Diamond Certified Company Report

Berkeley Motor Works

Diamond Certified Company Report

Berkeley Motor Works

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 150 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Ryan Y.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

1 of 150

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a very good job on my car. I would recommend them.

I liked the work that they did on my car. They did a great job.

Jack T.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

2 of 150

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are super good at what they do.

They were honest and knowledgeable about the services they provided.

Vincent F.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

3 of 150

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are a small staff and a small business that gives you personal and private attention unlike other mechanics. They provided personal attention and communication.

The guys that work there are great, especially Roger. They also did what they said they were going to do.

Read All 150 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Mike Schwarzbart is owner of Berkeley Motor Works.

Berkeley Motor Works provides a complete range of mechanical and electrical repair services for BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Mini Coopers, and Porsches at its Albany facility. The company has the training and equipment to handle everything from routine tune-ups and oil changes to comprehensive engine and transmission repairs, and it offers appointment scheduling through its website for the convenience of its customers.

Owner Mike Schwarzbart says Berkeley Motor Works’ customer-oriented approach to auto repair has been a crucial aspect of its long-term success. “We focus on doing the job right and treating each customer with respect, and that type of attitude brings about good feelings for everyone involved. We take care of our customers and maintain positive relationships that are built on mutual trust.”

Berkeley Motor Works utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to identify and treat problems that are specific to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini Cooper, and Porsche vehicles, which Mr. Schwarzbart says is one of the company’s most distinguishing attributes. “We’re known for helping our customers figure out what’s wrong with their cars. From ‘check engine’ lights to suspension system problems, we can handle it all.”

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Berkeley Motor Works

Locations

Alameda County

Get Directions
SERVICES PERFORMED

Mechanical & Electrical Repairs
BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini Cooper & Porsche Vehicles
Brake Work
Engine & Transmission Repairs
Tune-Ups & Oil Changes

BRANDS Supported
  • Mercedes-Benz

  • Porsche

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Berkeley Motor Works

A look inside Berkeley Motor Works' Albany shop

Company Profile

Berkeley Motor Works provides a complete range of mechanical and electrical repair services for BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Mini Coopers, and Porsches at its Albany facility. The company has the training and equipment to handle everything from routine tune-ups and oil changes to comprehensive engine and transmission repairs, and it offers appointment scheduling through its website for the convenience of its customers.

Owner Mike Schwarzbart says Berkeley Motor Works’ customer-oriented approach to auto repair has been a crucial aspect of its long-term success. “We focus on doing the job right and treating each customer with respect, and that type of attitude brings about good feelings for everyone involved. We take care of our customers and maintain positive relationships that are built on mutual trust.”

Berkeley Motor Works utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to identify and treat problems that are specific to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini Cooper, and Porsche vehicles, which Mr. Schwarzbart says is one of the company’s most distinguishing attributes. “We’re known for helping our customers figure out what’s wrong with their cars. From ‘check engine’ lights to suspension system problems, we can handle it all.”

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Company Philosophy

“Our goal is simple: provide quality, personalized services that help our customers get back on the road as quickly as possible. We never try to talk them into costly repairs that they don’t need, and we do our best to complete their repairs in the most efficient, cost-effective ways.”

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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 Berkeley Motor Works, the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is simple: invest in state-of-the-art equipment and ongoing training so its technicians can provide the best possible service. “Staying up-to-date on the latest technology allows us to solve our customers’ car issues quickly and efficiently,” affirms owner Mike Schwarzbart. “Our in-depth knowledge and respect for German cars really shows through in our work.”

Berkeley Motor Works has been repairing and maintaining BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Mini Coopers, and Porsches at its Albany facility since 1990. The company has the in-house capabilities to handle everything from tune-ups and oil changes to engine and transmission repairs, and it offers online appointment scheduling for its customers’ convenience.

Unlike auto repair shops that have a general knowledge of Mercedes-Benzes but aren’t qualified to perform certain work, Berkeley Motor Works utilizes its Theft-Relevant Parts (TRP) certification to quickly obtain Mercedes-specific parts so it can return its customers’ cars to the road as soon as possible. “Mercedes-Benz won’t sell parts to garages that aren’t properly certified, so that gives us a huge advantage,” says Mr. Schwarzbart. “Our customers know they only have to take their cars to one shop, and they really appreciate that type of convenience.”

Another distinguishing feature of Berkeley Motor Works is the personalized service it provides for every customer. “We want our customers to know that we care about their cars, so we take extra steps like washing and vacuuming every vehicle before it leaves our shop,” says Mr. Schwarzbart. “Offering highly personalized service is a great way to build trust with our customers and develop positive, long-term relationships with them.”

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Industry Info

If you own a Mercedes-Benz, don’t forget that you need a shop with specific certifications and training to work on it. Mercedes-Benz owners may be surprised to learn that the company’s new Theft-Relevant Parts (TRP) program may require them to seek repair services at a dealership or other certified repair shop. The program is designed to increase security and prevent unauthorized personnel from purchasing and installing items that could lead to vehicles being stolen. However, it has ramifications for car owners who prefer to have their vehicles serviced at independent repair facilities.

