White Bridge Automotive Offers After-Hours Auto Service

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Princeton resident Terry Hoyez works as a construction superintendent by day and starting March 1, as an auto-repair technician by night.

His new home-based business, White Bridge Automotive, will offer services by appointment 4:30-9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Terry said the business will work on “drive-line” elements such as brakes, struts, shocks, tie-rod ends, ball joints and exhaust as well as headlights, serpentine belts, windshield wiper blades and other components. He said the business won’t have a diagnostics machine or do “check-engine lights,” but he’ll be able to diagnose some of the driveline problems with a test drive.

Nearly everyone around recognizes the property at 31113 Highway 169 that features a picturesque white bridge in front. That scene on the Hoyez property inspired Terry and his wife, Tamra (Fulton) Hoyez, to name the business White Bridge Automotive.

Terry said they have lived in the house for about four years. He’s been in Princeton 12 years and Tamra has lived here all her life. The couple has six daughters ages 3-14, and he said the business will help them prepare for the girls’ future. He said the home-based venture will not require him to sacrifice time at home. He anticipates that customers will get to know the family well and that the family will get to know customers.

“We’re gonna basically do everything but oil changes and tires,” he said.

Terry has been working on cars since 1986, attended Anoka Technical College to learn automotive technology and earned his ASC certification in 1990. He worked on cars for about 10 years before getting into the construction field. Terry said while lots of automotive technology has changed dramatically over the years, the drive-train components have stayed basically the same.

He said an episode with his wife’s car last year gave him the idea for the after-hours business. The car broke down at night and the next day she needed a ride to drop off the car, a ride to work and a ride to go pick up the car before the repair shop closed.

That got him thinking about a niche auto-repair service that is open after traditional shop hours, something other auto-repair businesses in the area do not offer. White Bridge gives people a possible alternative that might prevent them from scrambling for a ride and being without their car.

Terry said he must require appointments so that there are never too many cars parked at the home-based business. He said it took several months to obtain the permits and approvals needed from Sherburne County and from Baldwin Township in order to start the business, and one of the requirements is that he may not have more than seven cars at once.

He’ll service automobiles up to one-ton in size but will not work on anything bigger like truck, buses, RVs and other vehicles. He has a 40-foot by 60-foot pole building that serves as his shop, where he said he has hoists and a brake lathe so he can turn drums and rotors. Terry said he’ll be able to keep labor rates low since he owns the shop building outright and he does not have overhead such as diagnostic equipment.

“From my point of view, our focus is to give the customer a place to go after 5 o’clock,” Terry said, “so they do have a chance to get the car back by the time they have to work the next day.”

He said signs would be erected near the highway soon to let people know White Bridge has opened there. To reach the new business, call the shop phone number 763-389-1527.

This article originally appeared on the Princeton Union-Eagle.

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