West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – When Old School Automotive & Tire recently opened in West Columbia, owner Keith Nuttall knew he wanted to provide exceptional quality auto and light truck repair. He wanted a customer service experience like no other, a one-stop shop for vehicle and tire sales and repair, and customers who knew they could trust him to do what’s right for them. With that in mind, he and his wife Jessica began searching for just the right building to bring his dreams to fruition.
In their search for a place that would have the right location and space for his plans, he searched Lexington, Chapin, and across the Midlands for the perfect building. Eventually, his search led him to West Columbia. This is fitting since his dad, Butch Nuttall, grew up in that community and was a “River Rat” who taught Keith all his mechanical skills. For those of you who don’t know, there are “River Rats” and “Mill Hill” kids from West Columbia and Cayce. They may get sideways with each other, but no outsider should ever cross either group without expecting trouble from them all!
Eventually Keith and Jessica selected an old print shop at 111 North 12th Street close to West Columbia’s City Hall. Old School Automotive & Tire takes up one whole end of the building behind the KFC and the State Credit Union that faces 12th Street. It's large, with plenty of room for Keith to do everything he planned with the first shop of his very own since working with his dad in his store for years.
Working all his life beside his dad is not an exaggeration. Keith says by the time he was 5 years old, his dad, Butch, was teaching him to mount tires in his shop. While other kids were playing with toys, he was playing with wrenches. It wasn’t that Butch was forcing his love of mechanics on Keith; instead, the boy at his side was hungry for all the knowledge his dad had gained from decades in the auto and tire repair business. “My dad was a great man and a great teacher. He wanted you to know not only how to fix things, but how they worked in general. He knew every part of a motor and how it was as important to the engine’s performance as your fingers are to how useful your hand is,” Keith said recently.
At Old School Automotive & Tire, they have all the room to build Keith’s dream. He’s got 11 work bays and more room inside if it’s needed. He does everything from custom rims and tire sales and repairs to repairing just about every make and model of car or light trucks there is. He sells batteries; they just put in the equipment to repair or bend new exhaust systems; front end alignment equipment that’s the latest technology, and a staff that’s got many years of experience. Old School Automotive & Tire does oil changes and engine changes. They can work on a vehicle’s computer system or an old carburetor. Keith says about the only thing they don’t do is collision repairs or auto glass service.
When you come in the front door, you’ll immediately know the people there have motor oil coursing through their veins. The front desk is a half of a Dodge pickup bed with beautiful woodwork all around it. In fact, anywhere there’s woodwork, step back and take a second look. Each plank was first-hand burned by Jessica Nuttall and then sealed with a gleaming clear coat. If Jessica weren’t the HR and business manager at Old School, she could definitely be a decorator.
There’s a large comfortable customer waiting area when your vehicle's in for work. If you have things to do, the staff at Old School have a complimentary ride service to get you home or to your office. You may just want to stay and relax. There’s free coffee or ice-cold water available and comfortable chairs to wait in. If the little ones are with you, there are toys and a special play area just for them. You can catch up on what’s on T.V. with the large set on the wall or keep up with work or just play a game on your laptop or digital device with their free wi-fi.
When you enter, a friendly service writer will greet you, show you to a comfortable seat, and really listen to what you have to say. If it’s a mechanical problem with your vehicle, their experience is invaluable. If it’s making strange noises, a chunk, cur-plunk, or thud, don’t feel silly saying that; they’ve heard it all before! Once they have an idea of what’s wrong, they’ll give an honest estimate on how much the repair will cost and how long it should take. If they get started and find something more, they’ll stop and give you a call. They’ll explain your options and even text you a photo of what they found if you like. If they need to update the estimate, whether it’s the cost or the time it will take to complete, they’ll do that for you. After you have the facts and options, you decide what you want to do. They’ll never surprise you with a bill that’s way different than the estimate they gave or keep your car for days with no explanation or lots of excuses. They know an informed customer is a happy customer!
It’s the same way with tires. They have many brands, models, and price ranges. A question like, “How much were you planning to spend?” or “How long are you planning to keep this car?” can help them recommend the right tires for you. There’s no pressure; they give you the facts, the prices and options and let you decide.
Old School Automotive & Tire also does fleet service, tires, and repairs for small businesses. They are a small, locally owned and operated business so they know how important price, reliability, and quality work is to a business that keeps their vehicles on the go.
If you don’t have a regular auto care center, you should! Just like a doctor gets to know you and your body, using the same auto service center lets you feel safe knowing they are familiar with your vehicle and will treat it like it was their own. You can trust Keith, Jessica, Taylor their office manager, and everyone there to keep the customer in the forefront when they’ve got your car, your “Baby” in their hands.
Swing by Old School Automotive & Tire today. Even if you don’t need service, meet the Nuttalls, the staff, ask for a little tour. Once you have, I think you’ll know you’ve found the right place to have your vehicle cared for. Remember it’s at 111 North 12th Street in West Columbia. They can be reached by phone at(803) 767- 4606 or look at their website at oldschooltire.com. Don’t wait, check them out today.