TRAVELING ON THE ROAD

Found a great mechanic? Send the info to us! Don’t forget: name, address, phone, contact person if available.

If you have discovered honesty and value on the road let your fellow artists know! Well, I’ll start this off with …oh, how about Rock Springs, Wyoming? The place is Metric Motors (exit 107 off I-80) and while he could easily have taken me for an engine rebuild after overheating several times somewhere between Dinosaur National Monument and Rock Springs, (“This doesn’t look good, it could mean $3500 give or take”) instead replaced the water pump…and that’s all! He also was expeditious and we got back home to Boise with no problem – the ol’ van (Toyota) is up to 180,000 now and still going strong. (sad to say it’s at the junkyard now!)

If you have a similiar tale of mechanical goodness (your hometown mechanic!) send it to me and I will post them here verbatim and randomly. Go here to print out an organized list. I would also like to collect tales of woe unless it is just too painful. I assume all submissions will be on the up an’ up.
Submitted by Michael Hamilton

CarTalk’s Mechan-X-Files
If you’ve listened to Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka “Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers”) on NPR you’ll love their website. Here is their mechanics database for the entire country.

VISITOR SUBMISSIONS:


NORTOWN TIRE AND SERVICE
1400 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
773-276-9838
I have a great recommendation for you. We were on our way into Chicago to do an art show on the Kennedy Expressway 90/94, I think is the name of the highway. My husband realized something was wrong with our van, the brake pedal was very soft and he thought we were loosing our brakes or had limited brakes. Fortunately we were in stop and go traffic. We got off on North Avenue and there was a garage right there. It was 2:30 Friday afternoon, they got us in right away and were very knowledgeable.

Our van is old, the brakes were like new, but the brakes were frozen on and it had something to do with contaminated brake fluid, in the heat the fluid was boiling and burning, we could smell something burning. an Hour and one half later we were on our way.

In talking to others in the very nice waiting area I felt as if we were fortunate to have found this place. It was a husband and wife running it. Their family has a second place on North Avenue also. They sell tires etc. in addition to auto repair. So far it seems to have fixed the problem. We drove to do the show and then home again. The people were nice also, that always helps.
Submitted by Linda Steinworth, June 2007

Phibbs Auto Service
215 Agnes Rd
Knoxville, TN 37919-6309
865-588-3678
I have dealt with this company for 10 years. I have never had an issue of bad or incomplete service. They are trustworthy and easy to deal with: that is the mechanics. They have gone out of their way to explain their work. I feel that I have spent my money wisely there.
Submitted by Michael Krooss


If you ever break down on Long Island, East Neck Auto Service Inc. at 295 Little E. Neck Road, Babylon, New York has 24 hour emergency service. Call John Careccia at 631/321-7434. The man takes good care of my 1990 Bronco which gets me to my shows, as well as the more conventional family vehicle.
Submitted by Dianne Matus


Jackson’s Complete Auto Care
660 W. 6th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97402
541-344-7366
1-800-258-7344
They are very honest and conscientious. They have worked on both my Ford and Chevy. When they couldn’t figure something out, they’d call the local dealer mechanics and come up with a solution. Though they don’t work on the diesel engine, they work on everything else. What they can’t do, I trust their recommendations.
Tell them Adrienne sent you.
Submitted by Adrienne Adam


In El Cerrito, California, near Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond, is:
R.C. Imports
6501 Fairmount Ave, 94530
510-526-8084
Daniel Santos, Prop.
One of the nicest guys in the world, would do anything for you, personal friend.
Submitted by Jan Etre


Miller’s Auto Repair
994 Blanding Blvd.
Suite 116
Orange Park, Florida 32065
904-213-1180
The owner was very nice. I received a quote for over $1000.00 and they repaired my Ford Tarus for $480.00. Just thought I would pass this along.
Submitted by “Tammy”


I would highly recommend Curtis Hi Tech in Asheville. They are honest, fast and do not overcharge. While they are specialists in tires/breaks and general maintenance, they could recommend a specialist your cars needs. Here is their info…
Curtis Hi Tech
1225 Tunnel Rd
Asheville, NC 28805
828-298-1428
Submitted by Chantal Saunders


Here is our mechanic in central Indiana. This is a competent, honest and thorough diagnostic service center. Highly recommended.
Master Tech Auto Service
1927 S. Curry Pike
Bloomington, IN 47403
Tel: 812-330-0364
Submitted by Jon Hecker


Neat idea! Last summer my transmission went out in Lexington, KY. Excellent mechanic in Lake Wales, FL:
Sorenson Chev
Hwy 27
863-676-7671
Submitted by Maija Baynes


In the northern Atlanta area I have used Roswell Auto for the last 14 years. They are honest and able to handle a variety of problems.
770-992-1962 or 3 – ask for Carl or Robert.
Submitted by Gordon Bruno


I live in Ann Arbor, a lot of artists come through here from time to time. 2 impeccably honest and superb shops.

