Salem Boys Auto

About Salem Boys Auto

[Street View]

Mark and Ranae were high school sweethearts at Tempe High School and married in 1974. Ranae worked at a local bank and Mark was a policeman. In 1979, two important things happened: their son Alan was born and Ranae and Mark quit their jobs and opened a gas station in an area just outside the Tempe southwest borders. Then two daughters, Alison and Andi were born a few years later.

Mark and Ranae worked the large 24 hour freeway gas station with repair bays until 1987 when the gasoline company tore the station down and created a convenience store without bays.


In October 1988, a state of the art six bay garage called Salem Boys Auto opened in Tempe in the back of a shopping center. That year was also the first year Mark began doing auto repair radio shows. For five years, they grew, by their own accounts, uncontrollably.

In 1994, they opened their own 20 bay repair shop. Not just any kind of repair shop, a repair shop that has won numerous awards for it's design, it's environmental strategy, it's beauty and functionality. Ranae and Mark own the building and the land, so they will be at 1025 West Warner for many, many years.

In 1996, Salem Boys was providing car repair service to three generations of many families. Complaints began to pour in, many with the same message.


"You're getting tooooo big."

"It's too hard to get an appointment."

"I'm going to have to find another garage because you are too busy. I've been your Customer for 15 years, but I can't wait two weeks to get my car in for repair."

So Salem Boys decided to close to new customers from the first of April to the first day of school, normally the middle of August. Today, we have staffed up for the rush and we welcome new Customers.

Mark and Ranae have made it very clear about the focus of Salem Boys. They identify your symptoms, find the single part that is causing your problem, then clean, adjust or replace that bad part. Sometimes, but not many, one part will make another bad. Like a bad injector will contaminate a spark plug, so sometimes, two things will need to be addressed.


If you are the kind of Customer who wants to bring your car in and authorize anything and everything that is proposed by the Service Writer, then hold the shop responsible for a blown hose or a bad AC compressor, you should not do business with Salem Boys. They are NOT in the sales business. They DO NOT inspect every car that comes in and write long lists of repair work that needs to be done. They simply don't have that time. Besides, they believe the owner should be involved in every aspect of the their car maintenance and should not pass that responsibility on to the shop.

[Shop 2]

That's doesn't mean Salem Boys has tunnel vision. They fix what you brought it in for and if they see something that needs to be addressed, you will be advised in a very low pressure, calm way. More times than not, you will see a small list, prioritized, of things you should get today, next week and in the future to allow you to budget your car repairs and maintenance.

Mark Salem

Here's some interesting statistics from Salem Boys.

  • They process about 9-10k cars a year.
  • They have a staff of 25.
  • They have as many as 14 Technicians and at least 10 of them, plus Mark and Andy (an assistant in our parts department) are ASE Masters Techs as well.
  • Salem Boys is responsible for a fleet of our customers cars that exceeds 30,000.
  • They have in excess of 15,000 active Customers and add 800 to 1,200 new Customers a year.
  • Each year, at least 8 Customers who have not been in for service (moved, new cars, got mad at us) return after 10 years.
  • Salem Boys takes 25-35 appointments every day, depending on the season and staff size.
  • Their busiest week is the week between Christmas and New Years days.
  • Salem Boys has an average of 3 "no shows" a day and plans for that.
  • Salem Boys is one of the first to offer to and from Customer pickup. As we say, "We'll take you anywhere you want, BUT we won't take you to the cleaners."
  • Salem Boys in one of the few shops in the state that has an in house dyno. This allows us to drive your car at highway speeds, to load the car or SUV as you would if you are towing a trailer and find the miss or dying problem as well as test your emissions, almost exactly like the state does.
  • Mark is one of the founders, member and past Chairman of the BBB Auto Advisory Repair Committee (AARC). This committee reviews auto repair related complaints and makes recommendations to the BBB on the disposition.