Adams Import Car Specialist in San Diego, CA

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We are a full service auto repair shop that can do your oil or replace your engine, we can get you new tires, and make your car look brand new with a detail. Come and stop by for a fair estimate or feel free to call.

We specialize in Volvo, Saab, BMW, & Audi although we can work on all foreign and domestic.

We have sophisticated diagnostic software and computers to aid us in figuring out whats going on with your car.

Tune Ups, Drive Train, Oil Changes, Air Conditioning, Exhaust, Electrical. Smog Tests and Smog Repairs.


Established in 1983.

We have won the San Diego Magazine's Award for Best Foreign Mechanics

Adams Import Car Specialist

Dealer Info:

Phone(s):(619) 821-9904
Address:3166 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA, 92116
  • Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

Reviews on Adams Import Car Specialist

Ashes R. | 2015-01-29

I'd give no stars if possible. I chose to take the Audi here because they claim they 'specialize' in foreign cars; German to be specific. So they overcharged to replace a simple part but that doesn't fix the problem. So they call and say "we can replace this part for another couple hundred and if that doesn't work we can change out this other part for a couple hundred". Mind you these other two parts themselves cost around 20 bucks. So at this point they pretty much have NO idea what they are doing and decide that perhaps piecing apart all these parts to fix and charging out the a** to do so for some stuff that may not even be faulty will POSSIBLY fix the problem. No absolutely not.
So I say don't touch the car. They get all pissy and say "fine, we close at 5. Have it out of here by then. Btw it's still not drivable." I tell them I'll have a tow truck head over and they say they will push it out on the side on the road.
Arriving 30 minutes before they close to pick up the keys and meet the tow truck which arrived at the same moment, myself and the driver see that the car is STILL in the back of their lot and STILL TAKEN APART. So here we are... Waiting for these fools to put a car back together that they knew and DEMANDED hours ago that we pick up. They were a joke. Clearly they didn't know what they were doing and decided to try and guess and piece apart all this work to make the most money. In sure a lot of that had to do with the fact that I'm a young female and thought I was an idiot. Another sexist shop here.

Jules N. | 2014-08-22

I would not recommend this place.  I've taken my car here since moving to University Heights and considered it my go-to place for my BMW.  Not anymore, and I won't recommend it to anyone.   My car recently died, and I just had the battery changed there about 9 months ago-so I didn't think it could be the battery.  I live right down the street from this place off Adam's avenue....and I went by and asked the owner if I could drive him up to my house to see my car to see if there was a way to start it so I could drive it to the shop-instead of towing it 6 blocks.  He said "NO"  He said there would be no way to do that, and he would not come to look at the car.  I thought maybe he could do the portable charger, so I could just drive it down the street and not have it towed.  He said-no-I would need to tow it.   Feeling frustrated and rejected by my car mechanic.  I Immediately-- went down the street to another car place, and I asked the same thing.  They said, "Sure no problem."  They came to my house--just a few blocks away--and jumped my car with a portable charger and 5 minutes later I was able to drive it a few blocks to this 'new' place--- I get a call later telling me it's just my battery that died.  And that's the same battery that was replaced by Adams Import 9 months ago...they also said it was not a good battery for a BMW.  Thankfully it was under warranty and I was able to get another battery.  But, now I'm being charged $200 by this new mechanic for replacing the battery---that was already under warranty---when Adams Import-should have been the one to do the job and do it right the first time....

I wonder how he'd feel if it was daughter who was in trouble like this....?

Cory H. | 2014-02-11

I have been coming to Adams import for years to get work done on my car. always leave with a great experience!! Recommend it to everyone as they are prompt and professional!

G K. | 2014-01-03

On a road vacation from San Francisco, I jumped my subaru in Guadalupe Canyon, Mexicali and busted my front struts. After limping it back across the border (shredding my front tires :() on a thursday afternoon, the first thing I did was google subaru repair in San Diego, find Adams Import and call them up about 15 minutes before closing time. Konrad answered the phone agreed to look at the car the next morning (friday).

On friday morning, Konrad and Javier checked out the damage and wrote up an estimate for replacing the front struts, which they they could do that day, as well as having the tire shop across the street replace the shredded tires and align the wheels. The estimate was fair and I agreed and left the car with them.

I came by and picked up the car before closing Friday after Konrad had a chance to test drive it with all the work complete. Indeed everything was fixed and the car made a comfortable, safe, and high speed drive back to San Francisco, and has continued to drive happily around the bay area.

The experience was great. Despite my being an out-of-towner who doesn't know much about cars and is in a hurry to get back on the road, the shop did not try to gouge me and completely fixed my subaru on the same day and with minimal fuss. Thanks Adams Import!

