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 200 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Dave C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

1 of 200

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.

Elisabeth V.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

2 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them.

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

Doris K.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

3 of 200

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.

Read All 200 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 Mike Pogojeff

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Mike Pogojeff is president of Automotive Excellence, a Diamond Certified company since 2012 and a Rohnert Park staple since 1988. He can be reached at (707) 652-9793or by email.

Mike Pogojeff: Keeping it Local

By Matt Solis, Editor

ROHNERT PARK – Mike Pogojeff has been enjoying a successful career in the auto repair industry for more than two decades, but he didn’t always know he’d end up working on cars. In fact, Mike was on a different path altogether when he had an experience that would change his professional trajectory. “I took my car to a shop for some repairs, and I couldn’t believe how expensive it was,” he remembers. “I was actually working as a contractor at the time, and I wasn’t really enjoying myself. Once I stopped working in construction, I started fixing my own cars and doing a bit of repair work on the side. And it just took off from there. It wasn’t something I set out to do, but once I got into it, I realized auto repair was for me.”

Mike received his professional training at Indian Valley College in Novato, which offers an automotive program that’s only open to a handful of applicants. “I think there were 30 available spots for a couple hundred people when I got in,” he says. “After I graduated that program, I started working at an independent shop and eventually moved from dealership to dealership. One thing led to another and I decided to open my own shop. That’s how it’s been my whole career—I didn’t plan to get into auto repair, and I didn’t plan to start Automotive Excellence, but they both just happened. Twenty-five years later, here I am.”

A native of San Anselmo and resident of Rohnert Park since 1985, Mike says there are numerous positive aspects of living and working in the Bay Area—from the fantastic weather to the open-minded, friendly people—but there’s one thing he enjoys about living in the North Bay above all else. “My commute is about three miles each way, so it basically takes six minutes to get to and from work,” he laughs. “That’s definitely a great thing, but I love Rohnert Park in general. There are lots of parks and trees, and shopping is close no matter where you live in the city.”

Mike has Automotive Excellence to thank for more than just many years of professional success—he met his wife, Darlene, when she came into the shop looking to get her 1998 Prelude fixed. “She’s worked alongside me since we’ve been married, so it’s been great,” he says. “We have two kids—our daughter is studying movie set design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in San Francisco, and our son is starting his second year at Santa Rosa Junior College.”

When he’s not working on cars and spending time with his family, Mike keeps active with various physical activities, including playing goalie on an indoor soccer team and training for triathlons. “I’ve probably done 100 triathlons over the years, and even though I haven’t competed in one in a while, I’m always swimming, biking and running,” he says. “In fact, I’m never in the shop on Wednesdays and Fridays between 11:30 and 1:00 because I’m swimming.”

For a man who didn’t have a definitive plan when he entered the auto repair industry, Mike has carved out quite a niche in his community, and he says that’s ultimately the glue that holds his business together. “Working on cars is pretty much the same wherever you are, but it’s the people in Rohnert Park that make the difference. I’ve lived and worked here for almost 30 years, so I’ve been able to develop important relationships with a lot of customers. That’s my favorite part about this job…besides the six-minute commute!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite sport?
A: Football. I follow the 49ers, but my favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’ve been a Steelers fan since elementary school. I think it happened because I don’t like the Cowboys, and those two teams had some great rivalries in the ’70s.

Q: What’s your favorite music to listen to while driving?
A: Classic rock—Queen, Scorpions, AC/DC, stuff like that.

Q: If you could drive any car, what would it be?
A: Porsche 911 GT3. That’s my retirement car!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: I actually like to go running in the rain. I find it refreshing. It’s sort of like swimming—even though you’re working hard and getting tired, you can’t tell when you’re sweating so you can keep going.

Q: What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
A: Liver. My mom made it when I was a kid and I hated it.

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Expert articles
  • Choosing the Right Auto Repair Shop

    ROHNERT PARK — With the sophistication of today’s vehicles, it has become more important than ever to choose an auto repair facility that has the knowledge and ability to take care of your car’s specific needs. When it comes to selecting an auto shop, there are three very important things to consider:

    Know who is working on your car. Ask the shop about the technicians it employs. What’s their level of expertise? Do they have the proper training and certifications? How long have they been working for the company? A well-run shop that’s dedicated to excellent work will retain its employees for a long time, but a shop with high employee turnover is unlikely to foster an environment where technicians care about doing a good job.

    Make sure the shop knows how to work on your particular vehicle. Some cars have components that are specific to a particular manufacturer, so make sure the shop’s mechanics are aware of your vehicle’s needs before any work begins.

