Skip to main content

Elk Grove Citizen

Nothing but "Blue Skies" do I see

Dec 10, 2020 12:00AM ● By By Thomas J. Sullivan

Business partners (left) Andrea Kopecky and Eric Bassett of Blue Sky SMOG & Repair located at 7601 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights. Photo by Thomas J. Sullivan

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - A shuttered former auto repair shop at 7601 Greenback Lane at the corner of Mariposa Avenue opposite San Juan High School was given a refresh this spring with fresh coat of bright blue paint and a new name.

Blue Sky SMOG & Repair, a licensed drive-in smog check station by the California State Bureau of Automotive Repair by the Department of Consumer Affairs opened mid-spring, just as the Covid crisis began.

Since opening, the new automotive repair, which satisfies California required smog checks on vehicles 2000 and newer, is “building a reputation for service and quality general automotive repair work at an affordable price,” said its owner Eric Bassett.

Bassett and his business partner, Andrea Kopecky, an environmental lawyer for the State of California, said they found the business listed for sale last January, contacted the property owner and made an offer. Bassett recognized the location’s high traffic potential and realized the then-shuttered repair shop needed quite a lot of work.

“We had a challenging start, to say the least, but now our business is starting to grow, and we are getting an increasing number of first-time new customers,” Bassett said.

Once the site of a busy gasoline station dating back to the 1950s and a much narrower Greenback Lane, Bassett said its fuel tanks had long since been removed and its four fueling bays enclosed by previous owners into smog and automotive repair stalls.

Some $75,000 in exterior renovations later, which included new paint inside and out, smog equipment installation and the re-roofing of both buildings, Blue Sky SMOG and Repair opened its doors to the public in mid-March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

In all, Blue Sky SMOG and Repair has four service bays, two which are dedicated for smog testing and two for general automotive repairs.

“Andrea (Kopecky) suggested the new name, “Blue Sky”, which reflects our philosophy to help do our part to make the skies of California clearer.”

Access to Blue Sky SMOG & Repair is by Mariposa Avenue, where customers can drive in for a smog test or to schedule general vehicle repairs, Bassett said.

A refreshed customer reception area and service desk were created in the old station to welcome customers who wish to wait for their smog test or auto repairs to be completed, he said.

The opening of Blue Sky SMOG and Repair is a career change for Bassett who before opening his automotive repair and smog testing facility pursued a professional career in informational technology.

A long-time mechanic on his own, Bassett welcomed the move, and with Kopecky’s advice and support, sought to open an automotive repair business of his own.

“I’ve always enjoyed working on vehicles and it’s a very rewarding and satisfying profession to help customers with their automotive repair needs,” he said.

Bassett and Kopecky took a hands-on approach in creating the business’s new look, as truckloads of debris from the previous owners were cleared from the premises and overdue physical repairs to a leaky roof were completed.

The original service bays in the former gasoline station have been extended in length to handle repairs on larger-sized SUVs, and trucks customers may bring in.

If you have received a notice for a required state SMOG check for your 2000 or newer gasoline vehicle, the cost is $39.75 plus $8.25 for the certificate, or $48.00,” Bassett said.

“It generally takes about 15-20 minutes to complete the test while the customer is waiting in their car,” he said. “Total cost for a diesel vehicle’s SMOG certification is $10 more, or $58.00. The diesel test is more extensive and takes a bit more time,” Bassett said.

Blue Sky SMOG and Repair is registered with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and soon with the state Better Business Bureau, Bassett said.

“I am very hopeful that our business will continue to succeed in the months ahead as more customers get to know us, and our reputation for quality work at a competitive, affordable price continues to grow.”

In addition to performing vehicle inspections, Blue Sky SMOG and Repair offers its customers oil changes, suspension, engine, electrical, transmission, brake, and air conditioning service.

Blue Sky SMOG & Repair at 7601 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for drive-in smog testing. Contactless payments and hand sanitizer are offered to all customers. Social distancing is enforced. Call 916-744-SMOG (7664) for service appointments or email at [email protected].