South Salem Auto Care is devoted to providing the local community with a friendly alternative to the expensive car dealerships. Our goal is to ensure your vehicle is in the safest mechanical condition so you can drive with confidence anywhere you go. We offer many of the same services dealers do, only in a more personal environment, with all work completed by experienced, well-trained professionals. We are devoted to meeting the needs of two groups of people – our customers and employees. We believe those needs are best met by maintaining relationships that are characterized by honesty, open communication, trust, and mutual satisfaction.
Elsias came to South Salem Auto in 2005, trained under Jimmy O'Connor for 10 years and continues work here. Before joining South Salem Auto, Elsias worked for a tree company doing maintenance on their equipment. Elsias is an expert on brakes, ignition suspension, transmission, differentials, timing belts, engines and clutches. He has an excellent knowledge of mechanical and electrical components. Elsias is the quiet one that always seems to have the answer to the problem. In his off time he enjoys, cooking on the grill, fishing and spending time with his family.
Junior came to South Salem Auto in 2011, trained under Jimmy O'Connor for 4 years and continues to work here. Before joining South Salem Auto Junior worked at another automotive repair shop for 7 years. Here Junior is our diagnostics tech and works very well with our customers explaining diagnostic issues on computer equipped cars. He inspects each and every car for any defects or safety issues to ensure our customers are driving a safe vehicle. Junior is very proficient and diagnoses complicated electrical issues accurately, stays abreast of the ever changing automotive industry and reads technical bulletins all the time. He conducts preventive maintenance inspections. Currently Junior is studying to be a NYS vehicle inspector. Additionally when Junior encounters a diagnostic issue that is "not in the books" he spends hours reading forums on that particular issue on his own time. In his off time he enjoys motocross, auto cross and anything with wheels.
Matt joined us for our second shift. He is here from 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM and on Saturdays. Matt runs another shop in Westchester, grew up in South Salem and graduated John Jay high school. His 30+ years of experience in automotive diagnostics and repair as well as fabrication and welding, (aluminum & steel) takes us to a new level in meeting our customers expectations for evening and weekend service. Matt is also a fleet supervisor and preventive maintenance specialist as well as a licensed NYS vehicle inspector for automobiles and heavy trucks.
James is Matt's son and also works in another garage in Westchester. James is well versed in automotive diagnostics and repair as well as fleet maintenance. James joins us for the 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM second shift. Additionally James is a NYS licensed vehicle inspector.
John is also Matt's son and is our trailer and hydraulics technician. John has extensive knowledge with horse trailers, car trailers, landscape trailers, boat trailers, snow plows, and mounts, lift gates, trailer electrical wiring, trailer electric brakes and surge brakes. John also joins the second shift for evening hours and Saturdays. John's meticulous wiring is something to be seen!
Bruce's experience in automobiles started at 14 years old when a neighbor gave him a 1962 Hillman with a blown engine. Never having seen the inside of an engine he took it apart and figured out what was wrong, repairing a spun crankshaft bearing with the help of a machine shop. He kept the car in his father's backyard until he turned 16 and passed his road test in it. After realizing more power meant more speed he eventually replaced the 4 cylinder Hillman engine with a Chevrolet 283 V-8 and a hot rod was born. From the Hillman to muscle cars of the 60's Bruce was hooked on cars. After graduating high school Bruce served in the Navy as a Boiler Technician aboard the USS Sierra during the Viet Nam conflict working with very powerful but dangerous “super-heated” steam. After the Navy Bruce went to work for Westchester County as a Stationery Engineer operating high pressure computer controlled steam boilers—never losing his love for automobiles. Eventually he began his 40+ year career in interstate trucking. Owning, operating and maintaining mechanical equipment under mission critical conditions has taught Bruce the importance of preventive maintenance for safety, reliability and longevity.
In 1976 Bruce jumped from cars to tractor trailers becoming a Certified Caterpillar Diesel Technician along the way. He worked for Denver, (Colorado) Peterbilt preforming all aspects of repair and maintenance on Peterbilt trucks and other brands (much of the same parts as cars, just bigger). After moving back to New York in 1987 he started his own transport company. From 1988 to 2011 Bruce established a successful freight brokerage with its own fleet of Peterbilt trucks and refrigerated trailers hauling produce all over the US. Those trucks were maintained by Matt Harisch. When Bruce sold his equipment to concentrate on brokering, each had over 1.2 million miles, for a combined 9.6 million miles. The trucks Bruce and Matt maintained NEVER saw the hook of a tow truck, they always came home under their own power!
Still, with a passion and love for cars, Bruce again branched out by buying a 1911 Stanley steam car. For 1911 the Stanley was truly a hot rod as many cars of that era could only go 30 - 40 MPH. The Stanley did 60+ MPH. Pretty impressive for 1911! FYI, Stanley set the world's land speed record at Ormand Beach Florida in 1906 reaching a speed of 127 MPH! The land speed record for steam stood until 2009! It took 103 years of technology to beat it!
In 2017 Bruce purchased the assets of South Salem Auto Repair and renamed the shop South Salem Auto Care, continuing with the same core employees and the same great service at reasonable costs long time customers have grown to expect. To complement an already knowledgeable staff, Matt, James and John Harisch with a combined 50+ years of automotive/trailer and fabrication knowledge will cover weekends and evening hours. In addition, Bruce has made improvements to the work space and incorporated new vendors and new products to serve you, the customer better.