San Francisco – Auto Repair

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2941 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 523-0017

Serving all of San Francisco including Sunset District, Richmond District, Mission District, Tenderloin, Bernal Heights, Nob Hill and Pacific Heights.

Services include clutch replacements, brakes, smog checks, diagnostics, scheduled maintenance, electrical, check engine light, suspension, ac & heating repair, cooling systems, transmission & differential rebuilds. Brands include BMW,...
License 261617 | DCID4157517860
545 Faxon Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 830-8930

Serving all of San Francisco including Mission District, Sunset, Bernal Heights, North Beach Russian Hill, Nob Hill and Tenderloin.

Services include factory scheduled maintenance, engine light diagnostics, tires, alignments, suspension, repairs, domestic & foreign. Brands include Honda, Acura, Toyota, Chevrolet and GM...
License 14055 | DCID4155871063
340 10th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 529-6169

Serving all of San Francisco including the Mission, the Sunset, Bernal Heights, North Beach, Russian Hill, Nob Hill and the Tenderloin.

Services includes factory scheduled maintenance, electrical, mechanical and emissions systems diagnostics, timing belts, auto body and paint.
License 273399 | DCID4158640111
3121 17th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 493-8989

Serving all of San Francisco including Sunset District, Richmond District, Mission District, Tenderloin, Bernal Heights, Nob Hill and Pacific Heights.

Services include auto maintenance & repair, brake repair, auto AC repair and hybrid repairs. Brands include Audi, BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota...
License 63254 | DCID4156216400
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Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shops Rated Highest in Quality?
Vehicles on lifts being repaired in a clean, organized auto repair shop.

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an auto repair shop that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified automotive repair center. 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 auto repair 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
How to Select a San Francisco Auto Repair Shop You Trust

It’s because we rely so heavily on our vehicles that car trouble is such a stressful inconvenience. And by carefully choosing a San Francisco auto repair shop you can trust will give you peace of mind and get your car back on the road fast.
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It’s because we rely so heavily on our vehicles that car trouble is such a stressful inconvenience. And by carefully choosing a San Francisco auto repair shop you can trust will give you peace of mind and get your car back on the road fast.

So how do you choose the shop that’s right for you and your car? Research and good information are the keys to success. Read the following articles to find out how you can get the information you need to be confident in your choice of an auto repair shop in San Francisco, including car shops that serve the major cities of Sunset District, Mission District, Richmond District, Tenderloin and Bernal Heights, as well as all the smaller districts of the city.

Look for State Licensed and Professional Automotive Mechanics in San Francisco
Obviously, not all auto repair mechanics are the same. And their skill level, experience and personal philosophies about auto repair can help or hurt you. So it’s important that you choose a qualified, honest auto repair shop in San Francisco that will repair your vehicle correctly the first time and keep it running well for years to come.

All auto repair shops operating in California must be licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. You can check the license status of any local automotive repair shops by visiting the Bureau of Auto Repair web site. Any recent violations, complaints or disciplinary actions will appear on their license. All Diamond Certified companies have already been thoroughly vetted for you, including license verification. But if you’re unable to choose a Diamond Certified car mechanic in your area of San Francisco, you’ll have to do the research yourself.

Some of the best automotive technicians in San Francisco included in the larger cities of Bernal Heights, Tenderloin, Mission District, Sunset District and Richmond District have earned certifications such as Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and completed advanced automotive repair training. These auto techs are able to repair and maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s specifications. That’s because shops and car mechanics with these industry certifications have taken additional courses and passed industry examinations proving they have knowledge and skill that other mechanics may not be able to match.

Find Auto Repair Shops that Offer the Repairs Your Car Needs in These Major San Francisco Cities: Sunset District, Richmond District, Mission District, Tenderloin, Bernal Heights, Excelsior District, Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, North Beach and Bayview District
Some auto repair mechanics in San Francisco specialize in certain makes and models. Others service all types of vehicles. It’s up to you to decide if you're best served by a specialty repair shop or a general repair center. If you have a rare or specialized vehicle, it may be wise to talk with representatives from auto repair shops in the larger cities of Nob Hill, Sunset District, Richmond District, Tenderloin, Mission District, Bernal Heights or your area of San Francisco that exclusively service your vehicle make. However, local general repair facilities should have the correct tools, equipment and know-how to maintain and repair all vehicles they service.

Another factor to consider when researching auto repair shops in San Francisco is the quality of replacement parts each shop installs. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) auto parts are manufactured by the same companies that built your car’s original parts, and they’re built to exactly fit your car. OEM parts may be a higher quality than aftermarket auto parts, which are built to serve the same function as OEM parts, but may cost less. Some discount auto repair shops sell salvage, used or refurbished auto parts. These auto parts may be cheap, but they usually can’t be guaranteed.

If possible, visit the repair facility in person. Your first impression can tell you a lot about the auto repair shop and the staff. You shouldn’t expect an automotive repair shop to be spotless, but you can expect a well-organized space, modern equipment and clear policies posted regarding rates and warranties. It’s also important to look for a car repair shop with staff and mechanics that obviously care for their customers. They should be courteous, attentive, helpful, and willing to answer your questions, not rushed or dismissive.

