If you’re a long-time area resident, you were probably familiar with Fred’s Winnetka Service and their reputation for quality auto repairs. Fred’s closed in 2016 after 43 years of business, soon after the business’s name-sake, Fred Majewski, passed away. After the closure, Fred’s mechanic of 12 years, Mannie Pacheco, opened Fred’s Northfield Auto Service at 469 Sunset Ridge Road in an effort to continue Majewski’s name and legacy of integrity.
Mannie felt that after over a decade under Fred’s guidance, it was only right for him to name his new shop after his mentor. “I kept the name in his honor. Fred was a pillar in the community and his name is a legacy.”
Mannie started working on cars after purchasing his first vehicle as a teenager- a used and problem-prone Buick that required monthly trips to an auto shop. After spending thousands of dollars and countless hours on an ineffective mechanic, Mannie had had enough. He started teaching himself how to fix things, and little by little he learned it all.
He says this experience helped him empathize with his customers. “I was taken advantage of a number of times by mechanics, which is what led me to become one. I understand the frustration people have when they are given the run-around and sold things they don’t need. I believe that if you do right by people, they will do right by you… and I run my business that way.”
Mannie says he learned a lot from Fred, including how to work with customers to help them understand their car problems and the importance of being efficient with repairs. “As someone who struggled with unreliable transportation to school and work, I understand that as a mechanic, people depend on me to get their car fixed and back on the road as soon as possible.”
Fred’s Northfield Auto offers full auto care from oil changes to tires and batteries. Towing services are also available through Mannie’s partnership with George’s Winnetka Towing.