Santa Clara – Auto Repair

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830 East Charleston Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 530-0936

Serving all of Santa Clara County including Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and Los Gatos.

Services include scheduled maintenance, repair & diagnosis, foreign & domestic. Brands include GM, Ford, Honda, AC Delco and Bosch...
License 261455 | DCID6503286537
2526 Leghorn Street
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 450-8924

Serving all of Santa Clara County including Milpitas, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos and Gilroy.

Services include bumper to bumper mechanical service & repair for: japanese, german and american cars, computer diagnostics, maintenance specialists, repairs. Brands include GM, Ford, Acura and Toyota...
License 222401 | DCID6509685202
1436 White Oaks Road, Suite 9
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 840-3977
(408) 377-8651 fax

Serving all of Santa Clara County including Milpitas, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Los Altos and Gilroy.

Services include complete range of auto repairs, diagnostics of all kinds, maintenance services, smog tests. Brands include Acura, GM and Toyota...
License 189879 | DCID4083778113
2885 South Winchester Blvd, Ste. F
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 372-8961

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include maintenance & repairs for foreign and domestic autos, AC repair, engine diagnostics, transmission repair and tune-ups. Brands include Ford, Toyota and GM...
License 217242 | DCID4088665140
1800 Richard Avenue
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 341-9905

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include bumper-to-bumper repairs, maint., computer-controlled systems, engines, electrical systems, suspension and transmissions. Brands include Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota...
License 192029 | DCID4089700466
83-B Pioneer Way
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 376-0862

Serving all of Santa Clara County including Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and Los Gatos.

Services include domestic car repair, foreign auto service, factory computer scanning, check engine light scanning and diagnostics. Brands include Audi, BMW, Honda and Subaru...
License 237579 | DCID6509606988
2979 South King Road
San Jose, CA 95122
(408) 884-0296

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include . Brands include .
License 262269 | DCID4082700440
193 Barnard Ave., Suite 1
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 294-4508

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include air conditioning, brakes, computer diagnostics, tune-ups, custom engine designs, electrical systems, engine repair/installation, fuel injection/carburetion, regular interval maintenance. Brands include Mopar and AC Delco...
License 229614 |
826 North Rengstorff Avenue
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 530-0933

Serving all of Santa Clara County including Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and Los Gatos.

Services include full-service auto shop, factory recommended service, check engine light diagnostics, general & major repairs, scheduled maintenance, shuttle service, smog inspection. Brands include Nissan and Infiniti...
License 250602 | DCID6509673569
771 North Mathilda Ave, Unit F
Sunnyvale, CA 94085
(408) 827-8949

Serving all of Santa Clara County including San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy and Campbell.

Services include computer diagnostics, emissions work, general auto repair and warranty work. Brands include Toyota, Honda and Chevrolet...
License 209667 | DCID4085300089
Map of these Diamond Certified companies
Cities: Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, Saratoga, Sunnyvale
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Search Diamond Certified Companies

Researched Articles
Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shops Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Renson Automotive, Inc. (2012)

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

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
Steps to Find an Honest Auto Repair Shop in Santa Clara County
Photo: Driven Auto Care (2012)

Our vehicles to get us where we need to go: our jobs, school, the store, even to the other side of the country. It’s because of our great reliance on our vehicles that car trouble is such a stressful experience. Carefully choosing a Santa Clara County auto repair shop you can trust will give you peace of mind and get your car back on the road fast, even when unexpected breakdowns occur.
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Our vehicles to get us where we need to go: our jobs, school, the store, even to the other side of the country. It’s because of our great reliance on our vehicles that car trouble is such a stressful experience. Carefully choosing a Santa Clara County auto repair shop you can trust will give you peace of mind and get your car back on the road fast, even when unexpected breakdowns occur.

There are many car repair centers in Santa Clara County to choose from, including those that serve the major cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Milpitas, as well as Palo Alto, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Campbell, Gilroy and all the smaller towns.

