2022 Review

Holiday-Stews-Logo

Happy Holidays and 2022 Recap!

Happy holidays to everyone! This year has been a whirlwind of activity here at Stew’s Self Service Garage! We’ve had so many things happening this year, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Obviously the big one was we opened our second location. For years now we’ve heard many requests to put a location in the South sound. Of course we get requests for just about every city in the country, but by far and large the South sound region was the biggest request. We also turned 8 this year! We’ve come a long way since we opened at the end of October in 2014, and we have you all to thank for it!

Second Location Opens In Auburn!

Our Auburn location has been off to a great start! We had 7 years of experience figuring out an ideal setup in Kirkland, and we put that into practice. We’ve had many of our South end customers stop in to check it out, thankful they don’t have to commute to Kirkland for a Stew’s Self Service Garage. There are a lot of things that are the same, but we were able to enhance on a number of things. Our tool selection in each bay is a little different, but better in that it’s removed tools that don’t get used often, and added tools that are checked out frequently. Our 2 posts and 4 posts are all the same at this location since we did all our testing in Kirkland for our preferred brands. Perhaps everyone’s favorite thing is the bays are all direct drive in. No multi-point turns inside the building, just drive right in. If you haven’t been in to see it, come check it out!

Stew's Turned 8!

Another year around the sun for Stew’s Self Service Garage! We first opened our garage doors in Kirkland in October of 2014, and it seems fun to do a little bit of a then and now comparison. When we opened in 2014 we had a total of 4 employees, and now in 2022 we have 10 employees. Back then we only had 5 bays available in Kirkland to rent, and now we have 7 bays in Kirkland and 10 in Auburn for a total of 17. In 2014 we only had 4 garage doors we could open daily, now we have 16 garage doors to play around with, which makes my arms sore just thinking about opening and closing all of them. The total number of customers we saw for our short 2 months in 2014 is now exceeded by the customers we see per week. Perhaps the most important change is that in 2014 we only had 2 hammers in the bay tool set, and now we have 7 hammers to choose from. We do apologize for the lack of hammer options when we opened.

What's Coming In 2023?

We have quite a few things in the pipeline for 2023, a lot of which started in 2022. There was a down period of time from when we signed the papers for the Auburn location and when work got started on it. Once the work started though, it was all out focus on that, and we had to put all our other projects onto the back burner. We’ve put finishing touches on in-person lessons, and we have some other exciting things we are getting ready to announce. 

Ready to work on your car? Auburn or Kirkland, both locations are open daily from 9am-9pm.*

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7:30pm cut off time, this means all cars must be checked in prior to 7:30pm.

Auburn Opening Date

Auburn Grand Opening

The GRAND OPENING for Stew’s Self Service Garage’s Auburn location will be on September 24th, 2022! This is an open house event with the first day to rent a bay starting on September 25th. We look forward to showing off the new location and we have some great things lined up for the opening. There will be cars on display both inside and outside the shop, tours, the chance to book bays, free giveaways, and more! The open house will run from 10am to 2pm, so be sure to stop in to see the new location! Our address is 4715 Auburn Way N Auburn, WA 98002.

How Many Bays?

Everything about the Auburn location is bigger than Kirkland. Auburn has 10 bays available to rent. We’ll feature 8 Rotary 2-post lifts that have a 10,000lb capacity, as well as 2 Challenger 4-post lifts with rolling jacks that have a 14,000lb capacity. The 2-post lifts work great for both cars and trucks that want to get their wheels off the ground. They even work great for low profile cars with the low profile arms. The 4-post lifts are awesome for quick projects and large vehicles. You’ll find the rolling jacks make doing wheels-off work possible on the 4-posts as well! The 14,000lb capacity makes it great for conversion vans and other large, heavy-duty vehicles.

How About The Tools And Equipment?

