Shalersville – Everyone’s invited to the open house hosted by Crossroads Auto Care at 4552 State Route 303, Ravenna (in Shalersville within a stone’s throw of SR44). Shop owners Cody and Hillary Snyder will be providing the community with drinks and hot dogs as they celebrate their grand opening on Saturday, August 1, starting at 12 noon.

According to Cody Snyder, this new venture is simply the prayerful next step in a lifelong vocation.  “My dad was too poor to ever buy a nice vehicle. He was constantly in the garage, fixing the car. And I was his right-hand man. I was destined to become an auto mechanic.”

So it should come as no surprise that Snyder studied auto mechanics at Maplewood Career Center during high school and worked for Cruise Brothers in Mantua and Dan’s Automotive in Windham before graduating from James A. Garfield High School in 2004. Snyder then attended Universal Technical Institute in North Carolina, from which he graduated near the top of his class with diplomas in automotive service technology, NASCAR technologies and full Ford mechanics certification.

Upon returning home, Snyder went to work for seven years at Klaben Ford in Kent, where he became ASE certified and Ford Senior Master certified. He went on to work on heavy trucks, but had to distance himself from that career after two hernia surgeries.

Snyder then transferred his skills to Marks Automotive in Garrettsville, where he worked  for a year before the auto shop closed in May due to the retirement of owner Mark Johnson. It was time for Snyder to establish his own shop. But where? His offer to purchase Marks Automotive fell through. Another vacant Garrettsville shop was purchased by others. And the Shalersville shop had a cash offer on it; it was sure to go through.

But then that presumed closed door swung wide open. Originally a 1950s-era Sinclair gas and service station owned and operated by Charles and Virginia Nelson, the property on Route 303 sat vacant for five years before the Snyders bought it, painted and renovated it. While the renovation is ongoing, Crossroads Auto Care has been accepting visitors and customers since mid-June.

The service garage offers engine diagnostics, exhaust services, brakes, suspension, alignments, general repairs, and maintenance services (fluids, flushes, filters, etc.), all at a fair price. “I was frustrated on a daily basis, seeing people getting taken advantage of by automotive chains which overcharged people with 300% markups on parts and for services they really didn’t need,” Snyder says. “I’ll make my money on labor and I’ll gain my client base by being trustworthy.”

In fact, the Snyders are offering a monthly drawing for four free free oil changes. Anyone who pays a bill will have the opportunity to nominate someone for free service. “When money’s tight, it’s easy to put off your regular oil change,” Snyder sympathizes. “So if you know someone who’s going through hard times, you can nominate them for free oil change and safety inspection every time you pay a bill.”

To schedule your auto’s service or repair, call Cody at (330) 239-8008 or find Crossroads Auto Care on Facebook