If a mechanic were to dream of opening a new shop....

Discussion in 'Other Repairs' started by loanwizard, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    What tools would they pick? From Hoists, to computer programs and diagnostics to specialty areas for profit, give me some ideas.

    Do you prefer asymetrical hoists, drive on? 2 ton enough or 12k?

    Alldata system by auto zone or other?

    Diagnostics?

    Tires, mufflers, alignment, AC,

    What would your dream shop look like?

    Size, parameters, setup, Bays, etc...

    Yes I am considering starting from scratch on a 50 x 150 lot.

    Thanks,
    Shawn
     
  2. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    I'm not a mick-a-neck, but I got a buddy that started a HotRod and Custom Shop... I usually swing by once a month and check out whats going on or lend a hand with something.... His place is a little different from what your wanting to do, but here is a Couple Things I noticed from his place:

    You NEVER have enough room heh.. He built his bldg larger than what he thought he needed, and was going to use half for storage. He is now finishing construction on another bldg, Larger than first, just for storage :wink:
    He has one of those lifts you drive under, put the arms under car, then it lifts... Works great, but you loose height from the cross bar on top...
    I'm sure you aware of this already, but don't skimp on tools. Your going to have to spend some big $$ on QUALITY tools.. Welders, Grinders, floor jacks, huge Air Compressors, and LOTS of bench space all a must.

    Be sure to keep an area to store cars when customers delay payment and you gotta keep their car until they do :roll_eyes:
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Skimp on tools? Dont skimp on a lot.:lol:
    50x150 sounds too small for a business whos business is cars.
     
  4. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    i would want a side arm lift, a twin post lift, and if you are going to do exhaust you want a drive on ramp type lift.

    from my experience with autozone i would buy nothing from them. altho i have over 30k in hand tools alone, with the majority far and away snap-on, they have dropped me in the grease so many times i wouldn't buy from them either.

    snap-on makes excellent tools. if you have a good dealer that has been in place for awhile, give them a shot if you can afford it. they have the highest priced tools in the industry.

    look into mitchell on demand for tech info. pretty good system.
    talk to some shops that use high end diagnostics in your area to find out what works for them, and don't forget to ask about the service they get from their provider.
     
  5. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    Shawn, take a stroll around an area auto shop to see what works. Take your car to get "looked at" and eyeball the items you see. This may helps ya.

    Good luck with the new venture.
     
  6. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    just occurred to me, you probably will be hiring a wrench bender to run/work the place and not actually doing it yourself?????

    Most good mechanics around here have and prefer to use their own tools..As Phil pointed out, most of them have THOUSANDS and thousands invested in their tools. Usually install the chest first day:tounge_out:... If so, you can concentrate your $$ on the big "Shop" items like the lifts, compressors, Diags, etc, and speciality tools... Also, if your doing exhaust, you'll need a good pipe bender, cutoff wheel, etc etc..
     
  7. loanwizard

    loanwizard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,297
    State:
    Coshocton,
    Thanks for the answers. I already own a shop. I rent the current facility. When the lease was renewed the landlord raised the rent and told me that as a landlord myself that I understood he had to raise the rent until I screamed.... Well, this is me screaming.... I made an offer on a parcel today and plan to erect a 50 x 60 or so building. I need 2 to 3 bays with a detail area, probably build some storage area up in the 2nd story, and wanted to know some preferences. There will be a small office and I need space to park 14 Buy Here Pay Here Automobiles. It is on an alley so I can have doors on 3 sides. Yes it is a little small but the entire car operation is not going there. I already own a duplex 2 doors down (22 x 150) and when the eighty something year old folks in between move or pass I will buy theirs (28x150) and then I can expand.

    I am looking for the best diagnostic scanner out there for import and domestic, (must be upgradable) and a couple of hoists. I doubt I'll do muffler work (unless it is seriously profitable) same with tire work. Just lookinf for ideas. I haven't even talked with my manager yet. All in due time and of course my brothers of the BOC are first. Just looking for some ideas.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Shawn, Every muffler shop around here makes some serious money from their shops.
     
  9. Rastus

    Rastus Active Member

    Messages:
    158
    State:
    North Central, Missouri
    this is something I could dream about hummm. A good seceratary is hard to come by and your not getting paid by hour to answer the phone. I would like to see shops provide 3/4" drive tools and hand tools over 1 1/2" sockets and wrenches. At least 1 bench that does not move with a good quality vise on it. What ever kind of press is in the shop it is always a good idea to make sure it has a pressure guage on it but prefer hydraulic presses over air operated. I would skip the cleaner systems that are out there as an alternative to solvent, but I have seen shops that will cut expenses by using sawdust instead of floor dry although this may cause some grumbling from the mechanics. Tie downs like d-rings on chain in a pipe that is flush with the concrete would be usefull for straighting and bending steel. It would be a booster to a car shop to always keep an eye out for a dealership technician that has been around for vechile repair for 15-20 yrs. and they would like to get out on their own, they would bring in a vast amount of experience and probably a few customers that are tired of paying high shop rates while some young guy straight out of tech school works on thier vechile, like myself,:oops: lol.
     
  10. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    For a diagnostic scanner I would suggest the snap-on solus or modis. The solus will do everything you need it to do. The modis is a setup up with a lot of electrical testing capabilities. Both units are upgradeable. I would also suggest All Data thru Autozone it is a great program. Mitchell on demand is also a good one. Talk to the commercial manager at Autozone they have a program that pays part of the subscription for All Data depending on the amount you spend with them on parts. As far as lifts two post lifts are the most versital. I would suggest at least 10,000 pounds. The smaller ones will not lift bigger trucks. For heating if you plan do to a good bit of oil changes you may want to look into a Clean Burn waste oil furnace. They work great and save you a ton in heating cost.
     
  11. Rookie12

    Rookie12 New Member

    Messages:
    1,324
    State:
    Kannapolis, NC
    I work in a truck shop that was started by my dad. he sold it, but still runs it. Mechanics will have their own "everyday" tools as I've got thousands invested in mind. Shops usually provide all specialty tools, which will very depending on what you are working on. For diag. tools, we have a genisys by OTC and it is the best thing going. It is upgradable and can do anything you want it to. If you get one, then I suggest getting some training on it. We got ours through NAPA and they had a free training seminar a while back which I could not attend, but wanted to. Mitchell on demand is a great site and we use it a lot on smaller stuff, mainly pickups and smaller diesel engines. Bigger tools, such as 3/4" drive stuff is suplied by the shop. For lifts, man there are so many, you need to figure out what you want to do and get what works best fo you. It also helps to have a flat bay or two in the shop. Tire work and muffler work can be extremely proitable, but the equipment is expenxive to get started. Another thing I would tell you is to hook up with a good parts place to keep you stocked. We ue NAPA and are extrmenly happy with them. Our rep. bends over backwards every week for us and we gat a pretty good discount on stuff too. Good luck and if you need any other info. let me know. Also keep in mind that making 15% profit is considered good in the auto. repair business. Offer companies service contracts and do whatever you can to get business. Keep the bays full and mechanics busy and you will do fine! Dad had his business 20 years before he sold it and it had ups and downs so be ready. Good luck!