When you think of the word car, the first thing that comes to mind is the old, dirty, and sometimes smelly car.
But what about a brand new car?
There’s a growing industry of car repair shops in Houston, and the Baytown area has become the hub of the industry.
The Baytown car repair shop in downtown Houston has become an all-around hub for the industry, with a handful of shops opening every day.
And in 2017, the Bayview area was also the home of the third-largest number of new-car sales in the U.S. It’s a strong sign that the Bay is home to the third most new-vehicle sales in Houston and the third largest number of cars sold in the Bay area.
But as the Bay grows and the demand for vehicles rises, the car repair industry is in need of some help.
We spoke with several Baytown shop owners and car repair professionals to get their perspective on the need for more affordable car repair in the area.
Why is the Bay so big?
“The Bay is definitely a hub for all of these types of car shops,” said Eric Taggart, owner of the Bayside Garage and Auto Shop in Baytown.
“We have a lot of businesses that sell cars here, but the Bay has really become the epicenter of the car industry.”
Taggert also noted that he sees a lot more business in the past two years.
“I think there’s a lot less people out here than there used to be, and it’s really become a place to shop for cars.”
How much does it cost to repair a car?
“I guess that’s one of the biggest reasons why we’re here,” said Kevin Fung, owner and founder of the Taggarts car repair business in Bayview.
“It’s a great way to make money.
It doesn’t cost a lot, it’s a cheap way to earn a little extra.”
The Taggars say that they make between $300 to $400 per hour, depending on the type of repair.
The majority of repairs are done on a “proprietary” level.
Can I get a free car repair?
“Yeah, you can,” said Scott O’Brien, owner/operator of the Big Bear Auto Repair Shop in West Houston.
“That’s what we call ‘a free car.'”
He added that they’ve done hundreds of repairs in the last year.
What if I need a car for a job I’ve already taken?
“Yes, that’s how it works,” said Taggetts brother, Michael.
“There’s an online service called AutoDoc, which has a ton of information about what parts you need to replace.
You just ask for the parts, and they’ll send you a free repair.
If you need a replacement for a part, they’ll even take the parts and make it right there for you.”
What about gas mileage?
“You can get a lot cheaper mileage out of a car than a lot older vehicles,” said Michael.
The cost of gasoline and diesel has been on the rise in recent years, with gas prices going up, as well.
“Gas mileage is going up because people are spending less,” he said.
“So that’s why we think we’re the only way to go. “
But we’re not getting a lot out of gas mileage,” Michael added.
“So that’s why we think we’re the only way to go.
We’re the ones with the real money.
The other way to do it is with a lease, so you pay them back when you have your vehicle.
So that’s what it costs.”
Is it cheaper to buy a used car in the West?
“No,” said O’Bryan, owner, AutoDoc.
“You need to know that you can get better mileage out a used vehicle.
You’ll save money, and you’ll save the planet, and that’s the way we go about it.”
How do I find the right car to fix?
“It really depends on the problem you have,” said Chris Stroud, owner & director of the Center for Automotive Research & Education.
“The car that’s broken might be the one you’re looking for.
You might be looking for a used-car repair shop, but you may be looking at a used auto repair company or you might be going to a used truck repair shop.
If there’s one that fits your needs, that will be the place to go.”
What can I do if my vehicle doesn’t start?
If you see your car start, stop, or come to a stop without any power, it may be a broken or cracked radiator or engine.
The easiest way to fix it is to get the engine checked.