Diamond Certified Company Report

Automotive Excellence

Diamond Certified Company Report

Automotive Excellence

Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i
Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 225 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Dave C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

1 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have great customer service, and they are affordable.

They are reliable, and they can diagnose the car and find out what is wrong with it. They don't waste a lot of time finding out what is wrong. They do everything I ask of them.

Doris K.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

2 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do good work, they are friendly, and they work Saturdays, but they don't work Mondays. They have loaner cars, and they make it easy for you. Even though they close at 5:00 PM, they work with me about getting my car.

I have developed trust in them. I have been going there for a few years now. They have good customer service. I really like John, the guy who helps at the front desk. He was made for his job. He has amazing customer service. He is pleasant, he looks for solutions, and he gives you ideas. They are very honest, and they will admit their mistakes. They are very knowledgeable, and they are quality.

Elisabeth V.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

3 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them.

They are reliable, local, consistent, prompt, and friendly. We are very satisfied.

Read All 225 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Terri and Dave Erickson, Owners

Automotive Excellence services and repairs all types of vehicles (with a special emphasis on Japanese models) at its Rohnert Park facility. The family-owned and operated company handles everything from oil changes and preventative maintenance to major engine and transmission repairs, and each car is serviced by a professional who has specific knowledge of that particular make and model.

Owners Dave and Terri Erickson credit much of Automotive Excellence’s success to its customer-oriented approach to auto repair. “Our goal on every job is to take care of the customer and make sure they’re happy with the quality of our work,” says Mr. Erickson. “We get a lot of satisfaction from doing great repairs for fair prices, and that’s why we have so many return customers. They really appreciate how honest and ethical we are.”

Automotive Excellence prioritizes communication in every aspect of its work, which Mrs. Erickson says is important for ensuring long-lasting results. “We educate our customers about their vehicles, make them aware of potential issues, and let them know which repairs should be prioritized and which ones can wait until later. We tailor our services to each customer’s unique needs, which isn’t something you find with most dealerships or maintenance programs.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Automotive Excellence

Locations

Sonoma County
Napa County
Marin County

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Hybrid Service
Japanese Auto Repair
Electrical Diagnosis
Engine & Transmission Repair
Brakes, Tires & Wheel Alignments
Factory-Scheduled Maintenance
Air Conditioning Repair

BRANDS Supported
  • Acura

  • Honda

  • Hyundai

  • Infiniti

  • Kia

  • Lexus

  • Mazda

  • Mitsubishi

  • Nissan

  • Scion

  • Subaru

  • Toyota

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Automotive Excellence

A look at Automotive Excellence’s Rohnert Park facility

Company Profile

Automotive Excellence services and repairs all types of vehicles (with a special emphasis on Japanese models) at its Rohnert Park facility. The family-owned and operated company handles everything from oil changes and preventative maintenance to major engine and transmission repairs, and each car is serviced by a professional who has specific knowledge of that particular make and model.

Owners Dave and Terri Erickson credit much of Automotive Excellence’s success to its customer-oriented approach to auto repair. “Our goal on every job is to take care of the customer and make sure they’re happy with the quality of our work,” says Mr. Erickson. “We get a lot of satisfaction from doing great repairs for fair prices, and that’s why we have so many return customers. They really appreciate how honest and ethical we are.”

Automotive Excellence prioritizes communication in every aspect of its work, which Mrs. Erickson says is important for ensuring long-lasting results. “We educate our customers about their vehicles, make them aware of potential issues, and let them know which repairs should be prioritized and which ones can wait until later. We tailor our services to each customer’s unique needs, which isn’t something you find with most dealerships or maintenance programs.”

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Company Philosophy

“We treat our customers the way we’d want to be treated: with fairness and honesty. We strive for excellence in everything we do, and we’re always looking for ways to expand upon our knowledge so we can provide the best possible auto repair services.”

