Kris Maxie, right, and his son Cameron, left, stand outside their auto repair shop in Kenai, Alaska on Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Kris Maxie, right, and his son Cameron, left, stand outside their auto repair shop in Kenai, Alaska on Feb. 20, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Shop Talk: New auto shop opens in Kenai

A new locally owned Kenai auto shop, Maxie’s Auto and Truck Repair, celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 1. Owner Kris Maxie spoke with the Clarion on Feb. 20 about why he opened the shop and his plans for the business.

Maxie has lived on the peninsula for the last 18 years, and his 26 years of mechanic experience goes all the way back to when he opened his first shop in Bethel at the age of 17. Now he runs his business with the help of his oldest son, Kameron, and his friend and fellow mechanic of 20 years, Tim. Maxie said that the main reason he started this business was to get his son involved and set him up with a good career. Maxie has experience owning larger shops and managing dealerships with dozens of employees, but with that size he was forced in front of a computer all day, and he admitted he’d rather spend his day underneath the hood of a car.

“My heart is in fixing cars and talking to my customers,” said Maxie.

He also explained how frustrating it can be to wait a week or more on repairs, and said that his other goal with this shop is to never be backed up more than a couple of days. “Ninety percent of repairs are done same day. You drop it off in the morning, and you’re picking it up that night,” said Maxie.

Walk-ins are also welcome for oil changes and basic diagnostics. Maxie himself is advanced certified in diagnostics and electronics and considers that his expertise, but he added that after 20 years of working on cars he knows how to do it all.

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