The October To-Do List »
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
1201 El Camino RealMillbrae, CA 94030
From Business: Firestone Complete Auto Care is a full-service auto maintenance and repair shop offering a large and affordable selection of tires, convenient hours & locations for…
2660 S El Camino RealSan Mateo, CA 94403
From Business: Meineke is your one-stop shop for all of your car care needs. Visit us today or save time by scheduling your appointment online at meineke.com. Contact us for infor…
It’s time to bring long sleeves and long pants out of storage, prep your home and car, and contact the cool weather home/yard contractors.
Great apps and resources that can help make you the master of headache-free pickups and dropoffs.
Get ready for back to school while you have the time to do it. From shopping and haircuts to dentists and auto repairs.
I’ve been going to A+ Japanese for about 2 yrs at the time of this review, and have had services ranging from an oil change to replacing the timing chain and other major services performed on my 2005 Pathfinder. I purposely waited to provide a review to them (or any other service vendor) until I have dealt with them more than 2-3 times, as that’s when their true colors seem to reveal themselves. The first couple of visits to any business can always be great (or even awful) and skew the true quality of a business. Additionally, I’ve been dealing with Justin, specifically, even prior to his move to A+ from Boardwalk Nissan and it was a pleasant surprise to find him there when I first decided to try A+. Recently, I took my Pathfinder in to take advantage of a Fall special which included an oil change, tire rotation, etc. etc. About a week later, I called Justin at A+ to express my dissatisfaction about my most recent visit who immediately wanted to make things right. Without getting into details, Justin heard me out and didn’t try to justify anything that I was upset about; he genuinely expressed understanding and a desire to retain my business. With my truck at almost 100k miles, I brought it back in to have work done that was recommended by their mechanic (no kidding – these guys are good, too), Justin and the mechanic walked me through what and WHY they recommended the work by visually showing me and educating me along the way. They taught and empowered me to make an educated decision versus a blind, emotionally reluctant decision to have the work done. Also, in prior service visits with them, they have actually taken numerous photos of the areas of the vehicle that required service and emailed them to me while I was at work so that I could see what was going on. This was unheard of and really impressed me. After the walk through, I was more than happy to have the work done (new front brakes, replacing front/rear differential fluids, and various other fluids, new spark plugs, and more), and not only did they do another really quality job, they even bent over backwards and provided me with an overnight rental car on their dime without me even having to ask for it. Now this was true customer service and a class move on their part. They didn’t have to do that. It made me feel like they recognized my patronage in the past and that they really did want to keep my business and were willing to do whatever it took to make up for a poor experience after having established a good relationship with their shop. I picked up my Pathfinder the next day after work and it was cleaned up and running well. Justin also informed me that they chose to use an upgraded quality part at no additional charge to me. Businesses can and will slip and/or make mistakes occasionally, and it’s great to see that when A+ does, they are not above apologizing and willing to go reasonable lengths to make things right. Because of their demonstration to committing to good customer service, I will continue to support, promote, and bring my vehicle with A+ Japanese Auto Repair. If you’re tired of bouncing from garage to garage, or even dealerships and their outrages prices, take your vehicle to A+. Hats off to Justin and the management/owners.
I will say it again this Smog Service Station is definitely worthy of repeat business. I found the service at this Station to be HONEST, RELIABLE and FRIENDLY. This day and age value like this should be highly acknowledged. In my PAST experiences I have had parts stolen, completely removed from my vehicle only to tell me some dishonest bogus story of further service required for my vehicle to pass smog. I have had in the past experienced the results of having parts removed from my vehicle only to drive away with my car sounding like it is a diesel truck instead of a compact car, hoses missing, my oil filter replaced with a smashed overly used and filthy filter of which was the wrong brand for the car.The anxiety that comes flooding in when I receive a DMV renewal notice with the instructions to get the Smog Check done have now been alleviated. There is nothing worse to experience than dishonesty over car repairs, and or service if done in a manner to force you to have to pay much much more. This has happened way too many times. So I speak from experience when I say IT IS WONDERFUL TO FIND A SERVICE STATION THAT YOU CAN TRUST AND FEEL GREAT REPORTING TO EVERYONE THAT YOU CAN SAFELY BRING YOUR CAR TO THIS SMOG X-PRESS STATION. The Technician who serviced my car was Le Nguy- hope I spelled your name correctly. Thank you for such a great service and for your friendly and honest manner. I have saved your business card and intend to visit your Station again in the future. Thank you very much VERY SATISFIED CUSTOMER!!!!!!
Finding a mechanic you can completely trust is a rare thing. I came here based on the reviews of members of the San Carlos mothers club, first to get my brakes fixed and to deal with a chirpy sound coming from my engine. They fixed the brakes that needed it, didn't mess with the ones they said could go another 10k miles, and fixed the chirping problem for free. Next, my wife's car's oxygen sensor crapped out (conveyed to us as a cryptic yellow light on the display). A+ Japanese Auto diagnosed the problem, but then told us to go to the dealership to fix it since it was under warranty and we could get it done for free. Wow. Finally, my car was making a grindy noise (they actually wrote it down in the prelim eval as 'Customer describes noise as RRRrrrr') so I took it down to A+ Japanese Auto and it was fixed half a day later. The thing I love about A+ Japanese Auto is that they have your interests in mind when they recommend work. They'll tell you what needs to be done now, what can wait and can even triage work if you can't afford everything. If you go that route, they'll offer to try and fix your semi broken parts instead of just replacing them to save you money. I never got that predatory establishment vibe here like I do with some other places like the dealership where they just seem to do random extra work to make more money, and that's what really matters with a mechanic
There are more than 700,000 auto service technicians and mechanics in the U.S. Finding the right one to repair a dent in your car door or fix an engine that won't start can be overwhelming, especially when it's an emergency. Review a few important facts about auto repair professionals and what you can do to get the best possible mechanic working on your vehicle's issues for a fair price.
