The Car Repair That Turned Into A Job

The Car Repair That Turned Into A Job

It all started when my car didn’t. Quite literally. My car wouldn’t start. I was at a rehearsal for a dance show when I turned to my friend and asked, “Do you have any recommendations for a mechanic?”

Her face lit up and she grabbed her bag. She reached in and as she pulled her hand out, the bag exploded in a cloud of business cards.

“I love them so much!” she exclaimed as she handed me a card. “They’re quality focused and it’s a small business run by Andrew and his wife Bethany.”

I looked down at the card and read “Marinelli Auto Service.” Clearly Amanda was happy with the service. I had an older car that needed help and I had lived here for a few years but hadn’t found a mechanic in the area that I trusted yet. So, that evening, I sent an email with a detailed description of what I was experiencing and waited for a call.

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Owning a Family Business

Owning a Family Business

The LIttle Engine that CouldThe risk was big. The statistics were against us. A mechanic may be a strong mechanic but can often be a weak businessman. Andrew knows his stuff when it comes to the cars and won’t claim to be a great businessman. He is like one of our son’s favorite books – The Little Engine that Could. Andrew is committed to rise to the summit no matter the effort. 

Andrew’s perseverance is largely why he’s built a solid reputation as a knowledgeable mechanic – Andrew won’t rest until he is confident in how to fix it right the first time. A vehicle returning for the same problem is not an option. He won’t have it, and it shows in the miniscule percentage of vehicle come-backs we’ve seen since we opened in 2015. 

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Twelve Days Of A Marinelli Christmas

Twelve Days Of A Marinelli Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me 

a mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

 

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Eight air vents flowing

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Nine brake lamps blinking

Eight air vents flowing

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Ten headlamps gleaming

Nine brake lamps blinking

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Eleven Horns Honking

Ten headlamps gleaming

Nine brake lamps blinking

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Twelve Corolla’s purring

Eleven Horns Honking

Ten headlamps gleaming

Nine brake lamps blinking

Seven engines revving

Six spark plugs

Five happy clients!

Four brand new tires

Three wipers wiping

Two car lifts and

A mechanic whose name is Andrew

What We’re Giving Thanks for in 2020

What We’re Giving Thanks for in 2020

As this year seems to have turned the whole world upside down it can be difficult to easily grasp things that we’re thankful for. However, it is times like these more than any other to stop and grab onto even the littlest things that this year has warranted thanksgiving. That’s why we wanted to share with you what we are thankful for. Maybe it will help you to realize how many things you really can be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  (more…)

Mechanic’s Families Aren’t Immune to Car Problems

Mechanic’s Families Aren’t Immune to Car Problems

“Screeeeeech” screamed my brakes as I pulled into the parking lot. This is not a sound my car had made before. I had sensed something was off and earlier that week had asked Andrew to take a look at it over the weekend. Now it seemed urgent. I called him immediately to explain what was going on. He gave me sound advice (as he does) and I dropped my car off as soon as I was done with my errand.

You might think that because we own an auto repair shop that we’re immune to stress over car problems. Many times there is just no way around it.

Planning Ahead

First of all, our cars need maintenance and repairs just like everyone else’s. Being as that we are well in tune with maintenance schedules and preventative care, we are pretty wise about what our vehicles need and when. Our goal is always to educate our clients so that they have the same level of empowerment in servicing their vehicles, but with the added benefit of being updated whenever you schedule for service. 

Surprise Repairs

Secondly, our vehicle’s can develop surprises just like any other vehicle no matter how diligent we are in staying ahead of maintenance and repairs. We have the same challenge of figuring out transportation while our vehicle is in the shop. This, just like you, is more challenging when it’s a surprise that our busy schedule can’t really accommodate. 

Plus, we don’t get cuts in line just because we own the repair shop. In fact, we reserve working on our personal vehicles for after shop hours so that we can continue to serve our clients well. Just like you, it’s even more challenging when it’s a complex repair and we’re down a vehicle while it gets tended to.

