One measure of knowledgeable and trustworthy auto technicians are the number of word-of-mouth referrals and customers that return to the shop to have their vehicle serviced for a second time, and by that metric Solomon’s Garage in West Liberty is one of the premier vehicle repair and service shops in the area.
An enterprise of honest work, done well, Solomon’s Garage exemplifies the same principles of wisdom, courage and vision as the Bible’s King Solomon, for whom the business is named, say owners Katie and David Neer, who operate the vehicle repair and service facility at 122 S. Detroit St.
The husband-and-wife team have grown the business from a garage on the Neer family farm in rural West Liberty to its current location downtown in the village.
David and Katie are 2000 graduates of West Liberty-Salem High School that returned to Logan County following about 10 years away pursuing higher education in Indiana.
Upon returning to their hometown, the Neers brought with them a wealth of expertise in the field of vehicle diagnostics and repair, as well as the foundation and business acumen to build a successful local venture.
Dave Neer first began servicing vehicles locally around the end of 2011 and start of 2012. The Neers named their business for King Solomon, a Biblical figure known for his discernment, intuition and loyalty to fairness. Quality workmanship and commitment to those ideals enabled the Neers to expand in 2015-2016 to a more prominent location in downtown West Liberty.
Solomon’s Garage has grown a reputation for its capacity to effectively diagnose a vehicle, and detect malfunctioning components, Katie said.
After completing automotive service technical school, David accrued nearly a decade’s worth of experience in service and parts departments at the Dreyer and Reinbold BMW, Indianapolis, locations — hands-on training that has been valuable as Solomon’s Garage solidifies its record as one of the most accurate and reliable vehicle maintenance shops in the area.
“We pride ourselves on diagnosis, and getting it right the first time,” Katie said. “We don’t believe in throwing parts at the car, and we don’t guess.
We deal with facts and information.”
Dave has earned nationally-recognized certifications for his knowledge as an automotive technician, and that expertise has been put to use in west-central Ohio as scores of clients come to have their cars or trucks reviewed or repaired.
Dave and Katie credit the success of Solomon’s Garage, as well as the stellar reviews from dozens of customers, to sustained dedication to top-of-the-line vehicle maintenance and customer service. Katie and Dave view their place in the community as service-oriented, and as an opportunity to give back to their hometown and the place they grew up.
Giving back means more than just offering safe and reliable auto repairs, Katie said. The Neers also support their community through church organizations, sponsorship of Christian radio and participation in the West Liberty Business Association.
Solomon’s Garage recognizes its business isn’t made up of just customers, but of their friends and neighbors, and offers service and advice with that in mind. Solomon’s Garage provides thorough vehicle inspections for individuals considering purchase of new or used transportation.
A car may look great from a distance, but up close it may be rusted and not in good shape, Dave said
“A car is the second largest investment most people will make after their home,” he said, noting that it’s prudent to have an automotive service technician inspect a vehicle prior to purchasing it.
Not unlike growing out of their original space on the family farm five years ago, the Neers aspire to sustained growth and expansion of their business.
The goal is to have multiple shops, Katie said. As the business grows and evolves, so too do Dave and Katie’s roles within the organization.
Initially, in the days immediately following her return to work after time spent exclusively as a stay-at-home mom, Katie’s role in the business was that of a service writer. Now, she functions as a general manager across the entire business. She has a civil engineering degree from Purdue University, and has worked with local governments on municipal design. As the company expands, Katie expects to move into a more CEO-type role, she said. Much like her background in civil engineering will help Katie develop institutional structure for the business, Dave plans to share his extensive knowledge in vehicle diagnostics and repair to a next generation of automotive service technicians.
Part of Solomon’s Garage community involvement includes providing hands-on training, apprenticeships and other educational opportunities for Ohio Hi-Point Career Center students.
Similarly, long-term plans for Solomon’s Garage includes deploying Dave’s knowledge in the shops, training employees and providing the same breadth of knowledge that he received years ago in high-tech shops in Indianapolis.
Solomon’s Garage provides pickup and delivery service within a 10 mile radius of its shop. The shop is located along U.S. Route 68 at Runkle Street, across from Thoman’s IGA in West Liberty. The shop is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is (937) 887-0029.
More information is available online, solomonsgarage.com