Eastern Jackson County resident Sam Luttrell has been the owner of Absolute Automotive in Grain Valley since October of 2008. Luttrell’s first taste of success as a mechanic occurred at 14 years of age when he replaced his first head gasket on a motor. It was out of necessity for his father’s vehicle to assure he could still get back and forth to work. Luttrell was hooked and that has blossomed into a 30 year career.
“My Mom would tell you that I took my Tonka truck apart and put it back together out of curiosity to find out how it works at the age of five. I’ve always had a natural mechanical aptitude,” Luttrell said.
The decision of location on where to open Absolute Automotive was not an easy one for Luttrell. There were already auto mechanic shops in Grain Valley with established reputations. The building at 104 East AA Highway in Grain Valley was the most economical fit.
“Some of the buildings in the area that I was looking at to rent or buy wanted between $5,000 to $6,000 a month. I was able to secure our current location for significantly less. That was the difference, as the larger amounts would have left me wondering how we would have made the monthly payment,” Luttrell said.
Grain Valley News recently received a nomination for Luttrell to be featured as a Community Profile. The recommendation highlighted Luttrell’s honesty and his ability to communicate well with his customers. It would go on to also mention Absolute Automotive’s up front pricing and their timeliness of service in completing auto service and repair jobs.
A complete menu of maintenance, diagnostic, and repair service descriptions and costs are found on Absolute Automotive’s website (www.absoluteautomotive.net). Everything from used car pre-purchase inspections for $67.50 to a tire rotation for $25.00. Looking for the phone number to Luttrell’s shop (816-847-5252) via Yellow Pages online will also reveal an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.
The coronavirus pandemic and recent flow of business has led Luttrell to put off getting a haircut. The result was being mentioned as a Jerry Garcia look alike of the Grateful Dead by a recent customer. Luttrell accepted the observation with his usual smile and deep chuckle.
“The Saturday when they announced the shutdown was when I was supposed to have my last haircut. My wife is a fan of actor Sam Elliott and that’s the look she wanted me to go for. I said okay and I’ve let it grow. It’s pretty shaggy right now,” Luttrell said.
Satisfaction after three decades in the industry still comes for Luttrell when he solves a problem that’s been a mystery. Especially, a complicated electronic problem. Computers have made the diagnosis of these types of issues easier. However, they still often involve the process of elimination and problem solving by a skilled human who pays attention to detail
“Figuring out the right answer is rewarding. I’ll have something that I’ve been fighting all day long and then wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and realize what I should check next,” Luttrell said.
“Finding what works will lead you to what doesn’t. We get a common powertrain control module code P0171 or that the oxygen sensor is lean on bank one. That doesn’t necessarily mean the oxygen sensor is bad. It’s a possibility, but what usually causes the code is unmetered air entering the engine. All engines today measure how much air is going into them. This allows them to know how much fuel to add and how the oxygen sensor should like when it gets the correct amount.”
Luttrell continued, “If you have a vacuum line off, a hose that deteriorates, the oxygen sensor will go lean and when it goes out of it’s operating window, the computer will send the code. It’s not an exact science. Provided diagnostic codes point you in a direction and you have to confirm the issue and cause.”
Luttrell works by appointment at Absolute Automotive and is open from 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
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