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April 18, 2021
A good auto repair shop provides engine repair, diagnostic and tune up services.

The Best Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire

Auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol are those car repair services that have exceeded the minimum California regulatory standard. They are the ones proven by our independent research to have passed the Top Ten requirements for value and honesty, carry liability insurance as protection for you the customer, and for whom our staff has called previous customers to verify high satisfaction with them for auto repair in San Mateo County CA, including tune ups, diagnostics, routine scheduled maintenance, fleet service and more.

Read on for more information about finding good local auto repair shops, making a decision on a mechanic, questions to ask, and other ways of working with auto repair experts.

The TOP 10 Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA

The TOP 10 Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA

Peter Pan BMW

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(650) 349-9077
2695 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403

Areas Served: San Mateo CA, Foster City CA, Belmont CA, Burlingame CA,…
Services: engine repair, fuel pumps, auto diagnostics, all other car repairs

007 Motorsports

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(650) 344-3050
704 S Railroad Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401

Areas Served: San Mateo CA, Belmont CA, Foster City CA, Hillsborough CA,…
Services: car repair shop for scheduled car maintenance, major & minor…

Belmont Car Center

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(650) 592-3657
1250 Old County Rd
Belmont, CA 94002

Areas Served: Belmont CA, San Carlos CA, San Mateo CA, Redwood City…
Services: car repair shops, auto mechanics for all car repairs, tune-ups,…

Burlingame Automotive Repair

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(650) 348-8866
1385 Marsten Rd # C
Burlingame, CA 94010

Areas Served: Burlingame CA, Millbrae CA, San Mateo CA, Hillsborough CA, San…
Services: car repairs incl. domestic cars, import cars, engine repair, fuel…

Dieter’s German Car Repair

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(650) 365-0432
3511 Edison Way
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Areas Served: Menlo Park CA, Redwood City CA, Atherton CA, Woodside CA,…
Services: all auto repairs, foreign & domestic car repairs, engine repairs,…

Menlo Redwood Auto Service

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(650) 474-0204
3549 Haven Ave # D
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Services: all auto repairs incl. suspension, shocks, struts, fuel injection, engine…

Millbrae Auto Repair Center

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(650) 692-7011
120 El Camino Real
Millbrae, CA 94030

Areas Served: Millbrae CA, San Bruno CA, Burlingame CA, Hillsborough CA, South…
Services: auto repairs including alignment, repair diagnostics, engine repair, tune-ups

Peninsula Mercedes

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(650) 367-7380
2745 Spring St # A
Redwood City, CA 94063

Areas Served: Redwood City CA, Menlo Park CA, San Carlos CA, Belmont…
Services: all car repair services including domestic & foreign cars, engines,…

San Carlos Service

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(650) 593-8085
760 El Camino Real
San Carlos, CA 94070

Areas Served: San Carlos CA, Redwood City CA, Belmont CA, Foster City…
Services: car mechanics for engine diagnostic repairs, tune-ups, scheduled maintenance

The Best Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA Are the Ones Proven Safe To Hire

The state of California requires only that auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA register with the state BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair), so there is no state standard for proficiency in car repair services.

Obviously, the state Bureau of Automotive Repair registration is no guarantee that any particular auto repair shop in San Mateo County CA is even competent, is doing business honestly, delivering value, or satisfying customers.

This makes it all the more significant that all auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements forTwo auto mechanics look under the hood for the source of car problems Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status such as survey phone calls to previous customers to verify high satisfaction, verified state BAR registration, good complaint record, verified liability insurance, best business practices, only employees legal to work in the U.S., and more.

Before you take your car to the auto repair shop, pay attention to your car's problem. Be specific in describing your car's symptoms and tell the car repair shop about any past repairs for similar trouble.

Although you may not fully understand the technical terms, carefully listen to the mechanic's diagnosis.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something.

Get a cost estimate in writing and instruct the auto repair shop to call for authorization before doing any car repair services not listed on the original repair order.

If you believe the car repair shop has recommended unnecessary work or you are dissatisfied with the estimate, get a second opinion. This is an especially good idea when major auto repair is needed.

