Drive & Shine has the cure for your Winter Blues

Drive & Shine might have the answer to all of that winter grime that’s been building up inside and outside your vehicle the past several weeks.

After months of construction, the local chain has opened a self-service vacuuming facility adjacent to its newest wash at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend. It offers customers the ability to clean the inside of their vehicles in a climate-controlled environment and away from snow, rain, wind, or cold temperatures

But instead of just offering vacuums, the new facility also provides a mat-cleaning machine at each of the 22 bays as well as an air hose that can be used to dislodge interior dust or blow away water that might be hiding around mirrors and other crevices following a wash.

“It’s going to allow customers the ability to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer while cleaning their cars,” said Matt Tehrani, vice president of technology and new product development for the locally-based business.

Haji Tehrani, CEO and president of the company, got the idea for the indoor facility during his travels as board chairman of the International Carwash Association. In Germany, he explained, motorists can be pretty particular about their vehicles, and many people like to do the work themselves.

Though Drive & Shine offers detailing services at a most of its area locations, the newest South Bend location offers the self-service option for those just want to do the work themselves.

For an additional $5, any wash customer can use the equipment for 15 minutes, but it’s free for those who are enrolled in the unlimited Ruby program. That’s because Drive & Shine is always looking for ways to expand relationships with customers by offering discounts and other incentives for those enrolled in its unlimited wash programs.

This location also uses a belt instead of the traditional conveyor to move vehicles through the wash.  Unlike other washes, it moves a conveyor for moving of the vehicles through the tunnel.  This allows very short profile vehicles to get a wash without the worry of the 4” clearance needed at other locations

Matt Tehrani said he believes the new wash will ultimately draw customers from a wide circle because of the new indoor facility as well as its proximity to U.S. 31 and the Bypass. “I don’t know of another such facility in Indiana,” he said.

The South Bend opening is the latest expansion for Drive & Shine, which just recently opened a detailing center at its original location at 5406 N. Main St. and has more ideas in the works.

“Our goal is to never stop improving,” said Haji Tehrani, who started the business more than 20 years ago. “We’re always looking for new concepts to wow our customers.”


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Our Goal is to Never Stop Improving

Since its opening in Mishawaka more than 20 years ago, Drive & Shine has always sought to build long-term relationships with its customers.  Mission accomplished in the South Bend region, as we have been voted #1 for 21 years in a row- said Haji Tehrani the chain’s CEO and president.

An engineer and auto enthusiast, Tehrani wanted to start his own business so he set out to duplicate the best attributes of the upscale car washes he visited while traveling across the country.

His first location at 5406 N. Main St. in Mishawaka was built of brick and was considerably longer than other washes in the area to ensure the most gentle and thorough cleaning.

It offered amenities such as interior cleaning, detailing and oil changes for the convenience of customers, and Tehrani sought out the best people he could find, recognizing that an impressive wash wouldn’t overcome the experience its employees left the customer with.

The business model worked, and Drive & Shine continued to expand throughout the region, employing those and other ideas Tehrani saw while traveling in the U.S. and beyond as board chairman of the International Carwash Association.

In order to develop long term relationships with its customers, the business introduced its unlimited VIP Club which allows customers to wash their cars an unlimited number of times each month if they join their VIP program for as little as $20 a month.

We even have a dedicated lane for our VIP customers to reduce wait times, said Sherry Tehrani, VP of marketing

All of those principals were employed at Drive & Shine’s seventh location, which opened recently at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend. The $7 million project features a 200-foot wash tunnel that employs the same gentle materials and cleaning agents used at the other locations.

But there are a few important twists.

“It has an extremely advanced car-wash conveyor,” said Matthew Tehrani, vice president of technology and new product development. “It will wash cars to perfection at a pace of 200 per hour, making wait time a thing of the past.”

But just as importantly, the new wash includes a predominantly glass 20,000-square-foot operation that  offers it’s VIP members FREE vacuuming in the climate controlled building where they can sweep their cars, use air hoses to blow off any water that might have been trapped in the outside mirrors.

Each of the 20 vacuum bays also includes a dedicated mat-cleaning station, and will also available to non-VIP members using the wash for an additional $5 fee.

