We are many people, we are team C.A.R.S.

About Us

It Began with passion...

One of the key factors to our success is the history and growth that we have had.

Who are we? We are many people who make up team C.A.R.S. Auto Repair. Since our founding in 2001, our customers have relied on C.A.R.S. for both our knowledge and integrity. Our team is focused on your needs and dedicated to getting the job done right the first time. We take pride in our reputation of integrity. It’s not only “doing the right thing”, it’s simply good business.

Denny Houtstra, a self confessed gear head since his pre-teen years, opened the first C.A.R.S. Auto Repair Service between Jenison and Hudsonville, Michigan in 2001. Five years down the road C.A.R.S. had outgrown the space and Denny moved C.A.R.S. to a new location just off of 18th Avenue and Chicago Drive in Jenison.

By the end of 2009, C.A.R.S. Auto Repair Service had again outgrown its space. More professional automotive technicians were needed, but there was nowhere to put them (apparently squeezing your employees into the rafters is an unacceptable practice). Denny and his partner and wife, Sherri Houtstra took the bold step of moving to a new facility on 18th Avenue near the intersection of Chicago Drive in Jenison.

With such success, in January 2010, C.A.R.S. opened in a new building over twice the size of the old location. We added new lifts, additional diagnostic equipment and found a couple of terrific, well trained guys to round out our staff.

The C.A.R.S. staff thrives off of continuing education and training programs on a regular basis. Our mechanics are ASE Certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Unlike most facilities where service writers have limited service experience, our service writer, Scott holds the prestigious ASE certification. Our five technicians average over 18 years experience and our Master Technician has over 25 years on the job.

technet professional auto repair

We know what we are doing!

C.A.R.S. Auto Repair Service is a Technet Professional Automotive Center and believe us, we know what we are doing.

When you choose a TECHNET Professional center, you are choosing trained ASE Certified technicians, the highest quality parts, the latest equipment and the newest technology to diagnose and repair your vehicle.

Since we are a Technet facility, our work is warranted through Technets Nationwide & Warranty. This program is nationwide at over 9,000 locations. It provides you with comfort knowing that you will receive warranty service in the unlikely event you have a problem.

As a Technet Professional Automotive Center, we follow a strict Code of Ethics to ensure customers will know what to expect up front. As part of this code, we pledge to:

  1. Perform high-quality diagnostic and repair services at a fair price.
  2. Employ ASE-certified technicians in all areas of work performed.
  3. Be dedicated to customer satisfaction.
  4. Exercise reasonable care for the customer’s property while it is in the shop’s possession.
  5. Provide a system for fair settlement of customer complaints, should they occur.
  6. Maintain the highest standards of the automotive service profession.

We take your car repairs seriously!

We are an ASE Certified Facility.

We are proud to say C.A.R.S. is also an ASE Certified facility, an honor bestowed on only the very best automobile and truck repair centers in the country.

ase certified mechanic
Motorists benefit from ASE certification. It is a valuable yardstick by which to measure the knowledge and skills of individual technicians as well as the commitment to quality of the repair facility employing ASE-Certified professionals.
The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.

The C.A.R.S. Auto Service Team

Denny Houtstra

Chief Gearhead

Denny Houtstra is a gearhead by every definition. Fixing cars is nothing new for the co-founder of C.A.R.S. Auto Repair Service, after all, he’s been tinkering on vehicles for over 30 years.

Houtstra is the son of an electrician and spent his early years installing, programming and maintain self-guided robotic vehicles. Today’s cars and trucks require advanced computer knowledge, something a certified diesel mechanic with a background in computer diagnostics is ideally suited.

“We employ mechanics with a great deal of experience,” Houtstra said. “All of our mechanics have the expertise, especially in General Motors vehicles. We can do everything dealers can do right down to the computer work. There’s a significant advantage here.”

Houtstra’s hobby is constructing, driving and restoring racing cars. Working on high-performance vehicles enhances his skill set in diagnosing, servicing and rebuilding engines, transmissions, electrical, suspension and steering systems.

He regularly travels to advanced training seminars throughout the country to continue to provide the highest level of expertise and service for your car or truck.

Wally Dawson

Mechanic

Wally Dawson had a connection CARS long before he stepped foot in the service center. Dawson’s brother and CARS owner Denny Houtstra are best friends, so it’s only natural for Wally to join the fold after managing his brother’s shop. The road from fixing cars at 16 years old to work at CARS took some time, however. Dawson was a pastor for eight years before transitioning back into carburetors and motor oil. When he’s not fixing vehicles, he’s at home with his wife and five children.

Sherri Houtstra

Co-owner

Co-owner of C.A.R.S. with husband Denny, Sherri manages the front office and works to promote excellent service throughout the business. Her attention to detail and dedication to teamwork and efficiency ensure our customers have a great experience.

Shane Sutton

Mechanic

Shane has been repairing vehicles since he was a youngster and has worked on an array of vehicles to fine tune his talents. Shane specializes in imports although he has proven his quality work on virtually all makes and models of cars and light trucks to ensure that C.A.R.S. meets and hopefully exceeds your expectations!

Mike Wodarek

Mechanic

Not many people fall into being a mechanic, but after early work pumping gas and changing oil, Mike’s spent more than 30 years in the profession. Always working for independent repair shops, it’s hard not to believe fate intervened to bring him to CARS. Well, the easier commute also helped. While the automotive world continues to move forward with new carburetors, fuel injectors and evolving technology, he feels that CARS is doing an amazing job at keeping up with new innovations and training.

Scott Whittecar

Service Coordinator

Scott Whittecar has been with C.A.R.S. since 2010 and is currently the service adviser. Scott is also ASE and State Certified in auto repair and has been in the field since 2004. In addition to his years of experience Scott also received training at Career Line Technical Center. Scott leverages his mechanical experience to help you understand what needs to be done to your vehicle and to ensure that C.A.R.S. meets and hopefully exceeds your expectations!

I have been doing this since I was a kid. Ever since I was young, my dad has been into cars, and I have had a wrench in my hand my whole life, and when I got out of high school, I just kind of pursued this career and have been doing it ever since, just working up the ladder and learning more things and getting more certifications and trying to be the best.

I think above anything else being a certified mechanic gives me more knowledge for the customers when I am explaining what’s wrong with their cars. I can do it in a more professional and confident manner, Any questions that they have I can answer them very professionally and confidently knowing how to fix their car, and I think customers really appreciate the knowledge.

Alex Sory

Mechanic

Loving cars and knowing the intricacies of an engine don’t always go hand-in-hand, but when they do, you’ll have a mighty fine mechanic on your hands. Alex spent six years providing oil changes and another six working for Ryder Truck Rental before settling into his position at CARS. With Alex’s family already a receiving great service for years, it’s no wonder he knew it would be a great fit to join the CARS family.

Video Playlist
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Shane - C.A.R.S Auto Repair
Shane - C.A.R.S Auto Repair
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Scott - C.A.R.S Auto Repair
Scott - C.A.R.S Auto Repair
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Denny Houtstra, C.A.R.S Auto Repair
Denny Houtstra, C.A.R.S Auto Repair

Who wants to sit in those crummy car shop waiting rooms?

Well, we wouldn’t want to either.

That is why our new building has a waiting room comfortable for all ages. This customer lounge is carpeted, appointed with oak furniture and equipped with wireless internet access and satellite TV from DirecTV(TM). It also has toys for our small customers and freshly brewed coffee. We want you to be comfortable with our work and with your wait. We work hard so you don’t have to. Every C.A.R.S. team member is a certified mechanic, with the exception of our office manager, Sherri.