Where is TurboTime located?
We are located at 604 Wicker St in Sanford, NC:
Is TurboTime affiliated with Subaru of America?
No, we are an independent repair facility that specializes in Subaru vehicles.
What sort of training do you have to repair Subaru vehicles?
As owner and lead technician, I, Ryan Davis, have been a Subaru owner for 12 years. I have worked for all three of Raleigh/Cary/Durham Subaru dealerships. I completed all of the training and experience and excelled at testing to receive my Subaru senior master certification.
Do you have special tools necessary to repair my Subaru?
Yes. In fact we have many of the same special mechanical tools as the dealers. In addition, we have diagnostic equipment some dealers do not have access to. We also have the Subaru select monitor 3 system, the SAME scan tool the dealers use. This means we can program keys, remotes, remote start systems, and body control units and options; re-flash ecms and tcms, access factory supported oscilloscope functions, advanced diagnostics and data logging.
Does TurboTime use Subaru genuine parts and fluids?
The short answer is yes, however, because we are not directly affiliated with Subaru of America, we have additional access to direct OEM parts manufacturers, so often we can provide better pricing. We also have access to re-manufacturers, used parts suppliers, and upgraded aftermarket parts and fluids. In many cases, we choose some aftermarket parts or fluids because they simply work better, or are of a higher quality at a similar price point to OEM.
You said I need to use synthetic motor oil, why is that?
Subaru of America released a “TSB” several years ago explaining why turbo models must use synthetic oil, they have also begun using synthetic oils in some non turbo models. Quite simply, synthetic oil can be formulated to meet the needs of these specific engine combinations. On turbo vehicles, the issue is combating the heat generated in the turbocharger’s bearing housing, as well as higher engine temps due to simply generating the higher power output present in these vehicles. Conventional oil cannot stand up to these higher heat loads and can coke, causing turbocharger failure.
In addition, the lower heat resistance can lead to deposits and sticking of piston oil control rings, as well as thinning due to heat which can cause bearing failure. Most synthetics have higher heat ratings (vapor point, flash point etc.), some have even higher ratings specifically for high performance turbocharged engines. Some newer non-turbo Subaru models can use synthetic oil formulated to be very thin and very low resistance intended to increase fuel economy. The bearing clearances in these engines were tightened to accommodate these thinner oils; therefore, using a conventional in a different weight can lead to premature wear.
Timing chain based engines (such as the 2000+ H6 3.0/3.6) can benefit from the increased shear resistance offered by synthetic oils. The chain system causes conventional oil to break down prematurely, causing sludging that can lead to hydraulic belt tension assembly failure, as well as chain wear.
TurboTime offers MANY oil choices to suit the various needs of both the vehicle, and the customer. We carry all of the Subaru branded synthetic oil choices, as well as Amsoil products that have been extensively tested by our shop in real world vehicles, as well as our supported competition vehicles (rally, time trials, auto-cross etc.). We also stock conventional oils and Rotella depending on your use, budget, interval etc.
What is L.O.F.?
Lube, Oil and Filter. This is an abbreviation used by many shops or dealerships. Although most modern vehicles do not need chassis lubrication, the L is simply a way to indicate that the vehicle will receive a thorough look-over for immediate issues.
What is a multipoint?
A 60 point complete inspection of your vehicle. We use a checklist to inspect every vehicle we put on a lift to inform customers of the full condition of their vehicle, this way issues can be caught early. This assures a safe vehicle at all times, and allows customers to avoid expensive “surprises” TurboTime NEVER uses this multipoint as a strong-arm technique. We will never force repairs and only do what the customer is prepared to perform.
What is a head gasket leak?
This is possibly the most commonly asked question for naturally aspirated Subaru owners. Head gasket leaks can either be internal, or external. Typically, single overhead camshaft vehicles (1999/2000 models and up) leak externally, oil, or oil and coolant. These are more of a nuisance, however they can cause failure of additional components should the oil leak become bad enough to leak onto them. They can also progress enough to become internal leaks…
Internal head gasket leaks are caused when the head gasket fails allowing combustion gasses from the cylinders to enter the cooling system. This causes a severe spike in the heat of the coolant, causing an overheating condition. This often occurs after highway driving initially, becoming worse as the leak grows. This is typical of 1996-1999 dual overhead camshaft vehicles, and some early single overhead camshaft vehicles from 1986-1999. TurboTime offers the highest value/most comprehensive head gasket packages available.
