Since Bob Sumerel opened his first retail tire store in 1968, he has always tried to put the customer first, next to all the gold-medal winners and Neil Armstrong. His store's 20-plus current locations offer an entire slate of auto services, from tire rotations and sales to oil changes. On the site's Why Bob Sumerel page, customers and employees discuss the benefits of the company, and the My Garage feature tracks car histories such as oil changes and service reminders. Every Bob Sumerel also operates under the Fixed Forever guarantee, promising that parts will work forever—up until the sun balloons to a red giant and swallows the earth with its unfathomably hot plasma—with warranties to cover any unforeseen problems.
Oil Express bolsters automobiles with 10-minute, full-service oil changes. Technicians first drain contaminated oil from the car and check it for lost keys before replacing it with up to 5 quarts of 5W20 or 5W30 oil, affixing a new filter in the process. Because Oil Express carries multiple kinds of oil, including synthetic options, drivers can be sure that their car will find something appetizing. After lubing the chassis, adroit mechanics duck down to inspect the undercarriage, then lift the hood to check the battery, turning their grease guns loose on the driver's door. Next, they top off most fluids (the first pint is free), eyeball belts and hoses, and adjust tire pressure before patting the car on the trunk and sending it on its way.
When Mike's Carwash first opened in 1948, it was one of only 18 carwash businesses in the United States. Today, the family-owned establishment keeps the 65-year-old tradition of gussying up automobiles alive at 42 locations throughout the Midwest. At each location, accommodating staffers stand by to assist customers during the cleaning process. Decked out in cartoon neckties, the cheerful team ushers cars into computer-controlled washers that eschew traditional gear-operated brushes and baseball bats in favor of controlled sprays and soft cloths. After the mixture of eight signature soaps de-grimes surfaces, 200-miles-per-hour gusts of hot air dry vehicles instantly. Mike's also offers specialty coats to give car exteriors and tires additional shine.
Restore radiance to road wagons with a top-to-bottom detailing. Talented techs will remove grime from vehicles during hand washes before cleaning the underside of the hoods, undercarriages, wheels, and gas-cap covers using Ardex and Strike Force cleaning and protection products. Thoroughly cleaning doorjambs will send cars into giggly convulsions before automotive dentists attack the engine compartment with a housing floss and scrub and window-washers eliminate embarrassing tic-tac-toe defeats. Trunks, consoles, trims, interior roofs, and carpets are vacuumed and cleaned, and seats are scoured and treated with fabric or leather protectants. Before they're returned to harsh roadways brimming with salt, sludge, and UV-laden sunbeams, autos are treated with clear-coat paint sealant. For drivers who can't drop off their sullied sedans, Johnny's offers a free pickup service from homes and offices within a 20-minute drive of their shop.
In 1987, the Dayton Daily News briefly outlined the life of Charles L. Marshall, the then 86-year-old president and owner of Grismer Tire. Though the article appeared a quarter of a century ago, it still captured 55 years worth of history at Grismer, from its purchase during “the dark days” of the Great Depression—thanks to Marshall’s winning personality and a banker’s $13,000 loan—to its transformation into one of the most successful auto centers in Ohio.
Today, at each of its 22 locations scattered across Southern Ohio, ASE-certified technicians continue to dispense the top-notch service that made the garage famous. They drain and replenish oil, align wheels, and fix busted transmissions and cooling systems. Equipped with nine brands of tires, including Michelin, Bridgestone, and BF Goodrich, the team outfits rides of all makes and models with brand-new rollers, allowing them to zip down highways or blend in at parades with ease.