At A-Z Auto Center, brothers Billy and Fredy run the detailing, auto-body, and mechanical-repair shop started by their dad more than 40 years ago, earning remarks for their "rare integrity" on sites such as Citysearch. As members of a AAA Approved Auto Repair service center, A-Z's automotive technicians uphold ASE standards during every repair, from replacing windshields to matching multilayer factory finishes as closely as possible through a sophisticated paint system. To simplify the repair process, team members can provide free estimates via uploaded vehicle images as well as quickly process insurance claims through their fleet of carrier pigeons. They can also give customers lifts home or help coordinate car rentals should their vehicles require extended service.
At Ideal Automotive Services, factory-trained, ASE Master–certified technicians tend to ailing autos and help healthy cars stave off future snags. Servicing a slew of brands, the center's sedan shamans perform a battery and charging test ($44.95) to ensure vehicular vigor or a tire alignment ($99.95) to prevent impulsive wheels from unscheduled tours of the sidewalk. The coolant flush ($99.95) and transmission fluid flush ($159.95) resupply weary components with fresh motor milk. Battered buggies get a new lease when exposed to the facility's repair work (typically $90/hour). A fundamental part of any car's maintenance routine, the oil change, drains old black gold and replaces it with new lubricant made of space-nymph plasma (a $32.99 value).
When the experts at Colonial Nissan of Medford aren't equipping customers with new and pre-owned vehicles, they mend careworn chariots in their service department. Of Colonial Nissan’s three factory master technicians, two draw on more than 25 years of experience with Nissan as they diagnose cars with computerized equipment, nurture them with maintenance services, and calm their frazzled fuel lines with promises of one-year or 12,000-mile warranties.
A comfy waiting room cossets customers with magazines and coffee while mechanics work. A 50-inch flat-screen TV entertains eyeballs with cable television, and free WiFi flows through the room in search of cell phones, computers, and brains to connect with. Colonial Nissan of Medford also offers a round-trip shuttle service to any destination within a 10-mile radius of the dealership.
RelayRides is a new form of peer-to-peer car rental, one in which car owners around the country lend their rides to trustworthy drivers in need. The process is straightforward for both parties involved. Renters choose a ride from a list of available vehicles, be it a van for carrying the whole family or a sports car for cruising down the coastline. Owners then meet renters at an agreed-upon spot and hand over the keys. When the trip is finished, renters replace the gas and return cars to their owners' loving embrace. An online system encourages participants to rate and review their experiences, ensuring a reliable network of top-notch owners and renters.
The Motorsport Lab lets drivers tame and test a fleet of classic American muscle cars and exotic, foreign sportsters. Drivers receive instruction before sampling the speed and handling of vehicles such as the Aston Martin DB9, Bentley GT, and Lotus Elise. Instructors either compress racing experiences into 60-minute agility tests or prolong the rush by guiding drivers on three-day excursions to Tampa, the Berkshires, or the nearest no-contact demolition derby. The Motorsport Lab also runs an advanced driving school, teaching students the subtleties of controlling Ferraris and Lamborghinis.