New Hampshire Shop Repairs Vehicles to Precision: Dick Horan's Precision Imports Fixes Vehicles Other Shops Can't -

New Hampshire Shop Repairs Vehicles to Precision: Dick Horan’s Precision Imports Fixes Vehicles Other Shops Can’t

Precision Imports in Manchester, NH, is a clean, modern vehicle repair facility with nine bays, and housing the latest in scan tool technology to fix a variety of import vehicles for a wide customer base. But when owner Dick Horan opened the doors 31 years ago, the shop could hardly be described as state-of-the-art.

By Debbie Briggs
Contributing Writer

Precision Imports in Manchester, NH, is a clean, modern vehicle repair facility with nine bays, and housing the latest in scan tool technology to fix a variety of import vehicles for a wide customer base. But when owner Dick Horan opened the doors 31 years ago, the shop could hardly be described as state-of-the-art.

“Our first location was a tiny, little shop that we could barely fit four cars in and no lifts,” Horan says. “We did everything on jack stands and on our backs. We were there three years, and we moved from there to a giant location, and it was a very old building with no insulation. It really was expensive to heat — about $1,200 a week for heating oil.

“And I was in that shop recently, and it’s been insulated since we moved, and the owner said to me, ‘Oh my gosh, I could never afford that.’ That’s what we used to spend. It was brutal.”

From there, Horan says, he moved into a much more energy-efficient building that was also very old, followed by a fourth — and hopefully final — move into his current location.

“You could almost heat this with a match, it’s so energy efficient,” he says, adding that the radiant, in-floor heating helps keep the shop quite comfortable in the winter.

In addition to being energy efficient, Horan knows the ­appearance of Precision Imports helps draw customers in.
owner dick horan
“The shop is seven years old, and it still looks fairly new,” he says. “If you walked in here, you’d say, Holy crap! It’s like a dealership. It’s very clean.”

Perhaps more important to customers is the impeccable ­repair service that Horan’s shop provides. And it’s not just customers who appreciate the scope of repairs that the four technicians at Precision Imports perform.

“We do a lot of the hard, ­diagnostic problems that the smaller shops can’t do,” Horan remarks. “When the dealers work on brands other than the ones they sell, we’ll get a lot of those cars as well. A lot of the used car dealers will just send the cars here because we have the equipment to do it.”

Horan says no expense is spared on equipment, which is so vital to solving the hard-to-diagnose problems that find their way into the shop’s bays. In addition to six lifts and one Hunter DSP600 alignment system with a DSP9700 Road Force Balancer, the latest scan tools are a must.

“The scanners that we have, we try to buy the latest and most sophisticated equipment that we can possibly afford,” he says, adding with a laugh, “and sometimes we buy stuff we can’t afford. The best that’s out there is what we try to get.”
In addition to quality equipment, Horan says his techs have access to such online resources as ALLDATA, ShopKey, iATN and Bosch ESI, which drives the Bosch KTS 340 used at the shop. Each work station has a computer and phone as well, to make accessing repair information all that much easier and to grant technicians access to Bosch’s highly trained specialists across the country — and around the world.
technician josh wetherbee
Bosch Service Center Benefits
A Bosch Service Center since 1987, Precision Imports also has “quick ­access” to Bosch’s service hotline. The designation benefits customers as well.

“When one of my customers has a problem with their car, I can guide them through the process of finding a shop in the area of the country in which they are stuck,” he says, “either through the Bosch Authorized Service ­Directory or online at boschservice.com.”

Customers also have peace of mind knowing that the warranty on Bosch products covers parts and labor for one year, with unlimited mileage, and two years on starters and alternators.

“We have the backing of Bosch and are confident in the knowledge that we are using the best OE parts available,” Horan says.

Bosch training allows the technicians at Precision Imports to stay up-to-date on the latest technology.

“We take advantage of every seminar that comes our way,” Horan explains. “My guys don’t always go, but I make them available. We do the Bosch schools. We try to send a minimum of two guys every year.”
service manager rich st. jean
As a result, Precision Imports has two Bosch Master Techs that have been to all the Bosch schools. “Once you start sending employees to school they become more motivated and more willing to be a team player,” Horan says, adding that it helps technicians to better understand systems when “attacking” a problem car.

Horan is a team player himself in the automotive repair community, serving on the Steering Committee for Manchester Community College and on the Manchester School of Technology Board for Automotive. They are positions that not only help keep his shop top of mind, but also help him find new talent when he’s looking for a new technician.

“I’m in tight with the instructors and professors, so I get to see the kids in action,” he says, adding that he feels “it’s important to stay connected. Not only do the students recognize it, but your peers also recognize it. When it’s time to send work in any kind of a direction, your name comes to the top of the pile more often.”

Horan has served on the Bosch Council, of which there are 11 members, for several years. “I was on the Council for 10 years, and they usually rotate you out after three years,” he says. “I was chairman of the Council. I finally got rotated off. I was off for three years, and they asked me to come back, which really made me feel pretty good.”

Add in involvement on the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association Education Foundation Board to the list, and one can see that Horan is in demand. While those commitments do keep him busy, Horan says he reaps only benefits.
“Other shops recognize what I do, and they realize that there’s a lot of work involved in it,” he says. “I also get an inside track on a lot of things because I’m involved. I’ll know about programs long before they’re launched, when they’re in the conceptual stages.”

Customers benefit not only from those programs, but also from the shop’s routine practice of washing and vacuuming vehicles after service, and frequent flyer oil change cards. Recycling oil, antifreeze and tires also gives customers peace of mind and keeps them coming back.

“I think it’s the way you treat people,” Horan concludes. “Not just the customers, but the employees as well. If the employees are happy, it becomes visible to the customers.”

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