By John Lee | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @jcl1987
Jim’s Service Center, located at 404 W. Brown in Pampa, was opened in 2005 by Jim Fre. In 2012, he handed it over to his son, Steven Fre, who had worked with Jim since 2006.
Steven was raised around mechanical work on vehicles.
“I’ve worked on cars all my life,” Steven said. “He taught me how to paint/body. He would be in the driveway working on a vehicle. This is probably my first time working in a store.
Jim’s Service Center is best known for vehicle condition inspections and service forms the bulk of their business.
“We primarily do state inspections,” Steven said. “Kelly (Oxley) does his thing over there (in the bay on the right) all by himself with brakes, tune-ups, oil changes and minor mechanical work on most vehicles. He doesn’t come in really in major rebuilds.
“I mainly do inspections. If I have time, I’ll do an oil change. But most of the time we are so busy with inspections. This allows us to continue. We have been blessed.
In 2015, the state of Texas moved from the long-standing two-sticker system to the one we see today, which Steven says didn’t affect its bottom line at Jim’s Service Center.
“We had to buy stickers ahead of time,” Steven said. “We paid $7.50 for the sticker and then charged $14.50 for an inspection. Now you pay $7.50 on top of your tags for the state to get their money and we charge $7 here.
Steven added that $7.50 is a state-regulated price. If a company charges a customer more, it should be reported.
State inspections can sometimes be a frustrating process for the customer, especially if they were unaware of an issue. But Steven said most of the time the customers are understanding.
“We had a few that were tough,” Steven said. “Most of our clients are really good people and they understand.
“If the windows are tinted too dark, we’ll do what we can, if they want to take them off. If they need wiper blades, they can get them and we’ll put them in.”
As for the violations that customers have tried to get past Jim’s service center?
“Tinted windows,” Steven said. “They will come in with their windows down, 50 degrees outside and the heating blasted. I’ve been doing this long enough, I’ll check the tint. They’ll try to tell me it’s the factory. Some will try to pass me, but I can hear this thing six blocks away.
Jim’s service center is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but Steven said he’s willing to meet customers outside those hours if they call the store at 806-688-0705.
“We try to meet the needs of our customers,” Steven said. “We have been truly blessed with some very good customers. Lots of loyal customers. We do not charge first responders, veterans, Purple Heart recipients, etc. for state inspections.