We use OEM Subaru gaskets, but not the strictly OEM part number per application. We also provide thorough cleaning, measurement and necessary machine work to assure this will be the only time you need perform this repair in over 100k additional miles. Unlike the dealerships, which are bound to only use the correct part number (which is prone to failure) and do not perform any measurement or machining to ensure proper surface preparation. Other independent shops do not do this often, so do not know the proper techniques or additional services required. As well as using even lower quality aftermarket OEM style gaskets. We can also replace necessary components when necessary (rather than simply “shot gunning” parts) this assures customers receive the highest value, without simply spending money that is not needed.
What is included in a 30/60/90k service?
This depends on the vehicle, but is typically the major maintenance package as set by Subaru. It involves swapping all necessary fluids (vehicle dependent), as well as spark plugs in some cases. Belts, hoses are inspected, as well as normal multipoint checks. See our factory service charts here.
What is a CV boot?
CV boots are rubber boots that provide protection for the internal moving parts of the axles. They can be either inner or outer joints. These can tear or split, leaking grease onto exhaust components or brake/wheel components depending on what joint boot has failed. Neglecting the damaged boot can lead to failure from either lack of grease, or dirt/water infiltration. This can only be rectified by replacing the axle assembly.
What is a timing belt?
Many Subarus use a cogged rubber belt to link the crankshaft to the camshafts. This belt is typically due at 105k mile intervals. At this time, the hydraulic belt tension assembly is replaced as well. We also have seen failures of timing belt idler pulleys after 105k miles, so we typically will replace these as well. Water pump is thoroughly checked and replaced if there are signs of wear or leaks. This is replaced as a precaution at the 210k interval, and is not often necessary earlier, contrary to the belief of most independent shops. Similarly, many shops (including some dealers) will not replace tension assemblies or idler pulleys, while some shops use inferior non OEM parts prone to early failure. Belt, tension assembly, or idler pulley failures can lead to valve or piston damage, both are very expensive repairs.
TurboTime will also look for any oil or coolant leaks associated with the front of the engine and recommend repairs as needed.
What are accessory belts?
Accessory belts are the rubber belts that drive the alternator, power steering and air conditioning systems. These have a typical life span of 30-40k miles. Belt failure can lead to charging system failure as an extreme, leaving the vehicle stranded.
What is book time?
TurboTime charges according to times provided by industry experts. In many cases, we trim this time based on either new techniques or tools that have become available. Typically, this system is fair, by protecting the customer from mistakes or snags that increase repair time, while also allowing the shop to keep pricing consistent as repairs become more efficient.
Can you give me a “guesstimate” of the job and a timeline?
No we can’t. We only give accurate quotes to ensure quality control and customer satisfaction. We can give you a “worst case scenario” quote if you would like, but we will never give you a ball park number based on “what if”.
Timelines can vary due to parts availability, technician availability and/or outside contractor availability. The larger and more complex the repair or modification, the more often and more aggressively these timelines can change. Please bear this in mind.
Do you do alignments?
Yes we do. We do not have an in-house alignment rack, but all alignments are performed by us. We can do ride height adjustments on most coilover sets, as well as corner balancing by request.
If you have your own specifications, we will be glad to align to these specs, but we must have them, as well as discussing your needs with the technician and service writer prior to aligning the vehicle. We can also align to “feel”, but again, this must be discussed in detail prior to aligning the vehicle.
If you are unhappy with your alignment due to something under our control (vehicle pulls or steering wheel is off due to alignment, not tire pressures or other outside influences), we will be glad to realign the vehicle at our cost. If however you want certain specs, or do not want certain specifications or driving characteristics but DID NOT SPECIFY PRIOR TO THE ALIGNMENT, we must charge our basic cost to re-perform the alignment.
Can you mount and balance my tires?
We can indeed. All tires get road force balanced to ensure the best quality balancing. We can also order tires for you. If you don’t want to wait for them to arrive after ordering them online, we can get tires from one of the nation’s largest distributors in no more than 1 day. All major brands and budget friendly brands as well.
Do you do body work?
No. However, we can perform trunk swaps, STI wing installation, JDM Spec-C roof vents as well as other custom modifications. For any dents, scratch removal, paint work etc., we have a very reputable body repair person that we refer all of our work to.
Do you provide wifi and/or television?
Yes. We have complimentary WiFi as well as cable TV to keep you entertained while you wait for your vehicle.
Do you store vehicles inside while they are in for service?
