Beck Muffler Automotive Repair, family owned and operated for more than 30 years, hosts a team of seasoned technicians that keeps cars and trucks running smoothly with a wide range of services, ranging from basic maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations to more complex work, including electrical-system repair and transmission rebuilds. Keep cars on an even keel with a four-wheel alignment ($69.95), which implements a precise laser to straighten out wheels and remove unsightly tire hair, or ensure that engine internals are combusting efficiently with a Valvoline synthetic-oil change and tire rotation ($89.95). When auto interiors exceed Easy-Bake temperatures, the air-conditioning system recharge ($119.95) can refresh the A/C with a deliciously soothing glass of refrigerant.
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 Car Care Center'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.
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.
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.
O'Brien Auto Center belongs to the service wing of the O'Brien family's well-established car-dealership enterprise, which started in 1933. Helping uphold the family's history of automotive expertise are the center's certified technicians, who handle an array of maintenance duties, including changing oil, rotating tires, and flushing transmissions. Moreover, they can realign wheels and remake the melted snowmen that keep all vehicles' air-conditioning units cold.