So how do you choose the shop that’s right for you? 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 a Santa Clara vehicle repair shop.

Seek out Licensed Automotive Mechanics in Santa Clara County
Clearly, not all auto repair mechanics are the same. They have diverse skills, various degrees of experience and different philosophies about auto repair that can help or hurt you. In any case, it’s your right to choose a competent, honest auto repair shop in Santa Clara County that will repair your vehicle correctly the first time and keep it running for the long-term.

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’s web site. Any recent violations, complaints and 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 Santa Clara County, you’ll have to do the research yourself.

Automotive technicians in Santa Clara County included in the larger cities of Milpitas, Mountain View, Santa Clara, San Jose and Sunnyvale who have earned certifications such as Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and completed advanced automotive repair training may be better 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.

Some car owners prefer to hire one of the green auto repair shops located throughout Santa Clara County. These shops have earned certifications and completed courses on environmentally responsible auto repair and green auto maintenance services. If credentials like this are important to you, make sure to ask the auto repair shops for a list of industry recognition and qualifications.

Find Auto Centers that Offer Good Car Repairs in These Major Santa Clara County Cities: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpitas, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill
If possible, visit the repair facility before taking in your vehicle. That’s because your first impression of an auto repair shop can tell you a lot about the people and the business with whom you’ll be dealing. While you shouldn’t expect an automotive repair shop to be spotless, you can expect a neat appearance, modern equipment and policies posted explaining rates and warranties. It’s also important to look for a repair center with professional staff that obviously cares for customers. They should be courteous, attentive, helpful, and take time to answer your questions. A convenient location is also important. You don’t want to drive a long distance between your home and your auto mechanic, especially if you’re having car trouble.

Some auto repair mechanics in Santa Clara County specialize in certain makes and models. Others service all vehicle makes. It’s up to you to decide if you're best served by a specialty repair shop or a general repair center. If you drive a rare or specialized vehicle, it may be wise to talk auto repair shops in the larger cities of Gilroy, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Milpitas or your area of Santa Clara County that exclusively service your vehicle make. However, local general repair facilities should have the correct tools, equipment and know-how to maintain and repair any vehicle.

Another factor to consider when researching auto repair shops in Santa Clara County is the quality of replacement parts each shop installs. Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM auto parts are manufactured by the same companies that build the car’s original parts, so they’re built to fit your car exactly. 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 used, salvaged or refurbished auto parts. While these auto parts may be cheap, they usually can’t be guaranteed for safety, quality, or length of wear.

If you live in the smaller Santa Clara cities of Stanford, San Martin, Monte Vista, Los Altos Hills or Holy City, you may not find a local auto repair shop. Luckily, most vehicle repair shops have the ability to tow in vehicles that won’t start or need major repairs, so car shops in larger cities may be able to provide auto repairs instead of leaving you stranded. For example, auto repair shops in the San Jose area of Santa Clara County can also serve the smaller cities of Blossom Valley, Voyote, Alviso, Monte Sereno and New Almaden.

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Know What You Want
List the Auto Repair Services You Want from Santa Clara Vehicle Repair Shops

Before you start looking for an auto repair shop in Santa Clara County, it’s important to pinpoint what characteristics you want from your new shop and the staff there.
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Before you start looking for an auto repair shop in Santa Clara County, it’s important to pinpoint what characteristics you want from your new shop and the staff there.

If you're unsatisfied with your current auto repair facility and need a new car mechanic to provide routine maintenance, start by asking yourself what it is you are unhappy with. Is it the service? The quality of the car repairs? Maybe it’s the lack of communication. Knowing exactly what you’re dissatisfied with in your previous auto shop will help you find a new shop that better meets your expectations. With less positive experiences under your belt, you’ll have a better idea of what questions to ask to ensure your next shop is right for you.

Even if you’re experiencing car problems and need emergency car repairs, 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. That way, you’ll be able to gauge each technician’s response and decide which Santa Clara County car repair center is best suited to handle your vehicle repairs. The following questions will get you started.

