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Audubon neighbors find perfect business match

Jim and LeAnn Carlson own and operate the business, which opened up in May. The Audubon couple offer full repair services Monday through Friday. DL NEWSPAPERS/Paula Quam1 / 2
Matt Hughes is the owner and operator of Bad Boyz Towing. The Audubon resident says he’ll be open for business 24-7 for people who need his help. DL NEWSPAPERS/Paula Quam2 / 2

‘Tis the season for vehicle problems, as below zero temperatures create a whole list of possible breakdown scenarios.

But now the Detroit Lakes area has one more place going to work on those problems, as Car Tune and Tire is up and running.

The new business is located in the old All Pro Auto building on the road past Izzos, but that new owner is anything but new to the business.

“I’ve been doing this for 23 years now,” said Jim Carlson, an Audubon mechanic who managed Tires Plus in Detroit Lakes for 12 of those years. Carlson started his career down in the Twin Cities area before taking a job at Tires Plus in Fargo and eventually Detroit Lakes.

“But I’ve always wanted to have my own shop,” he said, “I wanted to do it for myself and for my family.”

And Car Tune and Tire is truly family-run, as Carlson recruited his wife, LeAnn to work beside him doing…

“Everything,” she laughed, “Running parts, running people to different places, doing bills…” The Carlsons opened the business up May 1, and say they have continually been getting busier as each month passes. “It’s about halfway between Detroit Lakes and Audubon, so I like being a little closer to my community and the people I’ve gotten to know from the Audubon schools and things and being able to service some of them, too,” said Carlson, who says the shop offers service on just about anything a vehicle might need.

“Everything from transmissions to oil changes to tires, alignments, brakes, suspension, motors and pretty much everything,” he said, adding that they seem to be doing a very even amount of each thing.

For more information on rates and inquiries, call 218-439-3333 or email  Carlson says they’ll even go out and pick people up who need their services. Or if towing is needed to get the vehicle to the shop, Carlson says there’s a quick, easy solution to that as well.

Bad Boyz Towing

Running a new business right behind Car Tune and Tire is Carlson’s neighbor, Matt Hughes.

Hughes is the owner and operator of Bad Boyz Towing, which was up and running this past July. Hughes is not only a business neighbor to the Carlson’s, but also their neighbor in Audubon.

“It works out pretty well because if Jim needs something picked up, I go pick it up and bring it back to his shop,” said Hughes, who says while he works in conjunction with Carlson, he does a lot of business with several repair shops around the area.  Hughes is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and hopes this winter is just as hectic for him as it was last year when he worked at DL Towing.

“I worked for 96 days straight and some of those days were 22-hour days,” he said, adding that while the job can be filled with long days and nights of freezing, windy conditions, “I don’t mind the cold,” he said.

Hughes says while he only has one rig to pull vehicles, he does work with other local towing companies when a flatbed is needed.

Bad Boyz Towing not only does the obvious towing, but also has winching services, tire changing, unlocks doors and will even bring fuel out to drivers who run out of gas.

“I like interacting with different people and getting to meet interesting people all the time,” said Hughes, who enjoys helping people out when they need it.

“I like getting into challenging situations because sometimes you’ve gotta think fast. You’ve got a car flipped over in the ditch, people coming down the highway and state patrol wanting you to get it all cleared up so that it’s safe again.”

Hughes says he is trying to offer a little bit lower prices than often found as he starts up his business, which he says has him running to different places within a 70 mile radius of Detroit Lakes.

For rate information or for services, call Bad Boyz Towing at 218-849-7257 or email

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Paula Quam

Paula Quam is the editor for Forum Communications Co. newspapers in Detroit Lakes, Perham and Wadena, all in Minnesota.

(218) 844-1466