Steve Bodofsky
Steve is the senior editor for GEARS Magazine; his job is to go through every article to make sure it conforms to the exacting standards set forth by GEARS and ATRA. And, while his byline is a familiar sight in GEARS, he also ghosts articles for other writers. Steve got his start as a general mechanic back in the early ’70s, handling all sorts of repairs, from bumper to bumper. He earned his ASE Master certification shortly after that program got its start. He began writing automotive technical articles and programs in 1988. Since then, his work has received recognition and accolades from the Society for Technical Communication, New York Critics’ Choice, two Tellys, and several International Automotive Media Awards, to name just a few. Today Steve’s a full-time writer and course developer, handling technical and marketing programs for automotive clients from A to Z — ATRA to Zoom Technology.
WIT: Your Business Partner Since 1999
It isn’t easy to operate a transmission repair shop in today’s business climate. With the technology moving forward at breakneck speeds and literally hundreds of different units reaching your doors, it’s a wonder anyone can remain in the business. And rebuilding the transmission is just half the problem. In a lot of cases, you can’t even test drive your rebuilds without reprogramming th...

Main Line Transmission: Honest, Quality Repairs in One of Philly's Most6 Affluent Neighborhoods
You know when you’ve come to Philadelphia’s Main Line: The homes are large and stately with well-coiffed yards and gardens. And you’re much more likely to see a Mercedes or a Land Rover than you are a Chevy or a Toyota. Yep, these folks have money, and lots of it. So you may be wondering how a shop like Main Line Transmission, in Paoli, PA, can possibly be doing well. After all, these fol...

SHARP Transmissions: Staying Sharp for Over 30 Years!
Milton Costakis and William Lorefice are the owners of Sharp Transmissions, a transmission and general repair shop in a rural area of New York. When the shop opened, about 32 years ago, there were some competitive businesses in the area; today, Sharp is the only transmission shop nearby. Milt runs the business from the front counter; Bill is a transmission technician who keeps the benches hummi...

Champion Transmissions Keeps Busy by Providing Champion Level Service to Its Customers!
"My dad was a car salesman, so cars were in my blood,” says Jeff Walson, owner and operator of Champion Transmissions, Inc, in Thousand Oaks, California. “I used to go to work with him now and again, and obviously a car salesman doesn’t want a kid around. So I’d go hang out with the mechanics. “There was this guy named Dennis who looked exactly like the Fonz… way before the Fonz was...

Mastertech Transmissions, Inc. Doing Something Very Right
Mike Sparkman got his start in the transmission business back when he was just 13 years old. That was in about 1973. Back then, his father, Mike Sr., was managing a shop, and Mike would come by after school to help clean the floors and empty trashcans. That was his first taste of the transmission business. By the time he was 16, his father had opened his own shop, Quality Transmissions. “Th...

2018 TCRA Event A Rousing Success
It’s been a few weeks since the 2018 TCRA event, the preeminent training and meeting program for the torque converter professional. This year’s event took place in Florida, at the Weston Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, April 20-21, 2018. And, according to those who made it a point to take part, it was a rousing success. The event began with a guided tour of the Florida Torque Converter...

Quality Transmission and Alignment: Remaining Successful in Small-Town USA
One of the characteristics of small town living is that just about everyone knows your business. Just one unhappy customer could irreparably damage your reputation in a matter of just a few hours, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So it says a lot about a business that’s been operating successfully in a small town for almost 40 years. That’s a long time to avoid the stigma that an ...

Attitude is Everything at Mister Transmission
This past March 24th, ATRA’s Dennis Madden and Keith Clark were on hand at the Mister Transmission annual convention. Mister Transmission is a strictly Canadian company, founded in 1963. Today they have over 60 transmission repair centers across the country. Don’t confuse Mister Transmission with Mr. Transmission, a U.S. franchise company based in Illinois; the two are totally different com...

Time to Start Making Your Plans to Attend Expo 2018 in Las Vegas!
It’s time once again to mark your calendar and save the date for Expo 2018. This year marks the return to Bally’s: Expo will be October 31st through November 3rd at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, right near the southern edge of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. If you already went over to your calendar to mark those dates, you probably noticed something different: This year Expo will...