 Tehrani got the idea for indoor self-service vacuum stations in Germany where motorists can be fanatical about keeping their vehicles clean and tidy. Some of the design elements of this new location incorporate concepts Tehrani saw at auto dealerships Tehrani visited in various places in the world.  Everyone wants to know what is going to be built on the second floor- he said laughingly- saying that we want to leave our customers with many reasons to chose us as their favorite car care center.

“Our goal is to never stop improving, to always look for new ideas we can bring to the market,” he said.


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Winter is Here and the Holidays are on the way!

OK, you had your warning.

With the wet leaves all over the streets and the sloppy white stuff already falling, it’s time to consider getting into a program that assures that your vehicle will get through winter with no damage from the salt and other crud that’s kicked up.

Drive & Shine, which provides the largest footprint in the area with six locations and a seventh ready to open soon at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend, is offering discounted coupon books for the holidays as well as gift cards and its spectacular unlimited wash program.

As an incentive to purchase a coupon book, Drive & Shine always provides an extra wash with purchase. Through the end of the year, however, the business is providing two additional Ruby or Diamond washes – its two best – with the purchase of one of those books.

“They’re very popular as stocking stuffers,” said Sherry Hocking Tehrani, director of marketing for Drive & Shine and co-owner of the business. “Car washes make for great gifts that you know will be used.”

But beyond the coupon books, Drive & Shine also offers gift cards ranging from $25 to $500 that can be used for car washes or other services offered by the business such as detailing and oil changes, said Tehrani.

And its unlimited wash program allows customers to wash the same car daily for as low as 19.99 a month, said Tehrani, adding that there are nice incentives for those who enter into this no contract unlimited wash program with Drive & Shine.

Unlimited customers also have the equivalent of a fast-pass at an amusement park since Drive & Shine has special lanes to get them in and out as quickly as possible, said Tehrani, adding that little extra can save a lot of time on those days when lines can get long.

Services can be purchased online or at Drive & Shine locations, said Tehrani.

“We’re not trying to be the least expensive car wash,” said Tehrani. “We aim to offer speed, convenience and top-quality services.”

Since its founding back in 1997, Drive & Shine has always sought to separate itself with the quality of its services and its employees. Drive & Shine tunnels, for example, are typically much longer than other car washes because it uses only biodegradable soaps and soft foam-like materials to ensure there is no damage to the paint, glass and seals on a vehicle,” said Matthew Tehrani, a chemical engineer who focuses on the technology and chemistry division of the family business.

Meanwhile, Haji Tehrani, founder of the business, continues to travel to fulfil his duties as president of the International Carwash Association and to look for new ideas to bring back to the Michiana area. “Our focus will always be on providing the highest-quality, highest value service for our customers,” he explained.


Drive & Shine Founded: 1997

Locations: 5406 N. Main St., Mishawaka, 2714 Cassopolis St., Elkhart; 400 N. Nappanee St. (limited services); 4340 Ironwood Drive, South Bend; 1350 U.S. 41 N, Schererville; and opening soon at 4035 S. Michigan St., South Bend.

Employees: About 100

Online: or


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Not All Car Washes are Created Equal


Not all car washes are created equal, according to the owners of locally based Drive & Shine.

Since its founding by Haji Tehrani back in 1997, Drive & Shine has sought to separate itself from other car washes by the appearance of its buildings, the courtesy of its employees and the quality of its services.

Tehrani was working as an engineer for a company in the region but always wanted to operate his own business, said his wife Sherry Hocking Tehrani, director of marketing for Drive & Shine. Always a car lover, he had an idea to replicate some of the upscale washes he had seen while living on the East Coast.

Tehrani attended conventions and visited other cities before building his first location in Mishawaka. Since that start, the business has grown to five locations with a sixth ready to open soon at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend.

But far from being content with its current footprint, Drive & Shine continues to look for new locations where it believes the Drive & Shine difference will be embraced by customers who want more from a car wash.

Sherry Tehrani said her husband, who serves as board president of the International Car Wash Association, continues to travel looking for the latest technology and trends to incorporate into the business. Their son, Matthew, who is Notre Dame chemical engineering graduate runs the technology and chemistry division of the chain. 

When choosing a car wash, consumers should consider the length of the cleaning tunnel said Matthew. The tunnels at Drive & Shine approach 200 feet and might contain nearly $1 million in cleaning equipment, she said.

The extra length and cleaning equipment means that Drive & Shine can use extremely gentle foam-like materials and biodegradable soaps to clean every corner of a vehicle without damaging the car or the environment, Matthew explained.

