By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
---- — Mike Almack cracks jokes all day long, but make no mistake, he’s serious about fixing your car.
Almack and his wife of 43 years, Cheryl, own Almack’s All-Care Automotive on Ohio Avenue in Anderson. They launched the automotive repair business in 2005.
“It’s a different challenge every day,” said Almack. “I think it’s satisfying to take a problem and fix it for someone.”
Almack manages the operation, and Cheryl keeps the books. They employ three full-time service technicians, Tom Gaddis, Mike Dennis and Roger Murdock. Almack sees to it that all of his technicians earn Automotive Service Excellence certification, and receive ongoing training.
Although Almack, 62, started out early on working on a farm, most of his adult life has centered on automotive work. He spent almost two decades in the auto parts business. In 1988, he got into the "wrenching" side of the business at Nick’s Auto Service. Eight years ago, he finally set up his own shop.
“I wanted to work for myself,” said Almack, 62. “Everyone said I was nuts, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
“It was stressful at first,” Cheryl admitted. When they first acquired the business, she recalled one day, “It was hot and muggy and dirty… I went home crying.” It didn’t take long, however, for her to give herself a little attitude adjustment.
“Mike was committed to it, and I was committed to him," she said. "It’s brought us closer together. We’re partners in our marriage and in our business.” And they enjoy what they do, helping out their customers and the community.
“I think God put us into business not just to make money, but to be a blessing to people," said Almack. So it’s no accident that when you sit down to wait while you’re getting your brakes fixed, your eyes might land on a piece of paper next to the Bible in the waiting area. It’s a spot for you to write down your prayer requests.
“Cheryl and I really pray over those lists every day,” said Almack. “Every day before we leave the house, we have prayer.” The couple attends Cornerstone Community Church.
“We see the results of prayer,” said Cheryl.
Almack is also a Gideon — a business professional that distributes Bibles to those who need them. He serves as a volunteer chaplain at the jail, and he’s been involved with the Royal Rangers youth group for about 30 years, with a caving adventure planned in the near future.
Almack brings that helpful spirit into his business as well. He’s president of the Anderson Area NAPA Auto Care Centers, a group of six businesses that are putting their heads together to do some community service. This Saturday, Oct. 5., the group is hosting a free Car Care Fair.
Almack's, along with Week’s Automotive, Dave’s Auto Service, Nick and B’s Auto Service, Etherington’s Automotive and Olive’s Automotive will be setting up shop at Mounds Mall in the former Sears location to provide free car safety inspections.
“We try to give them a pretty good overview of their car,” said Almack.
The experts on hand during Saturday’s event will be checking out tires, lights, fluids, wipers, belts and hoses. They’ll check the date on the battery and test it. “We’ll look things over the best we can,” said Almack. When all is said and done, drivers will receive a sheet detailing the inspection results, to act upon as they see fit.
“We’re doing this as a service to the community," said Almack. “We’re not selling anything that day.”
Also that day, from 11 a.m. to noon, it’s the free Ladies Car Care Clinic.
“We’re just going to teach the ladies some basic things in taking are of their car,” said Almack. That includes things like how to spot trouble before it gets out of control, and how to find a good repair shop. Pre-registration for the Ladies Car Care Clinic is advised by contacting any of the sponsoring participants.
Also during the Car Care Fair, there will be refreshments and door prizes, including a 32-inch flat screen television.
This time of year, Almack said there are things to stay on top of with your vehicle.
“Good tires are important in the winter,” noted Almack. He also said that with the changing temperatures, it’s not unusual to have bulbs burn out. “Lights are real important going into winter,” he said. Fluids, batteries and cooling systems can all stand a once-over.
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