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Alternative Auto Care

Founded 1983 • With Angi since April 1998


(35) Verified Reviews

Business Details

Phone Number


136 W 5th Ave

Columbus, OH 43201


Additional E-mail - Women owned & operated. Auto repair and maintenance services foreign and domestic models. 100 % ASE certified staff...

Verified Reviews

A few reviews for this pro...


Tori F.

They checked my breaks, oil, coolant, etc. in their '50 Point Courtesy Inspection.' That's fine, and I appreciate them doing a full inspection; however if they find a "problem" with something and you don't have them fix it, they will still charge you $20+ for each thing they have found wrong. Additionally, while they fixed one of the larger concerns, they did not bother with the second biggest concern. I'm almost positive my fuel injector needs replaced, and there is nothing in my receipts about this being checked. I find that to be bothersome too since it wasn't looked at in the "courtesy inspection." My car is still jerking terribly when I accelerate. I noted this when I submitted my electronic form and it is in my receipts under 'customer concerns'. I have filed through the inspection and there is nothing that says anything of this sort was checked. While they were prompt and really worked with me when I told them I couldn't afford certain things being fixed, I feel unnecessary things were completed over my biggest concerns. I also had to take my car back a second time because after they fixed the broken tone ring it started making a wafting noise. They fixed this for free, but with the everything else that was done/not done, I will not be going back. I'm really sad too. I wanted to support a local business.

Description of Work
50 Point Courtesy Inspection. Rotated tires. Put my front license plate on my car (without my knowledge-but I do appreciate it). And they fixed a tone ring

Category auto repair,car inspections

Service Provider Response

We are always glad to hear from our customers – even if they are unhappy with their experience – because it helps us to improve and to give better customer service to our clients. After reading your review – I did a bit of research into what may have gone wrong. It appears to me that the biggest issue was a lack of clear communication on our part and for that I apologize. I did see where there were 2 concerns; one being the ABS/traction light and the second being the sputtering and jerking performance issue. I agree that I do not see those well documented on our repair order. I believe that we did the correct thing in inspecting the brakes – because that is the first step in diagnosing an ABS or traction control light, however that was not communicated to you properly. It seems that the cost of that inspection may not have been clearly explained to you in advance. The 50 point courtesy inspection is complimentary – always. The report that you received shows several items that may have accounted for your sputtering issue. Again the fault seems to lie in our lack of clear communication in explaining that to you. The dirty air filter, worn spark plugs and carbon build up in the plenum could certainly account for your symptoms. There was nothing in our inspection to indicate a bad fuel injector. The age of your vehicle (2010) and the low mileage (79000) make it very unlikely that a fuel injector is failing, but again our failure to explain that these failing maintenance items might account for the symptoms was not explained properly, nor was it properly documented on the work order. We always try to go above and beyond – so little things like replacing a bulb or installing your license plate are things that we do at no charge as a way of saying thank you for your business. We value our customers; we stand behind our work and always honor our warranty. I am sorry that you had to come back a second time to deal with a noise – but I am pleased to see that my staff took care of it promptly and at no additional cost. I recognize that having to come back a second time is inconvenient. Again I apologize – my technicians are human and as such they do occasionally make mistakes – but we are committed to addressing them quickly and completely. I believe that how a business addresses those occasional mistakes makes all the difference in the world. I am always striving to improve my business and to improve the effectiveness of my staff, in particular their communication skills. I want to thank you again for pointing out the problems that you experienced, as it allows me to make positive changes so that we can deliver better service in the future. I would be happy to discuss this with your further if you so desire. Feel free to call the shop and ask to speak to me. I hope you will consider giving us a second chance to provide you with the kind of service experience that you deserve and that we try hard to deliver. Chris Cozad, Owner Alternative Auto Care


Antonia T.

The experience was great! It took awhile to figure it out, but that wasn't their fault, it was my car. But they did an awesome job keeping me informed on what was happening and show genuine concern for my car and it's well being and my well being. They found out a few answers to some other issues I have been having with my car and we are talking about our game plan for the next visit and how they can look it all over and prioritize everything. I have a 14 year old car with over 209,000 miles and understand that it needs care. They figured out my issue, but took it even further and figured out what it became an issue in the 1st place. They fixed both issues and I feel very confident in their work! My car has been great ever since and I am definitely taking it back to them in the future, not only for the needs that I know of for my car, but for any other unexpected needs and wants that will come up. I love this shop and you cannot go wrong taking your car to them and having them find the root problem and fixing it! Great service ladies! Thanks!

