When you pull into a bay at one of the three Take 5 Oil Change businesses in the Augusta market (which includes the newest one in Aiken) prepare to think you are seeing a ballet in blue jeans and with sound effects.
The three or four technicians that will service your vehicle are dressed as you would expect, but they work with dispatch, swiftly moving on to their next task as soon as they have finished the last, and it’s very vocal, like an army cadence that they have sung over and over again.
The corporate system, which includes Take 5 Oil Change as a franchise, has their own specialized computer software in a terminal between bays 2 and 3. The technicians scan the car’s VIN number and then gets all of the engine’s properties straight from the manufacturer – they in fact get a work order from the manufacturer – everything including filter type, size of wiper blades, type of oil, amount of oil, and more.
“Adding required amount of windshield detergent, oil cap off, plug tight, oil filter discarded, new oil filter in place and tight, changing engine air filter, check oil, adding oil, check cabin air filter,” shouts out assistant manager Scott Carver, either from above the engine or from his station in the pit below it.
“That’s super concentrated window detergent,” says Assistant General Manager Elijah Craft from his station at the computer as he begins to explain the process and responds to Carver, checking off every completed task.
“They will change the cabin air filter,” which is usually behind the glove box, if there are no passengers in the vehicle. That’s our franchise safety regulation,” says Craft. “It’s because a front-seat passenger would have to step out of the vehicle onto the bay floor and it is among our safety precautions that no one, but staff, walks on the bay floors which may be slippery and a fall hazard. It is not just for convenience that passengers stay in their cars during the oil change. “
“Tires checked. Back right is low. All four are now at 36 psi, lights checked, transmission – safe level, coolant added, PS Fluid – safe level, air filter – replaced,” shouts a third technician to Craft.
“As you can hear, communicating with our co-workers is very important here. We double check every step, and the computer prints out a statement of everything that was done,” says Craft.
As the team is finishing up, about five to ten minutes after they started, and after four technicians took part in the operation, Craft brings a window sticker to the driver and places it on the inside, top-left corner of the windshield and explains their “Top-Off Policy,” which is their de facto warranty. The sticker includes just-printed information on the date and your mileage at that time. “If you come back to any Take 5 Oil Change within three months or 3,000 miles, you can have a free top off of oil and other fluids, tires checked and more,” explains Craft.
That goes for the Aiken shop at 1792 Whiskey Road (across from Kroger and adjacent to the Odell Weeks City Recreation Center) and the two now open in Augusta, one on Washington Road and the other on Jackson Road at Wrightsboro Road. NSM Ventures, owned by David Berry and Scott Montgomery, also owns Take 5s in Hendersonville and Ashville, North Carolina and have plans for two or three more in the Augusta area, which might include another in Aiken.
Although it is the third of the three to open so far, on July 19, the Aiken shop is already the busiest. That might be because of the superior service from Craft, Carver and their staff, but it might be because their corner between McDonalds and Kroger is the busiest traffic in town, according to the S.C. Department of Transportation.
Take 5 Oil Change also has an Advanced Auto Parts store right behind them on East Pine Log Road that rushes over with parts that out of stock in the shop.
NSM Ventures instill in the team the importance of customer service, say both managers. The squad finishes each oil change with a free windshield wash even though it’s not required. “It is our chance to make one more good impression,” says Carver.
Take 5 Oil Change
Elijah Craft – Store Manager
1792 Whiskey Rd. Aiken, SC 29803