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Planning to start my own car repair shop, any owners here?

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All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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Have you worked on other peoples cars while being paid before?
I have. The only things I haven't worked is engine, transmission or replaced tires. I've even installed radios and audio systems, with amps and pre amps, done suspension work, coilovers, replace all kinds of parts. Honestly I like that $hit, I'm half way my Auto Repair Technician classes that I take online, after that I'll take my ASE certification.

The only reason I kept it in the back burner, was because I have almos 10 years in the engineering field and I felt it was a waste of those years. This Saturday I'm starting to help a guy in mechanic shop, I won't charge anything, just to feel how it is.

Just look how great I am, that I retrofitted a projector headlight into my card that had reflector one, I opened them up and bought all the parts, and it turned out great. And other projects like that on my car on other people.

 

jaygreenb

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I have. The only things I haven't worked is engine, transmission or replaced tires. I've even installed radios and audio systems, with amps and pre amps, done suspension work, coilovers, replace all kinds of parts. Honestly I like that $hit, I'm half way my Auto Repair Technician classes that I take online, after that I'll take my ASE certification.

The only reason I kept it in the back burner, was because I have almos 10 years in the engineering field and I felt it was a waste of those years. This Saturday I'm starting to help a guy in mechanic shop, I won't charge anything, just to feel how it is.

Just look how great I am, that I retrofitted a projector headlight into my card that had reflector one, I opened them up and bought all the parts, and it turned out great. And other projects like that on my car on other people.

It is your life, you got to go after what you want. Only you know what type of commitment and dedication you apply towards it. Would just suggest, try to make informed and realistic decisions while taking into account suggestions from those who have done it before. It can save you a lot of time, money and headaches. I completely switched industries at 30, would not consider time prior as wasted just by all the lessons I learned that were applied later. I would bet some of that would apply to you as well. Anyway, good luck with your endeavors
 

SW15

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@All_Kindz_Of_Gainz
I have a wealth of experience in this field. My family owned a auto parts store, I worked at a 5 product line dealership in the shop for several years, my exwife's family owned their own repair shop. I've been in a ton of automotive repair shops. I have several friends that own them, as well as have a tenant that operates a shop out of a building I lease to him. I have a big shop for my personal stuff, can fix anything that breaks on them. I own every tool they ever made. I prefer to fix all my schitt myself. I've also built high performance cars from the ground up.

I highly recommend going to work under someone at a large facility. You can learn a ton that will benefit you and make yourself more profitable.
When you recommend going to work under someone at a large facility, what do you consider a large facility? I'm guessing you'd consider any dealer service department a large facility. Would you consider a chain like Firestone or Meineke a large facility as well? My guess is that most independent, one location facilities don't meet the definition of large facility.

In general, I think it is better for anyone interested in auto repair to work at some sort of established facility, whether it is a one location independent, some chain type place, or a dealership rather than start their own.

All of the established shops struggle to find guys that want to work on cars these days.

Go to work at a dealership, they will send you to GM, Ford, Honda, whatever school for free. They will also send you to ASE school to get certified in certain areas. At a dealership There will be guys with years of knowledge that will help you out if you are willing to learn. Their health insurance and paid time off plan will be a helluvalot better than getting health insurance on your own.
Every type of facility is struggling to find people to work on cars. To a lesser extent, facilities are even challenged to find competent service advisors.

In auto repair, your advice of working at established facilities is better for someone starting from scratch and is likely younger (under age 25) with no academic credentialing to his name. @All_Kindz_Of_Gainz already works in engineering and has at least a bachelor's degree. Walking away from all that would be difficult.

Another option is that @All_Kindz_Of_Gainz could buy an established independent, facility from some retiring Boomer. The advantages here are that he doesn't have to buy much in the way of equipment initially and he already has a customer base from the retiring Boomer who has likely operated the business for the last 20-30+ years. The downsides are that it will be expensive to buy an established business (likely requiring a bank loan) and that finding an auto repair facility for sale from an aging Boomer would not be easy.

The easy money in automotive repair is made replacing timing belts, starters, hoses, 75-100K maintenance, brakes, alternators, a/c repair.
All true. You didn't mention alignments either and that's also a profitable repair. Since the late 2000s, people have been keeping their cars longer. Average and median age of cars on the road has been increasing. All those repairs you mentioned become even more relevant as a car ages. Some cars don't have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Belts need replacement, chains rarely do.
 