Description of Work
Fix an issue with intermittent starting and also an oil leak issue that I did not know was there, but turned out to be the root issue of my problem.

Category auto repair



Michelle C.

They are super honest. I have used them before. The vehicle is so far so good.

Description of Work
I went to them in January for front end work. I have a Honda Element.

Category auto repair



Kate M.

They had the bulb in stock and had the time to do the work immediately, so I was in and out in 15 minutes.

Description of Work
I had a burned-out headlamp. Happened to be passing by and dropped in for a replacement.

Category auto repair




I started using Alternative a few years ago on the basis of recommendations from two different friends. My and quot;Service Engine Soonand quot; light came on while driving, so I made an appointment to bring the car in. Between my schedule and their schedule, Friday was the earliest I could get in. My car was also due for an oil change, so I had them change the oil while they had my car for diagnosis. They pulled the codes from the computer and discovered it was an O2 sensor, but they wouldn't be able to finish the work that day. I needed my car over the weekend, so I paid for the oil change and diagnosis when I picked up my car and arranged to bring it back the following week. They said driving with the bad O2 sensor wouldn't leave me stranded, so driving a few more days with it wouldn't hurt. I brought the car back the next Wednesday and they replaced the sensor. Chris (the owner) explained that they did a test drive to make sure it was okay, but the computer only tests that sensor when certain conditions are met, so I should let them know if the light comes back on. It hasn't come back on yet, so I think it's good. But I have no doubt they would solve the problem if it did come back on.

Description of Work
Oil Change, Courtesy Inspection, Diagnose cause of "Service Engine Soon" light (pull codes from computer), Replace O2 sensor

Category auto repair



Rebecca M D.

I've have sued this auto repair shop three times now and am very pleased with their operation. I started going here on the recommendation of a co-worker. It's such a unique experience to have my car service by a team of (mostly) women mechanics. I have always felt that they performed all repairs efficiently and also treated me, the customer, with friendliness and respect. I have even ordered parts in advance over the phone for minor repairs and brought the car in when the parts arrived. This minimizes the inconvenience of having the car in the shop while parts are on order. The owner Chris is a skilled mechanic and teaches auto mechanics at a local college. Her office assistant Heather is very pleasant to work with and always explains the repairs and estimates before the repairs are started.

Description of Work
Oil changes and courtesy inspection; 60,000 mile maintenance inspection; rear wiper change

Category auto repair

Service Provider Response

Hi Member- glad you had a great experience - we strive for that with every customer. I am making the leap that you mean " I have used this auto repair shop three time..." not I have "sued" three times! Hope to see you again (but not too soon) Chris


marion L.

went well- got in - got out in reasonable time- pleasant service persons

Description of Work
engine light on- diagnostic run- some function reset- engine light went off

Category auto repair



joseph M.

My car needed some work done and I wanted to know how much the work would cost. I made an appointment for estimates and planned to leave my car since their working hours are my working hours. I dropped my car off in the morning and called before coming back to pick it up in the evening and no one had even looked at my car. While picking up my car I made a second appointment to leave my car to actually calculate the estimates. I again dropped my car off in the morning and called before returning to pick it up. When I arrived back only half of the estimates were calculated. I arranged for another appointment to finish the calculations. I left my car for the third time and called before returning. Upon arrival I was informed that work was completed on my car. I had not agreed to any work being started, or a price agreed upon! I looked at the work completed before leaving and was very unsatisfied for the appearance of the work completed.

Description of Work
I wanted to know how much different services would cost. I left my car for estimates. They welded my exhaust pipe.

