International Auto Specialist
1319 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Map & directions
Call Now: (540) 416-0375
“I learned that the term honest mechanic was an oxymoron until I've had the pleasure of discovering...”
“Great expertise in European cars. Trustworthy, respectful and courteous. Keeps the client informed at all...”
“Owner and staff are very knowledgeable and I always feel very comfortable about their service and advice.”
“Very reliable, professional, and knowledgeable. Great customer service, with straight forward advice...”
“Very convenient...I live between Richmond, VA and Alexandria where the only 2 Mini Cooper Dealer and service...”
“International Auto Specialist is outstanding ... We do repeat business with them as we appreciate the...”
“Bob and his team really know German cars and get the job done right.”
“Bob and the team are great. Have never felt taken advantage of. It makes me want to buy more European cars.”
“Professional staff. Was treated very well. Repairs and Alignment done correctly. Kevin and Will are great to...”
“It took us 3 years to find someone to work on our Mercedes and not have to go back again and again for the...”
“Repair was thorough. I'd been to another shop who had not been able to solve the problem. International...”
“Very friendly, highly knowledgeable, reasonably priced, extremely courteous”
“They gave me a ride to my shop and brought my car to me when it was repaired! The staff was extremely...”
About International Auto Specialist
RepairPal’s Comprehensive Evaluation
International Auto Specialist, a family owned business, has been repairing vehicles in the Fredericksburg, VA area since 1984 and specializes in the repair and service of BMW, Mini Cooper, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen vehicles. Their technical team consists of three technicians, who share a combined 49 years of experience between them. Affiliated with the BBB, and the ASA, International is very special among our Certified shops because of Bob Sorkhe, the owner, who has over 40 years of experience in the automotive repair industry and is onsite every day. To round out the quality service you will receive at International, you will also enjoy their comfortable waiting area, complete with WiFi, and complimentary beverages and snacks.
Message from the Shop
International Auto Specialist is a reliable alternative to dealer service. We specialize in the repair and service of BMW, Mini Cooper, Audi, Mercedes Benz, and Volkswagen vehicles.
All of our technicians receive continuous professional training relating to the latest technology, so you get the most up-to-date service for your car. We use advanced manufacturer approved diagnostic tools and have direct access to manufacturer data. These resources eliminate the "guesswork" and ensure precision service. We recently acquired the new 3rd generation technology from BMW of North America. International Auto Specialist is the only independent repair shop on the east coast to obtain this equipment.
International Auto Specialist has been repairing vehicles in the Fredericksburg area since 1984. We value our customers and want every customer to be satisfied with the service they receive. Our goal is to exceed our customers' expectations each time they visit.
|AC/Heating||Alignment||Check Engine Light||Diagnosis|
|Muffler & Exhaust||Oil Change & Lube||Scheduled Maintenance||Service & Repair|
|Car Wash||Child Friendly||Coffee||Early Bird Dropoff|
|Heated Waiting Room||Parts/Accessories||Service Guarantee||Shopping Nearby|
|Shuttle||Warranty Accepted||Wireless Internet|
Customer Reviews 66 verified reviews (73 total)66 Sort by: Date |
It's a great feeling when you go into a shop due to a breakdown, at thei mercy and you come out with a fair and professional job done. I will be taking my other cars (BMW, Mercedes) there for service, and that's the best I can say. Oh,my car came out looking better than when it went in because of the free carwash!
I learned that the term honest mechanic was an oxymoron until I've had the pleasure of discovering International Auto. This is an extremely honorable shop that operates with extremely high integrity. Once, I was advised to have my car repaired at the dealer because they discovered a defective item that was recalled and could be replaced, free of charge, by the dealer. They were right, although my vehicle was no longer under warranty, the part was replaced free of charge. They could have been less forthcoming and made a bundle by withholding this information. Instead, they were honest and saved me some money. I will always patronize International Auto.
International Auto Specialist is outstanding ... We do repeat business with them as we appreciate the effeciency of this business -- from the ease if setting up an appointment, we like recieving the e-mail confirmation of the appt., we appreciate the consistancy of the professional work done. They gave a sincere desire to do the job correctly within the time specified plus they provide precise/accurate updates during the work if necessary. Everyone that works at International Auto Specialist are professional and personable. I highly recommend this shop to other BMW owners.
This was the only shop that told me the truth about what was wrong. Two other shops were way off with their evaluation on my car's problem. International truly knows what they are talking about. They saved me over $2000 by telling me the truth. I received a bill for a little over $200 instead of Close to $2500 from the other guys. And what the other shops were going to fix, would not have fixed my problem.
