Art's Automotive (Berkeley, CA)

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Nov 2009

Re: Maintenance shop for Acura MDX
If you are in Berkeley, or can get the car here, you might try Art's Automotive on San Pablo Ave, one block north of Ashby Avenue. They are a green-certified business, and I have found them to be honest, and not make pricey recommendations, even though I said I was willing to pay (for new parts vs. a lightly used part they had, which would have made no difference in my case.) I have two other friends who were quite satisfied with their service and prices as well (both of them single women). Good luck! Happy Honda Gal

Sept 2009

Re: Where to take Outback for service?
Art's Automotive: Kendra

March 2009

Re: Non Toyota Dealership Mechanic
You will likely hear this from others - take your Toyota to Art's Automotive - on San Pablo near Ashby. They are honest, reliable and always pleasant to deal with. Happy Art's Customer

Feb 2008

Re: Routine maintenance for a Honda
I have two recommendations for Honda servicing, both in West Berkeley. Art's Automotive and Oceanworks both service Japanese cars, both are reliable and environmentally consciencious. I have found both to explain exactly what they feel is needed, will show you the old parts and go through the problem if you like, and are fine to deal with. Oceanworks is probably a little smaller and you will deal with the same people in the office each time, but they usually have a longer wait for an appointment. Bryan in Oakland

Oct 2007

Re: Subaru repair in Oakland?
I have a Suburu Outback and Mazda truck, found Art's Automotive on this list, and have never ever been happier with an auto repair shop. They are friendly, as well as exceptionally competent and well-organized and responsible.

Here's a fun story, an example of something that I can't imagine any mechanic or shop I've ever gone to doing. I had a totally oddball problem with my rear windshield washer last year- they'd never seen or heard of it before, but thought they'd most likely find the answer either in the fluid tank and/or pump or inside the back door panel, and gave me an estimate of up to $150.

But no explanation either place- they went online to several sites where mechanics post and share solutions to unusual problems, but nada. So they called me and asked permission to remove the interior panels and follow the tubing to look further for the explanation at no charge to me, just because they'd become so curious about it. Of course I said ''sure'', but they found nothing! I was ready to call it into ''Car Talk'' when a mechanic there remembered he'd once heard of a similar issue with a Mazda sports model that Mazda solved with a little in-line valve.

They said, ''we can try out a work-around by retrofitting your car with this valve, and if it works we'll charge you the $150., if it doesn't we won't charge you anything for any of this''. Well, it worked!

They are in Berkeley, on San Pablo right near Ashby, 540-7093. Cece

Oct 2007

Re: Subaru repair in Oakland?
Art's Automotive is on San Pablo, just 2 blocks north of Ashby. If you work in SF you can take the AC Transit bus into the City form Ashby and San Pablo. They are very honest and reasonable, IMHO. Just don't try for an appointment on the day I need one, okay? Anon

Oct 2007

Re: Subaru repair in Oakland?
I like Art's Automotive in Berkeley on San Pablo Ave. Not too far from Oakland and might be well worth the trip. good luck! rosie

June 2007

Re: Subaru Repairs in Berkeley/El Cerrito
Art's Automotive on San Pable near Ashby! I found them on this list, take my Subaru Outback and Mazda truck to them, and think it's the best auto shop I've ever dealt with hands down. Cece

