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SEATTLE'S GERMAN AND JAPANESE AUTO SPECIALISTS

Specializing in VOLKSWAGEN, AUDI, BMW, MINI, LAND ROVER, PORSCHE, TOYOTA, LEXUS, NISSAN, INFINITY, HONDA, ACURA, SUBARU for over 35 years. We keep Seattle on the road.

Thank you for your visit. We are proud to continue a long tradition of quality service, dedicated customer care, and a deep knowledge and love of cars.

No one in Seattle has our dedication to quality repairs and customer service, and our unbeatable reputation with our customers proves that. But don't take our word for it, ask them. Check out our reviews and testimonials.



Whether you need to bring your car in or just need some simple advice on how serious a problem is, give us a call. We are happy to help you to the best of our ability over the phone.

1024 6th Ave South
Seattle, WA 98134
GET DIRECTIONS

Phone: (206)728-2212
Fax: (206)682-1287

service@theimportdocs.com


Monday - Friday: 7:30AM - 6:30PM
Saturday: 1st & 3rd Saturday of Month
October 1st thru May 1st
Sunday: Closed

Get Directions Now



5 Stars Support the Import Doctors
by porodriguez
December 10, 2008
I have been taking my cars to the Import Doctors for 10+ years. The original owner, Mike, was a wonderful, honest and knowledgable fellow. ... read full review He once saved my friend $8000 on her new Camry - the engine on the 1-year old car was blown - Mike found out that there was a recall on the car that Toyota wasn't advertising. The new owner, Jim [Marco - Ed], is just as wonderful and a great mechanic - Please support the Import Doctors - we need more honest and professional mechanics.
5 Stars An Honest Mechanic! Really!
by ingo20
January 03, 2008
My Dad recommended this mechanic to me when I was in college. One of the best gifts a father can give a daughter is a referral to an honest ... read full review mechanic. I have taken my cars in since (going on 20 years now). Just as the other reviewer said, they only recommend repairs that really need to be done and always charge a fair price. I live in Everett now and still bring my cars in when needed, it is worth it for quick, reasonably priced and honest service. I have tried two other mechanics up North to avoid the trip. With those mechanics my husband looked at my bill and told me I was being taken advantage of. With the Import Doctor, he always says I'm getting a square deal and am right on target with repairs.
5 Stars Great Auto Shop - Honest and helpful
by Kenny11
November 28, 2008
Marco at Import Doctors was a huge help for me when I was having problems with my Audi. I felt like I had been burned by another local shop ... read full review and I went to Import Doctors after reading reviews on City Search. I could not have been more pleased. He was very knowledgeable and identified and fixed the problem the same day. I also did not feel like he was trying to up-sell me, which is what my old shop always did. The prices were also very reasonable considering Audi work can be expensive. I would recommend this shop to anyone who has an Audi (or other import) and wants quality work without having to pay dealer prices.
5 Stars Excellent, Honest Mechanics
by AuggieDoggie2
July 02, 2008
We lived in Belltown for 4 years and the guys at Import Doctors cared for our 2000 Lexus GS300 the entire time. These are honest, competent, ... read full review professionals who will take care of your car extremely well. Every time there was an issue that needed discussion before they proceeded, I got a call. When the work was done, it was done right and for good.
I am here in the NW on vacation and have called them to set up an appointment to work on our newer car. I could do it in California, but I KNOW what I have there. I trust these guys.
PS: I worked in operations and maintenance section of public transit agencies for 34 years. I know something about rolling stock and it's maintenance.

5 Stars by Jason R.
May 2nd, 2008
Been here twice, and I know someone who frequents The Import Doctors. We are both satisfied customers. They are very capable, 
 ... read full review
 
 reasonably priced, friendly and personable, talented and can be trusted 
 -- something rare in the world of mechanics. They not only SEEM honest but by all indications, they ARE honest. What I like, as well, is the quickness of quality service they offer. They put in a new starter in like 2 hours.



 Something rare: they will tell you when they can't do a fix as well as a competitor! If they can't fix it, they won't B.S. you. They will say go elsewhere, and they will give you recommendations. I appreciate that.

 They are in a good location.
I highly recommend.


