Colby Venables and Rey Contreras recently opened an independent mechanic shop In & Out Auto Repair, located at 1120 McKinley St. in McPherson.

"We like working on cars," Contreras said. "We've been working on them since we were teenagers."

The demand for automotive repair services has grown as cars have become more complicated to fix, according to Contreras.

"I worked for an automotive shop here and I noticed its phone rang all day long, every week," Contreras said. "I looked for a building here in McPherson and told (Venables) about it and we bought it."

Both of the owners of In & Out Auto Repair brings his own set of skills to the business.

Venables said much of his teenage years were spent learning automotive repair from his grandfather, Ron Dauer, who owns Town & Country Repair in Lindsborg.

"I learned everything from him and then I started doing some bigger jobs," Venables said.

Venables then went to work for Subaru for four years and earned his Automotive Service Excellence certification.

"I'd already had some tractor experience and then I went hands-on in the field with some heavy equipment," Venables said.

Contreras is a certified welder who enjoys custom welding and fabrication. He also speaks both English and Spanish, something he noted is rare for mechanics in the area.

By starting their own shop, Venables and Contreras are able to draw on their bond when tackling a repair project.

"I can ask him for help and then, whenever I jump in with him, I learn something," Venables said.

"We work well together; we don't yell at each other," Contreras added.

In & Out Auto Repair offers services for diesel engines, lawnmowers, heavy equipment and both domestic and foreign vehicles in its two bays.

"We want to offer a good service," Venables said. "An honest service is our number one thing."

"Our other main thing, besides honesty, is getting the work done quickly," Contreras said. "People don't like having their cars sit for days or weeks. We try to get everything out the same day."

In & Out Auto Repair has only been open for a few weeks, but the shop is already keeping the owners hopping.

"We've got a good-sized lot and it's in a good location," Contreras said. "Being by the four-way stop, it's easy to get to from everywhere."

"It's nice to see. We needed another place in town for automotive repair — every one is so busy," commented a customer who was having her tire fixed.

In & Out Auto Repair is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7.

"AutoZone is going to be here helping us cook burgers and brats," Contreras said. "My wife will be making tamales, too."

For more information about In & Out Auto Repair, call 620-654-6217 or visit its Facebook page.

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at or follow her stories on Twitter at @MiddleSentinel.