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Plano Star Courier
Nov 28, 1996
By Sally Gruss
Free Brake, Alignment Testing To Be Part Of Every Car-Repair Order
Continued excellence in customer service, business growth, staff reorganization for efficient use of skilled staff, new and expanded facilities all reflect the excellence found in every aspect at The Auto Shop, 2560 E Plano Parkway.

In addition, owner Jerry Kezhaya, continues to purchase the best and newest car care equipment. His newest is a B400 Hunter Engineering Plate Brake Tester, which is on order for delivery in December.

Kezhaya said he will test every car without charge that comes into his shop for repair. He noted that it's a safety issue with him.

"The brakes and suspension system are two items that will get you hurt if you don't get them taken care of," he advised.

He explained that this new equipment, purchased at a cost of $35,000, tests the brake system and alignment without taking anything apart. He said the car is driven over a ramp where a computer analyzes its performance in 30 seconds or less.

This equipment can pick up on problems other methods of analysis can miss. One example is rear-to-front weight shifting during braking which the equipment can pick up just as it would occur on the road. It identifies problems that cannot be detected by wheel-off inspection. Defects such as dragging brake, left-to-right imbalance and front-to-rear imbalance can be detected. The equipment presents a comprehensive, full color read-out for ease in explanation to the car owner by the mechanic.

The obvious dedication to excellence in every aspect of auto repair and customer service is reflected in The Auto Shop overall business increase.

"It's grown 30 to 50 percent over every month one year ago," according to Kezhaya.

"We just keep growing," said Kezhaya who began the business in Plano 15 years ago. He has guided it's growth through four moves to the present 35,00 square-foot facility, which houses 63 work bays, an in-house parts department and a $65,000 alignment center.

However, business increases have not made Kezhaya a workaholic. In fact, he has recently made a change in the shop's business hours.

The shop will no longer be open on Saturdays. It was a decision he made with some mixed feelings, he said. He observed that in the area few certified technicians have Saturday hours and he was concerned that people might not get professional service, the kind his customers are used to from his staff, all ASE certified by the National Institute of Automobile Service Excellence.

However, first and foremost, a family man, father of a six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter, he decided he'd like to have more time with the family.

"It's simple. I think family's very important. After all, we are a family business," he explained.

The business hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

He made the change beginning July 1. When he announced it to his customers, he included a message of regard for their understanding that it would be of benefit to all the families of The Auto Shop staff.

Kezhaya has also made some management changes that reflect the overriding commitment to customer service. The staff has been realigned into a management team with a single individual in charge of each division: a sales manager, shop manager, parts manager and office manager.

"If there's a question or a problem, one person is directly involved in every job in that area and will know the answer."

"For a parts question, instead of going to the general manager, he now goes directly to the parts manager. It's faster, it's more accurate."

"It's better customer service," Kezhaya said.

With that in mind, Kezhaya and six members of his management staff have started a management training class. The four-month course has given them additional interpretation of how customers view aspects of car repairs.

He noted that statistics show that car owners are skeptical of benefits of factory scheduled maintenance. He said their classes brought out six good reasons for the maintenance with specific benefits: safety, reliability, maintenance of warranty, better resale value, prevention of frequent, costly breakdown and protection of investment.

With concern and care of the customer, it's no surprise that The Auto Shop recently won a most prestigious honor, on in a long list of honors awarded to the shop over the last several years.

The Texas division of American Automobile Association (AAA) presented the automotive repair shop with a certificate of achievement for receiving a 100 percent satisfaction rating from all it's customers.

"This (recognition by AAA) just means that we have to work harder," said Jerry Kezhaya

"We have all the state-of-the-art computer and diagnostic equipment available," Kezhaya said. "We have to because cars are so complicated these days. If a car is loaded with computers, it's going to take that kind of equipment to fix the problem. We put all our profits back into the company."

"High-tech equipment is essential to being in business today, but sometimes it just takes some common sense," he said. "You have to listen to the customer."

Kezhaya and his staff have done everything to make the operation customer friendly, as well as efficient, accurate and credible. In addition, Kezhaya said he has not raised his shop hourly rate in three years.

He and his staff offer many extra services and amenities. They have a courtesy shuttle service. They have a computerized record of each auto's mechanical history. Towing is available. Rental cars can be obtained. The shop has a safe children's play area, a kitchen clean restrooms and a waiting room stocked with current magazines.

For further information call The Auto Shop at 972-578-0588 or view the web page at

The business hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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