Diamond Certified Company Report

Orinda Motors, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Orinda Motors, Inc.

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 390 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Reginald A.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were satisfactory. They helped me with a flat. They helped me in different ways. They are good people that came though without any questions. It was an excellent service all around. I went there for a flat tire the first time, and then came back to buy a full set of tires the following week.

The customer service was excellent. They did everything to get me back on the road without any problems. Overall, it was a great company with great people.

Robert U.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're good, expensive, polite, and professional.

I've been using them for years. When I call and ask for service, they're very available. They always find time for me, and I appreciate that.

Mr. E.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, and cost-effective.

It's always convenient for me to use them.

Read All 390 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

John Vanek, Manager

Orinda Motors, Inc. has been serving Lamorinda area drivers from the same location since 1925. The shop works on all types of domestic, foreign, and hybrid cars and offers a wide range of diagnostic and repair services, from scheduled maintenance to major repairs and engine replacements.

Owner Allen Pennebaker and his wife, Terry, have owned Orinda Motors since 1996. Mr. Pennebaker says he’s very proud of the automotive service team of ASE Master Technicians he’s assembled. In the main shop alone, the technicians have more than 90 years of combined experience, and the service office has another 65.

Next door to Orinda Motors’ main facility is Orinda Classic Car Center, which handles classic car repairs and service from all over Northern California. “We’re experts in all aspects of restoration, upgrades and performance modifications,” says Mr. Pennebaker. Customers of either shop can check the status of their vehicles at www.orindamotors.com or call to speak to a technician. Additionally, the company offers hand car washes and full-service detailing by Orinda Auto Detail at its Flying A Gas of Orinda site across town. Complimentary shuttle service and vehicle pickup/ delivery are available at all locations.

Read moreShow less
COMPANY REPORT NAVIGATION

Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Orinda Motors, Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Locations

Contra Costa County
Orinda
Lafayette
Moraga

Get Directions
SERVICES PERFORMED

Computerized Diagnostics
Factory-Required Maintenance
Auto Detailing and Hand Car Washing
Complete Tire Center
Classic Car Specialists
Nitrogen Air Inflation Service
Express Oil Changes
Rental Cars

BRANDS Supported
  • Bosch Invented for Life

  • ACDelco

  • Bosch

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Orinda Motors, Inc.

Company Profile

Orinda Motors, Inc. has been serving Lamorinda area drivers from the same location since 1925. The shop works on all types of domestic, foreign, and hybrid cars and offers a wide range of diagnostic and repair services, from scheduled maintenance to major repairs and engine replacements.

Owner Allen Pennebaker and his wife, Terry, have owned Orinda Motors since 1996. Mr. Pennebaker says he’s very proud of the automotive service team of ASE Master Technicians he’s assembled. In the main shop alone, the technicians have more than 90 years of combined experience, and the service office has another 65.

Next door to Orinda Motors’ main facility is Orinda Classic Car Center, which handles classic car repairs and service from all over Northern California. “We’re experts in all aspects of restoration, upgrades and performance modifications,” says Mr. Pennebaker. Customers of either shop can check the status of their vehicles at www.orindamotors.com or call to speak to a technician. Additionally, the company offers hand car washes and full-service detailing by Orinda Auto Detail at its Flying A Gas of Orinda site across town. Complimentary shuttle service and vehicle pickup/ delivery are available at all locations.

Read moreRead Less
Company Philosophy

"We focus on providing excellent service for the people of Orinda, Lafayette and Moraga. Whether customers are in our shop or speaking to us on the phone, we do everything we can to exceed their expectations. We never cut corners on quality or service, and we take pride in our professionally staffed shop. We stand behind everything we do."

Read moreRead Less
Comparative Summary

Since 1925, Orinda Motors, Inc. has been servicing cars for motorists in the Lamorinda area. “We offer better service than people expect,” says owner Allen Pennebaker. “It’s a combination of our technical expertise, training, equipment, convenience, and excellent customer service. We have the expertise of a dealership with the feel of a small-town mechanic.”

Orinda Motors makes customer convenience a top priority. If a client is unable to bring their car in, one of the shop’s employees can go to their house, pick it up and deliver it back when the job is done. Rental cars are available on the premises, and the company offers a shuttle service for customers with busy schedules. “We go out of our way to make the car repair process convenient for people,” says Mr. Pennebaker. “This includes gestures like driving customers’ kids to swim practice.”

