From flat batteries to oil leaks, Kwik-Fit fixes all manner of mechanical problems, but rarely has it been credited with remedying breakdowns of the social kind.
That changed when Cathy Robertson walked into the Hammersmith workshop to have a puncture mended and took a look around.
"All of my neighbours were there - someone had obviously slashed tyres on every car in our street."
And so were born the Felden and Swift Street Neighbourhood Watch (NW) schemes, two of the longest established in Fulham.
They are part of a network of at least 120 NW associations in the borough, up from a humble base of six in the spring of 2006.
The rise defies the stereotype that communities no longer exists in London; a city besieged by crime and divided by stuffy, self-interested homeowners.
From a high of six million in 2000, national membership to NW has tumbled to 3.8 million.
But the capital has bucked the trend, as Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) garner belief in the power of local communities to prevent crime.
Mrs Robertson, a mother of two, agreed to set up her NW seven years ago, on the recommendation of the local police team.
Residents gradually came forward to support her, volunteering their time, skills and effort to attend meetings with police and the community and put out newsletters.
She is now chair of the borough's Neighbourhood Watch Association - offering advice and guidance to new volunteer co-ordinators.
With a remit to prevent crime - sharing simple advice, such as closing windows, installing burglar alarms and taking valuables out of parked cars - NWs have been credited with slashing the burglary rate in many H&F streets.
"Most crime is opportunistic and little steps that seem like common sense after the event, deter burglars from an area," says Mrs Robertson.
NW is so successful in fact, says the latest British Crime Survey, that residents living in a street with an active scheme are five times less likely to be burgled - a statistic reflected in the cheaper insurance premiums offered to homeowners within a NW.
As the schemes spread across the streets, sharing information with each other and the police as they go, descriptions of criminals begin to circulate, patterns of criminality emerge and the fear of crime eases.
Inspector Bill Heasman, of Hammersmith police, says intelligence from residents has helped the police close dozens of crack houses.
"It shows a real increase in the confidence in the local police and the sense of community people feel which, I believe, leads towards a reduction in the fear of crime."
Of equal importance is their role in reviving community spirit, says H&F Cllr Belinda Donovan, who has taken a lead in rolling out NWs across the borough.
"Neighbours get to know each other over a shared interest in their area. But people then have the chance to become friends and look out for each other in a way that used to be more commonplace."
Introduced to the UK in the early 80s by home secretary Douglas Hurd, NW drew its inspiration from the American tradition of the 'Welcome Wagon' which to this day sees wellmeaning neighbours troupe casserole-dish-in-hand to the door of new arrivals to an area.
It is a model of suburban neighbourliness which has found an unlikely home in some of London's most densely populated areas.
But the stereotype of nosey neighbours persists, and even proponents of NW concede many schemes have to broaden their participation to be considered a success.
"To be frank, the profile of our schemes is broadly white, middle-class and over 60 and that's something we need to change," says Roy Rudham, chairman of UK Neighbourhood Watch Trust.
"We've also always had tremendous difficulty getting into the areas where we should be... the tougher, poorer, estates where to put your head above the parapet can result in being attacked, victimised and even firebombed."
The demography of most NWs has inevitably laid them open to claims of political engineering, with active members most likely to be homeowners in affluent neighbourhoods - not poor families on troubled estates.
Andrew Slaughter Labour MP for Acton, Ealing and Shepherd's Bush, says the Tory council in H&F has carefully cultivated NW schemes in the knowledge they are likely to provide a bank of Conservative support.
"The work the volunteers do is brilliant, but I suspect behind it, the Tory council is using Neighbourhood Watches as a political tool, which is absolutely wrong."
He cites a leaked email from council strategist Mark Loveday to council leader, Stephen Greenhalgh, trumpeting Tory inroads into a Labour supporting
Residents' Association in Peterborough Road, as an example of the council's desire to soften up grassroots community organisations.
Indeed, links between the borough's watches and the Tory party are strong. Local resident Lord Hurd acts as patron of the H&F NW Association and Mrs Donovan - a NW coordinator before winning a council seat - is now leading the charge to establish one in 'every single Hammersmith and Fulham street'.
Mr Rudham, of the national association, says Neighbourhood Watch schemes must be "completely divorced" from politics, if they are to succeed.
"If we're going to work hand-in-glove with the police, the last thing we want is to be tagged with a Blue, Red or Orange label - this is about all citizens being empowered - not one section or another.
"Although, which politician would not want to court Neighbourhood Watches - which are broadly made up of people who are just that little bit more active in their community."
But while the political row murmurs in the background, Cathy Robertson says volunteers are busy dedicating time and energy to bettering their communities.
"In a big city it helps to have a dialogue with people around you. It builds an all-important sense of community and I'm privileged to be a part of that."