5 Stars by Russ B.
March 16th, 2009
I haven't had a repair there yet, but I called to get some info re:why my Jetta's cruise control isn't working, and Marco spent
 ... read full review
 
 a decent amount of time with me on the phone, at the end of the day no less, helping me to figure out what it could be -- and how much it might cost (for the info he did have) -- it did not appear to be any big deal to look stuff up and help out an unknown person over the phone -- if they are that friendly and helpful over the phone, they usually are pretty honest and straightforward in person -- Thanks Marco! 

5 Stars by Sara A.
December 15th, 2008
I can say it: I love my mechanics! I've been to them twice with my Golf and they've done a great job both times, quickly, and for a fraction ... read full review
 of what the dealer would have charged. My car runs like a dream thanks to them. They're everything you want in a mechanic: talented, honest, fair and friendly.

SEE WHAT CUSTOMERS
ARE SAYING:




Tip #1 - VW/Audi

SHOULD I WASH THE ENGINE BAY BEFORE I DROP OFF MY CAR?

No, its not necessary, but you should try to keep your engine and engine compartment, as well as your radiator fins and grill, as clean as possible. A pressure-washer, on a low setting so as not to blow off hose connections, or a simple garden hose, can do the trick. A clean engine runs cooler, and is much easier to work on.

Tip #2 - VW/Audi

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPLACE THE COOLANT?

Replace coolant at or before factory recommended intervals with the proper type (G12), mixture, and volume of coolant. Always allow the coolant system to rid itself of air before installing the radiator cap. Excess air in the system can cause internal pressure to rise and damage the system.

Tip #3 - VW/Audi

HOW LONG WILL THE HOSES LAST?

Replace all cooling system hoses - upper and lower radiator hoses, bypass hoses, heater hoses, manifold coolant hoses and any other hoses on your Volkswagen or Audi - whenever you even suspect there may be a problem. All hoses should be replaced at least every four years.

Tip #4 - VW/Audi

CAN I USE AFTERMARKET THERMOSTATS?

Replace the thermostat with the original temperature setting equivalent. The electronics in your vehicle may use that setting for other controls. Do not substitute under any circumstances.

Tip #5 - VW/Audi

CAN I USE AFTERMARKET RADIATOR CAPS?

Replace the radiator/expansion tank cap with the original pressure setting and OE-type equivalent. Some aftermarket substitutions do not seal and hold pressure properly on foreign-manufactured cars. Again, do not substitute under any circumstances.

Tip #6 - VW/Audi

WHAT KIND OF MAINTENANCE DOES MY COOLANT SYSTEM NEED?

Adjust or replace the water pump drive belt (external) at factory recommended intervals or more frequently, if required. It's always a good idea to check the belts when you're working on any coolant system components.

Tip #7 - VW/Audi

HOW LONG WILL MY WATER PUMP LAST?

Replace your water pump with an OEM/OES pump at the first signs of trouble or when your timing belt and tensioner are replaced. Watch for signs of overheating - you don't want to break down in the hot sun when your water pump fails.

Some Audi's and VW's come from the factory with a plastic impeller water pump, be sure when this is replaced to use a metal impeller replacement, as this will ensure extended use.

Tip #8 - VW/Audi

WHAT MAINTENANCE ITEMS SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?

Replace the fan clutch and/or fan blade as needed (if applicable). Your Volkswagen's temperature gauge is often your best guide as to when your fan clutch needs attention. Watch out for unexplained high temperatures.

Tip #9 - VW/Audi

HOW DO I CHECK THE TEMPERATURE SENSORS?

Replace temperature sensors as required by diagnosis. Leave troubleshooting of your sensors to Volkswagen experts who have the proper equipment and diagrams.

Tip #10 - VW/Audi

MY VW/AUDI IS RUNNING A LITTLE HOT, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Keep your entire vehicle properly maintained because of the effect timing, idle speed, exhaust and other systems have on your engine's temperature. Your Volkswagen's cooling system is designed to function with all other systems operating properly. It cannot make up for a poorly operating or overheating engine condition.

Tip #1 - Subaru

WHAT GRADE OF GASOLINE SHOULD I USE IN MY SUBARU?

Due to a common problem with the Check Engine light illuminating for the knock sensor because of poor fuel or too low of an octane, we recommend at least a mid-grade gasoline for non-turbo, and premium-grade fuel for turbo applications.

Tip #2 - Subaru

MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON ONE DAY AND TURNS OF THE NEXT, WHY?

Many of the times our customers bring in their Subarus, it's due the check engine light.

