Overall Rating 4.86/5Overall Rating 4.86/5Overall Rating 4.86/5Overall Rating 4.86/5rating 4.86

( 698 Reviews )

98% Would Recommend
Latest Review about 13 hours ago


Verified Customer
Cincinnati, OH
Mercedes-Benz S500
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
Bad business
I called ahead of time to state my need; when I came in the next day for my appt I was told that there were additional issues found while they were addressing my primary issue. They said they would trouble shoot to find the cause of the issue. When I returned to pick my vehicle up, the mechanic was on break and I had to wait an additional hour until my car was "put back together". I was then told that I owed $300 for their diagnostics AND that the additional work needed would cost $2100 JUST FOR THE PART. My mind was blown and this frustration was expressed with both the staff, the mechanic and the owner. My primary concern remained disregarded and I still had to pay $300 FOR NOTHING!!! Hence, I left the shop with my issue unresolved. When i got back in my vehicle, my power window didnt work and my lighting panel remained dismantled. THIS WAS NOT ADDRESSED OR RECOVERED by this shop (Santos on Springfield Pike). Instead, I was told to go to my dealer and figure the issue out ON MY OWN and that this was MY PROBLEM. I have NEVER been treated this way, especially by a business that I support regularly and have longevity with. I WILL NOT BE RETURNING!!!
Jim Q. from Santos Auto Service responded on 05/16/2019

Our goal at Santos Auto Service is to provide quality service and parts at the best possible price. While we understand the customer's frustration, there are important points that need to be made in this case.

The vehicle was brought in by the customer's spouse who told us the customer purchased and attempted to install his own bulb. We brought the vehicle in right away thinking that the bulb may not have been installed correctly. Since the customer has a “High Intensity Discharge” (HID) lighting system, special processes had to be followed. We removed the headlight assembly (as required), inspected the bulb and found the bulb was installed correctly. We then tested the bulb to confirm that it was good, but it would not work inside the assembly. We informed the customer's spouse of our discovery and told her that the system needed to be fully diagnosed which could take a couple of hours more. She agreed to this, and we drove her home so she didn't have to stay at our shop while we worked through this issue.

The process to properly diagnose this system requires special tools, a technician experienced in electrical issues, and with respect to HID lighting systems, special procedures to protect the technician from the very high and dangerous voltages produced by such systems. Our diagnosis included the removal of both headlight assemblies so we could properly test the additional components that make the HID lighting system work, including the lighting ballasts and lighting control module, and all of the wiring between all of these systems.

We discovered that the headlight assembly had an internal fault. We searched for an aftermarket option that we could trust and found none available. The price for the headlight assembly from Mercedes was offered – sadly , they are very expensive systems and that is quite simply out of our control. We did find and offered a used headlight assembly for the customers consideration but he declined that offer as well.

The customers concern was not “disregarded” and the diagnostic charge was not “for nothing”. We in fact were able to find the root cause of his issue and offer a couple of options for a repair. While the customer declined both repair options, he at least knows what needs to be replaced. Again, this turned out not to be a simple bulb replacement issue, but a highly sophisticated electrical issue that only a proper and in this case lengthy effort would discover.

We spent a bit over 3 hours to work through this issue and we received approval by the customers representative prior to diagnosing the system. And while the charges were proper, we applied a $50.00 credit to the customers invoice as a goodwill gesture.

Regarding the power window and headlight switch issues mentioned by the customer in his review. It is not required for us to operate the windows in order to diagnose the lighting system. We did not investigate the issue in detail, but we assume that the window regulator is broken and will need to be replaced. As we did not operate the window we can not confirm the customers assertion. Regarding the light switch – the switch was broken prior to receiving the vehicle for service. While we were not responsible for the broken switch, we did offer to repair it – if possible – at no cost to the customer. He declined our offer.

The customer has been to our facility 3 times – twice in June of 2018 and once this year. We certainly appreciate all of our customers and hope this additional information will be helpful to explain why the charges were necessary and proper.

Cincinnati, OH
Chevrolet Tahoe
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
Feel like I was over charged
I was not given the option to agree to the pricing the work was done without prior permission. The invoice does not show me what I was charged just a total amount for labor. I've been a sticking with santos for over 10 years not happy...

