Get your motor running at Kelley Auto Skills

By Paul Hughes
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

A customer from the Kelley Auto Skills Center makes an adjustment using the vehicle ramp capabilities of the auto skills shop. Photo by Steven Gerlich

Mechanics and enthusiasts recently celebrated the reopening of the Auto Skills Center, now on Kelley Barracks. As the garrison’s only do-it-yourself workshop for routine mechanical repairs, it was a sorely missed community resource.

“We have the tools to do practically everything,” said Bill Hales, Kelley Auto Skills manager.

Hales, who is set to retire in the next couple of months, rejoined the Family and MWR team solely to help get the shop up and running for the community.

“This was an empty building when I walked in, only the ramps had been installed, there were a bunch of cables hanging down, and we had to put everything in here,” Hales said. “We only got phones two weeks ago.”

Anyone over the age of 18 who wants to work on their own vehicle is welcome at the center. So far, customers have already been in for brake servicing, oil changes, wheel bearing replacements, and more.

“We are experts here and can help customers with the tools and the repairs,” Hales said of his team of four people. “Performing maintenance here versus on the economy can save hundreds of dollars.”

The center has five bays with lifts, and each bay has its own airline and toolbox. Plans are in place to acquire some welders and to add more services in the future, such as aircon refills and tire storage.

“We are 90% there in terms of tools and services,” Hale said.

The Auto Skills Center, located behind the theater on Kelley Barracks, is open Wednesday through Sunday, including training holidays, and can help with:
• Maintenance.
• Minor and major repairs.
• Restoring that classic in the garage!