So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Tire & Auto 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 reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service oil change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. These technicians learn their care-care talents during stints in Jiffy Lube University, the company's exhaustive training program. During their training, technicians engage with computer-based learning, apply knowledge during on-the-job-training, and pass frequent skills tests to master the art of engine maintenance. Upon graduation, technicians also take the Jiffy Lube Pledge, vowing to service their customers' cars with the same care they would normally reserve for their own vehicles. This extensive curriculum and commitment to customer service is part of what earned the program accolades as an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Training Provider.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube’s experts perform air conditioning, air filtration, cooling system, electrical, windshield services, and many more. The technicians’ quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services and only complete those services after it has been approved by the owner.
Almost a century ago, it was 1914 and William J. Cassidy was gazing out from his livery stable to watch the newfangled automobiles rumble past on Roosevelt Road. He knew then that he’d been right to expand from shoeing horses to also servicing tires. Never having children, Will took his 16-year-old nephew, Hugh, under his wing in the venture. When Will retired, Hugh took over and kept the company afloat even during the bleakest days of the Depression and WWII. Hugh’s six sons all followed in the family footsteps, opening additional locations in the suburbs, and then their children opened even more.
Today, those descendants operate 15 Cassidy Tire & Service locations throughout the city and suburbs. The Cassidy experts keep vehicles running smoothly as they grow old by practicing a full range of other auto services, from rotating tires to changing oil and flushing transmissions.
All of the technicians at Wheeling Auto Center have received the highest level of Master certification from The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. They will put their expert hands to work replacing old, worn-out oil with fresh-faced young fluid, straight from lubricant college and ready to take on the heat, dust, and incredible pressures of today's high-octane internal-combustion world. To help new oil adjust to its new job of safeguarding precious moving parts, gaskets, and various shafts, a fresh oil filter is included (oil change, filter, and lube, a $26.95 value). All four of your buggy's tires will be rotated to avoid preferential wear and tear (an $18 value). New wiper blades are installed to tackle the tough work of cutting through the inches of ice and snow that will coat Chicagoland windshields from November until early May (up to a $40 value). Your horseless carriage will then undergo a comprehensive vehicle inspection, including a complete brake inspection and electrical-systems test (a $49.95 value).
Car-X Auto Service stirs wagons out of winter's hibernation with an array of alleviating automotive services. Pour your car a refreshing 5-quart glass of oil change ($19.99, with synthetic or semi-synthetic oils available at an additional charge), revolve your ride's rubbers with a tire rotation ($16), and switch blades with windshield-wiper replacements ($18 for wiper blades up to 24 inches). Keep your car cool for the family's annual summer vacation to the Gobi with an air-conditioning check ($49.95), a battery and charging-system check, and a full-vehicle courtesy inspection, included at no charge.