“Mercedes-Benz won’t sell parts to repair shops that aren’t properly certified,” explains Mike Schwarzbart, owner of Berkeley Motor Works in Albany. “Shops that aren’t certified can’t get the parts to complete the job, which means their customers have to take their vehicles to certified shops for certain repairs.”

Back when any repair shop could order new keys or ignition switches for any vehicle, theft was easier. Fraud involving the sale and delivery of these theft-relevant parts left repair shops on the hook for hefty insurance payouts for stolen vehicles. Now, greater restrictions on shops that work on Mercedes-Benzes add a layer of protection for owners.

Mr. Schwarzbart explains that this program will give many Mercedes-Benz owners more peace of mind because it means everyone who works on the cars must have the right training and certification. “Along with having the right qualifications to purchase repair parts, the TRP program will keep technicians at the forefront of Mercedes-Benz repair methods,” he adds. “The best way for a shop to do right by its customers is to keep up with technological changes.”

TRP items that may only be available from dealerships and shops that are registered Vehicle Security Professionals include electronic vehicle keys, transponder keys, ignition locks, infrared control units, selector level modules, steering locks, gear control units, airbag and SRS cables, body shells, body panels, body components, and engine control modules.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What types of replacement parts do you use?

A: We use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are the same parts that are made for the dealers. They’re not necessarily in the dealer boxes, but they’re made by the same company that makes parts for BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Q: How much will it cost to fix my car?

A: That depends on what needs to be done, but we always keep our prices fair and competitive. The quality of our repairs and ability of our technicians are definitely worth the price.

Q: How long will the repairs take to complete?

A: Once we perform a diagnosis, we’ll be able to provide an accurate timeframe for completion.

Q: Do you offer shuttle services?

A: Yes. There’s also a BART station near our shop, and we can take you to and from there so you can get to work while your car is being repaired.

Q: Do you charge for estimates?

A: That depends on the repairs that need to be done. If we need to do an initial diagnostic to see what’s going on with your vehicle, we may start with a diagnostic charge. This covers the time we spend with the car—if you decline the repairs, it covers our investigation costs. Once we diagnose the problem, we’ll look up labor times and parts and put together an accurate estimate.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Berkeley Motor Works

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Mike Schwarzbart

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Mike Schwarzbart is a 31-year veteran of the auto repair industry and owner of Berkeley Motor Works, a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (510) 992-4004 or by email.

Mike Schwarzbart: Motor Workin’

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

ALBANY — Even after going to college to study a totally different field, Mike Schwarzbart seemed destined to return to his first love of automotive repair. “I was always a gearhead in high school,” he remembers. “In college, I majored in environmental studies but continued to do automotive work on the side. The guy I apprenticed with specialized in BMWs, and I soon developed a fascination with these vehicles and how they were put together.”

After graduating from college, Mike attempted a new field of occupation, only to eventually find himself back under the hood. “I found I could only get so far in the environmental field with a Bachelor’s degree, so I started looking into other avenues,” he explains. “To make ends meet, I started working on cars out of my dad’s garage, which eventually led to me opening a small shop, where I’ve been specializing in BMW repair ever since.”

Today, as owner of Berkeley Motor Works, Mike says his favorite part of his job is receiving positive feedback from customers. “When people see how hard we work and express their appreciation for the way we fix their cars, it makes it all worthwhile. I take pride in being one of the East Bay’s top BMW specialists. As cars get more and more advanced, the expertise of a specialist can make a big difference when it comes to getting a correct diagnosis and repair. I really enjoy being able to give our customers the best, most accurate service available.”

A lifetime resident of the East Bay, Mike says he appreciates many aspects of his local setting. “The climate is great, we have some of the best restaurants around, and there’s easy access to nature, including several mountain biking trails, which keeps me active. When I’m not working, I like going to local venues and restaurants and just enjoying what the area has to offer.” In addition to biking and sampling the local cuisine, Mike enjoys spending quality time with his daughters, Sandy and Shelly.

With regard to his life and career, Mike espouses the importance of honesty. “Tell no lies and you never have to worry about which lie you told,” he says. “In both my personal and professional lives, I’ve found that being honest, upfront, and taking responsibility for your actions is always the best way to go.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Mike says he’d head out on an oceanic voyage. “I’d buy a boat and sail away,” he laughs. “I suppose I’d head to the Caribbean first and see where I should go from there.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What was your first car?
A: A rusted-out ’68 Mustang.

Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The San Francisco 49ers.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect refrigerator magnets from all the places I’ve visited. I have a pretty well-covered fridge.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: Dark chocolate.

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Expert articles
  • An Easy Way to Protect Your Fuel Pump

    ALBANY — If you’re like most vehicle owners, you want to get the maximum longevity out of your car or truck. One of the best ways to promote your vehicle’s long-term health is to properly maintain its fuel pump. If you’re worried this will require some type of hands-on maintenance, relax: it requires far less effort than you’d expect.

