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.
Encircling Indianapolis with its attentive brand of customer service, Indianapolis Car Care keeps customers mobile with a wide variety of automotive repair capabilities. The team starts with the tires, dealing with leading manufacturers when folks need replacements. But their expertise also lies in helping people prolong that inevitability with tire rotation, computer balancing, and ancient rubber-protecting hexes. Owners can also bring in their sickly cars for procedures ranging from oil changes and tune ups to transmission repairs.
The first Tuffy Auto Service Center touched down in Detroit in 1970. The shop flourished, and today it has extensions in 15 states. Its ASE-certified technicians tend to all manner of repairs and maintenance services, from basic tire rotations and oil changes to more complex tasks, such as getting all the gummy bears out of the cassette deck. Between visits, car owners can consult Tuffy's list of car-care tips, which includes advice on how to stay on top of seasonal musts and how to keep an ear out for early signs of trouble.
When Mike's Carwash first opened in 1948, it was one of only 18 carwash businesses in the United States. Today, the family-owned establishment keeps the 65-year-old tradition of gussying up automobiles alive at 42 locations throughout the Midwest. At each location, accommodating staffers stand by to assist customers during the cleaning process. Decked out in cartoon neckties, the cheerful team ushers cars into computer-controlled washers that eschew traditional gear-operated brushes and baseball bats in favor of controlled sprays and soft cloths. After the mixture of eight signature soaps de-grimes surfaces, 200-miles-per-hour gusts of hot air dry vehicles instantly. Mike's also offers specialty coats to give car exteriors and tires additional shine.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change, which helps promote the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car: it cools the motor and helps prevent moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) service vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, technicians perform preventative services such as air-filtration and electrical system maintenance, among others. Jiffy Lube's quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, complete a service only after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
POPnWash's unlimited self-service wash bays are decked out with detailing touch-ups that let you clean all you want for one low price. Free vacuums, tire air, and carpet cleaners allow customers to spruce up shabby cabins and sagging rubber post bath-time. Or for a few more dollars, add a wash in the express tunnel with wheel bright, Armorall Body Shield, hub blasters, spot-free rinse, and many other extras that help clean cars repel any incoming dirt or mean-spirited comments hurled by dirty, jealous horses.