There are even green auto repair shops located throughout San Francisco. These shops have earned certifications and completed courses on environmentally responsible auto repair and auto maintenance services. Many recycle oil and other auto fluids, use green products whenever possible and take a special interest in helping their customers maintain their cars for cleaner operation. If you find credentials like important, make sure to ask the auto repair shops you’re considering for a list of industry recognition and qualifications that prove their commitment to green auto repairs.

A convenient location is also important to many customers. You don’t want to drive a long distance between your home and your auto mechanic, especially if you’re having car trouble. If you live in West County in the smaller cities of Duboce Triangle, Haight-Ashbury, Russian Hill, the Presidio, Fort Mason or Glen Park, you may not find a local auto repair shop. Luckily, because of their ability to tow in vehicles that won’t start or need major repairs, car shops in larger cities may be able to provide auto repairs instead of leaving you stranded. For example, auto repair shops in the Sunset District area of San Francisco can also serve the smaller cities of Rincon Hill, Telegraph Hill, SOMA, Union Square, Eureka Valley and Hunters Point. Still, many customers are willing to drive out of their way to go to an auto repair shop they feel treats them—and their vehicle—the best.

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Know What You Want
Decide What You Want from San Francisco Auto Repair Shops

Before you start looking for a San Francisco auto repair shop, it’s important to identify exactly what you want and expect from your new mechanic. If you're unsatisfied with your current auto repair facility and need a new car mechanic for routine maintenance services, decide what it is you are unhappy with.
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Before you start looking for a San Francisco auto repair shop, it’s important to identify exactly what you want and expect from your new mechanic. If you're unsatisfied with your current auto repair facility and need a new car mechanic for routine maintenance services, decide what it is you are unhappy with.

Have you received poor service, noticed a lack of expertise from the technicians or been disappointed by poor quality car repairs? Knowing exactly what you’re dissatisfied with in your previous San Francisco auto shop will help you find a new auto repair shop that avoids those pitfalls. On the other hand, if you are experiencing car problems and need to have your vehicle checked out by a good auto repair shop in San Francisco right away, it’s in your best interest to take note of exactly what you’re experiencing and when it’s happening before you start your search for an auto mechanic. By taking careful notes from your interactions, you’ll be able to measure each technician’s response and decide which shop is best suited to handle your vehicle repairs. Be able to describe:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • What is the exact problem you’re experiencing?
  • How long has the problem been occurring?
  • When does the car problem it happen? (Is it intermittent or constant? Note specific driving conditions, road conditions, driving actions, etc.)
  • If you are hearing an unusual sound, where is it coming from? Is it constant or intermittent?
  • Has your vehicle’s performance decreased since you started noticing the problem?
  • Do you have to add fluids more often than usual?
  • Do you feel vibrations when you drive or does the vehicle pull to one side?
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What to Ask on the Phone
Questions to Ask San Francisco Auto Repair Mechanics on the Phone

Before you drop off your vehicle at a local San Francisco auto repair shop or have it towed in for repairs, call and talk directly with the service manager to see if they offer the repair services you need. It’s smart to have a prepared list of questions and to write down the answers the auto technicians give you. Use the following questions as a guide:...

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Before you drop off your vehicle at a local San Francisco auto repair shop or have it towed in for repairs, call and talk directly with the service manager to see if they offer the repair services you need. It’s smart to have a prepared list of questions and to write down the answers the auto technicians give you. Use the following questions as a guide:

  • Has your company earned and maintained a Diamond Certified rating?
  • Does your auto repair shop specialize in the car repairs my vehicle needs (auto electrical repairs, engine repair, car brake repairs)?
  • How often do you repair vehicles that are the same make and model as mine (i.e. Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Lexus, Infiniti, Honda, etc.)?
  • Are your auto repair technicians certified?
  • Is this a common car problem for my make and model?
  • What kind of replacement auto parts do you use? (OEM / Original Equipment Manufacturer parts, used parts or salvaged parts?)
  • If you install used auto parts, will you guarantee them?
  • Will your automotive repair shop honor any manufacturer warranties currently covering my vehicle?
  • Will the needed car repairs affect my manufacturer's warranty?
  • Will you give me a written, itemized estimate for all necessary vehicle repairs?
  • How do you price auto repairs? (Flat fee pricing structure or time and materials?)
  • What warrantees and guarantees do you offer on car repairs? Are there any exceptions I should be aware of?
  • I live in _____ (Barbary Coast, Japantown, Outer Sunset, Twin Peaks, Western Addition, Hayes Valley, Marina District etc.). Do you offer courtesy cars or rental vehicles while my car is in the shop?
  • How long has your auto repair shop been operating in San Francisco?
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What to Ask in Person
Questions to Ask San Francisco Auto Repair Mechanics In Person

Once you've evaluated your reasons for selecting an auto repair shop, the next step is to interview some local shops in Bernal Heights, Excelsior District, Nob Hill and other areas of San Francisco. Questions you may want to ask include:...