We will feature a lot of the same equipment as Kirkland, however the workstations are different as well as the tools in the bay. We’ve taken lessons learned in Kirkland and applied them to the tool sets and workstations in Auburn. What are the primary differences? We’ve removed tools that don’t get used and added in quite a few that are frequently asked for from our tool room. We want you to be as productive as possible, so the less trips to the tool room the better. In terms of other equipment, we’ll feature most of the same stuff like transmission jacks, pole jacks, presses, and more. We still won’t have wheel and tire equipment or alignment equipment, but they are possibilities for the future. The same services of fluid and old part recycling will be available at no cost just like in Kirkland.

What About Parking and Storage?

Parking and entrance/exit friendliness is significantly improved over the Kirkland location. The driveway is relatively flat and we have a lot more parking available. The lot is also completely fenced and gated for safekeeping at night. Storage for parts is much better than Kirkland since we have a large, enclosed area with pallet racks. There is a forklift on site as well, so we can accept deliveries without the need for using a liftgate service. 

Get Early Access

We will be doing a soft opening on Thursday September 22nd to test run everything in preparation for our opening weekend. There will be a free 3 hour use of a bay, and we will need a total of 10 cars. We will be picking 10 people at random, and you must be available that afternoon at the scheduled time. On that day, you’ll show up at your scheduled time, be checked into the garage, and then given the chance to use the bay for your allotted time. When you’re done, you’ll check out, and after check out we’ll have a short survey for you to fill out. The soft opening is invite only, so if you are not chosen to attend, please do not plan to come by our Auburn location on the 22nd.

If you’d like to participate in the soft open, submit your info below and you’ll be entered for the chance to win. We will contact the winners by September 19th.

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Fresh New Look

Bright New Paint and Lights!

The inside is looking like a brand new space! Our fresh paint has dried and it looks so much better inside than what it used to be! The old yellow/tan paint covered in a few decades of grease is officially gone. We matched our Kirkland location with the same two-tone grey and white look for a nice bright and clean appearance. The white helps reflect as much light as possible while the grey down low helps reduce visible dirt/grease/grime before it can get wiped up. That’s not the only fresh new paint though.

Fresh Outside Look Too!

Is it a new building, or just a fresh coat of paint? You’d have to forgive some people for thinking it’s a new building because other than the shape, the building is very different now! No more pale yellow and red paint, say hello to our fresh color scheme of grey and Stew’s blue! While Kirkland may remain yellow outside, it is not by choice, so we weren’t going to let our Auburn location suffer the same fate. We didn’t want to leave the clean looks to just the inside, and we knew this color scheme would look great for years to come. Next up on the visual changes list is our big sign on the street that’s had a coming soon banner over it. We are excited to have the new sign panels put in!

So What's Left?

Our electrical inspection just happened and we are now signed off on that. We still need to get our fire safety permits done, and there’s still lots of finishing work to go. We also are awaiting on a garage door to arrive so we can have all 10 bays ready to go. We are also working on hiring a whole new team to staff the Auburn location. We have started the hiring process so we can start training them in Kirkland to be ready when we open later this year. Right now we are focusing on getting the workbenches in place and stocked with tools. We are getting closer and closer to announcing a grand opening day, but for now we have to wait a bit longer. We know everyone is very excited, and we are too!

Can't wait and need to work on your car now? Click the Book Now button to make an appointment in Kirkland!

Latest and Greatest in Auburn

Major Progress!

In just a months time we’ve made a ton of progress! Demolition work started on May 20th, finally kicking off the start of construction. There was about 5,000sqft of mezzanine storage to bring down, and on that mezzanine were quite literal tons of shelves and other stuff. The electrical in the building was from the 80s, and there was a lot of not so safe wiring added through the years in the building that had to be ripped out as well. We ended up removing 6 dumpsters that were 45 yards each, as well as 2 scrap metal dumpsters that were 15 yards. This was a lot of stuff, and it’s a huge difference in before and after. When we took over the space we really had to use our imagination to picture what it would look like, but with all the mezzanine gone it makes it easier to picture. After all the old stuff was ripped out and hauled off, we had the entire interior cleaned with degreaser and pressure washed. As you know, we put a big emphasis on cleanliness, and we wanted to get everything cleaned so it could start with a fresh slate. 

Lifts are going up!

