From modest beginnings in 1968, the family-owned-and-operated St. Lucie Battery & Tire has since expanded into a multilocation automotive empire where drivers can replace tires, revive batteries, and receive top-notch mechanical attention from ASE-certified technicians. A 45-minute lube, oil, and filter change drains the used sludge from assiduous engines and replenishes them with up to 5 quarts of fresh, premium-grade lubricant freshly milked by the oil-streaked hands of a gear maid. Meanwhile, they'll relieve a past-prime oil filter of its duty, making room for a resolute rookie who will more forcefully bar entry to rowdy or underage contaminants. To conclude engine pamperings, fluids are brought to the proper levels, tires are rotated, and 21-point safety inspection ensures that there are no obvious or dangerous flaws.
Road-weary cars emerge from CarPro Auto Spa of Stuart's full-service washes glowing and bereft of grime. During the Long Board car wash, cleaning agents lather atop exteriors while upward blasts of high-pressure water unravel underbody gunk, wheels and tires relinquish pre-chewed asphalt, and a power vacuum untangles birds’ nests made of old cassette tape. The Perfect Wave wash extends the suite of services with luster-blooming triple-shine protectants and clear-coat sealants before techs armor metals against oxidation with rust inhibitors and wipe down the dash and console. During the Big Kahuna wash, techs dress the interior, scrub jambs and cup holders, and apply weather-guard water repellents that repel precipitation or artillery from long-distance snowball fights.
A sea turtle proudly displays its intricately patterned shell. A stingray safely brushes its sleek skin against a child’s hand, grazing the top of a 10,000-gallon tank. A bird splashes into mangrove swamps to snatch fish. Sensory experiences like these occur on a regular basis at the 57-acre Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center on Hutchinson Island, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. As the headquarters for the nonprofit Florida Oceanographic Society, the center strives to both educate the public and inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems.
Among the center’s many activities, visitors can high-five crustaceans at the Sea Star Touch Tank Pavilion and watch a live feeding at the 750,000-gallon Game Fish Lagoon. Educational programs throughout the day explore the lives of sea turtles and explain how to identify local fish that refuse to wear nametags. Just past a colorful butterfly garden and aquariums at the Frances Langford Visitors Center, guests can find nature trails that wend through mangrove swamps and hardwood hammocks. Here, they can see the natural state of a bio-diverse estuary, along with endangered plants and animals that the Florida Oceanographic Society is striving to save through research as well as educational and restoration initiatives.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service Oil Change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car?it cools the motor and prevents moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) nurse vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube's savants perform air-filtration, brakes, electricity, and windshield services, among others. The technicians' quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, only complete a service after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Many young men follow in their father's footsteps, including Paradise Tire & Service’s mechanic Anthony. Inspired by his father Joe—an industry vet with nearly 50 years under his belt—Anthony became a mechanic himself. Now, with a seasoned service manager overseeing the garage and another ASE-certified mechanic on staff, the father-son duo repairs rides and maintains them with services such as oil changes, brake inspections, computerized engine analyses, and tire rotations. As the team works, guests can use the shop’s loaner cars, which, at midnight, turn back into pumpkins until the next mechanical service is needed.
Tilden Car Care began its life as a brake shop founded by Sydney G. Tilden in 1923. Nearly a century later, its staff still works on brakes, as well as cares for vehicles with a full spread of repair and maintenance services. The expert mechanics and technicians align tires, inspect vehicles for road safety, change oil, and thoroughly clear away dirt or barnacles clinging to the undercarriage. In addition, Tilden Car Care's professional detailing company Unique Auto Salon has been performing car detail work in South Florida for over 25 years.