Orinda Motors’ Express Oil Change & Tire Center–which is located next door to the main facility–offers lube services six days a week with no appointment necessary. It handles oil and filter changes, fluid checks, tire pressure services, alignments, maintenance reminders, and more.

Training is important at Orinda Motors–many of its technicians undergo more than 20 hours of ongoing training per quarter. All have a minimum of 20 years’ experience, and most are ASE-certified Master Technicians. They service all foreign and domestic vehicles, including hybrids. They also have special expertise in servicing, repairing and mechanically restoring classic cars. “We can work on everything because we have five different technicians,” says Mr. Pennebaker. “We have a lot of experience, and that’s important when working on cars in the Lamorinda area. We’ve built a crew of solid technicians, and that’s the core of our success.”

Read moreRead Less
Industry Info

The importance of technical knowledge can’t be overstated. “Cars are becoming increasingly high-tech, so technicians must be continually trained to stay updated on industry standards,” says Allen Pennebaker, owner of Orinda Motors, Inc. “When shops aren’t doing that, they’re basically parts-changers. There’s a lot of guessing. Sometimes the guesses are lucky, but ongoing training is always a better way to do business.”

Make sure the shop’s personnel are connected to various nationwide resources where they can get up-to-date information and data on specific problems that might come up during the course of a repair job.

After you’ve done your research and found an auto repair shop you trust, it’s a good idea to develop a routine maintenance schedule to keep your car in top running condition. Many repairs become necessary as a result of poor maintenance, so ask your mechanic to help you create a maintenance checklist, which should include things like regular oil and filter changes, tire rotations and fluid checks. It’s important to follow all of the scheduled maintenance required by the manufacturer to keep your warranty valid.

Read moreRead Less
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My car needs some work. Can you tell me over the phone how much it will cost?

A: Giving a price over the phone without first taking a look at the car is difficult. We offer an excellent value in the sense that a repair is a two-part process—first figuring out what’s wrong with the car, and then fixing it. We charge fairly for both of these things, but we won’t charge for a diagnostic in cases where we can easily figure out the problem without it.

Q: Do you match prices?

A: As a rule, we don’t practice price matching. Often, we don’t agree with the recommendations of other shops, and sometimes we find that certain repairs aren’t even necessary. We don’t guess when it comes to repairs. We think it’s better to determine the right answer ourselves so we don’t do something that’s both costly and unnecessary. Some people are more concerned with shopping around for the cheapest price than finding a place they can trust. It’s shouldn’t just be about cost—you should find an auto repair shop that employs experienced technicians who can diagnose and make the necessary repairs using the best parts available. We don’t compete on price, we compete on value.

Q: How soon will I get my car back?

A: It depends on the extent of the job. We realize how busy our customers are, so we make sure to work as quickly as possible while guaranteeing a professional job in a timeframe that suits their schedules.

Q: Do you do insurance work and extended warranty repairs?

A: Yes, and we’ll even call the insurance company on your behalf to represent you and get the best results.

Q: Do you have high-tech, up-to-date equipment?

A: Yes. As a premium shop, we have all the necessary tools to offer premium service. We regularly purchase new equipment to keep up with technology, and we make sure our technicians are updated on their training.

Q: If I have questions or concerns about my car while you’re working on it, may I check in to see how things are going?

A: Absolutely. Our technicians are always available if a customer wants to talk about the work that’s being done on their car. If you want to come in and see your car—or if you’d like us to take pictures or a video and send them to you—we’ll happily accommodate. We want to make the repair process as comfortable as possible for our customers.

Q: Do you offer any specials or incentives?

A: Yes. You can visit our website (www.orindamotors.com) to find out about the specials we offer at any given time.

Read moreRead Less

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Orinda Motors, Inc.

View Comments
Shares

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM John Vanek

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • John Vanek is a 43-year veteran of the auto repair industry and manager of Orinda Motors, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2002. He can be reached at (925) 709-4934 or by email.

John Vanek: Auto Motivated

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ORINDA — While people become involved in the auto repair industry for a variety of reasons, John Vanek’s motivation came primarily from the heart. “I’m one of those guys in the business who really loves cars,” he affirms. “I love working on them, driving them and just about everything else. Even when I’m not at the shop, you’ll often find me working on one of my personal restoration projects at home, which include a 1953 Chevy pickup and a 1936 Ford sedan.”