  • 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? (Car starter problems, rattling or auto noises, leaking auto fluid, engine problems, etc.)
  • How long has the problem been happening?
  • Are the signs intermittent or constant?
  • When does the car trouble happen? (Note specific driving conditions, driving maneuvers, time of day, after sitting idle or after a long trip, etc.)
  • If it’s an unusual sound, where is it coming from?
  • Has your vehicle’s performance decreased?
  • Do you have to add fluids more often than usual?
  • Does the vehicle pull to one side?
  • Do you feel vibrations or does your steering wheel shake when you drive?
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What to Ask on the Phone
What to Ask on the Phone with Santa Clara County Auto Repair Mechanics

Before you drop off your vehicle at a local Santa Clara County auto repair shop or have it towed in for car repairs, call and talk directly with the service manager to see if the shop offers the repair services you need. It’s smart to have a prepared list of questions and to take note of 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 Santa Clara County auto repair shop or have it towed in for car repairs, call and talk directly with the service manager to see if the shop offers the repair services you need. It’s smart to have a prepared list of questions and to take note of 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. Chevrolet, Kia, Ford, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Lexus, Volkswagen, etc.)?
  • Are your auto repair technicians certified?
  • Is this a common car problem for my make and model?
  • What grade of replacement auto parts do you use? (OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer] parts, used parts or salvaged parts?)
  • Will your automotive repair shop honor any warranties currently covering my vehicle?
  • Will these car repairs affect my manufacturer's warranty?
  • Will you give me a written, itemized estimate for all vehicle repairs?
  • How do you figure the price auto repairs at your shop? (Flat fee, time and materials or another method?)
  • What car repair warrantees and auto part guarantees? Are there any exceptions?
  • I live in _____ (San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Gilroy, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, etc.). Do you offer courtesy cars or rental vehicles while my car is in the shop?
  • How long has your auto repair shop been open in Santa Clara County?
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What to Ask in Person
What to Ask Santa Clara County Auto Repair Technicians In Person
Photo: Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. (2012)

Now that you’ve done some initial phone interviews, the next step is to visit some local shops in Milpitas, Palo Alto, Gilroy and other areas of Santa Clara County. A personal visit will give you a chance to meet with the service writer and mechanics and can give you a glimpse into the customer service, communication style and facilities that set each shop apart.

Questions you may want to ask while visiting local auto repair shops include:...

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Now that you’ve done some initial phone interviews, the next step is to visit some local shops in Milpitas, Palo Alto, Gilroy and other areas of Santa Clara County. A personal visit will give you a chance to meet with the service writer and mechanics and can give you a glimpse into the customer service, communication style and facilities that set each shop apart.

Questions you may want to ask while visiting local auto repair shops 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, car transmission overhauls, auto electrical repairs, auto repairs under warranty), will you coordinate with other Santa Clara County auto repair shops to complete the repairs? Or is it up to me to find a shop for items you cannot repair?
  • 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 about my auto repairs?
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What to Ask References
Learn from Previous Auto Repair Customers in Santa Clara County, Including the Cities of Morgan Hill, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell, Milpitas, Palo Alto and Mtn View

Independent research and scientific surveys can assure you that the auto repair facilities in Santa Clara County you’ve interviewed are all they say they are.
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Independent research and scientific surveys can assure you that the auto repair facilities in Santa Clara County you’ve interviewed are all they say they are.

In fact, 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 Santa Clara County and the greater Bay Area, you’ll have confidence when choosing Diamond Certified companies. All Diamond Certified companies have Diamond Certified reports you can read, including verbatim survey responses. And all research is performed by live telephone interviews of a large, random sample of real customers, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

If you can’t find a Diamond Certified car repair shop within reach, you'll need to conduct some research. Even if you’re in a hurry to get your vehicle repairs done right away, it is still a good idea to take time to check references. If you do, auto repair shops in Santa Clara County should be willing to give you a list of recent customers you can call. However, 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 shops rarely randomly select references, and are likely just giving you the names of a few satisfied customers to call. So specifically ask for a list of their 10 most recent clients and call them.

