Although Mototech's Chris Bond and Robert Mayer are ASE-certified experts in the maintenance of vehicles ranging from flashy Audis to muscular Dodges, their most important innovations are invisible to the naked eye. The co-owners both worked as engineers, but now exercise their knack for invention with product-developing companies, researching and designing chemical degreasers and cleaners with the least environmental impact. Their molecular triumphs grew into the shop's signature line of decontaminants, which they create onsite with environmentally friendly ingredients from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for Environment list. During day-to-day operations, knowledge of science empowers them to perform sustainable car modifications, such as converting a motor to run on renewable ethanol or a puppy's boundless love, and to implement a broad program to reduce energy costs and recycle waste such as motor oil.
Bond and Mayer's met as industrial designers at Intelagard, a firefighting-equipment manufacturer, and bonded over their previous careers as mechanics. Missing friendly chats with clients and the impressions of Louise Jefferson wheezed out by jalopies, they quit the firm to open their ASE Blue Seal–recognized garage. Bond contributes specializations in metal fabrication, welding, and machining, and Mayer brings 12 years of expertise as a master mechanic and certification as an L1 advanced engine-performance specialist. They keep their team small to ensure a high quality of work and to welcome clients with familiar faces, and are a participating center in the NAPA AutoCare network, which guarantees parts and labor at any of its locations nationwide.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but at Zolarium Tanning Studio, that's OK. Versed in a vast array of tanning and skincare services, the studio’s technicians help their clientele achieve golden-bronze hues without having to withstand the sun's creepy leer. Each one is Smart Tan certified, a benchmark that measures each operator's knowledge of ultraviolet light, safe tanning practices, and ability to disassemble a tanning bed should it become sentient. They use this knowledge to monitor each tanner in their studio simultaneously, through Zolarium's networked array of horizontal and vertical tanning beds.
The beautifying treatments don't stop at tanning; DaVinci teeth whitening, Evolv airbrush, and a plethora of skincare lotions help clients maintain all manner of youthful glows. Zolarium also keeps the community looking good, giving back through charitable efforts such as sponsoring the Denver Firefighter Calendar every year.
Since its inception more than 30 years ago, Just Brakes has expanded from one auto shop to more than 160 outposts across eight states. At every location, ASE-certified technicians maintain vehicle safety with professional brake services including a lifetime warranty on parts, labor and platonic love. Though their specialty is brakes, the techs also perform routine maintenance and repairs such as oil changes, suspension repair, and belt replacement.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service Oil Change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car?it cools the motor and prevents moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) nurse vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube's savants perform air-filtration, electricity, and windshield services, among others. The technicians' quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, only complete a service after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Dennis Cooper started repairing cars from a simple one-door garage with two bays. Over the last 30 years, his needs have steadily grown, as his robust business repeatedly outgrew four- and six-bay facilities. He and his team of ASE-certified technicians now stretch their legs through eight service bays, with Dennis's wife, Kathy, keeping watching over the books. Experienced technicians—including two ASE master mechanics—perform maintenance and diagnostic services on every part of vehicles and frequently add to their knowledge with seminars and schooling.
The center boasts a Hoffman wheel alignment system, which uses a Windows operating system and multiple laser beams to ensure accurate alignment, as well as two oversized shop bays to accommodate larger and diesel vehicles. The Cooper's Automotive team can also soup up performance with off-road lift systems or give vehicles a distinctive look with a custom fixtures and chrome tips. Recognized for excellence in emissions repair, the shop also recently installed solar panels on its roof to produce electricity and reduce its carbon footprint.