    Most vehicle owners have a tendency to wait until the last minute to refill their gas tanks, which means they regularly run their vehicles on low fuel, even to the point of being nearly empty. What few people realize, however, is that the fuel pump is lubricated and cooled by the fuel in the tank. That means continually running a vehicle while it’s low on fuel can lead to premature wear and even pump failure, which is a costly repair.

    Luckily, you can avoid this problem by adopting a simple habit: keep at least a quarter tank of gas in your car at all times. This will ensure the fuel pump stays lubricated and help extend your car’s lifespan.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Maximizing the Life of Your Fuel Pump

    Complete Video Transcription:

    ALBANY — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to your vehicle’s fuel pump, one simple habit can make a substantial difference in enhancing its lifespan. Today we’re in Albany with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Mike Schwarzbart of Berkeley Motor Works to learn more.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Mike Schwarzbart: In this day and age, we all want to get the most value out of our car. One of the ways we can do that is by maintaining our fuel pump properly. Fuel pumps are lubricated and cooled by the fuel in the fuel tank. If we run out of fuel regularly – run it low on fuel – then we’ll cause premature wear. And the fuel pump will burn up and cause your car not to run and or start. Best way to do that is to keep a quarter tank or more in your fuel system and you won’t be paying us a visit.

    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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Berkeley Motor Works WEBSITE AND EXTERNAL FEED
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Berkeley Motor Works
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 150 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Ryan Y.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

1 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They did a very good job on my car. I would recommend them.

I liked the work that they did on my car. They did a great job.

Jack T.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

2 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are super good at what they do.

They were honest and knowledgeable about the services they provided.

Vincent F.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

3 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are a small staff and a small business that gives you personal and private attention unlike other mechanics. They provided personal attention and communication.

The guys that work there are great, especially Roger. They also did what they said they were going to do.

Charles H.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

4 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They run a great operation.

I didn't feel like they were trying to take advantage of me. They have really good customer service.

Gracie C.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

5 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

You should go there instead of going to the dealership.

The most important thing is that they do good work.

Peter K.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

6 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are friendly, honest, capable, and always available. Plus, they go the extra mile for you.

I appreciate that they are people. They are not stuffy and they treat you like a person, and not just a customer so to speak. That makes a big difference.

Suzie G.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

7 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are a great shop and they do high quality work. You don't have to worry about your car getting screwed up when you leave it there.

The quality of the work and that they're quick

Sara G.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

8 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'm very satisfied with them and they are trustworthy.

They make every effort to accommodate emergencies.

Raymond J.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

9 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are good to go to. They always get back to you through email too.

They're friendly and seem to be knowledgeable.

John D.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

10 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They were honest and forthright.

Mike, the owner, was straightforward with me.

Artie M.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

11 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

If you're looking for an honest and fair-priced repair center where the mechanics know how to do good repairs then they are the place to go.

Their honesty, for example, I have a Mini Cooper and it was shaking really badly. The problem was that it was simply low on oil, but it was a new car to me, and I didn't realize that right away, because it's a European car and doesn't have all of the dash warnings that we're used to with American cars. I had taken it to a shop and they told me I needed injectors. I got them and the problem was still there, so they said I needed a fuel pump. I finally took it to Berkeley Motor Works and they said no it just needs oil and that is what Mini Coopers start to do when they are low on oil. So, they don't play any games or try to up-sell anything.

John M.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

12 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great. If you have an old BMW, I'd say it's the only place to go to.

I love that the person who works on my car has been working on that particular model of BMW for 30 years and used to race them when he was younger.

Alfredo F.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

13 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Go to them because you can trust their professionalism and knowledge, particularly regarding BMWs.

They gave me a diagnosis pretty quickly.

Sid S.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

14 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very good. They take their work seriously and will take care of business. They're good mechanics.

They are focused on customer satisfaction.

Jerold R.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

15 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I trust them and the owner is great. I think the owner is a high-class individual who basically has a good business. He sent me a followup email after the work was done and I've never had an issue with my car after they've worked on it.

The quality of the work, I found nothing flawed in the job that they did.

Marie B.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

16 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are great. They care about your car and do what's necessary to keep your car on the road.

They always tell you what they think you will need for your car once you take it in. They advise you for the next steps to make sure the car is maintained.

Don M.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

17 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I've recommended them to several people already.

They are honest and half the price of the dealership. They do good work. I needed a battery for a 1970 Volkswagen bus. They don't really service Volkswagen, but Scott and Mike looked them up and found a battery that cost me $135 plus tax. They had it there the next day, installed it, recycled by old one, and didn't even charge me an installation fee.

Debbie B.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

18 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They will be satisfied with the work.

I liked their professionalism and the quality of their work.

Marina M.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

19 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are good. I liked the service that I received.

I liked the quality of the service. I always bring my car to them.

Reginald F.

VERIFIED Berkeley Motor Works CUSTOMER

20 of 150

Quality 10
10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do quality work.

It's hard to find a reputable mechanic, someone you can trust. I found that in Berkeley Motor Works. I feel comfortable leaving my vehicle with them.

Read All 150 Survey Responses at Ratings View

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