It was a used 1984 Toyota Corolla that led Vic Velazquez to a career in auto repair. We sat down with Vic, an ASE-Certified and 20 year-strong auto repair technician and talked to him about his career and work philosophy.
Fel-Pro: So Vic, your first car – it sounds like a life-changing purchase.
Vic: “The used ’84 Corolla was definitely a life-changer. Every time something would come up [with my car] I would fix it because I wanted to see if I could do it. It was a constant challenge because I never worked on cars before. My neighbor was a technician and helped me build up my knowledge and skills. That’s how I got in to auto repair.”
F: What made you decide you wanted to fix cars for others instead of just working on your own?
V: “My first automotive service job was at a Goodyear Tire shop where I changed oil and installed tires. I took auto repair classes at Lorain Joint Vocational School, then I moved up to brakes and suspension work. I was aggressive; I liked to work. Now I’m ASE-certified in many areas, including Engine Repair (A1).”
F: How do you approach a repair?
V: “In three words – I don’t compromise. I take pride in a job well done, and I want to take care of the customer. I only use quality parts, because the work I do reflects on me. My name is on that work order.”
F: So, you’ve been doing this for 20 years – do you have a preferred gasket brand?
V: ”I always ask for Fel-Pro. The gaskets I need are always in the box and they’re always finding ways to make products better. I strongly believe in that.”