Foothills Automotive shifts into high gear

Jason Buchanan works to replace a transmission on a Chevy Avalanche in the shop at Foothills Automotive. Photo by Scott Baughman


On an average Wednesday at Foothills Automotive in Rutherfordton, anyone visiting the auto shop is just as likely to see a transmission being rebuilt as they are an oil change. But for owners Josh Whiteside and Jason Buchanan the major thing they’ll notice is an increase in the workload since the auto maintenance and repair business opened in February of 2022.
The shop at 156 East Mountain Street benefits from the over 30 years of combined experience by Buchanan and Whiteside in the auto repair industry.
“We decided this was a perfect time in their careers to go into business for ourselves,” Buchanan said. “We are factory trained and certified, and work on all makes and models; including diesels and transmissions.”
Buchanan said the best thing about owning his own business now is the ability to help customers and get them back on the road quickly and safely.
“It’s a pleasure to be able to get people back in their vehicles so they can drive with confidence,” Buchanan said. “In fact, there’s no such thing as a bad day when you are a small business owner. Every day brings a new opportunity to help a customer and grow as a business.”
He said their major work right now is for diesel engine repair and a lot of transmission work, although the shop offers services of all kinds.
With the recent supply chain issues for the automotive industry, Buchanan said that they have seen a slight uptick in the amount of preventative maintenance that auto owners prioritize – as no one can really afford to have to replace a car or truck right now with prices for new and even used automobiles higher than they were before the pandemic. But not everyone is as keen on routine maintenance or even checks.
“Maintenance wise people usually just wait until things break,” he said. “But we encourage people to be a little more concerned about that regular maintenance because it will save you more money in the long run.”

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