Knowledge, according to Albert Einstein, is primarily derived from experience. So, when your car starts making a frightening sound under the hood, who better to ask for help than a award-winning racers and well-established mechanics?
Located in Louisville, KY, Barnes Auto Service, a Confidence Plus Certified Service Center, has provided exemplary service and lasting results since 1982. Established by Chuck Barnes Sr. and his wife Sara in the family garage, the business quickly took on a life of its own.
“My dad was working at a local dealership as well as a few other shops in town,” says Chuck Jr. “He’s always had an amazing work ethic, but he got so busy out of his garage that he finally opened up a little rundown shop down the road from my parents’ house.”
The father-son team runs Barnes Auto Service with a commitment to providing high quality repair services while obtaining a personal obligation to every customer. As business progressed and demands increased, the Barnes family was able to expand the shop and continuously provide a work area to satisfy the needs of the employed technicians.
“Since 1982 my dad has added on every 10 years to the shop, so it’s gotten a couple thousand square foot bigger each year,” Chuck Jr. said. “We just expanded quite a bit and brought on a few more technicians into the shop, including six ASE-certified technicians now. My mom works here, my dad works here, my wife works here, and we keep everything managed and running the way we’ve always done it.”
Nearly 40 successful years has brought over 25,000 serviced vehicles, thousands of loyal customers and hundreds of positive reviews. The Barnes Auto Team works on everything from everyday cars to classic antiques, and have earned a reputation for solving difficult diagnostic quandaries as well.
“You name it, and we will work on it,” Chuck Jr. said, “Sometimes it’s an extra challenge for somebody who’s already been there and tried this and that. They tried the simple stuff, obviously, so we’re diving into finding broken wires, a bad PCM. It can be something simple, but a lot of times we’re getting the hardest of the hard. We are always recommended for the difficult repairs and mechanical mysteries.”
With 17 employees and a 10,000-square-foot shop containing 26 bays, it is no wonder why reviews, time and again, applaud the quality of service and commitment to the customer.
Born the year his father started the shop, Chuck Jr. literally grew up in the building and around cars. He became enthusiastic about the trade around the age of 12 or 13. As a third-generation mechanic and second-generation racer, he knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the automotive industry.
“The high school I went to offered two trade programs: auto mechanics or tool and die. Because I knew a lot about auto mechanics from being in my dad’s shop, I decided to take the latter,” Chuck Jr. says.
He says this course of study offered him a more in-depth understanding of the automotive industry as the two trades, oftentimes, go hand in hand — especially with the racing community. “We still have lathes and mills here at the shop. Sometimes we need to do some custom fabrication for our customers. With my background, if a part breaks off, I’m able to make the part and fix it. Not only do we do auto repair, but we’re really the fix-it-all shop for the community.”
In addition to owning the shop, Chuck Sr. is a respected stock car racer, holding titles at Salem, Bristol Motor, Rockingham, Iowa and Kentucky speedways and what was once Louisville Motor Speedway.
Chuck Jr. continued the trend and followed in his father’s tracks; no pun intended. He’s an ARCA Menards Series winner, All American 400 winner and CRA Super Series champion, as well as a former mechanic for Richard Petty, former racing reality show star and holder of countless other victories throughout the United States. He is also an industry leader in test-driving and diagnosing race cars. Together, it’s safe to say this pair understands the standards and expectations of high-performance driving.
Being behind the wheel provides the Barneses with additional perspectives, which provide valuable insight when working in the shop. By racing their own cars, the father-son duo establish customer confidence in their work and parts.
“We take both racing and our business very seriously and try to provide the best to both,” Chuck Jr. says. “I think it speaks volumes about what we do.”
Their high-performance cars used on the racetracks make for a great representative for the businesses’ close attention to detail and top tier mechanics.
The family-owned business continues to expand and progress while providing superior service with the highest quality of parts and tools. Like the shop itself, Barnes’ Bumper To Bumper auto parts supplier, Moog Louisville Warehouse, has grown significantly in the Louisville community.
“They’ve been there since we were both just small locations and we’ve both expanded over the years,” Chuck Jr. says about their partners at Bumper To Bumper. “They’ve been very good to us by helping us with our racing, since my dad started in 1982. We always bought parts from them, and that relationship has just grown stronger and stronger each year.”
While the pandemic progressed through the early months of 2020, Barnes Auto Services was committed to providing a safe and clean area for both their employees and customers who continued to come to them for service. Taking proper precautions, the team provided contactless service and sanitization measures each day while amidst the construction of their new shop.
Along with serving their customers and protecting their staff, Barnes Auto Service also caters to the community in which they are part of by contributing to local charities such as Blessings in a Backpack, Crusade for Children, Home of the Innocents, The Healing Place and The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.
Community and customer service means more to the Barnes team than just fixing what’s wrong – the shop’s website actually goes into detail explaining to customers about today’s vehicle components and how to maximize their repair and service experiences. “Our racing experience helps clarify what we represent at our shop,” Chuck Jr. says. “We keep our cars together for the entire race and we’ll help keep your car together for the life of the vehicle — we put full effort into both.”