For all of the great referrals I've received, the one referral that continues to elude me always seems to be a quality auto mechanic. I've asked a few people in the area for recommendations and most people have told me that they stick to their dealerships. While I certainly don't think that is a bad idea, I'd like to think there are some quality options right here in Oak Park.
So I ask, does anyone have an auto mechanic that they would recommend or perhaps more importantly that they are willing to share with all of us?
Note: I have no specific car issues at the moment (knocking on wood), but being a planner by nature and profession, I like to be prepared before any issues present themselves.
I've been going to Elite Tire on Harlem (just south of the Green Line stop) for general repairs and feel like Rod, who's always there, is fair, friendly and very knowledgable. He explains every repair thoroughly and will tell you what does and doesn't need immediate attention. It's also convenient for commuters since you can drop off your vehicle, ride into the city, and pick it up after work.
When I was in a bad accident in January ($8,500 worth of damage to my car), my car insurance, Allstate, recommended Bump City (http://www.bumpcityauto1.com/). However, we could not go with them because they were so busy. I guess that is a good sign. We ended up going with Paul Ries and Sons (http://www.paulries.com/) who did a great job. Looks brand new!
I would highly recommend A1 AUTO and TRUCK at 2434 N. Thatcher in River Grove. I know they're not here in Oak Park, but a trusted mechanic is hard to find. The owner is Dave and he does a great job, is extremely honest and reliable. I've been using him for 18 years for my business vehicles and personal vehicles, and he has never let me down. Phone number is 708-453-6161. You are welcome to mention my name as a referral.
Ditto for Loro Auto Works!!! I was rear-ended a couple months ago (in my brand new 2009 car!) and needed some SERIOUS repairs. I can't even begin to tell you how fabulous they were. They took care of everything with Firestone (they were paying for the repairs) and even had an Enterprise rep on-site. Within 15 minutes I had dropped off my car and was in a rental. They kept in contact with me throughout and then... they were a week ahead of schedule! After my car was nearly totaled, it now looks like brand new again. Friendly, informative, communicative... you name it! And the place was even clean and shiny.
I also add that if you have problems with tires, alignment, etc., the Goodyear shop on Harlem near the Green Line stop is wonderful. I've purchased tires there a few times over the last 10 years. A couple of months ago, I took one of our cars in with what I thought was an alignment problem, but it turned out that one tire just needed some adjustment which they took care of, then filled up all of my tires and sent me on my way at no charge. They're really pleasant to deal with and honest businesspeople.