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Auto Repair reviews in Forest Lake

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  • Terrible! I had a 1pm appointment for an alignment. They called me the next day late afternoon. I was told my truck needed $1,800 in front end work or it could not be aligned. All of the parts they claimed were bad were less than a year old. I took it to a frame and alignment shop and it was aligned in an hour and it was confirmed that no parts needed replacing. They tried robbing me for $1,800+
    - Blaine B.
  • Certainly reasonable that they not ride along above posted speed limits for diagnostics. The issue is that I have had my vehicle into two other mechanics for the same matter, both telling me to take my van to the dealership as it may be under the drivetrain warranty. When I was told they wouldn't ride along I stated understanding and they entered into a discussion about what they thought it was. I told them that their theory (tires) had been ruled out by two other mechanics and given the amount of time and maintenance put into this I stated it was not the theorized issue. After the recalls were fixed, they addressed their theory again that it was tires despite already presenting evidence to the contrary, explaining I have to much time and money into other mechanics to rule out their theory. But they persisted. So my issue with them is them not listening to their customer and trying to enter into a discussion despite my unwillingness and their wanting to do the same diagnostics that have already been done by two other mechanics etc. So in the end I left frustrated/angry and will be voting with my feet. I continue my quest to find a mechanic.
    - Mike V.
  • I really wanted to like this place.

    In August of 2015, I was experiencing some issues with my brakes, and knew I was due for replacements anyway. Not wanting to pay inflated dealer prices, I decided to look for an auto repair shop that could become my go-to shop. I chose Autowerks because they had a great rating and were conveniently close to my house.

    I requested that the brake pads and rotors be replaced for both front and rear brakes. They gave me a time estimate, and after a few hours, they called to tell me it was ready for pick-up. When I arrived, they told me that they’d replaced the pads and rotors of the rear brakes. What about the front brakes? The guy told me that my front brake pads were only about half-worn and that he felt they didn’t need to be replaced. Well, okay—sounds like they’re trying to save me some money on repairs that don't really need to be done. I appreciated that.

    8 months later (so, April of 2016), I went in to address my very unstable suspension. I knew I needed new controller arms, that my shocks and struts were way past their life span, and potentially at least one coil spring since there had been a recall (the dealer replaced one of them, but I suspected the other might need replacement). I’m not a car expert, I’m not really sure what to ask for—but I requested that they replace the shocks, struts and controller arms, and to take a look at what else might need to be done.

    When they called with their assessment, they told me that my front brake pads were extremely worn and my rotors were completely warped, so both needed to be replaced. Okay, but it seems odd that I could go from “plenty of life left in them” to “completely worn out and warped” in only 8 months. If my front brakes were that close to needing replacement, then why didn’t they just do it when I was there, asking them to do it? Then I wouldn’t have driven all winter on front brakes that were increasingly close to being dangerously worn out. That seemed weird to me.

    Anyway, back to the suspension. They do the work and call me to say that my car is ready. As I’m preparing to pay, they run down the list—front brakes and rotors, front end alignment, new shocks, new controller arms. Great. “At least the car is no longer unsafe,” he said, printing out my receipt. “Just let us know when you want to replace those front struts.” What? I *did* want them replaced, that’s why I brought the car in!

    So. Here’s my problem. The good news is that the work they do perform is done well. It is reasonably priced, and they do not try to upsell me unnecessarily. I appreciate that. But both times I’ve brought my car in, I have made a specific request for a repair. And both times, they have arbitrarily decided not to do that repair, and informed me after the fact, when my car has already been reassembled and my appointment is over. Why? I honestly can’t understand the rationale behind these decisions. Is it to protect me from sticker shock? Do they not have the parts on hand and don’t want to look bad by saying so? I don’t know.

    So it’s nice that my front brakes and alignment are solid again, but my suspension is obviously in need of more work, because only a month after my appointment, it is **** near as unstable as it was when I took it in. This means that I have to take another day off work, arrange my schedule around being car-less, and spend more money on labor costs to have someone go in there again, when that should have been done the first time.

    Now, I’m not a car person, but I work in a technical job. When my business partners and stakeholders come to me with their requirements, it’s not their job to be fluent in all the technical aspects so they know what to ask for. That’s my job. It’s my job to understand what their needs are, and tell them what I need to do in order to fulfill their requirements. And that’s what I expect from a mechanic. When I bring my car in, I don’t want my car to merely be “no longer unsafe,” I need it to be 100%. I have a 35-mile commute, each way. I need a mechanic who will tell me what needs to be done to make it 100%, and to give me a reliable estimate on the cost, and allow me to make an informed decision. Not one who will unilaterally decide to do 75% of what I need and leave the remaining 25% for another day, creating more work and expense for me. I understand that repairs can be expensive. I’m not afraid of hearing that. The car has 137,000 miles on it. Parts don’t last forever. But it’s not helping me to give the illusion of a lower price by not performing some repairs, when I *still* have to go back and get it fixed anyway, because it needs to be fixed!

    And that’s what I’ll be doing—paying someone to look at my suspension, again, and *tell me* what needs to happen to bring it back to 100%. And then actually do all of it, I hope! But it won’t be at Autowerks. Once is a fluke, twice is a pattern, so I’m out. 

