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.
Imperial Auto and Truck Service Center: Providing More Than the Customer Expects
Imperial Auto and Truck Service Center has built a reputation not just on doing great work, but by exceeding their customers’ expectations. “I, personally, do free windshield repair,” says Loren Kiner (pronounced Ky-ner), owner of Imperial. “Somebody has a chip in the windshield, I go out with the tool and I fix it. And I do it for free. “A customer comes in with really nasty looking ...

Fort Dodge Transmission, Inc. Ending Up Better than Where They Started
Ever start going one way, only to end up somewhere completely different? But once you get there, you realize that where you ended up turned out to be way better than where you were planning to go? That’s kind of the storyline for Fort Dodge Transmission, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, owned and operated by Tom Donney. He opened Fort Dodge as an import car repair and transmission shop. Over time, it bec...

TCRA Is Off! To Louisville
This year, the Torque Converter Rebuilders Association (TCRA) will be in the land of bluegrass… both the famous sod and the home of an amazing category of country music. Because this year, the TCRA seminar program will be held at the Marriot Louisville Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky, April 26-27, 2019, a beautiful venue right in the heart of Louisville, a town made famous by the Louisville ...

Don Stone: Stepping Up When It Really Mattered
How many times have you turned on the TV and seen hurricanes and flooding in Florida or Mississippi? Or tornados in Oklahoma or Kansas? Or wildfires in California? And, how often have you thought about how you’d like to help some of the folks who were suffering through those catastrophes? But did you? If you’re like most of us, you probably sent a few bucks to the Red Cross and let it go...

Western Transmission Encompasses An Enormous Community Presence
We’ve long established the value of building a community presence in today’s business environment. But for most shops, that usually means sponsoring a local sports team, joining a service club, or taking part in a community event. Few shops have taken community to the level of Western Transmission, owned and operated by James “Jimmy” McGeachin and his wife, Janice. Their business presen...

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 Most 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...