Skilled Labor isn’t Cheap –
Cheap Labor isn’t Skilled
Thirty-three years ago a young man from Evergreen Park who had already earned an extraordinary reputation as an expert on all things mechanical, but particularly vehicle repair and service, and even more particularly transmission work, realized his big dream.
He opened a new car, truck and van service, repair and diagnostic business on busy Mannheim Road just North of Lake Street in Stone Park. He named it “S-O-S Transmissions Company,” a now well known name which really only tells part of the story.
That young man was and is Pete Schmidt and he brought with him besides enthusiasm and energy, a singular vision of what his kind of business could and should be.
He believes in:
Pete quickly became known as the face and the voice of S-O-S. He himself almost always answers all the phone calls. He himself greets all the customers. He knew people by name, or if they hadn’t been to the shop in a long while, at least he knew their faces. He almost always remembered their vehicles.
And most of all he shared with everyone he met his passion for cars, vans, trucks and all sorts of vehicles (don’t get him started on his own beloved tow trucks) and, for that matter, all things mechanical and how they work.
“Pete’s father told me he has always been this way,” says his wife Sharon, his behind the-the-scenes partner in S-O-S since the beginning. “Even when Pete was a young kid, and I mean the age of five or so, if his parents couldn’t find him they’d know just to look up and down the street for a car hood up. Pete would be there, totally transfixed by the repair work going and and the repair talk.”
Pete’s life led in a straight line to his career. He attended Allied Institute of Technology to get an education in everything there was to know about car repair and servicing. He became a particular expert in transmission work.
He became known for having a sixth sense about vehicles, for remembering cars he had worked on and the work he had done.
His enthusiasm and dedication, and Sharon’s, nurtured SOS into a well-known, much-respected business, a cut above the rest and always ahead of the curve. It wasn’t long before the shop had to be moved to a larger quarters.
And Pete has always retained his fascination and enthusiasm for what he does, despite grueling hours and scant vacations. The joke among his friends is that SOS may have turned 33 but Pete is still 30.
Pete also has demonstrated an extraordinary talent for attracting the best technicians to SOS, most notably Bob Hendrickson, highly trained and highly knowledgeable and as much a part of SOS success story as the Schmidts. Like Pete, Bob is an accomplished pilot.
We provide Chicago residents with top-notch transmission services and free phone consultation.
- Both Pete Schmidt and Bob Hendrickson hold certificates as ASE Master Technicians, signifying their qualification to provide Master Care in automotive service from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
- Both Pete and Bob have completed both Phase I and Phase II of the Enhanced Emissions Workshops presented by the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety for Illinois Environmental Protection Agency vehicle emissions test program.
- S-O-S has gained renown respect with customers as well as other general automotive repair shops for its expertise in transmission diagnosis, rebuilding, replacement or repair as called for.
- Other Shops, in fact, have asked S-O-S to diagnose and sometimes repair transmissions.
- Correct diagnosis of transmission problems, prompt repair and quality work have won S-O-S a reputation for getting what needs to be done right with superior work, and no unpleasant surprises later on.
- S-O-S can offer a national warranty for transmission work and a standard warranty for other work. A success for a third of a century, this business will continue to serve its customers.
- S-O-S specializes in caring for exoctic classic cars. SOS technicians often can fabricate a part which no longer is available. This is a possibility few car care businesses can offer as it requires a staff with a level of expertise which is unusual in the field.
- Crazy about cars since early childhood, Pete’s enthusiasm spread to boats and airplanes. He is an expert pilot, holding an instrument-rated multi-engine pilot certificate.
- Always a sports enthusiast too, Pete enjoys water skiing, power boating and trap shooting, just to cite some of his interest.