Over time, the harsh treatment at a smaller wash that uses cloth and cheap acidic soap will translate into damage to the paint, glass and seals on a vehicle, said Matthew, adding that Drive & Shine always seeks to minimize its environmental impact.

Besides using biodegradable soaps, Drive & Shine also has been recognized by the Carwash Association for its effort to reduce water usage. At locations with oil-change operations, waste oil is recycled to heat the buildings in the winter months.

Drive & Shine also offers a starting wage of $12 an hour so that it can hire and retain the best people that it can find to interact with its customers, said Tehrani, adding that some employees have been with the company almost from the beginning.

Though Drive & Shine separates itself by offering the “we-do-it-all for you” concept at most locations, some of the newest ones – such as the one on South Michigan will offer washes that allow customers to vacuum their own vehicles.

“The one thing that customers can always expect is a high-quality, high-value service that’s second to none,” Tehrani said.


Drive & Shine

Founded: 1997

Locations: 5406 N. Main St., Mishawaka, 2714 Cassopolis St., Elkhart; 400 N. Nappanee St. (limited services); 4340 Ironwood Drive, South Bend; 1350 U.S. 41 N, Schererville; and opening soon at 4035 S. Michigan St., South Bend.

Employees: About 100

Online: or


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Car Appearance Maintenance made Easy!

Love your car? Of course! It is typically the second biggest investment that each person makes behind housing. How do you keep it looking new as father time puts it to the test? Here’s a list of 5 things to do to keep your car in mint-condition. Brought to you by your friends at Drive & Shine

  1. Regular Car Washes (about every 4 days) and window cleaning

Regular washing helps keep your vehicles paint clean from bug guts, bird poop, brake dust, and other contaminants that can etch your paint which can lead to rust, paint chips, and etching of the finish. Regular washing also keeps your exterior windows clean for a safe field of view. Make sure to keep the inside windows clean as well! Make sure to use car-friendly window cleaner as some are not safe for using on vehicles.

  1. Contaminant removal (if necessary)

While regular car washing will help to keep your exterior free from contaminants, there are some things that the carwash will not be able to remove. Tar, brake dust, overspray, and hard water spots can cause permanent damage to your vehicle if not attended to. Run your hand along your clean vehicles side panels (behind the wheels and both bumpers is where it gets the worst) or use a light to see all of the contaminants on your paint. Contaminant removal clears up the clear’ coats surface to prepare for immediate waxing.

  1. Waxing

Waxing creates a barrier between your clear coat/paint and the elements. Depending on the quality, waxes can last anywhere from a few days up to years’ worth of protection after a single application. Running the back of your hand against the vehicle or pouring a bit of water onto the side of the vehicle are a couple of ways to check your level of protection. A well-protected vehicle will make your hand glide across the surface with ease and water will bead up and not dry up onto the paints finish. An under-protected vehicle will cause your hand to get “caught” on the paint and water will dry up onto the finish. Waxing protects your paint from damaging, helps resist the elements, helps cover up scratches (mostly minor), restores shine, scratch protection, and most importantly, keeps your car looking good.

  1. Conditioning

Notice all the plastic/vinyl/rubber/leather on/in your vehicle. Is it as glossy and smooth as it once was? If not, your vinyl/leather is likely drying out. This can lead to discoloration, cracks, tears, and permanent fading. Conditioning keeps the vinyl/leather moisturized to help maintain its condition. Purchasing sun shades and tint can also help keep your interior cooler and put less stress on the interior of the vehicle. Conditioning is usually the most over-looked aspect of car appearance.

  1. Carpet/interior cleaning

While regular vacuuming should help keep your car free of most stains accidents do happen. If a spill/accident happens make sure to tend to it A.S.A.P. this will give you the best chances of preventing the stain from setting and potentially becoming permanent. Vinyl mats are a must for winter time or any situations in which your shoes are wet.

These are 5 appearance tips to keep your car looking new. If you would like Drive & Shine to keep your car looking new, listed below is each of our full service locations. We provide car washes, oil changes, and detailing under one roof. Call or stop by today! No appointments necessary.