The most common reason for it to illuminate and then not the following day is due to the knock sensor. The knock sensor can be overly sensitive and detect knock even when there is none. If knock is detected the ECU will increase fuel injector pulses (to get a richer fuel/air mixture) and retard ignition timing to reduce knock, this is referred to as "anti-knock" mode. Lean mixtures and overly advanced ignition timing are the main causes of knock along with fuel that has too low of an octane rating.

Tip #3 - Subaru

I HEAR A CLICKING SOUND WHEN I TURN TO THE RIGHT OR LEFT, WHAT'S WRONG?

Subarus, like most cars, have CV Axles (Constant Velocity Axles) which have rubber boots that keep the CV joints lubricated with grease. The unfortunate thing about Subarus is that while most cars only have two CV joints, Subarus mostly have four.

With CV joints rotating at the speed of your wheel and moving up, down, and every direction you turn, the joint needs to have constant lubrication or friction will take over. If your CV boot tears, the grease is expelled and then friction from use and dirt will cause the joint to wear down and make popping, clicking noises, and break over time.

Tip #4 - Subaru

MY SUBARU OVERHEATS SOMETIMES WHEN I DRIVE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME.

In 1996, on the 2.5l engine, Subaru used a composite type head gasket similar in construction to the head gaskets found in the Subaru Legacy & Impreza 2.2l engine. Starting in 1997 and used through 2002, Subaru began to use a multi layer steel shim head gasket with a graphite type outer film. This is where the problem began. You may see oil or coolant leaking from the head gasket. Or you may smell exhaust fumes from the coolant reservoir.

This is a very common Subaru problem. Do not let you vehicle overheat as this may cause further issues.

Tip #5 - Subaru

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I ROTATE MY SUBARU'S TIRES?

In an effort to further reduce uneven tire wear and prolong tire life, the tire rotation pattern has recently been changed for non-directional tires. To maximize the life of each tire and ensure that the tires wear uniformly, it is best to rotate the tires every 7,500 miles (12,000 km).

Tip #6 - Subaru

SUBARUS HAVE A TENDENCY TO LEAK OIL.

Subaru's engines, due to their unique design, commonly have oil leaks from the front Camshaft and Crankshaft Seals. These seals, which are situated behind a plastic timing belt cover, begin to leak oil which then tends to leak onto the timing belt itself. Oil begins to deteriorate rubber components, such as the timing belt, over time. This can lead to the timing belt breaking.

Tip #7 - Subaru

MY SUBARU IDLES ERRATICALLY (RPM'S UP AND DOWN) AND SOMETIMES STALLS.

Many times we have run into this problem and while at first glance it would seem to be the Idle Air Control Valve, in some cases it's not. If the engine idles up and then down to below 500 rpm after the car has warmed up to operating temperature, it could be your oxygen sensor not functioning properly.

Although in most cases the check engine light will illuminate when the oxygen sensor is not functioning properly, there are these occurrences without the check engine light being on.

Tip #8 - Subaru

MY SUBARU RUNS ROUGH AND THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON.

With misfire code(s) P0301, P0302, P0303, and/or P0304 there is the possibility that the ignition coil and/or high-tension cables could be the cause. Inspect the cables for cracks in the boot of the end of the cable.

A new, revised cable design is available.

Tip #9 - Subaru

I FEEL A JERKING OR A BINDING WHEN I TURN AT LOW SPEEDS.

If the car feels like it doesn't want to turn and you feel a binding or a shudder, then it's likely the MPT clutches (Multi Plate Transfer) located in the extension case together with the bearing and rear drive shaft of the transmission. If you have a manual transmission, a viscous coupler located in the same area does the same thing as the MPT clutches, which is that it transfers the power to the rear wheels. If a diagnosis finds that the viscous coupler has failed, a replacement will be needed to allow your vehicle to turn smoothly.

Many times it is an outside influence that is the cause, i.e. Tires! Be sure to check that all of the tires have the same wear and are the same size and make.

Tip #10 - Subaru

SUBARU OF AMERICA'S POLICY REGARDING THE USE OF COOLANT FLUSHING MACHINES AND/OR COOLANT-SYSTEM FLUSHING AGENTS.

Subaru does not recommend the use of any flushing machine or flushing agent under any circumstances.

