Ken and Shannon Stahl have been busy preparing to celebrate a milestone; this month marks the 25th anniversary of KAMS Auto Service Center. What started as Ken’s one-man business in February 1998 has grown to a team of 14 that works at a 14-bay facility on Cobb Parkway in Acworth.
“We are family owned and truly mean it. We have employed a number of family members over the years, and currently our nephew, Blair, works as our diesel technician,” said Shannon Stahl, who is co-owner with husband Ken and handles the administrative work and marketing.
In fact, the business name reflects their emphasis on family:
M-Madison & Mackenzie (daughters)
“Our focus on family also shows in our relationships with our customers,” Shannon said. “We take pride in having loyal customers who have chosen KAMS Auto as their trusted auto repair shop for many years and consider them part of our family.“
What’s New at KAMS
The latest improvements focus on accommodating customers’ busy lifestyles and health concerns. KAMS offers digital vehicle inspections and the option to communicate with service writers via text and email rather than in-person. Contactless payment, including by text, wraps up the transaction.
The addition of a dedicated diesel mechanic to the staff of ASE master certified technicians allows KAMS to service a variety of vehicle types.
In September 2021, in an effort to give back to the community, KAMS started fundraising each month for different local charities. Customers are encouraged to round up their invoice total; KAMS also donates a portion of their sales.
How It Started
As a boy growing up on a North Dakota farm, Ken worked on tractors and learned to repair many things out of necessity. Those skills, and his growing interest in anything with a motor, led him to restore a 1957 Chevrolet. When his parents moved the family to Cobb County in the late 1980s, Ken, who was in his early 20s, drove his car to their new home.
While living in North Dakota, Ken became an airframe technician. He had hoped to work for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, Inc. when he moved to Georgia, and while waiting for that opportunity, which never materialized, he obtained a commercial driver’s license to make money. He drove a truck for
a commercial company, and, on the
side, repaired cars for extra income.
Word of mouth kept the car repair requests coming. Eventually, he stopped driving a truck to focus full time on his growing car repair business in 1998. From the initial shop on Third Army Road in Acworth, the shop moved to a second location on Lake Acworth Drive before landing in the current spot on Cobb Parkway.
An Extensive Service Menu
KAMS offers an extensive list of repair and maintenance services; the shop is a certified NAPA AutoCare Center and a AAA-approved auto repair site. Although the staff has more than 60 years of combined experience, they continue working to further their education in the industry.
Services range from alignments to windshield repair. A complete list can be found on the company’s website, and for customer convenience, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers preferred discounts for KAMS customers. Some of the services offered at KAMS include computerized vehicle history, national warranty, which covers parts and labor on qualifying repairs for 36 months/36,000 miles.
Among the customer favorites:
- The after-hours drop-off is a popular option. There’s a key drop so customers can leave their cars when the shop is closed.
- Pumpkin spice oil changes are popular each October. “People are always curious what that means, but we make it a point that they have to come in to find out,” Shannon said.
- A shuttle service is available so customers don’t have to wait in the lobby.
- If waiting is required, the lobby is kept very clean, and KAMS provides Wi-Fi, television and complimentary water bottles and coffee.
- Shannon said the customers seem to enjoy the shop’s marquee sign jokes. One of her favorites is around Mother’s Day, when the sign says: “Is your Mother hot? Mother’s Day A/C Special.”
“We have been very involved with the local community with the business association and through all the struggles that 2020 brought our way (hiring, supply cost and availability) We have a great team in place to help with all your service needs,” Shannon said.
“We are so grateful for our customers, who are the key to our success. We strive to do the kind of work that makes them feel good about referring their friends and family to us.”
“I have been to many auto shops in my lifetime, and there have been some really good ones, but when I went to KAMS, I had the greatest experience ever! I needed engine coils, spark plugs, fuel injectors, etc. I thought that the price was going to be outrageous, but when David called me with a quote, I started smiling from ear to ear. The prices are very reasonable, David was awesome, the ladies at the front desk were amazing and the work was epic. They finished it very fast, and my car runs like it’s new! This will be my permanent auto shop.”
– M. Barnes
“This was the first time I took my BMW for what I thought would be major repairs. I am definitely knowledgeable about cars because I retired from GM. However, when you’re a woman, auto shops try to take advantage of you more than a man. So I saw this place had 5 stars and thought, no way. … After reading the reviews, I decided to take my car there. Best decision I made; definitely 5 stars. They have my business even for an oil change.” – Robin C.
“KAMS goes above and beyond the call of duty. They are very knowledgeable with great customer service. We trust them 100% to keep our personal cars and my work truck running at their best. I am so happy I found them. No high pressure sales, reasonable prices.” – Greg Z.