We’ve also had equipment and tools start to arrive! We were well planned, timing out deliveries for things to arrive when they needed to be even accounting for supply chain delays. Our 2 post lifts have all arrived, with our 4 posts arriving soon. As the electricians work in the space, the 2 post lifts have started to go up. This works out perfectly since the electricians are already here wiring the rest of the building, they’ll be able to wire in the lifts as they go up. We will have 8 of the 2 post rotary lifts, and 2 of the 4 post rotary lifts, and the 4 posts will have rolling jacks. The 2 post lifts will have a 10,000lb capacity while the 4 post will be able to hold 14,000lbs. We look forward to you guys getting them broken in!

What's Next?

As we are starting fresh with all the electrical in the building, there’s lots to wire, but the electricians are making great progress. We are bringing in over 40 new light fixtures, lots of circuits in each bay, charging outlets for EVs, and more. We are looking forward to having lots of lights as the building lacked them, and we want to have as bright of a work area as possible. Next up will be paint! The interior of the building was a pale tan covered in decades of grease and grime when we took it over. Now that the inside is cleaned the primer will be able to stick to the actual wall and not a layer of grease. The walls will be painted the same color scheme as the Kirkland location, grey on the bottom and white above it. We want to maximize lighting efficiency while doing our best to not have visibly dirty walls all the time. After the inside is painted, we’ll be adding a fresh layer of paint to the outside as well. We look forward to sharing the new look with everyone!

Check Out Our Progress Video!

We saved the best for last! Here’s a little preview of the construction progress. Progress is happening fast, and we hope to have another video soon. For now though, enjoy the sneak peek!

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Tell me more about that second location!

It's that time again!

Where I tell you more about that second location of ours coming soon in Auburn. We love how excited everyone is, because we are too. Sadly, we aren’t open yet, but hope to have the grand opening later this year. Don’t worry though, I’ve got some updates to share and other fun information. First, the building is now officially empty of all of the prior owners equipment and stuff. The auction was a huge success, and we sold everything. Now that the building is empty, demolition is underway in preparation for construction. We also have a landscaper that we’ve hired to keep the property in a better maintained exterior state. While the visible changes have been minimal, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. 

Give me the behind the scenes details!

To start, we have our lifts purchased and waiting to be installed once the site is ready. Considering there is about an 8 to 16 week lead time on lifts, this is a pretty big challenge that we don’t have to worry about. They’ll be eagerly awaiting to be installed, leaving us to rest easy knowing we don’t have delivery delays. We’ve finalized our new workstation layout, and are on the production schedule for mid Summer. All of our workstations are 100% American made, and they are even fairly local! If you’ve seen our new press area boxes and benches, you’ll recognize the brand as Champion Tool Storage. Champion Tool Storage is based in Hood River, Oregon and they produce their boxes right there in their own factory. I went down to their facility in November for a production line tour and to see the products first hand. I was impressed with what I saw, and decided that they would be our new provider for workstations and other cabinet and bench needs. Their product quality is exceptional, and their customer service is top notch as well. As a local business, we want to support local business too, and Champion is in our own region so we count it! Plus, eventually we’ll have a location closer than a few hours away from them (No official time line, this is a non binding agreement, terms and conditions apply, 18 years or older, ask a parent or guardian before asking us when this will be open).

So what's next?

Getting through the permitting process and getting construction started. Demolition work is currently underway, and we are scheduling giving the building a nice fresh look with new paint. There is also the matter of hiring and training staff for the new location, but that will wait until we have a better idea of when we can be open. Sadly there is just no way for us to predict an opening date at the moment. We know everyone is looking forward to the new location, and we are too! The moment we have an opening day, we’ll be spreading the news! Another way to stay informed? Check out our Auburn page by clicking here for the latest and greatest.

Employee Appreciation!

Sometimes we go have some fun and throw an employee appreciation day. This year we went and played in the dirt and mud over at Dirtfish in Snoqualmie! We did their 1 day RWD class and all had a blast. Learning the basics of rally driving and then applying it to some of their basic course layouts was a great way to spend a day. We had perfect weather conditions – rain but no showers leading to optimal sliding, and many smiles had. It’s great when we can partner with another awesome PNW company to enjoy an appreciation event. We look forward to returning to Dirtfish again someday!