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Once you've evaluated your reasons for selecting an auto repair shop, the next step is to interview some local shops in Bernal Heights, Excelsior District, Nob Hill and other areas of San Francisco. Questions you may want to ask include:

  • How long will it take your auto repair center to complete my automotive repairs?
  • If my vehicle needs additional repairs you cannot do (body work, auto electrical repairs, warranty work), will you coordinate with other San Francisco auto repair shops to have the repairs done?
  • Will you warranty the repairs those other shops perform, or will they be responsible to provide any warranties?
  • What contact information do you have on file for me? What do you need in order to reach me with updates about my auto repairs?
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What to Ask References
Learn from Previous Auto Repair Customers in San Francisco, Including the Smaller Neighborhoods of Golden Gate Park, Inner Richmond, Outer Richmond, Rincon Hill, Cole Valley, Jackson Square and Potrero Flats

How can you tell which auto repair facilities in San Francisco is the best choice for you? That’s where independent research and scientific surveys come in.
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How can you tell which auto repair facilities in San Francisco is the best choice for you? That’s where independent research and scientific surveys come in.

All Diamond Certified auto repair shops have undergone a ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a vehicle repair shop in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified companies. 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 for verified results.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified car repair shop within reach, you'll need to carry out some research of your own. Even if you’re in a hurry to get your vehicle repairs done right away, it is still a good idea to take a little time to check references. If you do, auto repair shops in San Francisco should be willing to give you a list of recent customers you can call. 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 cherry-picked, not randomly selected, so the shops will likely give you a few satisfied customers to call rather than a list of random clients. When you call for references, specifically ask for a list of the shop’s most recent customers (to help avoid them giving you only customers they know were satisfied).

Ask the references general questions about their experience with the shop’s personnel as well as specific questions about the car repairs to get a good feel for the services they provide and the attitude with which they deliver them.

Questions you might want to ask include:

  • What auto repairs did _(auto repair shop name_) do for you?
  • Were you satisfied with the car repairs from this San Francisco auto repair shop?
  • If you live in a smaller neighborhood such as Laurel Heights, Potrero Hill, Russian Hill, Sea Cliff or Telegraph Hill, was your auto shop willing to tow your car or truck to their auto repair garage?
  • Were you pleased with the turn-around time?
  • Did the auto repair mechanics and service personnel listen to and communicate with you?
  • Do you feel the price was fair for the auto repairs or routine vehicle maintenance you had done?
  • What did you like best about this particular San Francisco automotive repair shop?
  • Would you go back to this car repair facility if your vehicle needed additional work?
  • Would you recommend/have you recommend this auto repair garage?
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Review Your Options
Find a Trustworthy Auto Repair Service in San Francisco Including the Sunset District, Bernal Heights, Richmond District, Mission District and Tenderloin Before You Need Emergency Service

When your car breaks down, you can feel pressured to choose the nearest auto repair shop in San Francisco, regardless of whether it’s the one you feel most comfortable with. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a reliable auto repair shop before you need one. Having a working relationship with an automobile repair shop you already trust will give you confidence when you need auto repairs done in a hurry.
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When your car breaks down, you can feel pressured to choose the nearest auto repair shop in San Francisco, regardless of whether it’s the one you feel most comfortable with. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a reliable auto repair shop before you need one. Having a working relationship with an automobile repair shop you already trust will give you confidence when you need auto repairs done in a hurry.

Start by researching and trying out local auto repair shops in San Francisco for preventative maintenance. Get to know the car mechanics and build a working relationship with them so that you’ll trust them with more expensive and unexpected repairs. Once you’ve found a shop you like, try to go there for all of your routine maintenance and repairs. That way, the shop can keep a record of your vehicle repair services and when they were last performed, so you aren’t wasting money by having unnecessary repairs done.

To choose a shop, start by reviewing the notes you took during phone and in-person interviews and determine if one repair center stands out from the rest.

Pay attention to:

  • Can one of the auto repair shops in San Francisco satisfy your requirements for scheduling, auto repairs, part preferences (OEM parts, aftermarket auto parts or used auto parts) and customer service?
  • Does the car repair shop staff communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Is the auto repair shop as devoted to safely getting your car back on the road as you are?
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How to Work With
Get Accurate Auto Repair Estimates From San Francisco Car Mechanics

Now that you’ve found a local San Francisco auto repair shop you trust for regular vehicle maintenance, emergency car repairs don’t have to be such a setback. In fact, having a reliable shop to call for repairs large and small will give you peace of mind while dealing with your mechanics even if your repairs are unexpected.
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Now that you’ve found a local San Francisco auto repair shop you trust for regular vehicle maintenance, emergency car repairs don’t have to be such a setback. In fact, having a reliable shop to call for repairs large and small will give you peace of mind while dealing with your mechanics even if your repairs are unexpected.

Before leaving your car for repairs, you’ll want to meet with the service writer and explain what the problem is. Use the notes you took about your vehicle’s performance so that you’re able to accurately describe the concerns you have and what you’re experiencing. Be as detailed as possible, and don’t let the mechanics or service writers rush you. Answer their questions and listen to their suggestions and observations, and expect that same respect from them. If you don’t understand what the repair center representative is telling you, ask for an explanation or more details. You should completely understand the trouble and the solution before leaving your vehicle at the car repair garage.