If the auto repair shop recommends replacing certain parts, ask for the old parts. You may receive credit on some parts if the mechanic wants to keep them. It's a particularly good idea to keep the old parts if you are concerned that unnecessary work is being done. If you want the old parts returned, be sure that requirement is written on the repair order before the work begins.

Many disputes don't arise until consumers pick up their cars and see the service bills. How to avoid disputes:

• Specifically list the labor, parts, and services performed. Be sure the repairs listed on the repair order cover all the problems you described.

• If the auto repair shop offers a guarantee on their work, get all the warranty information in writing on the repair order or bill.

• If you do have a problem, such as the bill greatly exceeding the estimate or the auto repairs being made improperly, go back to the original mechanic. Often, a dispute can be settled quickly and calmly.

• If the business refuses to correct the problem or answer your questions about the bill, legal action may be appropriate. Your can contact the Attorney General's Office.

Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA Perform Numerous Services
Auto repair shops do everything from routine maintenance including the scheduled maintenance A service writer at a local auto repair shop waits to talk to a client about needed car repairs and routine vehicle maintenance.recommended by the manufacturer (30K/60K/90K), diagnostics including the use of sophisticated modern computers, car winterization, major engine overhauls, suspension work and fleet service for local businesses like taxi companies, rental companies, trucking companies, etc.

But some shops are better than others. Some have more investment in the latest diagnostic equipment, have more bays and lifts to reduce waiting time and increase turn around time, higher education and qualification levels of their mechanics.  Some have more comprehensive experience and technical capability allowing them to perform all aspects in-house while others may have to send your car out to a specialist for certain aspects of the work.

If your car has started exhibiting symptoms like a lit check engine light, engine stumbling, trouble idling, lack of power, difficulty starting, or a number of related issues, you may need a mechanic who can perform a full auto diagnostic scan to find the exact problem.

Most auto repair shops should be able to perform general auto repairs including tune ups, belt replacements, car radiator service and engine hose replacement. The best car repair services will also be able to do more complicated auto repairs like fuel injection and carburetor service, ignition and battery checks, suspension sales and service, performance add-ons and aftermarket  accessory installations, engine overhauls, valve jobs, head gasket replacement, and even full engine replacements.

Check Engine Light / Free Check Engine Light Diagnosis
A trip to the mechanic is often preceded by a check engine light warning.  A check engine light can be due to something as simple as a loose gas cap or the need to add oil. But it can also be an indication of a more serious problem that will get worse the longer it goes unattended.

Various national chains have advertised a free check engine light diagnosis in San Mateo County CA. Bear in mind that free check engine diagnosis probably consists of just a few moments to connect a scanner to your vehicle and get the read out of the trouble codes.   The problem with this is that trouble codes are just a starting clue to a technician as to what might be wrong.  Some trouble codes will indicate a failed sensor that hasn't really failed.

One of the most common trouble codes indicates a misfire and the easiest suggestion by a shop is start with a tune-up and see if that fixes the problem. Then when it doesn't you've paid for a tune-up you didn't need, and wasted time and money.  Another code indicates that a new catalytic converter is needed at $2,000 but might really be just the need for an exhaust gasket or O2 sensor.  That's why good, honest mechanics in San Mateo County and your area will follow up the engine diagnostic and trouble codes by a test drive and a closer look at the engine.

Another issue is the scanner used for that free check engine light diagnostic. Likely it is done with the OBDII scanner, a low cost generic scanner that can cost as little as $35 but it will not display all the information that the appropriate scanner for your make and model would. A model-specific OE scanner can cost as much as $5,000 so usually only an auto repair shop that regularly services your make and model is likely to use it.

Before undertaking that free check engine light diagnosis, ask if the generic OBDII scanner will be used or one specific to your vehicle and if you will get written documentation rather than a recommendation only. Often, a mere verbal recommendation is a sign they're just guessing at what's wrong, where getting written documentation means they've done what's necessary to know for sure, such as a test drive or using a scanner specific to your car.

