With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Tire & Auto has earned a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Started in 1971 by a team of seasoned muffler-shop owners, the service centers have blossomed from their beginnings as specialty exhaust shops to providers of nearly any repair or maintenance service imaginable, from installing performance-enhancing accessories to treating cars to therapeutic trust falls. In addition to promoting safety and long, healthy engine life with brake services and speedy oil changes, Car-X reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.
Royal Gate Dodge introduces drivers to gleaming stables of new and used Chryslers, Dodges, Jeeps, and Rams in Ellisville and Columbia, Illinois. Certified specialists stand ready at both dealerships to fix what ails a sluggish Dodge Avenger or to help a Jeep Patriot Sport remember the preamble to the Constitution. Car owners can drop off their injured autos six days a week at either service center—both are open six days a week, but the Ellisville shop closes later (11 p.m. Monday through Friday). The technicians in Ellisville also provide collision-repair services in a 14,000-square-foot facility equipped with computerized estimating systems, digital imaging, and year-round climate control.
Specializing in brakes, suspension, alignments, air conditioning, and drivability, Midtown Tire & Auto Service unleashes a team of ASE–certified technicians to ensure autos stay safe, straight, and stoppable. Mechanics can clear troubled exhaust systems, strengthen strained axles, or replace batteries drained of their juices. With a full stock of name-brand tires from Bridgestone, Firestone, and Goodyear, mechanics also pair passengers with new sets based upon size, shape, and preferred scratch-and-sniff scent. Midtown Tire & Auto Service cares for cars through dozens of other services, including cooling system maintenance and exhaust-system repair.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.
With more than 28 years of experience, Columbia Auto Repair owner Chuck Halpern lives by a simple mantra: get the job done right—the first time. His team of ASE-certified technicians keeps this in mind whenever they change oil, adjust brakes, or rebuild transmissions for all makes and models. Technicians also collaborate to cure errant alignment issues, de-bug difficult electronics, and perform state inspections to fend off the fine for noncompliance: one really gross wet willy.
For six decades, Lou Fusz’s savvy mechanicals have revived ailing autos with fresh fluids, tire care, and safety inspections that keep all components running at the same speed. Technicians rehydrate thirsty engines with a full dose of oil and lube (a $30 value). A new filter inoculates cars against oil-borne contaminants and other vehicular viruses, while windshields wipe their brows in relief with newly installed blades (a $34 value). After a team of trusty wheel-wranglers rotates tires to balance tread wear (a $15 value), a thorough safety check scrutinizes two dozen essential elements for signs of trouble, such as cracked casings or failed emissions tests stuffed into the undercarriage.