As a child, Mitch Vicino had a natural curiosity for how things worked.  One his favorite toys was an Erector set. He recalls spending countless hours taking apart household items including televisions and radios to see what made them tick, and then putting them back together again.  That interest for knowing how things work helped when he made a career change more than 17 years ago.

Mitch had been working in finance at the largest healthcare system in San Diego.  He was responsible for measuring productivity and developing systems to quantify how much time was spent on various tasks.  The job was well-suited for his education, which included a Master’s in Organizational Psychology from San Diego State.

Cottman of Beaverton, OR Opportunity

But when his wife Andrea was offered a great job way up the coast in Portland, OR, Mitch realized he was ready for a career change and the chance to run his own business.  He did his research and found an opportunity to open his own Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care shop in nearby Beaverton.

His childhood hobby of tearing things apart and rebuilding them came in handy, as he went through Cottman’s training program.  In April of 1998, he opened his Cottman center in a new building with four bays and state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair equipment at 17895 S.W. Baseline Rd. in Beaverton.

“Right from the start,” Mitch, who is now 52, recalls, “we had lots of people come in from the neighborhood.  Some just stopped by to say hello and wish us well; others brought their cars for transmission work.  We welcomed them all.”

Mitch was used to the corporate culture of a huge organization, but he adjusted quickly and happily to the world of owning a small community-based business. “I knew if we were going to succeed, we had to do it right the first time,” he said. “I learned the importance of listening to the customer to hear his or her concerns. It’s not just about us saying that we can fix something, but it’s also about hearing and understanding the customer’s needs.”

The shop began by only doing transmission service, but it eventually expanded its offerings and now handles the full range of automotive service and repairs. Mitch and his team put strong emphasis on quality control. “We test drive every car we service, to be absolutely certain that the issue that caused the customer to bring their vehicle to us has been properly addressed. I check every car we fix as if I were doing it for my own son or daughter,” he said.

Quality Auto Repair Service In Beaverton

Within a week of returning a customer’s car, the Cottman of Beaverton, OR team makes a follow-up call to be sure everything is ok.   They encourage customers to bring their cars in for a free follow-up check-up and they offer free transmission service for a year after a transmission overall, as a way to stand behind their service and have the customer feel at ease.

About thirteen years ago, he added three service bays to handle the amount of business he was getting. “We get lots of repeat business and many customers refer us to friends, family and co-workers,” Mitch said. “It’s the best way to get business and it makes all of us here feel proud of the work we do.”

Cottman of Beaverton can be reached at