Up and running

Arndt’s Auto and Diesel repair opens in FD

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
The owners of Arndt’s Auto and Diesel Repair pose at their shop, 605 S. 22nd St., Suite C. From left to right: Earl Clough, Kylee Arndt and Ajae Arndt.

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the permanent closure of multiple businesses in the Fort Dodge area.

But in some cases, the pandemic has led to the formation of new ones.

After Fort Dodge Motors closed in October, Ajae Arndt decided to open his own auto repair shop.

“The pandemic sped up my process for opening the shop,” Arndt said.

Arndt, his wife, Kylee and Earl Clough, own Arndt’s Auto and Diesel Repair, 605 S. 22nd St., Suite C.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Ajae Arndt, an owner of Arndt’s Auto and Diesel Repair, works on a 2012 Lincoln Navigator at the shop.

“Instead of her and I going out and getting different jobs, we thought we would do what we had been dreaming of,” Arndt said.

Arndt, a native of Fort Dodge, worked at Fort Dodge Motors for two years. He’s also worked at Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge and DK Diesel.

But owning an auto repair shop is something he’s wanted to accomplish since he was young.

“Since I was a kid I wanted to own my own shop,” Arndt said. “It’s been a plan my whole life, but wasn’t until almost three years ago when I started putting things into action.”

Arndt added, “I’ve always had a thing for mechanical things. I’ve always been able to make something that doesn’t run, run.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Earl Clough, an owner at Arndt’s Auto and Diesel Repair, puts away a screwdriver while working on a job at the shop. Clough and Arndt were former employees at Fort Dodge Motors before it closed in October 2019.

Arndt met his wife three years ago and she shared the same vision he did for an automotive repair shop.

Kylee, a graduate of Cal High School in Latimer, serves as the office manager for the business.

Clough and Arndt are both automotive technicians. They worked together at both Kemna and at Fort Dodge Motors.

“He’s a big part of our company,” Arndt said of Clough. “He does a lot of wrenching.”

Clough, of Manson, said mechanics is something that came easy to him.

“I started as a kid,” he said. “I’ve been working in the business 20 years.”

Arndt said he and Clough have a strong reputation in the area.

“My name is very well-known for the type of work I do with transmissions and diesel performance,” he said. “I have a very huge clientel base.”

Arndt’s shop offers basic automative repair needs such as oil and tire changes.

Arndt said he will work on “about anything with an engine on it.”

The shop is about 1,500 square feet.

Arndt said he plans to hire two more automotive technicians within the next year.

He wants customers to understand that they will be treated fairly at his shop.

“I want people to know when they walk in the shop, they are going to be treated fairly,” he said. “A vehicle is probably the second biggest investment someone makes. I’m not going to take advantage of people. They are going to be taken care of at a fair price.”

Arndt Auto and Diesel Repair are currently accepting customers. Their official opening date is Jan. 4.

During the month of January, any oil change at the shop will automatically enter customers into a drawing. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to spend at the shop.


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