Unfortunately, our facility is currently not large enough to house every vehicle we have at all times. We have never had any issues with theft or vandalism and should we ever, we have the proper insurance to keep your vehicle covered. We will never leave your vehicle unlocked while it is stored outside at our shop.
Turbotime is not responsible for environmental wear and tear on your vehicle (sun damage, bird droppings, tree sap, etc). If you typically garage the vehicle, we recommend bringing a car cover for the duration of your car’s stay.
Help! My parking lights are on and won’t go off!!
Calm down, did you recently detail your 2009 or earlier Subaru? Did you wipe down the top of the steering column? Check to be sure the switch on the top of the steering column is in the “red” position, if so, flip it down.
What is included in “diag”/diagnostics, and do you charge to scan a check engine light?
We do not charge for a quick scan. Our rule of thumb is, if we can do it in the parking lot in less than 5 minutes, we will not charge. For loyal customers, this blanket statement can include simple bulb replacements, adjustments, etc. If we need to pull the vehicle in, or test drive to duplicate the concern, or the CEL is something uncommon, then we will charge a “diagnostic” fee, typically starting at .5 hour. Dealers and most shops start at 1 hour, even if it is something that may take 10 minutes to scan and diagnose. Should the problem take longer, we will call or email to authorize more time as needed. Diagnostics simply refer to the process of finding the source of the trouble code/light. These same rules apply to other self checked systems including tire pressure monitors, ABS and airbag.
What is your labor rate? What does that even mean?
The labor rate is what we charge per hour of work billed. We step our labor rates to allow for more difficult/higher skilled tasks. Our labor rate starts at $100 / hr.
Do you offer a warranty?
We do. We honor all parts manufacturer warranties. Typically, for Subaru parts this is 1 year/unlimited mileage. This is our standard, and only covers parts or services we have rendered on your vehicle.
For high performance/race work, or repairs not covered by a parts manufacturer, we cannot offer a “Warranty”. We will stand behind our work. However this is at our discretion. We will not accept any other shop or dealership opinion on cause of failure or quality of the repair. Nor will we pay another shop to perform work as part of our coverage.
Can you arrange towing?
Yes, we have a relationship with a local towing company, brace towing. You can call directly, or let us and save some hassle.
Do you work with aftermarket warranty companies?
Yes. Our experience has been mixed, some repairs are covered in a straightforward manner, and others simply deny claims on a whim. We are always willing to try.
What is involved in a brake job?
This can be two services.
First, some cars may only need brake pads, assuming there is no damage or heavy depositing of the rotor.
Some cars may need new rotors as well as pads. this can be due to severe rust, continuing to drive when pads are metal to metal (no more friction material allowing the steel pad backing to contact and gouge the rotor), or simply rotors that have become too thin due to use and age.
We do not typically “turn” or “cut” rotors, as this can in many cases cause other issues.
Do you rent tools or shop space?
NO. This shop is how we pay our bills, as much as we love all of our customers. We cannot let you use our tools or equipment. Should it become damaged or broken, it renders us unable to service another customer’s vehicle. Shop space cannot be rented due to insurance reasons.
Can I watch, or hang out while you work on my vehicle? I want to learn!
Well, no. Unfortunately, our insurance is very strict regarding coverage of non employees. If you get hurt in our shop, you will have no recourse, as we will not pay for your injury. Sometimes, we will allow customers back to consult on what repairs are needed and why, but typically we cannot have anyone not employed by TurboTime in the shop while work is being performed.
Do you offer advice, or classes?
We do offer advice, but at our discretion. We have worked very hard over the years to figure out what parts, processes tools are needed to perform a repair or upgrade as efficiently as possible. This experience and knowledge is how we pay to stay in business. Advice is given case by case, and very much favors customers with a history of loyalty. If in doubt, call, the worst that will happen is we say “probably best to bring that in”. We are looking at the possibility of offering classes on certain repairs, as well as basic ownership clinics. Stay tuned as these become available.
Do you match prices/quotes from other shops or dealers?
No. although we will be glad to look over quotes from other shops or dealers and see where money can be saved, or discrepancies exist between quotes. If we are waaaay off, then we can adjust accordingly.
What sets you apart from my “regular” mechanic?
In short, experience. I (Ryan) have been working on vehicles my entire life, as a necessity in my family growing up, and as a hobby for fun. I have been a professional technician since 2001, a Subaru technician since 2002. Since I started at Performance Subaru in Chapel Hill, I have gone on to work at Southern States, and helped start and set up the Subaru service department at Johnson Subaru. I have owned 12 Subarus since 2001, and have focused on this car brand. I have attained my Subaru senior master technician certificate, as well as all ASE certifications.
