Applon works on cars and his future career


Kevin Gutierrez

Senior Tyler Applon untightens the bolt to check the transmission fluid of a 1992 Safari Jeep. He ends up needing to fill it up with more fluid. He practices what he wants to do in his second period class Auto Tech which is taught by Jim Griffon.

The day Tyler Applon crushed his foot was the same day his interest in auto mechanics began. He was 8 years old when his father started messing around with the tire of his truck, and Applon asked to help, interested.

“I wanted to learn something new, something that kids don’t often do,” Applon said.

So he decided to try and work on it more often, usually helping his father work on cars, which brought him to stores like AutoZone. In those stores he was able to watch the professionals do repairs, see how they fix certain issues, observe how dirty jobs would get and learn what type of clothing he would need to wear.

He also learned a lot about how to fix cars from his father. While his dad wasn’t a professional mechanic, he was well acquainted with how to repair cars, like working on the tire, brake pads, oil changes, and transition, all of which Applon does.

He usually charges anywhere from $15-25 for an oil change, brake rollers, rim exchange, and/or air filter, compared to more established business that can charge hundreds of dollars for doing some of the same services. Most of his customers are people who don’t want to spend the extra money on established businesses, or coaches and family.

“I’ll just do it for the benefit because besides the fact that they are being generous I like to do that kind of thing, so I’m willing to take in any car that I can,” Applon said.

Coach Tep had Applon do an oil change and fix the brakes on his car because he didn’t have the time to take his car to a car shop. He had also heard that Applon was into auto mechanics and had him fix it during his auto shop class.

“It was good. No complaints and it worked a lot better afterwards,” Coach Tep said.

He enjoys getting his hands dirty and working with different types of cars since they all have different setups and parts, which works as a learning experience for him.
It also lets him learn more about cars and how to improve the car, since there are certain things he can do to improve the car and prevent a problem from recurring. However, he dislikes how even little minor mistakes can lead to a big mess.

Although people have often offered to pay him more than his set price, he cuts them off if the price is too high since it’s not too big of a deal and he doesn’t spend much money on the actual repairs themselves. He enjoys helping people out and giving them a better deal financially.

In the future, he plans on getting a small job in college in a place like AutoZone or taking a few classes on auto repair. Applon’s long term goal is aiming to start a car repair business with an auto technology engineering degree.

“This is something that i really have a passion in,” Applon said. “I have the adrenaline and the rush for it and I like working on cars and fixing things.”