Best Mechanic - 2009
Ernesto Salazar at J. Ko's Auto Repair
Here's a story about a woman and her car. How the sunny streets of South Florida aren't pedestrian-friendly. Or car-friendly. How when her car kept overheating, she learned she needed a new radiator, water pump, and thermostat. And how she couldn't afford to pay the estimated $1,300 to fix it. This is when Ernesto the mechanic entered the story. Ernesto has been running J. Ko's Auto Repair with his son, Giovanni, and his daughter, Jackie, for the past six years. This is the point in the story when Ernesto became the people's mechanic. He asked to keep the car around a couple of days — maybe he could find an alternate, cheaper way to fix it. Ernesto figured out that cheap fix: He added a fan to the radiator that stopped the car from overheating. It cost only $150. That's when the woman decided this was the mechanic for her.