Arlington, VA

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With on-demand services businesses finding new customers during the pandemic, local startup Mechaniku is hunting for local car mechanics and willing to pay to get new mechanics trained, if necessary.

Mechaniku is a Columbia Pike-based startup built around the idea of bringing oil changes and other essential car services out of the shop and to people’s houses.

“I need to hire more mechanics,” co-founder Jesse Tyler said. “We’ve got two right now, I need more. We have a guy in Maryland and a guy in Virginia. We were in the process of hiring more mechanics, then all of this happened.”

Tyler said coronavirus has actually halted some of the progress that was being made on building the service, given the reduction in driving, but he’s able to carry on by running the company lean — and by having another source of income.

“We were able to step back a little and put things on hold,” Tyler said. “We don’t carry a lot of debt, we’ve built as we’ve grown.”

Tyler said he’s also been reevaluating the pricing model, which is currently $100 for an at-home oil change. With most oil changes averaging $50, it’s a little pricey, but Tyler said he has to balance the company revenue with paying the mechanics fairly.

“We need to figure out how to get more people interested,” Tyler said. “We might reexamine our pricing model. We may cut it from $100 to maybe $80.”

Tyler said he is hoping Mechaniku can be poised to take advantage of the end of the pandemic, when people start driving more but are still a bit wary to take their cars to a bricks-and-mortar garage for an oil change.

“Coronavirus has slowed everything to a halt, but we expect it will pick back up,” Tyler said, noting that he’s able to serve people needing an oil change immediately but said demand has been low.

Those interested in applying for a mechanic position should email Tyler at [email protected] or call him at (202) 880-2430.

“Obviously, more experience the better, but I’ll pay for people to get trained and certified,” Tyler said. “You just need to be able to pass a background check and have a vehicle to drive.”

Image via Mechaniku

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