Mr. Buckles Oil Change Service Center wants customers to feel like family

Vince Willett conducts a routine oil change in one of the three service bays at the Mr. Buckles Oil Change Service Center in Smokey Point. - Kirk Boxleitner
Vince Willett conducts a routine oil change in one of the three service bays at the Mr. Buckles Oil Change Service Center in Smokey Point.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

SMOKEY POINT — The recently opened Mr. Buckles Oil Change Service Center proudly touts its family owned and operated roots, from owner Ted Pellegrini working with his father-in-law Vince Willett in the service bays to the unique name of the shop itself.

"It's named after my 2-year-old son Leeland," Pellegrini said of the service center at 17316 Smokey Point Blvd. in Arlington. "Vince gave him the nickname 'Little Buck,' and ever since then, we've all called him 'Mr. Buckles.'"

While "Mr. Buckles" himself is still a bit young to fully appreciate the new business that's been named in his honor, Pellegrini brings to his own shop 14 years of experience as a grease monkey working at other people's automotive service centers. Both Pellegrini and Willett have strong roots in the Arlington community, and in keeping with Pellegrini's ethos that Mr. Buckles' customers should feel like they're part of his extended family, he's avoiding some of the practices of the chains stores that he used to work for.

"I don't want people to feel pressured into manufacturer-recommended merchandise to satisfy sales quotas," Pellegrini said. "We never mandate what they should buy, because they bought their vehicles with their own money. We don't want them to feel intimidated by gloom and doom, so if something is a preventive measure that can wait for a while, we'll let them know."

Since opening for business in early June, Pellegrini has already seen his customer base grow through word-of-mouth, which he attributes to his prompt, friendly service — which includes extras such as vacuuming the seats and disposing of old filters free of charge — and the unusual degree of access that he grants his customers to his shop's three service bays.

"Some older folks will actually come down and watch us work under their cars," Pellegrini said. "We pay extra on our insurance so they can do that, but it's worth it. Some folks just want to see what's going on in there so they can take care of it on their own, and we'll let them do that too."

For more information on the Mr. Buckles Oil Change Service Center, call 360-322-7129.

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