Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care

RepairPal Certified Shop in Santa Cruz

Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care

25 Verified Reviews
(831) 661-8322
2335 Soquel Dr
Suite A
Santa Cruz, CA 95065 USA
"Excellent service. Good with customers."
— Robert, a Verified Customer
7:30am to 5:30pm
Auto Repair Experience
  • Nate Smith, Owner
  • Established 1991
  • 5 Auto Repair Mechanics on Staff
  • 76 Years of Car Repair Experience
Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care Reviews
25 Ratings
Displaying 1 - 15 of 25reviews
Verified Customer
The team is always attentive and courteous. They are knowledgeable and provide specifics as to what work needs to be completed -- with full details. I worked with Michael this time through and he was great.
Verified Customer
Always the best experience.
Verified Customer
Very good customer service and prompt, timely repair.
Verified Customer
Verified Customer
They did a nice job diagnosing a problem.
Verified Customer
They fixed what I wanted to be done for a bit less than estimated.Didn't try to have me fix anything, I didn't want??
Verified Customer
Above and beyond service. Very personable employees.
Verified Customer
Competent and honest!
Verified Customer
Had a diagnostic test run to determine the cause of excessive oil use in my 2010 BMW. Test results indicated that a sizable repair will be needed in the future though the timing is not immediate. because the problem will not cause any operational problem, the work can be delayed until a service light is displayed.
Verified Customer
Excellent service. Good with customers.
Verified Customer
The staff is excellent, particularly Michael, whom I've communicated almost exclusively with. Unfortunately, I just came back in today to report three minor but annoying problems the car has now that it DIDN'T have when I brought it in. I'll reluctantly have to make another appointment to address the following - some or all perhaps related to the replacement of the battery(?): 1). Strange noise every time I turn the car on, it's of short duration, but very odd, sounds sort of like dropping stones in water. I've never heard this noise until picking up and starting the car after the repairs.* 2) The clock worked perfectly and was visible/stayed on at all times before the repairs. The battery was replaced, so I'd certainly have planned to need to reset the clock, though the receipt said it had been reset. Now the clock is off unless the key's turned on. I'd reset to correct time, but it resets the clock to the wrong time with every turn of the key. The clock worked perfectly before (appropriately enough, as this was the last year this model was made in Germany). ;-) 3) The trunk light stays on with the turn of the key. The trunk is shut tight. Light goes off when the car's off. *I noticed this noise the first time I started the car, immediately after paying for the repairs, circled around to demonstrate for Michael and mechanics, who didn't hear it. It's quite loud, I think, but with the Soquel car noise, maybe less so. I went next door to the bank and it was loud and clear again when I started the car to leave. Very annoying as I only had all this work done on the car to sell it. Bad first impression, and again, all three things new since the repairs.
Verified Customer
Good communication and good service.
Verified Customer
Best people to take your car treat with respect and talk you through your options.
Verified Customer
From my perspective, it seems that their model is motivated more towards $ than an objective repair.
Verified Customer
Transmission problem that Nate cleared up in a matter of minutes.
RepairPal Scorecard
Overall Quality Score
24-month / 24,000-mile warranty
Technical Ability
Tools & Equipment
Customer Service
Customer Amenities
Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care has been serving Santa Cruz and the surrounding area since 1991. Over the years they have developed a loyal following of satisfied customers who described this shop to us as "courteous”, “honest”, “friendly”, and "excellent". This shop features a team of experienced and well-trained technicians, specializing in the service and repair of Audi, BMW, Mini, and Volkswagen models. An investment in the necessary tools and state of the art diagnostic equipment helps make them capable of repairs ranging from minor and major mechanical repairs, to check engine light and computer system diagnosis and repair, to tires and wheel alignment, as well as your scheduled maintenance needs. Repairs are covered by a 24-month / 24,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind. A local shuttle service, rental & loaner cars, early bird drop off, and a waiting area with wireless Internet are also available for your convenience.
Message From the Shop
Good Times Best of Santa Cruz 2006
  • AC/Heating
  • Alignment
  • Check Engine Light
  • Diagnosis
  • Muffler & Exhaust
  • Oil Change & Lube
  • Scheduled Maintenance
  • Service & Repair
  • Timing Belt
  • Tire Sales/Repair
  • Transmission Repair
  • AAA Member Discount
  • Child Friendly
  • Coffee
  • Early Bird Dropoff
  • Financing
  • Gas/Diesel
  • Heated Waiting Room
  • Loaner Car
  • Parts/Accessories
  • Rental Car
  • Service Guarantee
  • Shuttle
  • Wireless Internet
Makes We Serve
  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Mini
  • Volkswagen
  • ASA
  • Bosch Service Network
  • iATN
Questions Answered by Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care
Transmission on 1998 BMW 528i
Not quite enough information to get a great answer. Does it happen when the engine is cold? Or just when warm? Or both? If temperature is not a factor, then is it a particular gear - 1st to 2nd shift, or just going into Reverse, or just going into 1st? It is not likely to be random, and knowing the circumstances when it happens will determine the course of action. Has anyone checked to see if the fluid level is OK?
Bmw 325i 2006 Navigation Wont Power On on 2006 BMW 325i
So what have you done? Is there a navigation disc installed? Does the DVD player have power? Beyond checking these few items, it is very difficult to diagnose without specialized equipment.
Where Is The Drain Plug, To Change Atf For Audi S4 2005 on 2005 Audi S4
Is it an automatic or does it have DSG transmission? The answers are different for each one. Also,not easy to do. Special tools are required for filling - as well as special oil.
What Is Trouble Code P 2008? on 2006 Volkswagen Jetta
The P2008 Diagnostic Trouble Code refers to the intake manifold runner flap control. Modern engines have flaps that change the effective length of the intake runners (how far the air travels between the throttle and the intake valve) to increase the efficiency and the performance of the engine. When the intake runner flap control fails (or is jammed or is disconnected), a code is set in the engine control module to alert you to the failure. You should have this system checked to see what is wrong.
Deadlock System on 2000 BMW 740iL
If the issue is that the remote buttons on the key no longer unlock the doors, then the problem can be addressed at the key.

