Diamond Certified Company Report

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.

Diamond Certified Company Report

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.

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 300 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i

Frank R.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

For working on minis, they're the perfect place to go.

Their prices were a little cheaper than the dealer, and he had more knowledge than the dealer. I got quick service every time I went in and the location was good too.

Jennifer L.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's very personal there. They know you and your cars and they keep track of everything.

They really connect with the customer and they take the time to explain what they do. They take care of all 3 of my cars.

Michell K.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're '10' out of '10'. I love them.

It's a great experience. They're very bright, welcoming and uplifting. They're always engaging, lively, and highly productive. It's kind of fun. They're knowledgeable, and really explain the value of the work they are going to do. They explain the price and show you the parts. They're proactive, and provide cautions about what you may need to know about your car. It's like preventative healthcare for your car. What they don't know, they'll research and then will tell you how they arrived at the conclusions on how to solve the issue. One time, I stopped in because my car was registering low tire pressure. They were busy, but they got the car in, looked at it, and didn't charge me because there wasn't anything really wrong. They're just super nice.

Read All 300 Survey Responses at Ratings View
Diamond certified VIDEO PROFILE
Diamond certified company PROFILE

Matthew Pataky, Owner

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. is a Mountain View-based auto repair shop that services all makes and models of foreign and domestic cars. Its state-of-the-art facility features diagnostic equipment such as automotive scanners, snap-on tools and rotary lifts that allow for full-service, factory-quality repairs.

Founded in Sunnyvale in 1962, the company expanded to its current, larger location in 2000. Owner Matthew Pataky has 25 years of experience in automotive repair. As a family-owned shop, Mr. Pataky says Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service puts great emphasis on providing excellent customer service. It offers a complimentary shuttle service, and its employees keep vehicles clean by using seat covers, steering wheel covers, and floor mats.

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service uses closed-cleaning systems to protect the environment and safely dispose of all solvents, oils, and chemicals.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED CAPABILITIES ON Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.

COMPANY CONTACT
Locations

Santa Clara County
Mountain View
Milpitas
Palo Alto
San Jose
Sunnyvale
Morgan Hill
Saratoga
Los Gatos

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SERVICES PERFORMED

Foreign & Domestic Vehicles
Repair & Maintenance
Scheduled Service
Factory Computer Scanners
BMW, Mini, VW, Audi, Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, Subaru, Ford, Mazda, Scion, Nissan, Hyundai and Electrics

BRANDS Supported
  • Bosch Invented for Life

  • Motorcraft

  • ACDelco

  • Bosch

DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESEARCHED ARTICLES ON Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.

Company Profile

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. is a Mountain View-based auto repair shop that services all makes and models of foreign and domestic cars. Its state-of-the-art facility features diagnostic equipment such as automotive scanners, snap-on tools and rotary lifts that allow for full-service, factory-quality repairs.

Founded in Sunnyvale in 1962, the company expanded to its current, larger location in 2000. Owner Matthew Pataky has 25 years of experience in automotive repair. As a family-owned shop, Mr. Pataky says Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service puts great emphasis on providing excellent customer service. It offers a complimentary shuttle service, and its employees keep vehicles clean by using seat covers, steering wheel covers, and floor mats.

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service uses closed-cleaning systems to protect the environment and safely dispose of all solvents, oils, and chemicals.

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Company Philosophy

"Vehicles are significant financial investments, and our goal is to keep them on the road and in optimal condition for as long as possible. All our team members communicate with each other and with customers, so no details are overlooked. We have the right equipment, people and work ethic to do an outstanding job, every time."

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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 companies that have earned the prestigious Diamond Certified award. For Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service Inc., the key to achieving and maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction is utilizing its 50 years of industry experience to ensure every person who enters its shop is as comfortable as possible. “People come to us because we’ve been a part of the community for so long and have built a reputation for providing excellent customer experiences,” says owner Matthew Pataky. “From our comfortable waiting room and complimentary shuttle service to our top-of-the-line repair services, everything we do is geared toward earning and maintaining our customers’ trust.”

Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service has been servicing all makes and models of foreign and domestic cars at its Mountain View facility since 1962 (it expanded to its current location in 2000), handling everything from brake, engine and transmission work to fuel injection and electrical system repairs. The family-owned and operated company is also known for its environmentally-friendly business practices, which include using closed-cleaning systems and safely disposing of all solvents, oils and chemicals.

