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.

“Rattle Rattle Thunder Clatter” – Sounds Your Car Is Making and What to Do About Them

Most of us have experienced a curious sound coming from our vehicle. It is always a little nerve-racking, as some sounds can be indicators of serious problems, while others have simple fixes. Responding appropriately to the sounds your car makes can prevent problems from worsening, thus saving you a significant amount of money. The following explains what each sound means and what you can do to get rid of it.

The first part of diagnosing a noise-related problem is to determine where it is originating. Then establish when the noise occurs and how your car behaves when the noise starts. Finally, take your car into a professional mechanic and explain what your car is experiencing.

Backfire loud bang– This can be caused by an uneven air-fuel mixture or incorrect engine timing (slipped timing belt).
Chirping or squealing while accelerating– Loose, slipping belts are typically the cause of such a sound.
Clicking or tapping in your engine– The most common reason for this sound is low oil. If your oil level is good, there could be a loss of oil pressure.
Flapping– This may be a belt that is decaying or something is interfering with one of the fans.
Hissing or sizzling under the hood– If you hear this right when the engine is turned off, something is probably leaking. Any fluid that leaks under the hood hisses or sizzles when it touches the hot equipment around it.
Humming or whirring under your car– This type of sound is difficult to pinpoint because of the echoes and reverberations of the parts underneath your vehicle. A mechanic will have to diagnose it.
Knocking in your engine– This can be caused by using an incorrect fuel or oil grade. Always be sure to follow the correct oil, gasoline, and tire air pressure guidelines in your owner’s manual.
Noise from the front end while steering– May indicate bearing failure or steering linkage wear.
Popping in your engine– Potential problems include a clogged fuel filter or ignition or spark plug problems, especially if the engine misfires with the pop.
Rattling from under your car– This can be caused by loose parts such as your exhaust system.
Squealing wheels while braking– Causes range from small, such as dirt on the brake pads or rotors, to serious, such as worn pads. Brake noises are safety issues and require immediate attention.
Scraping or grinding while braking– If the squealing has gotten worse and now sounds like a scraping sound, this means your brake pads are completely worn down or close to it. This causes damage each time you apply the brakes.
Thumping on hard acceleration– May be felt through the steering wheel or floor & can be caused by broken engine or transmission mounts.
Whining– This sound usually indicates excessive transmission wear.

Each of the sounds outlined above may indicate serious problems. By identifying the what, when, and where of the sound(s), you can have the right conversation with your mechanic and prevent a small problem from growing larger and more expensive.

Does anyone else remember the old “Rattle Rattle Thunder Clatter” commercials?

Find my Young Driver – New Tracking Technology and Possible Privacy Concerns

Have you ever wished you could control how fast your teen drives? Or could find out where they are REALLY going when they say they’re “going to a friend’s”? As automobile technology continues to advance, these types of features are appearing more and more in new vehicles. There are a few different systems, but they all allow some sort of added control and monitoring of the vehicle.

Ford MyKey – This is a vehicle security system that is contained in the key itself. As with most of these programs, it is targeted to parents looking to monitor their young driver(s). MyKey is now a standard feature in Ford models. It allows parents to control the speed of the vehicle and audio volume, mute audio when seatbelts are not buckled, and starting with the 2012 Ford Explorer, send all incoming calls and texts for later review.

Hyundai Blue Link – Hyundai’s Blue Link technology also offers parental control features. Geo-Fence allows parents to set geographic parameters for the vehicle that, if violated, will result in the parent being alerted. Curfew alerts and speed alerts are also offered, which warn parents when a set curfew or speed limit is surpassed. Blue Link is now available in all Hyundai vehicles.

OnStar Family Link – Created for parents who want to know where their young drivers go, Family Link provides a Vehicle Locate feature that tracks the vehicle at all times. By logging into the OnStar Family Link website, parents can see the real-time location of all the connected vehicles. They can also receive Vehicle Location Alerts via email or text at intervals of their choice that provide the location of each vehicle. Features such as speed monitoring or geo-fencing are not currently offered.

