With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Auto Service has earned a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Started in 1971 by a team of seasoned muffler-shop owners, the service centers have blossomed from their beginnings as specialty exhaust shops to providers of nearly any repair or maintenance service imaginable, from installing performance-enhancing accessories to treating cars to therapeutic trust falls. In addition to promoting safety and long, healthy engine life with brake services and speedy oil changes, Car-X Auto Service reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.
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 5 quarts of Valvoline 5W-30 or 5W-20 conventional motor oil (a $26.99 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 make sure air-conditioning systems function properly to bring you 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.
Exec 1 Aviation's professional flight instructors lead discovery flights, which take prospective aviators to the cloud kingdom to show the thrill and ease of flying a plane. Over the course of the one-hour discovery flight, prodigal pilots will experience the thrill of liftoff without the time investment in flight academy or the empty promises of moon shoes. The air chariot is a Cessna 172 two-seater aircraft with bench seating in the back, good for up to two additional passengers or one looking to take a high-altitude snoozer. Fliers who want the view without the responsibility can opt to have their instructor take the helm. With this mini flight school, aviation junkies curious about earning their wings can take the first step, and those just giddy about gliding with cloud goats can achieve the experience with the throttle in their hands.
Ankeny Auto Spa 's environmentally safe scrubbing products rescue roadsters of all types from the perils of road pollution. During the full-body-bath wash, technicians scrub your horseless chariot from top to bottom, removing road salt, chemical buildup, gritty dirt, and gobs of caramel that resulted from sharing taffy apples with birds through the sunroof. Cars will also be treated to a dust exorcism via an interior wipe down of the dashboard, doorjambs, and console, along with a floor vacuuming and inside window wash. Afterward, Ankeny Auto Spa's dust-and-grime-obliterating car cleaners give each metal steed's newly shimmering steel an extensive towel drying by hand.
A & A Auto Detailing founder Almir Smailbegovic welcomes vehicles into his own home by appointment. After familiarizing himself with each smudge and dusty nook, he sets about recreating the scent, look, and chrome-plated umbilical cord of a brand-new car. For interiors, he and his team employ shampoos, power washers, and a specialized vacuum for removing debris from crevices. They dress tires and wax exteriors to a sleek shine. Clients can remain in their own homes thanks to a pickup and drop-off service for nearby automobiles.
Bill Graham founded the first Graham Tire location in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in 1951, a time before dashboards blinked with digital readouts or engines buzzed with microchip brains. As cars have progressed, Graham Tire has kept pace. Still overseen by the Graham family, the current 22 locations employ ASE-certified mechanics who mend and maintain cars, trucks, SUVs, and farm equipment. Computerized engine analysis reveals rides’ performance levels and any problems, allowing the technicians to efficiently diagnose trouble without resorting to good mechanic, bad mechanic interrogations.