Unlike less experienced auto repair shops that deemphasize the importance of updating their equipment in an effort to save on operating costs, Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service uses state-of-the-art diagnostic systems and computerized equipment to work on the latest vehicles made by Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and other high-end foreign manufacturers. “We’ve invested a lot of money to make sure we have up-to-date diagnostic programs and specialty tools for all types of foreign cars,” says Mr. Pataky. “In fact, other local auto shops often have us diagnose their customers’ cars because they know we have the best equipment available.”

Another distinguishing feature of Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service is its highly skilled and experienced technicians, all of whom undergo constant training to keep up with the latest changes and trends in the auto industry. “I believe a quality job is dependent on the details, so I make sure all our technicians meet my own exacting standards for quality,” says Mr. Pataky. “For instance, when we put a wheel back on, we don’t use a gun to tighten the lug nuts–we torque them by hand to the factory specification. Following through on minor details like that ensures every job is done right.”

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Industry Info

Extend the life of your car by knowing the difference between do-it-yourself maintenance and maintenance that should be handled by a professional. Vehicles have become increasingly complex over the past few decades, particularly when it comes to their computerized components. Repairing older cars used to simply require a basic understanding of automotive technology that could be learned as early as high school, but today’s cars are precise, computerized machines that must be serviced and repaired by highly trained professionals who have access to specialized equipment.

Even though many aspects of auto repair require high-tech equipment and diagnostics, there are still some areas that benefit from an old-school approach, such as determining if you need new shocks or struts. “Go to one corner of your car, put your weight on it and try to bounce it,” suggests Matthew Pataky, owner of Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service Inc. in Mountain View. “If the car bounces more than once, you need new shocks.”

Mr. Pataky says the biggest and most avoidable maintenance problem he sees is low oil levels. “It’s not just that people aren’t getting their oil changed as often as they should—they often don’t even check the oil to see if it’s low. That’s the most basic thing you can do to keep your car running properly. It’s also important to use the type and weight of oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. Mixing oils of different weights can cause serious problems.”

With proper preventive care, your car can last much longer than you might expect. Consider the following maintenance tips:

Keep up with your tires. Make sure to keep your tires properly inflated and inspect their treads on a regular basis. To avoid unbalanced wear, have them rotated at least every 5,000 miles.

Regularly inspect belts. Your car’s belt system helps its alternator and air conditioning compressor operate correctly. When these break, they can cause costly damage, so regularly inspect them for wear and replace them as needed.

Use proper gasoline. Pay attention to your owner’s manual and only use the gasoline it recommends. Using “super” when the car calls for “regular” won’t make it perform better.

Frequently inspect exterior lights. Check signals, brake lights and headlights on a regular basis. When these lights fail, driving can be dangerous.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you fix my car in one day?

A: Yes, we can usually get the repairs done in one day. If it’s going to take longer, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Q: Do you use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts?

A: Yes, whenever possible. If OEM parts aren’t available or they cost too much for your preferences, we know which aftermarket parts are of equivalent quality and which ones should be avoided.

Q: Do you offer a shuttle service?

A: Yes, we provide shuttle drop-off service anywhere within five miles of our shop. We do pick-ups as well, but they have to be scheduled.

Q: Do you provide firm price estimates?

A: Yes. After 50 years in the business, we know exactly how much certain repairs cost, and we’re able to use our excellent diagnostic skills to precisely evaluate all types of car problems.

Q: My check engine light just came on. What should I do?

A: You should bring your car in for a diagnosis as soon as possible to avoid further damage. We have a three-step process for dealing with check engine lights. First, we collect data with a scan tester to make an initial diagnosis. If further testing is needed, we can do in-depth diagnostics. Then we’ll let you know what we’ve found and what needs to be done to fix it.

Q: How do I know if it’s better to repair my vehicle or replace it?

A: First, it’s important to know all the facts. We’ll do a thorough inspection and tell you which repairs are needed and which can wait until later. Then we’ll help you compare those costs to how much your vehicle is worth and give you all the information you need to make the right decision.

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SELECTED PHOTOS FROM Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTOR ADVICE & TIPS FROM Matthew Pataky

Expert CONTRIBUTOR PROFILE
  • Matthew Pataky is a 27-year veteran of the auto repair industry and owner of Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (650) 376-0862or by email.

Matthew Pataky: The Natural

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

MOUNTAIN VIEW – For some mechanics, working on cars is just a way to make a living, but for Matthew Pataky, it’s more of a family tradition. It started with his father, Steven, who began his automotive career working on fruit trucks in his native Hungary in the early 1950s. After immigrating to the United States via New York a few years later, Steven eventually made his way to Northern California, where he founded Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. in 1962. Matthew says growing up around his father’s shop allowed him to refine his auto repair skills at an early age. “By 14, I was building engines as a master mechanic. I’ve always been mechanically inclined and enjoyed solving the hard problems that come up in this line of work.”

