Printed on: April 22, 2014

Going the extra mile

All Things Automotive built on trustworthy service

By NATHAN DAVIS
ndavis@postregister.com

J.R. Henderson gained experience working at four automotive shops before deciding to open All Things Automotive and Diesel.

He based his business plan on a simple premise -- great customer service. He said he tried to put himself in the customer's position.

"A lot of places that I worked, I hated the way people were treated," Henderson said. "They were talked down to and people didn't explain why things cost what they did. To me, that's not right. We treat everybody who comes in here the same."

The 44-year-old Henderson is co-owner and lead mechanic at the shop, located at 1895 Woodruff Ave. His wife, Susan, is co-owner of the shop. Recently, Henderson bought a 2-acre site behind Timberline Auto Sales in Idaho Falls, where he plans to build a new shop. He's not sure when construction will start. Once the building is finished he will move his business into the new facility.

For Henderson, the key to a successful auto repair shop is producing quality work.

"When I finish a job, I know I've done the best work I can do," he said. "I try to do everything I can to make the customer happy. I like feeling that way about my work."

One of the biggest challenges Henderson said he faced in opening the business was finding top-notch employees. He wanted mechanics knowledgeable enough to handle any problem on any vehicle brought into the shop. Today, the shop has 11 employees and Henderson expects to expand the staff this summer.

Henderson began working as a mechanic in 1988 after graduating from Bonneville High School. He said several of his new employees have come through the Eastern Idaho Technical College automotive program.

"Working here, you never know what you're going to be doing. One day you might be working on the fuel injectors of a truck or ... an old diesel engine. The next day it could be electrical work, it's never the same thing," Henderson said.

In addition to working on cars and trucks, Henderson said his staff can repair motorcycles and boat engines

Javier Garza has been taking vehicles to the shop since it opened in 2007. Garza works at Cardall's Insulation in Idaho Falls.

"J.R. does maintenance work on my personal truck, as well as the trucks I use at work," Garza said. "I pretty much just let him take care of everything. I trust him and know he's going to treat me right."

Nathan Davis can be reached at 542-6762.

All Things Automotive and Diesel

The shop, located at 1895 N. Woodruff Ave., is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 523-3903 or visit online at allthingsautomotiveanddiesel.com.