Longtime Payson auto mechanic Mike Wicks is back in the garage, only this time working under the ownership of his son, Mikey Wicks.
Photo by Andy Towle.
After closing up his successful auto repair shop in 2007 to retire, Mike Wicks never dreamed he would be working with cars just three years later and this time under the ownership of his son.
However, when the economy went south, Mike Wicks and his son Mikey Wicks decided to reopen an auto repair shop, this time capitalizing on their diesel and diagnostic experience.
“We specialize in diagnostics,” Mike said. “We pride ourselves on fixing hard to find problems. It is the kind of stuff we enjoy.”
The new shop’s arrangement is working out well for the father-son duo. Mikey, who needed a place to work after Caterpillar laid him off is fulfilling a dream of owning his own shop and Mike is back at work doing what he loves.
Combined, Mike and Mikey have quite an impressive resume.
Mike, who has been working on cars since he was 13, taught automotive classes at Long Beach State University, obtained numerous certifications and ran his own shop for eight years. Mikey is a certified welder, attended Central Arizona College and is trained in diesel and hydraulics.
While highly trained, Mike said it is important mechanics constantly stay on top of new technology.
“You don’t realize it, but 30 years ago with $100 worth of tools, you could work on anything,” he said. “There is so much out there now.”
The mechanical and electrical systems have become so complex in recent years it is necessary to invest in expensive computer programs to stay on top of the changes.
Wicks Auto & Diesel uses the latest technology and programs available to fix cars, Mike said.
“We are constantly training,” he said. “You can never know everything about cars.”
Although the new Wicks is under a similar name as Mike’s shop, Mikey’s shop is a completely different business with a new location, Mike said.
“This is Mikey’s shop,” he said.
And Mikey plans to keep the shop, at 113 W. Cedar Lane, going forever.
Wicks Auto & Diesel is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (928) 474-3301.