Repair Budget

Then, there is the financial aspect of maintaining a vehicle. While we don’t pay ourselves for labor (because that’s obviously redundant), we still have parts costs. We still have to budget for vehicle repairs and, like you, money can be tight at times and stressful if it’s not a repair we were expecting. 

Finally, the time for the repair needs to come from somewhere and it’s time that we’re not getting paid for. For us, as I previously mentioned, this means Andrew staying after hours or working more on the weekend to work on our personal vehicle.

Advantages of Owning an Auto Repair Shop

Are there advantages to owning a repair shop? Sure! We don’t have to pay labor or parts mark-up. When my vehicle makes a noise or isn’t handling quite right, I am better able to relay the relevant information to Andrew because of the time I’ve spent talking clients through their vehicle’s symptoms. Information is valuable in getting down to the bottom of the problem in a timely manner. 

I am also more aware of whether or not it’s an urgent issue or something that I can keep my eye on. When I go home at night I can discuss it with Andrew. After being around the industry since before we opened the shop, I am more easily able to understand what he’s telling me. I am used to taking what he finds and explaining that to clients, so I generally don’t have a lot of questions..

However, I can still relate to you when you come in stressed about your vehicle, your schedule, finding alternate transportation, and your budget. I experience all of those things, too. Much of the time I need clarification about whether or not what I’m experiencing is urgent. This helps me to better understand what you are experiencing when you have an unexpected concern over your car. 

When it comes down to it, we’re all human and vehicle’s are a man-made object. Very few of us are experts about this valuable piece of machinery we rely on to get us where we need to go. We can only be so proactive about vehicle maintenance and repairs no matter how much we know or don’t know.

After hearing that awful noise it didn’t take long for Andrew to get my vehicle up on the lift and see that the vehicle was due for new brake pads. Just like any client, he didn’t hesitate to take care of this safety issue so that I could get back into my vehicle. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad I have such an attentive mechanic to take care of the vehicle I drive on a daily basis. If you don’t, I highly recommend finding one!

Father and Son Shop Time

Father and Son Shop Time

“Daddy!” the boy squeals as he flies into the shop, wrapping his arms around his father’s legs. 

“Arthur boy!” his father exclaims. 

“Walk, please!” his mother warns…for the millionth time. 

“Can we do shop time, Daddy,” Arthur asks.

“That sounds great! Beth, is it ok with you if we have shop time after we close today?” Andrew asks with the “you know it will be good for him” look in his eyes. 

Looking forward to getting the boy home, I respond with exhausted elongated words – “Yeah, that’s fine.” 

But it is good for our now 3 year old son. And it’s good for Andrew to be able to share that special time with him. It’s certainly a benefit when your dad owns an auto repair shop. It’s a unique experience that few other kids his age enjoy. 

If you have been a client for any amount of time, you have recognized that Andrew is a good teacher. That’s one benefit of his music education degree and he applies this with our son, especially during their Shop Time.


What Do They Do?

Arthur is always interested in what Andrew is up to and does his best to emulate him. 

Arthur loves to help out around the shop and Andrew loves to give him practical jobs.

Learning opportunities abound at the shop!

With Andrew’s degree in music education and Arthur’s interests in everything music and everything in Daddy’s shop, this was a big hit! This is just a short clip of the beginning of their music exploration around the shop.

Finding out how things work around the shop can take a lot of different forms, but this is one of the most fun to date. I think Central Florida amusement parks have a rival!

These are just a few examples of the fun Andrew and Arthur have during their shop time. Many of them, I haven’t been around for. They will look for little treasures that Arthur can hide away in his pockets, do an oil change together, or just explore how different tools work. Arthur has been around the shop since his birth and is now capable of being helpful with small tasks. He truly completes our family business.

What a treasure trove of learning for a little boy!

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