No doubt that technology has revolutionized the automobile industry, and most would say clearly for the better.
But technology isn't necessarily having such a positive impact for local automobile repair shops as some staples of small towns are struggling to keep up with the times.
Though the naked eye would guess that the steady stream of cars going into and out of the auto repair facility at Consumer Co-op in Sauk City means the garage is having success, the closing sign outside proves otherwise.
After 44 years in the auto repair business, Consumer Co-op's Lloyd Marklein has perfected the assembly line method of auto repair: Change the oil, check things over, and out the door in, as Marklein estimates, "Oh, 10 minutes."
Marklein has mastered the auto shop process because while most people prefer to spend their time inside their cars, Marklein has always preferred to be under cars.
But after 44 years of the auto repair business, he's finally ready to retire, as is the auto repair shop at Consumers Co-op.
Dan Baun has managed the business for 20 years, even helping to design the building after a fire destroyed the old one, but the challenges facing auto repair shops today are tougher than rebuilding after a fire.
"It's not something that we're excited about," said Baun, about the proliferation of better cars that don't need as much repair work coupled with more complex repairs that sometimes only dealers can perform.
"I've had a fair amount of disappointed customers coming in and calling and expressing their disappointment," said Baun. "But once I tell the story and the reasons for closing, they understand it."
Baun said many of his workers have good job prospects and three of his best, like Lloyd Marklein, are retiring.
So, soon cars will go by without stopping, the garage doors will close one last time, and the hum of the service bays will go silent for good.
Baun said he is talking with other companies who are interested. It should be pointed out that the auto repair shop only represents 3 percent of Consumer Co-op's business.
The rest of it isn't going anywhere.
Auto expert Matt Joseph said Consumer Co-op's auto repair shop isn't alone in its struggles.
"The dealership is the most convenient place, and the dealerships have spread out," said Joseph. "They're now doing tires, they never used to do tires before. Now they do tires, so the small independent shop is competing with them."
Joseph said cars are also so computerized now that small shops don't have the money to know about each individual make and model, giving another big advantage to the dealerships.