(4/3/07) If you're used to mechanics' waiting areas that look and feel like extensions of the garage areas, you're in for a surprise.
The new Auto Express on South East Street – at the corner of Route 9 – has the sort of waiting room you might expect at a really nice hair salon, with tile floors, light wood, fancy chairs, a big flat screen TV and wireless internet. Not your typical oil change joint.
And that's no accident. Amir Mikhchi, who opened the business two weeks ago, said “We're trying to offer something people haven't experienced before – first class service.”
That service includes full-service oil changes with premium synthetic blend motor oil for $29.95, a price he said is lower than is typically charged for the synthetic blends.
Auto Express will also do light automotive service such as changing serpentine belts, batteries, wiper blades and antifreeze. And Manager Kelly Hughes said that in a few months, they plan to expand their service offerings to include tune-ups and brake work.
Their other main focus is State inspections, which will begin at the end of this week, with the benefit of Auto Express' extended service hours. The shop is open seven days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Saturdays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. According to Mikhchi and Hughes, there hasn't been any place in Amherst providing inspections during extended hours.
Hughes said the shop also provides CHECKPOINT service, which is an exterior inspection with a photograph, required by some insurance companies.
Mikhchi, who also owns the nearby Reliance Auto used car business, said the shop will provide fast, reliable, friendly service. “We want people to feel comfortable,” he said, “not feel pressured.”
Auto Express has six service bays, two for inspections and four for oil changes. No appointments are necessary. The entrance to Auto Express is on South East Street, and it does not connect to the Cumberland Farms parking lot. For more information, call 253-0056.
-- Stephanie O'Keeffe