Despite his innate ability to work on cars, Matthew embarked on an entirely different professional path after he graduated high school. “I attended UC Santa Barbara and received a degree in film,” he recounts. “While in school, my focus was on documentary, and later on I got into filming athletic bios and sports documentaries. One of my more memorable films was about the ‘Death Ride,’ which is a 137-mile cycling race over the California Alps that features extreme temperature changes and almost 20,000 feet of climbing.”

Following college, Matthew split his time between video production and working at Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service until the unexpected passing of his father placed him at an important crossroads. “I found myself in a position where my family needed me to step up and take over management of the shop, so that’s what I did,” he says. Today, more than 20 years later, Matthew continues to run the company with the same sense of integrity and family values that has characterized it since the beginning.

A man of varied interests, Matthew appreciates the wealth of opportunities afforded by the rich and diverse landscape of the Bay Area. “You can be at the ocean, in the mountains, in the big city or in the country—it’s all here,” he says. The setting is especially appealing to one as active as Matthew, who, along with his wife, Lauren, is an avid skier and accomplished triathlete. When he’s not skiing, swimming or cycling, he’s likely behind the lens of a camera (he still does video production as a hobby) or spending quality time with Lauren and their son, Jack.

When asked what he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, it becomes clear that Matthew has no intention of slowing down in the next chapter of his life. “I would spend a lot of time with my son, as well as get back into video production on a full-time basis,” he says. “I’d also love to do some more coaching—I’ve coached triathletes in the past, and I’m really interested in the psychology that goes into motivating athletes and bringing out their full potential.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Do you have a favorite film?
A: I have a lot of favorite movies from a wide spectrum of genres. If I had to pick one, I’d say Out of Africa.

Q: If you could drive any car, what would it be?
A: That’s a tough call, but I’ll go with a Subaru WRX STI.

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Probably being an athlete—I swam and played water polo.

Q: Do you have a favorite sports team?
A: I have a favorite driver. His name is Fernando Alonso, and he drives on the Ferrari Formula 1 team.

Q: What’s the most death-defying feat you’ve ever attempted?
A: Probably skiing off Big Jim’s in Kirkwood. It’s a huge ski jump that’s about 80 feet in the air.

Q: If you could transport yourself to any imaginary world, where would you go?
A: I would go to a world covered with snow so I could ski in three feet of powder all day long.

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Expert articles
  • Dealing with Mini Cooper Engine Noise

    MOUNTAIN VIEW — Unusual engine noise can be disconcerting for any car owner, as it’s often an indicator of an internal problem. If you own a Mini Cooper, though, there’s one particular noise that can mean serious trouble: a chainsaw-like rattling in the engine, which may indicate a problem with the vehicle’s timing chain.

    If you hear this noise, the first thing you should do is check your engine oil level. While routinely checking the oil level is important for any vehicle, it’s especially crucial with the N14 motor found in the R56 model Mini Cooper. A low level of oil can mean that vital engine components such as the timing chain aren’t receiving the proper amount of lubrication. While a timing chain will wear out over time, its deterioration can be significantly accelerated from inadequate lubrication. In addition to diminishing the integrity of the timing chain, insufficient engine oil can also adversely affect the guides upon which it moves, resulting in premature wear, including cracks and breakage.

    When a timing chain breaks, it can cause severe and costly damage to the engine, so be sure to keep a close watch on your oil level and listen for strange noises.

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Expert video tip
  • Video: Solving the Rattling Noise in a Mini Cooper

    Complete Video Transcription:

    MOUNTAIN VIEW — Host, Sarah Rutan: Are you hearing a rattling noise in your Mini Cooper? Today we’re in Mountain View with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Matthew Pataky of Sunnyvale Foreign Auto Car Service to learn what this noise might be.

    Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Matthew Pataky: So what we’ll talk about today is that if you are going to get into your Mini Cooper or your Mini Cooper S and you are starting the car in the morning, the symptom we are looking for is if you can hear a rattling noise coming from the engine where it almost sounds like a chainsaw.

    The first thing you want to do is make sure you check your oil level. So, you should always be checking your oil level regularly on your cars but this car it’s very important. This is the R56’s with the N14 motors. So, what can happen if the oil level is not low is that the timing chain’s guide can start to break or the chain can start stretching. So, this is actually an example of a timing chain and guides out of a N14 motor and this is our left or right hand side guides, here is the chain that comes up right across the top, here is the upper guide up on top and here is the lower crank here.