The response to these types of programs has been mixed. Ford has said its market research shows 75 percent of parents like speed and audio limits, but, as can be expected, 67 percent of teens find them intrusive. The technology has also been seen as a way to increase freedom for young drivers, since parents have more control over their safety than before. According to a survey by Harris Interactive, if using such technology would lead to greater driving privileges, only 36 percent of teens are against it. As with any privacy-related innovation, the tools have been cause for some backlash from young drivers and organizations interested in individual civil liberties. But for the most part people are finding the technology helpful and a way to keep their children safe…and who can argue with that?

How To Conserve Gas

With gas prices reaching record highs, it is helpful to practice a few simple approaches to conserving your vehicle’s gasoline intake.

Observe the speed limit – Gas mileage decreases significantly when travelling above 60-65 mph. Each 10 mph increase over this will result in a 10-15% increase in gas consumption.
Replace your air filter regularly – This is often overlooked, but when replaced on a regular basis, can be an effective way to conserve gas.
Maintain properly inflated tires – Tires that are not fully inflated to the recommended pressure require more gas.
Service your car – Components such as old spark plugs, old belts, and old oil cause your fuel economy to drop.
Take the route with the fewest stops – When feasible, plan to take a route that has less traffic and the least amount of stops.
Keep your car lightweight – Avoid overly heavy loads when possible, as weighed-down loads use more gas.
Use air conditioner sparingly – Roll down your windows instead of using the air conditioning in the summer. Running the air conditioner lowers your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Use the correct octane fuel for your car – Use the type of fuel your vehicle’s owner manual calls for.
Tighten the gas cap – Gasoline can evaporate out of your tank if the cap is not tightly sealed. The Car Care Council estimates 147 million gallons of gas per year are lost to evaporation.
Evenly accelerate – By avoiding heavy braking and acceleration, you can avoid wasting gas unnecessarily.
Use cruise control – Maintaining a constant speed typically saves gas, so use cruise control when on the highway.
Avoid unnecessary idling – Idling wastes gas, as it gets 0 miles per gallon.
Use overdrive gears – Cars’ engine speed goes down when using overdrive gearing, which saves gas and also reduces engine wear.

For further information, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.

2015 Crazy K

The fifth annual Crazy K, an obstacle based 5k race aimed to raise money for charities, took place on September 19, 2015 at the Champaign County Fairgrounds and Crystal Lake Park in Urbana, IL. The run, which over 60% of the participants’ entry fee is donated to the charity of their choice, over 40 charities this year. This year, there was the 5K race plus a kid zone full of fun adventures and a Kid’s Fun Run which began at 10 am.

This year’s Crazy K consisted of 22 obstacles; 23 obstacles were set up, but due to large amounts of rain, the creek flooded and eliminated the Creek Cross obstacle. New obstacles this year included a Stockyard Stampede, Mud Tarp Crawl, High Stepper, Spider Crawl, Water Slide, Muddy Trench, and many more.

Obstacles included: Hay Tower Bridge (pictured below on the left), Foam Soaker, “Champaign Telephone Co” Foam Dance Club, Stockyard Fit, Mud Tarp & Feather, Suspension Tunnels (pictured below on the right), Beach Crawl, Tractor Tires, Cannonball Hill, High Stepper, Tirade Bridge, Stairway to Heaven, Waterslide, Hammock Crawl, Fire Escape, Cargo Net Climb, Muddy Hill Crawl, Infield Obstacle Field, CarX Window, Plank Walk, Dumpster Pit, and Mud Pit.



There were 1,844 racers, which is up 200 racers from last year.


The event was hosted by Paul Farahvar. Entertainment included 90’s Daughter, Brat Pack, Chris Cavanaugh, and South of 80. Hot food and cold beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) were available throughout the day. There was a post-race party at 5 p.m which included live entertainment, beverages, and the announcement of winners.

