By Tara Mathews
HOWARD LAKE, MN Residents in the Howard Lake area have a new option when it comes to maintaining their vehicles.
The Broken Bolt is a new full-service import and domestic automotive repair shop, located at 704 7th Street in Howard Lake.
John Widell, owner and operator of The Broken Bolt, purchased the building two years ago with intentions of waiting three to four years before opening the business to customers, he said.
“I had my eye on the property for a few years,” Widell noted. “It just stood out to me.”
When he lost his job in Minneapolis, Widell decided to open The Broken Bolt early, he added.
Widell grew up in Minneapolis and received his automotive degree from Minneapolis Technical Institute.
After completing his degree, Widell worked at dealerships in the Minneapolis area including Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagon, Saab, and Subaru.
“I have worked in the automotive industry for 28 years, at both import and domestic dealerships,” Widell said.
Widell moved to the Winsted-Howard Lake area five years ago to live near his fiancè, Peggy Fruetel, who lived in Lester Prairie at the time.
Widell and his fiancè currently live in Winsted, but are thinking about moving to Howard Lake in the near future, he said.
Widell has two daughters, Samantha, 26 and Nicole, 22. Samantha helps him with advertising, bookkeeping, and computer work, he said.
The Broken Bolt has been open for about a month, and the community has been quite receptive to it, Widell commented.
“Local business owners have been very helpful with sending me customers. John Ringold brought in a car just last week,” Widell said.
The Broken Bolt is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified and provides all standard automotive servicing, with the addition of tires, engine rebuilds, and transmission rebuilds, which many local mechanics do not provide, according to Widell.
The Broken Bolt will install new, used, or rebuilt parts, which enables it to keep prices lower, Widell said.
The Broken Bolt has some coupon specials for December, which are located at local businesses on the bulletin boards and will be mailed out to local residents including:
• Free estimates.
• $35 per hour labor rate.
• Free diagnostic service.
• Timing belt replacement for $395.
• $65 winterize/coolant flush.
• Free oil change with any $150 or more service.
• $30 brake fluid flush.
Customers can also receive these services and others at special prices by stopping into The Broken Bolt to ask about coupons or by mentioning this article.
For more information, call (320) 490-7053 or follow the link at www.herald-journal.com.