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.
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.
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 package, 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—all of which 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 offer preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical-system maintenance, among others. 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.
Sam Meineke opened his three-bay muffler shop in 1972 with a single product line, and through time, he and his successors have expanded the business into a complete automotive car-care center. Today, nearly 900 franchise owners operate their locations around the globe, still standing on the firm foundation of Sam's ideal of nursing vehicles back to health at fair prices. Meineke Car Care Centers’ mechanics perform an array of services, keeping rides running in showroom condition with tune-ups, 23-point inspections, tire rotations, and deep-tissue windshield massages.
In 1974, firemen Jim Daugherty and Jim Greve needed a little extra cash to support their families and so began working on cars in their spare time. Realizing their passion for autos, the Jims—along with pal George Berry—eventually opened up their own gas station, and by 1979 turned the pump into a full-service repair shop that specifically catered to Toyotas and other Japanese makes. Today, joined by a full staff of ASE–certified and ASE master technicians, Jim’s continues to specialize in Japanese cars and also treats a wide range of vehicles, including rides from Lexus and DeLorean time machines, as well as performing an extensive list of repair and maintenance services.
With lube and service centers spread across America, Valvoline Instant Oil Change ensures that roads from coast to coast teem with automotive vigor. Certified technicians perform a roster of services, including quick in-and-out oil changes that allow motorists to arrive without an appointment and remain in their car while Valvoline oils forge a truce between metal parts. Facilities also encourage odometers to reach up to 300,000 miles with an engine-guarantee program that helps motors live long enough to see tow trucks go extinct. Valvoline extends its care to cars of all makes and models as well as charitable organizations.