Workin CT: Bays full, customers welcome, at Modern Tire and Auto Service in West Hartford

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WEST HARTFORD -- The bays are full at Modern Tire and Auto Service in West Hartford and the mechanics are busy working. They have a lot to do by the end of the day.

“Some people come in with nails and stuff in their tire. I’ve pulled out windshield wiper pieces out of there, bolts, screwdrivers, all sorts of things,” said Antonio Gonzalez, who works at Modern Tire.

Gonzalez said it’s always something, but nothing that the West Hartford repair shop can’t handle with care.

“When I approach a car, I approach it like it was my own. I wouldn’t want to put anybody’s car back on the road that’s not safe to drive,” he said.

It’s that approach that has had customers coming back to Modern Tire for decades.

General Manager Andy Rizzo has been here since 1980, and he’s seen how the place has grown over the years.

“We’re second and third generation. I’ve seen little kids that came in here 30 years ago, that are now driving and are bringing their cars in. They feel so comfortable coming here,” said Rizzo.

To make sure they feel comfortable, the mechanics go over every aspect of a repair, bringing the customers in to see what’s being fixed and to explain the problem to them. Andy says he’ll go as far as sending the customers photos if they need them.

It’s all about building trust.

“I just find that they are really dependable. I can trust them, and they’re quick and easy,” said Brehan Cosgrove, who has been a loyal customer.

“We’re in the service business. People do come by and they feel comfortable coming in if they need air in their tires or they just needed their oil checked. We’re almost like the full service gas station which is no longer around, so we’ve kind of taken that over,” said Rizzo.