Cincinnati, OH
BMW 3 Series
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
They told me the problem was primarily one thing and I okd it but the problem still exist and they took my dealer frame around license plate off without my permission and put there’s on
I’m not trusting them like I did when first started going there, I will like to speak with Tony Santos

Verified Customer
Cincinnati, OH
Volkswagen Beetle
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
Nasty Mechanic
I had a letter from Jim Questa for a complimentary oil change because the mechanic who inspected my BMW 328i for a long road trip to Florida in the Summer had failed to check the AC for Freon. It was a miserable drive and weeks later, the car had repeated issues with the AC. After spending thousands of dollars in Florida, including buying a new evaporator, my car died, so I traded it in for a new VW Beetle. Seems there were two recalls that had no remedy.
I still had the letter and was told by the staff that they would honor it for the new car as a gesture for my bad experience driving without AC for the old vehicle.
When I came in at 0800 on November 20, 2018, Mr Santos asked to see the letter and when I gave it to him, the mechanic who was to do the oil change was sitting there and was the same one as before. He became extremely belligerent and nasty to me, so much so that Mr Santos had to ask him twice to stop it!!! The guy was agitated and I started to feel threatened. Mr Santos gave me a cup of coffee and had me wait while the car had the oil change.
The mechanic’s behavior had been so rude that I will never return. He obviously has issues with female clients and I will make sure to not recommend coming here.
Jim Q. from Santos Auto Service responded on 11/26/2018

Thank you for your recent review regarding your visit here at Santos Auto Service. We recognize that our technician was overzealous in his questioning, and that he may have come off in a negative manner when speaking to you. This interaction does not reflect our usual high standards of service and courtesy at Santos Auto Service. Customer service is always our number one priority, and we obviously did not meet the standard in this case. We would like to sincerely apologize for the negative experience you had, and wish you all the best in the future.

Best Wishes,

Becky Black
Santos Auto Service

Cincinnati, OH
Volvo S60
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
It was horrible service and they are liars, NEVER GO THERE

Ft Mitchell, KY
MINI Cooper
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
Lost a referred customer
Was talked to like I was stupid and didn't know anything.

Cynthia S.
Wyoming, OH
Chevrolet HHR
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
07/15/2017 Category: Service
Cynthia said she was not satisfied with her overall experience. The employees she spoke with were not taking her seriously, they over talked and wouldn't let her speak. She stated they made her feel like she was dumb, maybe because she was a girl. They put a blower motor in her vehicle that she didn't want and the switch isn't even working. She is now having problems with her vehicle leaking. She stated she is afraid of contacting this business again due to the way she was treated and she feels they will just upset her. She's not even sure what they did with her vehicle because nobody explained it to her and she doesn't understand what is written on the sheet.
This review was collected via phone interview by Customer Research Inc.
Jim Q. from Santos Auto Service responded on 08/14/2017

This customer's case was quite difficult and we understand her frustration to a point. Her HHR had several electrical problems that caused a cascade of issues that were intermittent and not always apparent to us while we struggled to find and repair them.

Understanding the customer complaint completely and accurately is the biggest challenge of the service writer. While trying to gain information about the conditions she was experiencing, we asked several questions or asked them in different ways in order to fully comprehend the problems so they can be addressed. This issue was compounded because some of vehicle issues were intermittent and were not reproducible on demand.

We don't expect the customers to be as technically minded as our experienced technicians. Our goal is to completely understand so we get accurate information to our technicians. When repairs are offered, our goal is to explain the issues in a manor that the customer will understand. Each customers level of understanding is different, so we may try different ways to communicate the issues so they know why we're recommending a certain repair. It's our desire that the customer understands every repair every time. We are sorry that the customer misunderstood our efforts to explain the issues and recommended repairs as making her feel “dumb”. That is certainly never our intention.

The customer mentioned that she had smelled a burning smell. After that occurred, the blower motor no longer worked, the vehicle would jerk sometimes, and she said the steering would “lock up”. We road tested the vehicle – steering was normal and vehicle did not jerk.

After an inspection, we found that the area of the blower motor was flooded with rain water which ruined the blower motor unit. This caused the motor to rust and lock up which caused the blower resister to burn up. We had to replace this first and we provided and estimate for the repair. She asked if that would fix the entire car – of course we could not confirm this. She gave us the OK to replace the blower motor and resister, and clean out the drains so the new blower motor would not get ruined.

