Marin – Auto - Oil Change

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690 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
1524 2nd Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
908 Diablo Avenue
Novato, CA 94945
1799 19th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94122
(707) 602-7937
(415) 997-8904
(415) 997-8906
(415) 997-8907

Serving all of San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma counties including San Rafael, Novato, Sunset District, Richmond District, Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.

Services include oil changes and vehicle fluid exchanges. Brands include Pennzoil...
DCID7075755823
Map of these Diamond Certified companies
Cities: Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Novato, Ross, Sausalito, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Tiburon
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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Oil Change Shops Rated Highest in Quality?
A mechanic adds new automotive oil after draining the used oil.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an auto oil change service that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified automotive oil change shop. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated car oil change service and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

How to Choose
Choosing Among Good Oil Change Services in Marin County

Vehicle maintenance is a top priority of responsible car owners. And nothing is more important to the overall wellbeing and longevity of your vehicle than regular maintenance, including engine oil changes and oil filter changes.

Even if you’re a long-time vehicle owner, you may have some of these typical questions about routine oil changes for automotive maintenance:...

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Vehicle maintenance is a top priority of responsible car owners. And nothing is more important to the overall wellbeing and longevity of your vehicle than regular maintenance, including engine oil changes and oil filter changes.

Even if you’re a long-time vehicle owner, you may have some of these typical questions about routine oil changes for automotive maintenance:

  • Where should I have my motor oil changed in Marin County?
  • Should I choose a shop that specializes in engine lube services, or one with more general automobile repair capabilities?
  • What are the pros and cons of getting an instant oil change, 10-minute oil change, or quick lube service rather than an oil change at a full-service shop?
  • How will having an oil change at a particular shop affect my car's warranty?
  • Which brand of oil filter and engine oil should I use?
  • What are the benefits and/or risks of going to a shop I choose based only on oil change coupons or free oil change offers?

 

There are a large number of car maintenance centers from which to choose in Marin County, including auto oil change shops that serve San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo and Larkspur, as well as those in the smaller towns and other areas.

So which shop is the best one for your situation?

Careful research and good information can be your keys to success. The following information and articles will give you good tips that will allow you to move confidently forward in choosing the best local oil change shop for your needs.

Only Consider Licensed Oil Change Locations in Marin County
Obviously, auto oil change mechanics in Marin County and the Bay Area vary greatly. They have different skills, various degrees of experience and diverse philosophies about vehicle oil changes and the products and methods to use.
It’s your prerogative to find a qualified, honest auto oil change shop in Marin County that will keep your vehicle running well over the course of its life, and perhaps even extend the life of your vehicle.

All auto oil change shops located in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. You can check the licensing status of any local automotive oil change locations by going to the Bureau of Auto Repair website. All recent violations, complaints or disciplinary actions will appear on their license.

Keep in mind, though, that Diamond Certified companies have already been thoroughly evaluated for you, including license verification. So choosing a company from the list above can save you time and hassle. If you are unable to choose a Diamond Certified oil change mechanic in your area of Marin County, you will have to take the time to do the research yourself.

Oil change technicians in   Marin County including some in Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Mill Valley and Larkspur who have earned certifications such as Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and completed advanced auto  maintenance training may be better able to maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Such technicians may have know-how and skill that others may be unable to match.

There may even be green auto oil change shops located throughout Marin County that take special precautions to ensure their oil change services are more eco-friendly. If this is an important consideration for you, make sure to ask the auto oil change shops you’re considering for a list of industry recognitions, qualifications and steps they take to provide green oil changes.

Find the Oil Change Services Your Car Needs in San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross, Belvedere And Your Area
Some auto oil change mechanics in Marin County specialize in certain services, such as engine oil changes and other fluid and lube services; others provide general services. Your first decision should be to choose whether a specialty oil change shop or a general auto repair facility that offers oil change services best suits your needs. 

It may be a good idea to talk with and perhaps use several auto oil change shops in the larger cities of Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael, Corte Madera, Novato and San Anselmo or your area of Marin County, including some that exclusively service your vehicle make. This will let you test out the services so you know which vehicle oil change service best meets your standards for quality and service.

Another factor to consider when finding auto oil change shops in Marin County is the quality of oil filters and fluids used. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto parts and fluids are those manufactured by the makers of the vehicle, and are made to fit the car exactly like the original parts. OEM parts may have a higher quality than some aftermarket auto parts, but aftermarket parts and automotive fluids may cost less.