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Comparative Summary

Maintaining customer satisfaction is a crucial aspect of any business, but it’s even more important for auto repair shops that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Automotive Excellence, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: consistently provide high-quality repairs for each car that enters its shop, regardless of the extent of the work. “Our customers come to us because they know we can solve their car problems, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” says co-owner Terri Erickson. “The way we care for them during that process is just as important as how well we perform the repair work.”

Automotive Excellence has been servicing and repairing all types of Japanese vehicles at its Rohnert Park facility since 1988. In addition to handling everything from oil changes, preventative maintenance, and tire and wheel alignments, the family-owned and operated company repairs engines and transmissions, performs electrical diagnoses, fixes air conditioning systems, and more.

Unlike less experienced auto repair shops that strive to maximize their profits by convincing customers to purchase unnecessary services and upgrades, Automotive Excellence focuses solely on performing work that’s required to safely return its customers’ cars to the road. “We try to save our customers money by telling them which repairs are necessary and which can be put off until later,” says co-owner Dave Erickson. “We’ve developed a reputation for treating our customers fairly, and we intend to keep it.”

To further differentiate itself from its competition, Automotive Excellence is the only full-service, independent repair shop in Sonoma County that specializes in Honda, Acura, Toyota and Lexus vehicles, which means it has the proper equipment and training to provide the necessary repairs and maintenance services for those models. “As a specialist shop, we often see the same problems over and over, so we can usually diagnose and fix our customers’ cars faster than a general repair shop,” explains Mrs. Erickson. “That, combined with our training and web diagnostic services, allows us to save our customers time and money.”

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Industry Info

Make sure your auto repair shop is performing maintenance work that’s specific to your car.

Years ago, most auto repair shops recommended the same services regardless of the type of vehicle you had, but according to Terri Erickson, co-owner of Automotive Excellence in Rohnert Park, that’s no longer the case. For example, Honda used to recommend changing transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, but today, the manufacturer recommends changing it on an “as needed” basis. “Personally, I prefer to change transmission fluid every 15,000 miles because Honda transmissions have a tendency to fail due to lack of maintenance, but some shops wait much longer and follow the ‘as needed’ direction,” says Mrs. Erickson. “It’s a very subjective practice, so you should talk to your mechanic before making a decision.

“Also, when you’re comparing service prices from shop to shop, you should compare what’s being done for that specific price as well,” continues Mrs. Erickson. “If one shop charges significantly less than another, it’s often a sign that it’s cutting corners and doing low-quality work.”

Mrs. Erickson also says various dealerships and auto repair shops adhere to different schedules for preventative replacement and maintenance items such as oil changes, fluid replacements, valve adjustments, filter changes and belt replacements. “Some follow the exact dealership recommendations, but others base their recommendations on your driving style and vehicle’s specific needs.”

Changing, replacing and maintaining vehicle components that don’t need to be serviced can be a waste of money, but waiting too long between maintenance appointments can cost a lot more in the long run. “Small things like adjusting valves, changing oil and performing other routine maintenance items on a regular schedule will help your vehicle last a lot longer,” confirms Mrs. Erickson. “Ultimately, that should be what every car owner wants.”

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I make an appointment online?
A: Yes, you can visit www.yourautoexcellence.com to make an appointment. We try to email responses and appointment confirmations the same day.

Q: What kind of auto parts do you use?
A: We only use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, which means if you have a Honda, we’ll only install parts made by a Honda factory. OEM parts are higher quality than other parts, which means they’ll last longer and serve your car better.

Q: Can I wait while you change the oil in my car?
A: Yes. Typically, an oil change takes about 30 to 45 minutes, and we always schedule them so our customers can get in and out as quickly as possible.

Q: Do you service hybrid vehicles?
A: Yes, all our technicians are trained to work on hybrids.

Q: Do you offer transportation services to people who need to leave their cars at your shop?
A: Yes, we offer several transportation services. First, we have loaner cars available free of charge on a “first come, first served” basis. You can even make a reservation for a loaner car to guarantee its availability. We also offer a shuttle service that will take you wherever you need to go and pick you up when your vehicle is ready.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Automotive Excellence

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Dave Erickson

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Dave Erickson is owner of Automotive Excellence, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (707) 652-9793 or by email.