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EyeBRollin

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It’s also a field that is gradually phasing out. California is the first state to ban new ICE sales. Other states will follow. Electric vehicles have virtually no maintenance. It’s just fixing computer shvt and tires. They don’t even use their friction brakes.
 

BackInTheGame78

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It’s also a field that is gradually phasing out. California is the first state to ban new ICE sales. Other states will follow. Electric vehicles have virtually no maintenance. It’s just fixing computer shvt and tires. They don’t even use their friction brakes.
All the mechanics I know who are over 60 are basically broken shells from having their body in unnatural positions day after day for hours at a time. Hell, even a few of the younger ones I know have serious back issues from leaning over cars all day.

I just don't see where the reward is. Maybe if OP were to open up multiple shops and own them and do work here and there. But doing all the work on your own?

It's OPs life but it doesn't make much sense to me. OP is taking on a lot of risk for very little reward on top of being basically disabled by the time you retire and dealing with chronic conditions. And I am sure breathing in all those solvents and whatever else all day long probably isn't good for your health either
 

All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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All the mechanics I know who are over 60 are basically broken shells from having their body in unnatural positions day after day for hours at a time. Hell, even a few of the younger ones I know have serious back issues from leaning over cars all day.

I just don't see where the reward is. Maybe if OP were to open up multiple shops and own them and do work here and there. But doing all the work on your own?

It's OPs life but it doesn't make much sense to me. OP is taking on a lot of risk for very little reward on top of being basically disabled by the time you retire and dealing with chronic conditions. And I am sure breathing in all those solvents and whatever else all day long probably isn't good for your health either
Most men mechanics or not have massive health problems and are fat slobs, my dad is 74, spent her who life working in the farm, with animals, bending down, digging holes, sweating his a$$ off and has no pain in any of his bones.

I'll be okay don't worry, I won't spend my life working for other people like a waggie. But again most men have no aspirations or have kids and/or wives who will be difficult make those kind of decisions.
 

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The Duke

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When you recommend going to work under someone at a large facility, what do you consider a large facility? I'm guessing you'd consider any dealer service department a large facility. Would you consider a chain like Firestone or Meineke a large facility as well? My guess is that most independent, one location facilities don't meet the definition of large facility.

All true. You didn't mention alignments either and that's also a profitable repair. Since the late 2000s, people have been keeping their cars longer. Average and median age of cars on the road has been increasing. All those repairs you mentioned become even more relevant as a car ages. Some cars don't have timing belts. Some have timing chains. Belts need replacement, chains rarely do.
Yes, most any dealership service department with 10 bays or larger would be a great opportunity. Also a dealership that sells multiple product lines. The one I used to work for sold Honda, Mazda, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, and Dodge Trucks so I got to work on all of them. The lead guys specialized in one brand or another usually, just because it makes you more proficient.

I wouldn't recommend Firestone or Meineke. They are very limited on the type of work they can do. They don't hire the smartest guys. They aren't going to send you to training at one of the schools the automotive manufacturers have.

The problem with alignment services is you need an alignment rack to do wheel alignments. The rack will take up an entire bay and that's about all its good for. You can't do much service work off an alignment rack other than alignments. Really easy to spend $50K on a top brand like Hunter.

Most all top mechanics I know started at a dealership. Several went on to start their own businesses.

Its also pretty common for a guy to work for a private individual shop and end up buying the place when the owner wants to retire. The owner typically finances a good portion of the deal as well.
 
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BackInTheGame78

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Most men mechanics or not have massive health problems and are fat slobs, my dad is 74, spent her who life working in the farm, with animals, bending down, digging holes, sweating his a$$ off and has no pain in any of his bones.

I'll be okay don't worry, I won't spend my life working for other people like a waggie. But again most men have no aspirations or have kids and/or wives who will be difficult make those kind of decisions.
Has nothing to do with that, the risk reward is tilted very heavily in favor of risk.

Not sure how taking on a ton of risk for 84K a year IF you do well with no insurance or other benefits is worth it, but I guess if you hate your career, maybe it is to you.
 
