Randy Bunn opened Quality Plus Automotive on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh in 1984, focusing on repairing and maintaining Hondas.
Eventually, the family-owned business grew to service all Japanese cars. In 2002, the Bunns expanded into Wake Forest.
The family prides itself on staying up to date with the latest ways to maintain cars. That’s one of the reasons the shop in Wake Forest began reconditioning batteries for hybrid vehicles, a process that most auto shops don’t offer.
“You’ve got to change and grow with the industry, or you’ll be out of business before long,” said manager Josh Bunn. His father, Randy Bunn, started the business.
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Quality Plus Automotive is one of two repair shops in the Triangle that are trained in The Hybrid Shop’s reconditioning service. The Hybrid Shop is a service franchise that teaches mechanics how to repair a hybrid battery with the help of specialized computer software.
Tri-City Auto Care in Durham also offers the service.
In Wake Forest, the owners of Quality Plus Automotive have seen a big increase in hybrid vehicles since they started working on them in the early 2000s, Josh Bunn said.
“We can see that within the near future that hybrids are going to be the normal thing,” he said.
About 15 years ago, there were only two hybrid models – the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic. Now, there are more than 60 hybrid models.
The technology to recondition batteries can be used on any hybrid. In hybrid batteries, crystals can build up, draining the battery of its capacity to hold a charge. Computer software can help break those crystals down, and identify which modules in the battery are malfunctioning.
It can cost thousands of dollars to replace a hybrid battery, depending on the make and model of the car. Reconditioning the battery costs about $1,800.
“There’s a huge savings to the customer,” Josh Bunn said.