Know Your Mechanic

"A Family Business" .... " The Second Generation"


My name is Michael O'Neill, owner of Mr. Tune Up's Auto Service... this is my story.

In 1966 Johnny O'Neill, my father, started "Johnny's Tune Up Shop" an auto repair shop in Gardena, California. He had a love of cars, and the skills he learned in training seven years as an airplane mechanic, and auto mechanic in the Canadian Air Force. With the secretarial help of his wife and my mother, Annette O'Neill, and the sale of his much loved 1957 Chevy Corvette he took to the drag races, his dream of owning his own business became a reality. He had an idea of how he wanted to run a business. He used to say, "Where I came from if you couldn't fix it, you couldn't afford to drive it..." He understood that most mechanics just started replacing parts, instead of repairing them, making repairs very costly and trouble shooting amounted to replacing parts until they got the right one. At the age of seven, I was taken under my dad's wing and taught how to "repair" vehicles, beginning with a carburetor. I still remember the thrill when I sucessfully rebuilt that carburetor. How proud I was, it was then I knew at that young age I wanted to follow in my dad's foot steps.

Over the years I loved the way customer's looked up to my dad and praised how great of a mechanic he was. When I turned 15, I began working full time and learned the art of dealing with customers, how to trouble shoot, and watched and learned, as my dad by this time had a great reputation among drag racing mechanics. He built a funny car that my uncle Gervase drove, that still holds the record for the quickest and fastest "All Chevy" powered funny car, "King Rat" and did high performance work for top fuel mechanics, in our area. At eighteen, I was a certified mechanic, and did emission testing & repair. My dad used to say someday Johnny's Tune Up Shop would be mine. Little did I know in 1988, when I was twenty two years old, dad became very ill and I was thrust into the responsibility of taking "care of" his shop and customers every day, until my dad passed away at the age of 55 in 1994. Mom pushed the pencils, and I ran the shop, until 1999 when I moved my family to Colorado to be close to my sisters and give my children a better way of life. At first I worked for other repair shops for a couple of years and noticed that the shops did things alot differently than I was taught. Customer's didn't know their mechanic. The mechanics didn't know the customers, or their cars. Repairs were looked at as quantity not quality. My dad knew every customers car, and used to often say, "I don't fix what isn't broken, and don't sell what they don't need".

In May of 2001, I started Mr Tune Up's Auto Service to continue what my dad started. I have great respect for what my dad taught me. Now I'm teaching my kids, just like my dad. 

The customer is important, treat him right, and he'll be back.

I hope to have the opportunity to serve your auto repair needs.

Michael O'Neill, owner.