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 Centers’ 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.
Underwater World Scuba Center offers scuba-diving courses that take students from the shallows of a heated indoor swimming pool at its dive shop to the depths of the ocean in faraway places such as Fiji and the Cayman Islands. Open-water certification classes cover breathing techniques and safety regulations for beginners, whereas advanced certification courses give pupils enough skills to explore the depths as a master diver or marine-life photographer. The center's trainers also provide guidance to customers who are purchasing equipment, service and repair gear, and organize scuba trips to exotic locations.
Mike’s Express Car Wash’s trusty team has been cleaning muddy motor vehicles since 1948 with a combination of state-of-the-art equipment, specially formulated shampoos, soft cloth scrubs, and touchless hot-air dryers. Get The Works and soiled sedans will be lovingly scrubbed during a high-quality express wash, brushlessly brushed with heated water and eight different signature soaps. An application of Mike’s clear coat shields hunched hatchbacks from the elements, rotten tomatoes, and good-natured ribbing. Wheels roll away polished to perfection, while sparkling clean underbellies are wrapped in a soothing rust-inhibiting cocoon to survive winter’s storms of snow and salt.
Though commonplace today, the concept of getting something to eat or drink while fueling up at a gas station was an odd idea 34 years ago. The first ampm, originally an add-on to Arco gas stations, opened in Southern California in 1978, and since then, the hybrid gas station-snack emporium has spread to more than 1,000 locations in nine states. From hot food prepared onsite to 24 flavors of soda and windshield-wiper fluid, ampm refuels people and cars alike with tasty snacks. Some locations also maintain car washes to send rides off with a dazzling shine.
Those who happen to amble by Tamarco Drive at, say, 2:15 in the morning, might hear something they wouldn’t expect—sounds of swishing water, the sudden vroom of a vacuum cleaner, and muffled voices. Night owls can rest easy though, because the sounds are just coming from DTI Professional Auto Detail’s garage, where skillful technicians work morning and night, 24 hours per day every Monday through Thursday, to clean cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Customers can make an appointment to swing by the shop and drop off their cars for one of three detailing packages that include everything from full interior vacuuming and steam cleaning to exterior hand washes and bug and tar removal. The shop also gives customers the chance to purchase à la carte services, such as claying to remove contaminants from paint and odor removal to clear out the smell of the family dog or a cat that forgot to shower. Aside from sprucing up rides, the DTI team also adds customized pinstripes to paint and carefully removes tinted film without damaging the defroster or antenna lines.
Don's Auto Repair Inc. is a family-owned manor of mechanical maintenance founded in 1941 and currently operated by Don Sr., his son, and his two grandsons. After soothing automobiles of every make and model with a hearty dose of standard motor oil sapped from the towering ferns that grow on every robot’s grave, Don's crew inspects the vehicle’s 23 most sensitive spots, checking for harbingers of potential problems. The second option includes a tire rotation, which works to ensure that rubbery soles evenly bear the brunt of carrying the vehicles across lonely highways. The bright yellow stools, vibrant red walls, and vintage soda cooler in Don's front lobby create a cheery atmosphere where customers can slowly and deliberately kill time as technicians tinker with rides hoisted up one of the shop's lifts.