Since we have added Honda and Toyota to our offerings along side of our years of Subaru offerings, many of our customers are asking why we finally made the change.
How It All Started
When I started the company back in 1999 my prior experience was almost all in the automotive industry. I worked for Subaru for over 13 years and had become the dealership shop foreman as well as achieved the highest level of Subaru recognition available. The title of Subaru Senior Master Technician.
Prior to that I had worked at a gas station during my youth that worked on anything and everything. Back in my gas station days, I had the goal of being the best mechanic and having the most knowledge about every vehicle made. I worked in a well run family owned gas station from 1984-1986 and we worked on anything and everything. I was 19 years old and had no idea how much information there actually was nor how much the industry would advance to the point of needing to be nearly a mechanical/electrical engineer to understand all of the systems we have today.
After getting out of the Shoreline CC Automotive program in ’86 I was hired by then Bellevue BMW/Subaru. I went right to work on Subarus and after receiving much training on the product, realized it would be best to apply all of my efforts to being an expert at one particular car.
More Similar Than Different
When I left the dealer to open Smart that was my intent, focus on Subaru’s only. The one thing I did not think of is that many happy Subaru customers also wanted us to work on their “non Subaru” vehicles. I’d say no countless times over the years but eventually we’d take in some of the smaller jobs on Hondas or Toyotas. Over time, we learned there were more similarities in Honda, Toyota and Subaru than differences. We had technicians that prior to coming to our shop, had Honda and Toyota experience and they were eager to work on them when they came in occasionally.
Time To Do A “Reset”
Then the pandemic hit, we had plenty of time to do a reset and really re-think what Smart Service should look like. The one thing we always agree on is that what ever Smart does we want to do it to the very best of our ability and always set a high bar in the industry. After many discussions and research and customer input we decided to make a commitment to provide the same quality service and repair for Honda and Toyota that we do for Subaru.
New Specialized Tools & Equipment
We invested in the same type of specialized tools and equipment that we use on Subarus but specifically for Honda and Toyota vehicles. Computerized diagnostic tools, and many other Honda and Toyota specific wrenches, sockets, adapters etc to be able to provide the same level of service that our Subaru owners have come to expect.
Established Genuine Parts Supply Chain
We did our homework on the parts supply chain and have established relationships with Honda and Toyota dealer parts departments as well as high quality aftermarket parts vendors. We invested in a fast moving parts inventory at both shops to be able to get most Hondas and Toyotas in and out the same day.
Upgraded Our Training To Cover Honda & Toyota
We also have subscribed to services that give us access to all of the factory Honda and Toyota shop diagnostic and repair manual information. Thankfully it is all online now and we don’t need to stock 1500lbs of shop manuals upstairs!
We’ve changed the signage at our Shoreline shop and are in process of doing the same at Mukilteo.
Still Committed To Excellence
We now hope that our continued commitment to excellence will be appreciated by all the Honda and Toyota owners that have been looking for a high quality alternative to the dealership.
By the way, we still offer the same industry leading 3 year 36,000 mile warranty for Subaru, Honda and Toyota.
Hope to see you soon!
Owner, Smart Service