Drive on: Adept mechanics provide auto services with their whole heart

Base Info
Mako Nomoto, Yokota Car Care Center mechanic, checks for operational turn signals on a motorcycle Oct. 4, 2012, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow)
Mako Nomoto, Yokota Car Care Center mechanic, checks for operational turn signals on a motorcycle Oct. 4, 2012, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow)

Drive on: Adept mechanics provide auto services with their whole heart

by: Airman 1st Class John D. Partlow, 374th Airlift Wing | .
Public Affairs | .
published: October 13, 2012

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Turning wrenches and active power tools are the sounds of Yokota's Car Care Center, where more than 25 people go each day to have their vehicles worked on.

"We're here to provide auto services for Yokota," said Wil Teves, Yokota Car Care Center manager. "We perform oil changes, tune ups, radiator replacements, etc."

When a car needs to be serviced, the car center ensures their customers will have to wait as little as possible.

"We can finish inspections, oil changes and simple fixes in the same day," said Teves. "For tune up parts, tires or special order parts, it can take two or three days to finish."

Working in the car center comes with its own unique challenges the workers must overcome.

"We have been trying different part suppliers to see whether or not they can give us lower prices on items for the customers, so we work with several local Japanese companies to get parts at reasonable prices," said Teves. "Sometimes this can be challenging in an overseas market due to the differences in prices for parts here when compared to stateside. Most of the customers are used to American prices for parts, so some things in Japan, like batteries and tires, are much more expensive compared to stateside prices."

All workers at the car center are civilians and some challenges come from being a host-nation citizen.

"I am Japanese, so sometimes it is hard for me to explain technical procedures or certain details to the customer," said Yukako Fuller, Yokota Car Care Center receptionist. "If I need help, my other co-workers will help me explain to the customer what is going on. We work as a team."

From using parts to working on cars, Yokota members can be sure that if there's one thing this shop won't run out of, its passion.

"I wanted to work at Yokota's Car Care Center to familiarize myself with cars," said Michael Young, Yokota Car Care Center. "I enjoy working in this environment with my co-workers."

Tags: Yokota Air Base, Base Info
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