Shop Talk Logo

Store Spotlight: Fountain Hills

At Sun Devil Auto, we have been meeting the needs of vehicle owners in Arizona for years. Why do so many people in the state rely on us to keep their cars, trucks, and SUVs on the road? It’s because of the many exceptional people that we have serving as members of our team. One of them can be found directing our efforts right here in Fountain Hills off of La Montana Drive. Take a moment to get to know your local service center manager, Gina Conlan:Question: How long have you been in the automotive repair industry?Answer: I have been working in the automotive industry for almost 20 years. How time flies! I have owned a full-service repair facility, I have worked as a consultant and advisor and I have been in management for the past several years. I really enjoy building and leading a team. I take a lot of pride in my employees and my shop. The thing I enjoy the most about my position is the ability to help people through problem-solving and educating others about their vehicles.Q: How did you get your start?

A: I started to work for our family auto repair business in the office answering phones, ordering parts, and writing service. I didn’t know anything about cars at the time but quickly learned the dynamics of the business, and my experience grew along with it. I have continued my training through the years through the Educational Seminars Institute of Automotive Management Specialists, Automotive Training Institute, and Elite Worldwide. I also completed my education through ASU and completed the Mercedes Benz Elite training program, where I became certified. All of this along with hands-on experience have allowed me to possess a broad range of knowledge to ensure that I can handle the customers’ needs efficiently and that customers trust they are in good hands.

Q: What’s your favorite auto repair to complete?

A: I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I can get a vehicle back on the road safe. Many times, customers are not aware of underlying problems until they come in for service. A funny noise or something seems not quite right may be trouble brewing behind the scenes. Identifying the cause and restoring the vehicle to operate safely and as it was designed to, is a good feeling. This, to me, represents avoiding potential dangerous risks and further financial obligations for the customer. Every vehicle is unique, and making someone feel safe and comfortable through the repair process and beyond is truly satisfying.

Q: What’s your favorite type of vehicle to make repairs on?

A: I feel any repair on any type of vehicle where I can help people feel good about their cars and the value in their decisions is my favorite. I treat every vehicle as though it were my own, and the goal is always happy and satisfied customers.

Q: What are the qualities a Sun Devil Auto technician possesses?

A: I believe our technicians are some of the best in the industry. Through ASE certifications and continuing education, our top technicians possess the cutting-edge knowledge to handle some of the most complicated issues. Honesty and integrity are musts.

Q: What type of training do your technicians need to complete? What’s included in this training?

A: ASE certification is essential in this industry. At the core of this training are specialized classes that allow the technician to repair and diagnose a variety of issues on domestic, Asian and European vehicles. Our master technicians are well rounded through education and hands-on experience, which allows us to be a dealer alternative and have a broad range of services we offer. Technicians that are just starting out are offered an opportunity to grow and learn the tools necessary to advance their careers, with many of them having been at the company for many years.

Q: What’s the most commonly asked question you get about automotive repair?

A: One of the most common questions I am asked when discussing a needed repair with a customer is, “Is it worth it?” Many times, when you factor in the cost of repairing your vehicle over time as opposed to a payment on a new car, you find that in just a few expected payments, sometimes fewer, the vehicle can be repaired and safe on the road. For instance, if you have a leak in your roof, would you rather repair that leak now or have a whole new roof put on your house? Many people can then put this decision into perspective, and the answers then become easier to decide upon. Many people also ask what is a priority right now. This is where the education comes in as we then discuss what safety items need to be done, what can we do to offset further expense down the road and what makes sense to plan for at a later date. Caring for your vehicle is not only the mechanical repairs themselves but working with you, answering questions, and making sure you have all the information to make an informed decision, comfortably.

Q: If you could dismiss one myth about automotive maintenance/repair, what would that be?