When the blower motor and resistor were replaced, we confirmed that they worked, but then discovered that the blower controls were also compromised. They could not be tested prior to the replacement of the motor and resistor. We attempted to contact the customer but she was not able to answer and we received no return call to our messages. When she came to pick up the vehicle we explained that the blower was now working, but the switch was burned up and it only worked on high speed. She took the car that day (7/13), and provided this review two days later 7/15).

NOW – the rest of the story...

The customer came back to us on 7/20. She noted that the vehicle continued to jerk sometimes and the steering would lock up. She also wanted the blower controls replaced. We provided a courtesy vehicle to the customer at no charge while we replaced her HVAC controls and investigated the other issues she was having.

We finely experienced the issue of the “steering locking up”. From a technical standpoint, the steering did not actually lock – the power steering unit stopped working making the steering wheel hard to turn. We spent many hours looking at wiring diagrams and checking systems before we traced a problem back to the Body Control Module. We eventually found that the module connectors had gotten wet at some point, and the contacts were corroded causing an intermittent failure of signal down the CAN data bus line. This caused the power steering motor (electrical in this case) to stop working and the dash board lights to flicker. Cleaning the connectors and coating them with dielectric grease seamed to have solved the problem, as several days of testing proved that the steering continued to work each time. The initial estimate for this series of repairs was over $620.00 + tax. Her actual invoice was $591.00 + tax – a savings of about $30.00. She also had our loaner vehicle for 25 days while we were working through the repair.

It is our goal every day with every customer to not just be honest and up front about the repairs needed. We also strive to explain in detail why things need to be done or why a needed repair might or might not provide the results the customer expects. The problems to this customers vehicle were not typical of your every day mechanical failure. I hope the customer will come to understand that we value her business and hope to earn her trust every time we are needed.

Rogelio A.
Fairfield, OH
Dodge Pickup
Verified Customer
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
09/21/2016 Category: Service
Rogelio said he is very upset because they did not fix his vehicle. When he came to pick it up, they told him it was fixed. He started his vehicle and heard a new sound. The sound was not there when he brought it in and they said they didn't know what the sound was. He told the employees the sound wasn't there before, so he was told to leave the vehicle. He did leave it and they told him the next day that his four by four transmission system, was broke. They charged him to fix it, when it happened on their premises.
This review was collected via phone interview by Customer Research Inc.
Jim Q. from Santos Auto Service responded on 09/27/2016

The Customer brought his vehicle into us for a coolant leak. We found an upper radiator hose that was leaking. We replaced the hose, refilled the cooling system and road tested the vehicle to make sure there were no more overheating issues. The vehicle passed the road test and was given back to the customer repaired.

When the customer picked up the vehicle and drove it, he noticed a noise. He came back in and we addressed the new problem immediately – we drove with him, heard the noise, provided a loaner vehicle at no charge, and told him we would contact him with a diagnosis of the problem and a repair option.

When we put the vehicle on the lift, we found the gear shifter bushing on the transfer case was missing and the shifter rod for the transfer case came off. These parts are a significant distance away from the area of the cooling system repair, so we wouldn't have been in the effected area during the initial repair. It is reasonable to assume the bushing was in very poor shape and broke when the customer picked up the vehicle. We charged the customer to replace the gear shifter bushing and reinstalled the shifter rod as required as this was not related to the original repair.

We do understand that it can be upsetting when another problem surfaces during or shortly after a different repair. All we can do is provide the customer with the information and offer a repair option when we find additional issues.


Jim Questa
Service Adviser
Santos Auto Service Company

Raleigh A.
Cincinnati, OH
Overall Rating 1/5rating 1rating 1rating 1rating 1
After much thought I've decided to have my 2007 VW Passat service at VW dealership. My decision was base on issues I've had with my car. Maybe issues that were present for the past three years were out of reach from your staff. I took vehicle to dealership earlier this year and issue was resolved in two visits. I've spent several thousand dollars trying to resolve issue with your garage but to my disappointment the only thing that worked was the price you charged me. VW mechanic who serviced my car replaced most of parts you put in and informed my that (1) parts were defective (2) after market parts were put on my car which provided inadequate results. Mechanic even suggested that I take parts back to you and see if there was some type of warranty on items. Rather that get into a heated debate on services rendered with you or your staff, I just decided to move forward and come to a conclusion that this will be filed (mentally) as a learning lesson. I will not be able to recommend your garage to my friends.
Thank You