COLLIN SPILINEK Fremont Grandstand
With every customer who walks through the doors of P&L Automotive, Paul Boyd said he wants to treat them and their car with the utmost respect.
“I just like getting people back on the road, helping them and being fair,” he said. “I like people to be happy when they leave.”
For more than 12 years, Boyd has owned the auto repair shop at 2600 N. Yager Road.
“It’s just a mix of everything, lots of different cars,” he said. “Every day it changes, so you never know what you’re going to work on next.”
Boyd’s love for cars started at a young age, moving from Hot Wheels to his first transmission at age 13.
“I started playing with model cars and RC cars when I was probably 10 or 11,” he said. “I loved getting my hands on anything mechanical.”
After graduating from high school in Fremont, Boyd attended Milford University and worked at another auto shop for a decade, honing his automotive skills.
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P&L Automotive was formerly known as Custom Transmissions and was run by a friend of Boyd’s as a brake shop on the north side of Fremont.
“I knew the previous owner for years before I bought the place, and it came up for sale,” he said. “And the time was right and the price was right, and it was just time for me to move on and do my own thing.”
Taking over the shop in 2010, Boyd said he was thrilled to have his own auto repair shop within the community.
“Fremont is a nice little town, so we got a lot of word of mouth and people pass by,” he said.
But even Boyd admitted that owning his own location was much, much more important than just working in one.
“It’s just a lot of hours and a lot of time,” he said. “I took a big leap of faith, and it’s just been a lot of work.”
At P&L Automotive, Boyd works on everything from import to domestic vehicles outside of diesel.
“We do the suspension and drivetrain for the diesels, but we don’t do any diesel work,” he said. “But we do everything mechanical, doors, window issues, check engine lights, handling, noises, brakes, pretty much everything, bumper to bumper.”
Although the venue had been a one-man show for many years, Boyd hired another employee, Aaron Mallett, in July 2020.
“I was looking for a technician and he contacted me,” he said. “And he was fine and we get along really well and he does a good job, so I hired him.”
Like Boyd, Mallett worked on cars all his life, learning first from his grandfather. Knowing Boyd since high school, he said he jumped at the chance to work at P&L.
“It’s a better environment than what I’ve had, and I’m definitely treated better,” Mallett said. “It’s great to have a better relationship with the owner.”
And Boyd said he appreciated Mallet’s help in return.
“He’s been a huge help, someone I can trust at the store and with customers,” he said. “He does a terrific job, and I wish I could find a few more.”
Since opening more than a decade ago, Boyd said it has built a reputation with customers throughout the Fremont community.
“We have a great customer base, a lot of great long-time customers, as well as a lot of great new customers,” he said. “We just appreciate all the returning customers and all the business we get from them.”
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Boyd said work hasn’t slowed down, as the shop sees an average of six to 10 cars a day.
“Touch wood, it’s been pretty steady the whole time,” he said. “I just keep dragging them out faster than I can fix them.”
Boyd said he’s been as honest with customers as he can be, like if a car isn’t worth fixing, he’ll talk to them about their options and try to find the most affordable route.
“We try to get them in and out as quickly as possible and be as fair as possible with pricing,” he said. “We give them quality work at a fair price.”
After working at the store for so many years, Boyd says he’s learned to have more patience.
“With cars and customers and just a lot of things like that, it’s just about taking it as it is and working with it,” he said.
Looking to the future, Boyd said he couldn’t be happier to work with his passion for fixing cars.
“I just try to make people happy to get their car back, treating them fairly,” he said. “That’s the whole story.”