Eddie’s Auto in Clear Lake recently opened their doors to their new, state-of-the-art automotive repair facility.
Eddie and Liza Timmers outgrew their downtown location (Hwy. 24 and Church St., in Clear Lake) a few years ago, but through it all they were able to make it work. With just two hoists and three bays, they were struggling to meet the needs of their customers and their community.
When neighboring business owners of McDonald’s Meats approached the Timmers about purchasing their corner lot, Liza and Eddie started thinking about a move.
“We needed to expand and so did they,” said Liza. “One of our customers, Bud Stimmler, stopped in one day in late 2021 to let us know that the state was putting a parcel of land up for auction. He was the first of many to make sure we knew about it.”
The location was the intersection of Hwy. 24 and Hwy. 10, right at the set of lights in Clear Lake.
“On auction day, we drove to St. Paul to place our ONE sealed bid and hoped it was enough,” said Liza. “We (found out) we were the only ones that bid on it!”
That occurred in February of 2022. Since then, she and Eddie have been planning and jumping through hoops to get to the point where they could break ground. Come mid-August of last year, they did just that and their first day of operation in the new location was Jan. 2, 2024.
“A great way to start the New Year,” said Liza.
The new building is approximately 6,500 sq. ft. on about an acre of land. They have a large reception area with a showroom, a separate cozy waiting room (internet and TV), and a designated customer bathroom.
Eddie’s Auto Repair is a full-service auto repair shop with six hoists. They work on all makes and models, foreign and domestic. Occasionally, they take in campers and trailers and are slowly moving into working on ATV’s and related vehicles. They also started selling little kids Chinese ATV’s and dirt bikes in 2016. That business is called, 2 Brothers Offroad.
Eddie and Liza first opened Eddie’s Auto Repair out of their home north of Palmer in late 2013. When a space opened up in downtown Clear Lake in 2014, they made the move as soon as the space was available to that cozy corner lot. Their first day open in that downtown location was July 14, 2014.
Eddie and Liza married in 2000 and currently have two sons. Their oldest graduated from High School and their youngest is in 10th grade in Becker.
They’ve lived in our current home, just north of Palmer on Co. Rd. 3, since 2003. Eddie went to Tech High School and graduated in 1992. He has over 25 years of experience in auto repair and is an ASE Certified Master Technician. Liza graduated from Foley High School in 1996 and has an AAS degree in Commercial Art from Alexandria Tech.
“Eddie always had a knack for things mechanical,” said Liza. “His Mom said as a kid he used to take his pedal bike apart just so that he could put it back together.”
As a teen, Eddie would buy older cars and tinker with them to get them running well.
“By tinker, I mean doing engine and transmission work,” says Liza.
While in high school, Eddie took the auto shop class that was taught by Mr. Haugen, who is now retired. After graduation, Eddie worked as a cook and also worked for his Dad, who was a roofer and carpenter. Eddie finally obtained his first mechanic job at a small shop in St. Cloud (22nd Street Garage) when he was around 21 years of age. From there, he worked at Al’s Towing in Clear Lake until 2004, and then CARS in St. Cloud until 2008.
“In 2008, I was laid off from my graphic design job shortly after we had our second son, and was unable to find employment,” said Liza. “Eddie started commuting to the cities for auto tech jobs for the next five years, while working on vehicles at home on evenings and weekends. I switched to freelance photography and graphic design.”
Liza says they were both working evenings and weekends while trying to raise their family when they realized it wasn’t making sense anymore.
“Eddie and I made the scary decision together to quit what we were doing and open Eddie’s Auto Repair, LLC. at our home. We remodeled our shed so we could get one hoist in it.”
It’s the Customers and Community
“Operating a business in the small town of Clear Lake, MN is very rewarding,” said Liza. “We are very proud of the business we have built, but we could not have done it without our amazing customers, friends and family, our exceptional employees, and the community that is here.
Liza and Eddie pride themselves on being a small, family-run business.
“And we plan on keeping that feel in our new location/building,” says Liza. “Eddie and I believe that if your vehicle does not need it, we won’t recommend it. We will only tell you what your vehicle needs and when it should be done.”
At their new location, the Timmers currently have two full-time employees not including themselves.
“Chris, who will be celebrating his six year anniversary with us in April, and Harlan will be celebrating his two years in July,” said Liza. “Our youngest son works part-time. We are currently looking to hire a full-time auto tech with experience, as we went from two hoists to six.”
Their new building is easily accessible with the store front facing Hwy. 10 and the driveway facing Royal Renovations. The address is 8495 Main Ave, Clear Lake.
“We look forward to serving our community in 2024 and beyond,” said Liza.