A: That it isn’t necessary. All the fluids under the hood have a very important job, not just the engine oil. Over time, the viscosity changes in these fluids, and they can break down and lose the ability to properly lubricate and cool. Excessive contamination can occur and corrupt the integrity of certain components. Therefore, keeping fluids clean and serviced on an as-needed basis and following through with your manufacturer service schedule are vital parts of ensuring optimal vehicle performance.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job? Your favorite part about working for Sun Devil Auto?

A: My favorite part of my job is taking care of our customers. The customer is never a distraction or an obligation – that is what we are here for. Sun Devil Auto incorporates this philosophy and has built a business based on honesty and integrity. As an employee with Sun Devil, you really feel as though you are part a family. The support system has been amazing, and there is never a day that I feel like I am going to “work” in that I really have a passion for what I do.

Q: What’s the number one tip you would provide to car owners about maintaining their vehicles?

A: To make certain that you follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Whether your vehicle has 15,000 miles or 120,000 miles, maintaining it will be key to its longevity. Also, addressing problems when they become apparent rather than waiting will help to avoid costlier repairs. Exchanging fluids are an integral part of the maintenance process. The heat can be very hard on vehicles here in Arizona. Belts and hoses tend to dry out more quickly here than you would expect in cooler climates. Replacing them when they exhibit these signs often prevents a costlier repair. The same applies to the timing belt if the vehicle is equipped, as many vehicles will sustain damage to the engine if that belt were to fail due to age and wear. Here at Sun Devil Auto, we provide a full inspection every time your vehicle is in for its routine service and are always open to address any concerns or questions as needed to make you feel comfortable about what to expect now and into the future.

Committed to Exceptional Customer Service

As Gina mentioned, we at Sun Devil Auto pride ourselves on our commitment to customer service. Everyone will have to deal with auto repairs at some point, and this may leave you worrying that there might be mechanics out there willing to take advantage of this fact. Don’t let this prompt you into thinking you don’t need the services of a reliable repair technician. Ultimately, there are many repair jobs that are simply best left to the professionals.

The Right Technicians with the Right Tools

You won’t find a more dedicated team of professionals than Gina and her team of ASE-certified technicians at Sun Devil Auto in Fountain Hills. You and your vehicle are more than just another job to them; you’re a member of the Sun Devil Auto customer family. Trust us when we say that we treat our family right. We employ the most advanced computer-aided diagnostic equipment in the industry, which allows us to pinpoint the problems with your vehicle with exceptional accuracy. Knowing this should provide you the peace of mind that we will fix the problem the first time. If we do our job right, you’ll know where to turn to when you need repair and maintenance in the future.

Some might try to tell you that such service is best offered through a dealership. Yet such service providers don’t have the market cornered when it comes to delivering quality work. As Gina touched upon earlier, the ASE certification that our technicians carry ensures that they understand how to accurately maintain and repair almost every make and model of vehicle. With the many outstanding tools and resources that we provide them with, our technicians can easily match the quality of service you’d receive from a dealership, and at a much more reasonable cost.

Trust Us with Your Repair and Maintenance Needs

Don’t overlook our familiarity with the local area, either. Having operated in Arizona for so long, we understand the unique challenges your vehicle faces from the local climate. This allows us to supplement the information you can find from your vehicle owner’s manual to create a custom maintenance schedule for your car, truck or SUV. By offering routine maintenance services such as tune-ups, oil changes, alignment checks, fuel system cleanings as well as parts integrity inspections, we can ensure that your vehicle performs consistently even in the face of abuse from the elements coupled with regular wear and tear.

If and when major problems do occur with your engine, transmission, brakes, or worse yet, air conditioning system (particularly during the summer), we’re ready to tackle those jobs, as well. We approach each vehicle repair committed to performing thorough work as quickly as possible, knowing that you are anxious to get back on the road. To help keep you there once we’re done with your repairs, we’ll provide all of the necessary information and support to avoid issues in the future.

We’re Here to Help You

Sound a little too good to be true? There’s one way to find out if we can back up what we’re saying. Just schedule an appointment to come see us during regular business hours here at 13226 N La Montana Drive. You can also reach us anytime at (480) 837-8841.