Dave Erickson: Taking the Long Road

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ROHNERT PARK — A lifelong veteran of the automotive industry, Dave Erickson has traveled a long and storied road to arrive at professional success. It all started when he was just a boy. “I grew up on a 100-acre ranch, where we had lots of tractors and other vehicles that needed to be maintained,” he remembers. “My dad was gone a lot for work, so I was the one who had to keep all the equipment running. I pretty much taught myself by reading books and tinkering around from a young age.”

When Dave was a teenager, he took a step further down the road when he got his first proper job. “When I was 16, I got hired as a technician at a Volkswagen repair facility. Later, I became a shop foreman for a Mercedes-Benz dealership. After that, I worked at several different auto shops in the Bay Area before I finally ended up at Automotive Excellence. When the owner, Mike, announced his plans to retire, I saw it as an opportunity to take the next step in my career. My wife, Terri, and I purchased the business from him and became the new owners in 2019.”

Today, Dave says his favorite part of his job is taking care of customers. “I like taking care of people in general, so taking care of customers is a pleasure. It’s very gratifying to see how happy a customer gets when you repair their vehicle for a cost they can afford. People also appreciate the fact that we help them prioritize services so they can budget accordingly and get the work that they need.”

A resident of Santa Rosa, Dave spends his time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “Terri and I are outdoors people, so we go camping and fishing all over Northern California,” he details. “We also like going for rides up the coast on my ’99 Harley Fat Boy motorcycle.” Additionally, Dave enjoys spending time with his family. “Our son, David Jr., works for us as a technician, and our daughter and her family live with us, so we’re all very close. I enjoy the fact that I get to see my two grandkids every day.”

When asked about a professional philosophy, Dave espouses the importance of integrity. “Be honest and act as if everybody is watching you at all times,” he recommends. “That’s what integrity is all about—doing the right thing even when nobody is looking. Even if some customers don’t appreciate it, there are plenty who do, and in all cases there’s a sense of gratification in knowing you did right by them.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Dave says he’d take a road trip. “I’d pack up my travel trailer and hit every state in this country, just taking in the sights. I’d probably drag my motorcycle along, too—that way, Terri and I could go on rides along the way.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?

A: An early bird. I’m the guy who’s up at 4am, waiting for everyone else to wake up.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?

A: Fig bars.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

A: I would probably go to Germany. As a certified Mercedes-Benz technician, it would be neat to visit the headquarters.

Q: What kinds of books do you like?

A: I’m interested in engineering and the technical aspects of automotive work, so I read a lot of tech books and journals.

Q: Pancakes or waffles?

A: Pancakes.

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Expert articles
  • Regenerative Braking: A Beneficial Prius Feature

    ROHNERT PARK  — If you own a Toyota Prius, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the features it provides. One beneficial feature is regenerative braking, an automotive innovation found in most modern hybrid and electric vehicles. To utilize this feature in your Prius, simply put your gear shifter into “B” mode.

    When in “B” mode, you’ll notice that you don’t have to apply the brake pedal as much. That’s because your car is now set to automatically slow down each time you let off the gas. This reduces the amount of wear and tear on your brake pads, especially in stop-and-go traffic.

    The other benefit of regenerative braking is that each time you let off the gas, it actually charges your Prius’ battery. How? As a car slows down, kinetic energy is created. Regenerative braking captures this energy and repurposes it to charge or “regenerate” the battery. Interestingly enough, this energy-efficient process has little to do with the brakes themselves—it actually takes place within the car’s transmission.

