Texas Express Lube and Auto's piston quenchers thwart friction by providing up to five quarts of blended synthetic oil. Car techs sub in crisp new oil filters to handle the motor oil, which is rated at 5W-20 or 5W-30 according to its dating-site profile. A quick checkup surveys the vehicle's fluid levels, lights, and air filters, and an interior vacuuming sucks up crumbs. Before revving back onto roadways, cars ask technicians to grease their chassis so they can travel squeak-free and to check their wiper blades so they can wave hello to raindrops. Customers can upgrade to full synthetic oil for an additional fee.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil-Change, which helps promote 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 helps prevent 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) service vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, technicians perform preventative services such as air-filtration, among others, as well as state emissions inspections. Jiffy Lube’s quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 40 years in the business, Car-X has earned a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Started in 1971 by a team of seasoned muffler-shop owners, the service centers have blossomed from their beginnings as specialty exhaust shops to providers of nearly any repair or maintenance service imaginable, from installing performance-enhancing accessories to treating cars to therapeutic trust falls. In addition to promoting safety and long, healthy engine life with brake services and speedy oil changes, Car-X reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk. Car-X is a AAA Texas-approved auto repair center, and has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
The ASE-certified technicians at Meineke Car Care Center fine-tune the innards of cars from all major brands. The shop’s computer-diagnostic technology helps the team’s official inspectors to sweep engines for abnormalities, and techs swap in top-notch parts for failing cogs. The team flushes sullied oil and replaces it with fresh draughts of regular or conventional oil, or tweak air-conditioning systems to keep indoor climates cooler than a yeti’s walk-in freezer. The shop accommodates busy patrons with 24-hour car drop-off and rental roadsters available when vehicles are out of commission.
DiamondBrite Car Care offers an extensive list of car-wash and detail packages. Its soft-touch wash tunnels cast away dirt and grime with high-pressure washers, clear-coat protectants, and triple-foam polish; its technicians massage liquid carnauba wax onto the exterior of autos, and condition and shampoo the interior. DiamondBrite also offers Pennzoil oil changes, and features an onsite café that serves lattes, cappuccinos, and smoothies.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
The crew at Red Tub Car Wash depends on elbow grease to wash, dry, and wax vehicles completely by hand. Drivers can drop off their ride for one of four wash packages or stop in for an express detail complete with carpet shampooing and hot-water extraction. The crew uses Meguiar's wax and clay bars to restore vehicles inside and out during their showroom service, reminding cars how safe and clean they used to feel in the loving arms of their first dealer. Though they mainly deal with autos, Red Tub's crew also sweeps through homes with house- and garage-cleaning services.