Go With the Pros

Mar 23, 2012

Sean Turner is a mechanic at Exhaust Pros of Northglenn, Colo., and he knows more than many auto performance shop owners about what makes for an extraordinary exhaust, a high-performance automobile and a profitable business.

“We’re successful because we have the right equipment and the right training,” says Turner. “We’ve got that and the very best, highest-quality parts made. If you have all of those things, your business should be able to do OK. I’ve seen a lot of shops go under because they didn’t have those things.”

Exhaust Pros is a family-run business started by Richard Rudd and now co-managed by his grandson, Michael Gallegos. Turner points out that this business is not to be confused with two other Colorado-located shops of the same name.

He also points out that the winning trifecta of quality workmanship, great customer service and high-end parts is a combo that Exhaust Pros has always known is the key to success.

Custom Upgrades

Today, Turner is part of a three-man, all-independent-contractor Exhaust Pros team that is known across several states for their exhaust work and newly added car and truck custom upgrades.

“Exhaust Pros began at the facility we’re currently located at in 1987,” says Turner. “It launched as a small business, doing mainly exhausts, but today we specialize in custom work, which is rare for shops out here. After establishing the business in exhaust work, we went on to include high-performance work. Today we really can take care of anything, but our specialty will always be customized performance exhaust.”

Well, almost anything.

“We don’t do tires,” he says, “but we can do anything customized. We build imports and four-wheel drives and some of our work has been featured in magazines.”

The company is also making a name for itself with local Honda owners.

“We do anything associated with Hondas,” he adds. “We do a lot of turbo work and most anything else the customer needs. If we can’t do it for them, we know where to send them to get the work done at a good price. They can always call us, no matter what they want.”

A great location, coupled with all that honesty, dependable work and authentic helpfulness are all additional elements to the Exhaust Pros’ successful 25-year run.

“We’re in a one-stop strip called the Roadmaster Auto Center,” he says. “There’s a window tinting place, an A/C shop, and a tire store along this strip.  It’s true convenience for customers and we’ve been in the same location the whole time. That works very well for us.”

What also works very well is the facility. Manned by just the three independent mechanics with their individualized specialties, the facility nevertheless houses an impressive setup with top-grade equipment.

“We’re a seven-bay shop,” says Turner. “We have benders that can bend about anything except mandrel bending. We also weld here. We can handle anything associated with MIG welding.”

Also found inside the 3,000-square-foot shop are two truck lifts, including a 35-foot lift that can accommodate motor homes and stretch limos.

“Quality products are a necessary component to any business. We only use the top-of-the-line,” he adds. “You’re not going to find low-grade parts here. That’s why we are able to stand behind everything we do 100 percent. We rarely have an issue. Our guarantee holds up.”

Versatile Trio

The three top-notch mechanics have longevity at Exhaust Pros, allowing them to pursue their specialized passions. Together their experience adds up to 36 years.

“All three of us can do pretty much anything,” says Turner, “and it’s great because we all specialize in different areas. The guy with the shortest time here is eight years. Everyone here is well-equipped with hands-on knowledge and ability.”

Turner’s a Honda man and he shows it by devoting himself to his own Honda projects and to local racing.

“I have a Honda Civic,” he says, “and it’s fully built with a turbo. I show it a lot and I race it at Bandimere (Speedway in Morrison, Colo.). I have two other Civic projects here that I’m currently working on.

“Michael specializes in trucks, especially diesels. He has a Ford Power Stroke fully built with numerous upgrades to the engine, transmission and, of course, the exhaust,” Turner adds. “It has stacks on it and he runs it at Bandimere, as well as numerous NHRDA events around the Western states. It’s one of the faster street trucks out there.”

Vinnie Engels is the other pro.

“He is working on a rock-crawler project that will be going to Moab soon to do some four-wheeling,” Turner adds. “So I’m into imports, but we all have our projects; our individual specialties and talents. It’s great.”

All that versatility keeps customers of every stripe coming from a several-state area to get the Exhaust Pros’ custom attention and expertise.

So much so, Turner notes, that there’s little reason to carve out any advertising or marketing budget. Word-of-mouth has and continues to be the company’s lifeblood.

“Our customers are all ages,” he says. “That’s one thing about our company is our customer loyalty base. We do hardly any advertising. It’s all word-of-mouth. We do all the (nearby) car dealerships. We do a lot exhaust for other repair shops. Everyone in this area knows about us.”

And other areas, too.

“I’ve got a Salt Lake City guy driving in tomorrow to get his exhaust done,” he adds. “We’re one of the few places that even does this sort of custom work anymore. Even though someone can buy a pre-bent exhaust kit, our specialty is full-on, custom built performance exhausts. That’s one of the rarities about our shop.”

Following Progress

Exhaust Pros’ customers also trust the shop to keep up with the times and to provide knowledge of new products.

“We change our product up because we want to (always offer) what’s new and improved,” says Turner. “What we did 10 years ago with product is totally different now. For example, we used to use steel pipe, but now use aluminized because it doesn’t rust.

“We make sure to change with the times,” he adds. “We change product to what’s best. The vehicles have also changed, along with the new products. A lot of people are trying to get better results from their vehicles. Exhaust is one of the cheapest ways someone can increase performance, along with the other services we can provide.”

And the company is hoping to branch out into additional areas of the high-performance market in the future.

“Summer’s around the corner and everyone wants their summer projects going, including me and my own vehicle.”

That love for the product, for the process and for auto performance and racing brings an authentic and heartfelt knowledge to everyone at Exhaust Pros. In fact, that very enthusiasm can be credited to why the company’s equation works so well. The unique setup allows the team at Exhaust Pros to create something they can be proud of.

“It really is about being the best,” says Turner. “You’ve got to make sure you have good quality parts, and make sure you have good background training. It’s hard to learn this business. I learn every day and I’ve been doing it a long time.

“With the right equipment, the right training, good quality parts, workmanship you are proud of, integrity and loyal customers, you can be very successful in this business. It is a passion.”