Local auto shop offers car repairs for struggling families

The Wiygul Automotive Clinic doesn't specify what qualifies as a small repair, but mechanics have replaced tires and even brakes. (Andrew Mollenbeck/WTOP)
The Wiygul Automotive Clinic has four location in Northern Virginia. (Andrew Mollenbeck/WTOP)

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

HERNDON, Va. – A family-owned auto shop in Fairfax County has an unusual way of helping people who are looking for a job or struggling to make ends meet.

“Our way to give back to the community was to perform free small repairs on vehicles where people can’t get to work or need to get to an interview,” says W.D. Wiygul of Wiygul Automotive Clinic.

The sign posted outside the Reston location reads: “Free small repairs so you can make that interview!”

Wiygul says there are no specifics as to the “small repairs.” Mechanics have fixed tires, headlights and, occasionally, more expensive damage.

“The other day we helped a family get back on the road by performing a brake job,” he says.

The offer stands at all four locations in Northern Virginia. Two are in Alexandria. Reston and Herdon have one each.

“We’ve had single mothers with four children come out,” Wiygul says.

“She couldn’t get to work and couldn’t get her kids to daycare.”

The auto shop helped her with two tires.

The offer is something the business has offered on and off since it began in 1976, but just recently the free small repairs sign went back up.

Of those he’s helped Wiygul says, “the most gratifying response that we get is seeing the smile on their face when they’re leaving the office.”

“We’re not out there to get recognition or anything like that,” he says.

“We’re just out there trying to help people get back on their feet.”

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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