Recommended auto mechanics

auto mechanic map grabWe got email from Ashleigh this week looking for an auto mechanic recommendation. She's new to town and needs a place to take her Volkswagen.

The auto mechanic question has come up before on AOA -- we got so many responses that we compiled them in one easy-to-scan list/map. That was more than a year ago, so we figured now was a good time to mention it again (especially since a lot of people are new to AOA since then).

We really need to put together some place to index all this kind of stuff...


I reccomended Larry's Foreign Auto before, and obviously it resonated b/c the picture for this story features google's call-out :)

If you're lucky enough to own a Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus, Mazda, or a Volvo then Larry's is the place for you. Their honest, thourough, and reliable. Can you get cheaper, quicker, and more conveneint? Maybe. But will you ever be in better hands? Never.

I've had great luck with Greg's Towing in Voorheesville. It's a family run business. They are honest, friendly, and cheap.

The Mobil on Colvin and Washington is good. The guys there are friendly and don't screw you over.

Albany Light Truck on Exchange Street in Albany. Near Everett Rd. Great people, great service, reasonably priced. 437-0304

I still stand by Hackels VW for... VW service :) I've been going to them for nigh on to 10 years now... And I'm still happy with their service!

Capital Cities VW/BMW in Glenmont is the best VW service around. Friendly, fast, honest, convenient. The thing is, VW hourly service is expensive... but worth it if you want your car in tip top shape and worked on by someone who specializes in your make. Do NOT go to Nemer in Latham. Absolute worst customer service, ever. They are dishonest and difficult to deal with.

Capitalnd Auto - they're always been great to me and my car!
22 Kraft Avenue, Albany - (518) 459-0099

No question about it, Vince's Garage, 40 Watervliet Avenue, off Central, near North Allen Street.

Dan is the owner. He is the BEST in all the Capital region. You must bring your car to him.

Autobahn Centre, on Central behind Honest Weight, does really good work on German brands.

If you have a SAAB go to RL Smith on 9J in Rensselaer. Do NOT go to New Salem SAAB on Central Ave.

I went to Capital Tech Auto for a "noise" on the recommendations posted last year and the fact that I could walk there from work since I have no one to drop me off. New brakes, etc and still hearing the noise my uncle diagnosed/fixed with no parts required in about 15 mins.

Ugh... I hate trying to find a good place to go. Too bad my uncle is 3 hours away.

For a VW, definitely Hackel's VW on Central Ave.

Larry's is great - but doesn't work on Volkswagens. So we take our other car to the Bavaian Rocket Scientists

They're at 16 Tivoli Street, Albany, 518-598-1273. Rick Dobush is the owner and his e-mail is

I second Autobahn. They have been good to me and my 98 VW Golf in the past.

RL Smith, a dealer /repair shop in Rennselaer, is also very good and will work on VWs.

I like to have a back up guy and have used both of the above machanics interchangibly over the past 6 years. I have been very pleased with both.

Larry's Foreign Auto does not work on Volkswagons- I asked.

Jay's Auto Repair in Clifton Park. I LOVE this place. They are quality, quick, fair and never ever try to upsell you. I actually was there yesterday for the first time in about a year. I got told by a Capital Area dealership I needed some work done. They quoted me an astronomical price and then tried to double it on the upselling. I brought my car into Jay's and got everything done for 1/3 of the price.

I suggested one last year but it never got added to the map. Sad times. Here's my suggestion again:

They might be a little out of the way for downtown Albany residents, but John Foley's Garage in Voorheesville is the most honest, reasonable and friendly place I know. I've seen them work on everything - from classic, show cars to an everyday sedan.

Check them out:,+Altamont,+NY&sll=42.683224,-73.964403&sspn=0.004243,0.006856&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16

Thank you everyone for your recommendations! It's nice to have this type of information being new in town-

Based on the places listed, and who works on what and the location, I decided to take my car to Hackel's. My experience on the phone and in person was fairly pleasant- although Bob seemed a little more tolerant with me and my situation than Mike, but it turned out okay.

All in all, they took a look at my car this afternoon (no charge) and are more than willing to do the work on my car with a part that I'm purchasing online and providing only the labor for a very reasonable price. (My fellow foreign vehicle owners know that this is an important factor when getting your car serviced!)

Again, thanks everyone for your input and thank you AOA for posting my inquiry!

second with Mark. MUST go to Dan at Vince's...honest, fair, took over the business from his dad, will NOT do something that doesn't need to be done, will tell you why and Ashleigh, won't talk to you like you're an idiot! (even if you don't know a thing about cars!)

Not sure if I posted this before, but everybody in my family (along with a good number of my friends) swears by Whalen Automotive on Crabapple Lane in Watervliet. John and Amel are great guys and have kept my car in perfect working order despite everything I do to it.

This is a little out of the way if you live in Albany, but it is well worth the trip: Gerard's Auto Stop in Cohoes. Mike is great - honest, reliable, and won't rip you off. And he doesn't treat you like you're an idiot.

I am still a huge fan of KisKis in Latham. I have been going there since they were recommended to me about 3 years ago. Always a good experience, they're flexible with appointment times and the price is fair.

I second John Foley's garage on Depot Road between Voorheesville and Altamont. They fix anything with four wheels.

I have to second the inclusion of Whalen. Great customer service and honesty about my Honda.

For European (vintage too) automobile repair and service, trust in Francis Auto Center in Watervliet, NY.

I highly recommend Bethlehem Auto Services 62 Hannay Lane, Glenmont, NY.

Honest and skilled. Does what you need - nothing more.

I agree with Laura 100 percent. Not all VW dealers are the same. I'm on my seventh VW. CapCities a big thumbs up -- Nemer a bigger thumbs down.

Hackel's on Central. You will never go anywhere else! They deal with VWs exclusively, they're kind of the reason I'm not trading up, will drive my golf for the next 20 years with these guys!

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