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ScottyP last won the day on April 21 2019

ScottyP had the most liked content!

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Business Information

  • Business Name
    The Brake Doctor/U.P. Trailer and Hitch
  • Business Address
    1000 S Front Str, Marquette, Michigan, 49855
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  • Participate in Training
  • Certifications
    Mi licensed brake and suspension mechanic

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Community Answers

  1. ScottyP


  2. Just got off the phone with my attorney, he's going to start with a letter to the ins co. I forgot to mention that the adjuster was at my shop, checked out the car and approved the claim. He had sent me over the paperwork, had found an engine with 140k miles, basically they were going to put a used engine in it for $3k rather than total the car. It was 2 days later some lady from the ins called to interview me, this was after the original shop told her the car was junk when it came in. We'll see where it goes from here.
  3. Not me. I'm trying to help my cousin with his car. Long story short it's an 02 Honda CRV wth 186,000 miles. Started stalling on him so he brought it to his mechanic. While at the mechanics shop someone went in and asked for the keys to check out the CRV, no one knows who that was btw. Mechanic gives the guys the keys and then apparently forgets about it and leaves the keys in the car overnight. Car gets stolen that night, probably the same guy. He gets about 6 - 7 miles and the engine locks up and he abandons it. So it gets towed back to the shop and the mechanic pulls the valve cover and said it jumped time and not worth fixing. I go and pick it up and bring it to my shop( an hour and a half north) to take a look. Started doing a leakdown to see if it bent valves, get to #2 and found a valve sitting on top of the piston. So I tell my cousin to call his insurance since it was stolen and they destroyed the engine. He does and after almost 2 months they finally tell him it isn't covered because of the pre-existing condition of the engine when it was brought into the shop. Found out the mechanic told them the engine was junk when it came in the first time which is a crock! It was running when it was brought in, it ran for 7 miles after being stolen. It may have jumped time causing the initial problem but was probably only off 1-2 teeth, the car thief caused it to jump enough more to hit the valves and break one off. The mechanic threw my cousin under the bus to protect his own hide as I'm sure he knew if there was a claim the insurance would come after him for giving the keys to who knows who and then leaving them in the car overnight. I just texted my attorney, we're going to talk about it tomorrow. Ben should get paid for the car and I'd sue the shop if the insurance doesn't pay. They can also pay me $10/day storage fees for the last 2 months too. I've been plowing around that damn thing all winter.
  4. I won't even do oil changes period, except for my fleet customers if I'm also doing something else for them. I have limited billable hours and consider them a waste of time. I let the other shops do the cheepo oil changes, then lots of those customers come to me to have their work done right. I hear it almost everyday, "I was at ****** getting getting an oil change and they said I have a bad right front wheel bearing and I also need rear brakes". Lets take a look and see when I can get you in lol.
  5. I will say the one thing that kills me working by myself is interruptions. I lose at least an hour a day or more just waiting on customers and answering the phone. There are days it's so busy I cannot get my scheduled work done and I'm there till 7 finishing up. I'm really looking forward to hiring a full time tech come spring.
  6. I'm sure it's not the best but I use an Autel AL619. For $300 it reads obdII, manufacturer specific codes, ABS and SRS codes, and can read, record and playback live data. Only thing I don't like is it doesn't have it's own power source. I can't unplug it and bring it out to show the customer.
  7. I don't think there's anything wrong with running a one man show, as long as that's what you want and are content. I'm a one man shop too, and I like it that way, at least for now. I don't kill myself either, I work from 8:30 - 5:00 and I am out the door at 5:01. I'll work half a Saturday if I feel like it or if it's super busy, which it usually is. I keep it simple though, easy in and out work. I'm not cheap either my labor rate is right on par with most indy shops. You could define my shop as both a job and a business. There's no question I have to go to work everyday and do my job, but it certainly is much more than a job and it's very satisfying to build up a successful shop. I make at least 3x what I could make turning wrenches at any other shop and it's only going up. My business plan does include stepping back and out of the shop though. I've had a summer helper the last 2 years and I'll hire a full time tech this spring. My son will be 16 this winter and wants to work at the shop this summer so I'll keep him busy as well. I purposely held off hiring help as long as I could but I barely got through last summer in one piece it was so crazy busy. At this point if I don't hire help I'll be hurting my business and customers.
  8. That's not enough work for 2 techs, I'm not surprised there's no money left. I'm a small shop too, in fact I work completey by myself except for the summer months when I have a helper. My ARO is around $350 and I average 3 cars per day.
  9. My buddy asked me why I don't have a coffee pot, I told him I don't want to encourage people to hang out here. I much prefer people drop their cars off. I know not everyone can so we have magazines, decent chairs and a radio, but that's it. And now that I'm a Beta dealer I've taken out half the chairs and they have to stare at a dirtbike
  10. November was slow here too, the first half was average but it really fell off from the 15th to the end(deer season). I haven't looked at the numbers yet but it was down from the last couple years. For the year though we are up over 27% and our net profit is up even more. Hope the winter holds.
  11. This is how I operate and it's worked for me. I've never done any advertising and my little 2 bay shop is always full. People just want someone they can trust.
  12. Is that to replace all lines? I do a ton of brake line replacements and that would be my average cost to replace all lines on a vehicle. Chevy pickups I do all the time, cost is $750 to replace all lines with new fittings, more if we replace hoses and or other parts. NICOPP is the shit! Haven't used steel in years and never will, not even on a junker. And if you don't have a hydraulic flaring tool get one.
  13. I also own a brake shop and in my first year I did install customer supplied parts on occasion. Over time I noticed a pattern with these people, they rarely showed up! Most likely they found some backyard guy to do it for $20 and a 12 pack, but didn't have the decency to call the shop to cancel. I quit doing it, no exceptions, and it doesn't bother me one bit if they don't like our policy. Let them go, they are not going to hurt you and only cause you grief. Focus on doing top notch work with quality parts and charging a fair price and you'll do just fine. After 4 years now I'm the go to brake guy in town and can barely keep up with the work. Oh and if they need a reason I tell them it's a liability issue with our insurance company, that if their parts fail the insurance company has no recourse. They usually understand that. I even get one now and then that'll bring his parts back and let me do my job.
  14. I had two F150's come into the shop in the last year both with calipers on the wrong side and bleeders on the bottom. This kind of stuff makes my day, I laughed all afternoon when I saw that pad on backwards.
  15. I don't know about your state but in Michigan you have to be licensed, state or ASE either way you have to be certified and pass the tests and your work is limited to the extent of your license. Also my shop has to be a state licensed repair facility to operate in this business.

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