Expanded import service is boon for Oakville
Oakville, Mo.—Bill Morris, owner of Oakville Automotive, says his shop is on pace for a record year of sales in 2017. Credit for some of that success comes in part to the increased amount of import vehicles being serviced in recent years.
“We are an all makes shop that can handle just about anything, which means we aren’t afraid to tackle European and Asian vehicles to go along with our domestic services,” Morris said.
As a result, Morris and his staff are equipped and trained to diagnose and repair many import pattern failures.
“We see quite a few pattern failures when it comes to servicing imports. We see a lot of Kia hub bearing failures, which require replacement of the assembly, as well as flex pipe failures. Nissan ignition coil failures are also common, which requires replacement. We don’t recommend just replacing the one failing either. Sooner or later the other ones are going to follow, so it is wise to replace them all. Honda catalytic converters frequently need replacement, too,” he said.
The shop has invested in a Snap-on Modis Edge, which is a combination scan tool and scope. It has the capabilities to diagnose most Asian vehicles as well as European models. “We also use a Mastertech VCI for some factory Toyota and Honda capabilities. Our go-to oscilloscope is the MT-5100 from Mastertech. That is really all we need to get the job done,” Morris said.
Oakville Automotive prefers OEM parts in most repairs, especially when it comes to servicing imports. There are some quality aftermarket options such as WORLDPAC, but “we feel that it is best to put on the part that is most like what is coming off. It just leads to less warranty claims in our opinion,” he said.
Import parts are primarily sourced from Weiss Toyota, Mungenast Honda and Suntrup for Volkswagen, Nissan and Hyundai. “When we go aftermarket, we are using mostly WORLDPAC from Advance Auto Parts. Other parts come from South County Auto Parts, which also stocks us with our normal service supplies like bulbs, wipers and filters.”
One thing that Morris has noticed when it comes to import owners is how routine maintenance-oriented they are.
“Most import owners come through the door and already have decided that maintenance is really important to them. These are their daily drivers that get them the best gas mileage and they want them to last a long time.”
For maintenance, Morris recommends BG products, which Oakville Automotive has carried for more than 25 years.
“We stand behind this product, because it works. There’s no doubt that using the products at the recommended intervals will add life and increased performance to a vehicle and BG will stand behind it as well. They offer lifetime protection benefits if the customer maintains their service records and follows the recommended intervals. This is right up our import customer’s alley.”
Oakville Automotive opened in 1981 under the guidance of Jim Stevens and Phil Briesacher. Morris came on board in June of 1989 working in the shop alongside current Service Adviser Brad Eggemeyer. Morris would eventually purchase the shop 10 years later in 1999. The 2,500-square-foot shop has four bays equipped with Rotary and Aamco lifts, as well as an in-ground lift system.
GoFundMe support for technician
Recently the shop received some devastating news in that long-time Technician Paul VanGorkom had been diagnosed with a very rare form of brain cancer. They have since hired a new technician but this is something that no shop owner is prepared for, Morris said.
“We hadn’t really experienced anything like this so it was tough. Paul is doing OK and really appreciates all the support from friends in the industry,” added Morris. A GoFundMe page has been started to support VanGorkom and his family and can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/pauls-brain-cancer-fundraiser.