One finely-tuned family business

The day of the mom-and-pop shop lives on. Or, at least in the case of Tom Van Every’s business, pop-and-son are still running strong.

Van Every operates Van Every’s Engine Service as a minor repair, maintenance-oriented car care facility, offering state of the art, Amsoil synthetic lubricants, oil and air filtration products to the local market.

“I operate the business now as my father did then, as a one-man show,” Van Every said. “He always said to keep the overhead down and you can make a decent living and the only one you have to depend on is yourself.”

The serviceman prides himself in being honest and treating people like he would expect to be treated.

“I like to give them a good, correct job for a fair price,” Van Every said.

His dad — John H. Van Every — established the family business as a full-service automotive repair shop in 1975.

“In my father’s day the big car, big motor and pouring the gas to it did the job and everybody was happy,” Van Every said. “My dad had to tune carburetors and that was the technology we lived with.”

Tom Van Every graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 1970, then spent 21 years in the Air Force and Navy as an aircraft, aircraft weapons and engine mechanic/supervisor.

After the younger Van Every retired from the military, he expressed to his dad the desire to take over the family business.

“He wanted to slow down, retire,” he said.

But by that time it was clear that automotive technology had changed dramatically since his father opened the shop.

While his dad saw carburetors, Van Every was faced with computer-controlled fuel injection.

“The past 15 years alone have brought huge changes in automotive technology and the auto repair business,” he said.

The countless hours of extra time and money away from the job to keep up with the knowledge it takes to diagnose and repair today’s automobiles proved daunting for the one-man shop.

“The motoring public should thank God there are people that are going into the automotive repair industry,” he said.

Van Every now focuses entirely on automotive maintenance and service, specializing in helping his customers prevent engine wear-and-tear that leads to expensive repairs.

“Engines are smaller, more powerful, economical, and last longer than ever, if maintained properly,” he said. “It always costs less to maintain than to repair.”

Maintenance: It’s the direction Van Every said the automotive industry is realizing is the path to longevity, and he can’t agree more.

“All technology, regardless old or new, will need maintenance,” he said. “By offering this service I continue in business as well as give a great group of customers a good value for their money.”

Just like his customers have a faith in his service, Van Every stands by the line of lubricants and filters his shop uses.

“I believe in, and use almost exclusively, Amsoil synthetic lubricants and filtration products because in my experience I’ve found none better,” he said.

The serviceman says that these products, if used in line with owner’s manual maintenance schedules, can help give longevity to your car’s life.

Many people don’t know it but most car manufacturers are now recommending oil not be changed until 7,500 miles, and with products such as Amsoil that can be done at even greater intervals, Van Every said.

In fact, Van Every often recommends an Amsoil product that comes with a one year, 25,000 mile drain schedule.

“With high-quality lubricants, filtration and other automotive products you can become more economical and have less waste go into the environment,” he said.

So, it turns out the serviceman is able to keep up with the times — or at least enough to fool Dad.

“He still stops by the shop to see how things are going,” Van Every said. “Sometimes there’s mumbles about ‘newfangled’ stuff but I just laugh.”