North Shore Auto Spa's experienced staff cleanses vehicles of all makes and models from the inside out with five thorough detail packages and six styles of car wash. While drivers await their freshened rides, they retire to an indoor waiting area that flows with complimentary coffee and cappuccino. Younger passengers can pass the time with a host of available games or by practicing thumb-wrestling submissions on their nondominant hand.
Grand Prix Car Wash transforms the dirtiest of sedans, SUVs, and convertibles into pristine and well-waxed chariots. Their speedy automated soft-cloth wash banishes the lingering traces of rain, road dirt, or rock salt, and can be complemented with à la carte detailing services such as Scotchgarding or clay-bar treatment. Many of Grand Prix's car-wash packages also carry 24-hour or five-day guarantees, allowing drivers to return for an exterior car wash and hand-dry if they should get caught in a storm or city-wide food fight after their visit.
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 itself a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Skilled mechanics prep road wagons for tough winters by replacing busted-up sludge with a fresh batch of up to 5 quarts of multigrade oil. Auto doctors also fix up rides with new windshield wipers (up to 24” in length) and tire rotations that ensure snug stops in case of icy patches or drag races against reindeer. During the battery and charging-system check, technicians carefully examine autos to make sure they'll be ready to start up on command. This service runs about 60 minutes long and wraps up with a full-vehicle courtesy inspection that ensures essential components, including tires, brakes, and suspension systems, are healthy enough to cruise the open road without requiring training wheels or being pulled by a retired racehorse.
The highly trained technicians at Duxler Complete Auto Care tinker and tweak vehicular devices to keep them running, rolling, and stopping safely. During the 45-minute process, a certified mechanic will perform an oil change (a $10 value) to exorcise demonic motor oil from engines and replace it with up to five quarts of blessedly standard oil (a $12.95 value). Along with topping off all fluids, each oil change includes a complimentary vehicle inspection, in which experienced minds check the tires, brakes, suspension, steering components, wiper function, warning lamps, lights, and exhaust system for any underlying issues or cable-chewing gremlins. For a smoother ride and to extend the lifespan of automobiles' fireproof feet, tire rotation is also included (a $20 value).