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The Motor Doctor is in (Shueyville)

Auto repair with a conscience

SHUEYVILLE– Hippocrates is said to have coined the phrase, “Primum non nocerum (First do no harm),” as part of his famous and time-honored oath for physicians. Although he’s not a medical doctor, Marck Dudrey, aka: the Motor Doctor, takes that philosophy to heart when it comes to his customers’ wallets.
“I like to think of myself as auto repair with a conscience,” Dudrey said. “I’m not going to sell you something on your car that I don’t feel you need.”
Dudrey launched Motor Doctor last November, originally as “Auto Medic2,” following the success of his Auto Medic shop in Solon, which Dudrey opened on Highway 1 in 2003. However, he found he was spending the bulk of his time in Shueyville. Dudrey sold Auto Medic to his employees, Trevor and Tony Johnson, and put his focus on Shueyville. “I felt it was the best opportunity for them to continue on and to thrive in a small two-bay shop. For them to continue and better themselves in life, the only option was to do the split.”
A shop in Shueyville had been on Dudrey’s radar for a long time; 15 years, to be exact. “I’ve always loved the building and actually looked at starting here (first).” But the owner at the time had no interest in leasing, wanting to sell instead, a scenario Dudrey wasn’t ready for at the time.
He was ready though, when a second chance appeared last year. While on vacation, he was idly cruising through Craigslist on his computer when he discovered the Shueyville shop was available for rent.
He quickly called the owner who told him he’d already received several offers, but Dudrey was the first to make an appointment, so he’d hold onto it until Dudrey was back in town. When they met a few days later, Dudrey signed the lease on the spot.
“I love the building, it’s twice as big (as the Solon shop), there’s twice as much parking… granted it’s not 12,000 cars a day (driving past), but it’s over 7,000. And, there are 942 homes just up the street and I think those people want somebody that they can call and get service,” Dudrey said. Having I-380 almost within a stone’s throw also puts him much closer to suppliers, saving valuable time.
Motor Doctor handles all things mechanical: tires, steering, suspension, brakes, heating and air-conditioning, as well as electrical work and diagnostics, including diagnostics on foreign cars. Dudrey also has a four-post lift, a feature he always desired in Solon.
“It’s an all-around larger shop, so I can get more vehicles in at a time,” he said, noting he happily takes care of routine services such as oil changes and maintenance. Dudrey is proudly Automotive Service Excellence-certified and emphasizes the importance of continuing education to stay on top of ever-changing technology. Not only is that good, basic customer service, but in this day of hybrid, alternative fuel and even electric cars, it can also be a lifesaver. “A guy can touch the wrong thing and end up laying on the floor, dead,” Dudrey said.
While he’s well versed in the latest and the greatest automotive technology, Dudrey also works on classic cars.
“That’s one thing that’s really interesting about this area; there’s a lot of people with old classic cars, and they’ve been bringing them in. Some really cool, vintage stuff, and people are giving me their trust in letting me work on these classic cars. I appreciate that and I do like to see the older stuff,” said Dudrey.
Motor Doctor is typically open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., but there are times when Dudrey, a father of two, likes to close up shop early for some daddy time. “I’ll hang a note on the door and say, ‘See you tomorrow,’ and people either accept that, or they’ll go somewhere else.”
Dudrey acknowledges his is a business borne of necessity.
“Nobody ever walks in the door smiling and saying, ‘Hey, I’d love to drop $400 on my car,’ for results they won’t see other than maybe it didn’t run. Your car really looks no different when it leaves here, you’re just broke,” he joked, unlike a body shop where a customer’s car comes in crumpled up and rolls out looking brand new. “I’m going to help you figure out how to fix your car, what’s the most important to do, and what you can probably live without. I’m not just an auto technician, I’m also a counselor, and I try to look out for people.”
Dudrey said he gladly advises customers as to what needs to be done now, and what can wait, giving them time to plan for the expense. He also utilizes technology, in the form of digital photography, to show customers what he finds, and even documents the repair work from start to finish.
“It really gives people an understanding, like, ‘Oh my gosh. My car looked like that a few hours ago?’ It’s pretty amazing,” he said.
Also amazing, he said, is how the community has welcomed him, and how busy he’s been. “Shueyville’s been awesome, people have been very receptive.”
Motor Doctor is located at 1198 Mill St. NE in downtown Shueyville, along 120th Street. Call 319-841-2024 for an appointment, or email Dudrey at automedic@southslope.net. On the web, he can be found at www.motordoctormd.com and on Facebook.