Watch as three new- and old-school mechanics talk shop in a working garage about how to tackle the challenges facing the automotive business today.
Ready to run your own shop? Great. One problem: There isn’t really a reliable manual on starting your own automotive repair business. When it comes to shop talk, experience is still the best teacher. So we brought together three of the best mechanics from the new and old schools of automotive repair to help you build the best shop on the block.
Meet your mechanics.
Audra Fordin grew up in a house that spoke car. This fourth-generation mechanic inherited the shop from her father and beat some unbelievable odds: She quadrupled her business in the economic recession simply by treating customers as students. At first, customers wouldn’t take Audra seriously as a mechanic at Great Bear Auto Repair in Flushing, NY, so Audra worked twice as hard to teach customers about their cars. As a result, Audra sparked a new movement: Women Auto Know, an organization that empowers people to learn more about their cars, car maintenance and repair.
Ralph Parente started working in an auto shop at 12 years old. He worked his way up to fixing cars at 16, and he’s done every gig there is in the shop — from cleaning bathrooms to pulling out engines. By sticking to the basics, working hard and doing a good job, Parente has kept his customer relationships strong and his shop doors open since 1979 at Soundview Servicenter in Mamaroneck, New York.
Charles Sanville is the Humble Mechanic. He started his career at automotive tech school in the early 2000s and spent 13 years at a Volkswagen dealership. When Sanville noticed an increasing lack of trust between customers and dealerships, he started blogging and making videos about the auto repair industry to provide more transparency and trust. The result? His YouTube tutorials on auto repair inspire more mechanics every day to join the trade.