Talk with your oil change expert about what parts and products they recommend for your vehicle, and ask them why they recommend those brands. The brands and products they use should match up with the dealer recommendations and offer the best quality possible for the cost.

If possible, visit the automotive lube shop in advance. Your first impressions of local auto oil change shops are valuable indications of the employees at and character of the organization.

You should find the shop to be orderly and modern, with posted rates and warranties and courteous and knowledgeable staff. The convenience of the location is important to consider as well, because you may be returning to the auto oil change shop for routine maintenance for years to come.

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Know What You Want
Know What You Want from Marin County Auto Oil Change Shops

Before you start looking for auto oil change services in Marin County, it’s important to know what you are looking for. If you're no longer going to the oil change facility  you used to frequent, ask yourself what you are unhappy with and what you’d like to see from your new oil change service.

You should able to answer to these questions:...

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Before you start looking for auto oil change services in Marin County, it’s important to know what you are looking for. If you're no longer going to the oil change facility  you used to frequent, ask yourself what you are unhappy with and what you’d like to see from your new oil change service.

You should able to answer to these questions:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified oil change company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • How often will I need to return for oil change, oil filter, or other automotive lube services?
  • What is the owners' manual recommendation for engine oil change intervals and other automotive fluid requirements?
  • What grade and weight and brand of motor oil do I need?
  • What is the motor oil capacity of my vehicle, and does that amount exceed the engine oil amount provided for the standard shop fee?
  • Is my engine oil level decreasing too rapidly, and what does that mean?
  • Are there particular engine performance problems I am hoping to resolve by the motor oil change, and is an oil change likely to resolve these?
  • Does the cost of the oil change include other complimentary services?
  • How long will the typical oil change and oil filter replacement services take?
  • Do I also want brake fluid, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid and automotive coolant fluid to be checked and replenished, and do I need transmission fluid changes, differential fluid, automotive refrigerant, and engine oil additives?
  • Do I want the additional value (and expense) of such maintenance services as tire-pressure checks and tire rotations, overall engine inspection, hose, belt, exterior light and battery connection inspections, and smog checks?
  • Do I want to combine oil change and other preventive services with other types of auto maintenance and repair, such as brake pad replacement, tire replacements, fuel filter changes, or air filter replacements?
  • Am I hearing unusual noises, or feeling vibration or pulling that I also need to have addressed?
  • Does the auto maintenance shop offer any particular credentials or evidence of good reputation in the community?
  • Are the oil change technicians properly trained and certified, and is there API certification for the products used in the process?
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What to Ask on the Phone
What to Ask Marin County Auto Oil Change Mechanics on the Phone

Before going to Marin County auto oil change shops, call and speak with a service representative regarding your specific car maintenance needs. 

It's good to have a list of questions and to write down the answers you get, so you can compare the answers and make a smart final decision.

You may want to use the following questions as a guide:...

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Before going to Marin County auto oil change shops, call and speak with a service representative regarding your specific car maintenance needs. 

It's good to have a list of questions and to write down the answers you get, so you can compare the answers and make a smart final decision.

You may want to use the following questions as a guide:

  • Has your vehicle oil change service location earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • Does your auto oil change shop specialize in oil changes, automotive lube services, and routine auto maintenance my vehicle may need (fuel filter changes, air filter replacements, etc.)?
  • Do your auto oil change technicians have auto oil change certifications?
  • How often do you service vehicles of the same make and model as mine (i.e. Ford, Land Rover, Chrysler, Toyota, Chevrolet, BMW, Honda, etc.)? 
  • Will the oil change maintenance affect my manufacturer's warranty?
  • What brands of motor oil and engine oil filters do you use?
  • Are you able to provide a written, itemized estimate for all the auto maintenance work to be undertaken?
  • What is your price range and structure on auto oil change services?
  • What warrantees and guarantees do you provide on auto lube or car maintenance? Are there any exceptions I should be aware of?
  • I live in _____ (San Rafael, San Anselmo, Novato, Larkspur, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross and Belvedere, etc.). Do you have courtesy cars or rental vehicles available while my car is in the shop?
  • How long has your auto oil change shop been providing automotive service in Marin County?
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What to Ask in Person
What to Ask Marin County Auto Oil Change Shop Staff In Person

Once you've addressed your telephone questions with local oil change shops, you should personally visit some of the standout oil change locations in San Rafael, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Mill Valley and Novato and your area.

