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Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Depot's Auto Hobby Shop to help save, teach

By Cpl. Tyler Viglione | Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | June 20, 2014

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Staff Sgt. Ramiro A. Castanda, drill instructor, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, works on his engine with Tracey C. Cluke, mechanic, Auto Hobby Shop aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, June. 18. The Hobby Shop offers everything from car and motorcycle lifts to every tool required for most automotive needs.

Staff Sgt. Ramiro A. Castanda, drill instructor, Kilo Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, works on his engine with Tracey C. Cluke, mechanic, Auto Hobby Shop aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, June. 18. The Hobby Shop offers everything from car and motorcycle lifts to every tool required for most automotive needs. (Photo by Cpl. Tyler Viglione)


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Jose O. Garcia, Auto Hobby Shop manager, displays a set of wrenches aboard the depot, June 18. The Auto Hobby Shop can be used by anybody with a valid military identification card.

Jose O. Garcia, Auto Hobby Shop manager, displays a set of wrenches aboard the depot, June 18. The Auto Hobby Shop can be used by anybody with a valid military identification card. (Photo by Cpl. Tyler Viglione)


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SAN DIEGO --

Nowadays vehicles are a necessity for most people in their daily lives, but repairing them can be very pricey.

The Auto Hobby Shop on Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego is here to assist Department of Defense employees and their dependents when it comes to repairing their vehicles at just a fraction of what they would pay a mechanic in town.

For those who have no experience with repairing their own vehicles, the Hobby Shop will helps customers and teaches them everything they need to know about what needs to be done to make a repair correctly.

“We have two mechanics who work with us,” said Jose O. Garcia, manager, Auto Hobby Shop. “We are all here to help supervise and give information to anybody with a valid military identification card.”

The Auto Hobby Shop on MCRD has four lifts specifically for oil changes, as well as an additional 4 lifts for repairs such as changing breaks, repairing engines or simply any small fix.

“The shop has a contract with Napa and O’Rilley Automotive Parts that enables us to order parts for the base price with no tax,” said Garcia.  

The price of parts alone can really add up quickly, but it’s the installation and labor that can cost even more sometimes. Because everything at the Auto Hobby Shop is independent work, people save the extra labor cost by doing the repairs themselves.

According to Dan Plitt, production, Combat Camera, MCRD San Diego, he prefers it that way.

“I use the Auto Hobby Shops multiple times a year,” said 53-year-old Plitt. “I can do a repair that would cost me $250 anywhere else for $30.”

This was Plitt’s first experience at the MCRD Hobby Shop, but said he prefers it more than other shops he has been to in the past.

“The people are really helpful,” said Plitt, a native of New York, N.Y. “I can take my time and do the work without feeling rushed like I have been in other shops.”

While the shop can offer just about every tool or part one would need for a motorcycle or vehicle, Garcia thought out of the box when he first took charge of the shop.

“I created a family play area,” said 62-year-old Garcia. “When someone’s wife, girlfriend or child comes in, it can be unsafe for them to be running around the shop. The play area has toys, a television, magazines and more to entertain the families.”

The shop is open Wednesday- Friday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays, from 8:30 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Auto Hobby Shop at (619)-524-5240 or visit them online at mccsmcrd.com.

The Auto Hobby Shop will be hosting their annual Car Show on the Bay June 22, 2014, which is open to the public with door prizes, awards and food activities.



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