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Discussion Starter #1
HI,

I've got a 2000 citrus Insight with 95k miles. Its in great shape and has a new battery pack on warrenty. I had the valves adjusted at 80k, but I want to do the other major components of the 90k service. I'd do it myself, however, I also have two 10 month old twins and one more coming in two months! Thus, no time. I currently use Honda of Oakland. They are fine, but $$$. I'd rather find an independent mechanic with an interest in, or at least experience with Insights. This does not seem a tall order in the San francisso Bay Area.

I live in Oakland, and would prefer an east bay mechanic.

Thanks,
Rob Peterson
2000 Citrus 59.2lmpg
 

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East Bay Insight mechanic

That's easy. Art's Automotive on San Pablo in Berkeley. Seemed out of
the way so I only went there recently ( I live in Walnut Creek). But I was
very impressed by the honesty and expertise. You can use the search feature to get my whole story in the problems and troubleshooting forum.

And it's not really that inconvenient. One mile walk to Ashby BART station.
See: http://www.artsautomotive.com/

Regards, Jim
'01 #191
 

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Thanks. I just read the website and made an appt.

The place looks amazing, from the solar roof that the fact that the owner, Art, owns the same car as I.

And it was right under my nose.

Thanks
Rob
 

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Insight mechanics in SF Bay area. . .

Thanks for posting the original question, and thanks for the great tip on this great Berkeley auto shop!

I too have been taking my car to dealers in the Bay Area for years now, and they ARE expensive. . . I am slightly confused as to how 'Independent shops' can satisfy Honda Warranty requirements? (I have a HondaCare warranty). Is it that these mechanics/shops are officially 'certified' by Honda, and therefore have access to all technical info, updates, recall info, and genuine parts?

I'm sure Hybrid certification must require some advanced training?!

Thank you once again for all the help!
 

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independent shops and warranties

To answer part of your question... I think Art's has every access to information on Insights as any dealer. First there are the shop manuals which they have. Then there are various services that independents susbscribe to that provide service bulletins and such. Plus the service writers are (have been) mechanics and actually know what they are talking about. And in this case, the owner is an Insight fan, took mine out for a test drive after I mentioned a certain noise. Seems sometime in the future I'll need transmission work because the output shaft is whineing a bit.

Then to your question about certification of mechanics. Let me put it this way, a long time ago when I worked in a bicycle shop, I was issued shirts with the "factory trained" patch. Never was more than a couple thousand miles near to the factory. I would rather have a just plain good experienced mechanic, with documentation over a certified dealer guy any day.

As for parts, Honda is happy to sell parts to independents. It's revenue after all. The mechanic pays wholesale, marks them up to you so the cost is about the same as the dealer charges you. (or less)

But most of all, I like the attitude of Art's people, they are proud of what they do. Maybe it's a Berkeley thing, but that attitude of doing things right is certainly alive at this place.

Regards, Jim
'01 #191

p.s. I have no relationship with Art's beyond satisfied customer
 
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