Coats For Cars 2017

Coats for cars precision auto repair west springfield ma

The warm weather is fading away in our rear view mirror and the temperatures are starting to drop. This means only one thing….. The start of our second annual

Coats for cars precision auto repair west springfield maCoats For Cars Coat Drive!

Last year with your help we collected a total of 237 lightly used jackets to benefit Friends Of The Homeless in Springfield, MA. This year, together we will do even better.

The second annual Coats For Cars will now benefit the West Springfield Public School System. They have expressed a very serious need for new and lightly used;

  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Winter Hats
  • Gloves

As far as size is concerned the West Springfield Public School System has said that the most significant need is for sizes that will fit Middle School and High School students.

Why should you help us with Coats For Cars?

precision auto repair west springfield ma coat driveAside from the immediate gratification you get from giving to help those less fortunate we have something else for you. For everyone that donates we give them 10% off their entire bill (max discount of $100).

Simply donate one of the items listed above when you bring your vehicle in for a needed repair or scheduled service and take 10% off your bill. It’s just that simple!

Don’t need a discount?

Thats fine too. If you want to help but don’t need a discount please feel free to stop in, say hello, and drop off your donation at the shop M-F 7:30am – 5pm.

Please take a minute to look in your closet or basement and consider donating some of the items listed above that you can afford to part with. You will be helping to change someone’s life by doing something as simple as donating things you forgot you even had.

This program ends Friday December 1st

-JS

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA Best auto repair shop near meLast year I was fortunate enough to be able to help with Precision’s Coats for cars coat drive. I brought in a few coats that my family and I had been wearing the year before when we got new ones. The coat drive also came at a great time for us because our main family car started making a horrible grinding noise when I would turn or step on the brakes. It was actually pretty scary! Turns out I needed brakes and by helping to donate to this coat drive I was able to save a few bucks off something I already needed anyways. To be clear, I didn’t donate for the discount but I wasn’t going to turn down Precision’s generous offer. I’ve been a customer of theirs for about 3 years now and we have 3 cars. I always find that James and his staff are very helpful, thoughtful, and reasonable. I’m proud to see all that they do to help everyone in our area. Repair shops and most businesses in general don’t do a fraction of what these people do and I will continue to support them and their fantastic programs.

Tools for Back to School

backpack donation, giving back to the community

Backpacks for Local Families

Today was a very special day for us here at Precision Auto Repair. As you know we love giving back to the community that continues to support us. We have great programs like Repair it Forward and our Winter Coat Drive as well as many other programs that your support helps us run year after year. But today…. today was something even better. Today we were able to give 200 backpacks to local children going Back to School. Something we like to call “Tools for Back to School“. Needless to say, it’s been an AWESOME day!!!

backpack donation
From left to right: Superintendent of Schools / Michael Richard, Jennifer Stephenson, James Stephenson, Mayor of West Springfield / William Reichelt

Giving back to the Community

Last May I was out in the lot and there were a few kids riding bikes past the shop. One of them in particular had fallen behind his friends because he was trying to hold his books while riding down the street. It looked like he was really struggling. He  stopped at the intersection waiting to cross Route 20 so I decided to walk over and talk to him. After a quick conversation about his bike (to break the ice) I jokingly said “You would be a lot faster on that thing if you put your books in a bag”, sort of prying to see why he’s carrying the books.  His answer…. “I would but I don’t have one.”

I have a few extra gym bags in my office so I immediately gave him one of mine. This got me wondering how many children actually need something like this? Something small that most of us take for granted or like myself, have multiple of that we’re not even using.

Google can tell you pretty much anything so I did a search and found that there’s actually a huge need for all sorts of school supplies. I found an article that said that the average family spends about $1000 on Back to School shopping PER CHILD!!! So I sat down with Jennifer and we came up with our newest program “Tools for Back to School“.