    Know what kinds of parts are being used. A high level of quality is important when it comes to car parts, which is why many companies use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts whenever possible. Before leaving your car with a repair shop, ask if it uses OEM parts. If it doesn’t, ask what type of aftermarket parts it uses and how they compare in terms of quality. Also, make sure you ask about the warranties on the parts so you know what’s covered and for how long.

    Remember, an auto repair shop that says it specializes in “everything” most likely doesn’t, so use caution when it comes to chain stores, tire shops and quick oil change places. Your vehicle is a valuable asset, so choose wisely.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: The Myth of Unnecessary Maintenance

    Complete Video Transcription:

    ROHNERT PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: Today’s car owners are being warned about auto shops recommending “unnecessary maintenance,” but is this really a legitimate concern? Today we’re in Rohnert Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Mike Pogojeff of Automotive Excellence to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Mike Pogojeff: One of the big misconceptions in auto repair today is the concern of a consumer being sold unnecessary, unneeded repairs. This really just has not happened. If a customer is picking a reputable shop, they don’t have any need to be concerned about unnecessary, unneeded repairs. They may not be aware of the repairs that are being sold to them or the repairs they’re being told they needed, but they’re certainly necessary if the shop is telling you you need them.

    In the digital age that we live in today, no shop is going to stake their reputation on selling a customer unneeded, unnecessary repairs. No one is going to want to lose their entire livelihood over one car being sold unneeded, unnecessary repairs.

    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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  • Video: Selecting A Repair Facility

    Complete Video Transcription:

    ROHNERT PARK —  Host Sarah Rutan: If you’re in need of an auto repair facility, you’ll need to do some research. So we’re in Rohnert Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Mike Pogojeff of Automotive Excellence to learn some helpful tips.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Mike Pogojeff: With the sophistication of today’s vehicles, it’s becoming more and more important you choose an auto repair facility that has the knowledge and ability to take care of your vehicle’s needs. Today, I want to talk to you about the importance of selecting the correct auto repair facility.

    There are three important things to consider when selecting an auto repair facility. One: Who is working on your car? What is their level of expertise? Two: Do they have specific knowledge of your vehicle? This is very important. Three: What kinds of parts are being used? Example: What is the level of quality of that part? What is the warranty of that part? Not every shop uses original equipment parts or has technicians with specific knowledge of your vehicle. A shop that specializes in everything most likely doesn’t.

    Be careful of chain stores, tire shops and quickie oil change places. Your vehicle is a valuable asset, choose wisely. Things are not always as they appear.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: Thank you to our Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Mike Pogojeff of Automotive Excellence. I’m Sarah Rutan

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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 200 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Automotive Excellence : Average 9.4 out of 10 based on 200 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Dave C.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

1 of 200

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 200

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 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them.

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

Claudine G.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

4 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

He is very thorough and proactive. I trust him completely.

The proactive part

Martie M.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

5 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them implicitly.

They are easy to work with.

Natalia F.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

6 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would recommend them.

Nothing

Della B.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

7 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are awesome. That's all I can say.

The customer service is really great.

Marah M.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

8 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are the shop to go to.

Top-notch work

Milo Z.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

9 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do it right with no issues.

Everything is done correctly.

Ken S.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

10 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I have been working in the automotive industry for over forty-five years, and they are by far one of the best garages in the area.

Their service

Elisabeth V.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

11 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great. They do the services on time and finish when they say they will.

Pretty much everything that I just said in the last question.

Herb F.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

12 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

We take all of our cars there, and we love their service.

Nothing

Zach H.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

13 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would tell people if they want great service to go to Automotive Excellence.

Their customer service is impeccable, and the technical expertise is immaculate.

Bob P.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

14 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'd tell them to take their car there. Their communication is great.

Every single person we have dealt with is terrific.

Ronnie G.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

15 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do an excellent job, and I trust them implicitly.

Honesty, integrity, and excellence

Morgan B.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

16 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

In all the years that I have lived here in Sonoma County, I've been using them, since 2004.

They are always friendly and follow-up with you at all times.

Darlene W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

17 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very reliable with Japanese cars

They are knowledgeable and current.

Sandy R.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

18 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are the best auto repair place in the area.

I can count on them twenty-four hours a day. My car is my livelihood, and they are there for me at all times.

Don W.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

19 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You get what you pay for.

Nothing

Sharon B.

VERIFIED Automotive Excellence CUSTOMER

20 of 200

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I would say that they saved me about a $1000 compared to another shop that did work for me.

I thoroughly enjoy their knowledge and the fact that they are so communicative.

Read All 200 Survey Responses at Ratings View