High Mileage

Norman Native Spends Lifetime in Car Care Business

Gina Waller Hill grew up in the car business. She spent her summers and hours after school, working in her family’s repair shop.

“I answered phones, filled the soda machine, things like that,” Waller Hill said. “My dad worked for Goodyear, starting when I was three years old. We moved around for a few years as he was promoted, but we returned to Norman when I was in high school.”

It was here in the Norman community that her dad, Mike Waller, opened their family’s first auto service center.

“One day my dad called and asked me to come home and help grow his business,” she said. “That was in 1991 and I ended up working with my parents for 20 years.”

As the corporate business manager, Waller Hill helped her parents grow to five metro locations. Alongside a focus on full-service preventive maintenance, Waller Hill said she enjoys building relationships with her customers.

“I want to make the experience of taking care of your car a more positive one,” she said. “I enjoy helping my customers understand their car and how to care for it.”

The Norman native feels strong ties to the community, which is why in 2006 she personally purchased the family’s two Norman locations.

“My kids go to school here, and we love the community. We love the schools and the organizations we are involved in,” she said.

For the past 13 years, she had been the owner and operator of Brookhaven Tire & Auto, 3701 W Robinson St. Over those years, she says she’s seen many changes in the industry, and ensuring quality is important when serving customer needs.

“A car is, for most people, their second-largest investment,” she said. “But it’s also about your safety.”

She suggests owners look beyond price points and instead focus on ‘cost-per-mile.’

“For example, if I sell you a Goodyear tire, I know it’s going to last 65,000 miles, but other brands aren’t as reliable,” she said. “For a few dollars more, you might be better protected.”

She helps her customers wade through the myriad of options.

“Because the best maintenance plan varies so much by each driver, we help our customers prioritize their needs. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know and why, so you can make an informed decision about the condition of your vehicle.”

Waller Hill knows car repairs are not most people’s first choice for how they want to spend their money, so she lays out a few basics to help increase a car’s potential for longevity.

“We used to change the oil every 3,000 miles, and that worked well for tire rotation schedules and other maintenance concerns. But oils are being made to last longer,” Waller said. “If you take care of the simple things, your car can last a long time.”

“Keep your fluids and filters clean. Everyone knows to change their oil, but you also need to check your brake, transmission and power steering fluids,” she added. “And buy good quality gas to protect your engine and fuel injectors.”

Brookhaven Tire & Auto is holding a car care clinic this summer, to connect with their customers.

“We will talk about the basics and help people know how to best care for their car, how to save money and keep your car running longer.”

For more information about the clinic or the services at Brookhaven, visit www.brookhaventireandauto.com or call 364-9333. – BSM

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