Should your College Student Take their Car to School?

Back to school can be a time of big decisions for parents and students. One of the most difficult is whether or not to take a car away to college. Consider the following when making this decision:

• Responsible use – Has your child done his or her part in taking care of their vehicle so far? Have they driven safely and not had a problem with speeding tickets or accidents? Keep in mind the atmosphere of college inevitably means less supervision and more opportunities for poor decisions, so trust is a major factor.
• School policy – Colleges have varying policies on cars for students. Many universities don’t allow first-year students to bring cars to campus. If your student’s school does allow vehicles, the next thing to look into is parking. Will there be a nearby lot or deck they can park in, or will they have to park further away? If the parking area safe?
• Convenience to family – Does it make sense to the rest of the family that your student’s car be gone for semesters at a time? There could be younger siblings near or of driving age that may need the car.
• Jobs or internships – If your student has a part-time job or internship this fall, especially off-campus, then it is important they have a reliable means of transportation.
• Cost – Does your child have a way to pay for gas, parking permits, etc., or will you be covering that? Come up with a plan, such as you paying a certain percentage if your student maintains a certain GPA.
• Rules – Should you make the decision your student will take their car, establish some ground rules. Classmates will surely ask to borrow or drive the car at some point.
• Alternatives – Should you decide your student won’t take their car, there are several alternatives to having a car on campus to consider.

Spring Cleaning & Maintenance




Wash winter’s grit & road salt away and enjoy the Spring weather in your clean ride!

Spring cleaning checklist

Undercarriage flush With the onset of spring, all car owners should have their car’s undercarriage flushed.
De-grunge To remove grunge you need to wash your car with a strong detergent; most car wash solutions do not have the strength to cut through the dirt. Try a solution of 1 ounce of dish-washing detergent to 3 gallons of cool water to wash your car.
Clean and seal If your car’s paint feels rough, you need a cleaner. If your paint has scuffs and scratches, you need a heavier polish.
Treat If your car has a leather or vinyl interior, it needs to be treated before the onset of summer’s heat.
Dashboard Shine the dashboard with a clean fabric softener sheet. The antistatic elements will help repel dust from the dashboard.
Chrome & Windows To clean chrome & glass, sprinkle Baking Soda on a damp rag, scrub, & rinse clean.
Hubcaps To clean dirt & grime from hubcaps, spray with Scrubbing Bubbles cleaner. Let sit for 15 seconds and rinse clean.


Let us know how we’re doing

Have you found Car-X’s services to be a positive experience? Tell us why.

Hearing about the experiences of our patrons is something we value. Reviews and feedback are important to us because they help us tailor the way we do business around our customers’ needs. Without this, we are unable to improve what isn’t working, and reinforce what is.

Our over 40 years of experience would not have been possible without our customers. Please let us know how we are doing. We want to recognize our outstanding mechanics, managers, and other employees. Leave us a review on Google Places or Yelp, or send us a note- we look forward to hearing from you.

Google Places
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Send a note to any shop and/or our corporate office:
Car-X Customer Service
1375 E. Woodfield Rd., Ste. 500
Schaumburg, IL 60173

If you have a negative experience at a Car-X location, please contact our customer service team at 800-359-2359, extension 2424, so we can help you as quickly as possible.

Texting while Driving – What you can do to Help

We continue to see staggering statistics about texting while driving. A new study conducted by Consumer Reports found eight in ten young drivers admit to talking or texting on their phone while driving. Furthermore, 5,000 people die each year from distracted driving in the United States alone. Studies show texting while driving can impair a driver similarly to being legally intoxicated.

The Consumer Reports study found that forty-eight percent of the young drivers surveyed said they had seen a parent talking on a cell phone while driving and 15 percent said they had seen a parent texting on a cell phone while driving within the last month.

The survey also found that parental and peer pressure can have a genuine influence on such behavior, such as peer passengers asking the driver to delay using a cell phone until they’re done driving. The takeaway from this study is that parents have a greater role than they realize in setting an example for their children’s driving behavior. Additionally, we can all do our part as a passenger to politely ask the driver to hold off on texting or calling while behind the wheel.

At Car-X we recognize the serious danger that comes from texting while driving, which is why Car-X of Champaign teamed up with No Text Illinois. The new program is meant to get all Illinois drivers to pledge never to text while driving. Help us put the brakes on texting and driving. Take the pledge here.