Drive & Shine Schererville    Drive & Shine South Bend     Drive & Shin Mishawaka
1350 US 41 North                   4340 Ironwood Drive            5406 N. Main Street
Schererville, IN 46375           South Bend, IN 46614             Mishawaka, IN 46545
Tel: (219) 865-7788                Tel: (574) 291-7788                 Tel: (574) 271-7788

Drive & Shine Elkhart            Drive & Shine Elkhart Exterior Only
2714 Cassopolis St.                400 N. Nappanee
Elkhart, IN 46514                   Elkhart, IN 46514
Tel: (574) 296-7788                Tel: (574) 389-7788


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How to help your Car beat the heat this summer.

Do you know if your vehicle is summer ready? Have you taken good enough care of your car since winter? Can your vehicle handle an impromptu road trip and all the stop and go traffic that comes with it? Here’s an extensive list we have created for you, at Drive & Shine, to help keep you and your vehicle safe from the drastic change in weather during the summer months. If you have any uncertainty with these tips, visit a service center or a mechanic to make sure your vehicle is taken care of.

Keep Fluids Filled

While your engine is used to getting hot, too much heat can cause serious issues without the right care (Lampe). “Oil helps keep your engine lubricated, which reduces friction (and heat buildup) under your hood” (Guerin). When your engine gets extra-hot, it uses extra lubrication to compensate. This makes it vital to check your oil level, make sure it is filled, and perform routine oil changes to prevent any overheating or engine failure. Frequently replacing your oil filter, with every oil change, will help filter out debris that has managed to enter the oil system much more efficiently than using the same filter for extended periods of time (Firestone Complete Auto).

- Oil is not the only fluid you need to keep an eye on. Make sure your coolant, transmission, power steering, and washer fluids stay at the “fill” level as they will evaporate or are used at a faster rate under the high heats of the summer. Have the fluids checked and properly flushed (as necessary) to prevent any overheating or major damages to the system.

Keep it Clean and protected

Driving with a dirty windshield can obstruct your field of view, sometimes making it nearly impossible to see. Conditions worsen over time as the grime accumulates, so make sure to have your windshields cleaned regularly.

                -Wash your car it is the most cost-effective means of maintaining your vehicles appearance.

                -Use a quality wax  it will help protect your vehicles clear-coat from the sun’s rays and any other contaminants. You may want to consider a getting a clay bar if your vehicle has any preexisting contaminants (most vehicles do). This will ensure that the wax is protecting the clearcoat and not sealing any brake-dust, tar, or overspray to the vehicle’s clear-coat. You can test to see if you have contaminants by running your hand along the side of the vehicle’s paint job, directly behind your tires is where they tend to accumulate.

-Check your wiper-blades for those rainy days- the streaks or missed spots caused by worn wipers can also obstruct your vision while driving.

Check your tires

The last thing you need on that road trip is a flat tire.

                -Make sure your tires are: at a safe level of tread, inflated properly, and are free of any nails or bubbles that could cause a flat. If your tires have a tread of 4/32nds of an inch or less, then you should consider getting some new tires. You can use “the quarter test” to make sure your tires are ready for replacement. Grab a quarter, turn the Washington side face down, and if you can see the top of his head with the quarter touching the tire in between the grooves of the tread, it is time to look at a new set of wheels (Tire Buyer). This will help reduce your stopping time when braking suddenly.

Don’t forget about your spare tire! While we hope that you never need to use it, it can be useless to you if it is underinflated, missing, or heavily damaged.

-Rotate the tires Perform recommended tire-rotations every 5,000 miles to help evenly distribute the amount of tread lost and prolong the life of the tires.

Keep it Cool

When it gets hot outside, your vehicle is working extra hard to maintain its temperature in the cockpit, and in the engine.

                -Have your Air Conditioning unit checked to make sure that your vehicle stays cold inside while outside temperatures are at their peak. Even if you can bear the heat with the windows down, The belt powering you’re a/c could be connected to other parts of your engine. “Ignoring a weak AC could actually cause your engine to overheat” (Guerin).

-See if your cabin air filter needs replacement, only some vehicles have these, which filters the air that enters your vehicle through the ventilation system. These get clogged with debris over time and need to be replaced (we recommend replacing them about every 10,000 miles). A properly functioning cabin air filter increases you’re Air conditioning unit’s efficiency (Lampe).

-Get a sunshade for your front windshield and even your rear windshield to help keep your cockpit cool and to prevent your interior from fading from the sun’s rays.

Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Indiana, Mishawaka, Indiana, South Bend, Indiana, Granger, Indiana and Schererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof and you never need an appointment for any of our services. We are known for being the premium customer focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us number 1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business - an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day. 

If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.


Works Cited


Firestone Complete Auto. 6 Essential Summer Car Care Tips. 10 May 2017. Web. 1 May 2018.

Gallagher, Ryan. Summer Car Tips: Helping Your Vehicle Survive Extreme Heat. 14 August 2017. 29 April 2018.

Guerin, Jessica. Summer Car Maintenance: Your Car Needs You Now More Than Ever. n.d. web. 30 April 2018.

Lampe, Blair. Is Car Performance Affected By Warmer Weather? 3 July 2017. Web. 2018 1 May.

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer. n.d. Web. 1 May 2018.

Pro-Car Mechanics. Is Your Car Ready For This Summer? 2016. Web. 30 April 2018.

Ryan, Colin. 10 Simple Summer Car Care Tips. July 2017. 1 May 2018.

Tire Buyer. How To Know If You Have Bald Tires. n.d. Web. 30 April 2018.


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It's the Perfect Time for a Professional Detail!

 Spring has almost arrived and this time of year we all have that urge to freshen up our spaces from the long, hard winter.  While you’re making your cleaning to-do list – be sure to include your ride.  According to a  U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey , the average American spends over 100 hours a year in their car.    

Here are 6 reasons a thorough cleaning is probably in order: 

  1. Road Salt. While we appreciate the road-clearing job road salt does on the snow, it’s wreaking havoc on your vehicle. It gets stuck in wheel wells and under the chassis putting your car at risk for rust. Not only does it assault the exterior of your vehicle, it also gets tracked in causing irreversible damage to mats and carpets. While a trip through the Drive & Shine car wash will help, a more in depth cleaning is in order.
  2. Paint Health. Cleaning, polishing, and waxing greatly increases the lifetime of your car’s paint. The paint and clear coat are there to protect the metal underneath. Keeping those protective layers in top shape will prolong the life of your vehicle.
  3. Interior Condition. Regular cleaning and conditioning of your interior vinyl and leather prevents cracking, fading and discoloration of your dash and seats.
  4. Germ Elimination. A deep scrub will do wonders for eliminating allergens and contaminants that are lurking on surfaces and circulating through the vents of your vehicle.
  5. Cosmetic. Hello gorgeous. Every drive is more enjoyable when you’re in a shiny, clean car.
  6. Resale value. Cars are an investment. We all know getting regular oil changes is a must for proper maintenance. Detailing is just as important to keeping your car in the best shape possible and one of the most cost effective ways of maintaining your car’s value. A clean car will fetch up to 20% more in a private sale or trade in.


Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Indiana, Mishawaka, Indiana, South Bend, Indiana, Granger, Indiana and Schererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof and you never need an appointment for any of our services. We are known for being the premium customer focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us number 1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business - an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day. 

If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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Auto Care: An Easy Resolution That Makes Financial Sense


With the cost of a new vehicle on the rise, caring for your current vehicle is an easy new year’s resolution to keep, making more economic sense than purchasing a new one.

“During the holiday season, many people bust the budget and then resolve to save money in the coming year,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Many resolutions quickly go by the wayside, but it’s an easy decision to keep your current vehicle and maintain it at recommended intervals. Auto care makes financial sense, protecting the trade-in value and postponing the sting of new car prices.”

While the average price of a new passenger vehicle has risen to nearly $34,000 according to Kelley Blue Book, IHS Markit reports that the average vehicle age is now 11.6 years. The good news for car owners is that today’s vehicles are lasting longer than ever before and by following three simple auto care tips, they can protect their vehicle investment and address minor issues before they become more complicated, expensive repairs.

Regular Maintenance is Key. The best way to ensure a vehicle’s longevity is to observe a regular service schedule. Keep up with fluid and filter changes, tire checks and other routine maintenance. Over time, some car parts and components wear out or become damaged, so the smart investment is to replace these typical wear items before long-term damage ensues. A regular maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual can keep you on track. 

Heed the Warning Signs. Vehicles have ways of communicating that trouble may be on the horizon. Illuminated dashboard warning lights, such as the check engine light, indicate that key vehicle systems need inspection as soon as possible. Pay attention to any new or unusual vehicle sounds, such as squealing, thumping, hissing or grinding as they can indicate a problem. Unusual smells, such as burnt rubber, hot oil, gasoline, rotten eggs, burning carpet or the sweet smell of syrup can also indicate a serious problem.