The documentation prior to undertaking repair work gives you potential recourse for a refund for that work if the solution proscribed in writing turns out to be wrong, which is usually not the case if you spend for services based on a verbal recommendation.

Electric Car Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA
Battery electric cars require less maintenance than gas or diesel cars since there are no oil changes, spark An auto mechanic repairs an electric car at an auto repair shop.plug changes, muffler repairs needed and the engine has fewer moving parts, but there is still a need for electric car repair services. For example the Tesla has a differential gear box with transmission fluid inside that still needs scheduled changing. And electric cars still have air conditioning systems to be recharged, coolant to be replaced, and brake replacement or repairs that will be needed.

EVs (electric vehicles) can also have issues with the batteries, most certainly the eventual need to replace the entire battery pack since nickel-metal-hydride and lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually become less efficient.

Regularly scheduled maintenance for electric cars is required.

Some local auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA might encourage you to come in for electric car repairs simply because they're eager to take a crack at your car and gain some learning experience, but you don't want your electric car to be their guinea pig. So when choosing an electric car repair shop in San Mateo County CA make sure they have manufacturer training on electric vehicles and/or that they have serviced or repaired a lot electric cars before yours.

The following tips will also help you to choose and communicate with a local car repair service.With so many different types of cars, trucks and SUVs, auto repair shops can fill many different niches, from BMW repair only to the most affordable for that old get-around car. There are a few basic steps you can take when looking for a place you can be confident about.

Don't wait until you have a car repair emergency. Shop around for good car repair shops and auto mechanics in San Mateo County CA before you really need them. You'll likely make a better decision when you're not rushed by having to deal immediately with a breakdown or major car repairs, so it pays to do some research ahead of time. Choosing a good local auto repair shop with honest mechanics now for regular maintenance is also the best way to avoid major car repairs by keeping your vehicle in top running condition.

Plan ahead for auto repair services. If you can, arrange for a ride before you take your car or truck in for repairs. This way, you won't need to pick a shop just because it's closer to home.

Do a test run with a local auto repair shop. It's a good idea to work with a local car repair shop in Redwood City or your area on small repairs before trusting their mechanics to handle a major car repair. Call ahead and schedule a basic service such as a tune-up. Usually, customers with appointments have priority over walk-ins. This will give you a chance to see how the auto repair garage operates and experience their customer service. Are they busy? Do they get your work done quickly? Are the other customer vehicles in their parking lot the same make or value as your car or truck? Note how clean and organized the office and shop are. Pay special attention to the attitude of the car mechanics and the staff.

Understand the basics. Mechanics should be able to answer your questions and make time to discuss your concerns. The best auto repair shops in San Mateo County have professional staff. Make sure they answer your questions and give you the information you need to make a good decision. Some shops specialize in certain makes of car or in certain repairs. It is important to know an auto repair shop is able to work on your car and handle your particular car repairs.

Pricing for auto repair services in San Mateo County. If your vehicle is still under warranty, make sure the auto repair shop will honor the warranty. Find out how they  price auto repairs—is there a flat rate for each type of repair job or are prices based on parts and labor? Get in writing a detailed estimate and contract before going ahead with any car repairs. But remember, price shouldn't be the only factor. Cheap rates at San Mateo County auto repair shops can mean lower standards, cheap knock-off parts or less-experienced mechanics. Look for shops with fair pricing, experienced repair technicians, and that use quality parts.

Warranties and guarantees. Find out if the San Mateo County car repair shop you're considering is backed by a national warranty plan, especially if you travel out of the local area frequently in your vehicle. National warranty plans typically cover parts and labor on vehicles anywhere in the country for 12 months or 12,000 miles.

Get auto repair details in writing. Policies such as guarantees, labor rates, accepted methods of payment and business hours will be posted in good auto repair shops in San Mateo County. You should also be able to get in writing quotes for specific services, detailed estimates and exact warranty coverage for your car's A woman having car trouble looks at her car's engine before calling a local auto repair shop for vehicle repairs.repairs. Keep all paperwork the mechanic shop gives you. Even though the best local auto repair shops keep customer files, it is a good idea to keep your own records.