Jessica H. | 2013-08-16

After waking up to a lake of oil under my car this morning, I coaxed  it over to Adams Import and Eva was kind enough to fit me in even though I had not called ahead. All of the mechanics were very friendly and smiling as I waited, seems like a super nice group of people!

They were able to take a look at the car right away - Within an hour, Eva called me to let me know what was wrong and gave a price quote for fixing the issues which were an immediate concern, and letting me know a few things I will want to have done in the coming months which are not critical.

The price was more than fair for the work being done, and I am happy to know what the trouble was so quickly.

Lance P. | 2013-06-18

So far so good.  I had timing belt changed, temperature light on and strut mounts replaced in addition to other things on my TDI Jetta.

Mike O. | 2013-04-11

I had a terrible experience at Midas in PB. They took advantage of my lack of knowledge and basically had me paying for labor twice on jobs that could've been combined.
Konrad, Eva and the mechanics at Adams Import cut right to the chase. I got fair estimates and quality work. They seem to care more about cultivating return customers by being fair, honest and professional which is definitely a benefit of a small, family owned garage.
Thanks for the quick and painless experience! I will definitely be bringing my car here for all my future maintenance.

Kitty G. | 2013-03-14

Needed an oil change and got prompt, courteous service, as well as a clear and NOT condescending explanation (always a huge plus) of a few issues with my car. Prices seemed good although I didn't have major work done so can't speak to that.

Simon O. | 2012-11-29

Eva, Andy and Conrad, best trio for auto repairs and sales.

Jan F. | 2012-11-27

Great service on a quick smog check.  Thank you very much.

chris g. | 2012-10-30

I called around a million different places to fix my Mercedes when I had a hose that broke. This place was not only the most affordable they were really honest and really worked with me by giving me options on how to repair it and even kept me in informed on different prices for parts that I needed. This place is by far the most honest place I have found in San Diego, I wish I would have found this place five thousand dollars ago. My car was done the next day. Seriously the most honest and affordable shop I have found. Trust me I've dealt with some shady up sellers in the past all over SD.

Michael B. | 2012-08-15

I was very impressed with the service at this facility.  The price was fair and the service was surprisingly quick.  I would recommend this business for service to your vehicle.

Sabrina R. | 2012-02-20

I have been coming here for a few years and I have to say I was NOT pleased with the service for smog. I arrived at 8 and still waited 45 minutes for my car to be smogged! It took them that long to calibrate their machines. If a location opens at 8...they need to be ready to provide service at that time. DO NOT arrive early. It does you no good here. I did make a suggestion to Hilda who is always there that when their machines need calibrating, it would be nice to have their guys come in earlier to be ready for business at the time they open.

Dilly D. | 2011-11-21

I was lured into the Smog station because of the $10 off coupon and the location.  I ride a 95 hoopti,  and like most other test centers I was charged $55 for the smog test (including the $10 off thing).  

I failed the smog check, and asked the mechanic if he offered a free diagnostic test, or had any idea why the smog test failed, he said nope, and no.  Super bummed and ready to break up with my car, I asked a girly friend if she new any honest mechanics who don't charge an arm and a leg. She did. Awesome. I ended up in Chula Vista where I think a 15 year old mechanic took one look at my smog report and said "all you need is a good tune up, see here you barely passes this part which means your filters are probably dirty".  

So I got the tune up.  Two days later I went back to Adam Ave smog to see if he would smog it again at a discounted rate (most smog centers will do this for free) but he said no way jose, I have to pay the full price.  Huge bummer, so I went to my old neighborhood in North Park and had the shop on Bancroft pass my test for 38 dollars. I knew that if I failed again, this place would retest me up to 2 times for free.

I'm giving the place  2 stars because the mechanic was not overtly rude, just incapable of being a decent mechanic.

Heres a link to cite that offers coupon to have you car diagnostically tested for free  if if fails. Its not for Adams Ave import but I recommend going to one of these places over Adams Ave, esp. if you have an old car.…

Parker S. | 2011-10-28

After hearing of a good experience from someone about Javier, I stopped in Tuesday talked to Javier and made an appointment with Eva for today to have my diagnosed. Eva is the desk person taking care of calls, paperwork, payment, appointments etc. (comes across organized and professional). My problem the car is great one ride and then sometimes trouble starting it and it coughs  or conks out or stutters when i am driving on another ride.
When I dropped my car off at 8am, i signed a piece of paper with Eva stating the diagnostic would cost $114.  I inquired if this would be put toward the repair if I chose to have the car repaired. Answer, no. Instructed that we should have diagnosis around lunch.

Got a call from Eva explaining that there four problems showing up for service light and the  air sensor connection was my problem.  Javier took a care of wire and problem solved.  Turns out I need to replace a hose but not detrimental. They ordered part. It was $87 including labor. Talked to Javier on phone and he very informative.  Since fixing the connector was not labor intensive, diagnostic fee was put toward the fixing the connector.