Keep It Clean. Washing and waxing a vehicle on a regular basis protects its value. A thorough cleaning inside and out prevents the buildup of dirt and damaging chemicals that can harm the finish, reduces the potential for rust from road salt, and ensures proper visibility needed for safe driving.



Drive & Shine Car Wash, Unlimited Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Schererville Indiana facilities combine Express Car Washes, Full Service Car Washes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Change Services all under one roof. You never need an appointment! Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business. If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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Our Biggest Sale of the Year!

Our biggest sale of the year is going on now!

With winter on the horizon, there is no better time than now to get huge savings on our best car washes.

Stock up and save or pick up the perfect gift for anyone on your list this season.

Now through December 31, buy 4 washes, get 2 free! 

Ruby/Interior includes: Our state of the art Nano clean and Nano wax technology, underbody wash, wheel bright, tire dressing, polisher, protectant, vacuum  the carpet and all mats, and interior windows. 

Ruby wash includes: Our state of the art Nano technology, underbody wash, wheel bright, tire dressing, polisher and protectant.

Diamond wash includes: Underbody wash, tire dressing, wheel bright, polisher and protectant.


Stop by any Drive & Shine location today to stock up and save or for the gift every one wants this holiday season!


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Are Car Washes safe for your vehicle?

Are Car Washes safe for your vehicle?

People LOVE their cars and the freedom and independence they have come to represent.  So are automatic car washes, that save time and hassle, safe for your car?.  Of course they are!  Not all car washes are created equal or equally maintained but with new technology and modern car wash engineering and design, automatic car washes are safer than ever before.

Automatic car washes are safer for your car's finish than washing your car yourself.  Do-it-yourselfers sometimes don't use enough water to safely remove dirt; or they wash the car in direct sunlight -- which can burn spots in the paint. They use the wrong type of soap -- such as dishwashing detergent, which removes protective wax and leaves a chalky residue on the finish. Any one of several common mistakes can end up doing more harm than good.

Keeping your car clean and the finish looking good can also mean higher resale value when it comes time to get a new car. All else being equal, a car with faded paint and a dingy overall look sells for 10-20 percent less than an otherwise identical vehicle that just looks nicer.

Car wash materials and cleaning instruments have changed with time and today damage is virtually unheard of. Well-maintained car washes have a number of safeguards in place to prevent swirl marks or customer damage.  Advancements have been made in water filtration, detergent application, high pressure washing, and in the friction cleaning material in particular.  Modern car washes, like Drive & Shine, use a closed cell foam material or highly engineered cloth made from densely woven cotton or polyethylene microfibers. These materials are specifically designed to have a structure that can’t and doesn’t pick up grit or dirt.  Plus, car wash brushes are continually primed with body soap and clean water, removing any debris and providing protective lubrication between the brushes and the body of the vehicle. These neo-glide foam brushes are safe to use, spin at a carefully defined speed and pressure to take mistakes out of the equation.  The overwhelming majority of people never have any issues – even after repeated washing.

In addition, automatic car washes with very long tunnels use detergents that are very gentle.  With the extra space, the soap can stay on your car longer to effectively clean while ensuring that clear coats and wax layers are unharmed.  Washes with shorter tunnels have to resort to harsher acids and aggressive cloth that over time can etch glass and damage the exterior of your vehicle. 

 So how often should you have your vehicle washed? That depends on how quickly it gets dirty -- and how dirty it gets. For some cars, once a month or so is sufficient -- especially if the car is lightly used and kept in a garage. But some cars will need a bath more often -- especially those that are parked outdoors where they're exposed to bird droppings, tree sap and so on, or driven in areas with very long/severe winters, where the roads are salted when it snows. 

If your car needs washing more than twice a month, you can save time and money with an unlimited car wash membership.  For less than the price of 2 car washes, you can keep your car sparkling all month long.  We already know the washes are safe, add convenience and huge savings! 


Stop in to any full service Drive & Shine location or visit our website for information on our VIP Unlimited Wash memberships!