Auto repair estimates must be provided in writing before the work begins. This estimate must include the total estimated cost for all parts and labor, an itemized list of all parts needed and the method of repair. Remember, a good auto repair shop will never ask you to sign a blank work order. Sometimes a thorough diagnosis is needed before a repair shop can give you an accurate estimate. In this case, the estimate you sign may include only the cost of the diagnosis or the car repair diagnosis and estimated auto repair labor costs. However, if the actual costs are more than the estimate, the technicians must contact you before they do repairs.

Sign a Contract for Auto Repair Work in the San Francisco Area
Sign the estimate and service agreement when you’re satisfied with the information from your San Francisco repair shop. The shop must get your approval for any repairs or additional work, and your repairs will slow down or even stop if the mechanics can’t reach you to get your consent for work not listed on the original work order. So verify that the car repair shop has your phone number and can reach you at all times while your vehicle is in the shop.

If the actual repair costs exceed the amount agreed upon on your estimate, the auto repair shop must get your approval before moving ahead with the car repairs. Your approval must be noted on the estimate and the invoice.

Once they’ve identified the problem and outlined the needed repairs, most mechanics in San Francisco including the larger Sunset District, Tenderloin, Richmond District, Mission District and Bernal Heights District will show you the damaged auto parts. Remember, it’s your legal right to have your old car parts returned to you if, while they’re writing up the service request, you ask the car repair shop to return them.

You may also request an odometer reading for pre- and post-pickup, if you request it when dropping off your vehicle for repairs. This is important to some customers, so if it’s important to you, remember to ask for the odometer reading when the service writer is creating your contract.

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Be a Good Customer
How Can You Be a Good San Francisco Auto Repair Shop Customer?

It's the auto repair shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete repair job on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's repair too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when you take your van, minivan, truck or car into an auto repair shop....

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It's the auto repair shop's responsibility to perform a thorough and complete repair job on your car. But you play a big part in the success of your automobile's repair too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when you take your van, minivan, truck or car into an auto repair shop.

  • Be clear and upfront with the auto repair representative.
  • Outline the problem, the outcome you’re expecting from the vehicle repairs and specific ways the car repair facility can satisfy your expectations.
  • Keep in mind, a friendly smile goes a long way.
  • Before you leave your car, truck or van at an auto repair shop in San Francisco, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the auto repair technicians your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with auto repair shops occur because of a breakdown in communication. Being clear about the expectations you and the auto repair shop have can help you avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your service writer if you should call to check on the progress of your vehicle repairs or if they will call you with updates.
  • Be sure your service writer has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your car or truck is in for car repairs.
  • When your shop contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the repairs on schedule.
  • Pay for the car repairs promptly.

What advantages will be a good customer give you? Just like most consumers like to hire personable companies, auto repair shops in San Francisco appreciate customers who are honest, friendly and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Your repairs may very well go smoother and problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check the Work
Verify the Completed Auto Repairs Against the 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.
  • Their state-issued auto repair registration number.
  • A list of all work performed, including warranty work or repairs done at no charge.
  • An itemized list of all replaced parts. (This list must state whether the parts installed were new, used, salvaged, reconditioned, or rebuilt.)
  • The total cost of the auto repairs, including the amount charged for labor.
  • Any applicable hazardous waste disposal fees and the shop’s Environmental Protection Agency number.
  • Your vehicle’s odometer reading at drop off and pick up, if you asked for the reading before signing the service agreement.
  • Return of the original parts if you asked for them when you signed the auto repair estimate. The mechanics may not be able to return parts that are under warranty (they may need return them to the supplier), but you still have the right to see them if you wish.
     
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Written Warranties
Ask For Written Warranties from San Francisco Auto Repair Mechanics

Before leaving the auto repair shop, confirm warranty coverage offered by the repair shop or the parts manufacturer on the repairs and new auto parts your vehicle received. This written warranty must include:...

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Before leaving the auto repair shop, confirm warranty coverage offered by the repair shop or the parts manufacturer on the repairs and new auto parts your vehicle received. This written warranty must include:

  • The auto repair shop’s name and physical address.
  • What the warranty covers, including whether the shop will replace or repair failed parts or give you a refund.
  • Any exclusions must be explicitly stated.
  • Your responsibility in the case of product failure, including what you need to do to redeem the warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid, whether it expires on a specific day or if it is prorated.
  • If you can transfer the automotive repair warranty coverage to the new owner in the event that you sell the vehicle.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Auto Repair Services in San Francisco

Automotive repair shops in San Francisco provide all types of maintenance and vehicle repair services. However, some repairs are more common than others. The following are the most familiar requests for local auto repair shops.

Auto Electrical Repairs / Car Electrical Repairs...

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Automotive repair shops in San Francisco provide all types of maintenance and vehicle repair services. However, some repairs are more common than others. The following are the most familiar requests for local auto repair shops.