For those of you that haven’t actually met Jennifer, she’s my sister. Jennifer has been involved with the company for quite a few years and currently serves as our Office Manager. What she actually does is organize the million tasks I throw at her everyday and help to keep us all organized. As well as make sure that Tai gets his Cheeseburger Chowder every Wednesday from Celery Stalk (if you haven’t tried it do yourself a favor….). Aside from being my sister, she’s a loving single mother of 2, and a valued asset to the overall success of this company. She always plays a large roll in creating and implementing programs like this and she has more than earned some recognition. “Thank you Jennifer.”

 

best auto repair shop near me west springfield ma james stephenson west springfield ma volkswagen repair BMW repair200 Backpacks with Pens, Folders, and Notebooks

Jennifer and I didn’t grow up wealthy and while our parents did what they could, both of us can remember several years of not having backpacks and other essential things we now take for granted. So this became a wonderful opportunity to help some local families.

The plan started small. I said “How about 50?”, she said “100”, then as sibling rivalry would have it I doubled it.  We both agreed that 200 backpacks would be the right amount to make a meaningful impact.

When we got the 200 bags we still felt that wasn’t enough so some of the staff took a few hours and filled each one with a folder, a notebook, and 2 pens. My oldest daughter also helped and wanted one so there are actually only 199 bags that were donated…. I couldn’t tell her no.

Once everything was assembled we dropped them off at the Mayor’s office and received a very warm welcome from Mayor Reichelt and the Superintendent of Schools, Michael Richard. Superintendent Richard spent a while with us discussing his current position and talked a bit about his career path that led him to where he is now. He’s a very driven and goal oriented man with big plans for the West Springfield School System. We should all be very proud to have him and Mayor Reichelt running the show. They do a wonderful job.

 

What’s Next?

Everyone here really loves doing things like this. It was a nice way to close out an amazing summer and we will be announcing another program that allows us to give back to the community in a huge way in a few weeks. Hint: It’s is our biggest one of the year. Stay tuned and thank you all for your continued support. Without you we wouldn’t be able to continually grow this company year after year or afford to provide amazing programs like this.

From the bottom of my heart. Thank you all!!

-JS

 

2nd Annual Repair it Forward Winner announcement

precision auto repair and sales west springfield MA Repair it Forward

Last year we started a program called Repair It Forward. For those that don’t know, Repair it Forward is a program we created to give back to the community that supports us by helping a family that has fallen on hard times and can truly benefit from having a safe and reliable vehicle. The Repair it Forward Winner will receive up to $3,000 in repairs for their vehicle. While this may seem like a lot of money, and we assure you that it is. We found that the people that really needed a program like this had been putting off repairs for so long that that some of the minor and inexpensive repairs had now become major ones.

Applicants were asked to submit their hardship through our website using an online form. From there the panel would pick one winner. This year we had almost 300 participants!! Which is about 100 more than last year. This made the decision making process much more difficult because like last year, we found that there were a lot of very deserving families.

After careful consideration we were able to come up with one family that really stood out. So today we are happy to announce the winner of the 2nd annual Repair it Forward Program….

Congratulations to Patrick Driscoll of West Springfield. Patrick is a veteran, father, and husband. We hope that this $3,000 in vehicle repairs will help you advance your career as your wife Shelby was very concerned about the safety and reliability of your vehicle while traveling to and from work. Patrick also uses this vehicle daily as his work vehicle.

Patrick’s repairs will also be backed by our 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide Warranty and 12 months of Roadside assistance. So the peace of mind doesn’t end once the repairs are finished.

Precision Auto Repair Repair it Forward Winner
From left to right: James Stephenson (Owner/ President, Precision Auto Repair and Sales), Shelby Driscol, Patrick Driscol

I personally want to thank all of our customers that come in and trust us to service their vehicles. A portion of all repair bills go towards this program, so without your trust in us we couldn’t afford to have Repair it Forward. I would also like to thank Autopart International of West Springfield for helping to sponsor this program.

Congratulations again to Patrick and Shelby. And to everyone else that applied for the program. We wish you all the best of luck.