Looking For Reliability
Unlike home repair services that evaluate a property, meet with homeowners and have time to prepare before their physical work begins, auto repair businesses are often asked to make fixes on the spot. If you come into a garage with a tire issue, the expectation is the mechanic will know how to correct that problem quickly.
That is why reliability is so vital when searching for a trusted auto repair shop. It may take going to several different mechanics before you find one you are truly comfortable with. Pose questions to this professional to find out what approach they will take to repair your car or what alternatives are available. Shopping around also gives you the best opportunity to find the cheapest rate or the fastest service, as some garages may be backed up with other vehicles that need repair first.
A recommended way to locate a trustworthy auto repair professional is to seek out customer reviews. Online sites offer honest opinions from real customers who have used a business. Read through this feedback to learn how a business operates and what you can expect if you were to take your vehicle there. Look for reviews about how quick maintenance was completed and if prices were fair. By learning what other people have said about a garage, you can gain a better idea if it's the right place to go when you have a car problem in need of fixing.
It can be difficult to know which automotive problems are serious enough to require expert assistance. A ripped seat cushion or broken radio don't involve safety and will not warrant enough of a problem that going into a garage is required. However, setbacks with brakes, lights and other parts that are vital to the safety of your car's driver and passengers, as well as others on the road, necessitate quick fixes. Many modern automobiles will notify drivers of an issue, in the form of a signal on the dashboard or a noise within the vehicle.
In the event of an accident, even if your vehicle does not appear to have any damage on the outside, it is generally recommended that you see a trusted auto repair professional. Internal damage may have occurred, or an important part may have been knocked out of place. Fixing these issues before driving much further can prevent further vehicle breakdowns in the future. In the case of a serious accident, a body shop can assess the problems and determine the best course of action for repairs, as well as evaluate how much they will cost.
Beyond that, regular checkups are recommended. Tires must be rotated, fluids needs to be replaced and the engine must be evaluated. After driving 25,000 miles, most auto dealers suggest having the vehicle checked out to ensure everything is running smoothly. Taking the car into the auto repair professional you trust will protect you from further problems down the road.
Not every type of auto repair work needs to be done by a certified mechanic. You can fix some of a vehicle's issues just by paying attention to how the automobile is running and having a basic understanding of auto repair. Look over the ways weather may impact your car and what preventative measures you can take to avoid having to take it into the shop. At the same time, be aware of mechanic scams that can impact your experience.
Preventing Trips To The Professional
Some fixes to your car can be done without paying a specialist. Issues like replacing oil and air filters are relatively simple, with instructions provided in the owner's manual on how to make these changes. The same goes for replacing broken windshield wipers or burnt-out headlights. Such issues should be repaired quickly to guarantee safety, but don't require a visit to a garage. By handling these types of tasks on your own, you'll gain a better understanding for how your car operates and save time and money.
Along with understanding how to fix manageable vehicle issues that may arise, taking preventative measures to avoid future problems is a valuable time saver. Many problem-solving best practices are related to the seasons. Your vehicle will be in different conditions in the winter than in the summer, meaning it requires a different type of preparation.
In the spring and summer, you want to be sure your air conditioner and cooling systems work correctly. Given the high temperatures the vehicle will be exposed to, overheating is a common problem. Look over the system by ensuring there is enough coolant available. If it needs to be refilled, it is best to open the hood and add more to the car before it gets too warm out. Also, clean out fan ducts and other ventilation sources necessary for summertime driving.
For winter driving, features such as the defroster, heater and exhaust system are paramount. Look in your owner's manual for specific directions on how features should be checked and repaired. Many newer cars have a cabin air filter that can be replaced when needed, allowing warm air to continue to flow in. Also, check your tires before winter driving, as they need to be at the proper pressure to perform well on snow and ice.
There is a common worry among many people that auto repair professionals take advantage of the general public. Because so many people are unaware of how to fix the problems in their vehicle, they are nervous of being overcharged by mechanics or worried that the improper work is being done.
While the great majority of professionals in the industry are honest, hard-working people, a few bad apples can ruin everything. You should be extra careful when first visiting a mechanic to guarantee that the price you're charged and maintenance the vehicle receives are fair.
Among the common scams pulled are needless repairs, where a garage charges you for work that isn't necessary. Another popular one is attracting customers through a cheap oil change or tire pressure check. Then, when you are in the shop and your car is being repaired, they give you a long list of other corrections they'd like to make, therefore boosting the total cost of your bill.
The best way to combat these types of problems is getting a written estimate before work is done. That way, you can see how much repairs are expected to cost. If the final bill is higher than the estimate projected, ask to specifically see the work. Make sure information is put in writing as well. If a problem remains, you can have proof that work was not done to your satisfaction.
By working closely with an auto repair professional and doing some of the tune-up work on your own, you will be less likely to fall for these scams. At the same time, you'll be able to drive out with a clean and healthy vehicle, thanks to the repairs made by a trained professional.