Thanks to a close family connection in the industry, John was able to jumpstart his automotive career at an early age. “When I was a kid, my older brother opened his own repair shop,” he remembers. “I started out sweeping the shop when I was 15, and I eventually worked my way up to servicing the vehicles.” After 24 years working at his brother’s business, John moved on to the shop he currently manages, Orinda Motors, Inc.

A native of the East Bay, John was born in Berkeley and now lives in El Sobrante, where he appreciates the outdoor opportunities afforded by the local landscape. “My wife, Barbara, and I enjoy going on walks and hikes so we can take in scenic views while getting fresh air and exercise,” he says. “There are a lot of places to do that here, including Tilden Regional Park, which is pretty close to our house.”

Outside of work, John engages in a variety of hobbies and pastimes, from restoring old cars to playing music. “Besides cars, music is my biggest passion. My main instrument is the drums, but I also play guitar and bass.” John also keeps up with his and Barbara’s grown children, Kyle and Sarah, both of whom live locally. Furthermore, as members of the local Elks Lodge, he and Barbara invest a significant amount of time into giving back to their community. “The Elks Lodge does a lot for local charities, including annual fundraising events like dances and pasta feeds, so it’s very rewarding to be a part of that.”

In his life and career, John espouses the importance of treating others fairly and honestly. “I treat people the same way I like to be treated, which is a big part of living with honesty and integrity. Auto repair is an expensive investment, so I always try to use my knowledge and experience to help my customers make good decisions and hopefully save some money in the process.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, John says he’d take some time to go exploring. “I’d probably go on a big backpacking trip—nothing outrageous, maybe just some trails around Yosemite. There’s also a trail up north called the Lost Coast Trail that I’d like to do. Other than that, I would spend more time working on my cars and playing music.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first car?
A: A Datsun 510.

Q: If you could drive any car, what would you choose?
A: A 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500.

Q: If you had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My Tonka trucks.

Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: The Ibanez acoustic-electric bass guitar my wife gave me for our 20th anniversary.

Read moreRead less
Expert articles
  • The Importance of Properly Functioning Shocks

    ORINDA — Shocks are an important yet often overlooked aspect of a vehicle’s operation. The basic function of shocks is to absorb the turbulence (bumps and jolts) of driving on the road—not only to provide a more comfortable ride, but also to reduce stress on other components of your car. However, when shocks become worn out over time, they can compromise vehicle performance.

    One of the first things to fail in a shock is the dampening, which, in addition to rebounding bumps while driving, keeps the tire firmly mounted on the pavement, creating what’s known as a “contact patch.” When dampening becomes diminished, this contact patch becomes diminished as well. Not only does this lead to uneven tire wear, it also requires components such as the brakes and suspension to work harder, resulting in premature wear.

    An easy way to assess the functionality of your shocks is to check the ride control: if your vehicle rides rough, with a lot of body roll, sway and bouncing, it’s probably time to replace your shocks. Additionally, the shocks in modern cars tend to lose their dampening after 50,000 miles, so if your car has anywhere near 100,000 miles and you’ve never replaced the shocks, it’s a good idea to get them checked by a car care professional.

    Read moreRead less
Expert video tip

Video: Suspension System Awareness and Safety

Complete Video Transcription:

ORINDA — Host, Sarah Rutan: To keep your car running smoothly, it’s important to know how each part of its system works. Today, we’re in Orinda with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor John Vanek of Orinda Motors to learn more about a vehicles suspension system.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, John Vanek: Okay, when we talk about shocks and struts, shocks and struts basically do the same job. They’re mounted on the car a little bit differently, but they have the same task. Basically shocks are dampeners. The springs in the car take care of the bumps and the bounces, and the dampening part of the shock rebounds the bumps and it is designed to keep the tire firmly mounted on the ground.

When the tire is firmly mounted on the ground, you have a contact patch which makes [00:00:28 rare] contact with the pavement. When the dampening of the shock is reduced, the contact patch is reduced as well. This makes other components work harder, like the brakes, like the suspension and it also will cause some tire wear.