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All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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Several went on to start their own businesses.
Any blue collar guy should start his own business at some point, not being stuck earning $30/hr tops when he knows pretty much everything in the market.

Has nothing to do with that, the risk reward is tilted very heavily in favor of risk.
Whatever you say dude, you win.
 

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The Duke

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@All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

When you say you will fix anything except engine/transmission. Does that mean you won't open up an engine/transmission for internal repair? But you will do diagnostics on the system sensors that monitor engine/transmission?

What type of engineering degree do you have? BSME?
 

All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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@All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

When you say you will fix anything except engine/transmission. Does that mean you won't open up an engine/transmission for internal repair? But you will do diagnostics on the system sensors that monitor engine/transmission?

What type of engineering degree do you have? BSME?
I said in the beginning I wouldn't focus on that while it takes off, light mechanics. Although I could with the right training and expanding the business.

Industrial engineering is my degree, focused on manufacturing, designing, fabrication and installation.

But its fine, I have a vision and I'll pursue it.

Mods can close the thread, since there are no shop owners in here who can answer my questions.
 

BackInTheGame78

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Any blue collar guy should start his own business at some point, not being stuck earning $30/hr tops when he knows pretty much everything in the market.


Whatever you say dude, you win.
Knowing how to be a mechanic and owning a business are two completely different skill sets.

A person MAY do well at both but they may also do terrible at owning a business. There is a reason why a huge percentage of new businesses fail, because people think it's "easy". It's not...and there is way more stuff to think about than just what you are doing or selling.

Similar to how so many NFL coordinators are terrible head coaches. Coordinators are responsible for their side of the ball and football related stuff. Head Coach is like being a CEO and 50-60% of what your time is spent on is not football related, at least not directly.

If you think running a business is going to be simple because you know how to fix cars you are in for a rude awakening. It's also funny to hear people saying they "don't have to work for someone else", but seem to not realize that for the first few years you'll be working 24/7 and not able to do much else. Work is work, no matter who it's for and I'd rather have free time.
 

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The Duke

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I said in the beginning I wouldn't focus on that while it takes off, light mechanics. Although I could with the right training and expanding the business.

Industrial engineering is my degree, focused on manufacturing, designing, fabrication and installation.

But its fine, I have a vision and I'll pursue it.

Mods can close the thread, since there are no shop owners in here who can answer my questions.
I asked the question to better understand because you weren't exactly clear.

You will struggle if you think you can rent a building and make a living changing oil and doing brake jobs. You going to sit and wait on the parts store to bring your parts while a car has your stall tied up that you can't work on while your waiting on the parts store? And if you tell me you are going to be working on the car, well what happens when you have it torn down and the parts that show up are wrong and you can't get them for 3 days? There are a ton of things you haven't thought of because you lack experience and discount other peoples advice when you should just listen to it.

Go work for somebody, get some more experience so you are more well rounded and have a broader skillset, then go on your own. And a big shop will pay for your ASE training.

You are too stubborn, hard headed, and get upset too easily. Here you are once again, too proud to consider any advice that doesn't fit your agenda or mindset. Many times you have shown this. You have a lot to learn.
 
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All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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There are a ton of things you haven't thought of because you lack experience and discount other peoples advice when you should just listen to it.
I asked for advice on shop owners, none of you are, so the advice is invalid.

Go work for somebody, get some more experience so you are more well rounded and have a broader skillset, then go on your own. And a big shop will pay for your ASE training.
Like I mentioned, I'll get my ASE and work on the weekends for free, but then I'm going my own shop.

You will struggle if you think you can rent a building and make a living changing oil and doing brake jobs. You going to sit and wait on the parts store to bring your parts while a car has your stall tied up that you can't work on while your waiting on the parts store? And if you tell me you are going to be working on the car, well what happens when you have it torn down and the parts that show up are wrong and you can't get them for 3 days?
Those are valid points to consider.

You have a lot to learn.
LOL, don't worry, I'm don't have a baby momma or have kids, with a nice career to fall back if things go bad. I'm ahead of 99% men of all ages. You'll be the first one I send my business card to when I open my shop, but hey, only the best prices on the market.
 