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End of Summer Marks Perfect Time for Car Care

Preventative maintenance now can help ensure worry-free driving this winter

The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and cooler evenings have begun. Take advantage of the lull to prepare your vehicle for the winter ahead, advise the pros and the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Breakdowns, never convenient, can be dangerous in cold weather period.

The following tips from ASE should give parent and student alike a road map to fall car care.

First things first

Read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. There are usually two schedules listed: normal and severe.

Engine Performance

Have engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather will make existing problems worse. Replace dirty filtersair, fuel, PCV, etc.


Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note, too, that a gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place.


Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling System

The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) If you’re doing your own work, allow the radiator to cool down completely before removing the cap. (Newer vehicles have coolant reservoirs.) The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a certified auto technician.


The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.

Windshield Wipers

Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.


The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. But do-it-yourselfers can do routine maintenance. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly.

A word of caution:

Be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves. Note too that removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles so refer to your manual for instructions.


Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System

Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.


Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.


Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box.


Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Schererville Indiana facilities combine Express Car Washes, Full Service Car Washes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Change Services all under one roof. You never need an appointment! Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business. If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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Notice Anything New at our Elkhart location on Cassopolis Street?

At the beginning of July the Drive & Shine maintenance team installed new equipment at the beginning of the car wash, these pieces of equipment are known as “Top Brushes”.  The brushes spin at 100 RPM and with the combination of NeoGlide Foam and soapy cleaning agents, provide superior cleaning action to the top surfaces of your vehicle. We at Drive & Shine take pride in providing our customers with the best cleaning technology available in the car wash industry and making sure that your vehicle leaves clean, shiny, and dry every time!

Drive & Shine is a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs.  Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Shererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Car Washes, Full Service Car Washes, Auto Detailing, and Oil changes/Quick Lube services all under one roof!

Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business!



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Synthetic, Semi-Synthetic or Conventional?

Synthetic, Semi-Synthetic or Conventional?

Baxter, Eric.  "How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Car or Truck"  16 May 2011. <>  07 October 2015.

Often times a manufacturer will suggest two or more motor oil viscosities for an engine, such as a 5W-20 or 5W-30, based on several different factors -- including temperature. The reason for this is that engines often need a different viscosity based on operating conditions. Knowing how scientists see viscosity will help an owner determine the best oil for the engine.

Viscosity, at its most basic, is a fluid's resistance to flow. Within theengine oil world, viscosity is notated with the common "XW-XX." The number preceding the "W" rates the oil's flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 degrees Celsius). The "W" stands for winter, not weight as many people think. The lower the number here, the less it thickens in the cold. So 5W-30 viscosity engine oil thickens less in the cold than a 10W-30, but more than a 0W-30. An engine in a colder climate,

where motor oil tends to thicken because of lower temperatures, would benefit from 0W or 5W viscosity. A car in Death Valley would need a higher number to keep the oil from thinning out too much.

The second number after the "W" indicates the oil's viscosity measured at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). This number represents the oil's resistance to thinning at high temperatures. For example, 10W-30 oil will thin out at higher temperatures faster than 10W-40 will.

The owner's manual will advise the best viscosity range and the owner can then work within those parameters.

With the right viscosity in mind, it's time to start shopping for a type of oil. Most commuters follow the 3-month and 3,000-mile (4,828-kilometer) rule. Frequent oil changes means there's less tendency to need other types of oil than conventional. However some car companies, like Mercedes-Benz and BMW, recommend onlysynthetic oil in their cars. The following list, as well as the car's owner's manual, will provide a good idea of what type of oil to use. It's also a good rule of thumb not to switch between types. If your car started with conventional, stick with that. If it first used synthetic, be wary about switching to conventional.