Discuss any problems. If you are unhappy with the auto repair or maintenance service, give the mechanics a chance to make it right. Communication is important, so talk with the shop owner. The management at good auto repair shops will listen to your concerns and work to fix the problem. They have a personal interest in making you happy and keeping your business. Honest auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA will take responsibility for their work.

Some Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA Are Much Better Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these auto repair shops in San Mateo County CA: 007 Motorsports San Mateo CA, Max Motors San Carlos CA, Peter Pan BMW San Mateo CA, Burlingame Automotive Repair Burlingame CA, Belmont Car Center Belmont CA, Menlo Redwood Auto Service Menlo Park CA, Dieter's German Car Repair Menlo Park CA, Millbrae Auto Repair Center Millbrae CA, Peninsula Mercedes Redwood City CA, San Carlos Service San Carlos CA. Others car repair shops in San Mateo County CA that might still be in business include: Marcel's Motor Sports Redwood City CA, Lawson's Auto & Truck Service San Mateo CA, Autohaus Klaus Nagel Redwood City CA.

Questions to Ask Local Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA

Step 1: How To Describe Your Auto Repair Needs
First, know the make, model and engine type of your car. Your owners' manual will have all of this information. Be consistent in the way you explain the information to each shop so that each one will have an opportunity to diagnose the same job. If you are experiencing car problems, make sure you have a good idea of what the symptoms are and when they occur (e.g. vibration when idling, metallic noise when in gear, Two good auto mechanics look under a vehicle during auto repair services.difficulty tracking at highway speeds, etc.). Some might suggest they need to see the car first before saying anything, but if your description is specific enough, good mechanics can make an educated guess about the problem and the car repairs that might be needed.

Step 2: Ask Questions of Local Auto Mechanics & Answer Their Questions
Take note of what questions the auto mechanics  in San Mateo County have about your car's problem. How detailed are the questions? Do they exhibit a firm grasp of the details of your problem or just seem to want to get you in and out?

If possible, speak with the owner or most senior auto mechanic at the car repair shop. Ask these questions about the abilities, experience, and credentials and write down their answers:

• How long have the auto repair garages been in business?

• Do the auto mechanics in San Mateo County charge inspection fees or diagnostic charges to assess car repair problems?

• Can the local auto repair shops give you names and numbers of customers you can call as references? (All auto repair shops bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their customer references called by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

• How do the auto repair garages in San Mateo County determine pricing? Do they charge a flat fee or base the price on hours worked?

• Will the local auto mechanics put the initial estimate in writing?

• How often do the San Mateo County vehicle repair shops do repairs on your exact car make and model?

• Do the shops have OE diagnostic equipment specific to your make and model? (An OBDII scanner is a generic low-cost scanner that will not return all the possible trouble codes. A make/model specific scanner, also referred to as an OE scanner (Original Equipment), is made specifically for a certain make of car and is pricier to buy, so not every shop will have it.)

• Will the auto repair shops in Redwood City and the rest of San Mateo County provide you with written documentation prior to you undertaking the repairs? Written documentation is their assessment of what work is required and it's protection for you. In case they're wrong about what the problem was, you might be able to get a refund or the necessary additional repair at no cost. A verbal recommendation on what the mechanics think you should do does not provide the same protection for you. Get it in writing for your own protection.

• Have the local auto repair shops in San Mateo County had other instances of this type of car needing the exact service you're asking about?

• Do the mechanics specialize in the car repairs you've described?

• Do the car repair centers in San Mateo County use OEM parts (original equipment manufacturer) or instead, lower quality aftermarket parts, used auto parts or salvage auto parts?  Those lower quality options might be cheaper, but a good shop should only use them when they explained it to you as an option and let you weigh the risk versus the short term cost savings. The best shops use OEM parts and cheap auto repair shops will use the low-quality substitutes without your knowledge, which is how the shop appears cheaper when it really isn't.