Price's Transmission: Is Flying High after 40 Years!
Over the years, we’ve met a lot of transmission folk who’ve heard the call of the wind and taken to the skies to earn their pilots licenses. For many it seems to have become the next step in their transportation lifecycle: walking, driving, and finally, flying. But Curtis Price, owner of Price’s Transmission, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has taken his wings to a much higher level. Not con...

TCRA is Heading for Florida
Last year, TCRA chose the warmth of Southern California for its annual seminar program; this year, they’ve moved across the country to another notoriously comfortable site: Florida. They’ll be at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, April 20-21, 2018, a beautiful waterfront resort right on the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River, where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. If you’r...

Bob's 151 Transmission Center: A Successful Shop with an Authentic Name
According to its web site, Bob's 151 Transmission Center is located one half mile west of US Highway 41 on Highway 23 in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It’s a full-service repair shop, owned and operated by Kirk Griswold. Which begs an awful lot of questions, particularly when it comes to the shop’s name. As it turns out, the answers aren’t all that mysterious, although the path is a bit of a wi...

ATRA's Southwest Chapter Hosts Hands-On CVT Workshop Sponsored by WIT and SAP
The idea that the transmission industry is changing is hardly a new one. And it’s certainly an observation that everyone involved would agree with. Nowhere is that change more evident than with the introduction of the continuously variable transmission, or CVT. Yeah, it still provides the connection between the engine and the drive wheels, just like the more familiar, planetary gear type tran...

Speedy Transmission Centers of Marietta, GA: Where Magic is the Key to Success
For most of the world, the auto repair industry is one populated by men. Oh sure, there are a few women here and there… you usually see them in the office, taking care of customers or handling the billing. Female technicians are out there, but they’re still a rarity. And, of course, there are a few women shop owners, but generally, they’re part of a husband-and-wife team. It’s beyond un...

Harsh Shifts Traced to Engine Troubles... Again!
It isn’t unusual to have a car come in with harsh shifts, particularly a harsh 1-2. Any number of transmission conditions can set the transmission computer into a partial failsafe, locking mainline pressure at maximum levels. The result? Harsh shifts, particularly the 1-2. But what about a problem that has nothing to do with the transmission? A problem with the engine… one that doesn’t...

Transolution: A General Repair Shop That Also Offers Transmission Repair
If you’re a diehard GEARS reader, the name Transolution might be a familiar one: We visited Transolution Auto Care Center in Missoula, Montana, when we were doing the shop visits on our trips around the country for ATRA’s regional tech seminars. Back then, shop owner Chris Gerber had just built his new shop, and, according to GEARS Managing Editor Rodger Bland, it was a prime example of jus...

Trans-Tech Transmission and Auto Service
A lot of transmission shops now offer general repairs to help serve their customers and supplement their businesses. And many shops rebuild their own torque converters. Some shops even sell remans to other shops. But Trans-Tech Transmission and Auto Service, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, owned by John Braconnier, does it all and more. In fact, Trans-Tech consists of four separate divisions: ...

Advantages of a Technical Career
These days it seems everyone wants to send today’s young people to college as soon as they finish high school. You can’t watch TV or go online without seeing a report that “proves” that college graduates earn about three quarters of a million dollars or more over their lifetimes than those who skip college. Not much wonder that the vast majority of teens have plans to go to college. For...

WIT: Doing "Whatever It Takes" To Be Your Partner in Business
When you think “WIT,” your first thought is probably “parts supplier.” That’s not a stretch: WIT has been a leading transmission parts supplier for nearly two decades. Their exceptional inventory and innovative delivery systems have made them a favorite for transmission repair shops all across the country. But WIT is so much more than a parts supplier. The name WIT — an acronym for ...

KC Martin Automotive and Transmission: Community Service and Growing Their Own
Erich Bockelie and Kevin Owens are the owners of KC Martin Transmissions and KC Martin Automotive, two shops in Lynnwood, Washington. The general repair shop is operated by Kevin; Erich runs the transmission shop. Both are within a couple miles of each other. These days it’s no surprise to find transmission shops handling general repairs. Many started expanding their service models over the l...