Foundation helps needy with auto repairs

A new Tempe-based nonprofit organization is driven by the idea of getting needy families back behind the wheel.

The Auto Repair Good Guys Foundation is a collaborative effort with about 32 local auto repair shops, said Thom Tschetter, the executive director of the foundation.

To help car owners who need mechanic services but can’t afford them, the organization directs them to an auto repair shop that is in collaboration with the foundation, he said. Repair shops are located throughout the state in cities like Phoenix, Surprise and Tucson.

“The foundation pays for the parts and the shop provides their labor,” Tschetter said.

The foundation was started in late May and has only helped a few people with car repairs, he said. The auto repair shops that the foundation deals with go through a selection process.

To be chosen, the repair shops must be independently owned, have no unresolved complaints and must have a rating of A-minus or better with the Better Business Bureau.

Ultimately, kindness toward customers is what the foundation looks for in repair shops, said David Riccio, the owner of Tri-City Transmission in Tempe who funds the foundation.

Riccio said he funded the foundation to set the groundwork, but eventually he wants it to sustain itself through private funds.

Those who donate to the foundation will receive a discounted car service.

Riccio came up with the idea to do automotive charitable work with Tschetter because his customers asked for recommendations to an affordable and trustworthy auto repair shop, Tschetter said.

Riccio’s company focuses on car transmissions, so they recommend other auto shops that do other type of repairs, Tschetter said.

The foundation also plans to help students financially who will attend automotive tech schools in Arizona, like Glendale Community College or University Technical Institute, Tschetter said.

“We’re not looking to give hand outs, but a hand up,” he said

Reach the reporter at uriel.garcia@asu.edu