Stylists at Tasha Maria Hair Salon hold court inside a modern yet charming salon boutique on Congress Street. Inside, they each specialize in using Wella, Redken, or Goldwell products and providing custom haircuts and color treatments. Their comfortable waiting area welcomes clients to page through magazines, sip coffee, and reminisce with their hair before promising they’ll visit it after the cut.
Ray Lapointe stormed onto the auto industry scene in 1949 and was setting his own hours by 1965 when he founded Ray's Auto Service. Today, Ray's son and current owner, Mark, maintains and mends roadsters alongside a team of fellow ASE-certified technicians. Together, they perform restorative services, flushing sullied oil or transmission fluid and refreshing cooling systems with a draught of eco-friendly refrigerant, while shuttles or rental cars ferry patrons home or to the mall. When motors display disruptive behaviors, such as stalling or purring provocatively at semi trucks, the staff entrusts mechanical diagnoses to the computerized MODIS. The system poses a triple-pronged threat to vehicular maladies, using a lab ignition scope, digital volt ohm meter, and low- and high-amp current probes to record and analyze the electrical wavelengths that animate motors.
Hydraulic lifts puff and sigh as they slowly lift cars above Duval Service Center’s shop floor, revealing each auto underbelly to Mark Duval and his team of ASE-certified mechanics. After pinpointing common breakdown culprits, such as overheating and always being picked last for dodge ball, techs get busy re-padding brakes, clearing out exhaust systems, and performing other services that keep vehicles running smoothly. While their cars get pampered, drivers can kick back in the red cushioned chairs of the waiting area to read a magazine, or wander Duval’s Service Center’s lot of foreign and domestic used cars.
The family of technicians at New England Imports has been tightening bolts and tinkering with engines since 1982. An oil change swaps out tired oil for a fresh supply, helping to keep parts moving smoothly and human-auto diplomacy intact. The shop's horseless-carriage vets then take vitals to ensure vehicles' overall health and fitness, examining tires, brakes, and shocks to ensure jolt-free starts and stops. A look at ball joints makes for more smoothly executed turns, and an exhaust-system check reveals signs of smoking or other forms of adolescent rebellion. After flickering lights, waving wipers, and inspecting belts for elasticity, durability, and proper coordination with hubcaps, the team gives coolant levels and filters a glance and certifies four-wheeled companions ready to hit the road.
Specializing in European cars, Merlin Motors’s lot glistens with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW vehicles. Though they mainly focus on those manufacturers, the techs at Merlin Motors broaden their automotive spectrum with Toyotas, Fords, Jeeps, and stalled alien spacecraft. Inside their two-car, full-service garage, they crawl under the hood of most makes and models for oil changes and check-ups.
Though they're known for selling Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles, the team at this dealership does more than sell cars (and Ram trucks). They also help maintain them with meticulously carried-out services. Those might include tire rotations, brake checks, and oil changes that swap black gold for nutritious strawberry smoothies—all to keep parts humming along happily. These technicians have years of experience to draw from, with a level of mechanical expertise that's matched only by their commitment to keeping vehicle owners happy.