Professional Automotive Technicians
1225 Jewett
Ann Arbor, MI, 48104
734-665-9707
Mike Bittenbinder

Illi’s Auto Service (Ray)
401 w. Huron
Ann Arbor,MI, 48103
734-665-5011
Submitted by Bradley Cross

A couple of nods to:
Mike at Briarwood Amaco
3230 South State Street Ann Arbor MI48104
734-761-9494

Directly across State from the entrance to the Sheraton/Courtyard.


I really like Roger at Earlysville Auto outside of Charlottesville, VA. He’s located on Route 743, also called Earlysville Road, in the center of Earlysville, just northwest of the Charlottesville airport. He’s good and honest, but always has a large backlog of work, so he’s not fast.
Submitted by Matthew Crane


I’ve been going to Imperial Auto Service since about 1985. It has been owned continuously by the same three fellows, two brothers and a friend. I’ve always felt that they are honest, trustworthy and knowledgeable–never had to bring something back a second time.
Imperial Auto Service
2344 Dexter Road (just east of Maple Rd.)
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
734-761-3888
Submitted by Diane Aronoff

Second Opinion:
Actually, I went by your recommendation and did not have a good experience. I recently had my car repaired at Imperial Auto Service in Ann Arbor, MI. The distributor on my civic had died and I had to have the car towed there. They fixed the car, but charged me $400 for a rebuild when Honda sells the part new for $330 and a rebuild kit for $160. This is the first time that I have felt I would have gotten a better deal at the dealership. They also had unreliable hours. In summary, very unprofessional.
Submitted by Michael Rajala


This is a local shop, as the name suggests, they handle mostly Toyotas, but also other Japanese vehicles.
Mostly Toyotas
253 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
828-253-4981
Submitted by Ray Jones

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having noticed that Mostly Toyotas of Asheville, NC has made it to the Good Mechanics List, I felt compelled to share my experience on the flip side of the coin. I am the owner of a Toyota vehicle, and took it to Mostly Toyotas only once, having made the decision based on that single encounter that I would not give future business to this outfit. I initially felt that I was not given full respect, being female, which has not been an issue for me in many years. I was more than willing to work around this matter however, until a check of my oil upon the return of the vehicle showed that I had been charged for my requested oil change without the service having been provided. I called back to explain the situation, figuring that the shop had been particularly busy and the detail of the oil change overlooked. The woman that I spoke with insisted that the oil HAD been changed, and defended that in older cars, the oil becomes dirty more quickly than in newer cars. (My car is 11 years old.) This was the day after my oil had allegedly been changed, and the oil was the same jet black I had brought it is as, having been already overdue for a change, and down a quart. (I have a slow oil leak, and the car takes an ½ quart of oil with each gas fill up, about 300 miles.) She did eventually agree to look at the vehicle if I would bring it back, but gave me a date a week and a half in the future, and was so grudging of the concession that I did not feel comfortable returning my vehicle to their mercy.
Submitted by Audrey Davis


I highly recommend The Lusty Wrench,
2120 Lee Road,
Cleveland Heights, OH
216-371-8150.
Less than a mile from Cain Park.
Submitted by Paget Rose


I recommend Del’s Auto Service in Kansas City. Del McCollum is the best, as well as his assistant Ray. They’re located at 8016 Paseo.
816-333-2854

I also recommend Waldo Imports, 7222 Wornall, Kansas City, Mo, 816-361-6609. I don’t know their mechanics personally, but they’ve served my husband’s Honda for years and give good, reliable, honest service.
Submitted by Nancy Clark


My favorite local mechanic is George ( or Tony) at
5 Star Auto and Tire
4055 Louis Avenue
Holiday, FL.
His phone number is 727 942-2733.
Holiday is just north of Tarpon Springs, FL where I live.He’ll only do work that you really need. Once he gave me an estimate, lowered it later (after I gave him the go ahead) and when he was done, charged me less than the last estimate.
Submitted by Jack Roseman


Kramer’s Auto Electric and AC
Southwest corner of Broward Blvd. and State road 7 (Hyw 441)
Plantation, Florida (suburb of Ft. Lauderdale)
954 583-4998 or 954-792-6686
Ask for Frank or Frank Jr.

Been fixing my 88 Ford van and 89 Buick for years. Tell em’ Mr. Buehler sent you.

