The Sault’s Bridge Auto Service is a prime example of a long-standing, well-run automotive repair shop.
Bridge Auto was established in the 1970s by Fred Niessl and Ken Bloye, the business originally located on Queen Street West near the International Bridge.
Current owner/operator Glenn Moreau bought the business in 2003, then relocated in 2009 when then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Sault and announced the federal government would invest millions into the construction of a new Customs Plaza.
Keeping the Bridge Auto name, Moreau moved the business, first to Dundas Street, then to its current location at 237 Bruce St.
There, Moreau and fellow mechanic and employee Murray Giddings provide major and minor repairs on all makes and models, computerized fuel injection service, dripless undercoating protection and motor vehicle inspections.
"We’re cheaper for labour and a bit less expensive for parts. Probably our lower price is the biggest thing that attracts people,” Moreau told SooToday as we dropped by and delivered some SooToday mugs.
“I enjoy working on cars, but not as much in the winter,” Moreau said with a grin.
“We’re fair to everybody. We give you good work for a fair price. We pretty much do everything, AC repairs, change engines, do tuneups, about the only thing we don’t really do is bodywork or alignments, but we’ll repair pretty much anything we can.”
What about the recent, projected increases in the number of electric cars on the road? How will that impact a small, locally-owned and operated auto repair shop?
Moreau said he doesn’t see much of an impact, at least in the short term.
“Electric cars may be more for the warmer climates than the cold climates like we have here. I don’t know how well the batteries would perform in the winter, especially if you’re travelling between here and Wawa, where the highway sometimes gets closed down.”
“We regularly stay updated and trained and keep up with technology. I’m sure when all the electric cars come out we’ll get into that as well and compete with the dealerships.”
What’s the secret to Bridge Auto Service’s success?
“We care,” Moreau said without hesitation.
“I always tell people when they leave, if something’s not right with your vehicle please come back and see me, and I’ll take care of it.”
Moreau shared a particularly rewarding memory of providing good service.
“We helped a traveller from out of town when we were on Queen Street. The bridge was right there, the vehicle broke down right on the bridge, the Bridge Authority got it to us and we got the customers back and running so they could continue their trip. That was rewarding for me. We helped a family out that was traveling and we helped them get home. I enjoyed that.”
Bridge Auto Service, at 237 Bruce St., is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, and may be contacted at (705) 256-8134