The Kindness of Strangers

We are proud to share the following letter from customer, Atlas Laster, about an experience he had at the Kirkwood, Missouri Car-X location.

Car-X is Pleased to Announce the Opening of a New Car-X Store in Ankeny, Iowa


SCHAUMBURG, IL – Roger W. Hill, President and CEO of Car-X, announced the opening of a new store in Ankeny, Iowa. Mark Goldner, the Des Moines franchisee opened his seventh Car-X Tire and Auto location in Ankeny on September 22, 2014.

The new Ankeny store located at 2105 South Ankeny Boulevard and has 10 bays. The service center will be open Monday thru Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and accepts appointments. The phone number is 515-964-1155. Car-X Tire and Auto repairs all makes and models, including diesel and hybrid vehicles.

“Mark is one of our visionary franchisees providing outstanding customer service,” said Rich Brayer, VP Marketing – “he has a 26 year history of great performance at Car-X.”

In 1988, Mr. Goldner partnered with Car-X Tire and Auto in Des Moines as Store Manager and Inventory Manager. As the business grew, he moved into a Supervisor role where he helped to grow the business. Mr. Goldner and his wife purchased the business in 2008 and have been operating and building the Car-X Tire and Auto brand to the seven locations in Des Moines, Ames, and now in Ankeny, Iowa ever since.

Car-X has over 40 years of experience and is known for its great customer service by providing products and services that help your car or truck perform at its best. Car-X offers complete auto maintenance services, from regular tune-ups to emergency repairs, timing belts to hoses to brakes – Car-X does everything in, on and under your car.

So “Don’t Worry Call the Car-X Man.”

Car-X Tire and Auto was founded in 1971 by a group of enterprising and experienced muffler shop owners. During the early years, Car-X was primarily an exhaust specialist. But today, in our 24/7 non-stop, fast paced world, we’ve adapted to providing just about any automotive repair you can imagine. We continue to evaluate our position and business and add products and services that are comparable to today’s auto repair climate.

Car-X Tire and Auto has 149 locations and has built a reputation on exceptional customer satisfaction

For additional information, contact Rich Brayer, at Direct Line: 847-273-8934 or

Muddy but Fun – the CarX Crazy K

How to describe the fun CarX Crazy K race yesterday? Yes, it was fun. Yes, it was a bit challenging. Yes, I fell during the obstacles. Yes, I fell into a big hole of muddy water. Yes, it was hot, hot, hot.

Did I mention it was crazy? I remember thinking exactly that as I ran through the course and its obstacles.

The race proceeds go to local charities, and it’s an event sure to be repeated in future years.

The details – a 5K course that wound through the county fairgrounds – mainly through grassy fields, across creeks, up and down hilly terrain, with the last half mile on the grandstand’s track. The obstacles (and my experience):

  1. Sprinkler alley – refreshing until I almost lost a contact lens while being sprayed directly the face
  2. Plank Walk – walk across logs over a big pit of water. I chose the skinniest log and almost fell off.
  3. CarX Wall – A 4 foot high wall. I strained my left leg going over this thing.
  4. Tirade – a sea of tires. I planned to run these, but I didn’t step carefully into the first tire and fell down. Scott said he would have burst out laughing if he wasn’t “so focused” on the race.
  5. Hurdles – 10 – 2 foot high hurdles. After my tire episode, I knew I had to walk over these. It was a good time to drink some water.
  6. Tunnels – crawl through 3 foot high tunnels. I have a scraped back because I refused to crawl through on my hands and knees.
  7. Muddy Hill Climb – at mile 2.6, this was slippery and steep. I almost fell several times. Caked with mud, my shoes were now 5 pounds heavier.
  8. Hay Maker – Climb over large hay bales. I am way short for this sort of obstacle, but managed to get over it.
  9. Slip-N-Slide Car Wash – This was the most fun – a slip and slide covered with foam. Sure, you landed in a big puddle on the bottom, but it was fun.
  10. Muddy Crawl – The last obstacle – a watery, muddy pit, about 2 feet deep. I slipped at the edge and fell in. I sloshed through and up over the muddy bank and ran to the finish line, shoes full of rocks, water and mud.