Questions you may want to ask while there include:...

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Once you've addressed your telephone questions with local oil change shops, you should personally visit some of the standout oil change locations in San Rafael, Larkspur, San Anselmo, Mill Valley and Novato and your area.

Questions you may want to ask while there include:

  • How long will it take your auto oil change center to do the auto maintenance and repair work?
  • What information will you need to contact me on my auto oil change services?
  • Who will be in charge of doing my oil change? Will they also provide other maintenance services?
  • Will you tell me if you find anything else that is concerning or needs to be repaired or addressed?
  • Will you guarantee these services?
  • When can I pick up my vehicle?
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What to Ask References
Questions for Previous Auto Oil Change Customers

How can you tell that auto oil change facilities in Marin County have a record of providing high quality auto maintenance services including oil and filter changes?

That’s where research and independent surveys come in. All Diamond Certified auto oil change shops have undergone a ratings process that many other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from an auto maintenance shop in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified oil change locations....

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How can you tell that auto oil change facilities in Marin County have a record of providing high quality auto maintenance services including oil and filter changes?

That’s where research and independent surveys come in. All Diamond Certified auto oil change shops have undergone a ratings process that many other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from an auto maintenance shop in Marin County and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified oil change locations.

You can read Diamond Certified reports on all certified companies, including verbatim survey responses. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews because all research is performed by live telephone interviews of a large, random sample of real customers.


If you can’t find Diamond Certified oil and lube services within reach, you'll need to conduct some research of your own. Even if you’re in a hurry to get your oil change done right away, it is still a good idea to take a little time to check references. If you do, good auto oil change shops in Marin County should be willing to give you a list of recent customers you can call as references.

Keep in mind, though, that references provided by the shops are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references are hand-selected not randomly chosen from all customers, so you may end up talking to only satisfied customers rather than hearing from a representative sample.

If you do plan to call references, specifically ask for a list of the oil change center’s most recent customers (to help avoid them giving you only customers they know are satisfied) and call them. Ask general questions about their experience with the shop’s personnel as well as specific questions about the car maintenance.

Questions you might want to ask include:

  • What auto oil change, lube, or maintenance services did _(auto oil change shop name_) do for you?
  • Were you satisfied with the car maintenance at this Marin County auto oil change shop?
  • Were you satisfied with the auto oil change technicians’ turn-around time?
  • Did the auto oil change mechanics and service writers listen to you courteously and communicate with you promptly?
  • Do you feel the final price was fair for the auto oil changes you had done?
  • What did you most like about this particular Marin County automotive maintenance shop?
  • Would you go back for auto maintenance?
  • Would you recommend or have you recommended this auto oil change garage?
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Review Your Options
Visit Good Auto Oil Change Services in Marin County

One cost-effective strategy for finding a courteous and competent automobile oil change provider is the use of motor oil change coupons for reputable shops.  You will often be able to try a range of auto oil change services for less, which will provide a good engine oil change price as well as experience with the courtesy, quality, and timeliness of an individual company.
...

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One cost-effective strategy for finding a courteous and competent automobile oil change provider is the use of motor oil change coupons for reputable shops.  You will often be able to try a range of auto oil change services for less, which will provide a good engine oil change price as well as experience with the courtesy, quality, and timeliness of an individual company.

You may also decide it's most convenient to use the same automotive maintenance service for all your automotive needs, including oil changes. This can give your mechanic the benefit of seeing your vehicle several times a year so they can compare the condition of it to a baseline condition they have established over time.


Before making your final choice, review the notes you took during phone and in-person interviews with oil change services to determine if one stands out from the rest.

Pay attention to the answers to the following questions:

  • Can any of the auto oil change shops in Marin County satisfy your requirements for scheduling, auto oil changes, part preferences (OEM parts or aftermarket auto parts), and meet your expectations for courteous and timely service?
  • Does the oil change service representative communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Does one of the oil change locations use better parts and materials than the others?
  • Can one oil change shop meet your expectations in terms of location, pricing, services and customer care?
  • Is the auto oil change shop you’re considering committed to providing oil maintenance services that will help   keep your car safely on the road for years to come?
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How to Work With
Working With Good Oil Change Locations in Marin County

Although all auto oil change shops in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair it does not follow that any particular one will provide the best match for your car maintenance needs. 
...

