Craig’s Car Care was Established in Lucas in 1996
Lucas resident, Craig Zale took auto mechanics in high school, earned a two year degree in automotive engineering and started working in the industry in 1987. He laughingly told of the time when he was approximately 12 years old and took his first steps into the automotive repair world when he did an unrequested valve cover gasket replacement on his dad’s car. He has fond memories of working at a full-service gas station, which was his first job after earning his degree. He said he loved pumping gas, fixing flats and driving the tow truck.
In 1996, he opened Craig’s Car Care in Lucas. In 2005, due to the need to expand, he bought the property at 1005 W. Lucas Rd. and moved his business there. Craig and his wife Tina will celebrate their 30 year anniversary next year. Craig said, “If she didn’t have my back, this (Craig’s Car Care) wouldn’t have happened.” Tina is responsible for all human resource related areas of the business. Their son Garrett, who is a sophomore at Lovejoy High School, works in the shop during the summer and cleans the office. This job was formerly his sister Cassady’s responsibility until she graduated from Lovejoy High. Additional staff at Craig’s Car Care includes a service advisor, three technicians and one general service technician.
Over the decades of working in this industry, Craig has noticed a big difference in how cars are made. He said 22 years ago, cars were 90% mechanical and 10% electrical, now it is a 50/50 split. He said that there is so much programming involved in vehicles today. Recently they worked on a truck that had 24 computers on it. He said that this technology has changed how they do business and what they need to invest in such as diagnostic equipment that is specific for different models of vehicles.
Their customers are diverse and include personal vehicle repair and maintenance as well as fleets from municipalities. They currently care for the Plano ISD fleet (400 vehicles, excluding buses), some of the City of Lucas and Town of Fairview vehicles and others.
At Craig’s Car Care, staff attends ongoing training. They are members of the NAPA Auto Care Group (NACG) and NAPA Business Development Group (NBDG). Because of their affiliation with NAPA, they are able to offer their customers the national backing of a national chain (including nationwide warranty) with customer service that has a family feel. Craig said, “We really care about our customers. We properly care for their vehicle and provide information for them to make an informed and educated decision. We are a relationship based business. The majority of our customers are friends and family.”
Craig emphasized the importance of regular vehicle maintenance. He said during maintenance checkups, their technicians can find potential trouble spots and do the required repair before it becomes an emergency. He said, “Pay a little now on your terms, or pay more later on your car’s terms.” At Craig’s Car Care, they do all things auto repair/maintenance related including electrical, suspension, brakes, steering, AC/heating, engines, transmission, wheels, tires, state inspections, preventative maintenance, fabrication and more (they do not do body work).
The top reasons Craig said customers come to Craig’s Car Care are because of the service they receive. They take pride in their profession and value integrity and honesty. His five year goals are to continue to grow, continue training and provide loaner cars. Craig said, “We are good at what we do. We get better every year because of our ongoing training. We don’t sit still.”
The Zale family has lived in Lucas for 18 years. They like the Lovejoy community because it is a community of neighbors helping neighbors. Craig is also a deputy (a.k.a. Three Chief) with the Lucas Fire Department.
Craig’s Car Care is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call them at 972-941-6700, go to craigscarcare.com or find them on social media.