FORT MILL --
Steves Auto Repair is a full-service automotive center and repair shop located at 1431 East Tom Hall St. (Hwy. 160 East) in Fort Mill. Since opening its doors in November, the shop has been delivering modestly priced solutions to residents who require the expertise of qualified mechanics.
Even as automotive service industry sales tend to wane due to colder weather, the number of customers frequenting the establishment has steadily increased.
I think that people are starting to realize that Im here and weve had some customers who have been very satisfied with our work, owner Steven Potash said.
Potash, who resides in Indian Land, says he spent more than a dozen years as an employee working among the lifts and at the customer service counter of another automotive repair shop in the Fort Mill area, but when company cutbacks surfaced, Potash faced a 20-percent salary reduction. After being offered positions with various outfits, he decided to gamble and venture out on his own by starting his own company.
Because of its ideal location, opportunities for economic growth and the vibrant community, Fort Mill became the obvious destination to launch Steves Auto Repair, Potash said.
I like the open space and Fort Mill has that nice, friendly atmosphere. Although it has doubled in size, I dont think its lost its small town feel, he said.
As an ASE certified master technician, Potash has continually looked to keep up with many technological advancements in an industry that has evolved at a rapid pace. He currently holds a total of 11 ASE certifications and maintains that furthering his education has been paramount, not only for building his level of expertise, but to also ensure that customers receive the professional caliber of service that they deserve.
Unfortunately, in this industry, there is no licensing required, so that means that anyone can go out and buy a set of tools and say, Im a mechanic, and our industry gets a bad rap because of this, you see, he said.
Although Steves Auto Repair may be considered by many to be just another new business dotting the roadside curves of Hwy. 160 East, Potash is fulfilling a lifelong enthusiasm for all things automotive. As if by some visceral recognition, Potash confessed that he understood his vocational calling very early on.
When I was 12 years old I built my first motorbike cars and motorcycles, anything that had an engine on it interested me. I had an interest at a very young age, he said.
Soon after graduating from high school, Potash left Long Island, N.Y., to attend an automotive college in Denver, Colo., and graduated in 1978. He has worked as a professional mechanic ever since, and he says the sense of accomplishment gained out of a process that begins at diagnosing a problem and ultimately ends with restoring the health of a vehicle is what keeps him coming back time and time again.
The guy that works on your car is a personalized business, they develop a following people are very passionate about their automobiles and they need to feel that their car is in good hands, and thats what were all about, Potash said.
Chris Baker, who brings 11 years of experience and is also a certified master technician, was hired to assist Potash with the day-to-day operations of Steves Auto Repair. As a lifelong friend of Potashs son, Baker felt confident that leaving the security of his position at a nearby auto dealership would be a wise move in the long run given what he has witnessed through the years.
Steves a good guy. Hes honest, hes fair, and thats what you look for, he said.
As a special offer, Steves Auto Repair will provide 10 percent off to all customers who bring in a copy of this newspaper story and present it at the time of service.