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Although all auto oil change shops in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair it does not follow that any particular one will provide the best match for your car maintenance needs. 

Bear in mind your specific goals and expectations for Auto Oil Change services, and remember that all Diamond Certified companies have already been thoroughly checked on your behalf, including license verification.  If you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified auto maintenance or auto oil change shop in your area of Marin County, you should find the best oil change services for you based on your own search.


Auto oil change mechanics in Marin County, including those in the larger cities of Larkspur, San Rafael, Mill Valley, San Anselmo and Novato, who have experience providing oil changes to your make and model, or who have special certifications may be able to offer better oil and lube services that meet your needs.

Get Accurate Auto Oil Change Estimates
Be as detailed as possible, and don’t let yourself be rushed during the initial drop-off period. It’s important to answer your oil change mechanic’s questions and listen to his or her suggestions and observations. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. You should fully understand the auto maintenance services to be provided and why your vehicle needs those services.

You should also understand which oil brands, filters and other materials will be used during your oil change services. Your mechanic may give you the chance to choose the quality and type of oil or filters you receive, or they may be part of the package deal. You should always be allowed to pay to upgrade to a higher quality material if you choose.
An estimate for preventive maintenance and oil change costs must be provided to you in writing before the work begins. This estimate must include the total estimated cost for all parts and labor, and you must sign it for it to be valid and before the work moves forward.

If the estimated oil change costs are more than the original estimate, the shop must contact you before they move ahead with the services. These price changes must be reflected on your signed invoice, and you should be asked to verbally or physically sign off on all price changes.

Sign a Contract with Your Auto Oil Change Shop
When you’re satisfied with the information your Marin County shop has given you, review and sign the estimate and/or service agreement.

Verify that the auto oil change facility has a phone number where the representative can reach you at all times while your vehicle is in the shop and when the oil change and filter change is completed. He or she must get your approval for any additional work, and it can slow down or even stop progress on your maintenance if he or she can’t reach you to get consent for work not listed on the original work order.

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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good Auto Oil Change Shop Customer?

It's the auto oil change shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete oil change on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's lube and maintenance.

Here are a few simple steps you can take when you take your minivan, truck or car into an auto oil change shop....

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It's the auto oil change shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete oil change on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's lube and maintenance.

Here are a few simple steps you can take when you take your minivan, truck or car into an auto oil change shop.

  • Be clear and upfront with the auto oil change representative. Let him or her know why you are coming in for services, what outcome you’re expecting, and specific ways he or she can satisfy your expectations.
  • Ask your service writer to call you with updates, or whether you should call to check on the progress of your vehicle oil change services.
  • Be sure your service writer has a phone number where he or she can reach you at all times while your car or truck is in for car maintenance in Marin County, including the larger cities of Sausalito, Tiburon, Corte Madera.
  • When your shop contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the auto maintenance on schedule.
  • Pay for the oil change services promptly.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Auto oil change shops in Marin County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior creates an environment conducive to a good relationship.

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Check the Work
Check the Completed Auto Oil Changes Against Your Written Invoice

When the work is completed, your mechanic is required to give you a written invoice. This must include:...

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When the work is completed, your mechanic is required to give you a written invoice. This must include:

  • The name and physical address of the shop and their auto oil change registration number.
  • A list of all work performed, including work done at no charge.
  • An itemized list of all replaced parts.
  • The total auto oil change  cost, including the amount charged for auto oil change  labor.
  • Any applicable hazardous waste disposal fees for disposing of auto oil or old car filters.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading at drop off and pick up.
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Written Warranties
Ask for Written Warranties from Marin County Auto Oil Change Mechanics

Before leaving the auto oil change shop, confirm any warranties offered by the maintenance shop or the parts manufacturer. Not all auto oil change shops offer guarantees on their labor or materials.

But those that do should give you a written warranty document that must detail:...

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Before leaving the auto oil change shop, confirm any warranties offered by the maintenance shop or the parts manufacturer. Not all auto oil change shops offer guarantees on their labor or materials.

