2498 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley Minicar is a Honda-only independent car repair shop that’s really good. How good? Well, together with a similar independent Honda shop in Southern California, they’ve kept my beloved 1976 Honda station wagon running happily for 20 years.
Because parts are getting scarce, I’ve finally accepted the Air Quality District’s offer to retire my wagon to the Smithsonian. Sorry, I mean Pick-n-Pull. I’ll miss it dearly.
But I’ve bought another Honda so I can keep going to Minicar.
Minicar does first-rate work, and they insist on using top-quality Honda (or other Japanese) parts whenever available. These folks really know Hondas. But they charge less than dealers, they’re friendlier, and they’ve always come in under their estimate.
In fact, Mark, Nancy, Jim and company are fanatical about saving their customers money. When they have had any doubt about whether a repair was necessary, they’ve always told me, “Just keep an eye on it, and call us back if it gets worse.” They have laughed at some of the jobs that radiator or tire shops have tried to talk me into.
Minicar works by advance appointment. You check in your car between 8:30 and 9 a.m., or drop it off the night before. They run an informal shuttle service back to downtown Berkeley or BART. Or if you prefer to wait, Caffe Trieste is across the street. (Other diversions on that holistic block include Good Vibrations and the Ecology Center/Sierra Club storefront, but you’ll probably be out before they open.)