Our team – the couples we visited Vegas with last November (proving we are a motley crew) and another couple, Dave and Anne. I’m waiting on a copy of the group picture a non-running friend took, but here are several of our team walking towards the starting gate:
Heading Into the Arena

Scott finishing the race:
Scott Finishes

Amy and Anne coming out of the Muddy Pit:
Spray Off the Mud

Jeff and Lisa, so cute as they end the race holding hands:
Finishing Hand in Hand

And the ladies from our team – proving we are a strong group to complete the race:

Oh yeah, I wore a costume – an old cave girl costume I’ve had since college. I’ve put it out for sale at the garage sale for the past 5 years. I guess it’s never sold because I was destined to wear it again. Maybe this is a new tradition for me – run the future Crazy 5K wearing the same outfit…..

Reprinted with permission from guest blogger Shirley LeMay

Sunday, August 28, 2011 –  , , , , ,

10 Tips for Traveling with Children

Traveling with children means balancing safety with sanity. You might want to crawl into the backseat to prove how serious you are about that “drop you on the side of the road if you do that one more time” threat. But then, you’re driving, so… maybe that’s not such a great idea.



Here are a few great ideas that will help you keep yourself calm and keep your car safely on the road.


1. Customize your emergency car kit with kid-friendly items.

This is a safety matter, of course; you should always have an emergency car kit in your car, especially on trips out of town. Purchase one pre-made or create your own emergency kit with supplies like jumper cables, a first aid kit, and some non-perishable food items and bottled water.

If you’re traveling with kids, add in a few extras to keep your kids happy and safe: diapers and wet wipes, an extra of a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, a change of clothes, important medications.

2. Keep a snack bag in the car.

There are two keys to a successful travel snack bag: first, choose your snacks carefully. Think car-friendly, non-messy items. As a general rule, avoid chocolate, crumbly items, and anything with filling. The second key is to dole the snacks out over time. Wait until boredom starts to set in. It’s not healthy to use food as a distraction most of the time, but when you’re all stuck in the car, it’s a tool in your sanity saver toolbox.

3. Keep a toy bag in the car.

Follow the same concept as the travel snack bag by stocking up on and doling out new toys as you hit points of boredom and fussiness. Shop the dollar store or any clearance sales, forget small stuff, nothing that requires assembly or batteries or help from Mom. Pass them out as needed, one at a time.

4. Make sure your car seats are installed properly.

Check cables, buckles, and car seat installation before you load up the kids and pull out of the driveway. This is a matter of both safety and sanity, as a toddler free to roam around the backseat is definitely a danger.

5. Plan stops along the way.

For trips over a couple of hours, take a little time to do some research online about state parks, landmarks, and towns you’ll be passing through. Plan to stop somewhere every couple of hours or so; it will do the kids good to get out and stretch their legs, and you’ll be refreshed and ready to drive again after a break.

6. Get the kids involved.

Even very small children can be on the look-out for big trucks or green cars. Give kids something to look for and let them earn a point for each item they find; reward them with a snack or a new toy when they earn 5 or 10 points.

For older kids, having a map and a guidebook handy helps them to get involved with what they’re seeing along the way.

7. Take kid-friendly music and books on cd for the ride.

When the games get old and everyone is getting a little tired, put in a cd of kid-friendly music; make it something they can enjoy singing along with, or opt for a book on cd instead. Everyone can get caught up in a good story and it makes the miles pass quickly. If you think it through ahead of time, your kids can pick out music and books on cd from the library and look forward to getting to hear their own choices.

8. Create a “travel kid kit” for each child.

A travel kid kit should have some special toys and activities, not necessarily new but something they enjoy. Kids can help put these together the day before you leave. Add in a few extras, such as a couple of books to look at, and include a sturdy surface (such as a lap desk) and some drawing supplies.

9. Be non-negotiable on car rules.

Seat belts stay buckled, no one plays with the door handles or locks, no yelling or screaming: set some rules in stone for your car trips and be non-negotiable. It’s not a matter of preference, it’s a matter of safety. Be very clear on the consequences and follow through if needed.

10. Get your car maintained & tuned up before you leave.

Don’t start off on an anticipated trip just to end up on the side of the road, or stranded in a little town halfway to your destination. Plan for travel success by taking your car in for an oil change, inspection, and tune-up a couple of weeks before you plan to leave. Be sure to have the mechanics check the tires, alignment, brakes, and battery so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises while you travel.


Traveling with kids is still a challenge, but it can be much better with a little preparation and a few tricks up your sleeve.