It’s amazing to walk into an automotive shop and find the owner, who is on ‘vacation’, working on his 1955 Buick Century. That’s exactly what happened on Monday when I walked into Tinker Automotive to interview owner, Levi Tinker. His passion for automotive repair doesn’t end when he is off the clock.
|Technician Jay Howe, Owner Levi Tinker and wife, April|
Located at 131 Roosevelt Trail, Levi along with his assistant, Jay Howe (who was also there on vacation), make it their goal to provide for each customer the highest quality in vehicle repairs. But just as importantly, honesty and affordability are first on their list when servicing every car, truck or SUV that drives through the shop’s garage doors.
Whether your vehicle needs a basic oil change, diagnostic service or an engine swap, they have the expertise and talent that comes with years of experience.
Levi’s experience began at an early age beginning as an interest in repairing and building broken down objects since childhood. “I’ve always liked to ‘tinker’ with repairs,” joked Levi. “Even as a kid, I would go to the town dump to see if I could find a bike to fix up. For me, it was so much fun to take a broken bike and get it up and running again. There was a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in that. And there still is.”
With the exception of working at a local video store during high school, Levi has worked in the automotive repair field all of his adult life. “As soon as I graduated from high school, I worked for a couple of well-known local garages in the Portland area as well as a local dealership. Most recently, I worked for a service and repair shop in Gray,” he stated. “I worked nine years as a technician and then was promoted to lead technician and manager for the last two years.”
In the fall of 2016, Levi struck out on his own and purchased the property that is now Tinker Automotive with his wife, April Tinker. Until just recently, she was the bookkeeper while simultaneously working a full-time job. “We’ve grown so much that it has become difficult to keep up with the bookkeeping and work full-time, too,” April said. “So, we have hired a professional to keep the important paperwork for us.”
The business growth of Tinker Automotive has increased so much over the past 2 ½ years that Technician, Jay Howe who is presently a part-time employee, will become full-time after the end of summer. Howe also has many years of experience in not only automotive repair but in customer service as a result of working for other repair shops and owning his own landscaping and snowplowing company.
Levi stated that he believes their honesty, along taking time to explain the repairs needed to customers, is what sets Tinker Automotive apart from the rest. “I will take time to show people what the problem is and do my best to explain in a way they can understand,” began Levi. “Unfortunately, In the automotive repair field, women are often taken advantage of and we are adamant about not doing that. We never up sale anything – we are straightforward and honest.”
He also added that his low hourly rate makes him stand out. “We charge $65 per hour as opposed to the average of $100 per hour,” Levi said. “I have very low overhead, so I pass that on to my customers.”
And speaking of customers, if one peruses Tinker Automotive’s Facebook page, you’ll find many positive reviews.
“Highly recommended,” Susie Ciccarelli said. “I heard of Tinker Automotive after receiving many recommendations from friends in the area. Levi was able to take in my car on pretty short notice which I was super grateful for! [The] customer service is top notch and the work was honest and reasonably priced. I do not foresee my husband and I going anywhere else in the future!”
Regarding the cost of repair, Jaimie Pearson had this to say: “Just had my car inspected and work done on it for the sticker and now she drives like a dream! Other places wanted WAY over $1000 but not today! If you're in or around Windham, I highly recommend Tinker Automotive! Fast, friendly and affordable work!”
At Tinker Automotive, they know how important it is to maintain a safe, reliable vehicle, and to provide customers with honest service. FMI or to make an appointment, call 207-318-0342 or check out their Facebook page.