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What’s the latest on Auburn?

What's The Latest On The Auburn Location?

I’m glad you asked! We made a special page just for this question that will be updated regularly to reflect the progress being made. But I will also take some time to go over what that latest news is, and what’s on the horizon for the new location. We are still numerous months away from being open, and we appreciate your patient excitement! You can get to that page by clicking here, or clicking Auburn in the main menu.

The equipment liquidation auction happens February 23rd to March 2nd online at James G. Murphy. When we took over the space, we took on the challenge of liquidating all the old tools and equipment from the previous business. If you have any interest in some of the stuff, check out the auction listing by clicking here!

We are in the process of hiring a contractor to do the improvement work to the space. It was originally built in the late 80s, and needs some updating. We plan to bring in 40+ new light fixtures, 20+ drops of additional power outlets, a whole new air piping system, and a lot more in the shop area. We will also be constructing a new office/reception area complete with storage for stocked parts. 

Lastly, some signage has gone up! We’ve got our coming soon temporary banner on our big sign on Auburn Way. We’re in the process of getting the permanent one done, and adding some signage to the building. We’ve got more in store for the exterior that we’ll be ready to share later!

What About Improvements To The Kirkland Location?

Don’t you worry, we’d never forget about the Kirkland location! We’ve recently completed phase 1 of the upgrade to the back area that has the press, vise, and other equipment. It used to be semi organized chaos back there, but now it’s much cleaner and better setup for your use. This was a big request in the feedback survey we ran in October, so it was a priority for us to address. We added an additional 20 ton hydraulic press to ease waiting for the press when we have multiple people who need one. We’ve also organized our press tools into a 48″ wide toolbox that’s right there in the press room. Less time wasted digging around for tooling is the goal. 

On top of that, we’ve added another vise to the area, as well as a better drill press, new grinder wheels, and a belt sander. We also purchased a portable band saw that will come in handy for cutting all sorts of things. Our goal was to make the area match our bays for the quality of tools, equipment, and organization. We think you’ll enjoy using this space when you come in and need to use it!

Loyalty Program Coming Soon™

I don’t have many details to share, but once again this was a popular request in the feedback survey. I’ve evaluated multiple of the top loyalty management systems, and we are in the process of selecting one and setting up a program. In keeping with the theme of this blog post, it’s coming soon! What I can tell you is that it will be a points system, and there will be multiple ways to earn points. There will be the typical ways of points earned per spend, as well as referral points rewards. The plan is for the points to essentially be a cash credit system, where the points you earn can be redeemed as credit on your invoice when you’d like to use it. We look forward to what we can offer with this loyalty system, as I think it will address a few of the requests from the feedback survey. As for a timeline, I don’t have an exact date, but I can say it is going to be no later than June. We are actively working on this, and will launch it after some testing to make sure it works well for both us and you. 

Are You Offering Classes Yet?

We are preparing to start classes again soon. We’ve done some private classes for local clubs recently, and they’ve been well received by their members. This has allowed us to fine tune how we would like to teach classes, and how many people we can work with at one time. We are working on creating a monthly class schedule that will teach a lot of the basics of auto repair. There are no dates yet, but we expect this to be announced in the next 2 months. There will be limited number of spots available as when the group gets too big, it makes it difficult to teach in an impactful way. Be sure to keep an eye out for this announcement, as when the class fills up, we won’t be able to add spots.  

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New Year, New Stew’s Location

New Year, New Stew's Self Service Garage Location

What a way to end the year! On December 30th, 2021 we signed a lease on a building in Auburn, WA! We started this process in September of 2021, and were able to get it across the finish line to end the year. We are so excited to finally add another location, serving an even greater geographic area in Washington. The hunt for a second location has been on going for the past 2-3 years. We’ve primarily focused on going South, for a couple reasons I’ll outline below. We wouldn’t settle for a building that didn’t exactly fit our needs, leading to the search taking some time. I’m happy to say, an ideal location has been found!