Re: Good Toyota mechanic in the East Bay? (Jan 2007)
Art's Automotive! Check the archives. They're great JM
Re: Scheduled maintenance for Toyota Matrix (June 2007)
You don't need to take your car to a dealership for service. I take my Nissan to Art's Automotive on San Pablo, 2 block's north of Ashby. Art's does a lot of Toyotas, too. Art's is a very skilled and honest shop. They know the cars they work on well, they are professional and pleasant to work with. I've been taking my Nissan to them for 10 years. I took my Toyota to them before that. When I was looking for a car 10 years ago, I got a brand that I knew Art's would work on. By the way, they also do work on Priuses. Anon with Nissan
Re: Good Toyota mechanic in the East Bay? (Jan 2007)
Try Art's on San Pablo near Ashby Ave, in Berkeley. We've been going there for years and love them. If you don't know anything about cars, they are the only place that I've been to that won't make you feel stupid, and they do great work on our cars.
Re: Good Toyota mechanic in the East Bay? (Jan 2007)
Art's automotive on San Pablo, 2 blocks north of Ashby. Very trustworthy. Very good. Find them in the phone book. Anon mom
Re: Good Toyota mechanic in the East Bay? (Jan 2007)
I have used two places in Berkeley for service when I owned a Toyota. Art's Automotive is on San Pablo, just a block north of Ashby. The other is Oceanworks, on 10th, a couple more blocks north of Ashby. Both seem honest, reliable and have been in business for a long time. Not sure how their prices compare to each other or to other places. Generally, it is faster to get an appt at Art's. Oceanworks also works on German cars, and took care of our VW for 10 years Bryan
Re: Mechanic for 1991 MR2 (Feb 2005)
Try Art's Automotive in Berkeley on San Pablo, near Ashby. They have never ''steered'' me wrong and are the first mechanics I've dealt with who do not make me feel stupid when I ask questions! They are honest and reliable. Art's Automotive - 540-7093
Re: Mechanic for 1991 MR2 (Feb 2005)
Art's Automotive is the best. I took my 1984 Toyota wagon to Art's until 1996, take my Honda there now and would never go to another mechanic. In fact, I won't buy a car that Art's won't work on. Everyone that I refer to Art's is grateful. Art's is not the cheapest, but they are 100% trustworthy and honest and if you are on a limited budget they will cheerfully prioritize your repairs for you. Which reminds me, I need to call them right now: 540-7093.
Art's Automotive Fan
Re: Reliable shop for late-model Nissans (June 2004)
Art's is still the best place around for a Nissan - they're honest, straightforward, and will explain options/consequences of either having/not having work done on your car. I recently got a VW (which they don't service) and am lost without them! Tamarah
Re: Mechanic for 1988 Honda Accord (June 2004)
Art's Automotive in Berkeley are the greatest for Hondas and Toyotas. They're efficient, friendly, take the time to explain everything, and always help you find the lowest cost solution for your car. I'm totally happy with them. Ann
RE: Oil Change (July 2003)
I recommend Art's Automotive, on San Pablo just north of Ashby. I went there thinking that I needed a new battery, and would have unwittingly paid for one. Instead it was just that the contacts were loose, and they charged me $12. I have since gone for oil changes, tire rotations, etc -- and all have been fine.
Art's Automotive (510) 540-7093 2871 San Pablo Ave Berkeley, CA
RE: Smooth ride for Honda CRV? (June 2003)
Consult with Art's Automotive on San Pablo. They know everything there is to know about Japanese automobiles and they are the most responsible, trustworthy business I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with. I recommend them here all the time. They have a Web site ( and they are at 2871 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley, CA, (510) 540-7093. Laura
RE: Quality, independent Acura shop? (April 2003)
Art's Automotive in Berkeley is wonderful. I used to have an Acura and always had them repair and maintain my car. They are friendly and honest about the cost and work being suggested. I highly recommend them. 510/540-7093.
RE: Quality, independent Acura shop? (April 2003)
I had an Integra that I loved for 5 years. I took it to Oakland Accura for several years and then switched to Art's Automotive in Berkeley. The Art's people were fabulous. Very thorough, decent prices, fixed things the first time, and solved problems that the dealer had caused. They also listened well and always took what I said about the car seriously, and best of all are genuinely nice and trustworthy people. I found Art's by going to the cartalk website and checking the ''mechanix files'' where you can get all kinds of recomendations for all kinds of cars. ( That's how we have found several good mechanics) Enjoy your Accura, they are great cars, and hopefully you won't spend too much time at any mechanics. Natalie
RE: Quality, independent Acura shop? (April 2003)
The absolute best place on the planet for car repair is Art's Automotive. They are fair, honest, responsible, fast, and GOOD. They always explain everything, know more than any dealer, will never cheat you or make you feel stupid. Their reputation is the best in the business and I've recommended them here before, as have many others. You'll probably get lots of recommendations for them. They work on most Japanese makes including Acura. I wouldn't go anywhere else with your car. 2871 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley, CA (510) 540-7093 Laura
Re: Trustworthy mechanic for Nissans (August 2002)
Art's Automotive on San Pablo near Ashby. They work on only Japanese cars. They are great! I have been going to them for at least 10 years. They will explain everything and outline the options available. Shastine
Re: Trustworthy mechanic for Nissans (August 2002)
I wholeheartedly recommend Art's Automotive. I've recommended them several times on this board, and there are some recs for them also on the Berkeley Parents Web site. You won't find more fair, competent, knowledgeable, or efficient mechanics anywhere. Everyone down to the office staff treats you like a human being, their prices are very fair, they never do any work that you don't need, and they will explain everything in excruciating detail. They only work on Japanese cars and know them better than anyone. You can find them at 2871 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley, 540-7093, and they have a Web site ( Laura
RE: Acura mechanic, not a dealer (Aug 2002)
You can't go wrong with Art's Automotive on San Pablo near Ashby. We took our Integra there for years. Jeff
RE: Acura mechanic, not a dealer (Aug 2002)
In my opinion, Art's Automotive is the best mechanic I've ever been to and, in fact, when I bought my current car, I made a conscious choice that I would only buy a car that Art's Automotive would work on!! The shop only services certain types of cars (Acura is one). Art and his employees are knowledgeable, patient, responsive and trustworthy. Back in my impoverished days, I had a car that needed a LOT of work that I couldn't afford all at once. Art's helped me figure out which repairs needed to made immediately and which could wait. I also had a friend I referred who insisted, based on her knowledge of cars, that she needed a certain expensive repair. She went to Art's asking for the repair, and they told her that she actually needed a much less expensive repair. Bay Area Checkbook consumer magazine always gives Art's a top rating. They are not the least expensive, but you will save money by taking your car there. If only I could get customer service this good at every business I patronize! Obviously, I can't say enough good things about Art's. They are on San Pablo at Russell. Nokl
RE: Acura mechanic, not a dealer (Aug 2002)
Try Art's Automotive on Ashby & San Pablo. I never thought I could say I love a mechanic, but I love them. They explain everything they do in distinctly not patronizing way. They have you work with them in any service decisions. I just think they're the best. They work on my Toyota, but they do other Japanese makes as well. -- Ilana
Re: Mechanic for Subaru Outback (Aug 2002)
I recently had a great experience getting a tuneup for my Subaru Impreza at Art's Automotive on San Pablo just south of Gilman (right next by REI). The tel is 540-7093. They have a website, Rebecca
Art's Automotive works on some Subaru station wagons, it depends on the year the car was made. Lisa

