranty cars (and actually feel a lot better about keeping a car out of warranty, which I rarely do).

Eric the Bastard, Esq.
Sylmar, CA
2005 Chrome Orange Buzzbomb
Larini SE Exhaust LETSLA shift kit Exige Seats LSS Wheels
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 08:25 PM
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Thank you so much, Eric!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-09-2012, 10:28 PM
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Hi Eric,

Great review! I've been meaning to get this done as well, since my throwout bearing is also quite whiney. Question for you - what other preventative maintenance (or major maintenance) have you done thus far @ 90k miles? I

'm hitting the 60k mark and would love to know what to take care of now so that I can happily cruise into 90k+ miles like you!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 01:03 AM
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Wow. I need someone like him in my neck of the woods.

Do it once. Do it right.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 05:18 AM
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just to add to this-Hari is the absolute man. I've left a review for him on Yelp as well but everything Eric experienced typifies the treatment you receive at A1. He has a cult like following amongst SoCal Lotus owners and if you have any doubt, just go there. He knows the Elige platform like the back of his hand and only uses the best products.

I drove an hour out of my way just to take my wife's cobalt (that could've been serviced anywhere, really) to Hari because he does top notch work, is honest and standup, has great prices and frankly once you find a fabulous shop you better keep going there because they deserve it! It just sucks I'm no longer out there!

2016 AMG GT-S
2012 Caterham R400 (sold)
2010 Chrome Orange Evora (Sold )
2005 ST Elise (sold)
2002 MB G500 lifted etc.
2003 Cooper S (track)
we'll see what Lotus comes up with next...
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 08:30 PM
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Let me say this. I once had a flat tire and while I could have had it towed to the nearest shop, I had it towed 30 miles to Harry's shop lol. Harry is honest and hard working and deserves your business. You won't find a more standup guy to work on your Lotus. Being that he's a fellow Lotus enthusiast makes it all the more of a reason to have him work on your car.

Heck if I was in OC, I'd still drive it to Harry's shop for service.

Harry-- by the way, when you worked on my girlfriend's Jeep a few months back, you had warned us the battery was about to go, and believe or not the battery shorted out two weeks later! It even melted the plastic around the post! Fortunately nothing was damaged. Good call!

Dude, you are the Car Whisperer!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 09:31 PM
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Thank you Taylor and Scott! This made my night and I'll have the best sleep tonight.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 09:42 PM
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Guess what? I drive 389 miles down from NorCal to SoCal for all my maintenance work at A1! My car has been serviced there since day 1 and will always be back for minor or major work period
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-10-2012, 09:42 PM
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Harry installed my muffler and rear grills for me, as well as my pulley.

PHENOMENAL.

He spent close to an hour grinding my rear grills, making sure they lined up perfectly.

A+ for A1



Reduce Weight // Improve Reliability http://www.ChimeraBatteries.com

2007 Lotus Exige S // 2009 Ferrari 430 Scuderia 16M // 2012 Chrysler 300C
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 12:29 PM
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the scary part about Hari is he remembers EVERYONE's names....and screen names...and cars......


photographic memory. Seriously.

2016 AMG GT-S
2012 Caterham R400 (sold)
2010 Chrome Orange Evora (Sold )
2005 ST Elise (sold)
2002 MB G500 lifted etc.
2003 Cooper S (track)
we'll see what Lotus comes up with next...
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 12:41 PM
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Here's a random example of a guy who runs his business with the bigger picture in mind and not short-term profit. Harry has serviced my Evora and has always done a great job, but 1 time I went down there with what appeared to be a nail in my tire. When he started pulling it out, he realized it was just a nail head (no nail) that had lodge itself to appear like an inserted nail in my tire. I told him thanks for yanking it out and walked over to pay and he came by and insisted on not charging me. He said "I really didn't do anything, no charge". Business' like this are few and far between.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 12:45 PM
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+1 for Harry, I always leave happy.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 01:28 PM
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Another huge recommendation for Harry