Our plan is to operate a total of 10 DIY bays in the space. We plan to have 8 2-post lifts, and 2 4-post lifts. We’ll also be able to have a sizable tool room, and should be able to accommodate more specialty type tools and equipment. There is still a lot of work to do on the building, but we’ll detail that below!

The Search

We started looking for another location about 2-3 years ago. While buildings would pop up in the search, there wasn’t anything really grabbing our attention as an ideal location. We stayed patient and in September 2021 our broker, Matt, came through. The old Stan’s Headers building was hitting the market, and we jumped on top of the opportunity. I got down there and toured it a couple days later and recognized this is what we were looking for. The building would allow direct drive in bays, and we’d be able to have 10 bays. There are other factors that go into the ideal location, but that post would become exceptionally long. It was exciting to tour a building and immediately the vision was there on how a Stew’s Self Service Garage would work there. 

Since it was originally built for an automotive business, there are a lot of things that are in place that will make this building great for us. The parking lot is flat, and the entrance is not steep which will be a welcome sight for those in low cars. The building was built specifically to accommodate direct drive in bays, making getting into a bay a lot easier for people instead of needing to make multi-point turns inside the building. Because it was originally an exhaust shop, they’d run the cars a lot, and this design allows you to easily run a hose to the outside and not have to worry about fuming everyone out inside. Overall, we are loving everything about this building and location!

Why did we focus on looking for a location more in the South end? While we do receive requests to put a garage in numerous locations, South was by far and large the most requested. We also have an existing customer base in the area to help support this location at opening. Both of those factors greatly influenced our decision to make our second location South of our original in Kirkland. I look forward to the success of our South end location, as it will allow us continued expansion throughout the state and greater North West area.

Auburn-Floor-Plan-Basic

What's Next?

We are so incredibly excited to share the news with everyone! What’s next though is a lot of waiting sadly. We are in the process of getting to the permitting stage for the building improvements we need to make. The other thing is liquidating a lot of the equipment and other stuff in the building as we won’t have a use for it. Part of the deal was that we would liquidate all the equipment, so we’ve got some work to do on that front as well. I’d love to be able to share an opening date with you in this blog post, but we aren’t quite ready for that announcement yet. We are on track for a 2022 opening, but we aren’t sure if that will be mid or late 2022 yet. 

There is a lot of work to be done, from building improvements, to tool and equipment purchases, to hiring, and more. There’s lessons to be learned, and mistakes to make, but I’m excited for the new challenge. I wrote the business plan for Stew’s Self Service Garage in my dorm room in the winter of 2012. It took almost 2 years to open the first location, and all I wanted was to just get open and see what would happen. After a few years of operations and learning a lot, I just wanted to get to opening a second location. We are now 7 years past the opening of our first location, and we are getting ready to open the next one. This is an exciting chapter, and I am really looking forward to starting it.

As this is an expansion, our Kirkland location will remain open. You’ll see some minor changes in Kirkland as we test out things for our second location, but it will remain largely the same.

I can’t wait to see you all at the grand opening for Stew’s Self Service Garage in Auburn! For now, I’ll leave you with a gallery of the building as it is now. 

Stew's Self Service Garage Auburn - As Pictured in December 2021

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7 Years Old!

We've made it 7 years!

7 Years is officially in the books for Stew’s Self Service Garage! It’s amazing to reflect every year on not just what we did in the previous year, but also reflecting upon where we started. It’s a very stark contrast from the beginnings to now. We pour any profits we have into upgrading equipment, adding equipment, and doing our best to offer livable wages and amazing benefits to our staff. With our aggressive reinvestment we have upgraded nearly every aspect of the shop area, and many behind the scenes systems to make renting a bay easier. There are still areas of improvement, and there are also things we wanted to get feedback on to see what matters most to you, our amazing clients. We received hundreds of responses from you all, and we have been reading and compiling all the responses over the past weeks to prioritize what we can do to make the service even better. I’m excited to give you all a sneak peak as to what we have already begun working on, and what is to come next. 