My husband and I each go to our own mechanic. They are both excellent, honest, and reasonable. I would highly recommend either one. Art at Art's Automotive on San Pablo in Berkeley, and Steve at Brideway Service on Ashby at Claremont.
Art and his crew at Art's Automotive on San Pablo near Ashby are unfailingly honest. They will not perform unecessary work on your car; the repairs they effect will be expert. It is an actual pleasure to bring a car in for service.
Art's Automotive on San Pablo in Berkeley is terrific. I've been with them for almost ten years and they're excellent with Hondas & Toyotas, are the most reasonable I've found, and are incredibly respectful and informative. They're used to working with those of us who don't have lots to spend and want to keep our old cars running.
From: a dad

re: Mechanic for Jeep
We have two mechanics that we think the world of -- they are both honest and very reliable. I don't know if they service Jeeps, but it's worth a try. 1) Art's Automotive, 2871 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley (near Ashby), 540-7093.

From: Rebecca

I would suggest checking out Art's Automotive in Berkeley, on San Pablo Ave. near Ashby. They are great there: Let me give you an example from my last experience. I went to the dealer because I was *supposed* to get a tune-up (btw my Honda is an 87). The dealer called me and said that I need about $900 worth of engine work (on top of the tune-up)!! And then told me about a used Honda that one of the mechanics has for sale....hmmmm. I told him not to do anything, that I had to think about it. I went the next morning and picked up the car, and drove straight to Art's. The mechanic looked at the car, and then Art himself and I took a drive, where he explained the engine noises and what they meant. And that I didn't need $900 worth of engine work, let alone a tune-up!! Now to make a long story short, we went over a checklist of things that could be, neeed to be done, when and how far in the future, etc and I left paying way less, and for only the work necessary. I have had previous experience like that there, and so have many others judging by all the love letters on the wall in the office. Good Luck!

From: Jennifer

I highly recommend Art's Automotive (on San Pablo at Ashby). They specialize in Japanese cars. I first took my car there for a repair my previous mechanic had told me was absolutely necessary (told me twice, even). Art's looked over the car thoroughly and told me no repair was needed; three years later, the part in question is still working fine. All my subsequent experiences with them have been good, too: they're honest, friendly, take the time to explain things, and their rates are competitive (cheaper than my old mechanic). And as the letters on their office wall attest, I'm not their only really happy customer. Oh, and Art's specializes in Japanese cars, too.

From: Laura Beth

Can't say enough (good) about Art's Automotive in Berkeley on San Pablo. They explain everything and often tell me you could do this, but it could wait. I have gone in saying things like, I think I need new [something expensive] and they tell me I don't when it is obvious that they could rip me off for tons of money. They are perfectionists and do great work. They have handouts that explain common problems/repairs. I had been to tons of mechanics in the 7 years I have lived here and now I go nowhere else.

From: Kirstin

For the Honda mechanic: I would highly recommend Art's Automotive 2871 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley 510/540-7093. They also service Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Acura. Having used many auto repair shops over the years, I feel they are the most fair, honest and particularly helpful (working with you and your schedule) I have ever used. I'm a loyal customer.

From: irivera

for mechanics that work on Honda's and Toyota's- you can't beat Art's Automotive in Berkeley- Customer service, price, and quality is top-of-the-line.

From: Steve

Art's Automotive in Berkeley always does a good job on my Acura. The advantage, however, of going to an actual dealership service department is that they much more often have the parts that your car needs.

From Heather:

I have been very pleased with Art's Automotive on San Pablo Ave. near Ashby (540-7093). They do good work, have always been able to take my car on a moment's notice, and they are honest. One time a friend of mine drove my car and told me he thought the clutch was going. I took it to Art's and they told me it was fine. They could've gotten away with a $600 clutch job, but they were honest about it! Art's only does Japanese cars. Even though I live in Moraga now, I still take my cars to Art's.