But those that do should give you a written warranty document that must detail:

  • The auto oil change shop’s name and physical address.
  • What the warranty covers. This should include whether the shop will replace failed parts or give you a refund.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a product failure.
  • How long the warranty is valid.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Automotive Oil Change Services in Marin County

Automotive maintenance and repair shops in Marin County provide all types of automobile maintenance services, along with oil changes and filter changes. The following are the most familiar requests for local auto oil change shops in Marin County and the Bay Area.

Routine Auto Maintenance...

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Automotive maintenance and repair shops in Marin County provide all types of automobile maintenance services, along with oil changes and filter changes. The following are the most familiar requests for local auto oil change shops in Marin County and the Bay Area.

Routine Auto Maintenance
Also known as a tune-up, routine vehicle maintenance is the regular check-up schedule recommended by vehicle manufacturers. It is usually recommended at 30-, 60-, and 90,000 mile intervals. Routine maintenance usually involves checking and replacing air filters, fuel filters, oil filters, cabin filters, brake fluid, power steering fluid, automotive coolant, windshield wiper fluid, engine oil, transmission fluid, rotors, distributor caps, spark plug wires, and spark plugs.

Most car mechanics in Marin County will also ensure the engine, exhaust and electrical systems are functioning correctly. These routine vehicle maintenance checks allow auto oil change mechanics to prevent expensive car repairs by catching small issues before they become big problems.

Transmission Fluid Change
Transmission fluid lubricates moving transmission parts and in automatic transmissions also cools and transfers power.  Replacing this fluid is best done by a trained technician equipped with a transmission flusher, which achieves a more thorough result than that achieved by simple gravity effect. 

Engine Oil Change Service
Engine oil, or motor oil, provides a layer of hydrocarbon fluid between engine parts to reduce friction.  Friction creates heat, decreases power, increases fuel usage, and wears down engine surfaces: leading to disrepair and failure in internal combustion engines and transmissions.  During regular vehicle use, motor oil deteriorates and loses valuable lubrication properties, and therefore needs to be replaced regularly, probably at least every 7,500 miles.

Engine Oil Filter Change Service
Engine oil filters capture contaminants from engine oil. During routine engine operation over time, motor oil breaks down and forms a sludge of combustion products and metal particles, and engine oil filters become clogged. Regular oil filter changes are therefore necessary.

Motor Oil Replacement
Motor oil is made up largely of additives.  Although motor oil itself perhaps does not deteriorate, the additives which make up some one third of its volume, do degrade over time.  In addition some motor oil loss inevitably occurs during typical operation, from leakage, and this motor oil must be replaced.

Lube and Oil Change Service
Lube is the short version of the term "lubrication."  Lubrication refers to decreasing friction between moving engine and transmission parts, and thus lube services are generally synonymous with engine oil changes and transmission fluid or transmission oil changes.  These services will also sometimes include the replacement of engine oil filters and transmission oil filters. Chassis lubrication is another service sometimes performed in a routine lube service package. 

Auto Fluid Maintenance
Fluid levels are very important in automotive maintenance. Engine oil is hardly the only consideration, and the point of motor oil and oil filter change is a convenient time to consider auto filter maintenance. Transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and automotive coolant levels are all very significant for reliable vehicle operation.  Even windshield wiper fluid can be crucial, as anyone who has run out can easily confirm. Remember as well that it is always a good idea to have a quart or two of motor oil in your car for emergencies that may develop.

Auto Filter Maintenance
The engine oil filter is perhaps the most crucial for vehicle operation, but several others are important as well. These include the transmission filter, the fuel filter, the cabin air filter, and the engine air filter. Getting oil change services may be a convenient reminder for having auto filter maintenance done as well.

Tire Pressure Checks and Tire Rotation
Tire care is a necessary element of automobile maintenance due to the effect of constant road friction and road hazards. Tire rotation can help maximize effective tire life, and tire pressure checks help maintain optimum tire pressures for safety, longevity, and fuel efficiency.

Synthetic Oil for Vehicles
Synthetic oil is now widely used for engine lubrication. Synthetic oil offers premium lubrication properties, and may be particularly important in extreme weather conditions.

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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified auto oil change shops are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the auto oil change location you visited is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Know Your Rights as a Marin County Auto Oil Change Shop Customer...

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Diamond Certified auto oil change shops are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the auto oil change location you visited is Diamond Certified and you can’t resolve the issue by talking with the owner, contact the mediation department at info@diamondcertified.org or call 800-738-1138.