Later,Javier gave me a full 15 minutes just talking about all the codes that came up on the car and he answered my traditional 20 questions.  
The guy talks well (technical, yet talks so I can understand), very knowledgeable, and definitely thorough.  
I ended up going back again because it turned out to be the mass air flow sensor. I like the way this place diligently looks for a used part. A new one from the dealer was over $600. They helped me find a used one that was under $150. Big savings. I got ride when I dropped of my car from a Conrad so I didnt have to arrange a ride for my next visit.
Again, I talked to javier  and asked him another 20 questions about my car. He didnt mind at all, seemed like he enjoyed it, as in, he enjoys what he does.

So, long story short (too late), I overall had a good experience.

whats a good mechanic?
fixes problem on first shot, fair pricing, knowledgeable.  
i missed one. sometimes something comes up within a month or so that you mysteriously need a repair on.  dont think that will happen here.

Hillcrest G. | 2011-10-27

Best deal around if your DMV renewal notice says you need a "test only" or "Gold Shield" smog check.  It costs about 1/2  the price here as other places (with a Reader coupon).  I've had it done twice here, both times with no waiting & out the door in 15 minutes.  Family run business & Eva in the office is nice to deal with.

Sambo C. | 2011-08-03

Found this place from Yelp..and then a coupon for smog check from SDReader for $30 out the door including certicate.  I got there a little before closing, and instead of turning me away, owner Andy welcomed me and accepted me into their queue.  Very friendly and accomodating, they were able to finish the smog check job, even staying late to do so.. about 30 min past closing time.  

Nice to support an independent long time "mom & pop" business like this here in San Diego, especially when most places are chain or corporate nowadays.  Please give these guys a try and ask for Andy or Eva.  Support local biz!  This review is totally unsolicited.

Jack G. | 2011-08-02

I have had my BMW's worked on here before and always been satisfied with their work and billing.  
However, $601 to service the air conditioning and replace a seat belt buckle on a 318?  $170 to diagnose the air bag light when I can buy the tool for $129 at Bavauto?  I figured I would only use it once or twice and it couldn't cost more that $129 for 5 minutes worth of diagnostics...
And I only paid $80 to have the air conditioning serviced on my Ford, and it is the same process...  
$601, really ???

molly m. | 2011-07-28

I have been taking my Volvos to Adams Imports for years and have been more than satisfied with the service Eva and Andy have given me.  They are nice, honest and knowledgeable and i would highly recommend them.  Molly McConnell

Luke S. | 2011-07-20

LOVE THIS PLACE..... i'm a new car person... so when my warantee expired i didn't really know where to go because i didn't want to pay the dealership prices....  

I found this place and am so glad i did.  They are honest, helpful, not overpriced, and tell you what you need and what you don't.  

For anyone with an import... (I have a mercedes benz and bmw) this is the place to go!  

Friendly, and professional!

Lyle E. | 2011-04-09

I have been taking my cars (VW's and BMW) to Andy and Eva for years now. They are always fair, have done good work at a reasonable price, and have made good recommendations for not doing repairs that are not necessary. I recommend them regularly to friends and clients.

Bonnie B. | 2011-03-09

Thanks to other Yelpers who steered me here. Two years ago I spent $1,900 to get my old Mercedes--1984--to pass the smog check. That repair house for Benz and Beamers told me not to come back, because it would never pass again. Filled with dread, I went to Adams Import, because others had been satisfied. One-half hour after checking in my "Black Beauty," Andy and his technician said, "Passed." I was ecstatic. Owners Andy and Eva have been doing this for 16 years at their small, unassuming shop in Normal Heights. They bring an honesty and work ethic rare to find these days. In response to my expression of gratitude, Eva said, simply: "You have a good car." And you, Eva and Andy, have a good business--not just good, but better and best. Superlatives apply. And I was able to use their discount coupon from the Reader. If you own an older car, you would be hard pressed to find a better Certified Smog Repair shop.

Ryan R. | 2011-01-12

I got a smog check for $30.70 out the door. Speedy service and convenient location. Visit the Incredible Cheesecake Company across the street while you wait.

Roger C. | 2011-01-05

I went there for a smog test because they have the Golden Shield that the DMV requires. I had a coupon from The Reader's website which made my smog text $30.70 out the door thats a savings of over $21!  

my car past with flying colors as it should being its first test, Javier was polite and professional and the whole test was conducted in a timely manner, i called ahead drove straight in and was done in about 15 mins

not much more to say, good prices, good service you cant ask for much more than that.

Lindsey M. | 2010-08-02

I went there for a smog test because they have the Golden Shield that the DMV requires. If you go on The Reader's website you can find a coupon that will make the smog test $30.70 out the door. Usually they are around $40-$60 so its a really good deal. It is around $22 if you don't pass.

