More than thirty years ago, Darrel Neilson entered the auto industry as a muffler and exhaust specialist. Now, he and his master techs are full-fledged car doctors who offer services that repair everything from air conditioners and radiators to brakes and alternators across seven locations. They also document all of their findings in their computer system to diagnose automotive ailments with ease.
BioRide's professional car captains transport riders in eco-friendly style. The company's fleet of luxury vehicles runs on biodiesel that's converted from filtered restaurant grease, and according to Sprout Savvy—an online journal dedicated to green living—BioRide's sustainable cars produce 78% less carbon dioxide than those using standard petroleum diesel or below-standard rocket fuel. Passengers can relax during rides to the haberdasher or from the airport in a Mercedes R Class, fully equipped with WiFi, an iPad, and complimentary water and juice. The Mercedes Sprinter, which accommodates up to 11 passengers, entertains en-route with a 35-inch LCD flat-screen TV and an installed Apple computer that facilitates easy movie watching, music listening, and games of group solitaire. Though each Groupon is valid only for a one-way jaunt, clients can purchase two Groupons for roundtrips.
With participating locations nationwide, Auto Care Special lets customers reach out to their local garages for a grab bag of free and discounted maintenance services. Cards may be redeemed for multiple vehicles over the course of one year for services such as oil changes, safety inspections, and engine-light diagnoses. Those who move or create alter-egos over the course of the year can scan the locations page for participating garages in their new cities of residence to receive a complimentary maintenance bundle.
As they speed by, the drivers racing across American Indoor Karting's track resemble professional racecar drivers. The souped-up European go-karts allow speedsters as young as 8 to swerve through turns at nearly 1.5 lateral G's. The milieu is carefully cultivated to create the feeling of actual competitive auto racing. Helmets and safety briefing sessions are mandatory before racers take to the winding, professionally designed track. After each race, competitors scrutinize comprehensive race reports of their lap times and other statistics. Two breeds of go-kart reside on the premises and are maintained by a full-time mechanic. While younger kids drive less ferocious Junior Karts, adults qualify to operate Super Karts. The Super Kart is loaded up with a 9 hp Honda engine and travels 40 m.p.h. To race a Super Kart, drivers must prove they can handle the powerful hot rod by putting up a qualifying lap time and convincing the vehicle to eat a carrot directly from their hands.
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.
Since its founding in 1978, the international quick-lube franchise Grease Monkey has maintained its focus on speedy treatments and a detail-oriented approach to auto care. Shop technicians tune up rides with services such as air-conditioning repair, air-filter replacement, and fuel- and emissions-system cleaning. Grease Monkey's signature service, though, is its full-service oil change. After replacing a vehicle's lubricant with GF-5 or re-refined motor oil, technicians perform an entire review of its maintenance needs, referencing the owner's manual and the wise hermit living in the trunk.