You’ll want to ask general questions about their customer service experience as well as specific questions about the car repairs. Such questions might include:

  • What auto repairs did you have _(auto repair facility name_) do?
  • Were you satisfied with the car repairs from this Santa Clara County auto repair shop?
  • Was the auto shop willing to tow your car or truck to their auto repair garage if you live in a smaller town such as Alviso, Monte Sereno, Permanente, Redwood Estates or Coyote or in rural Santa Clara County,?
  • Were you pleased with the auto repair technicians’ turn-around time?
  • Did the auto repair mechanics and service writers listen to and communicate with you?
  • Was the price was fair for the car repairs you had done?
  • What did you like best about this Santa Clara County automotive repair shop?
  • Would you recommend this auto repair garage?
  • Would you go back to this car repair facility if your vehicle needed additional work?
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Review Your Options
Choose a Good Auto Repair Service in Santa Clara County Including the Major Cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Mountain View
The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

When your car breaks down, don’t feel pressured to choose the nearest auto repair shop in Santa Clara County. Instead, you should hire the one with which you feel most comfortable.

That’s why it’s smart 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 right away. Start by researching and trying out local auto repair shops in the Santa Clara area when you need preventative maintenance.
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When your car breaks down, don’t feel pressured to choose the nearest auto repair shop in Santa Clara County. Instead, you should hire the one with which you feel most comfortable.

That’s why it’s smart 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 right away. Start by researching and trying out local auto repair shops in the Santa Clara area when you need preventative maintenance.

Once you get to know the car mechanics and build a working relationship with them, you’ll know you can trust them with more expensive fixes and unexpected repairs.When you find a shop you like, take your car in for all of your auto service needs. That way, the auto mechanics can keep an accurate record of your vehicle repairs, so you’ll know when your services are due and they’ll have a baseline with which to recommend repairs or auto part replacement.

In order to choose a shop, review the notes you took during phone and in-person interviews with the auto repair shops and determine if one stands out from the rest. Pay attention to the following:

  • Can an auto repair shop in Santa Clara County satisfy your requirements for scheduling, auto repairs, part preferences (OEM parts or aftermarket auto parts)?
  • Does the service writer at the car repair shop communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Is the auto repair shop as devoted to safely getting your car back on the road as you are?
  • Did one shop stand out above the rest in terms of customer service and quality of repairs.
     
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How to Work With
Auto Repair Estimates from Santa Clara County Car Mechanics

Once you’ve selected a local Santa Clara County auto repair shop for regular vehicle maintenance, it will give you peace of mind while dealing with your mechanics even when you’re facing unexpected repairs.
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Once you’ve selected a local Santa Clara County auto repair shop for regular vehicle maintenance, it will give you peace of mind while dealing with your mechanics even when you’re facing unexpected repairs.

Whether your car needs emergency repairs or routine maintenance service, you’ll want to meet with the service writer in person. Use the notes you took to accurately describe the concerns you have and what you’re experiencing. Be as detailed as possible, and don’t let the auto technician or service writer rush you. It’s important to answer their questions and listen to their plan of action. If you don’t understand what the vehicle repair shop representative is telling you, ask for an explanation. You should to completely grasp the problem and the solutions before signing an estimate.

By law, shops are required to provide a written estimate before the work begins. This estimate must include the total expected cost for parts and labor, an itemized list of needed auto parts and the method of repair. Your mechanic should never ask you to sign a blank or incomplete work order.

Sometimes a thorough diagnosis is needed before a repair shop can give you an accurate estimate. In this case, the estimate the shop asks you to sign may include only the cost of the diagnosis, or the car repair diagnosis and estimated auto repair labor cost. However, if the actual auto repair costs exceed the original estimate, the technicians must contact you before performing those repairs.