When you have worn-out shocks, the contact patch is not good, what you’re going to get is some possibly choppy wear in the tires, uneven wear in the tires even though the center tread is good, this choppiness will cause a roughness, shimmy, pulsation, vibration, or noise.

When you have a good shock with good dampening, you have a good, firm control. When you have a worn-out shock with bad dampening, it’s soft, does not provide the contact patch that you want. Modern cars, the industry standard says they start to lose their dampening after 50,000 miles. So, in between 50,000 and 100,000 miles you can expect your car will be a candidate for struts or shocks.

The best way to do it is to check the ride control. If the ride’s rough, you get a lot of body roll, sway, bouncing compiled with poor tire wear, then you’re a candidate for replacement of shocks and struts. If your car has anywhere near 100,000 miles and you have not done them yet, it’s a good idea to get them checked out by your car care professional.

Host, Sarah Rutan: To learn more from local, top-rated companies, visit our Diamond Certified Expert Reports at experts.diamondcertified.org.

Read moreRead less
Orinda Motors, Inc. WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Orinda Motors, Inc. SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Orinda Motors, Inc.
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

Each surveyed customer was asked, “If you needed any helpful expertise, did this company provide that expertise?” To calculate this score, total “Yes” responses were divided by total responses (excluding those that stated they hadn’t needed any expertise).

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 390 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Orinda Motors, Inc. : Average 8.8 out of 10 based on 390 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Reginald A.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were satisfactory. They helped me with a flat. They helped me in different ways. They are good people that came though without any questions. It was an excellent service all around. I went there for a flat tire the first time, and then came back to buy a full set of tires the following week.

The customer service was excellent. They did everything to get me back on the road without any problems. Overall, it was a great company with great people.

Robert U.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're good, expensive, polite, and professional.

I've been using them for years. When I call and ask for service, they're very available. They always find time for me, and I appreciate that.

Mr. E.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're friendly, knowledgeable, accommodating, and cost-effective.

It's always convenient for me to use them.

Monique J.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I don't have anything really.

Good customer support

Alan L.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very professional.

They got the car running again.

Shannon V.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Please support local businesses. I'm a huge supporter of local, family-ran businesses, and they are actually worth it per quality.

Customer service

Erik H.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

There are few things that I love about them when it comes to my older cars, especially my 1967 Imperial that they have helped tremendously with. I don't own new cars, but for my very complicated old cars, they have provided excellent service consistently. If anything is wrong with the repairs or work, they always make right on any issue. They are not cheap, but the quality for the money is well worth it. One of the best garages in the East Bay, best I've used thus far. I've been using them about 2-3 times a year for the last 10 years. I'm a steady customer.

There are two things I liked best, the excellent relationship I have with the service manager and the master mechanic Greg. He is truly knowledgeable about the old cars that I have. I have 50-60 year old cars, so it is hard to find someone to do this type of work.

Cindy G.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're reliable, caring, and budget conscientious. They do excellent work.

The quality, the cost, and the personal attention that they gave me

Joel T.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very cordial and helpful.

I liked the way they kept me informed of everything that they did.

Ian M.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do quality work for an affordable price.

I liked the quality of the work.

Rich K.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say that it's a great mom and pop shop.

I just felt like they were honest.

Frank M.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I've already recommend them to a lot of people.

I liked their reliability. They are really good at pin-pointing issues with my Mercedes.

Barbara C.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have really good customer service and good follow-through.

I like Kate's personality and the way she communicates with me about things.

Ray M.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I was very satisfied. They just stand behind their work. If something goes wrong, they'll fix it. If it's not right, they fix it, no problem.

Their customer service and the body work

John A.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would not hesitate in recommending that people go there for an estimate.

The quality of their workmanship

Victor M.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are fine. They are not high quality, but they are doing okay. I can't tell them that they're not doing a good job, because they are doing a good job.

When you sign the contract and tell them what to do, they do the job as promised.

Robert N.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's a good place. Take your car there.

The customer service and the repair, it was done on time, and they took care of the job really well. I had no problems.

John M.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great. I have recommended them to others.

They are very straightforward. They will tell you upfront what is wrong. That is good customer service.

Eric B.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The do a very good job. The quality is good.

The work was good.

Marilyn V.

VERIFIED Orinda Motors, Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 390

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very friendly and prompt in service.

The quality of work

Read All 390 Survey Responses at Ratings View