Business & economy, In the community

Local duo set their sights on quality with new auto repair shop

ONTARIO – Growing up in a single parent household in Payette, Travis Pavlacky learned early about the thin line between financial viability and disaster.

The importance of a dependable vehicle for his family was high on the “must have list.”

“If something broke, my mom really couldn’t fix it. So, I know maintaining a vehicle can be a huge expense for people,” said Pavlacky.

That early-life lesson propelled Pavlacky into the auto repair business and decades later culminated with his decision with Shane McGinnis to take over the former Claire’s Automotive at 78 S.W. 5th Ave. in Ontario.

Pavlacky and McGinnis took over ownership of Claire’s Automotive building March 11 and renamed the business Integrity Auto & Diesel.

The shop is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The two are auto repair veterans.

“We worked together a few years back at Phillips Auto (in Payette). Shane has an extensive auto background,” said Pavlacky.

Travis Pavlacky, co-owner of Integrity Auto & Diesel, said he wants to keep the focus on the customer and quality work. (The Enterprise/PAT CALDWELL)

Pavlacky said after he worked at Phillips Auto he “branched out” and worked at Modern Auto Service in Fruitland. He also started his own towing business – 208 Towing and Recovery.

Yet from the time he met McGinnis, Pavlacky said both men were interested in starting their own auto repair business.

He said the duo tried to go into business “for a couple of years but things didn’t work out.”

Pavlacky said when they learned Claire Bowers might be interested in retirement they reached out.

Trouble was, said Pavlacky, neither he nor McGinnis, 48, could qualify for a big enough loan to buy the business outright.

“Claire is holding the note. That is the only way we could do it. But he was careful, he wanted to make sure whomever took over would treat his customers as well as he did,” said Pavlacky.

Pavlacky said he and McGinnis, who grew up in Vale, also understood that Claire’s Automotive wasn’t just another repair shop. It served customers for more than 40 years in Ontario.

Not only did the two take over a building but they also inherited a tradition of craftmanship, said Pavlacky. Claire’s stood for key values, said Pavlacky. He wants his businesses to do the same.

“Integrity is in our name. We came up with it because that is who we are. We have the same love of our customers and we want to make sure they are happy,” said Pavlacky.

Pavlacky said now the biggest challenge for the new businesses is “working with a limited staff.”

“Right now, it is just Shane and I. I run the front desk and help out in the shop and Shane is full time in the shop,” said Pavlacky.

Pavlacky said employees will be hired soon.

“We want to offer employment to people in our community so they can make a good wage,” said Pavlacky.

Pavlacky said eventually he wants to have three to five mechanics working.

Pavlacky said the business already made some major changes.

Now there are four car lifts instead of two for repairs. Pavlacky said he and McGinnis plan to add least three more lifts.

Pavlacky said one of the best parts of owning the new car repair shop is “to just be able to help out the community.”
“We don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. We don’t want any of our customers to feel pressured,” he said.

Pavlacky said when a customer drives in their vehicle for a repair, the car is digitally scanned.

“If a car comes in for an oil change, we check all the brake lines, then log those lines digitally. We log any leaks. It is all documented,” said Pavlacky.

Pavlacky, 33, then sends the digital information either to a customer’s email or by text.

“Then the customer can go back to it. I then build my estimates on that (digital) inspection. Everything is labeled out into categories. I send the estimate and they can approve or deny it,” he said.

Pavlacky is an avid racer at the Meridian Speedway. He said he’s “raced everything.”

Now he drives a Toyota pickup in the mini stock class and has won four championships.

Pavlacky said he is motivated by helping people by “knowing that person driving down the road is safe.”

“There are people out there who need help and everyone deserves to have that every once in a while,” he said.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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