Sign a Contract with Your Vehicle Repair Shop for Auto Repair Work
When you’re satisfied with the information your Santa Clara County repair shop has given you and ready to move forward with the repairs, sign the estimate and service agreement. Verify that the service manager has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while your vehicle is in the shop. They must get your approval for any additional repairs, and it can slow down or even stop progress on your car, truck or van if they can’t reach you to get consent. Your approval for added work must be noted on the estimate and the invoice.

Once they’ve identified the problem and needed repairs, most Santa Clara County mechanics including those in the larger cities of San Jose, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Milpitas will allow you to see the damaged auto parts. Remember, you have the legal right to ask to have damaged parts returned to you when signing the service request.

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Be a Good Customer
You Can Be a Good Car Repair Shop Customer in Santa Clara County

It's your auto repair shop's responsibility to carry out thorough and complete vehicle repairs on your car, truck or minivan. But you also play a part in the success of your automobile's repair. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer....

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It's your auto repair shop's responsibility to carry out thorough and complete vehicle repairs on your car, truck or minivan. But you also play a part in the success of your automobile's repair. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer.

  • Be clear and upfront. Let the auto repair shop know what the problem is, what outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
  • Before you leave your car, truck or van at an auto repair shop in Santa Clara County, 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. By being clear about the expectations you and the auto repair shop have, you can avoid most conflicts.
  • Ask your service writer if they will call you with updates or if you should call to check on the progress of your vehicle repairs.
  • 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. Your repairs will move along more smoothly if they can reach you with necessary updates or for authorizations for car repairs.
  • When your shop contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the repairs on schedule.
  • Pay for the car repairs promptly.
  • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way if you face complications or conflict.

Why would you want to be a good customer? Auto repair shops in Santa Clara County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an atmosphere 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
Corroborate the Auto Repairs Against the Written Invoice

When the vehicle repairs are done, your mechanic is required to give you a written invoice that includes:...

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When the vehicle repairs are done, your mechanic is required to give you a written invoice that includes:

  • The name and physical address of the shop.
  • Their state auto repair registration number.
  • A list of all work performed, including warranty work 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 auto repair cost, including the amount charged for auto repair labor.
  • Any applicable hazardous waste disposal fees and the shop’s EPA (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.

Remember, you're permitted to have original parts returned to you, but only if you asked for them when you signed the auto repair estimate. Mechanics may not be able to return parts that are under warranty as they may need to be sent back to the supplier, but you still have the right to view them and confirm the damage or wear.

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Written Warranties
Get Written Warranties from Santa Clara County Auto Repair Mechanics
Photo: Larry's AutoWorks (2012)

Before leaving the auto repair shop, verify any warranties offered by the repair shop or the parts manufacturer. Not all auto repair shops offer guarantees. But those that do should give you a written document that details:...

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Before leaving the auto repair shop, verify any warranties offered by the repair shop or the parts manufacturer. Not all auto repair shops offer guarantees. But those that do should give you a written document that details:

  • The auto repair shop’s name and physical address.
  • Details of warranty coverage. This should include whether the shop will replace or repair failed parts or give you a refund.
  • Your responsibility in the case of a product failure and what you need to do in order to redeem the warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid, and whether it expires on a specific day or if it is prorated.
  • If automotive repair warranty coverage is transferrable to the new owner in the event that you sell the vehicle.
  • All exclusions to the above must be explicitly stated in the written warranty.
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Top 10 Requests
Auto Repair Services Frequently Requested in Santa Clara County

Automotive repair shops in Santa Clara County 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 Repair
Most auto electrical repairs are alternator repairs and vehicle starter repairs. Experts recommend examining your complete auto electrical system every two years and whenever you experience drivability problems that appear to be electrical in nature....

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Automotive repair shops in Santa Clara County 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 Repair
Most auto electrical repairs are alternator repairs and vehicle starter repairs. Experts recommend examining your complete auto electrical system every two years and whenever you experience drivability problems that appear to be electrical in nature.