I agree with what everyone else has said -- Harry's work, speed, pricing, and honesty is unparalleled. It's truly second to none. Not only is he and his family great company, but he's an all-around good guy. I have taken three of my cars to be worked on (a Lotus and two Prius) at his shop and I wouldn't hestitate to take the drive from West LA to know my car is in good hands. In one instance, my tail light was out and I needed it replaced - he replaced it free of charge and insisted I didn't pay for anything. He once even offered his own car for me to drive to grab food while I waited for my car to get done. It's these gestures that really sets him apart from everyone else.

I would highly recommend him to ANYONE. I'd never take my car to anyone else besides him.

Graham
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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My car has been virtually trouble free. Never wiped a cam, rear toe links still look good, synchros still strong, oil line crimps still secure, resistor pack still dry. The only thing that's gone out is my ABS and many consider me lucky (no more ice mode)! I've only done a half dozen track days, so the car has not led a hard life.

I'm on my second set of rotors (DBA 4000?), third set of pads, 10th set of rear tires, 4th set of fronts. Original shocks and control arm bushings. I change the oil roughly every 5-7K miles and I've only changed the gearbox oil once. I changed the spark plugs at 75K miles. The only code that has been thrown was something related to 'unexpectedly high idle'. That's happened twice, been cleared and never returned.

I have a K&N air filter which is a PITA and not worth the trouble. I'll get rid of it as soon as I exhaust the maintenance kit. I also replaced the alternator belt at 75K, and it definitely needed it. The only other failure I can think of has been an air conditioning hose, that I paid Galpin WAY TOO MUCH to replace. Oh yeah, the LED on the starter button went out awhile ago, I haven't gotten around to changing that yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaforjohn View Post
Hi Eric,

Great review! I've been meaning to get this done as well, since my throwout bearing is also quite whiney. Question for you - what other preventative maintenance (or major maintenance) have you done thus far @ 90k miles? I

'm hitting the 60k mark and would love to know what to take care of now so that I can happily cruise into 90k+ miles like you!

Eric the Bastard, Esq.
Sylmar, CA
2005 Chrome Orange Buzzbomb
Larini SE Exhaust LETSLA shift kit Exige Seats LSS Wheels
Lift Point Kit and Jack Helper
Difflow 5-Element Diffusor
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 01:36 PM
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Another quick shout out for the great service from Harix/A1 and company. Harix did my alignment today and the car handles perfectly now. I drive my car a lot (DD, 80 miles everyday), and apparently LA's jacked streets and FWY's had all but mangled my alignment to death per the pre-alignment specs.

Harix took his time and got them all back in line with the factory specs, but even made sure everything was equal on each side which is not always easy and can take more of his team's time. Thanks Harix!
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-13-2013, 09:35 PM
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Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead but Harry fcukin' rocks... Just got my oil changed there last weekend for the Lotus... Always top notch... Not to mention he helped me install Trevor Geiger's day-time running lights (seen below) https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f322...ml#post2068833 which look awesome imo.. He's services my dad's Ferrari and Lotus, my wife's Mercedes CLK500, and my Yukon... Possibly the best mechanic (most honest for sure) in SoCal.

Harry installing - Taken with my iPhone


Taken with a better camera

--
'05 Lotus Elise Chrome Orange, Touring, QuickSilver Exhaust, Dual Oil Coolers, Aluminium Triple Pass RACE Radiator, Exige ProBax Seats
'01 GMC Yukon SLE, Onyx Black, 4.8L V8
'00 C5 Corvette Convertible, Red, 5.7L V8
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-15-2014, 03:18 PM
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Harry at A-1

Just had my newly purchased 2011 Exige S260 F.E. serviced by Harry at A-1 and I couldn't be more pleased with the quality of service and his professionalism. He is an exotic car owner's dream. Very happy.
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