Auto Electrical Repairs / Car Electrical Repairs
Auto electrical problems include blown fuses, burned-out headlights and serious electrical problems. Because auto electrical malfunctions are serious and require special equipment, tools and repair methods, most auto electrical repairs should be entrusted to automobile electrical repair technicians in the San Francisco area.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance
Routine vehicle maintenance is the regular check-up schedule recommended by vehicle manufacturers. It is also known as a tune-up, and is usually recommended at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 mile intervals. Routine maintenance usually involves checking and replacing auto air filters, car fuel filters, cabin filters and spark plugs. Most car mechanics in San Francisco will also check and refill auto fluids and do a cursory overview of the engine, exhaust and electrical systems to ensure they are functioning correctly. Some mechanics even take vehicles for a test drive to verify the cars are driving correctly. Routine vehicle maintenance checks allow auto repair technicians to prevent expensive car repairs by seeing small issues before they become big problems.

Auto Engine Repair

Often signaled by a lit Check Engine light, vehicle engine problems can also present themselves as sputtering, choking, fast or rough idling, slow acceleration or the vehicle not starting even though the ignition turns over. Because there is such a range of engine problems that can cause these symptoms, few car owners attempt do-it-yourself engine repairs. There are automobile mechanics throughout San Francisco that specialize in automotive engine repairs.

Auto Fuel System Repairs

Clogged fuel pumps are a common problem for San Francisco drivers who regularly run on less than a quarter tank of fuel. Other auto fuel system problems include clogged fuel filters, engine flooding and starter choking or coughing sounds. Auto fuel system repairs are usually best handled by professional car mechanics who have the experience and tools to clean, repair and replace fuel system components.

Auto Ignition System Repairs / Vehicle Ignition Repairs

Automobile ignition system repairs include new car batteries, car starter repairs and car ignition replacements. Car starters and ignition repairs can be expensive, but they are necessary in order to guarantee your car will start reliably.

Auto Electrical Repair

Auto electrical repairs are more common because vehicles are more computerized and complex than ever before. Most auto electrical repairs impact vehicle alternators, the component that continually charges your battery. Vehicle starter repairs are also common. Experts recommend checking your entire auto electrical system every two years and whenever you experience drivability problems that appear to be electrical in nature.

Automobile Brake Repair

Brakes wear down as you use them, so it makes sense that brake repairs are a common request at local auto repair mechanics in Mission District, Sunset District, North Beach, Nob Hill, The Tenderloin or Bernal Heights and all throughout San Francisco. Most brake repairs are relatively inexpensive brake pad replacements. Because you rely on your brakes to stop your car, brakes should be checked regularly, especially if you experience:
Squealing or grinding sounds when you depress your brake pedal
Your brake pedal feels hard when you press it
Low or spongy-feeling brake pedal
A continuously-lit brake warning light


Mobile Auto Repair (Mobile Mechanic)

Mobile mechanics in San Francisco are increasingly popular. Instead of having vehicles towed to repair shops, many customers opt to have licensed mechanics come to them. From tune-ups and routine maintenance to auto electrical repairs and belt and hose replacement, mobile mechanic shops come to you by appointment to service your vehicle.

Vehicle Brake Replacement
Like brake repair, auto brake replacements are common car repairs in San Francisco. Full brake replacements, including the brake disc, drum and rotor can be costly, but may be necessary if you’ve been driving with worn or damaged brakes that have warped or damaged the brake system.

Auto Belt and Hose Repair and Replacement

Vehicle belts and hoses including the drive belt, fan belt, serpentine belt, timing belt, heater hose and fuel hose keep your engine and other vehicle systems running smoothly. Signs that may indicate a problem with belts and hoses include squeaking noises, fluid leaks, auto warning lights and car engine overheating.

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If Things Go Wrong
Benefit from The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee

Diamond Certified auto repair shops are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the auto repair shop 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 San Francisco Auto Repair Shop Customer
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Diamond Certified auto repair shops are backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. If the auto repair shop 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 San Francisco Auto Repair Shop Customer

The auto repair industry has a reputation for dishonesty and trying to cheat customers. But the truth is, most auto repair shops in San Francisco 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 repair shop or automotive repairs in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a complaint or are concerned about your car repairs or the customer service you received from your vehicle repair shop, ask to speak with the service manager right away. Confronting problems directly with the auto repair shop management is the easiest way to minimize conflict and get your repairs done right and on time.

Keep these tips in mind when facing a problem with your auto repair center:

  • Know your rights. California’s Automotive Repair Act entitles auto repair garage customers to written estimates for all repair work, detailed invoices for work completed and parts supplied, and the return of old auto parts if you request them when you sign the work order.
  • Remain calm and polite.
  • Explain the problem or the source of the disagreement, and detail what you see as a fair outcome.
  • Let your local auto mechanic know that you’re willing to compromise or negotiate a mutually-beneficial agreement.

Document in writing your concerns with the auto repair service or photograph your vehicle and the parts used if you have worries about the quality of the auto parts or installation. Write down the auto repair shop’s response to your complaints so you’ll have accurate records if you need to pursue future arbitration.

If you can’t reach an acceptable agreement, tell the auto repair shop owner or service manager that you are going to file a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair and do so.