I am the only technician nationwide with this level of factory training and experience level working at an independent shop. I also happen to co-own this shop, allowing me to set up practices to save owners money, while achieving not just the same standards as the dealership system, but higher in many cases. Your “guy” or shop may have worked on a few Subarus, and maybe they are alright, but we ONLY do Subarus, and we are simply THE BEST on them.
What sets you apart from the dealerships?
Having worked at all three, I know the ins and outs of how a poorly vs. well run service department works. I have used TurboTime as an opportunity to improve on the shortcomings inherent to dealership life (high overhead, strict guidelines regarding parts usage/exclusions), attitude, value for the customer, etc. we are a highly efficient operation, and relatively small. Our overhead is dramatically lower, allowing us to charge less for the same, or more service.
We do not have multiple employees doing the same tasks; we are not bound by franchise agreements, allowing us to source the best part at the best price. Many times, we offer a parts discount relative to the dealerships. Since we both follow the same labor guides, we are always going to be less, if we are not, let us know and we can often explain why. We do not resort to bait and hook practices, often employed because service writers are paid on the work they “book” in two weeks. The same is true for technicians, who are only paid for work sold (performed is in some cases unfortunately, different than what is sold). I’ve been there, I know why things are done the way they are, I choose to pay employees differently to avoid the pressures of “overselling”.
What makes you different than other “tuner” shops?
First off, we don’t call ourselves a “tuner” shop. We offer tuning and we do perform modifications and upgrades. But we think of ourselves as modern hot rodders.
We, unlike our competition, also race, auto cross, rally cross, HPDE/time trials on track, stage rally etc. There is no other shop in NC with a similar pedigree. Besides, do you trust the guys with the parking lot full of broken dreams (broken EVOs, broken DSMs, some ragged out broken Hondas) or the guys with the lot of ONLY SUBARUS, one of which is often an ACTUAL RACE VEHICLE.
Similarly, do you trust the guys with the immaculate shop, with white walls and a fancy lounge, a website full of “Cool” project cars, none of which have the Subaru logo on the grill? Or the guys that keep a tidy shop that is however obviously well used, with SUBARU project cars that range from mild daily drivers, to full on dyno queens, to actual time trials or stage rally RACE CARS.
Sure, anyone can throw some parts at your car; some shops can even go so far as to change some numbers in your ECM map. But NONE, have the 10 years of factory training, nor the 10 years of research and development to pick the correct parts, and none have a tuner with over 8 years of experience JUST TUNING SUBARUS.
Do you work on other vehicles?
Yes we do, in fact, work on other makes and models. Mainly select Mazda platforms and the Mitsubishi EVO platform. We are still primarily Subaru, but we have recently brought on a very well rounded Mazda/Mitsubishi technician who can do just about anything so we are branching out to better serve the Triangle area of NC with their automotive needs. Please inquire about other makes and models as well. We regularly service our existing customers’ vehicles even if they aren’t Subarus!
Is Car detailing included with your services?
Turbotime offers basic quick washes with any job above $100, weather and time permitting
How much power can I make with simple bolt-ons?
The better question is, how much power would you like to have on a reliable daily driver? If you are doing simple bolt-ons, chances are you aren’t trying to build a track monster. Our tuning style isn’t to squeeze every ounce of boost pressure from your stock turbo. We take a more realistic approach and tune for higher than stock boost but still allow for reliability and drivability. You can make as much power as your bank account allows but doing it safely is the number one thing.
Do you have a dyno?
No, but we do have access to an AWD DynoJet. We typically street tune but per your request we can arrange a dyno tune.
Why do you street tune?
Street tuning gives you the best drivability tune and will allow for more precise adjustments. Some people ask why? It’s simple, you are actually DRIVING the car in real life situations.
Can you tune with COBB?
Yes. We are an authorized COBB pro-tuner facility. We can also tune via OpenSource if you choose not to buy an AccessPort. OpenSource tuning typically takes a little longer.
Can you match online prices?
Yes. We have access to thousands of top name aftermarket parts and can match most all aftermarket online vendors. You must however, factor in shipping costs (most places charge shipping) and state sales tax required by law.
Do you install gauges?
Yes. We can install any gauge you have as well as other aftermarket interior and exterior accessories. We can also install JDM Spec-C roof vents.