KENT, Wash. - Tired of paying high-priced mechanics to fix your fan belt? Here's something that will get your engine running.
George Patterson is just greasin' the skids on a new concept in car repair, where you rent a bay by the hour or the day and fix your fix yourself. The end result: less overhead for a little more of your time under the hood.
"People can save easily 50 to 70 percent doing it themselves," says Patterson, who is the first to admit he's no mechanic.
"No not at all. I was actually in health care so my hands are very soft," he jokes.
But the savings are no joke. Sticker shock on his own car repairs inspired him.
"I took my truck in to get a tune-up and I was quoted over $600 for a tune-up. When I looked at the parts and what the parts alone cost, it was less than $200."
And his business was born. The how-to is a big part of the do-it-yourself concept. So Patterson has a computer set up that allows you to look up your car and get step-by-step instructions on how to do the repair.
Nineteen-year-old Nick Campbell's in the middle of replacing his car's blown out engine at Self Service Garage. He's got his directions for one very complicated fix, one he couldn't afford to do if he didn't do it himself.
"If I had taken it to a shop it would've cost anywhere from 1200 to 1500 bucks on top of the costs of all the engine parts," says Campbell.
Patterson also provides the tools and the togs, you provide the elbow grease. And Patterson has mobile mechanics on call to help you should you get stuck.
And Self Serve Garage is green. Patterson contracts with a company that takes waste transmission fluid and oil from his customers' repairs.
Time is money and money is tight. Patterson hopes he's providing the tools to bring out the grease monkey in all of us.
The bays range from $24 per hour to as much as $300 per day. For more information on pricing, visit their website at www.selfservegarage.com