 

-JS

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MAMy husband has a jeep that has literally been falling apart for years. Precision offered a program called Repair it Forward and I entered my husband. By some small miracle we were chosen by James and his employees. They were incredible and not only repaired our car for free but they went over budget to make sure my husband would be safe in his daily driver. The work is fantastic and I can’t thank them enough for what they do. I won’t go anywhere else for my repair needs. Impeccable work, honesty, and they do what they can to help.

                                                                    Shelby Driscoll

West Springfield, MA

2nd Annual Repair it Forward is here

Repair it Forward

Repair it Forward
I don’t know anyone that hasn’t had a hard time at some point in their life. Whether it’s losing a job, an illness in the family, or any other life altering event. It’s happened to all of us. When we’re in that low, all we want is to get out of it and get back to where we were or to be even stronger than we were. My family and I created Repair it Forward for people in situations just like these.

Repair it Forward will give 1 person per year the chance to win up to $3,000 in car repair. (Seriously…. no strings attached whatsoever, You can read more about the rules here).

You never really know how much you need your car until you’re without it.

2015 Repair it Forward Winner

Precision Auto Repair and sales Repair It Forward winner

Last year was a huge success. We knew there would be a huge demand but never expected almost 200 applicants. It was a tough decision to make but one family really stood out in the crowd. Wendy Thibault of West Springfield, MA allowed us the chance to get her family mini van back in proper working order. The only real problem was that when the van started coming apart for repairs we started to find more problems…. It was like an onion, every time we peeled back another layer there was another problem. We couldn’t just put it back together like that so our staff and the staff at Autopart International of West Springfield chipped in their own personal money to help pay for the additional repairs. It was awesome!!! The van ran like new when it was done. The Thibault family couldn’t have been happier.

Want to know more? 

Just go to the Repair it Forward page, fill out the form, and one of our staff will contact you in a day or so. If you can’t fill the form out, that’s ok. Just ask a friend or family member to assist you, it should only take a few minutes. From there we will inspect the vehicle to make sure that $3,000 will actually make the car safe and reliable. Our only intent is to make you safe so that the vehicle will pass state inspection and get you and your family wherever you need to go. If you’re happy and this helps you, we hit our mark. Then we back our repair with our 2 year 24,000 mile Nationwide Warranty and Free 12 Month Roadside Assistance.

Repair it Forward is brought to you by Precision Auto Repair and Sales and AutoPart International of West Springfield, MA.

For Specific instructions and to apply, go to our Repair it Forward page and enter today. Don’t delay because the registration period closes on 3/31/2016.

Best wishes,

-JS

 

Auto Repair for Charity

Western Mass News and Melha Shriners at Precision Auto Repair and Sales

One of our passions here is giving back to the community that supports us. We will never be a business that takes and takes without helping as many people as we can along the way. So a few times every year we are presented with an opportunity to help someone without looking for anything in return. When we’re presented with this opportunity we go big. With all of the causes we have helped through the years and continue to support such as Brakes For Breasts, Repair it Forward (this is actually our own charity that my wife and I fund), Brightside for Families and Children,

Western Mass News and Melha Shriners at Precision Auto Repair and Sales
A great group of people all helping with an awesome cause

Shriners Hospitals for Children, Melha Shriners, Open Pantry, and many more. Today presented us with an opportunity to partner with The Western Mass News Big Y SurPRIZE Squad and give an Auto Repair for Charity. I’ve got to say that this was my favorite of anything we’ve ever done!! There’s a twist at the end, Allow me to explain;

Western Mass News reached out to us about a week ago and told us that they were interested in surprising 1 customer by paying for up to $500 of their bill. We thought that this was a great idea! So we took it a few steps further….. First, we decided to match the $500 from Western Mass News and The Big Y SurPRIZE Squad. The reason being is that most people that are REALLY in need of repairs have put off issues for so long that there is subsequent damage (issues created by other issues) and the bill can get out of control quickly. We felt that $1,000 was a good number (It gets much better).