Work/Press Area

First, the most neglected area of the garage is certainly our back work area where the press is. For years it has been unorganized and chaotic back there. This was something we’ve been aiming to fix, but kept getting put on the back burner. One of the more requested things from your feedback was to improve that area, and bring it up to par with the work bays. I’m excited to say that we have already begun the efforts to fix that area. We have purchased a large L shaped stainless work bench that will have 2 vises, a drill press, bench grinder, chop saw, and belt sander on it. Below it we will have cabinets for storage, as well as drawer cabinets to house the spare bolts and hardware. We are also adding a 48″ toolbox with stainless steel work surface on top to house all of our press tools. This will provide a final home for all of our press tools, as well as a work area while using the presses. Yes, I said presses, because we are also going to add another 20 ton press. Too many times recently we have had more than 1 person needing the press, leading to wasting your time waiting. The estimated delivery of our new equipment is mid-February, so there is a little bit of a wait. But we promise, it will be very worth it!

Tool Room/Air Compressor

Next, we have moved the air compressor and are in the process of making the tool room bigger. Our air compressor can be noisy when it fires up, and can startle people washing their hands. After reading in multiple responses asking what that noise was, and can we fix it, we knew we needed to take action ASAP. Fortunately we can fix it, and we have moved the air compressor to the back storage area! Now we will have more room for tools, and less noise when it turns on.

This means we will look into providing certain manufacturer specific specialty tools we don’t currently offer. We aim to provide as many tools as we possibly can, so we always enjoy increasing our selection of tools. Since we have been out of room for some time in the tool room, we have had to limit how many more tools we could acquire. We also resisted buying manufacturer specific specialty tools because of the cost associated with them, and their infrequency of use. We will be adding tools that we know will be used most frequently first, and then see how often they are used, and if we will have room for more things. Because now our tool room will hold more than just tools too!

Parts/Consumables

The roadblock keeping us from stocking fluids, parts, and consumables has been space. Our tool room is so small, and was the only fitting place for us to be able to sell this type of thing from. We have maximized what we can fit into it, but it’s not been able to handle anything more for a long time now. But, with the expansion of the tool room, we will now have space to stock more parts, fluids, and consumables! We plan to stock a selection of the common flavors of engine oil, transmission fluids, and gear oils. We are also planning on stocking more crush washers, nuts, bolts, electrical connectors, and lots of other miscellaneous little things that always get lost or forgotten about. Less waiting for a parts store delivery means more wrenching!

Loyalty Program/Membership

I’m grouping many of the similar suggestions together into one category of some form of loyalty or membership program. Discounts, friend referral rewards, a points system, different rates for different days, paid memberships, and a few others all somewhat fit under this umbrella. We’ve said in the past we weren’t ready to do one, or that we didn’t know how we would implement one, and just put it on the back burner. Since it was the most requested thing when you put all the similar suggestions together, we are now actively determining a best way to implement such a system. It’s important to us to get this right, both from a customer facing side, and an employee facing side. If it isn’t easy to use for everyone, it just isn’t going to work well. As we get further down the road with how we want to do it, we’ll be reaching out again asking what specifically people would like to see from it. For now, I promise it is something that is coming soon, and it is actively being worked on. We are targeting sometime in the first half of 2022 to have this completed. This one may take more time as we dial in an exact implementation and make sure we are offering what you want to see in a program.

Classes

In the past we have run classes on our own, and with car clubs. When we’ve run them on our own, participation was close to non-existent. It was a strong request in the survey, so we will revisit it in some form or fashion. We love to see that people want to receive more education on car repair! We will be following up on this to find out more specifically what people would like to learn so we are offering classes tailored to what you want. Expect to see something in early 2022 from us about it.

Online Scheduling

Last, but not least, our online scheduler will be going through changes within the next year. This isn’t something we can change quickly, as there doesn’t seem to be a good way to implement the features people are requesting. We will either need to have our own scheduler program built, or heavily adapt the one we are using for it to meet the needs. In general the way schedulers work is that you input what and when you want to schedule, and then it shows you if it’s available or not. What most people are requesting is somewhat the inverse of that. You’d like to be able to see the availability of each bay for each day up front, and then input what you want to schedule. While this is how it works for us on the employee facing side, it is a little more complicated from the client side. We can’t allow a calendar view on the front end with our current scheduler because it will display your personal information publicly. We’ve been looking at other alternatives, but haven’t found one that offers the features being requested. 

