At a time when most young boys were focused on playing with Matchbox cars, eight year old Dan was called on to assist his dad at the family-owned Sohio service station in Toledo. Pietras actually began "wrenching" on vehicles at the tender age of ten! To no-one's surprise, Dan graduated from high school with a major in Auto Shop. Even then, he demonstrated a flair for the national stage with his participation in the Plymouth Troubleshooting competition.
Two years later, Dan took advantage of an opportunity to work for a major automaker and actually participate in the creation of new vehicles. Dan left the family business to become a Sheet Metal Specialist for Jeep Corporation. In that capacity, he gained an appreciation of how mechanics, engineering and quality of materials impact the final product that's driven off the line.
Following in his father's footsteps, Dan then opened his own service facility in the early 80's, specializing in paint and body repair, heavy-duty trucks and marine service. The niche repair shop flourished and expanded Pietras' reputation as an honest businessman and exceptional technician.
Later he decided to step away from his own shop and took a job at the world headquarters of Champion Spark Plug Company as a Chassis Dynometer Operator. While the motivation for his career change was primarily based on family considerations, it was actually a critical turning point to eventually becoming known to radio listeners as "The Most Knowledgeable Automotive Technician In The World".
As a supervisor of Lab Operations, Pietras developed and spearheaded Champion’s 900 Service Line, assisting countless service technicians from around the country who were stumped with the more difficult automotive issues. He also penned numerous articles for Champions highly respected and widely distributed “Service Corner” technical publication.
As fate would have it, Champion is where Dan first met Roger Kwapich; his co-host on “The C.A.R. Show" ®. They worked closely together in the Technical Service Department. When Roger started hosting a home-town call-in show back in 1990, he happened to call upon Dan to appear on the program as a guest expert. Dan’s accurate diagnosis of callers automotive problems and encyclopedia-like memory of just about any vehicle ever created, quickly made him a favorite with the audience!
Dan is often referred to as "Mr. Certification”. And for good reason! Incredibly he holds more than 30 individual certifications from the National Institute For Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Only a handful of Technicians have ever reached that level of accomplishment. As an ASIA / ASE World Class Technician, his name was permanently inscribed in the Automotive Hall of Fame on July 19th, 1993. Dan holds the additional titles of Master Automotive Technician, Master Heavy Duty Truck Technician, Master School Bus Technician and Engine Assembly Specialist to just name a few.
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