• Do the auto repair facilities have garagekeeper's liability insurance to protect you in the event of damage to your car while it's in their possession or as a result of the repair work? (All car repair shops bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have had proof of insurance verified by our research staff.)

• Will the work performed by the shop affect your manufacturer's warranty?

• Will the auto repair center honor your car warranty?

• What kind of warranty do the local auto repair garages give on their car repairs?

• How long should it take to complete your car repairs?

• Do the mechanic shops in San Mateo County provide a loaner car while they are repairing yours?

• What action would the local auto mechanic take personally if this was their car?

When you've chosen the best car repair shop for your needs, make sure the mechanics and garage are properly licensed with the State of California. (All auto repair shops bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten  symbol have already had their state license verified by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)

Step 3: Making the Final Decision on a Local Auto Repair Shop for Vehicle Repairs
Once there, ask for an itemized, written estimate for the car repairs to be done. You have the right to a detailed breakdown of every auto repair service listed in the estimate. This will help avoid miscommunications and misunderstandings about what car repairs are to be done and what the price will be for each. Ask them to provide a written and signed pricing, timing, quality, and warranty agreement. Always ask to see damaged or worn parts they claim they replaced; however, remember that you must ask to see the parts before the work is done in order to be guaranteed you'll have access to the used or damaged auto parts.

Tips for Hiring Local Auto Repair Shops in Redwood City CA

Know Your Car Before Choosing Among San Mateo County Auto Repair Shops
Educate yourself about your car or truck that needs vehicle repairs. Beyond the basics, such as make, model, year, and trim level, you should be aware of any previous problems and major auto repairs and have a basic idea of how often routine vehicle maintenance has been performed. You can also research problems commonly encountered in your particular model of car or truck. A cursory knowledge of your vehicle will prepare you for interaction with professional auto mechanics in Redwood City and the rest of San Mateo County CA.

Take Time Choosing San Mateo County Car Repair Shops and Local Auto Mechanics
Car mechanics are doctors for your car, so make sure you feel a level of trust before deciding among the honest car repair shops near you. Don't choose the first good auto mechanic that says, "Come on in!" If you take a little time to research the auto repair problem and hire the right car repair technician, you're less likely to be An auto mechanic talks with a customer about her vehicle repairs at a local auto repair center.disappointed in your choice of auto repair shops in San Mateo County.

Cheap Auto Repairs Aren't the Best Choice When Hiring Car Repair Shops in Redwood City CA
Beware of lowball estimates where initial pricing for car repairs is very good, then balloons halfway through the auto repair job because of "unforeseen" problems presented by the car mechanics. While estimates can sometimes change as good mechanics get into the job, honest repair shops will never purposely give a low estimate for repairs with the intention of raising the price later to make more money. Comparing the differences in several auto repair estimates will help you determine a reasonable price range for your particular auto repairs. Also, speaking with or visiting different car repair shops in Redwood City or your area of San Mateo County can help you gauge a potential car mechanic candidate's experience and integrity.

Get Everything in Writing from Local San Mateo County Auto Repair Shops
Make sure that San Mateo County auto mechanics provide you with a written description of the work, pricing, and a time frame for completion for your auto repairs. Everything should be clear and concise, with an itemized list of the auto repairs or car maintenance services that will be done, how much the parts cost, and what the auto repair labor rates are at that local car repair shop. Ask for specifics if anything is unclear. It's your right as a consumer to know exactly what happens to your vehicle at all times. An itemized, clear-cut estimate for auto repairs will help avoid discrepancies down the line.

Check Credentials of Good Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA
Be sure to check licensing and liability insurances, as well as any other relevant credentials of local car repair shops before you sign. Make sure the auto mechanics are properly trained, inspect how the car repair shops operate, and examine the conditions of the car repair center.

Write a Description of the Auto Repair or Car Service Desired of San Mateo County Auto Repair Shops
Be sure to present the car repair shops with the same description of your car's problem. That way the car mechanics in San Mateo County you're considering will be responding to the same job and you can fairly compare capabilities and value. Then, judge which auto mechanics give you the most candid responses to your consistent description of your auto repair needs.