They have a very friendly and knowledgeable staff who will keep the customers' concerns a priority. The work performed was just as good as the dealership, but the consequence of that is having to pay dealership prices. I've learned from the past that quality comes with a hefty price tag, but is a MUST when dealing with BMWs. Otherwise you'll end up paying more in the long run.
I marked 4 on price because BMW is an expensive vehicle. I have found IAS prices to be competitive with specialty BMW services. Their work is always complete as described in estimate and well-explained to me. IAS goes out of their way to make my car accessible convenient to me. I have and will continue to recommend IAS to my Beemer friends - we are so lucky in Fredericksburg to have BMW computer technology available. The program would not let me answer one question???
I HAVE BEEN A LOYAL CUSTOMER OF INTERNATIONAL AUTO SPECIALIST FOR OVER 10 YEARS. BOB IS AN EXPERIENCED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE TECHNICIAN. HE IS ALWAYS HONEST, WHETHER I WANT TO HEAR THE TRUTH OR NOT. THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS SUPERIOR. I ALWAYS LEAVE FEELING THAT I HAVE BEEN TREATED FAIRLY.
WHEN BOB STOPPED REPAIRING DOMESTIC CARS, I PURCHASED A GERMAN CAR (BMW) SO THAT I COULD CONTINUE TO RELY ON INTERNATIONAL AUTO FOR ALL OF MY REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE.
ONE WEEK, BECAUSE OF MY SCHEDULE, I HAD TO STAY IN NO.VA. MY CHECK ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON AND I HAD TO TAKE IT TO THE DEALER. I WAS GIVEN AN ESTIMATE OF $2,100 AND NO GUARANTEE THE PROBLEM WOULD BE RESOLVED. DECIDED TO TAKE A CHANCE AND WAIT UNTIL I COULD GO SEE BOB. HIS DIAGNOSIS WAS TOTALLY DIFFERENT AND MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE ($500). THE CAR RAN PERFECT. MY NEXT VISIT WAS FOR A SCHEDULED SERVICE. YOU WILL NEVER SEE MY CAR PARKED AT ANY OTHER SHOP.
I wanted to preface a couple points before I get to subject at hand. First, I enjoyed visiting the shop and interacting with the employees, and especially Will. He gave me some unique insights and information about the shop that lend more interest to the compelling story of how the shop was founded and the obstacles overcome in arriving where the business is today. Second, I typically do not like to make comments or reviews via the online forums without addressing issues with those who can effect a remedy. To that end, I notified the owner of the issues outlined below more on 22 December 2014, and thus far, have not received a response, letter etc. hence, this review.
The BMW X5 was towed into IAS with the intent of diagnosing and repairing the cause of the cranking but not starting issue. After about a week, the tech articulated to us via a phone call that they had diagnosed the issue as to why; the spark plugs were old and not firing properly. We agreed for the work to be completed, which it was. We picked up the car and took it home.
Subsequently thereafter, the car had a couple issues firing but, it would generally start after a bit of cranking; think it was due to cold weather and the fact it was not driven much being contributors etc., we did not pursue further diagnosis as we had been told it was the sparkplugs that were the issue. Having been replaced, it was a reasonable assumption. This would prove to be founded in a false diagnosis.
We embarked upon a trip to Florida, leaving on 12 Dec, intending on returning the 20. We proceeded to our first stop in transit, Walterboro SC. When we awoke the next am, the car, no matter what we did, would not start. Hoping it was due to the frost, we waited until it was warm but, the eventuality was the car would need to be towed.
We called our tow services and arranged for it to be dropped off at the nearest BMW dealership, in Charleston SC, nearly 70 miles away.
By the time we reached and settled the car at BMW, it was nearly 3 pm. Bearing in mind we still had to drive to our destination, over 6 hours away, we proceeded to unpack our car and rent a replacement, at our expense.
The dealership called a couple days later and indicated to us the fuel pump was not working properly and needed to be replaced. In addition, they found several other items that needed addressing, specifically, the hose assemblies were leaking and required replacement; there was an oil leak on the filter seal that would require replacement and they indicated our tires needs to be replaced as well.
The issue here was that after nearly a week in IAS, these issues were not identified; albeit, beyond the fuel pump not necessarily germane, it would seem a reasonable expectation that if a car in being diagnosed, issues like these would be identified so the customer could be notified but, this is a side bar to the main point here. Whereas we are not disputing the claim the sparkplugs were in need of replacement, the fact remains the central issue, the fuel pump, was misdiagnosed, which had a direct causation of the car eventually having to be towed again for what should have been diagnosed and repaired by IAS.
