West Sacramento shop drives business with NAPA name, diagnostics
West Sacramento, Calif.—By putting a value on training and knowledge, Broadway Auto Service has built a reputation for being skilled in automotive diagnostics, thereby saving its customers time and money. Today, the shop is busy all the time, but things didn’t start out easily at the beginning.
When the shop’s owner Terry Nagra immigrated to Sacramento in 1976 from Fiji, he didn’t know what his job would be or if he could even land one. He was 23 and although he worked at a bank in his hometown of Nadi, all he could do in the U.S. was pump gas and wash windows at a gas station that his brother in law owned, he said.
While other young men would have been dissuaded by a lack of good employment, Nagra kept working hard and learned everything he could about mechanical repair and diagnostics. “There was a little two-bay shop where I was working, so I would go over there to see the mechanics in action,” Nagra said. “I was instantly interested in the business, so I took as many classes as I could to learn about things like basic car maintenance, air conditioning, brakes, smog testing and tune-ups. I went to the local Chevron-sponsored school, then to junior college and also to a place called the Skill Center to learn how to fix cars. I was so proud of myself when I put brake pads on a car for the first time, it was a great feeling.”
When the owner of the gas station closed his mechanical shop to open up a mini-market, Nagra seized the moment and took a shot. “It was scary, but I knew I had the knowledge,” he said. “Those bays were just sitting there and not being used, so I decided why not?”
He opened the shop 35 years ago in downtown Sacramento, until he moved to his current location in West Sacramento in 2007. Today, Broadway Auto Service has six lifts, four technicians and his daughter, Veena, who runs the front office. As a NAPA AutoCare Center, he gets a wide range of customers that value the NAPA name and its warranties, he said, but one of his shop’s real strengths is its ability to diagnose a wide range of different vehicles.
Nagra has a variety of diagnostic tools to service a wide range of vehicles, he said. “We use Mitchell OnDemand, AllData, and Identifix and utilize Snap-On scanners. ,” he said. Our lead techs are good at troublehsooting vehicle symptoms and this is where training and education come into play. NAPA offers diagnostic training and we’ve been going to TecHelp in Concord. Diagnostics is something that you have to continually learn about to be able to stay ahead of it.”
A large part of Broadway’s workload comes from fleet work as Nagra and his crew work on a wide range of vehicles from local and state government agencies. “We get a large amount of trucks, vans and cars from the Department of General Services that maintain most of the state’s vehicles,” Nagra said. “We also work on vehicles from the California Highway Patrol, West Sacramento Police Department and others. They are all primarily domestic cars, so we have become very adept at diagnosing and fixing them fast and that’s why they like working with us.”
It’s been a great journey and Nagra said he would not want it any other way. “I knew nothing about this business and today I am proud of what I have achieved,” he said. “If you want to get involved in this industry, the training and education is there and shops are always looking for good people who are smart and will work hard. This country gives everyone an opportunity if we want to do something and I’m an example of that.”