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sangheilios

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Yo, wtf is up with this god damn thread. Literally every response has been incredibly reasonable and well thought out, especially @The Duke and @BackInTheGame78 plus myself lol. Hell, @BackInTheGame78 I've argued with on here a lot but he brings up a ton of valid points. The response to all of this is this jackass just getting defensive for no reason.
 

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What do you do? Cause if you wanna spend all your life working for somebody else and not building something for yourself, that's sad. Unless you have daddy's money, in that case you shouldn't even be posting in this post.

Edit: I just remembered that you're one of the guys in here who pays for escorts, thanks for posting but I don't really take your advice seriously.
LOL It's something I did ONCE in my life literally years ago and I've posted about my opinions related to seeing sex workers, it's not something I believe in. With that said, that has 0 relevance to anything that I've discussed on here.
 

sangheilios

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All the mechanics I know who are over 60 are basically broken shells from having their body in unnatural positions day after day for hours at a time. Hell, even a few of the younger ones I know have serious back issues from leaning over cars all day.

I just don't see where the reward is. Maybe if OP were to open up multiple shops and own them and do work here and there. But doing all the work on your own?

It's OPs life but it doesn't make much sense to me. OP is taking on a lot of risk for very little reward on top of being basically disabled by the time you retire and dealing with chronic conditions. And I am sure breathing in all those solvents and whatever else all day long probably isn't good for your health either
You bring up a very valid point here that applies to all trades, it was something I touched upon earlier.

As you mentioned, you are very often in uncomfortable and unnatural positions for extended periods of time week in and week out. Some trades are naturally going to be much harder on the body than others, first one that immediately comes to mind is carpentry. You are also very likely to be in uncomfortable work conditions as well. HVAC for instance you are going to be in high demand during the summer when everyone's ACs get cooked, which is typically their busy season. I'd say out of all the main trades you see something like electrical wouldn't be all that bad if you are mostly working in the residential sector.

These factors should definitely be considered for longer term career moves or for those that are getting older. You can get away with anything at 21 lol, but when you start approaching 50 you are going to find that your back starts hurting more, your knees may ache, etc. This could potentially limit how much you could work for sure.
 

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SW15

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Yes, most any dealership service department with 10 bays or larger would be a great opportunity. Also a dealership that sells multiple product lines. The one I used to work for sold Honda, Mazda, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, and Dodge Trucks so I got to work on all of them. The lead guys specialized in one brand or another usually, just because it makes you more proficient.

Most all top mechanics I know started at a dealership. Several went on to start their own businesses.
A 10 bay repair facility is difficult to find outside of a dealership. I can't think of too many non-dealership facilities that would have 10 bays.

You had a good variety of car brands at that dealership.

I wouldn't recommend Firestone or Meineke. They are very limited on the type of work they can do. They don't hire the smartest guys. They aren't going to send you to training at one of the schools the automotive manufacturers have.
Meineke, Midas, and Jiffy Lube are all franchises. I think Firestone is corporate owned. OP could become a franchisee of one of those franchised shops if he could find a franchise/franchises for sale, but that's not that great of a path.

The points are true there.

Its also pretty common for a guy to work for a private individual shop and end up buying the place when the owner wants to retire. The owner typically finances a good portion of the deal as well.
It's probably difficult to find an auto repair shop to buy on the open market.
 

All_Kindz_Of_Gainz

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50 you are going to find that your back starts hurting more
By that age any blue collar worker should have a business and people working for him, or some kind of high income on the side.

A 50 years old guy working as mechanic still and not managing his business is just a guy who didn't plan accordingly.

Like many old engineers, 50-60 years old working for another person's company for a wage, instead of expanding themselves and building something where can slowly phase out and just take of managerial taks.

You know why is that? Cause they're working with the old set of rules, get a job, have a family, get old in a job that will give you the privilege of earning an underpaid wage and 2 weeks of PTO, and if he gets laid off, good job getting another one at that age, that's why they prefer to svck off their bosses than running the risk of getting fired, that's a ****ing embarrassment. And I won't be one of those men.

To tell you more, immigrants develop business, construction, electricity, car shops, rent houses, restaurants, painting houses, cutting grass, cleaning houses and offices, doing nails, hair, and they have way more money, have their houses paid off, nice cars, have people working for them, than americans who are citizens with all that privilege, that's the biggest embarrassment of all.
 
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