    So, what can actually happen a lot of different times is that the chain will actually start to stretch so right now we can’t really see the chain in its natural environment because the chain is outside of the car but it would be two more gears that would sit up on the side here but over time this chain can wear out or the guides can actually start to wear out and break. So, we can see a small crack in this guide here and you can actually see where the guides are starting to wear out on the inside. Also, small pieces from these guides can break out and fall apart.

    Why this is important is if this chain does break is it can do sever damage to the engine. So, keep an eye on that oil level and listen for that noise.

    Host, Sarah Rutan: Thank you to our Diamond Certified Expert Matthew Pataky of Sunnyvale Foreign Auto Car Service. I’m Sarah Rutan.

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  • Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS
Diamond Certified RATINGS ON Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc.
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 300 VERIFIED CUSTOMERS i
Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. : Average 9.1 out of 10 based on 300 unique customer surveys of customer satisfaction.

Frank R.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

1 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

For working on minis, they're the perfect place to go.

Their prices were a little cheaper than the dealer, and he had more knowledge than the dealer. I got quick service every time I went in and the location was good too.

Jennifer L.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

2 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

It's very personal there. They know you and your cars and they keep track of everything.

They really connect with the customer and they take the time to explain what they do. They take care of all 3 of my cars.

Michell K.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

3 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're '10' out of '10'. I love them.

It's a great experience. They're very bright, welcoming and uplifting. They're always engaging, lively, and highly productive. It's kind of fun. They're knowledgeable, and really explain the value of the work they are going to do. They explain the price and show you the parts. They're proactive, and provide cautions about what you may need to know about your car. It's like preventative healthcare for your car. What they don't know, they'll research and then will tell you how they arrived at the conclusions on how to solve the issue. One time, I stopped in because my car was registering low tire pressure. They were busy, but they got the car in, looked at it, and didn't charge me because there wasn't anything really wrong. They're just super nice.

Joseph K.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

4 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They seem extremely knowledgeable, although a bit expensive.

How knowledgeable they are, and how comprehensively they explain things. I have used them 3 times.

Alice H.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

5 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're knowledgeable, courteous, and professional.

The way they explained the work that they were doing

Andrew F.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

6 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They take a good amount of time to explain things, they're friendly, and they have a wonderful dog.

They're friendly and very efficient. I was happy with everything they did.

Chris C.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

7 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very proactive.

I felt like they always explained things to me. They really took care of my car.

Cindy C.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

8 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're reliable and helpful. I've been using them for several years.

That I trust them

Elise D.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

9 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're reliable.

Matt, the owner, always takes care of business. I've always been satisfied.

Jayden P.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

10 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have great customer service, and they're very reliable.

Their professionalism

Kelley B.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

11 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are absolutely professionals.

The quality of their work

Leslie F.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

12 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They are very conscientious.

The quality of service

Michael B.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

13 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Use them, no matter what.

They're very personable and very honest.

Michelle S.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

14 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They attempt to fit you in if they possibly can, they have a good handle on pricing and labor cost, which seem to be in line, and they're always fun. I have a lot of fun with their dog.

Their reliability

Scott W.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

15 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

I'd tell them that I trust these guys implicitly. I've taken my cars there for several years. They provide good, reliable service and they stand by it. I'd also tell them that I think they might be a little expensive.

With them, I just know it's done right. I don't worry about my cars. One is a 24-year-old car and they keep it going. They help me evaluate what's nice to do, and what really should be done. I consider them my partners in cars.

Abigail V.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

16 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They give you a lot of information about what they're doing.

They give me all of the details so I know what they're doing and why.

Alicia E.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

17 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They're very open and honest. I never have car problems, and they are always on top of things, they pay attention to the things that I don't want to deal with. They are just honest, and I like that they prepare me ahead of time to let me know exactly what maintenance services I need and when I will need to have them performed. They give great advice.

They're all very personable and do good quality work. I have used them all of my life, for every car I've ever had.

Kyle B.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

18 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

Very professional, family run business

Personal attention

Bruce K.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

19 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They have capable staff.

They fixed the problem.

Bryan P.

VERIFIED Sunnyvale Foreign Car Service, Inc. CUSTOMER

20 of 300

Quality 10
10 10
Loyalty Yes
CRITIQUE

They do good work.

I trust him.

Read All 300 Survey Responses at Ratings View