Auto Shop Horror Story at M-Star Automotive in La Puente, CA

This post is long overdue. I needed to get my Mazdaspeed3 corner-balanced and aligned last month after I installed the coilovers so I asked around if anyone knew a local place that I could trust. A friend of mine referred me to a place called M-Star Automotive in La Puente, which is only about 5 minutes from my house. My experience with M-Star ended up being awful. Disastrous. Utterly Miserable.

I didn’t write this post for so long because I was just too pissed to think about it. Having gone to another shop yesterday and getting my corner balancing done and alignment fixed I’m finally over it. Kinda.

To get some justice for the terrible way I was treated I wrote them a nice review on Yelp! I’ve included it here for you all to read (And because I’m too lazy to rewrite the whole experience!). WARNING! INCOMING WALL OF TEXT! Enjoy!

I brought my car here last week after installing some aftermarket suspension parts and new wheels. I needed a performance alignment (you give them specific alignment numbers instead of them just getting your alignment within a range provided by your car’s manufacturer), corner balancing, and ride height adjustment.

I called around to some friends to see who locally could do this work and I was referred to Mac at Mstar. I called Mstar and told them what I needed done and they told me they could do everything I asked. I brought my car down there and the guys at the front reassured me that they had the knowledge, equipment, and experience to complete the work. We agreed to an estimate and they took the car around back. This is when things started to go downhill.

Once they had my car in back a tech came up front to tell me that they actually don’t do corner balancing. I told him the guys up front said that they did and he replied (their own lead tech) that the guys at the front desk are all yes-men and don’t know anything about cars. I said skip the corner balancing and continue the work. After waiting in the waiting room for 3 hours somebody finally came out to tell me that my car wouldn’t be ready until the next day.

I wait until late afternoon the next day and when I don’t hear from them I give them a call. The guy who answers tells me that my car has been ready for a while, just no one bothered to call me. When I get there we go over the alignment numbers and they are WAY off the numbers they told me they could achieve, and the numbers weren’t even equal left to right.

Now this is understandable for a standard alignment, but this isn’t what they told me they could deliver. They promised a precise alignment. Turns out they don’t have the equipment or personnel for such a job. Then I measure my ride height and it is off by over 1/4″ left to right. Instead of getting into what I know was a losing argument with these guys I decided to pay my bill and leave ready to give them a 3 star review.

OZ Superturismo LM ScratchedToo bad for me, things got worse. Five days later (today) I was installing wheel locks and noticed that every single lug hole on every single wheel had paint stripped out of it, and two bolts in my suspension were completely loose. When I took my car to Mstar these wheels were brand new with less than 5 miles on them. Turns out their tech has used the wrong socket to remove the lug nuts.

I went in to complain and spoke with Mac. He told me flat out that because it had been five days I couldn’t prove that his employees had caused the damage. He knew damn well that they had (his tech admitted as much to my face), but all he cared about was whether or not I could prove it. No integrity at this shop.

tl;dr If you know nothing about cars, and are happy as long as your car isn’t falling apart or making obnoxious noises you’ll probably be happy here. The seats in the waiting room are soft. But if you love your car and everything about it, and you expect to the person working on your car to be honest and to treat your car with the same respect they would give their own car, don’t come here.


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