Tune Ups July/August 2016

“I Love People, and I Help People. That’s What I Do.”


Bob Wills did a lot more than fix a tire recently. He actually helped save the life and spirit of a discouraged Vietnam veteran.

Wills, owner of Wills Auto Service, in Battle Creek, Mich., and Michigan State Police Trooper Jim Richardson teamed up to help Earl Shotwell, a recovering Vietnam vet who was unable to get to his medical treatment, and who, frankly, had just about given up on life and himself.

Wills fixed Shotwell’s damaged tire so the vet could drive his regular, weekly 100-mile journey from Kalamazoo, Mich., to Ann Arbor, Mich., for medical treatment. “For some reason the back tire, the right back tire just fell off,” says Shotwell. “I kinda gave up.”

Enter Trooper Richardson, who says: “It was one of those things – someone needed help, I was in the position and had the ability to help him, so I did. It’s OK to step out of your comfort zone and help someone that is in need, regardless of whether you know them or don’t know them.”

Richardson arranged for a wrecker and transported Shotwell to his friend Wills’ shop, where the owner was eager to help. When Shotwell offered to pay for the repair, neither Wills nor Richardson would have it. Wills cut the charges to a minimum and says that he “would have gone all the way, if necessary, on the cost of the tire and the service.”

“I actually got to go to my treatment because of what they did for me. I’ve never had a stranger give me that kind of help before in my life, all I could do to thank him was to sit there and cry,” Shotwell says. “They lifted my spirits enough that I’m not giving up. They saved my life … they saved my life.”

“I never thought doing my job would give someone a renewal on life and the will to live. I had tears in my eyes several times listening to Earl talk about two people who came into his life at the time he needed it most. When I was asked why I did this, I said I am a veteran, I love people and I help people. That’s what I do,” explains Wills.

Shotwell says that before all this happened, he felt like he was an overall unlucky guy. Now, he feels just the opposite.

This article is based on a news story first reported by Lourin Sprenger of WWMT-TV NewsChannel 3 in Battle Creek, Mich.

Federal-Mogul Motorparts Joins ASA as Corporate Member


Federal-Mogul Motorparts has become the latest corporate partner of the Automotive Service Association. Federal-Mogul Holdings Corp. is a leading supplier of products and services to the world’s manufacturers and servicers of vehicles and equipment in the automotive, light, medium and heavy-duty commercial, marine, rail, aerospace, power generation and industrial markets. The company’s products and services are designed to improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and enhance vehicle safety.

“We’re delighted to partner with an organization like ASA and its members,” says Brent Berman, Federal-Mogul’s director of training and consumer experience. “Our Garage Gurus technician support initiative is a perfect complement to the services offered by ASA to its members and affiliates, and we’re proud to support the many opportunities this partnership will provide independent service providers, who are the backbone of our industry.”

Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ brands include ANCO wiper blades; Champion spark plugs, wipers and filters; AE, Fel-Pro, FP Diesel, Goetze, Glyco, Nural, Payen and Sealed Power engine products; MOOG chassis components; and Fedodo, Jurid and Wagner brake products. For more information on the company, visit FMMotorparts.com.

“Federal-Mogul Motorparts is a welcome addition to ASA’s corporate membership program,” says Tony Molla, ASA vice president. “As a recognized leader in the supplier segment of the industry, Federal-Mogul Motorparts is a valuable provider and partner to many of our members. We’re looking forward to working closely with them to enhance these relationships and tap into their product knowledge, technical expertise and training programs.”

iATN Launches Mobile App


Members of iATN now have the opportunity to fully participate in all network discussions from their iPhone or iPad thanks to a new mobile app. With iATN: Auto Pro Community, members can reply to existing discussions, start new ones and attach photos and videos to their messages. They also can receive notifications when someone replies to their message or participates in a discussion to which they’re subscribed.

Premium iATN subscribers can use the app to search the iATN Knowledge Base, using traditional keyword searches or by scanning a VIN barcode for a vehicle in their shop. Users with a basic iATN membership have the option to enable a Mobile Pass with an in-app purchase, good for seven, 14 or 30 days of Knowledge Base access.

“Within a few seconds from a mobile device, one can scan a VIN barcode and quickly search all of iATN for relevant information, or record a video, photo, etc., and post it for conversation in very short order,” says Scott Brown, iATN president. “We are living in some very interesting times, and we look forward to opening up new ways for iATN members to communicate and leverage the technology they carry in their pockets.”

Members also are encouraged to use the app’s “feedback” option to offer suggestions and improvements.

For additional information on iATN, go to iatn.net.

Mitchell 1 Specialist in a ‘Class’ by Herself


The Auto Care Association has recognized Susan Schalk, senior repair information specialist at Mitchell 1, as the first woman ever to receive the group’s prestigious World Class Technician Award.

Schalk is one of 12 recipients to receive the exclusive award in 2016. According to the Auto Care Association, only 1,914 technicians have been honored since the World Class Technician Award was established 30 years ago.

Schalk was certified in 22 categories established by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). As a result, she was awarded a certificate signed by the presidents of ASE and the Auto Care Association. She also received an embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, her name will be perpetually inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Mich.

“We’re so proud of Susan’s accomplishment,” says Nick DiVerde, senior director of marketing for Mitchell 1. “Being one of only 12 technicians to receive the designation in 2016 is a tremendous achievement that sets her apart as a true professional. We are pleased to have someone with her expertise as a valued member of the Mitchell 1 team. She’s an excellent role model for everyone in the automotive industry.”

In her role as senior repair information specialist, Schalk helps optimize search results for the company’s ProDemand and SureTrack repair information software. She joined Mitchell 1 in 1998 as a product content support phone agent. She has held several positions, including technical editor, business analyst and facilitator for the application of continuous improvement practices at Mitchell 1.
Schalk says that she “caught the automotive bug” in an auto class in high school. She credits her auto shop instructor for encouraging her to pursue a career in the automotive field, starting by taking the California State emissions test while in high school. She not only passed the test but also was the first woman in the state to pass it.

Her first job after high school was working as a licensed smog technician. Prior to joining Mitchell 1, she spent seven years as a technician at two dealerships and two independent shops, followed by nine years performing fabrication, body repair and paint and trim at a vintage auto restoration shop. In 2004, she was featured as an automotive mechanical expert on an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Monster Garage.”

Schalk also was the first woman to attain ASE certifications for engine repair and engine tuneup in 1974. Over the years, she has added many other ASE certifications to her résumé, including Master Automotive Technician in 2001. In addition, she holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University, a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and an MBA in business and finance from National University.