In the meantime, we have implemented a temporary solution, that may become permanent if people like the change that has been made. We will still be searching for a more ideal solution, but we hope this change is welcomed. We have made it so you can select 2 post, or 4 post lifts and that will allow you to let the scheduler choose the first available lift of that type. From there you can select how much time you’d like, and you can leave the bay selection as ‘Any’ to let it pick for you, or pick a bay you’d like and then schedule. This should reduce the amount of back and forth for you when making an appointment.

Doing an Inspection

The Vehicle Safety Inspection

Doing a vehicle safety inspection is critical for road safety. It can save you from having an expensive break down, and hopefully prevent you being stranded on the side of the road. There are numerous different things to check, but they can be checked fairly quickly. We put together a checklist for you to make doing the inspection systematic for you, and to keep you on task. 

The check list is broken into sections, and each section has parts that are all related to each other. This will also allow you to do things in pieces if you want. You can do one whole section at a time, even across different days if you know that other parts in other sections are good. 

Our experts on staff can’t do an inspection for you, but we can answer questions you have. We recommend checking out 2 Car Pros by clicking here to learn more about how to actually do the inspection. On their site you can research each section of the inspection to learn more about it and how to identify issues.

A Stew’s Garage Summer

A Fresh Stew's Garage Shirt!

It’s been many many years since we have had a new style of shirt. What better way than to immortalize Rick’s legendary van with it’s own Stew’s Self Service Garage t-shirt. Notably, these will not be working shirts, they are premium tri-blend shirts. They are awesome for wearing any time, you might just not want to get them dirty is all. If you want one, be sure to act fast as these are going to be a limited time offering. They will be available for pre-order for 2 weeks (8/24/2020), and after that we will send them off for printing. If you don’t order during pre-order they will not be available again after that. 

The detail level of this shirt is what really stands out. You have the duct taped window, perfectly recreated in silhouette. There is also the front shade on the windshield, the roof rack, and the all important Stew’s Self Service Garage decal. Click here to buy yours now before they are all gone.

When it Rains Suspension, it Pours Suspension

July was full of suspension jobs! Something that is interesting is that similar jobs always come in waves. For the entire month of July it seemed everyone was either putting lift kits on, or coil overs to go lower. By far it was the most popular job we saw through the month. Typically we’ll see a lot of the same job types over a few week period. For example we’ll see a bunch of clutch jobs all over the period of a few weeks. Or we’ll see lots of fluid changes, or exhaust jobs. While people do all sorts of different jobs here, there is always one job type that is more prevalent over the month than any others. We sometimes wonder why that is, since everyone drives different, and has their cars serviced at different intervals. Some how, some way they all seem to find a common time to do a common job though! Just a fun observation.

This RV is LARGE and in Charge

This is by far the biggest vehicle we’ve had at Stew’s Self Service Garage. This RV measured in at just over 24ft, and just under 14,000lbs. They were on a road trip out here in the Seattle area and needed to fix their power steering pump before driving back across the country. We don’t blame them, having to manually steer this beast would be one hell of a work out! Fortunately they were able to find us on the ol’ google machine and were able to talk with us and confirm that it would fit before coming in. After we knew it was going to just fit, we said come on in and Be Your Own Mechanic! They were able to get the new pump in, and get back on the road home.

A Fond Customer Farewell

This turbo Silverado has been coming to our garage for a couple years now. It’s owned by a soon to be retired from the US Navy sailor. He will be heading back home once he is officially out of the Navy. He brought it in recently once last time to make sure it was road trip ready. The US military brings all sorts of awesome individuals and families to our area, and we love to be able to see them and their vehicles here at our garage. We also provide all active and former military members with a 15% discount on all services as a token of our appreciation. We appreciate the Navy bringing him to the Seattle area, and we wish him well on his next journey out of the Navy!

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