By Zoe Sims
Stephens Media Hawaii
Drivers looking for a fast fix now have another efficient service option.
Kona’s Lex Brodie’s has moved to a new location on the corner of Kuakini Highway and Kaiwi Street and is offering a new speed oil change service. Lex Brodie’s has four locations around the Big Island, but Kona’s Fast Lube service is its first such facility.
“Talking to customers, they wanted good service that was speed-oriented,” said Josh Porter, Lex Brodie’s managing director.
The new location has room for expansion, Porter said. The company has allocated space for a car wash and is working with equipment manufacturers to develop a plan, though Porter declined to estimate when the car wash might open.
Lex Brodie’s Fast Lube opened in May. The full tire and service center finished relocating in July. The two-bay Fast Lube facility is a prefabricated building that was erected in just three days, Porter said.
“Vehicles, as they are manufactured better, need less major repairs and more quick services,” he said. “We wanted a facility that was designed from the ground up for speed and efficiency.”
The key to a quick oil change is technicians must be able to work underneath cars without mechanically lifting them as they do in most shops, Porter said. Many fast lube stations build a basement under the car bay, allowing mechanics to stand and work on the cars above them.
Lance McQuirk, the Fast Lube director, said the high water table at Lex Brodie’s Kona location makes a basement unfeasible. Instead, the Kona Fast Lube station has “zip pits,” built-in ditches beneath the car bays. Mechanics lie on their backs on a “glider,” which slides beneath the car on a track system. This design also made the facility’s construction faster and more cost-effective, McQuirk said.
Porter said a Fast Lube full service oil change, which starts at $44, takes about 10 minutes. In the shop’s tire and service center, oil changes are less expensive but typically involve a much longer wait.
On average, the fast lube center services about 30 cars per day. Porter said Lex Brodie’s plans to bring Fast Lube stations to its other shops soon.
Photovoltaic panels on the shop’s roof should be running by the end of next month.
Because the facility only uses power during the day, the solar panels will provide all the electricity it uses, Porter said.
Similar systems are already in place at Lex Brodie’s in Waimea and Pahoa.
The building formerly housed Island Chevrolet and has been vacant since the dealership closed in 2009. Lex Brodie’s has been planning to relocate and refurbish the shop for about three years, Porter said.
The center is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, visit LexBrodiesTire.com.