It's been a few years since I've used their services, but when I was living in Berkeley Griffin Motorwerke saved my life (or at least my car, my job, and my sanity) about a half-dozen times. I was young, living in Berkeley, and working at the Berkeley Humane Society. I had a pretty hefty rent for someone working for peanuts at a job I loved, and I had a car which had seen better days. She was a 1989 VW Fox, and when I first brought her to Griffin's she'd clonked out on me nearby, and it was the first place my bf and I could push her to. Over the course of about two years, the owner (I can't remember his name, but he wore black turtlenecks and swore WAY worse than a sailor) must have fixed my car's multiple failings at least five or six times. I sometimes felt uncomfortable with his vague misogyny and very, very foul mouth. But each time, he must have sensed my desperation for my car (I was travelling alot every weekend) because he fixed it for free several times and for ridiculously low prices (as in charging me only for the parts and no labor) other times. He always said, "I know you'll come back with your new car when you get one," to explain why he did these good deeds. I feel bad that I moved to the city shortly after getting a new (used) car, and haven't been back to this place. Although he had his faults, I am forever grateful to Mr. Griffin for giving me a break (and brakes, literally) when I really need it. My old car ended having the broken hood fly up at the windshield while I was driving across the Bay Bridge one morning, and that was the last straw for me...it was scary enough for me to realize that the car had finally lost its last leg. If ever I'm in Berkeley when my car breaks down, I'll go here and pay full-price with no questions asked.


I agree the prices are a bit high, but the work is worth it. Dealers are also high... I don't take my car (Subaru) there for regular maintenance, partially b/c I live 20 miles away, but have used them to put in better brakes, brakelines, brake fluid, and Redline in the transmission and rear differential. They know how to bed in the brake pads well, and for that, the brakes have lasted a very long time and perform well, and I drive my car hard. Great service, but they don't have Sat. hours.


These guys do great work and they really, really know their stuff. They are also really, really expensive. My husband drives an Audi S4, which is a high performance car that requires specialized attention. We only trust Griffin to fix it. Other recommended auto shops have said "oh, does your S4 have all-wheel drive?" Yes it does (all S4's are all-wheel drive) and if you don't know anything about the Audi S4 then we don't want you fixing our car. I drive a MINI Cooper and I wouldn't take my car here because you know what? It's too expensive. I love my MINI but it's not a high performance car. For the Audi S4, we drive all the way from San Francisco to Berkeley for Griffin's expertise.

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