Sacramento, Calif.— Knowledge and turnaround are what sets Power Brake Sales apart, Co-owner and General Manager Sandra Galvin-Standley said. “Between my dad, my sister, and myself, we have more than 120 years experience with car, light,
medium, and heavy-duty truck, as well as Ag,” she said. “We also do hot rod, aftermarket and specialty units including off-road and compressor pumps and boosters. We answer the phone so you don’t have to ask for tech support — you get it with every call.”
Reprinted from Parts & People, Northern California Edition, October 2014
She said it takes commitment to succeed and a local business can offer relationships big box stores cannot. “Existing customers or new, everyone gets the same support — when you call we answer. Local is everything. If your distributor doesn’t have it, we
can remanufacture the unit right here in Sacramento. Our turnaround is a couple of days, not a couple of weeks.”
Little did the girls’ father, Sandy Galvin, know when he accepted a job offer in 1959 that 55 years later he’d still be at Power Brake Sales. “The offer was for $1.50 an hour for $60 a week and I’ve been here ever since,” he said.
Power Brake Sales remanufactures and tests every unit on-site, where Scott Ericson has been handling the reman cores since 1985. “Scott can fix anything. He’s a huge asset to the company,” Galvin Standley says. Just eight years later, Galvin purchased Power
Brake Sales, selling it to his daughters, Galvin- Standley and Account Manager Kathy Peter, after 38 years at the helm in 2005. Galvin-Standley’s husband, Mark Standley, is the newest family member to join the team and came onboard in 2010 as sales manager,
bringing more than 20 years of sales experience. “Its been one of the best things we’ve done for the business,” Galvin-Standley said. “Mark is learning the tech side all the time, but he understands client needs and that is what is most important.” Power Brake Sales General Manager and Co-owner Sandra Galvin- Standley does teardown, testing and tech support. Full time at the
family business since 1985, Galvin-Standley has built a reputation throughout the industry and is past chairman of Automotive Parts Remanufacturing Association (APRA).
She said the company, founded in 1948, still remanufacturers on-site. “I do the teardown and help test finished units,” Galvin-Standley said. “Our rebuilder, Scott Ericson, has been with us for 28 years, so he can literally fix anything that comes across his bench. Other than when we need to sleeve a bore in a master cylinder, most everything is done in-house and every unit is tested before it leaves the building.”
Power Brake Sales is well known among regional warehouses, and some of their biggest customers are Chuck’s Brake and Wheel in Santa Rosa, Terminal Air Brake in Fresno, Reno Brake, Clutch and BrakeExchange in Stockton, and Capitol Clutch and Brakein West Sacramento. “We also do a lot for O’Reilly’s,Riebes, and a variety of NAPA locations,” Galvin-Standley said. “When they don’t have it on the shelfthey call us or have us remanufacture the customerunit. When time matters they know we get it done.”Galvin added, “We’re not after the big guy. Weoffer service, turnaround, and proximity. We’re aNorthern California resource for not just rebuilds andremanufacturing, but also a technical resource. Wehandle a lot of unusual applications and issues.”He related a story regarding their ability to deliverfor a customer in a pinch. “When President Nixonwas on his famous China trip his limo broke down.The Secret Service showed up at the door with thefailed pump after flying into McClellan Air ForceBase. They made it clear that there was no way theywere leaving the car in China when Nixon left, it hadto be fixed. I said four days - they said four hours, so Iclosed my shop and stood there until I had it fixed. Afew hours later they put it on the plane and were outof China the next day with the car.”
At 75, Galvin is still on the job every day,handling the counter and helping with thephones. He said the biggest single technicalquestion he receives is about a spongy pedal,and the evolution of brake design is acontributing factor. “In older cars you push onthe pedal that moves the fluid from the mastercylinder to the actuator or caliper, you couldfeel it. In new cars the orifices are so smallyou’re not moving fluid through the systemyou’re just pressurizing the system. At timesthe orifice in the brake caliper is not bigenough to pass the air bubble and until you dothe entire system feels spongy.”
He said technicians commonly get lost bytrying to find an issue by looking at the entiresystem. “You need to break the system down,master cylinder, front and rear. If you blockoff the master from the system and the pedalis hard, it’s not the master cylinder. The nextstep is block off either the front or rear andcheck again. When you find the soft spot youcan then address the components in the areathat has the problem.
Kathy Peter co-owns Power Brake Sales and is thecompany accounts manager. “Customers know whenthey call they’ll always deal directly with a familymember,” she says.
Power Brake Sales newest family team member SalesManager Mark Standley (l.) gets some pointers fromfather-in-law Sandy Galvin, who has been working at theSacramento remanufacturer since 1959. “Mark is a greataddition, he’s a true sales professional no one’s betterwhen it comes to customer service,” Galvin says.