To help frame the issue, and the effects of the misdiagnosis, below is a snapshot of the time and costs associated with the improper repair; this is beyond the time and monies spent at IAS:
1. Time: the initial time and inconvenience. We were in effect delayed more than 8 hours on Saturday, 13 December due to the car having to be towed to a dealership etc.
2. Time: this initial delay caused us to miss a preplanned family engagement which had been in the works for months.
3. Time: dealership was closed on Sunday hence, work could not be completed until the following week.
4. Time: extra time to return to the dealership upon return from the trip.
5. Added time due to distance: the dealership was 70 miles, one way, out of our intended travel path. This in effect added 280 more miles (70 were traveled in the tow truck) to our trip overall.
6. Money: the repairs are not the issue however; having to rent a car at our expense, and pay for the additional fuel travelling the additional miles to and from the dealership was borne by us exclusively. The car itself was $300 plus 2 tanks of fuel, for a total of about $370 added expenses not previously factored.
The above is just fraction of the total costs in time with family and frustration at having to deal with an issue that should have been resolved by your shop. I would reiterate, the fact the repairs needed to be completed are not in question rather; the misdiagnosis of the larger issue is. In totality, the above listed is a direct result of IAS plainly getting it wrong.
The intent of this review is to inform, and no more. If IAS is unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes, and act in a reasonable manner, then they are not the shop I thought them to be.
Going forward, even though the shop is close, and we prefer to spend money locally, we will not be taking any of our 3 German brand cars back to IAS. At least with the dealership there are
accountability mechanisms in place that can provide a reasonable remedy when the get it wrong.
An acquaintance referred me to International Auto Specialist quite a while before I went there. I had another shop to whom I was very loyal, but their business was changing. When they quoted me something crazy to replace the clutch on my 3-series, I remembered. Bob quoted me the parts and labor separately on the phone, which I verified before taking the car in. He did that repair and advised me on other things that my former shop had let slip. That was more than 6 years ago and under their car, the car has actually improved. When I moved almost 50 miles away, I figured out the logistics to get the car to them and still make my way to my office because I didn't want to disrupt the good care and continuity. When my car crossed 300,000 miles in May of 2014, I sent the entire crew an Edible Arrangement and a photo of the odometer. They are not just friendly, they are friends, and now they are advising me in the purchase of the car I'll have for the next 15 years.
Took my car when it started acting up. Had check engine light on and had scanned it prior to going. 3 hours and over $300 dollars later, I was told it had a blown head gasket. The time isn't a issue, but when I looked at the bill, I was charged $130 for scanning it... something that an auto parts store does for free I paid $130. On top of that, I asked up front what the diagnostic was going to cost, as some places have a flat rate. I was told it depended, but at that point had no choice but to have it at least looked at. After all is said in done, I got a 30 minute lecture on how to buy a car... I am a 33 year old man and have owned about 5 cars, none of which went south like this one. Felt a little talked down to and decided that I didn't want to have my car serviced there. Too many little things that make me wonder about their "fair" pricing.
Great experience with International Auto Specialists in Fredericksburg.
Do not hesitate to take your car to International Auto Specialists in Fredericksburg. I had a coolant leak and thought for sure that I would have to replace the radiator or reservoir. After a pressure test it was determined that there was a leak at the sensor/auxiliary fan switch. This was good news from a cost prospective, of course.
Not only was the fix a success, but the way I was treated was with patience and dignity. My questions were answered and I felt listened to and taken seriously rather than pushed along.
Upon check out, I found my vehicle vacuumed, washed and they even backed it out and readied it for my departure.
Thank you so much gentlemen!! I really appreciate your patience as well as the quality of work performed on my car today.
Janine S. Fredericksburg
For over ten years I have thoroughly enjoyed the satisfaction of dealing with Bob and his superb team, as they have provided the highest standard of service when repairing the older BMWs I favor. Bob's entire team is attuned to customer satisfaction and customer service; they fully understand that in today's service-oriented economy, their reputation depends on every single job they do. From the moment I walk into the shop, it's a pleasant experience. Bob's automotive diagnostic skill is unparalleled, and that his shop is equipped with the latest BMW test equipment emphasizes his professionalism; there is no guesswork involved in his maintenance procedures. I cannot imagine taking my car anywhere else; I'm completely satisfied. Many, many other businesses could take a lesson from the International Auto Specialist team's commitment to the customer. "IAS" has my highest recommendation.