By Kristin Boza
For people who are still toiling away working from home, learning from home, and getting all essentials delivered to home, COVID-19 has definitely changed the way we use our vehicles. Since commutes are curtailed and road trips are on hold, it’s common to have our cars sit idle for days at a time. While it’s nice to save on gas, it’s actually really bad for our cars to be run consistently.
These neighborhood car care businesses are among the Best of Beverly/Morgan Park and are highly recommended for any repair or maintenance services.
Brach’s Auto Center.
Brach’s Auto Center, 10333 S. Western, offers a full range of vehicle repair services. The shop places a high value on customer service, ensuring that clients know exactly what’s going on with their cars. Every technician is ASE-Certified, and they receive ongoing training in auto repair services.
Brach’s state-of-the-art Digital Vehicle Inspection is conducted on all vehicles that enter the shop. The inspection classifies vehicle parts into three stages: Green for all items that are good-to-go; yellow services due in the future; and red for services or repairs that are needed immediately. Red stage issues are photographed and emailed to the customer so they can see exactly what the problem is.
“The inspection is done first and emailed to the customer with a follow-up phone call explaining the concerns,” said owner Gary Brach. “Then, we discuss pricing and the dangers of what may occur if the work isn’t completed. If any services are postponed to a future date, a detailed estimate of parts and labor is printed and handed to the customer at the time of pick-up.”
The team also reaches out again to thank customers, and sends follow-up email or postcard is within 30 days of the next service needed, usually with a discount offer.
“I think what sets us apart is our friendly and complete explanation of any and all issues that may be related to a customer’s vehicle,” Brach said.
Brach cautions those who aren’t driving much due to COVID to get out and drive their car at least once a week. “This is a concern because vehicles are made and designed to be driven regularly, which keeps all components free from condensation that causes rust pitting and deterioration,” he said. “Be sure to drive the car far enough and long enough to warm up all components to avoid some of these issues.”
Find out more: 773-238-0606 or BrachsAutoCenter.com
Beverly Hills Garage
Beverly Hills Garage, 2043 W. 95th St., offers a small-town feel in a big city by being a trusted friend to their customers. “Our entire staff puts the customer first,” said owner Pete Coccaro. “Every customer has a name and a story, and we take the time to listen and get to know our customers.”
Coccaro and his team work by the motto “Test & Don’t Guess” to ensure they’re always doing the job correctly. “Beverly Hills Garage also performs digital inspections of every vehicle that comes in the garage,” Coccaro said. “We send a vehicle inspection report to the customer identifying repairs needed. This allows the customer to see what repairs are needed and approve them via phone, text, or email. This is especially important during this pandemic.”
Repair and maintenance services for classic cars and trucks sets Beverly Hills Garage apart from the competition, and their specialty in restorations has earned them numerous awards.
“Our shop has serviced everything from regularly driven classics to museum-quality vehicles. Attention to detail is put into every vehicle and our staff has the ability and skills to service classic cars with passion and knowledge,” Coccaro said.
Coccaro recommends driving our cars regularly even if there’s nowhere to go. He said it’s important to drive the car for an extended period of time at least once a month to get it to operating temperature. “This allows the fluid to circulate and burn off any condensation that has built up — especially during the colder months — as well as keeping the battery fully charged,” he said.
“If your vehicle will be sitting for more than a month, we recommend installing a battery maintainer on the vehicle,” Coccaro added. “It’s a small device that gets plugged in and draws less than a 10-watt light bulb and costs around $40. Simple, routine maintenance is the key to having a reliable vehicle year-round.”
Find out more: 773-238-0540 or BeverlyHillsGarage.com
USA Automotive Repair
For 30 years, family-owned USA Automotive Repair, 11044 S. Western, has repaired and serviced neighborhood cars. Owner Joe Heyd sees the shop’s role as a trusted advisor, not merely a place to get a car fixed.
“We don’t see our customers as just customers. We get to know them and earn their trust and gain their confidence knowing that they are in good hands,” Heyd said. “I see it as more than just a transaction, but an opportunity to build a relationship to service their automobile needs at the time and for the lifetime of their vehicle.”
Heyd said they don’t want to just have satisfied customers, they strive for highly satisfied customers. “My goal as a business owner is to create raving fans of our business. We’re truly a family business and believe it’s our responsibility to give back to the community,” he said. USA Automotive Repair has supported numerous community events over the years.
Regarding COVID protocols, Heyd and his team work hard to ensure all state, city health department, and CDC guidelines are followed. “The safety of our customers and staff is our highest priority. We are relentless in taking every precaution and are currently operating without contact,” he said. “Customers drop off their vehicles using our overnight key drop as well as using early bird envelopes. Before and after working on vehicles, our staff use our COVID protocols to sanitize the areas that customers and staff use in the vehicle.” While their lobby area is closed to the public, they do allow one masked customer at a time to pick up the vehicle and pay for repairs.
As spring approaches, Heyd recommends “exercising” vehicles by driving once or twice a week rather than letting the car sit idle. “Doing this will keep your battery charged, fluids moving and keep the brakes in good working order,” he said. “This is not only good for the vehicles, but just good to get out of the house!” Once spring hits, Heyd recommends a full check of the vehicle, including an oil change and check of all belts, hoses, and filters are in good working order. Also, his team will make sure the AC is charged and ready to go for summer.
Find out more: 773-238-1333 or USAAutomotiveRepair.com
Kean Bros. Gas Station
When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing better than getting someone else to fill up your gas tank when take your car for its weekly or monthly drive. Kean Bros. Gas Station, 2632 W. 111th St., definitely contributes to the Village in the City feel, as the only local gas station where customers get their gas pumped for them.
For three generations, the family-owned Kean Bros. Gas Station has been a neighborhood legend in providing customer service. Longtime Beverly/Morgan Park resident Raleigh Kean owns and operates the station, along with his children, Raleigh Jr. and Cara.
Anyone who has been to Kean knows that the staff are incredibly friendly, helpful and attentive to both the vehicle and driver. Not only will the gas be pumped as you wait in your car, but attendants will also wash the windshield and check the tire air pressure.
Kean Bros. is an integral part of the community fabric. The sign outside the station is well-known for its clever messaging, and a a community bulletin board of sorts to amplify local events. True to its values, Kean is a family-owned business that is a part of numerous fundraisers, cementing its place as a community staple for more than 90 years.
Find out more: 773-445-3626
Patton Motor Service
The Patton family prides itself on exemplary customer service and vehicle care at Patton Motor Service, 10209 S. Western Ave. Owner Pat Patton is joined by his nephew John Patton and son Brian Patton in running the longtime repair shop, where the motto is “Everything Automotive!”
The key to this longstanding business is developing strong relationships with customers and providing high-quality service. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the foundation of the shop, and customers rave about the work done on their vehicles.
Patton Motor Service is also widely known as a full-service tire center.They are knowledgeable about any tire needs, regardless of the car’s make or model or the customer’s budget.
Find out more: 773-233-0660