They are right next to a Valero gas station so I got to run two errands at once. It took about 20 minutes for the whole thing. I just sat in their office and played on my phone. Overall it was a good experience.

Eric S. | 2010-07-18

I have been coming here for years! Here is why I recommend Adams Import:

The owners are good people (I know I'm getting honest work for an honest price, never have to worry about looking for other places for a better deal. Also Andy is a good guy and has been very helpful not only as a Auto Shop Owner but also as a person, giving me rides when my car was broken, or advice on how to fix the car myself, since I try to do that whenever I can)

Family run business (Supporting the community, much more personable atmosphere)

The mechanics are experienced (Javier and Greg worked on my car a few times, they gets it done really quickly and as someone who used to work on cars alot, I have seen their work and can vouch for it)

All in all I would just say it is a good place to get your car repaired, it is real easy to talk to the owner and mechanics about all the details! Have been to many car repair places but after all the years I am still driving all the way from Mira Mesa to Adams Import to get my car fixed!

Pamela M. | 2010-05-28

I have taken my car here twice and my friend has once.  These guys are honest & reasonable.  I'm the type that calls around to get the best deal and these guys came up tops every time.  If something doesn't need to be fixed they will let you know.

Mike S. | 2010-04-01

I went there for a smog because they had a coupon in the Reader. Unfortunately, they lost power during the testing and it had to be repeated, and so I was there probably a half-hour longer than I otherwise would have been, but the price was good--$30.70 total.

It's a small place w/ tight parking, but there were two spots available on the street right outside their shop, so I ended up having no problems.

Matt R. | 2009-05-12

This endorsement is based on one smog check incident, but I trust these dudes.

I came in because they have a coupon in the Reader, but it also helped that as a smock check station they are Gold Shield certified, which means they pass a somewhat more rigorous inspection and they have no disciplinary actions against the station or its managers. I'm not sure it's a big deal, but at the very least it's not a bad sign.

More importantly, they checked and fixed my ignition timing (a cheap repair) before the test, which allowed it to pass, a repair I know I needed.

So my junker is street legal for another 2 years!  Hooray!

(It's the little things sometimes.)

Nick S. | 2008-08-11

Oh Kevin..oh Kevin...whereout thou Kevin???

Looking for a new mechanic is like looking for a is a HUGE issue

When I had to have the top end of my engine redone I was referred to Adams Imports - I had nowhere to go but here - I trusted my past mechanic but they didn't do what I needed done so their recommendation to Adams Imports was welcomed - They did the top end of the engine and even threw in a couple freebie parts that they had laying around to fix another thing or too - I contacted a mechanic friend of mine and asked him about what I was charged for the job...his answer was "That's a good price for all that work" - That was all I needed to hear to have myself a new mechanic that will get my business

The next time I went back for some brake work and when I got the quote I thought it was a bit high - I asked another friend who gets "a deal" with a friend of his to get me a quote from his friend - The quote came back a few dollars more than my quote from Adams Import - Again I'm stoked that I really found my mechanic

I had two great experiences with Adams Imports and the pricing was VERY FAIR!!! The really nice part is that if I had a problem on the weekend I would just drop my car off at the gate with the key and Kevin would call me pretty close to opening time and I'd share what the problem was and he would again call back when he had a diagnosis within an hour or two - Great service!

As of lately the customer service level has changed - I took in my car for overheating problems about a month ago and first never heard from them in the morning and when I called I was promised a call back with a diagnosis within an never came - I called back way later in the day only to be asked if I needed my car back that night and that if they could get it done then I'd get a call...the time was 4:45pm and knowing they closed at 5:00pm I knew I wouldn't be getting my car that night

Just today I took it back over there to have the same issue looked at again to see if something was missed seeing they did a pressure test and flush the system and nothing was found - I was promised another phone call and it never came and I finally called at 4:45pm to get told the issues - Nothing was found and I wasn't charged for the look over

As you can see I have no issues with the work or the cost of the work and that is why they are getting a 4 star rating - The most important part again is they do GREAT WORK AT A NICE PRICE and that is why you people should feel safe about choosing Adams Imports to have your work done

The reason that they are only getting 4 stars instead of 5 is because I just found out today that Kevin is no longer working there and hasn't been for sometime - Losing Kevin doesn't lose the star for them it is just that the customer service that I got in the first times going to Adams Imports isn't what I got the last two times so maybe it was Kevin who did that for them and that made me feel REALLY REALLY comfortable when I brought my car there

So 4 out of 5 stars for great work and fair pricing - The folks who run Adams Import are very nice people and always have been...they just need to get that "Kevin" touch back and the 4 will be a 5