Stay in Touch with the San Mateo County Car Repair Shops
There is no substitute for good communication. Too often busy auto mechanics can neglect this important part of the auto repair process as they're repairing and maintaining vehicles. Take the initiative by keeping in touch with the auto repair shops and their car mechanics. If your vehicle will be in the shop for several days, ask if you should call for updates or if your mechanic or service writer will contact you, and then make sure you get updates as promised.

When it Comes to Choosing Local Auto Repair Shops, You Are Your Own Quality Control Expert
After the auto repair services are completed, pull out the detailed auto repair agreement you signed before the auto repair or car service job began. Walk around the car with the most senior car mechanic available and have them point out every car repair that was done and why. Compare the work with the auto repair agreement. Ask any questions you may have before leaving the San Mateo County repair garage.

Know Your Rights As an Auto Repair Customer
You have the right to know every type of car repair done, why it was done and to see the auto parts which were replaced. Check out the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and The Prime Buyer's Report article Key Resources for Auto Repair in San Mateo County.

Tips About Working with Local Auto Repair Shops in San Mateo County CA

Sign an Authorization Form Prior To Any Car Problem Diagnosis or Vehicle Inspection
Get a written authorization that authorizes the San Mateo County auto repair shop to inspect and diagnose the problem. The auto repair authorization should itemize all costs for the diagnosis, any extra costs that you incur if you do not have the diagnosing shop do the repairs, and in what state your car will be returned (assembled or disassembled) to you. This is a smart move because some local car repair shops in Redwood City CA and other areas have been known to agree to what they call a free diagnosis, but after the car has been taken apart, they charge an exorbitant amount to put your vehicle back together or require you to have the repairs done at their shop.

Get Detailed Estimates In Writing from San Mateo County Auto Repair Shops
Get all auto repair estimates itemized in writing, even if the San Mateo County mechanics already verbally gave you a price. The written estimate can prevent disputes later, and having it written in detail can remind you of something to ask, add, or remove that you might have overlooked. You are not troubling the shop by asking them to put it in writing. A professional repair shop will be used to doing so and will be glad to provide specific, itemized proof of their promise to you.

Review the Written Estimate Carefully
Verify the written estimate includes all charges (e.g., labor, towing, parts, storage, rental car, or any other charges for auto repairs or related services). If something is missing or you have questions, address it with the auto repair mechanics before you sign anything or turn your vehicle over to them.

Get Details About the Auto Parts To Be Installed
If the auto repair work involves replacing auto parts, ensure the work estimate states whether the parts are brand new or are used/refurbished, and if they are OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or not. OEM parts are those made by the same company that supplies the parts to the auto maker and which your car was built with by the factory. Non-OEM parts, referred to as aftermarket parts, are usually cheaper but often will not last as long. That can be okay depending on your plans for the car, but you deserve to make an informed decision and give your consent either way.

Have One Point of Contact With the San Mateo County Auto Repair Shop
Don't let someone else get involved with the shop during the process of getting the estimate. This includes spouses, partners, or adult children. Dishonest auto repair shops can use that as an excuse later by claiming you owe for repairs the other person supposedly agreed to. Instead, choose one person to be the main contact with the shop and handle the entire transaction so nothing is missed or lost in communication.

Get an Authorization Form In Writing and Sign It Before Any Work Begins
Make sure the written authorization form itemizes all charges, states that the only charges are those outlined in the form, and includes the date by which the work will be completed and your car returned to you. Tell the San Mateo County car repair shop to put in writing that you are to be given all old parts that were replaced, along with the box the new parts came in. This gives some assurance that the new parts you paid for really were installed. Some auto repair shops have been caught defrauding people by charging for parts that were never installed.