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Glossary of Terms
Vehicle Repair Glossary

Below are key auto repair terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your auto's repair from beginning to end at automotive repair shops in the San Francisco Bay Area.

aftermarket auto parts
Aftermarket auto repair parts are not made by the original parts manufacturer. Instead, aftermarket parts are made by another company to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than OEM parts. Some aftermarket automotive parts are redesigned to increase vehicle performance.
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Below are key auto repair terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your auto's repair from beginning to end at automotive repair shops in the San Francisco Bay Area.

aftermarket auto parts
Aftermarket auto repair parts are not made by the original parts manufacturer. Instead, aftermarket parts are made by another company to fit and function the same as the original car parts, and they’re often less expensive than OEM parts. Some aftermarket automotive parts are redesigned to increase vehicle performance.

Also known as: aftermarket parts, off-brand auto parts, off-make auto parts, functionally-equivalent auto parts, high performance aftermarket parts, performance auto parts

all wheel drive

Four-wheel drive systems increase traction on slippery roads and off-road surfaces. All-wheel drive is different from 4-wheel drive because drivers cannot disengage AWD systems.

Also known as: AWD, all-wheel drive, allwheel drive

anti-freeze
Liquid in the cooling system that disperses heat is known as anti-freeze. Automotive antifreeze prevents car fluids from freezing during winter, cools the engine in summer and protects the car’s cooling system from corrosion and rust.

Also known as: coolant, auto coolant, antifreeze, anti freeze

auto electrical repair
Auto electrical repairs are repairs to vehicle electrical systems. Auto electrical repairs include alternator repair, ignition repair, auto starter repair, and auto electrical wiring repairs and replacement.

Also known as: automobile electrical repair, automotive electrical repair, car electrical repair, auto electrical service

automotive air filter
A paper or synthetic filter that blocks dust, dirt and debris as air enters the engine.

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

catalytic converter
A vehicle’s catalytic converter isolates exhaust particles and burns them before they leave the tailpipe.

Also known as: cat, catcon

car chassis
The undercarriage of a vehicle is known as the chassis. The chassis carries all power train and suspension parts.

Also known as: framework, auto case, auto frame, auto undercarriage, chassis

control arms
Auto control arms are the moving suspension parts mounted between the vehicle frame and the car wheels.

Also known as: car wishbone, auto double wishbone, vehicle suspension

crankshaft
The rod that transfers power from the engine to the transmission.

Also known as: crank, crank-shaft

differential
Automotive differential is important for turning and cornering your vehicle. It’s the gear system that allows one wheel to rotate faster than the other.

domestic auto repair shops
Auto repair garages that specialize in repairs on domestic vehicles. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler are considered domestic vehicle manufacturers.

fast idle
When a vehicle’s engine runs fast while the vehicle is stopped and idling.

flooded engine
When too much fuel is in the cylinders and makes starting difficult or impossible.

Also known as: engine flooded with gas, car flooded, engine stall, flooded vehicle

four-wheel drive
4WD is a drive system that powers all four wheels and provides better traction during off-road use and poor weather conditions.

Also known as: 4WD, 4x4, four by four, sport utility vehicle

front-wheel drive
A driving system that powers the front wheels of the vehicle. Front-wheel drive systems can be automatic or manual shift.

Also known as: FWD

fuel injection
The fuel delivery system where injectors (also known as nozzles) spray fuel into the cylinders, giving better fuel control and efficiency.

Also known as: electronic fuel injection (EFI)

hesitation
The momentary loss of power on acceleration that causes a vehicle to hesitate when gaining speed is usually referred to as hesitation.

Also known as: engine hesitation, engine sputtering, auto stumbling, auto hesitation

horsepower
Mechanical horsepower is the amount of energy produced by a vehicle’s engine, and is generally defined 745.7 watts, or the equivalent to moving 550 foot-pounds per second. Horsepower originally compared the output of steam engines with that of draft horses.

Also known as: HP, mechanical horsepower, car horsepower, imperial horsepower, vehicle horsepower, electrical horsepower, hp

idle
The term used to describe a vehicle that is stationary but running.

Also known as: automotive idling, car idling, idling, vehicle idling, idling vehicle

mechanic
An auto mechanic is a professional who repairs and maintains vehicles.

Also known as: auto mechanic, automobile mechanic, auto repair technician

mobile auto repair
A mechanic who repairs vehicles on-site is considered a mobile auto repair service. Mobile auto repair shops can often do minor and major repairs and tune-ups.

Also known as: mobile auto mechanic, mobile car repair, mobile auto repairs

OEM auto parts
Auto parts made by the vehicle manufacturer. While they may cost more than aftermarket auto parts, OEM parts usually fit better, last longer and are covered by warranties.

Also known as: Original Equipment Manufacturer parts, stock vehicle parts, stock parts

power loss
When an engine runs at reduced speed or requires more throttle to maintain speed.

Also known as: auto power loss, low power output, automobile hesitating

power train
The term referring to the transmission and engine, the parts that deliver power to the vehicle.

RPM
The speed at which the engine crankshaft is turning.

Also known as: revolutions per minute, engine RPM, engine revolutions per minute, car rpm, car rpms

rebuilt auto parts
Rebuilt auto parts are used auto parts that have been remanufactured, reconditioned and restored.