The Car-X Crazy K’s very own Parham and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s alum Kevin Anderson Tennis joined the THE BRAT PACK on stage.

The amount of money raised is expected to be announced within the next two weeks! Check the Crazy K website at or the Crazy K facebook at

Car Seat Safety

Our children are our most valuable passengers, and require more care and precaution to ensure their safety. Unfortunately, 84% of child restraint systems are misused or installed incorrectly.

Suggestions for:

Children of all ages
•Children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat.
•Your child’s weight, height, and age should be used to select your car seat.
•Refer to both your vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manufacturer’s instructions when installing.
Register your child’s car seat with the manufacturer, and receive notification of defects and recalls.

Children age 1 and under
•Children under 12 months should ride in a car seat that is rear-facing.
-Infant-only: these car seats can only be installed as rear-facing.
-3-in-1: these car seats are convertible, and also tend to have higher weight and height requirements, allowing your child to be rear-facing for longer.

Children ages 1-3
•Children in this age range should stay in rear-facing car seats as long as they can. The American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests keeping toddlers in rear-facing seats until age 2.
•Once they outgrow the allowable limit, they are then ready for a forward-facing seat with a harness.

Children ages 4-7
•Children in this age range should stay in a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as they can.
•Once they outgrow the allowable limit, they are then ready for a booster seat.

Children ages 8-12
•Children in this age range should stay in a booster seat until they have grown enough to fit in a regular seat and seat belt properly.
•A properly fitted seat belt must fit closely across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should fit closely across the shoulder and chest.

For further information, see this Safe Kids USA checklist that covers each age range.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 3 out of 4 children are not as secure as they should be in their vehicles due to incorrectly installed car seats. Have a professional check yours to make sure you child is as safe as possible. There thousands of child car seat inspection stations across the country. To find one in your community, visit the NHTSA website. To view child restraint requirements by state, visit to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) website.

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

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
• Find the Google Places page for the location you would like to review
• Write a review using your Google account

• Find the Yelp page for the location you would like to review
• Write a review using your Yelp account

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.

Des Moines Car-X Tire & Auto Dealer wins Dealer of the Year

Des Moines, IA May 02, 2011 – Car-X Service Systems of Chicago recently announced that Mark and Julie Goldner have been named 2010 Regional Dealers of the Year. The Goldner’s own and operate the five Car-X Auto Service Centers in Des Moines and Ames. This is the 3nd year in a row that they have won this award. The prestigious award takes into consideration all aspects of owning and operating an auto service franchise.

Car-X Des Moines Company President, Mark Goldner, recently accepted the award at a meeting held in Chicago, Illinois. Goldner stated, “Winning this award for the second year in a row was an appreciated honor. It motivates me to raise the franchise goals even higher for 2011 and beyond.”

Mark Goldner Owner and Operator
Mr. Goldner started in the Auto Repair business in 1979 with Sears Auto in Des Moines, Iowa, as an ASE Certified Technician. In 1983, Mr. Goldner joined the Midas Auto Group as a Manager.

In 1988, Mr. Goldner partnered with Car-X Auto Service 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 to the current five locations.
Mark and Julie Goldner purchased the business in 2008 and has been operating and building the Car-X Auto Service brand in Des Moines and Ames, Iowa.
Mr. Goldner lives in Ankeny, Iowa and enjoys spending time with his wife, Julie, and two sons, Ezra and Caleb. Most of their spare time is spent watching their sons play Little League baseball, football, and basketball. As a family they also enjoy camping, along with, riding and watching motocross.

About Car-X Des Moines
Car-X Auto Service in Des Moines and Ames Iowa has been locally owned and operated since 1988. There are three Des Moines Car-X locations, 3632 Merle Hay Rd, 4001 E 14th, 3901 SE 14th, one location in Clive Ia. at 1400 NW 86th and a location at 429 S. Duff Ave in Ames Ia.