Waterloo Motors Imported Car Service
317 E. Shirley Avenue, Warrenton, VA 20186
Waterloo Motors has been servicing imported cars and trucks since 1981. We are especially proud to be selected the first BOSCH authorized service center in Virginia in 1986.
Our mission is to offer legendary service. We specialize in the service and repair of imported vehicles and strive to provide the best automotive service in the area at a reasonable rate.
Dan Lowery, the owner, has the philosophy of All or nothing - he approaches life and work with all his enthusiasm and attention because there'd be no point in doing it any other way.
The owner of Waterloo Motors, Inc. (a repair facility for import cars) since 1981, Dan's interest in cars began when he was a teenager growing up in Warrenton. He wanted his own car and thought the only way he could afford one was to build it himself. But instead of the standard '57 Chevy, he turned to import cars because they often didn't run well in those days and people wanted to get rid of them. So they were available - to those who could repair them.
Dan went to community college briefly to study automotive engineering but left when he realized his interest in cars was hands-on. In the late 1960s he got his first full-time paid job as a mechanic for Heishman Volkswagen in Arlington and worked up and down the row of Heishman dealerships (BMW, Porsche, Audi) through 1980. Marriage to Linda, whom he met in the 11th grade at Fauquier High School, 2 "great" kids (Meaghan & Brock), and a 200-year-old house they restored in Warrenton - helped convince him to open his own place. "The dealer ethic changed from service oriented to sales, " he explains, "and I really hated commuting." He leased an old school building next door to his present location on E. Shirley Avenue, then bought the property and designed and "built my own place."
Dan is especially proud to be an authorized Bosch service center - the first one selected in Virginia in 1986. "It was a real feather in my cap to get Bosch, and building this facility was a part of it. There are only 470 of us in the US." Bosch, a world leader in fuel injection and anti-skid breaking systems, is the leading supplier of parts for European, Asian, and domestic vehicles, Dan points out.
"Cars are too complicated to fix at home," he emphasizes. "It takes incredibly intelligent people to be auto technicians - there are no automotive mechanics now." Repairs, he adds, need to be done by skilled technicians who are computer literate and highly educated. "They have to be able to use the diagnostic systems on the computer." Another advantage of being a Bosch service center is the training he and his technicians receive. "We're privy to things dealers don't even know about sometimes."
One of the things Dan enjoys most about his work is that there's "always something new. I've been able to see dramatic changes - more in the last 5 to 8 years than since cars were invented." Another thing he likes is people. "I enjoy this business, working with people, working with the automobile trade." High quality service for import cars is what Waterloo Motors offers the area, Dan emphasizes. "I like import cars because of the high-quality of the product, and we've been successful because of our straight-up honesty with people." The most important, and most expensive, element of car repair is diagnosis, he notes. So it's crucial for him to convey customer concerns to the technician - a skill and strength he attributes to his 52 years of experience. "I go out of my way to help my customers understand their car problems."
Dan's enthusiasm for his work extends to teaming up with local schools to promote the automotive care career field, because, "I want to get people involved in this business, " he says. "It's a great trade." In the future, Dan hopes to offer classes at the shop to youngsters starting to drive to teach them about car care and maintenance as well as about responsibilities such as insurance. "I like achieving things," he observes. "I set goals and try my damndest to reach them."