If a flushing machine has been used to service other brand vehicles with copper radiators, a chemical reaction can occur between the copper ions and the Subaru Genuine Coolant. This could also cause future clogging of the radiator. If a flushing machine is dedicated to only Subaru vehicles, it is still not recommended as there is no way to know that the coolants being removed and processed through the machine during servicing are/were exclusively Subaru Genuine Coolant.

Tip #1 - Honda

HELP! MY TRANSMISSION SHIFTS IRREGULARLY!

1990-1993 Accord

If your transmission is shifting irregulary and the D (Drive light) or S (Sport light) on the dash is flashing, your transmission control computer is malfunctioning. In some cases the computer will lock the shift lever into park and you will not be able to release it and put the car into drive.

This is an easy unit to replace and we have them in stock and readily available.

Tip #2 - Honda

HELP! MY ACCORD ODOMETER STOPPED WORKING!

1994-1997 Accord

If the odometer in your Honda Accord has stopped turning and has a lot of 9's at the end, your odometer gear is hung up on the maintenance reminder switch.

Here's an easy fix: simply push the maintenance reminder reset button and hold it down while you drive a couple of miles. This will allow the odometer to proceed past the point where it likes to hang.

Tip #3 - Honda

MY HONDA RADIO IS SAYING "CODE." WHY?

If your car loses power and you have an anti-theft radio, it will show "CODE" after the power is restored. The code is a sequence of numbers you punch in using the preset buttons.

To get this code, you will need the serial number off the top of your radio (you have to pull the radio out to see the numbers). Then, call your local Honda dealer and they can get you the code in about 30 seconds. You may have to bring your title to them to prove you are the owner of the vehicle.

Tip #4 - Honda

SOMETIMES MY CAR STARTS, SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T

1986-1997 Accord, 1988 - 2000 Civic

Tuck this one in the back of your memory. Someday you will help someone out and look like a genius.

If your Honda likes to start sometimes but not others (especially if the interior of the car is really warm) it is always the main relay. The main relay is really easy to replace and we have them in stock.

Tip #5 - Honda

MY HONDA DOESN'T START OR SOMETIMES QUITS ON ME AND THEN RESTARTS A FEW MINUTES LATER!

If you are having problems with your Honda automobile quitting and then starting again . . . a few minutes later or maybe even the next day . . . you have a bad igniter.

On most Hondas, igniters are an internal part in thedistributor. Because the igniter is very expensive, it is usually cheaper to get another distributor.

Tip #6 - Honda

MY FUEL ECONOMY IS REALLY BAD & THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT COMES ON RANDOMLY. WHAT CAN I DO?

The most common problem with low gas mileage is a defective O2 (Oxygen) Sensor. The Oxygen sensor reads the air content in the exhaust after combustion and will adjust the amount of fuel used.

A bad O2 sensor will allow the engine to use the maximum amount of fuel. This will cause terrible gas mileage as well as negatively impact performance.

Tip #7 - Honda

MY HONDA'S IDLE GOES UP & DOWN: WHAT CAN I DO?

Hondas are notorious for having problems with the idle air control valve. When your engine is cold or when an accessory like the air conditioning is running, your Honda's idle air control valve should open & kick up the rpm's. But when the control valve malfunctions, it opens & closes. This causes the idle to go up & down.

The only way to fix the problem is to replace the unit.

Tip #8 - Honda

MY HONDA'S WINDOW GOES UP & DOWN REALLY SLOW: IT'S STUCK!

Part of the problem with windows going up & down slowly is the run channel (what the window slides in) needs to be lubricated. This is a rubber part, so don't use a petroleum-based product -- this causes the rubber to swell and will make the problem even worse.

What you need is silicone paste -- put it in the channel where the window slides and it should help you considerably.

Tip #9 - Honda

MY HONDA HAS A HUMMING NOISE IN THE REAR AND SOMETIMES SHUTS OFF WHILE DRIVING.

Honda's are known to have an issue as they get older with a humming fuel pump. When you hear the humming coming from the rear of the car, you most likely have a fuel pump that is going to fail on you.

Additionally, you should always replace the fuel filter along with the pump.

Tip #10 - Honda

MY TAIL-LIGHTS DON'T WORK AND THE INSTRUMENT LIGHTS ARE OUT, BUT ALL THE FUSES ARE GOOD. WHAT'S WRONG?

Hondas have integrated the taillights and the instrument lights with the dimmer switch on the dash. We have run into several instances where the switch has failed and the tail-lights have gone out. This can drive people to buying new bulbs and fuses, without solving the main issue.

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