Routine Vehicle Maintenance
Routine vehicle maintenance is also known as a tune-up. It is the regular vehicle check-up schedule recommended by manufacturers. It is usually recommended at 30-, 60-, and 90,000 mile intervals. Routine maintenance usually includes checking and replacing car air filters, fuel filters, vehicle cabin filters and auto spark plugs. Checking, flushing and refilling auto fluid and ensure the engine, exhaust and electrical systems are functioning correctly are often included. These routine vehicle maintenance checks allow auto repair mechanics to help prevent expensive car repairs.

Vehicle Brake Replacement
Full brake replacements, including replacing the brake disc, drum and rotor can be costly, but may be necessary if you’ve been driving on worn or damaged brakes that have warped or damaged the brake system.

Automobile Brake Repair
Brake repairs are a common request made of local auto repair mechanics in Santa Clara, Campbell, Gilroy and all throughout Santa Clara County. This is because brakes wear down as you use them. Most brake repairs are simple replacements of the brake pads, and are relatively inexpensive. Because you rely on them to stop your car on time, brakes should be checked regularly, especially if you experience any of these signs:

  • The brake pedal feels hard when you step on it
  • Low or spongy-feeling brake pedal
  • The brake warning light stays on continuously
  • Squealing or grinding sounds when you brake

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 Santa Clara County that specialize in automotive engine repairs.

Auto Belt and Hose Repair
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, leaks, warning lights and engine overheating. If you see or hear any of these problems, it may indicate that your auto belts or auto hoses should be checked.

Mobile Mechanic (Mobile Auto Repair)
Mobile mechanic shops in Santa Clara County are popular. Instead of towing vehicles to their 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 mechanics come to your home or workplace by appointment to service your vehicle.

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

Auto Electrical Repairs
Auto electrical problems include blown fuses, burned-out headlights and serious car electrical problems that keep you from safely operating your vehicle. Because auto electrical repairs demand special equipment, tools and repair methods, most auto electrical repairs are best left to automobile electrical repair technicians in Santa Clara County.

Auto Fuel System Repairs
Clogged fuel pumps are a common problem for Santa Clara County drivers who regularly run on low fuel. Other auto fuel system problems are clogged fuel filters, flooded engines and choking sounds. Auto fuel system repairs are best done by professional car mechanics who have the experience and tools to clean, repair and replace fuel system components.

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If Things Go Wrong
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee Protects You

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 Santa Clara County 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 Santa Clara County Auto Repair Shop Customer
The auto repair industry has been tainted with a dishonest reputation. But the truth is most auto repair shops in Santa Clara County are honest and look out for their customers. Still, you’re wise to know how to handle any disagreements with your local auto repair shop or automotive repairs.

If you have a complaint or concern, immediately ask to speak with the service manager. Resolving problems directly with the auto repair shop management can minimize conflict and get your repairs done right and on time.

  • When talking with the service manager or shop owner, keep these tips in mind:
  • Remain calm and polite.
  • Know your rights as a customer in Santa Clara County. California’s Automotive Repair Act entitles you to a written estimate for all repair work, a detailed invoice of work completed and the parts supplied, and the return of old auto parts if you request them when you place the work order.
  • Explain the problem, and detail what you see as a fair outcome.
  • Let your 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 in case you need records for future arbitration.
  • If you can’t reach an agreement, file a complaint with the Bureau of Automotive Repair and tell your vehicle repair service that you’ve done so.
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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Auto Repair Terms for Santa Clara Consumers
Photo: Luckscheider Automotive (2012)

Below are key auto repair terms and descriptions that will help you navigate your way through your auto's repair from beginning to end.

aftermarket auto parts
Auto repair parts not made by the original manufacturer. Aftermarket parts are made to fit and function the same as the original parts, but they’re often less expensive than OEM parts. Some aftermarket auto parts are redesigned to increase 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.

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

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

anti-freeze
Liquid in the cooling system that dissipates heat. Antifreeze prevents freezing during winter, cools the engine in summer and protects the cooling system from corrosion and rust.