But if you mean that the doors will not unlock even if you put the key in the keyhole in the driver's door, that's a much larger problem.

The so-called deadbolt system prevents the doors from being opened from the inside or the outside until deadbolt is released, which happens when the doors are unlocked.

So, need more information about the specifics of the issue before I can give you a real answer.
"Drive Moderately. Increased Steering Effort Required" , What Is The Cause? on 2013 BMW 328i
If your car is a 4-door, then yes, there is a service bulletin that addresses the "increased steering effort" message issue. The cure, assuming there is nothing else wrong with the car, is to reprogram the car, which includes the Integrated Chassis Management (ICM) Module.
The original new car warranty is 4 years and 50,000 miles, so you should check this against the actual miles on the car. The bulletin came out last July.
Shop That Replaced My Water Pump Says The Pump Is The One That Cools The Turbo It's Different Then The Other One Is That True? on 2012 Volkswagen GTI
Yes, there are two coolant pumps on this car. One is mechanical and driven by the engine, and the other is electric and is controlled by the engine control module. They would not likely fail at the same time.
Car Is Losing Water, But I Can't Find A Leak on 1998 Volkswagen Beetle
The normal procedure to locate a coolant leak is to pressure test the cooling system when the car is cold. The cooling system pressurizes itself as the coolant warms up from engine heat. Once warm, some kinds of leaks seal themselves until cool again. So, the easiest way to locate the source of the leak is to pressurize the cooling system and let it sit for a while.
Would You Buy A Bmw X5 Awd V8 That Has 190k Miles? on 2000 BMW X5
There's not enough information there to answer the question. What year the X5 is would make a difference (i.e., before or after 2007); what is the intended use of the car; and how much do you have to pay?
And certainly I'd recommend getting a Pre-Purchase Inspection by a BMW specialist. They'll know what to look for.
I Have A P0112 Engine Code On But Need To Smog My Jetta For Registrations on 2003 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
If that code is turning the Check Engine warning light on, then your only choice is to replace the faulty part.

California's Smog Check program is designed to prevent you from - for example - clearing the fault code and then going to a Smog Check station to get a Smog Check before the light can come back on again.

So, yes, you need to fix it.

- Nate Smith

Nate Smith Optimal Auto Care
Get Directions to Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care
What verified customers have to say about Nate Smith's Optimal Auto Care
Would recommend to a friend
Car was ready when promised
Did not feel sales pressure
Car was fixed correctly the first time
Customer was treated respectfully
Get an estimate and never overpay again
RepairPal guarantees your repair will be done right.