Also known as: salvage auto parts, salvage car parts, salvaged parts, used auto parts, replacement parts, used car parts, refurbished auto parts, rebuilt auto parts

rough idle
Rough idling is when the engine shakes and vibrates while the vehicle is running and stationary.

Also known as: vibrations, auto choking, engine sputtering

salvage parts
Auto parts taken from other vehicles (usually damaged in accidents or suffering from irreparable or major repairs that leave many car parts usable) are called salvage auto parts. Salvage parts often make for inexpensive auto repair parts, but they usually don’t come with warranties because they aren’t new so their reliability can’t be guaranteed. However, salvage auto parts may be a good option for vehicle owners looking for hard-to-find parts for rare or older vehicles.

Also known as: salvage auto parts, salvage car parts, salvaged parts, used auto parts, replacement parts, used car parts

serpentine belt
Serpentine belts are also called multi-vee or multi-rib belts. They are long, continuous automotive belts that run several vehicle engine components, indulging the alternator, power steering pump, air pump and water pump.

Also known as: multi-vee belts, multi-v belts, multi-rib belts

shimmy
The term for a side-to-side motion that causes a vehicle’s tires and steering wheel to shake.

Also known as: car shaking, vehicle vibrations, auto shimmying, car shimmying

sluggish performance
When a vehicle does not accelerate smoothly or quickly enough.

Also known as: auto hesitation, vehicle loss of power

suspension
The shock absorbers and springs that create a smoother ride by dampening the motion of a vehicle as it drives.

Also known as: suspension system

timing belt
The timing belt is a toothed belt that is operated by the crankshaft and drives the camshaft in a vehicle Broken timing belts cause valves to remain open and can cause engine damage when the valve is struck and bent by a piston.

Also known as: auto timing belt, cam belt, bad timing belt, broken timing belt

undercarriage
The underside of a vehicle that supports and creates the framework.

Also known as: automobile framework, car body, auto frame, vehicle chassis

water pump
The pump that moves coolant (antifreeze) through the radiator and engine.

Also known as: auto water pump, truck water pump, car water pump, vehicle water pump

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Frequently Asked Questions
SF Auto Repair Questions

Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shop in SF?...

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Q: Why should I choose a Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shop in SF?
A: We end the guessing game by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. In fact, most vehicle repair shops can’t pass, so only local auto repair 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 body shop for your vehicle repair.

Q: What rights do I have as a consumer in San Francisco when it comes to automotive repair?
A: The Automotive Repair Act of 1974 entitles all auto repair shop customers to a written estimate, detailed invoices, and the return of the old auto parts if customers request their return before the work is performed. For more information about your rights as a consumer, visit the Bureau of Auto Repair website.

Q: Why choose San Francisco area auto repair shops that are certified?
A: While certifications don’t guarantee you’ll get better repairs or better service at San Francisco vehicle repair centers, they are often an indicator of how serious an auto repair shop is about satisfying customers and performing reliable repairs. Certifications such as ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) and memberships in automotive service organizations show that the car mechanics have sought and attained a higher level of professionalism.

Q: What are OEM auto parts?

A: OEM parts are made by the same manufacturer that produced the original auto parts in your vehicle. Most automobile manufacturers do not make auto parts, instead they rely on outside companies to design and produce the parts. After a certain time, these OEM parts are available for resale through wholesale distributors. Once available through auto part wholesalers in San Francisco, OEM parts are often much less expensive than when sold through the dealer.

Q: What are aftermarket auto parts?
A: Aftermarket parts are not produced by the original parts manufacturer, but they are made to perform and fit like the original parts. Aftermarket parts may look or feel different than original parts since they’re manufactured on different equipment. Because of this, aftermarket parts are often less expensive than OEM parts. Some auto repair shops in Excelsior District, Sunset District, Tenderloin and other areas of San Francisco use aftermarket parts to lower the price of their repairs, so it’s important to ask your car mechanic what type of parts they’re installing. However, some aftermarket parts have been redesigned to fit or function even better than OEM parts, so your auto repair shop may recommend them as an alternative based on functionality rather than low price.

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 repair garages in San Francisco install them to make car repairs less expensive. However, some aftermarket parts are lower quality than the original manufacturer parts, so they can end up costing you in the long run because you’ll have to repair or replace them sooner. And, if the aftermarket parts don’t fit correctly, they can even cause expensive damage to your vehicle.

However, some aftermarket parts are designed to fit and function better than original parts. Your mechanic should be able to explain why they recommend the specific auto parts they do. If it’s to provide cheap auto repairs, you may be better off requesting OEM parts. But if it’s for better performance, aftermarket parts may be a wise choice.

Q: Is there a difference between independent auto repair shops and dealership repair shops in San Francisco?

A: Where you take your vehicle for maintenance and repairs is a personal decision based on where you feel most comfortable and where your car receives the best repair service. However, there are differences between independent auto repair shops and dealerships located in Richmond District, Bernal Heights and the rest of San Francisco. Local independent repair shops have the freedom to use any brand or quality of parts they choose. They’re can install used or salvage parts based on the customers’ preferences. This, along with the fact that they usually have lower hourly rates for car repairs, can mean big savings.

