Mountainview Tire Factory began in 1984 as a network of independent tire dealers who teamed up to find better prices for their customers. Today, they supply a chain of independently owned locations across the Western U.S. with tires from brands such as Goodyear, Kelly, and Dunlop. At each location, ASE-certified technicians specialize in the installation of both tires and wheels, and outfit every tire purchase with a warranty that includes free flat repairs for the lifespan of the tire, free rotation, and an inspection. They also perform a wide slate of maintenance services—such as oil changes, brake servicing, and electrical work—to ensure cars are healthy enough to make the most of their new rubber running shoes.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
Best Western Transmission's ASE-certified mechanics keep autos running smoothly with their expeditious oil-changing service. During the 20-minute process, fully trained staffers gingerly lift vehicles on hydraulic lifts to drain grimy lubricant and tickle cars' sensitive underbellies with freshly cleaned dipsticks. A technician then funnels up to five quarts of motor oil into each car's thirsty reservoir, ensuring engine efficiency and low friction between its many moving parts. Autos are then subjected to a thorough 33-point inspection that, depending on the vehicle's make and condition, can take up to an hour. Technicians will examine filters, check fluid levels, and run the car through a gauntlet of diagnostic tests to determine the car's overall state of health and its propensity to honk at European-model cars.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a can of vegetables, a bag of sliced bread, or a box of instant cake mix in The Backporch Cafe kitchen. The chefs are wary of the premade foods, bottled sauces, and magic beans found in grocery stores, preferring to whip up all their dishes from scratch. So they bake fresh apple pies, bran raisin muffins, and buttermilk biscuits each morning, along with from-scratch loaves of rye, wheat, and cheddar sourdough bread. As a yawning breakfast crowd begins to wander in, the chefs turn their attention to three-egg omelets, chorizo burritos, and lightly grilled french toast. Come lunchtime, they’ll layer housemade bread with house-smoked chicken, turkey, and ham before plating the sandwiches alongside handfuls of fries and scoops of potato salad.
Complementing all of this homestyle cooking is a beverage list that includes coffee, juice, bloody marys, screwdrivers, and Manmosas—orange juice mixed with Easy Street wheat beer from the nearby Odell Brewing Company. When the weather's nice, diners can lounge beneath magenta umbrellas on the patio.
From custom leather seats to eye-catching spoilers, Autoplex by Vanworks refurbishes cars, trucks, and SUVs with interior and exterior accessories. Window tints by 3M, Webasto sun roofs, and bumpers are just part of the shop’s exterior enhancements; technicians also equip rides with tires by Michelin and Good Year. On the inside, technicians install both luxuries and necessities, including seat-heaters, floor mats, and LiquiCell Comfort equipment, which save drivers from a sore coccyx after a long road-trip or stake-out of their old principal's house. Alpine products drive Autoplex’s electronics division, where the professional installers can soup up systems with everything from overhead video units to vehicle-specific navigation systems.
At Jiffy Lube, staffers trained in an ASE-certified program perform signature service oil changes and efficiently check vehicles for potential issues. In addition to keeping engines chugging along smoothly, technicians can rotate tires, replace headlights and wiper blades, and perform an automatic transmission service.