Category auto repair

Service Provider Response

I just recently came across this report and wanted to take time to respond. It took some digging in my records to locate this customer / vehicle as the dates / customer name did not match-up exactly. I was finally able to match based on both the description of work and the street address. I pride myself on being able to work with customers to ensure that they are happy with their experience at Alternative Auto Care - Iit truly is part of the alternative! I encourage anyone who has an issue with a repair shop in general and Alternative Auto Care in particular, to talk to the owner or manager. We can not correct / address problems if we do not know that they exist. Our employees are human and they do make mistakes. It is very much a part of our philosophy that it is how you address mistakes is what actually sticks with people. According to my records we did give estimates on several other recommends services - however there is not a good description of exactly what the customer originally requested - so I can not say if the list was complete or not. I continually remind my staff of the importance of good detail on repair orders - so that - if we need to go back and look we can tell what happened. Clearly they fell short of the mark in this particular case. I am sorry that this customer was unhappy with their experience. We are a relatively small shop and as such sometimes do get behind schedule - and occasionally we don't "get" to a car because the job ahead of that one ran long. I try to impress on my staff the importance of keeping the customer informed about progress ( or lack of it) in those situations. It is unacceptable that something like this would happen twice, and I apologize for that and for the lack of good communication. Doing work without authorization is completely unacceptable. Based on the repair order (although it is incomplete) it does not reflect our having given these folks an estimate. I assure you that is not our normal and usual practice - in fact it is considered a very serious offense and potentially can result in disciplinary action. All I can say that it rarely happens although it appears to have happened here - again had management know there were things that could have been done at the time. I invite you to give us another try - I guarantee you will have a different (positive) experience the second time around. It is never too late to apologize and try to make a customer happy - give us a call and ask to speak to me - (the owner Chris) I would be happy to discuss this with you.



I took the car in this time because it was having trouble starting very consistently. I had taken it in a few months earlier and of course it started perfectly every time they tried, but now that it was having trouble every time I tried, I hoped they could find the problem. I also asked them to change the oil while they had it. This time at least the starting problem happened for them, so they had something to go on. Initially they found the throttle plenum was extremely dirty and the fuel filter was also overdue for changing, so they recommended cleaning the throttle and changing the fuel filter. After they did that, they called back with the bad news: while running diagnostics after replacing the fuel filter, they had found the fuel pressure was extremely low. My fuel pump was not working properly and was producing the symptoms I had observed. They recommended replacing the entire fuel pump module rather than just the pump because they had had poor results in the past with just replacing the pump. Unfortunately, they couldn't get the module until the next day, so they had to keep the car longer than planned, and replacing the module was expensive in both parts and labor. But they did a good job of updating me on what they found. The place has a unique character, and I've always felt like they were being honest and doing their best. I plan to keep taking my car there.

Description of Work
Oil Change, Clean throttle bore & plenum, Replace fuel filter, Replace fuel pump module

Category auto repair



Luis O.

they were extremely busy that week, so it took them a couple of days to get to it. Also, they charged me $100 less than what Midas would have charged me.

Description of Work
breaks fixed

Category auto repair

    Auto Service
    Auto Inspections
    Auto Radiators
    Auto Mufflers
    All statements concerning insurance, licenses, and bonds are informational only, and are self-reported. Since insurance, licenses and bonds can expire and can be cancelled, homeowners should always check such information for themselves.To find more licensing information for your state, visit our Find Licensing Requirements page.
    General Information
    Free Estimates
    Eco-Friendly Accreditations
    Payment Options
    Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
    Senior Discount

    Services Offered

    Preventative maintenance services, prepurchase inspections, brakes, cooling systems, charging & starting systems, electrical troubleshooting, engine performance/drivability complaints, steering & suspension.

    Services Not Offered

    Do not do body work or major engine work

    Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about Alternative Auto Care

    How is Alternative Auto Care overall rated?

    Alternative Auto Care is currently rated 4.8 overall out of 5.

    What days are Alternative Auto Care open?

    Alternative Auto Care is open:

    Sunday: Closed

    Monday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Wednesday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Thursday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Friday: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

    Saturday: Closed

    What payment options does Alternative Auto Care provide

    Alternative Auto Care accepts the following forms of payment: Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover

    Does Alternative Auto Care offer free estimates?

    Yes, Alternative Auto Care offers free project estimates.

    Does Alternative Auto Care offer eco-friendly accreditations?

    Yes, Alternative Auto Care offers eco-friendly accreditations.

    Does Alternative Auto Care offer a senior discount?

    No, Alternative Auto Care does not offer a senior discount.

    Are warranties offered by Alternative Auto Care?

    Yes, Alternative Auto Care offers warranties.

    What services does Alternative Auto Care offer?

    Alternative Auto Care offers the following services: Preventative maintenance services, prepurchase inspections, brakes, cooling systems, charging & starting systems, electrical troubleshooting, engine performance/drivability complaints, steering & suspension.

    Are there any services Alternative Auto Care does not offer?

    Do not do body work or major engine work