When searching for a quality auto repair shop in San Diego, look for businesses that employ ASE-certified technicians, provide written estimates and guarantee their workmanship. ConsumerAffairs researched the best auto repair in San Diego to help you find expert service at low rates.
Many auto body and repair shops operate in the Convoy area in central San Diego. There you can find general mechanics and shops that specialize in certain types of cars, such as Japanese or European luxury brands. The Miramar neighborhood is also home to many auto repair shops.
Your search for a mechanic will largely depend on what service you need. Maintenance, collision repair and mechanical repair will usually require different auto repair shops in San Diego.
When evaluating auto body and repair shops in San Diego, inquire how long the job will take. Experienced mechanics will usually have an idea of how long it takes to get parts and complete labor. For auto body work, technicians or service workers should be able to estimate when the last step will be complete. The timing for any service varies depending on the situation.
A reputable mechanic in San Diego should be able to tell you the price difference between original equipment manufacturer parts and aftermarket parts.
What’s the difference between OEM and aftermarket parts?
Made by the same company that made the vehicle
Sourced from third-party manufacturers
Usually less expensive
Can take longer to order
Carried by retail chains and suppliers
Matches original part exactly
Quality might be lower or higher than the original part (some companies specialize in improving components)
Might have a different warranty than OEM
In many cases, aftermarket parts come with better warranties and cost less, but, for auto body work, ask for OEM parts. Aftermarket cosmetic parts might not fit properly, show the same finish or have the same safety features. In any case, you should make sure parts are new, not used or salvage.
Consider these other factors when picking an auto repair shop in San Diego:
Does the shop have experience with your type of vehicle?
Is there a warranty on parts or workmanship?
How does the shop communicate with customers, especially if they want to pursue auto service beyond the scope of the original estimate?
Does the shop provide a loaner vehicle?
Is your car insured against damage or theft while at the repair shop?
If you need collision repair, ask the body shop about the quality of paint and if it comes with a warranty. Also, ask what the shop’s policy is if they find more damage after the initial estimate.
Auto repair shops in San Diego must hold a license from the California Bureau of Automotive Repair. AAA also evaluates and recommends car service centers based on high professional standards. Look for the AAA seal on the shop’s website or in its window. Finally, look for the logo of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. ASE-certified technicians must pass a test and have at least two years experience.
When comparing mechanical or collision repair shops in San Diego, ask the service writer for a written estimate that includes parts and labor. You are not obligated to hire a shop that gives you an estimate, and most auto repair shops offer them for free, while some have a diagnostic fee. Using written estimates, compare costs, parts warranties and workmanship guarantees to choose the best offer in San Diego.
Aero Auto Repair
Aero Auto Repair is in Serra Mesa. Its technicians are ASE certified, and the shop is AAA approved. The business offers a 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty on most services. San Diego reviewers gave the business five stars for quick turnaround, friendly service and excellent real-time communication. Some customers mentioned that they had been clients for years and would recommend the shop to friends.
Aiwa Auto Repair
Aiwa Auto Repair is in the City Heights neighborhood. All technicians are ASE certified, and the shop is part of the TECHNET Professional Auto Service Network. San Diegans who own four-wheel drive vehicles will appreciate the shop’s expertise in 4x4s. Clients recommend their services for trucks and SUVs and like the honest mechanics.
Convoy Auto Repair
Convoy Auto Repair operates in the Convoy area of Kearny Mesa. Its ASE-certified technicians service most makes and models, both foreign and domestic. The shop is AAA approved and offers a 3-year / 36,000-mile warranty on most services. Clients in San Diego appreciated competitive pricing, reliable work and prompt service.