Prime Star readies vehicles for winter with remote-starting systems so drivers don't have to fumble with their keys or deal with fogged-up windshields or ice-cold seats. Instead, they can start their cars with their smartphones from the warmth of their homes. Other deluxe services customers can have added to their autos include installing overhead and headrest screens so kids in the backseat will stay entertained, connecting MP3 players to the stereo system, and integrating a Bluetooth system so drivers can make hands-free phone calls.
Handling more than just the swap-out of your car's oily core, the Jiffy Lube Signature Service oil change comes standard with a fresh-from-the-box filter; a checking and filling of transmission, differential, power-steering, and windshield-washer fluids; and a detailed inspection of the antifreeze and coolant reservoirs, engine air-filtration system, serpentine belts, wiper blades, and exterior lights.
At Tuffy's, motor-vehicle caregivers spruce up patrons' horseless carriages and prepare them for a new season of dutiful service. After installing a new oil filter, auto artisans remove the old sludgy glop clogging the car's arterial system and replace it with up to five quarts of 5W-30 or 5W-20 conventional motor oil (a $31.99 value; diesel or synthetic oil costs extra). The staff will also rotate tires to prepare four-wheeled wonders for safe gliding (a $12 value) and perform an inspection to make sure air-conditioning systems are functioning properly to bring riders to the brink of coolness faster than Fonzie’s leather jacket ($9.99). Finally, a pair of fresh wiper blades (up to 22")—grown locally by organic-blade farmers—supplants worn-out window-rubbers ($22) and a specialist conducts an extensive 41-point maintenance inspection.
The experienced car coddlers at Todd Archer Hyundai drain and replace the liquid lifeblood of most auto makes and models during a 30-minute oil-change package. After auto ardents lubricate the parched car's desert-dry throat with up to 6 quarts of oil, they'll rotate its tires to even out wear and tear on its wheels and minimize bickering between tires about which bridge to take to get to the airport. Then, a car wash expels stubborn dirt and debris to leave the chassis beaming and shining. Finally, the mechanics comb the car in a complimentary multipoint inspection to confirm that it's a safe, highway-worthy vehicle and not just a horse and buggy with an AM/FM radio taped to the harness.
In 1979, at the age of 19, Peter Fink opened the first Certified Transmission in an abandoned gas station. He envisioned a business that would remanufacture, rather than rebuild, transmissions and Barbie Corvettes. Today, the company has grown to include 15 retail stores in four states and more than 400 employees. ASE-certified technicians, who must complete a 13-week training program before they can work by themselves, hand-disassemble transmissions and check each part, re-machining or replacing any parts not up to factory-new standards. Ongoing education keeps technicians’ skills up-to-date and sharper than Henry Ford's stainless-steel tongue. In a 2011 article in Manufacturing Today, Fink attributed his success to high quality standards and good business practices. These standards have not gone unnoticed; in 2005, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce presented Certified Transmission with an Excellence in Business award. Certified Transmission backs their work with an extensive warrantee.
Inside the 5,500-square-foot garage at Homan's Auto, ASE-certified technicians fiddle with engines and batteries while meticulous detailing crews scrub away dirt and grime from cars, boats, and RVs. Using diagnostic equipment, the skilled team sleuths out and repairs vehicular issues, from transmission troubles to chocolate syrup seeping into the engine. While the teams work, customers relax in the waiting area amid free WiFi and frothy cappuccinos, or they can hitch a ride to work or home aboard the free shuttle.