Also known as: coolant

auto 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

auto electrical repair
Auto repairs to the electrical system of a vehicle. Auto electrical repairs may include alternator repair, auto starter repair, ignition repair, and auto electrical wiring repairs or replacement.

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

automobile repair shop
An automotive repair shop that maintain and repair the internal working parts of automobiles. Some auto repair shops specialize in specific repairs, such as auto electrical repair shops, automobile brake shops, muffler repair shops and automobile engine repair shops. Other vehicle repair centers are general repair garages that do all types of maintenance and service repairs.

Also known as: car repair shop, auto mechanic shop, car mechanic shop, auto repair shop, auto repair garage

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

Also known as: catcon, cat

control arms
The moving suspension components mounted between the vehicle frame and the wheels.

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

crankcase
The largest engine section, the crankcase contains the crankshaft.

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

Also known as: crank

differential
The differential is important for turning and cornering. 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 (also known as The Big Three) are considered domestic vehicle manufacturers.

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

filter
A paper or synthetic filter that blocks dust, dirt and debris as air enters the engine is known as a vehicle air filter.

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

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

foreign auto repair shops
Foreign auto repair shops in Santa Clara County perform auto repairs and maintenance on vehicles manufactured by foreign car companies, including some models built in the United States, including BMW, Toyota, Honda and Lexus.

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.

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

horsepower
The amount of energy produced by a vehicle’s engine.

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

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

Also known as: idling

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.

OEM auto parts (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
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 (Revolutions Per Minute)
The speed at which the engine crankshaft is turning.

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 auto parts
Auto parts taken from recycled vehicles are called salvage parts. These are often cheap car repair parts, but they usually don’t come with warranties because their reliability can’t be guaranteed. Salvage auto parts are often a last resort 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 repair / replacement
Serpentine belts are also called multi-vee or multi-rib belts. They are a long, continuous belt that runs several automotive 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

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

Also known as: auto hesitation, vehicle loss of power

suspension system
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.

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

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

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Frequently Asked Questions
Santa Clara Auto Repair FAQ

The following questions are some of the most frequently asked at auto repair centers in Santa Clara County. Read on for answers about auto repair parts, how to choose a shop and what to look for in a vehicle repair shop.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shop?...

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The following questions are some of the most frequently asked at auto repair centers in Santa Clara County. Read on for answers about auto repair parts, how to choose a shop and what to look for in a vehicle repair shop.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Auto Repair Shop?
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. Most companies 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 are my rights as an automotive repair consumer in Santa Clara County?
A: The Automotive Repair Act of 1974 entitles all customers in California to a written estimate for all repair work, detailed invoices that list work done and parts supplied, and the return of the old auto parts if customers request their return when placing the work order. For more information, visit the Bureau of Auto Repair website.

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 they’re available through auto part wholesalers in Santa Clara County, OEM parts are often much less expensive than 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 Palo Alto, San Jose, Mountain View and other areas of Santa Clara County 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: Should I request my auto repair shop install OEM auto parts instead of aftermarket parts?

A: Aftermarket parts are often cheaper than OEM parts, so auto repair garages in Santa Clara County can install them to make car repairs less expensive or at customer request. However, aftermarket parts aren’t always the same quality as original manufacturer parts, so you may have to repair or replace them sooner. And aftermarket parts that don’t fit correctly can even cause vehicle damage.
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 an intelligent choice.

Q: Is there a difference between independent auto repair shops and dealership repair shops in Santa Clara County?

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 Sunnyvale, Milpitas and the rest of Santa Clara County. Local independent repair shops have the freedom to use any brand or quality of parts they choose. They’re also able to 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, dealership car repair technicians are usually trained in maintenance and repair methods months and even years before those classes are available to independent shops. Many late model cars are also still under warranty, so some repairs can be done for free at a dealership. In fact, in many 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 most cost-effective way to keep your car running and avoid expensive future repairs. Your car’s maintenance schedule should be listed in your owner’s manual, and your local Santa Clara County auto repair shop can help you decide when your car is due for regular tune-ups and maintenance visits.

