Ithaca >Varna Auto Service
933 Dryden Rd, Ithaca, NY | Directions 1485042.45419 -76.44081
M-F 8am-5pm, Sa 9am-5pm, Su Closed
Great Prices, Great Service, Very Convenient! – I have had nothing but great experiences at Varna Auto Service and keep going back. I take my car there for all the basics: oil change, inspections, etc. I love it because William always takes the time to explain to me what he found, whether or not it needs to be fixed quickly, and what options exist for fixing it. He is very transparent and always willing to pop the hood and show you what's wrong.
He believed me when I said that my car had developed a new rattle and figured out that my power-steering pump had some broken teeth on the gear that allows it to be run by the serpentine belt. When he fixed it I realized just how bad the power steering had gotten because now turning the wheel is as smooth as running a hot knife through butter!
This past summer my car's coolant system sprung a leak inside the heater core and the whole unit needed to be replaced. Since this would be such a big job I decided to call around and get estimates from all the repair shops in the area. William gave me the best price out of any of the shops I called and I know I can trust him so of course I got it done there! My 12-year-old car is running beautifully and I will always get my repairs done at Varna Auto Service!
terrible – i paid more than hundred for nothing, can't fixed my problem and charge me for labor fee, plus wasted almost two hours, won't be there any more
Disappointed..... – Been there several times.
The first went ok, but it cost more than it probably should have.
The second time, I had all new front brakes (both sides) put on my car because of a sticky caliper that was causing my wheel to heat up. Picked it up after it was "fixed" and the wheel was hot again before I got it home. They claimed the part they put on it was worse than the one they replaced and would have to put on another. Seemed very coincidental that the "new, but defective" part just happened to end up on the wheel that had the exact same problem. But they fixed it the next day when a replacement part became available. Still not sure if a new caliper was put on there the first time, or whether they tried to "free up" the old one and charged me for new.
Now I go in for an inspection and they fail it for a parking brake not engaging. I ask them if they can't just adjust it, because I just had them worked on not too long ago, and it was engaging, just not strongly. Nope, I get told the wheels have to come off and it would take some time to deal with it, but they'd be happy to "schedule it in". So I get perturbed with my failed inspection, and take the vehicle home to see if I could fix it myself. It took 5 minutes to do it after learning what had to be done and jacking it up. No wheels needed to be pulled. For someone with a lift and the expertise that one is supposedly paying for, it should have been a 5-minute fix and a passed inspection. Instead, it would have cost me god knows how much for them to root around because they didn't know how to adjust a parking brake on this very common American-made vehicle. And to add insult to injury, I had to pay another $10 for a re-inspection fee, that should never have been failed in the first place.
So, I'm disappointed because I would like to give them another chance, but 2 lousy experiences out of three is a pattern I can't ignore.
Highly Reccomend – I was reffered to Varna AUto Service by a co-worker and have been happy with all of visits there over the past few years (I dont take my car anywhere else now)William keeps a very clean and tidy shop and has always been honest and speedy with the repairs.
I wish I new about this place sooner!
Been going here 10 years – Been taking my cars to WIlliam for over 10 years and have always gotten a fair deal from him and good work. They have always been able to get me in on the same day as I call, and I often just bring the car in the morning without calling.. never a problem. They will use used and rebuilt parts whenever possible and have always worked with me to save money where possible. William and his wife run an awesome business. I highly recommend Varna auto!
Friendly and honest – Had this place recommended to me by a trusted colleague.
I took my car in for an inspection before work. I turned up at 8am, having previously booked, and they took my car straight in and it was all done by 8.30am. They passed my car, but told me that the rear tyres were quite worn and would need replacing soon. I had checked the tyres before the inspection and agreed with their assessment. No other work was "found" for them to do. The guy gave me quotes for three different types of tyres he could fit and then left it up to me to decide when and where I got them done. No hard sell or anything.
Also while I was waiting numerous other customers, who sounded like regulars, came in, so clearly other people are satisfied with the service they receive at Varna Auto Service.
I definitely did not find the place 'sleazy' in anyway and will be going back there in the future. Very satisfied.
our beloved, honest mechanic – The "sleazy" review of this mechanic feels like a fabrication. I was recommended this mechanic by a friend who had used Varna Auto for several years. I, now have also taken my car to Varna auto for several years.
Here's my average experience:
Something breaks on my car, midweek. I limp my car into Varna Auto at 8:30 AM. The owner's wife gives me a ride to campus, she's friendly and chatty. Around noon the owner calls me, with a prioritized list of repairs my car will need. He tells me whether a repair is needed for safety, needs done soon, or is something not entirely necessary. His crew performs only the repairs that I O.K. over the phone, and my car is returned to me by 5 PM the same day.
I'm happy with the service my car has been receiving at Varna Auto.
avoid like the plague: shady as hell – This is the worst experience with a mechanic I ever had. I just bought my first car in NY, and the state mandates an inspection. I took it to Varna Auto Service for the inspection, and the owner, his wife, and their mechanics fabricated $1200 in needed repairs before they could pass me for the safety requirements. The funny thing is the estimate was originally around $800... until the owner's wife gave me a ride home while they looked into the car. She asked me what I was studying. I told her I was a law student. A couple hours later, the estimate had jumped to $1200.
I balked and took the car to another mechanic in Ithaca. Passed the NYS inspection just fine there.
Other problems with Varna, besides the downright lies: the shop is out of the way for people in Ithaca, and the owner has trouble expressing himself in English. He wouldn't even provide a formal invoice saying he was estimating so much in needed repairs... I had to get his wife to do it.
Quick and easy, but a little sleazy – After transferring my vehicle's registration to NY recently, I went to Varna Auto for an inspection. They were pretty friendly and got my car in the garage quickly. What I'm disappointed about is the fact that they slipped an extra charge into the inspection bill without telling me. They charged me for something that any other garage would be happy to do for free...or at least tell me that it would cost extra. Unfortunately I assumed that the inspection cost $50+ since I hadn't gotten one in NY State previously. Turns out they just scribbled in the extra charge on the receipt and I was the idiot that didn't notice it until much later. Shame on me for not checking it closely, but shame on them at the same time.
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