North Jax Monthly • August 2008 • Page 12
North Jax company makes repair,
By Chris Madden
OCEANWAY –– Amid the recent growth of North Jacksonville, one auto repair shop has quickly developed a loyal following by establishing itself as a place where customers are treated fairly. AutoMatt’s Auto Service and Repair services all makes and models of vehicles, and Matt and Sandra Street are the two-person team who own and operate the business. Mr. Street handles the repairs while his wife runs the office and keeps the books.
The company started less than one year ago, but Mr. Street has 20-plus years experience in the automobile repair industry. He holds the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification as a Master Technician and the Advanced Level certificate in Advanced Engine performance Specialist, Level 1, qualifying Mr. Street to work on the most complicated repairs. Being an independent company with no regional or national chain affiliation, Mr. Street says he is able to operate his business with an emphasis on customer service. “I feel I can run a shop better than places where I worked.
Cars are complicated machines and a lot North Jax company makes repair, builds relationships of people don’t understand how the car operates. It can be intimidating bringing the car in to be repaired. I believe in being fair and honest with people.” Arlington resident A.C. Chandler welcomes Mr. Street’s business approach after his past dealings with repair shops. “I took my car to two dealerships and they could not solve my problem. My SUV had severe shaking at different speeds. I took it in to [the dealerships] and they couldn’t do anything about it. So, I parked it at my house and only drove it around town at speeds when I knew it wouldn’t shake. It was frustrating. Eventually, I found Matt and he solved the problem.
Mr. Street says he does not want to be known as the cheapest repair shop, but he wants to treat people fairly. “I have six children and I know it’s tough. If money is tight, I will work withsomeone on a solution. I can prioritize repairs based on needs and can tell you what is a priority repair and what we might be able to hold off on for a while.” The reasonable rates and fair treatment are not lost on Doris Rumsey, who has used Mr. Street’s services for the last six months. “Matt treats people good. He’s fair, honest and takes the time to explain the problems,” says the Oceanway resident. “Some women might be intimidated or scared to talk about cars, but he’s easy to talk to.
His prices were much less than other places around town, and his wife even came and picked me up from my house when my car was ready.” The best time to find a mechanic is when one is not needed, to avoid making an impulse decision when your car needs fixing. If there is no one in particular who services your car regularly, most people ask friends for referrals to a repair shop, but Mr. Street offers advice: “Go to someone who understands cars.” Automobiles have become more complicated to service and repair with the introduction of computer chips and other technology, so Mr. Street says it is important to select a technician who not only understands the problem, but is experienced in solving the issue the first time. “You have to have someone who has the mechanical knowledge of how the vehicle systems operate as well as the experience to fix [the issue]. If there is a problem and the technician doesn’t know how the system works, he might not be able to diagnose problem correctly.”
Stephen Sykes agrees that it is important to find a mechanic who understands how cars operate. “I’ve been other places and paid money to have them fix my cars, but they didn’t solve my problems. I brought my cars to Matt and he fixed them the first time. I trust him. He knows what he’s doing and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him to anyone.” No one likes receiving a sizable repair bill, so Mr. Street says preventive maintenance is essential to ensure a long, productive life of the vehicle.
The technician says three simple ways to keep an automobile in good, working condition are to get oil changes regularly, keep the engine coolant system in good working condition and follow the maintenance schedule in the manufacturer’s handbook. “If people do the little things to take care of their cars, it would save them money down the road,” says the shop owner.
Mr. Street says the more familiar the driver is with the vehicle, the more likely repair problems can be minimized. “Pay attention to the vehicle. Listen for strange noises. All cars make noises, but is there something that sounds different? Does the vehicle feel or handle differently than normal? Are there unusual odors? Bring your car in if something isn’t right.” If there is an issue that requires servicing, Mr. Street says it is beneficial to have some information to go on when the car comes in. “It’s helpful for the customer to give an accurate description of the problem when the vehicle is brought in. Pay attention to the driving conditions when the problem occurs. When did the problem start? When does it occur? Does it happen at all speeds or only when you accelerate? Is the problem constant or occasional?
Any information the customer provides when the vehicle comes in will help in diagnosing the problem.” Call 757-0072 for additional information about AutoMatt’s Auto Service and Repair.
If you have any questions about your car, please do not hesitate to call Matt, he is here to help you and be your service technician.
Shop: (904) 757-0072
Fax: (904) 714-0072
Cell: (904) 335-0541