Parts Plus Manager James Mossow is no stranger to the parts in a car. He first started fixing vehicles 40 years ago and hasn’t gotten tired of it yet.
Except for the dirty work, those days are behind him.
“I like working with the parts because it keeps my hands clean,” joked Mossow inside the Parts Plus store he runs on Great Basin Highway.
Mossow is no stranger to crawling under a vehicle and figuring out what the problem is first hand. He spent 20 years in the Air Force as a vehicle mechanic, working on everything from everyday vehicles to school buses and Humvees. After he retired in 2006, Mossow moved to Ely to join family members that lived in the area and found himself a new career, managing the parts department for the now vacant Ford dealership. It was there that he realized he could pass on what he knew about cars to help people without having to do everything himself.
“While I worked at the Ford dealership I discovered that I really enjoyed just working with the parts,” he said.
Not that he doesn’t still crawl under a car or two on occasion.
“People will come in asking for help and I’ll still find myself under their vehicle from time to time, but not as often as I used to.”
Mossow said that these days his favorite part of his job is getting to interact with customers and try to help them find the specific thing they need to have a safe and comfortable ride.
He houses a large stock of vehicle parts, ranging from floor mats and air fresheners to new batteries and all the little pieces that most people don’t know exist. In fact, only a little over a third of the store’s total area is able to be traversed by customers, as the rest houses each of the individual pieces that will someday find themselves holding a car together.
But like most businesses in town, he doesn’t have room for everything, and that is where being part of a larger corporate business chain can come in handy.
“If we don’t have a piece in stock, I can make a call and have it in the next day,” Mossow said.
Being a part of the Parts Plus chain allows him to make special orders straight from Salt Lake City, usually resulting in a 24 hour turnaround. That means his customers don’t have to let an issue with their vehicle hold them up for to long.
And though Ely has experienced a mild winter with little snow, recent temperature drops can still cause issues for vehicles if people don’t keep up on their parts.
“When it gets to be freezing cold, people need to check their car batteries, windshield wipers and wiper fluid,” the manager said.
It might sound like a small thing, but if left unchecked, a problem with any one of those could end up causing much worse damage down the road.
For more information about Parts Plus, call 775-289-2500.