I know some other “mechanics”, but they fix things for the mob. You’re probably not interested in that.
Submitted by Carl Buehler


I love this mechanic:
O’Briens Automotive Service Center
629 Elm St.
Rockford, IL 61102
968-0302

They are very honest and charge fair prices.
Submitted by Deb Karash
Rockford, IL


Don’t know how many NAIA members would ever be traveling up in this neck of the woods but if so I have some information for Maine. I also ran across someone in North Carolina this past year, one in Jacksonville, Florida two years ago and yet another on Sanibel Island, Florida. This last one may no longer be in business though as businesses do change and it has been some time since my experience with him.
Let me know.
Beth Warner Photo

Definitely do a link to those Car Talk dudes Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, my heroes….I love their jokes…i.e. What do you call it when you throw a hand grenade into a French kitchen? Linoleum Blown Apart

Jim’s Service Center
Summer Street
Kennebunk, ME
207-985-4862

Owen Drive Service Center (only you pronounce it in North Carolina like Ohn Drive)
J.M. Peters (Owner)…a real character (and a mechanic on duty/24 hours)
2046 Owen Drive
Near Fayetteville
North Carolina
1-800-352-7415
910-678-2020
910-484-2101

Pep Boys
Jacksonville
Florida

Sanibel Servicecenters
MOBIL
Periwinkle Way
Sanibel Island
Florida
941-472-1878
914-472-2125


If you happen to run over an elk on a dark mountainous road in Utah one night on your way to Sausalito from Atlanta, don’t have your van towed to Jorgensen’s Ford (Richfield, UT). They replaced my radiator and did some other mechanical repairs to get me home to Atlanta, where the body work would be done. My Atlanta repair shop found that Jorgensen’s had put in a used, damaged radiator and charged me for a new one. They were surprised I made it home with it. And watch out for those elk-crossing and deer-crossing signs. They’re there for a reason (I’ve discovered, after having hit two cloven-hoofed beasts in my travels). My daughter says, Gee, Mom, now that you’ve gotten an elk and a deer, you can go to Africa and hit zebras and giraffes!

Those bear crossing signs in Florida were quite alarming.
Submitted by Margaret Dyer


I changed my muffler and tail pipe yesterday and am kind of proud of myself. Took only about 1/2 hour and no extra trips to the hardware store for the part I forgot to get. Usually I’m real slow, though, and don’t guarantee my work. I’ve been fortunate with vehicles going to shows (that’s just asking for it I suppose), but one year returning from Ann Arbor my old Volvo station wagon conked out in Western Iowa just around dusk. A highway crew was just knocking off for the day and radioed in to a shop in Adair, about 5 miles up the road. Then they gave me a lift into town, where I checked into a small, older, but clean motel. The next morning the owner drove into Omaha, almost an hour away, to get the timing belt and gear that had self destructed. I don’t remember the name of the garage, but it was the only one in town, and he didn’t charge me for the trip. This place was like going back to Mayberry. As I walked around town everyone who passed, waved. I had lunch in the cafe with the local farmers..about $3.50, including the best homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie in the universe. By then it was about 100 degrees out so I found the biggest shade tree around, and dozed till 2 when the job was done. Yep… next time you break down, do it near Adair, Iowa, and after, rather than before, the show.
Submitted by Bruce Teschner


JB Brown’s Auto Repair, 1105 Smokey Park Highway, Candler (just outside of Asheville), NC 28715, 828-670-1100.
A great guy who got me back on the road after the wheel fell off my van while driving on Interstate 40.
Submitted by Don Ament


I have two stories relating to The Road. Last year I had just finished Gasparilla and was returning to my winter studio in Ft. Lauderdale on Monday morning. I wasn’t feeling well when I got up and the pain in my abdomen continued to get worse. Halfway to Ft. Lauderdale (around Punta Gorda) I decided to use my cellular phone to call my significant other, J. B., to tell him I wasn’t feeling well and to try to make an appointment with a doctor for me. I continued to drive and started across Alligator Alley. The pain worsened until I was doubled over. I kept the cellular phone on. I did make it to Ft. Lauderdale where upon finding that I had a temperature of 104 deg., we called the doctor who told me to go to the hospital emergency room. My appendix had ruptured and I had it removed the next day. I had to cancel Miami Beach, but that was a good thing anyway!

