Family Auto Service - Alpine
I found Alpine Automotive to be accomodating, fast and honest. I'd highly recommend them, just be sure to talk with Ray.Driving over the Grapevine (Hwy 5) to San Diego, my SUV blew a hole in part of its exhaust system. Got towed to a great little shop in Lebec/Gorman where they apologized for not being equipped for the level of repair they thought was needed (they suspected one or both of my catalytic converters might need replacing) but did replace the blown out pipe, and assured me I'd reach San Diego without further incident since it was "all down hill from here."They advised I take my car to a full service shop when I arrived. They were right, I stayed under the speed limit and did make it to San Diego.There, my 80 yr. old ex-flight engineer father - who knows a thing or two about cars and can't stand to part with a dollar if he doesn't absolutely have to - recommended Alpine Automotive, just down the hill from his house. He has a truck older than Jehoshaphat that he can't stand to part with and Alpine Auto has managed to resuscitate it each time it gives up the ghost.The receptionist was friendly and I found myself doing something I normally never do, I told them what the shop in Lebec had suspected: that it might be a catalytic converter problem (think cha-ching! BIG bucks). I'm sure I had that panicked "what's next?!" look on my face because in an understanding way she told me not to worry, just wait for the diagnostic, it might not be so bad... I was pretty sure it would be bad, but her words did help bring my blood pressure down a few points.After an $80ish diagnostic the news came back: it was *not* either of the converters, it was a bad oxygen scrubber. I was out the door for about $280. Wowwwww.... sure beats thousands for a catalytic replacement. They could have told me it was the converter and I would have believed them, given that the other place was pretty sure that was the problem, but they were honest and that gained my respect.But the story doesn't end here. Leaving San Diego a few days later, the "check engine" light came on again so I pulled over (was about 40 minutes out of town) and called Ray at Alpine Auto. He listened as I told him what happened, asked me some diagnostic questions (you know, what's the engine temp look like, do you hear or feel anything odd when you step on the gas? Did it feel like you were losing power after the light came on?). I wanted to bring the car back, but wasn't sure if I should have it towed all the way to Alpine (think BIG towing bill). Ray was pretty sure, from my answers, that the car could make it on its own power and I felt better about driving it back after talking with him. He was right, too, I made it to Alpine without incident.Even though they had a car in every bay when I arrived, they squeezed me in that day, calling just before closing time. It was discovered the replacement oxygen sensor they'd just installed was bad, so they pulled it out and installed another one. They didn't charge me for the 2nd diagnostic, or for the labor involved with replacing the bad part, both of which I really appreciated. The part, of course, was still under its own warranty so of course there was no charge for that.It struck me that they could have told me the other oxygen sensor had gone bad, or that the converter had gone out after all, but they didn't. And while they were within their rights to charge for the additional labor - it wasn't their fault the part was defective, labor is labor after all - they replaced the defective part and didn't charge me anything extra. I call that good business.My car's been running great ever since, and I just got back from another trip over the Grapevine to visit my dad with no problems whatsoever. I understand others have had some issues with Alpine Automotive in the past, but my dad swears by them, and I have to say, after my own experience with them, I'd trust them to do the right thing. Maybe the other folks visited under different management, or maybe Alpine Automotive just got the message. I only experienced professional, courteous service, a surprisingly reasonable repair and above and beyond customer care after the fact (when the replacement part failed). If I ever have another problem when I'm in San Diego, I won't hesitate to go see Ray at Family Auto Service - Alpine. Thanks again, guys, for helping a girl in distress!