Know Your Rights as a Marin County Auto Oil Change Shop Customer
The auto oil change industry may have sometimes been tainted with a dishonest reputation. But the truth is most auto oil change shops in Marin County are honest and really do look out for their customers’ best interests. Still, you should know what to do if you are ever dissatisfied with your local auto oil change shop or automotive maintenance.


Easy Ways To End Conflict with Marin County Auto Oil Change Shops
If you have a complaint or concern about your automotive maintenance, immediately ask to speak with the service manager. This will probably be the optimal way to resolve problems directly with the auto oil change shop management, minimizing conflict and getting your maintenance done right and on time.

When talking with the representative, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Know your rights. As a customer of oil change services in Marin County, California’s Automotive Repair Act entitles you to a written estimate for all automotive maintenance service, and documented details of the work performed and the parts used.
  2. Remain polite.
  3. Explain the problem, and detail your view of fair treatment.
  4. Be willing to compromise or negotiate an acceptable agreement.

Document in writing your concerns with the auto oil change service. Write down the auto oil change shop’s response in case you need records for future arbitration.

If you can’t reach an agreement, tell the engine oil change shop you are going to file a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair and do so.

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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms Associated with Oil Change Facilities

Below are key auto oil change and auto maintenance terms that are frequently used by local oil change and lube centers.

air filter
A paper or synthetic filter that prevents dust, dirt and debris from entering the engine.

Also known as: auto air filters, car air filter, performance air filter, auto air filter replacements, auto cabin air filter...

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Below are key auto oil change and auto maintenance terms that are frequently used by local oil change and lube centers.

air filter
A paper or synthetic filter that prevents dust, dirt and debris from entering the engine.

Also known as: auto air filters, car air filter, performance air filter, auto air filter replacements, auto cabin air filter

aftermarket oil change parts
Auto oil change parts not made by the original manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are made by a secondary company to fit and function like the original parts, but are generally less expensive because they are not made by the car manufacturer.

auto oil change shop
An automotive shop that specializes in auto oil changes and may offer other services to maintain automobiles.

Also known as: auto oil change garage, car maintenance shop, auto maintenance shop, automotive maintenance facility

auto engine oil service
Provision of engine lubrication and filter replacement. Fresh engine oil reduces wear and power loss in internal combustion engines by providing a layer of lubrication between engine parts, and clean engine oil filters improve the removal of contaminants.

Also known as: motor oil service, lube and oil change service, oil filter change, change oil filter

auto transmission oil service
Provision of transmission lubrication and filter replacement. Fresh transmission oil reduces wear and power loss by providing a layer of lubrication between transmission parts, and clean transmission oil filters improve the removal of contaminants.

Also known as: transmission lube and oil change service, transmission fluid change, transmission oil filter change

engine oil
The substance that lubricates and cools engine parts. Oil eventually becomes contaminated by moisture, soot and fuel, and moisture causes build-up. Additives in engine oil account for nearly a third of engine oil volume, and their deterioration is a key reason for frequent engine oil changes.

Also known as: motor oil, engine lubrication, auto lubrication

engine oil additives
Additional substances in motor oil. About a third of motor oil volume is engine oil additives which fight contamination and suffer wear between oil changes.

Also known as: motor oil additives, engine lubrication additives, auto lubrication additives

engine oil filter
The device that strains and removes dirt from the engine oil to improve engine lubrication. Oil filters eventually become full of contaminants such as particles and sludge, and need to be replaced.

Also known as: motor oil filter

engine oil consumption
A fact of automobile engines; engine oil gets past rings and seals and is burned in the fuel chamber. Although some motor oil consumption is normal, a given amount may also be too great. Engine use of no more than a quart of oil in 3000 miles indicates good condition, and use of no more than a quart in 1500 miles is also fairly good. Blue exhaust and excessive use of engine oil may indicate the need for engine repair.

Also known as: motor oil use, motor oil consumption, engine oil burning, engine oil loss

engine oil gauge
The dashboard indicator of oil pressure. A warning light means a low oil level requiring immediate refill, and is a serious automotive emergency.

Also known as: engine oil pressure gauge, engine oil warning

engine oil pan
The pan at the bottom of the automobile crankcase. In the engine oil change process, used motor oil is drained away by removal of the oil drain plug at the bottom of the engine oil pan.

