Here’s the good news about this service:
They will talk your ear off about what’s wrong with your car. They will also answer any questions about what “could be” the problem with your car.
They also offer you “cash deals” that are cheaper than using a credit card. like almost $100 cheaper.
Here’s the bad news:
not only are they extremely overpriced, even the cash deals are a joke, and what’s worse, they really fail to address the problem of your car.
Case and point:
Had an issue with my car. its a 2004 ford. Cost me $600 bucks (cash only deal!) to install an $84 oxygen sensor and “flush the engine”. Where’s the cost? The four hours (at nearly 200 an hour) to “diagnosis and fix” the issue.
A week later, my check engine came back on. Another oxygen sensor. The oh so helpful Rebecca and her right hand man, explained that my car has four sensors, and sometimes, all they go out in a row.
Now, I get that my situation is unique (not really!) and that “these things happen” to cars (all to often!) But when, returning, the friendly cali auto told me it would cost me nearly the same just to put another sensor in, that’s when its time to look for another one of the hundred mechanics around town.
They are friendly, and the very loud birds in their office will distract you from the true problem of this business. They take you for a ride, and tell you its a good deal.
UPDATE : 11/15/10:
Just got my car checked out from a AAA approved mechanic. NOT ONLY did this car shop overcharge for a repair (the AAA shop estimated at $298, the above shop, “california auto” charged me $600) they also diagnosed and “fixed” the wrong thing. It wasn’t an oxygen sensor at all, it was something completely different (and cheaper). By the way, “california auto” took FOUR HOURS to diagnose the wrong issue, and the AAA approved shop took TWO.
Most of the reviews here are for little repair or maintenance work, like an oil change, and fail to address the real point of a car repair shop, which is to not only have your car be repaired, but to repair the actual problem, and not overcharge for it.
This company does none of the above, and please take my experience as a warning, and avoid this shop at all costs.