I'm kind of ambivalent about talking about my favorite auto mechanics online. I wish them the best for keeping my car running all these years, but if they get TOO popular, it might mean a longer wait the next time I take my car into the shop. Oh well, they deserve the business.
I got my first car nearly 10 years ago. It was an '87 Chevy Cavalier, and I paid $100 for it. Within a week it developed a coolant leak, and I took it several places to fix it, but the fix never lasted. When it leaked again and I had to pull my car over on MOPAC to avoid baking the engine, I called a tow truck, and the driver recommended AALOTUS. They repaired it, and I never had another coolant leak.
AALOTUS is in South Austin where the clientèle aren't exactly rich, so they tend to error on the side of keeping repair costs as low as possible. They've managed to keep my $100 car running for almost a decade, without me going broke in the process. Most repairs were $100-$300. Once a few years ago I was forced by circumstance to take my car to another shop in a richer part of town. I was told my car needed a new engine, which would be several thousand dollars. They charged me $75 for this diagnosis. I couldn't afford that, so I dragged my car to AALOTUS, where they fixed my car for $60 (the main problem had been a loose spark plug). The engine has been fine ever since. I got a refund for the $75 diagnosis from the other shop.
I'm writing about the location on South Congress managed by Bill Cox. There's another location on 615 Burnett and I have no reason to think they're not good too, but I've never gone to them.
I've been so happy with AALOTUS over the years that I wrote a letter praising them to the Better Business Bureau. You'll see it on the wall in their shop, along with others. If you go there, tell 'em Goodman sent you.