My second story happened this year, again in Florida. After packing up Sunday night after Beaux Arts, I started North on I-95. In a very bad neighborhood in the North Miami area, I had a blow out, but was able to steer my van to the edge of the Interstate. Again, I had my cellular phone and called AAA. As I was waiting for AAA, a truck pulled up behind me and a man got out. Looking out of my side mirror with some trepidation, I finally recognized fellow artist, Richard Colavito. He had recognized me and my van on the side of the road, got off at the next exit and came back around to check on me. Richard stayed with me until the AAA truck came, which I really appreciated considering the neighborhood. Richard is not only an excellent artisan, but a very caring person. A policeman even stopped by to tell us that this was not a safe neighborhood, and then left! So, my advice is let’s keep an eye out for each other’s safety and keep that cellular phone nearby at all times. Happy Trails!
Submitted by Cynthia Davis.


Another artist and I were travelling from Canada to Idaho for a workshop in Rexburg. We had engine problems 100 miles away from our final destination. So close but, yet so far!! We encountered Big Bear Roadside Service in Dillon, Montana. Wonderful job!! It was Sunday and he tracked down a new water pump for us installed it in the rain at 2:00 AM and picked us up at our hotel and took us to the repaired car, then made sure we got back OK. He was great!

Made that expensive workshop in time and discovered that the people of the American midwest are hospitable and helpful and above all honest. So happy to have had such a good experience.
Submitted by Vivian Dere


I turn to Brown & Hart to keep my 1990 Dodge Caravan and 1996 Dodge Omni going. They’re located in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois – interstates 74 & 57 collide here, in the middle of the midwest. These two guys are like the National Public Radio duo from “Car Talk,” without the flair and national radio show. They’re as honest as the day is long, tell us when we’re driving with a real problem and when we’re driving with a problem that can be ignored for a while. They understand my show schedule and have never done anything that didn’t need to be done. They’re “no-frills” – but after driving a zillion makes/models, for non-warrantee work they’re my choice. I’ve been able to make it home to them with all my car troubles so far . . . knock on wood . . . but in the north/south corridor from Chicago to St. Louis to Memphis to Dallas, they’re a reliable place to take trouble in the Chicago/St. Louis trip.

Brown & Hart Automotive Enterprises
320 Water
Champaign, IL 61820
217-356-7440
Submitted by Cali Hobgood-Lemme


If you need mechanical help in the southwest corner of Michigan, I recommend O’Brien’s Battery and Expert Auto Service just outside Michigan City,IN. Located about 15 minutes from Exit 34B of I-94, they do a good, intelligent job on all types of service, not just batteries, and can accommodate large vehicles. Call 219-872-7878 for specific directions and throw yourself on Mark’s mercy. Maybe he will fit you in. Caution: bring a book. Once you are there, you are there. Nothing else around in this, oddly, primarily residential neighborhood.

O’Brien’s Battery and Expert Auto Service
Michigan City,IN
219-872-7878
Submitted by Eugenie Torgerson


Heading out to the new Portland, OR show? Try to break down in Pendleton, OR (off I-84) if possible! People come from hours away (even from Seattle!) to have Obie and his crew work on their vehicle. We were on the road in about an hour and a half. Nice folks and fair prices. The local Ford dealer (Pendleton Ford, 2225 Eastgate) referred us to Obie’s so they earn good points too, if you have a Ford.

Obie’s Import Repair
1114 S.W. Frazer
Pendleton, OR
541-276-2061

My local mechanic is a gem:
Michael’s Automotive Services
622 N. 8th St.
Boise, ID
208-344-4114
Submitted by Michael Hamilton


In Philadelphia:
Joe Sullivan at Palm Auto, Blair and E. Norris Sts.
Submitted by M.R. Daniels


If anyone has car problems along I-90 northwest of Chicago our local mechanic, Gene Pace, is about as reliable and conscientious as they come. His shop is in Gilberts, IL – just north of Elgin. His prices are in line with other reasonable repair operations in this area and he has the added bonus of being very sympathetic to the problems of dealing with car disasters. His phone # is 847-428-6300. (Unfortunately he can sometimes be also very busy if you need a repair on the spot.)
Submitted by Kathy Eaton


In Boone, NC it’s Frank at AAA Tire and Auto Center, 744 HWY.105 Extention, 828-264-8473.
Submitted by Banister Pope


Jon’s Import Auto Service, 707 S. Main St., Lexington, Va. 540-463-3711, pretty sure he’ll work on about anything, nice honest guy. Lexington is an I-81 location, if you are unfortunate enough to be driving on I-81 these days.
Submitted by Michael Kopald


Miller’s Auto Repair, 994 Blanding Blvd. Suite 116, Orange Park, FL 904-213-1180,
The owner was very nice. I received a quote for over $1000.00 and they repaired my Ford Tarus for $480.00. Just thought I would pass this along.
Submitted by Tammy


Sato’s Auto Repair Center
2029 W Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006


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