Also known as: engine oil plug

foreign auto oil change shops
Foreign auto oil change shops may be available to perform maintenance on vehicles manufactured by foreign car companies, including some models built in the United States.

synthetic engine oil
Synthetic oils provide engine oil fluidity in sub-freezing conditions. They also have lubrication advantages at high temperatures.

Also known as: synthetic lubricants

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Good Local Oil Change Services

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified auto oil change shop?...

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Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified auto oil change shop?
A: Diamond Certified ends the guessing game by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Most companies can’t pass, so only local auto oil change shops rated Highest in Quality earn the Diamond Certified award. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified auto oil change shop for your vehicle maintenance.

Q: What rights do I have as a consumer in Marin County when it comes to automotive maintenance?
A: You have the right, under the Automotive Repair Act of 1974,  to a written estimate for all car maintenance or repair work, and the right to detailed invoices that list all work done and parts supplied. Visit the Bureau of Auto Repair website for more information.


Q: What is an oil change?
A: An engine oil change is a crucial element of automobile maintenance, and specifically of preventive auto maintenance, perhaps the most important aspect of automotive service.  An oil change replaces degraded engine oil with freshly manufactured high quality motor oil for superior lubrication of moving engine parts.

Q: What is an oil filter change?
A: An engine oil filter change is a crucial complement to an engine oil change in preventive automobile maintenance. An oil change replaces the deteriorated engine oil; an oil filter change replaces the filter impaired by a collection of sludge and engine particles with a new clean one, for maintaining the optimal engine lubrication provided by the fresh engine oil.

Q: Why is an engine oil change and engine oil filter change important?
A: Automobile engines are subject to wear, power loss, and eventual failure because of friction between the moving parts of motors.  Motor oil decreases engine friction, thus increasing power and gas mileage and prolonging automobile engine life.  Oil filters keep the engine oil relatively free from products of combustion and engine surface breakdown.  Over time, engine oil deteriorates, and engine oil filters are filled up with contaminants, so the motor oil and the engine oil filter need to be replaced.

Q: What engine oil SAE viscosity grade should I use?
A: Your manufacturer may specify the grade of engine oil in your owners manual, and you should realize that motor oils perform differently based on typical operating environment temperatures. In general, thicker oil is used in hotter environments, and thinner oil is preferred in colder weather.  Lower viscosity engine oil may be recommended more commonly in newer vehicles.

Q: When or how often should I change my engine oil and engine oil filter?
A: Some have advocated engine oil and filter changes every 3 months or 3,000 miles.  The California EPA has led a campaign against this relatively short interval in favor of the recommendations of the automobile manufacturer. Manufacturers commonly indicate that an interval of 7,500 miles is appropriate. One important factor is the quality of the motor oil.  Synthetic engine oils provide a higher quality than others through improved stability. Conditions of automobile use are also significant: frequent trips of under 10 miles in which the oil does not reach full temperature may be reason for more frequent engine oil changes. 

Q: Which brand of engine oil and which engine oil filter should I use?
A: Numerous brands of engine oil and engine oil filters are available, and consulting your manufacturer's owners manual will provide recommendations.  Having a reliable and experienced auto maintenance provider will be helpful in making this decision.

Q: Why do I need to have my transmission fluid changed?
A: Changing transmission fluid or transmission oil maximizes lubrication, for protection from damaging friction between moving parts and eventual transmission failure. This procedure is specified at certain intervals by your manufacturer in the owners manual. Automatic transmission fluid change is best done with a transmission flusher by an experienced mechanic.

Q: Is it a good idea to choose an auto oil change shop that has certifications?
A: While certifications don’t guarantee you’ll get better car maintenance or better service at Marin County vehicle centers, certifications are often an indicator of how serious an auto oil change shop is about providing customers with outstanding auto maintenance. Certifications such as ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and memberships in automotive service organizations show that the car mechanics have demonstrated an increased degree of professionalism.

Q: Is there a difference between independent auto oil change shops and dealership maintenance shops in Marin County?
A: Where you take your vehicle for car maintenance is your own careful decision based on thorough consideration, the shop where you feel most comfortable and where your car receives the best maintenance service. However, keep in mind the differences between independent auto oil change shops and dealerships located in Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Mill Valley and Larkspur and the rest of Marin County. Local independent maintenance shops are free to use any brand or quality of parts they choose. This, along with the fact of lower hourly rates for car maintenance, can mean big savings.