Don't Refuse To Pay The Bill, Even If There's A Dispute with Your Auto Repair Center
Refusing to pay the bill will only make things worse for you. If there's a disagreement with the auto repair shop that you can't resolve, don't refuse to pay the bill. They have the legal right to keep your car until you pay, and refusing to settle up can add daily storage charges that run to thousands of dollars. So pay the invoice, but put in writing that you don't agree with the charges and are paying under protest. Then pursue a complaint with the California State Attorney General's office and/or a civil suit such as in small claims court. Additionally, don't pay with a check with the intent to cancel the check once you have your car back, because the shop can legally repossess your car as a result.

Research on Car Repair in San Mateo County

Common Auto Repair Terms and Definitions

Active suspensions / active suspension systems - Also called a computer-controlled suspension system. A computerized vehicle system able to control body roll, body pitch, brake dive, acceleration squat and ride height. Suspension systems are controlled by double-acting hydraulic cylinders or solenoids (actuators) mounted at each wheel. Actuators support the vehicle's weight, instead of conventional springs or air springs.

Axle / Front axle / Rear axle - A cross member supporting a vehicle on which one or more wheels are mounted. Can also refer to a pair of wheels on a vehicle.

British Car Repair Shops - British vehicle shops are those that specialize in British car repairs for popular models such as Jaguar and Mini Cooper repair services, and also luxury British cars with Bentley and Rolls Royce repair services. Sporty models like like MG, MGB, and the Triumph are no longer in production but British car repair specialists in San Mateo County are more familiar with car repairs on these British car models than average car repair shops. The same is true for Austin Healey and Aston Martin repairs in San Mateo County.

Check Engine Light - A warning light, usually located on the instrument cluster. When lit, it indicates possible engine problems or system problems that require engine repair or other auto repair services.

Cylinder - The round holes inside an engine block that make space for the pistons.

Cylinder Block - The basic framework of an engine. All other parts and assemblies are installed or attached to the cylinder block.

Cylinder Head - The part of the engine that covers cylinders and pistons.

Detroit Diesel Two-Stroke Engines - A type of engine where air enters the cylinder through cylinder liner ports

Diesel Engine - A diesel engine is a compression-ignition vehicle engine that runs on diesel fuel. Many popular German auto brands are known for their diesel engines, such as Mercedes Benz and BMW (Bavarian Motor Works).  The popularity of diesel engines for German cars and European cars generally has several reasons. A diesel engine is cheaper to run than a gasoline engine, since diesel fuel is less expensive. Next, diesel fuel has 20% more energy per gallon than gas, and almost double that of ethanol.   Diesel engine repair shops in Redwood City including Mercedes & BMW repair shops in San Mateo County will repair diesel cars, but may also repair diesel trucks and buses, bulldozers, tractors and other large vehicles.

Engine - The device within cars and trucks that burns fuel to produce mechanical power. It converts heat energy into mechanical energy.

Engine Overhaul - To perform engine repairs on an auto that are more than simple repairs but not as extensive as an engine rebuild.

Engine Rebuild - To perform an extensive engine repair including machining, reboring, and honing to factory-stock specifications. This is a much more extensive process than an engine overhaul.

Flooding the Engine - When too much gasoline is metered into an engine for combustion.

Front Suspension - The system that supports the weight of the front of the vehicle. Most cars have an independent front suspension.

Front-Wheel Drive - A drive system that transmits power from the engine through the front wheels. The rear wheels do not power the vehicle.

Gasoline Engine - An engine that runs on gasoline, a liquid blend of hydrocarbons used as automotive fuel and processed from crude oil.

Hot Rod Repair Shops - Car repair shops that specialize in hot rod repair in San Mateo County are servicing typically American cars with big engines modified for high speed. These are often older models like Ford, Mercury, Chevy models from the 1920's to 1960's. These can include heavily modified hot rod models like the Ford Model T, Ford Model A, Ford Coupe, Chevy Master Deluxe, Hudson Hornet but also more modern and foreign makes like Volkswagen Beetles or Fiat. Hot rod repair shops in San Mateo County are familiar with highly modified, large, high performance engines.

Italian Auto Repair Shops - These are Italian car repair services San Mateo County that specialize in Italian cars like Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Lamborghini, Maserati, Lancia, Fiat, Bugatti, DeTomaso, and others.