However, dealerships may have an edge when it comes to training on newer makes and models, as their car repair technicians are usually trained in maintenance and repair methods months and even years before those classes are available to independent shops. Many newer cars are also still under warranty, meaning some repairs can be done for free at a dealership. In fact, in some cases, having warranty repairs done at an independent automotive repair shop can void any further warranties.

Q: Is it really important to take my car to a local repair shop for regularly scheduled maintenance?
A: It may seem that regularly scheduled maintenance is unnecessary, especially when your vehicle is running well. However, it’s the easiest and most cost-effective way to keep your car running and avoid expensive repairs in the future. Your car’s maintenance schedule should be listed in your owner’s manual, and your local San Francisco auto repair shop can help you decide when your car is due for regular tune-ups and maintenance visits.

Q: Car repairs and routine maintenance are so expensive—can’t I save money by going to a discount auto repair garage in San Francisco?
A: Margins are often tight for auto repair shops and there are only a few ways car repair centers can offer prices considerably lower than the competition. To lower prices, shops may install used car parts or salvage parts instead of new parts. They may also hire mechanics that aren’t certified or who are auto repair novices. This might make their rates seem lower in the short term, but you can end up replacing your car parts sooner and can even cause lasting damage to your vehicle, costing you much more in the future. Some auto repair shops have even been known to advertise low hourly rates, but purposely take longer to repair your car.
 

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Consumer Agencies
Consumer Agencies and Auto Repair Associations

The following national and local auto repair center associations and consumer agencies websites offer additional information about automotive repairs in your area of San Francisco.

American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) (http://www.carcrash.org/)
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) (http://www.aftermarket.org/)...

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The following national and local auto repair center associations and consumer agencies websites offer additional information about automotive repairs in your area of San Francisco.

American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) (http://www.carcrash.org/)
Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) (http://www.aftermarket.org/)
California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/)
California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association (CSSARA) (http://www.cssara.org/)
Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) (http://www.i-car.com/)
Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) (http://www.jama.org/)
Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
Automotive Composites Alliance (ACA) (http://www.autocomposites.org/)
Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS) (http://www.diesel.org/)
Engine Builders Association (AERA) (www.aera.org)
Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) (http://www.aiag.org/)
Automotive Recycler's Association (ARA) (http://www.a-r-a.org/)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (http://www.asashop.org/)
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (http://www.asecert.org/)
American Salvage Pool Association (ASPA) (http://www.aspa.com/)
Automotive Warehouse Distributor Association (AWDA) (http://www.awda.org/)

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Industry Information
San Francisco Auto Repair Information
Popular Vehicle Makes & ModelsTypes of Auto Repairs Available in San Francisco Districts Served by Auto Repair Shops in San FranciscoSan Francisco Auto Repair Shops Serve These Zip Codes
Kia Sorentoclutch repairsBarbary Coast
Bayview
Bernal Heights
Castro
Cole Valley
Cow Hollow
Diamond Heights
Duboce Triangle
Eureka Valley
Excelsior
Financial District
Fisherman's Wharf
Fort Mason
Glen Park
Golden Gate Park
Haight
Haight-Ashbury
Hayes Valley
Hunters Point
Inner Richmond
Inner Sunset
Jackson Square
Japantown
Laurel Heights
Marina District
Mission District
Nob Hill
Noe Valley
North Beach
Outer Richmond
Outer Sunset
Pacific Heights
Potrero Flats
Potrero Hill
Presidio
Rincon Hill
Russian Hill
San Francisco
Sea Cliff
South of Market Street (SOMA)
Sunset
Telegraph Hill
the Tenderloin
Presidio
Treasure Island
Twin Peaks
Union Square
West Portal
Western Addition
94101
94102
94103
94104
94105
94107
94108
94109
94110
94111
94112
94114
94115
94116
94117
94118
94119
94120
94121
94122
94123
94124
94125
94126
94127
94129
94130
94131
94132
94133
94134
94140
94141
94142
94146
94147
94157
94158
94159
94164
94165
94166
94167
94168
94169
94170
94172
94188
Mazda MAZDA 3automobile oil change
Mercedes-Benz E-Classauto ignition repairs
Chevrolet Impalacar problem diagnostic
Chevy Silveradomechanical auto repairs
Dodge Ram Pickupauto smog repairs
Ford F-150rough idling
Toyota Corollafuel injection repair
Toyota Priusfull engine overhauls
Honda CR-Vengine rebuilding
Volkswagen Jettatransmission repair
Acura MDXair conditioner repair
BMW 3 Seriescar tire repair
Chevrolet Camaromuffler repairs
Chevrolet Equinoxauto tune-up
Ford Mustangauto diagnostics
GMC Sierradomestic auto repair
Honda Accordforeign car repair
Toyota RAV4auto electrical repair
Ford Fiestaauto brake repair
Ford FocusEuropean auto repair
Nissan MuranoJapanese auto repair
Subaru Outbackauto engine repairs
Toyota Camrytiming problems
Honda Civichose replacement
Nissan Altimaauto radiator repair
Honda Odysseycarburetor service
Hyundai Elantramobile auto repair
Hyundai Sonatacar window repair