    As previously mentioned, “B” mode is the most beneficial in situations like stop-and-go traffic, but another good time to use this feature is when driving downhill. When you take your foot off the gas, you’ll feel the vehicle start to slow. Depending on the steepness of the hill, you may still have to apply the brake, but not nearly as much as you would otherwise. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of charging your battery.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: A Beneficial Prius Feature

    Complete Video Transcription:

    ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: Do you own a Toyota Prius? If so, make sure you’re taking advantage of its regenerative braking feature. Today we’re in Rohnert Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Dave Erickson of Automotive Excellence to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Dave Erickson: For those of you who are driving Priuses that have the “B” feature on the shift or on the dash, you can use that feature for braking purposes during commute times or around in town. When you let off the gas, it automatically brakes the vehicle and regenerates the battery.

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

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Automotive Excellence WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
  • Automotive Excellence SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Automotive Excellence
Diamond certified ratings dashboard
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION i
Customer LOYALTY i
Helpful Expertise i

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

Company Credentials i
  • Workers Compensation
  • Liability Insurance
  • License Verification
  • Business Practices
  • Current Complaint File
Phone SURVEY RESPONSES FROM 225 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Automotive Excellence : Average 9.4 out of 10 based on 225 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Dave C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

1 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have great customer service, and they are affordable.

They are reliable, and they can diagnose the car and find out what is wrong with it. They don't waste a lot of time finding out what is wrong. They do everything I ask of them.

Doris K.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

2 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do good work, they are friendly, and they work Saturdays, but they don't work Mondays. They have loaner cars, and they make it easy for you. Even though they close at 5:00 PM, they work with me about getting my car.

I have developed trust in them. I have been going there for a few years now. They have good customer service. I really like John, the guy who helps at the front desk. He was made for his job. He has amazing customer service. He is pleasant, he looks for solutions, and he gives you ideas. They are very honest, and they will admit their mistakes. They are very knowledgeable, and they are quality.

Elisabeth V.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

3 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them.

They are reliable, local, consistent, prompt, and friendly. We are very satisfied.

Kevin A.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

4 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very reliable, and I highly recommend them.

Reliable

Stephanie W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

5 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I absolutely trust them. Competitive prices, and they do great work.

They are honest and not pushy.

Herb F.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

6 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great.

Their service is consistently good.

Nanette H.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

7 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell them how great they are and that they will be getting a good deal. They do really good work.

They are efficient, courteous, and helpful.

Jim W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

8 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very trustworthy and competent.

They basically keep my car running and reliable, so what more can I ask for?

Lindsay E.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

9 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Friendly, honest, and reliable, my family has been coming here for over 20 years.

They are very customer oriented and know their customers by name, so it feels very genuine and authentic. You don't feel like you got the run around or hassled.

Roxana C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

10 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great and I highly recommend them.

They do a good job.

Tony M.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

11 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

First class operation, great service, and a great value

Their customer service is great. They give you a ride home and to pick up your vehicle.

Pete G.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

12 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are reliable and always deliver.

The management

Jayden J.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

13 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are trustworthy. I have been using them for years.

They go out of their way to help you and fix things for you, some things even without cost.

Linda S.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

14 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

The team is extremely honest and gets the job done.

The honesty is the thing that keeps me coming back.

Mary B.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

15 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

If they did business as good as Automotive Excellence, they would have more customers and let everybody know that there is no place better than Automotive Excellence.

They are friendly. They explain things and they fix your car without any problems.

Don W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

16 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are amazing, honorable, honest, and straightforward. They take care of their customers. Mike is amazing and trains his employees very well.

Integrity, honesty, and they do what they say they are going to do. They always tell you the truth and will try save you money.

John G.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

17 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Honest and reliable, I have been going to them for over 20 years.

Honesty and friendliness, they are nice and easy to work with.

Dwayne W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

18 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are fantastic, honest, and always looking out for customers. They go above and beyond.

I live in San Rafael and take my car to Rohnert Park, because I don't get the same service or trust anywhere else. They truly go above and beyond. I would highly, highly, recommend them.

Dmitri M.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

19 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great.

Honest, clean, and the best

Glenn C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

20 of 225

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I recommend them all of the time.

I haven't been with the new owners for very long, but hopefully the great service continues.

Read All 225 Survey Responses at Ratings View