Shop Look: Chevron xpress lube of Cypress, Texas
Roneil Prash worked in the IT field for years, but he was looking to get into business for himself. A lover of automotive culture, he did his research and found a quick lube operator who wanted to sell—but only to an owner-operator.
That was a great fit for Prash, and he signed on with Chevron for a brand license and sales agreement.
“I was really excited that they gave me the opportunity to be the first one in Texas,” Prash says.
The shop opened in January 2022, but not before lots of work to get the shop up to date. Prash did most of the work himself and didn’t take a day off for months to get the shop up and running.
“The building was in bad shape,” he says. “There was water leaking in the repair area. There was no power in the lower outlets.”
The lobby area was in pretty bad shape as well, and he found that the oil tanks had decent amounts of water. Prash worked through the months to get everything ready, and the success of his work is evident in the shop today.
Elbow grease can only get you so far. The biggest expense in getting the shop ready was to replace the tanks—all 15 of them, Prash says.
“It’s going to pay off in the long run,” Prash says. “Because the tanks I got are nice and clean, and it’s easy for them (oil deliverers) to fill them up.”
Not only are the new tanks sealed and water-free, of course, but it’s easier to see the levels in the tank and plan inventory. He also had new oil pump systems installed so that dispensing in the upper bay is a breeze.
And now that Prash has seen the building at its worst, he’s determined to keep his facility sharp and spotless.
“We keep the shop so clean, and my customers always comment on it,” he says.
Prash says that many of his customers are used to the drive-thru, stay-in-your-car model of quick lube service. But he always offers for them to hang out in the lobby area. And for good reason—temperatures in his area of Texas can get very hot for someone sitting in a car during an oil change.
“Customers like that they don’t have to sit in the car,” he says. “The lobby is clean. We have water, soda, and coffee.”
The lobby is also handy if customers are utilizing some of the expanded services that Prash offers. His third bay is set up without a basement and with a lift to perform work on brakes and other more intensive items.
With just three employees, including Prash, it’s a labor of love as a true owner-operator.
“I do the oil changes,” he says. “I do the mechanic work, too, like brakes.
Prash says he’s really happy with the career change. The shop is getting a bit of extra help, too—Prash’s 16-year-old son is lending a hand these days as a weekend courtesy tech.