Muscle Cars / Muscle Car Repair Shops - American made rear wheel drive cars of the late 1960s to mid 1970s that were small cars (compared to their engines) which came with large powerful V8 engines and sold as everyday cars for regular street use. Common examples still being serviced by muscle car specialists in San Mateo County are the Plymouth Road Runner, Pontiac GTO, Chevy Chevelle, Dodge Charger, Ford Gran Torino, Oldsmobile 442, Mercury Montego, AMC AMX, Plymouth GTX, AMC Rebel, Chevy Nova, Chevy Malibu, Dodge Demon, Ford Cobra, Plymouth Duster, Oldsmobile Cutlass.  These muscle cars were mass-marketed, but the automakers understood that they would attract customers interested in what was essentially a turn-key racing machine. Although sales were modest, they were considered prestige cars for the automakers.  Muscle car repair shops in San Mateo County will be very familiar repairing & restoring the Hemi engines and other large V8 engines found in American muscle cars. A sub-set of the muscle cars are known as pony cars and include smaller-sized large-engine cars like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro and Plymouth Barracuda. There are muscle car repair experts in San Mateo County who specialize in Ford Mustang repair, and repair of other pony cars.

Radiator - A heat exchanger that removes heat from the cooling system coolant, containing a vertical-finned or horizontal-finned tubing section connected between two tanks.

Rear-Wheel Drive - Autos powered by the engine through the rear wheels.

Turbo Charger Repair (Turbocharger Repair) - A turbochargers purpose is to boost horsepower. A turbo charger should last as long as the engine but it's possible for debris to get into the turbine or compressor. Turbo charger repairs may also be needed if the lubricant is dirty or too low, or if the exhaust gas temperatures from the injection system are too high. There are some turbocharger repair shops and turbo charger repair experts in San Mateo County who can perform a turbo charger inspection. If turbo charger repair services in Redwood City or San Mateo County cannot repair the turbo, then they can install a new or refurbished turbocharger. While you might attempt turbocharger repairs yourself, you're best off finding a turbo charger repair expert in San Mateo County.

Winding the Engine - Running the engine at top RPM (Revolutions Per Minute).

Resources About Good Auto Repair Services in San Mateo County CA

Licensing & Trade Associations Related to Car Repair in San Mateo County CA

AAAM Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
AAIA Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
AASP Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers
ACA Automotive Composites Alliance
ADS Association of Diesel Specialists
AERA Engine Builders Association
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group
ASA Automotive Service Association
ASCCA Automotive Service Council of California
ASE National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence
BAR California Bureau of Automotive Repair
BBB The Better Business Bureau
CSSARA California Service Station and Automotive Repair Association
Diamond Certified
NARSA National Automotive Radiator Service Association
NATEF National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers
SEMA Specialty Equipment Market Association

Magazines/Media Related to Auto Repair Services in San Mateo County CA
Automotive News
Automotive Rebuilder
Auto Week
Import Car
Car and Driver
Detroit News
Hemmings Motornews
Motor Age
Motor Trend
Recyclers World
Road & Track
Sport Compact Car
Street Rodder
Super Chevy
Today's SUV
Turbo And High Performance Magazine
Turbo And High Tech Performance
4wd Magazine
US Auto News
Underhood Service
VW Trends

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten auto repair garages in San Mateo County CA within the following zip codes:

94017, 94016, 94083, 94011, 94064, 94037, 94026, 94018, 94066, 94404, 94401, 94030, 94027, 94065, 94062, 94074, 94028, 94063, 94014, 94128, 94025, 94061, 94010, 94070, 94021, 94080, 94060, 94015, 94098, 94020, 94403, 94044, 94005, 94096, 94019, 94402, 94038 and 94002

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten car repair services in San Mateo County CA within the following cities:

Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Broadmoor Village, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, Emerald Hills, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, La Honda, Loma Mar, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Moss Beach, Pacifica, Palomar Park, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Princeton by the Sea, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Gregorio, San Mateo, Sharp Park, South SF, West Menlo Park, Woodside, El Granada and Montara