DIY Garage in Tampa Bay Area - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 05-18-2015
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DIY Garage in Tampa Bay Area

Hello Everybody,

So I have been researching DIY/Selfserve Garages around the country, trying to determine if it is a viable business opportunity in the Tampa Bay area.

Has anyone used a SelfServe garage to work on their cars/Would you use a Selfserve garage?

My thoughts are the following.

8 bay indoor Climate controlled, probably 6 bays with lifts.
each bay would be outfitted with a basic 300 piece mechanics tool set and work bench with vise, basic complement of air tools and an exhaust evacuation system.

Specialty tools would be available to either rent or check out for use.

Would have Mitchell or All Data Computers available. Would hopefully have Star/VAGCOM/BMW Diagnostics as well.

Would have Hourly/Halfday/Fullday/Weekly/Monthly pricing structure.

ASE certified Mechanic on duty to operate lifts/ and equipment like tire changers/balancers (if we have them) as well as available for general questions and assistance at an hourly rate.

Hours would be afterhours friendly. something like
Tues-Thurs 12p-10p
Friday-Sunday 8a-10p

Still working on what I think would be profitable to me/economical to customers pricing structure.

I figure with all the HOA/Apt communities in our area that have restrictions on working on your own cars this would be a good idea.

So now I ask for your input. Thoughts/Criticisms.
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#2 Old 05-18-2015
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I wish I had one nearby - I'd use it.

How would you ensure your customer could safely operate the heavy equipment (lifts, tire machines, etc)?
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#3 Old 05-18-2015
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and you would need earlier weekday hours for retired people or unemployed people or self employed people, etc


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#4 Old 05-18-2015
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lifts would be operated by trained staff, Trained staff would bring auton into bay and put car on lift, and adjust lift as customer needed.

Heavy equipment that could easily cause injury would only be operated by trained staff, such as tire changers/balancers and stuff like that. Presses/Jacks/Trans Jacks and stuff like that would be covered by the release forms customers would fill out saying they understand how to use and that they can cause injury when used imporperly.

Could do hours earlier in the week... I was just not sure how much need there would be for that. possible that earlier hours could be by appointment. no point in having staff on site if there is no need.
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#5 Old 05-18-2015
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Well you know what will happen next. The person won't be able to do something and then the 'trained' staff will do it and then you have guaranties and warranties and they broke something else, etc. Then you have the legalities of trainers certifications, etc.
sorry, just playing devil's advocate.


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#6 Old 05-18-2015
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understand the devil's advocate stuff.

"trained" Staff would be ASE Certifed Mechanics. If a customer cannot or does not want to complete a repair. We would be a fully functioning Independant Garage as well. We would look at issue at hand, what repairs they "attempted" give them a written estimate to repair correctly. If they decide they don't want us to repair, they will be free to have the vehicle removed from the facility and repaired elsewhere. If it is inoperable/unsafe. they can store onsite for a fee until they can have it taken to a repairshop of their chosing.

Waiver would be legally worded, in effect saying they understand how to work on their car, and take all liabilities for repairs they complete while on premises, and that they agree to have their work checked by one of our Mechanics if we deem it necessary, and that a repair that is considered unsafe would not be aloud to leave under it's own power unless repaired correctly, but they could have it towed out if they would like.
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Well that is a horse of a different color! I was missing that good poop!

You have my blessing



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#8 Old 05-18-2015
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And what happens if some dumb dumb mis-torques a hidden bolt, your mechanic checks the *visible* work and give it his blessing and the brakes fail? You have to be very careful about having supervision.
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#9 Old 05-18-2015
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I'd have a flatbed tow truck for those who can't complete the repair... I don't think having a mechanic on staff will be feasable - they cost a lot.
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#10 Old 05-18-2015
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Well at one time in my life I was ASE certified. Before I got out of the auto shop game in VA and decided IT made more money. So I am sure it wouldnt be difficult to get that back. AndI know a decent ASE certified mechanic that I could get for about $16/hr and give him half his billable. These are things I have to figure in to see if it would be profitable
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