    - Jessica T.
  • I have been taking my car here for about 10 years. They give good service and have competitive pricing. The staff are personable and pleasant to work with. I have had no issues getting the car in when I need a service and the can usually get the car back to me within a few hours.
    - TERRY K.
  • We have gone for 20 years and they have always been very good. We purchased several cars from them and they have always been very good. Their customer service is very good and their workmanship is very good. They are timely and well organized.
    - Malinda S.
  • I went in to Valvoline to get my oil changed, and was able to get right in. The attendant saw that I had last had my oil changed at the dealership, and that they had put in a higher grade of oil than I get at Valvoline. I told them at least three times that I wanted the oil they usually put in at Valvoline, but he kept insisting that the oil the dealer put in was good. He gave me no comparable prices, so finally I told him to go ahead and use the same oil the dealer used (which, it turns out, cost $36.00 more than what I usually get there. This was not explained to me prior to putting the oil in). He offered a fuel system cleaner for "$9.00 if they change the oil there, $19.00 if they don't." I told him to go ahead and put it in. It turns out it was NOT $9.00, but $10.00 ($19.99). When I pointed this out, he pooh-poohed it. During the tire check, the low tire pressure warning light came on on my dash. They put in a couple more pounds of air, but had no explanation as to why it came on, and told me to drive a little and come back if it didn't go off. It didn't go off when I drove it, and I had to call the dealer and ask how to turn the light off. When the bill came up, I expressed dismay at the price, and he gave me a discount of $10.00, when I realized that I had several $10.00 discount cards at home anyway. When I got home I told my husband about the discrepancy between what I paid this time ($74.99) and what I usually pay ($38.99). He called up the service center where I had gotten this done and expressed his displeasure, especially since, as I mentioned earlier,  I had said to put in the same oil they usually do. The person he talked to said he would look into it and get back to him. That was four days ago. Obviously they have no intention of trying to rectify this situation, and I have no intention of ever again taking my car to Valvoline in Forest Lake.
    - CATHY G.
  • Brought in 07 Honda CRV for troubleshooting vibration and road noise. Assured by Service Coordinator that the Tires would take care of issue. Provider recommended Goodyear Assurance tires. Second day after purchase, the low tire pressure indicator came on. Front Passenger tire was down 15 lbs. Returned to service. I suggested they check for leaks, and if not found, to reseal the tire, and replace stem. They only filled air with tire, and indicated that if it comes on again, to return. I live 25 miles away. Within a few days, the tire went low again. Also, excessive tire noise coming from rear of auto (wobbling sound like it was out of balance or out of round). After a few weeks of having of adding air every 3 or 4 days, I Brought back in again to have these issues looked at. Dealer denied hearing any road noise, but ironically decided to rotate the tires, suggesting that more weight from the front of the car would reduce the noise and vibration. If the noise doesn't go away, to bring it back in again. Also, they leak checked the tire, and could not find any issue.They were also supposed to change the oil on the car, but forgot to. So, they said when I bring it in again to have the tires checked ( they must have assumed that the problems would re appear, otherwise why would they say this) So they gave me a free oil change card to use when I come back in with more tires problems. I drove the car home, and the next day took it into another tire service center. They discovered that the tires were out of balance (1.25 ounces on 2 tires, and .25 on the other 2). It helped the noise some, but the tires are still extremely noisy. Now, on July 15, the tire pressure light came on again, and it appears that multiple tires are loosing tire pressure.
    - David M.
  • I own a model of car that has been out of production since 2002.  I was referred to Gary (the owner) at North Oaks Diagnostics as a place that could properly service this car.  After I dropped off my car and they were able to ascertain the problem, I was told that the part I needed was going to be extremely hard to find and that I would have to be patient.  I was assured that my car would be stored inside in their "warehouse" until that part was found.  While I was being "patient," my car was broken into and relieved of all of it's speakers, amplifiers, navigation system, catalytic converter and the interior was completely destroyed.  Instead of contacting me or filing a police report, Gary decided to have my car towed to an impound lot.  Not a single phone call, email or text.  Zero attempts to contact me regarding the incidents.  I can only assume he was hoping that I would forget about it or that he was trying to avoid responsibility.  The only reason I found out what he had done was because I received a letter from the towing company stating that I needed to pay them $1300 to get my car back.  I had to meet the police at the lot in order to file a proper report and retrieve my car.  North Oaks Diagnostics never took responsibility or offered to make things right.  The only thing they did was convince the lot to release the car to me for the cost of the tow.  This auto service center basically fits every stereotype of the deceitful, conniving, lying, deceptive auto mechanic.  I know that stereotypes aren't fair and that most business owners are good people.  This company, however, is not.  Stay as far away as possible.  I am always one to be fair and reasonable and give people the benefit of the doubt, but I have never been so angry in my life.  To put things in perspective, I am writing this review nearly 2 years after the incident, and I am still fuming.
    P.S. - The service center that I had the car towed to after this entire incident, was able to find the part.
    - Ryan M.
  • I made the assumption that all my brakes and rotors would need to be replaced - but they called back and said only the rear brake drums needed the major work and the front rotors could be machined. That sums up my experience every time I've had my car over there. I've seen opportunities for them to charge me more and they don't do that. They look out for the customer and make sure they always have the best value.
    - Michael B.
  • North country did a good job with the basic repairs but they didn't do as well on the more complex issues, which often required me to make a couple of trips back so they could get things right.   During the period that I used them it appeared like the business was growing and the quality of the work slipped, either from the folks working there being overtaxed or the newer mechanics being less skilled.
    - Thomas & Kathryn V.
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Auto Repair Shops in Forest Lake

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