When Steve Gularte and Mike Miguel, owners of G
amp;M Auto, Inc., moved from their established site on a busy
corner, to a larger shop in a less noticeable location, there was
concern about being out-of-sight and out-of-mind. It turns out
there was nothing to worry about.
When Steve Gularte and Mike Miguel, owners of G&M Auto, Inc., moved from their established site on a busy corner, to a larger shop in a less noticeable location, there was concern about being out-of-sight and out-of-mind. It turns out there was nothing to worry about.
“We moved to our current location (and) there’s more space here and our customer-base has increased, Gularte said.”
“Most of our customer-base followed us,” said Miguel. “We’ve developed a good reputation and that’s what counts. Most of our customers know we’re native to San Benito County. We’re established in the community. We’ve earned the trust of a lot of people. One of the main things we try to do is be straight up and honest with our customers.”
Miguel said they receive numerous referrals from other shops, and work on most car troubles except major engine work such as rebuilding engines or transmissions. The businessmen work on brakes, doe tune-ups, lube and oil jobs, complete smog inspection and repair, transmission service, exhaust alignments, engine analysis, muffler service and shock absorbers. They also sell tires as well as providing tire servicing.
“A lot of ladies will bring their cars in to us,” Gularte said. “They’ll worry that we’ll try to take advantage of their lack of knowledge about cars. It’s sad they’ve had bad experiences at other shops.”
Both Gularte and Miguel are up front with their customers about needed repairs, and they know their customers appreciate their honesty.
“A lot of our customers come in for regular maintenance on their vehicle,” Miguel said. “There’s a checklist we go down. We’ll do an oil and filter change. We’ll check the fluids, hoses, belts, batteries and the condition of tires. Normally we won’t check the brakes unless we’re asked. If I hear something in the brakes, I’ll ask the customers if I can check them to make sure they don’t have any brake problems. Sometimes after our regular maintenance, we’ll let customers know they should keep an eye on this or that.”
When it comes to pricing, G&M Auto stays competitive.
“We’ll call around and compare prices with other shops,” Gularte said. “We do quality work with reasonable prices.”
Gularte and Miguel have been in the industry for more than 20 years.
“I started working for Steve’s dad, Richard, in 1979,” said Miguel. “When his dad retired, we took over the shop at the Chevron station.”
“I was a sophomore in high school when I started working for my dad,” Gularte said. “That was in 1982. It’s was either cut apricots or work for my dad. I didn’t want to cut ‘cots.”
In addition to Gularte and Miguel, G&M Auto employs Javier Correa, who has been with the shop for the past two years.
“When you bring in your vehicle to us, we all get involved and do whatever needs to be done,” Miguel said.
“Every day we face different challenges,” said Gularte. “One car might be in for repairs and another for an oil change. Every car is different. It makes what we do more interesting.”
G&M Auto, Inc. is located at 281 C San Felipe Road. Business hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information or to make an appointment, call 637-9371.