However, dealerships may be superior in training on newer makes and models. Many newer cars are also still under warranty, and this means some maintenance can be done for free at a dealership. It may even be the case that having warranty maintenance done at an independent automotive maintenance shop will void existing warranties.

Q: Is it really important to take my car to a local shop for regularly scheduled maintenance? Isn’t that just a way for them to make more money?
A: Routine auto maintenance is costly but important.  Engine lubrication in particular is essential.  While it makes sense to achieve cost savings wherever possible, for example by the use of engine oil change and engine filter change coupons, it is important not to disregard routine car maintenance.  A small investment in preventive auto care preserves and protects the large investment you have already made in your vehicle. Be aware of the maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual, and let your trusted local Marin County auto oil change help you with regular car maintenance to protect your automotive investment.

Q: Routing car maintenance is so expensive. Can’t I save money by going to a discount auto oil change garage in Marin County?
A: There are always ways to maximize savings in auto maintenance, and you should be careful to choose an engine oil change price that is prudent and economical. Remember however that a lower engine oil change price may reflect a lower quality job, and be sure  the auto oil change shop you have chosen is reliable for the automotive maintenance services you need.  Remember the assurances available from a Diamond Certified auto oil change shop.

Q: Is there a reason I should request OEM parts instead of aftermarket auto parts?
A: Because aftermarket parts are often cheaper than OEM parts, some auto oil change garages in Marin County install them to lower car maintenance prices. Your mechanic should be able to explain the choice of auto parts for reliable and cost-effective car maintenance.

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Consumer Agencies
More Information About Local Oil Change Experts

American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) (http://www.aoca.org/)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (http://www.asashop.org/)
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (http://www.asecert.org/)...

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American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) (http://www.aoca.org/)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (http://www.asashop.org/)
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (http://www.asecert.org/)
Automotive Warehouse Distributor Association (AWDA) (http://www.awda.org/)
California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/)
California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (CSSARA) (http://www.cssara.org/)
Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) (http://www.jama.org/)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) (http://www.mema.org/)
National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) (http://www.natef.org/)

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Industry Information
Marin County Auto Oil Change Information
Popular Automotive Oil BrandsTypes of Automotive Oil & Services Available in Marin County Cities Served Zip Codes Served
Conoco Automotive OilVW oil changesAlmonte
Bel Marin Keys
Belvedere
Belvedere Tiburon
Black Point
Bolinas
Corte Madera
Dillon Beach
Dogtown
Fairfax
Forest Knolls
Greenbrae
Ignacio
Inverness
Kent Woodlands
Kentfield
Lagunitas
Larkspur
Lucas Valley
Marin City
Marinwood
Marshall
Mill Valley
Mission Rafael
Muir Beach
Muir Woods
Nicasio
Novato
Olema
Point Reyes Station
Ross
San Anselmo
San Geronimo
San Marin
San Quentin
San Rafael
Santa Venetia
Sausalito
Sleepy Hollow
Stinson Beach
Strawberry Point
Tamal
Tamalpais Valley
Terra Linda
Tiburon
Tomales
Woodacre
94901
94903
94904
94912
94913
94914
94915
94920
94924
94925
94929
94930
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Exxon Motor Oiltruck oil changes
Havoline Motor Oilsynthetic oil change
Chevron Motor Oilpremium motor oil changes
Citgo Auto Oiloil transmission change
Pennzoil Motor Oiloil leak repair
Phillips 66 Automotive Oilmotorcycle oil change
Quaker State Motor Oilmotor oil sales
Kendall Automotive OilMercedes oil change
Marathon Motor Oillube & oil change
Mobile 1 (Mobile One)instant oil change
Valvoline Car Oilhigh mileage oil change
Castrol Syntec Motor OilHarley oil changes
Texaco Motor Oilfast oil change
Redline Automotive Oildiesel engine oil
Royal Purple Motor Oilcommercial oil changes
Sunoco Motor Oilcar oil filters
76 Motor OilAudi oil changes
AMSOIL Automotive Oil5 30 motor oil
Castrol Car Oil3 in 1 motor oil (3 in one motor oil)
Lubrication Engineers LE Auto Oil15 40 motor oil
Firestone Automotive Oil10 30 motor oil