Q: Can’t I save money by going to a low-cost auto repair garage in Santa Clara County?
A: While it may look like you’re saving money by going to a cheaper auto repair shop, keep in mind that margins are often tight for auto repairs and there are only a few ways shops can offer prices dramatically lower than the competition’s. They may install used or salvage parts instead of new OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. They may also hire mechanics that aren’t certified or who are new to auto repair. This might make their rates seem lower in the short term, but you can end up having to replace parts sooner and can even cause lasting damage to your vehicle, costing you much more in repairs down the road. Some auto repair shops have even been known to advertise low hourly rates, but take longer to perform car repairs, leaving customers with a much higher bill than if you had first gone to a shop with experienced technicians.

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Consumer Agencies
Santa Clara County Auto Repair Agencies & Associations

Visit the websites of these national and local auto repair center associations and consumer agencies for more information about car, truck and van repairs in your area of Santa Clara County, including the largest cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpias, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill.

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

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Visit the websites of these national and local auto repair center associations and consumer agencies for more information about car, truck and van repairs in your area of Santa Clara County, including the largest cities of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Milpias, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Gilroy, Campbell and Morgan Hill.

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/)
Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) (http://www.mema.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
Santa Clara County Auto Repair Information
Popular Vehicle Makes & ModelsTypes of Auto Repairs Available in Santa Clara County Cities Served by Auto Repair Shops in Santa Clara CountySanta Clara County Auto Repair Shops Serve These Zip Codes
Acura MDXdomestic auto repairAlviso
Blossom Valley
Campbell
Coyote
Cupertino
East Palo Alto
Gilroy
Holy City
Los Altos
Los Altos Hills
Los Gatos
Milpitas
Monte Sereno
Monte Vista
Morgan Hill
Mountain View
Mt Hamilton
New Almaden
Palo Alto
Permanente
Redwood Estates
San Jose
San Martin
Santa Clara
Saratoga
Stanford
Sunnyvale
94022
94023
94024
94035
94039
94040
94041
94042
94043
94085
94086
94087
94088
94089
94301
94302
94303
94304
94305
94306
94309
95002
95008
95009
95011
95013
95014
95015
95020
95021
95026
95030
95031
95032
95035
95036
95037
95038
95042
95044
95046
95050
95051
95052
95054
95055
95056
95070
95071
95101
95103
95106
95108
95109
95110
95111
95112
95113
95115
95116
95117
95118
95119
95120
95121
95122
95123
95124
95125
95126
95127
95128
95129
95130
95131
95132
95133
95134
95135
95136
95138
95139
95140
95141
95148
95150
95151
95152
95153
95154
95155
95156
95157
95158
95159
95160
95161
95164
95170
95172
95173
Honda CR-Vforeign car repair
Mazda MAZDA 3air conditioner repair
Chevrolet Equinoxcar tire repair
GMC Sierramuffler repairs
Honda Accordauto tune-up
Honda Civicauto diagnostics
Kia Sorentomobile auto repair
Honda Odysseycar window repair
Toyota Priusauto radiator repair
Chevrolet Camarotransmission repair
Mercedes-Benz E-Classauto smog repairs
Nissan Muranorough idling
Subaru Outbackfuel injection repair
Toyota Corollafull engine overhauls
Chevrolet Impalaengine rebuilding
Chevy Silveradoclutch repairs
Dodge Ram Pickupautomobile oil change
Ford F-150auto ignition repairs
Ford Fiestacar problem diagnostic
Ford Focusmechanical auto repairs
Ford Mustangauto electrical repair
Toyota Camryauto brake repair
Hyundai ElantraEuropean auto repair
BMW 3 SeriesJapanese auto repair
Volkswagen Jettaauto engine repairs
Toyota RAV4carburetor service
Hyundai Sonatatiming problems
 hose replacement