At Tuffy's, motor-vehicle caregivers spruce up patrons' horseless carriages and prepare them for a new season of dutiful service. After installing a new oil filter, auto artisans remove the old sludgy glop clogging the car's arterial system and replace it with up to five quarts of 5W-30 or 5W-20 conventional motor oil (a $31.99 value; diesel or synthetic oil costs extra). The staff will also rotate tires to prepare four-wheeled wonders for safe gliding (a $12 value) and perform an inspection to make sure air-conditioning systems are functioning properly to bring riders to the brink of coolness faster than Fonzie’s leather jacket ($9.99). Finally, a pair of fresh wiper blades (up to 22")—grown locally by organic-blade farmers—supplants worn-out window-rubbers ($22) and a specialist conducts an extensive 41-point maintenance inspection.
In 1979, at the age of 19, Peter Fink opened the first Certified Transmission in an abandoned gas station. He envisioned a business that would remanufacture, rather than rebuild, transmissions and Barbie Corvettes. Today, the company has grown to include 15 retail stores in four states and more than 400 employees. ASE-certified technicians, who must complete a 13-week training program before they can work by themselves, hand-disassemble transmissions and check each part, re-machining or replacing any parts not up to factory-new standards. Ongoing education keeps technicians’ skills up-to-date and sharper than Henry Ford's stainless-steel tongue. In a 2011 article in Manufacturing Today, Fink attributed his success to high quality standards and good business practices. These standards have not gone unnoticed; in 2005, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce presented Certified Transmission with an Excellence in Business award. Certified Transmission backs their work with an extensive warrantee.
Inside the 5,500-square-foot garage at Homan's Auto, ASE-certified technicians fiddle with engines and batteries while meticulous detailing crews scrub away dirt and grime from cars, boats, and RVs. Using diagnostic equipment, the skilled team sleuths out and repairs vehicular issues, from transmission troubles to chocolate syrup seeping into the engine. While the teams work, customers relax in the waiting area amid free WiFi and frothy cappuccinos, or they can hitch a ride to work or home aboard the free shuttle.
Heartland Jiffy Lubes enjoy the benefits of being under the Heartland Automotive Services umbrella, putting them in good company along with more than 435 Jiffy Lubes nationwide that service more than five million customers each year. They specialize in the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change, which comes standard with a fresh-from-the-box oil filter and up to 5 quarts of quality motor oil, plus a comprehensive lineup of other vehicle maintenance checkups. Highly trained technicians also perform cosmetic and mechanical services including inspections, emissions testing, transmission service, and counseling for 1960s Corvettes that are going through a mid-life crisis.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.