New transmission shop aims to fill gapApril 30, 2019
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER — While working at a transmission shop he owned in Zionsville, Tracy Prechtel noticed an automotive service hole in Jasper. Customers would journey hours north to him from the area to have work done on their vehicles.
So when the Monroe City native — who now lives in Celestine — returned to Southwestern Indiana, he brought the business back with him.
“Really, there’s not a transmission shop in Jasper,” Prechtel, 40, said. “You can buy a remanufactured from Jasper Engines [and Transmissions], but there’s no actual, other shop dedicated inside the Jasper city limits that I’m aware of.”
Located at 1112 Newton St., TRP Transmission and Car Care aims to fill that gap. The business has operated in its 1,800-square-foot building — which sits across the road from St. Joseph Catholic Church and adjacent to Midwest Cafe and Market — since October. But until now, details about the business have spread primarily by word of mouth.
Prechtel and another employee, Brandon Carnes, rebuild transmissions for customers at a location in Huntingburg and install them at the Jasper shop. When the guys are brought a vehicle to work on, they pull the transmission out, fix it up and stick it back under the hood. Their services cover “anything from the flywheel back, driveline-related,” Prechtel explained.
“Everything’s rebuilt in-house,” he said in a Monday phone interview. “We don’t send anything out. We don’t put in whole different units — we rebuild what you’ve got.”
There just aren’t many mechanics who can complete the work because of the special tools and setup it requires, he said, noting that half of his business comes from other shops in the area. TRP works on domestic, Asian and European model vehicles.
After graduating in 1998 from South Knox High School in Vincennes, Prechtel started his transmissions career with JET in 1999. He opened his shop near the state capital in 2004. Prechtel is professionally certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
“I’m excited, I love it here,” he said of his feelings about working in Jasper. “I’m glad. I’m hoping this takes off. It’s just a matter of getting my name out.”
He takes pride in the service his company provides. The transmissions TRP rebuilds go beyond stock specs — they are outfitted with the latest updates available, eliminating manufacturer defects.
The crew offers a three-year warranty on their work.
“We’re not just putting a short little warranty on it, trying to take people’s money,” he said. “We’re trying to do a job one time. And if it does fail, then we’re gonna back it up.”
He also plans to staff a full-time, certified mechanic within the next year to complete oil changes, tire work and other service requests.
TRP is open by appointment from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Visits can be scheduled by contacting Prechtel at 812-639-6626.
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