Sam Meineke opened his three-bay muffler shop in 1972 with a single product line, and through time, he and his successors have expanded the business into a complete automotive car-care center. Today, nearly 900 franchise owners operate their locations around the globe, still standing on the firm foundation of Sam's ideal of nursing vehicles back to health at fair prices. Meineke's mechanics perform an array of services, keeping rides running in showroom condition with tune-ups, 23-point inspections, tire rotations, and deep-tissue windshield massages.
Signature service: Auto repair and services
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Pro Tip: Have a description of your vehicle's issues ready so we can address them in a timely fashion.
Hearts pound, palms sweat, and feet spiral—but wheels stay put. Such is the unique fate of the stationary bikes at The Vicious Cycle, which embark on 20- to 25-mile journeys without ever leaving the studio. Here, riders can burn up to 800 calories in each 45- or 60-minute class, though the intensity of the workout remains entirely up to them. Spinners can adjust each cycle's resistance level in order to control the difficulty of the ride or the mimic the unpredictable nature of outdoor terrain. Through every class fun, upbeat music pumps through the studio's speakers, which can help to motivate cyclists to push themselves faster, just like the memory of the menacing rollerskater who chased them during their last real ride.
When the family-owned Weikel's Auto Repair opened in 1994, its ASE-certified technicians inspected cars in a cozy three-bay shop. As demand for their expertise grew, so did their need for space, machinery, and equipment. These days, in a roomier shop, ASE-certified master technician Steve Weikel and his team administer extensive services for all automotive systems and car makes, including hybrids. The crew aligns wheels and tires, ensures electrical wiring functions properly, and replaces brake pads and hoses, keeping any flowers growing on the driver's side properly watered. Weikel's crew also performs state safety and emissions inspections, outfits vehicles with Michelin or Bridgestone tires, and assists broken-down cars with 24/7 towing.
Behind Excel Motors' rows of shiny preowned vehicles, mechanics tinker under their iconic ASE-certification shoulder patches, their hands sowing the hard work necessary to harvest peak mileage from engines of all sorts. Quarts of high-quality oil await their chance to flow alongside thirsty car metals, and bays securely hoist autos into the air so techs can service them, inspect various parts for safety, or rotate tires. Meanwhile, customers can peruse the lots for a new domestic or imported car and take a look at each vehicle's Carfax report to see its prior life, accident history, and ability to snuggle with weather tarps.