3 generations help repair cars at Wallo’s
By Stephen Groessel

The small town feel, the personal touch, and the trust level are three compelling reasons why people bring their vehicles to Wallo’s Auto Service LLC.

Marking its 33rd year, the Howards Grove full service and repair business on Wisconsin Avenue is a familiar landmark to village residents, and what is even more noteworthy, customers are greeted and served by three generations of skilled mechanics.

Floyd “Skip” Wallo, 76, purchased the business April 1, 1979 from Orville Schneider. His son, Dave Wallo, 52, has been sole owner the past six years. Completing the threesome is Dave’s son, Chad. All three reside in Howards Grove.

The Wallo staff includes one full time person and two part-time people.

Vehicle owners can depend on having their vehicles serviced throughout their lifetime at Wallos. With the softening of the economy, more and more car owners are holding on to their vehicles longer and discovering that with regular maintenance at garages like Wallos, achieving impressive mileage goals like 200,000 or even 300,000 is not unrealistic at all, said Dave. Whether it is brakes, exhaust, tune ups, oil changes or general repairs Wallo’s Auto Service is equipped to do the job and to do the work in a timely fashion.

Quick parts

Wallo’s carries a typical inventory of parts and when it needs parts it does not have on hand it can acquire 80-90 percent of them within a day from one of three area part stores, Dave said. The same can be said about tires from local suppliers.

Towing service is available too but only during regular business hours.

Selling used cars is a sideline at Wallos.

Customers are not only shown a bill at the end of the work but are shown the problem part or are explained what needed to be done to rectify a problem. If a cost estimate exceeds what the customer was told, customers are phoned about it before proceeding with the work. Until things are torn down, one does not know for sure what other complications might exist. When faced with a tough problem, all three Wallos put their heads together to resolve the problem, said Dave.

Staying current on new vehicle components, Dave and Chad attend courses offered by suppliers and watch instructional videos helpful in getting familiar with new and different modes of operation.

Diagnostics offered

Diagnostic work at Wallos is performed with greater accuracy through the use of a scanner and access to All Data, an online resource for repair procedures.

Knowing and talking to the person who is working on one’s car is a very com-mon and desirable thing for customers at Wallos. This personal touch has a lot to do with customer satisfaction here, Dave said.

Wallo’s Auto Service has a history of being a gathering spot by village customers. Hanging out there is not uncommon and sometime a card game will be going on. It is this familiarity that sets the tone for a business that is approachable and welcoming.

The three Wallos are able to trace their love for working on cars to Dave’s grandfather Frank who was a car mechanic. At a very early age the Upper Michigan native worked as a mechanic in Escanaba, then in Green Bay and finally in Plymouth. “I gained early experience from him,” said Skip who was given that nickname by his uncle Clarence who named him that because as a two-year-old he skipped around a lot.

When Dave was in high school he took all the automotive courses offered. He worked on cars owned by classmates,

Turn to WALLO’S/page 18