Ricardo Cumba

We first met Ricardo a few months back. We see a few thousand customers every year and this class act stood out among the rest because of how genuinely polite he was. He brought in his 2009 Honda Civic for a major issue and ultimately didn’t have all of the money to address all issues with the vehicle. Like many people he was left in a situation where he had to prioritize by repairing the issue that was causing the car not to run at all and push aside some other issues until he could get some more money together. The hardship comes in because Ricardo is Active Duty in The US Army National Guard, has 2 children (1 of which turns 5 today), and a baby on the way. He’s doing everything he can to make ends meet for his family and to provide for them, so even though there are issues with his car he just has other priorities that top that list. Which we can all relate to. Ricardo puts his butt on the line for us protecting our country, the least we could do is fix his car for him. To learn more about this repair process you can find it here.

Take a minute to watch the story;
Western Mass News – WGGB/WSHM

So as promised, there was a twist at the end. Ricardo’s bill came out to $1,000 (slightly over actually). We took the $1,000 ($500 from us and $500 from The Western Mass News Big Y SurPRIZE Squad) and gave it all to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Then we paid the remainder of his bill for him. The hospital is in need of an EOS Imaging x-ray machine that will help assess the needs of children by using Ultra-safe low dose radiation technology that reduces the risk of cancer for patients who receive repeated x-rays. It uses Nobel-Prize winning technology. This machine will cost just under $900,000.

shriners hospital for children donation
I could probably use a lesson in handwriting, or just print checks like other businesses do.

Thanks to Western Mass News, Brittany Decker, The Big Y SurPRIZE Squad, Melha Shriners, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and our wonderful staff that fixed Ricardo’s car. Today was a great an awesome day!!!

If you’re interested in donating to Shriners Hospitals for Children you can click here. Every bit helps….

Are you or do you know an Automotive Technician that shares the same passion for helping the community and fixing cars as we do? We’re looking to hire 1 more Superstar Technician. Learn more here.

 

Precision Auto Repair and Sales West Springfield MA

 

“I can’t believe this happened to me and my family. I do my job because I love it. I’ve never looked for any recognition and never will. But to be noticed in this way and receive a gift like this… It’s really special. This is something I will never forget. Thank you to everyone that made this possible for me and my family. You don’t know how much it means to us.”

Ricardo Cumba

Westfield, MA

Local auto repair shop helps customer make it to deployment

Precision auto repair and sales west springfield ma

I’ve never been very fond of the expression “It’s just business” because for the staff here “It’s personal”. We show up everyday and give 110%. We reach this goal by making it a habit to go out of our way for every single customer that comes through the door, every single day. For the customer it’s also personal because they’re spending their hard earned money at an auto repair shop on their vehicle and want value for that. The only thing we’re always looking for in return is that the customer’s like the level of service we provided and that they return.

This story actually originated about a week ago in an earlier blog post. It turns out that Western Mass News heard about the story and wanted to give us a “pat on the back” for going the extra mile….. literally! The story went viral.

Take a minute and watch;

Western Mass News – WGGB/WSHM

In all reality we give this level of service to everyone. But we can all agree that the circumstances surrounding this Dodge Repair were much different than what we’re used to seeing. I can’t even imagine the level of anxiety that Bryan faces when getting ready to deploy. I stress out when I drop my kids off at daycare and I know I’m going to see them in a few hours. Can you imagine knowing you have to go to a job where you won’t see your family for 6 months, 1 year, and unfortunately sometimes never again…..? The staff here just didn’t want to add to that anxiety and needed to do whatever we could to make the situation right, immediately.

Not to mention that Army or no Army, he paid for a service. The part went bad and we sold it to him. We needed to make that right because it’s the ethical thing to do. Normally we would have just put the customer in a rental car until the new part came in but due to his deployment the solution had to be a little more outside the box than that. So we did what we had to do to make it right. It was/is truly flattering to be acknowledged for our efforts in this way.

I just really want to express our sincerest “Thank you” to everyone that reached out to Bryan and his family to show support for all he does to help protect our freedom. “Thank you” to Western Mass News for sharing Bryan’s story. Last but not least “Thank You” to all of our Active Duty Military and Veterans, for all that you have done and continue to do for our country. We hope that this story will help influence others to go out of their way for someone without expecting anything in return.