  • Conventional Oil: This is the oil used in bulk at dealerships and is the cheapest at the auto store, too. Most adhere to API and SAE standards but offer little in the way of additive packages. This is good oil for owners that are religious about frequent oil changes and have low-mile (but well broken-in) engines.
  • Premium Conventional Oil: This is the standard new-car oil. Most leading brands have one for SL, or highest level, service. Most are available in the common viscosities. Car manufacturers usually specify 5W-20 or 5W-30 oil, though some require 10W-30. These three ratings cover just about every light-duty vehicle on the road, though this is changing as engines become more precise and fussy about specific types oil.
  • Full-synthetic Oil: These oils are made for high-tech engines. If these oils pass stringent special tests (indicated by their labeling), it means they have superior, longer-lasting performance in all the critical areas, from viscosity index to protection against engine deposits. They flow better at low temperatures and maintain peak lubrication at high temperatures. While excellent oil, synthetics are about three times as expensive as conventional oil and not always necessary for most engines. Use the owner's manual as a guide. If it doesn't call for synthetic oil, using it will only be an additional expense that may not add anything to the engine's performance or life.
  • Synthetic-blend Oil: This is essentially premium conventional oil hit with a dose of synthetic. They're formulated to offer better protection during heavier engine loads and the associated higher engine temperatures. These oils are popular with pick-up and SUV drivers because they do offer better protection, but usually cost only a fraction more than premium conventional oils.
  • High-mileage Oil: More than 60 percent of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles (120,701 kilometers) on the odometer. Playing to this growing market, oil refiners and labs developed high-mileage oils. Seal conditioners are added to the oil (the oil can be synthetic or conventional) to expand and increase the flexibility of internal engine seals. The conditioners are very precise and can benefit some engines while not affecting others.
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10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

Whether you drive an old Buick or a new Camry, you want to keep your ride going as long as possible, but it’s easier said than done. While in the middle of life’s daily hustle, you might be letting proper car care slide. Over the years, that will add extra wear and ultimately shorten the life of the vehicle.

Getting the most out of your car is easier than you might think. Once the warranty runs out or your service package expires, simple maintenance procedures (at small investments) are the key to avoiding expensive vehicle repairs. Reader’s Digest was good enough to point out a robust 74 tips to keep your car humming longer. That’s one tall, if instructive, order. Here are 10 tips for a more manageable assignment when trying to extend the life of your vehicle.

1. Rotate your tires

You ought to have your car’s tires rotated when it goes in for servicing, but if you are off the warranty, you are on your own. Goodyear recommends having the job done every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the figure the manufacturer suggests for your vehicle, but once every six months is a good standard to follow. Some tire companies offer free rotations every 6,000 miles for the life of the tires when you buy their products.

2. Run your air conditioner in winter

With the temperature below freezing, the idea of running your car’s air conditioner in the winter might sound terrifying, but it helps your keep your cooling system working for the next time you actually need it (i.e., next summer). Otherwise, the moving parts can seize up and cause malfunctions come summertime. Pick a day when the weather is manageable, and you are fully bundled up to get the AC going.

3. Engine cleaning

Washing your car’s exterior is taken for granted, but opening the hood and washing the engine every few years is a way to prolong the life of the vehicle. Removing the sludge that accumulates on an engine’s exterior helps keep the parts from overheating, which will allow you to stay away from the mechanic. Electrical parts and the air intake should be protected when you perform this task, so ask for advice at the auto parts store before you get into engine cleaning.

4. How to protect a car in storage

If you aren’t going to use your car for several weeks, there are steps you should take to protect its operation. Reader’s Digest suggests filling up the gas tank to avoid condensation and adding a fuel stabilizer to keep parts in working order while it sits idle. In addition, removing the battery from your car will protect it from damage and potential drain. Finally, wash and wax your car so the exterior remains protected in your absence. It will be much better off when you return.

5. Antifreeze maintenance

Over the years, coolant-antifreeze breaks down and becomes susceptible to contamination, which will shorten the life of your vehicle. Follow your owner’s manual to get old antifreeze out of your car’s cooling system. Three years will be the breaking point for most antifreeze products, but it could happen sooner with cheap products. This bit of maintenance protects your radiator, keeps your heater from failing, and helps keep the car’s thermostat in working order.

6. Wash your car in winter

Washing your car in winter can feel like Lucille Ball in her skit at the chocolate factory. As soon as you have it clean, some car comes splashing through a frozen slush puddle and ruins it. That evening, a snowfall might hit and ensure your car looks hideous for the coming weeks.

Rather than a cosmetic solution, washing in winter is about protecting your car from rust and corrosion. The salt and dirt from the road presents a big danger to your car’s undercarriage during the winter months. Routine washings will help you minimize this threat.

7. Transmission maintenance

Cars need fluid replaced in the automatic transmission every few years or 25,000 miles, depending on your make and model. Vehicles you use to tow need the fluid replaced more frequently. If you drive stick, manual transmissions need lubricant changes every 50,000 miles. Synthetic motor oil is the most recommended option for maintaining your vehicle longer, but your owner’s manual will have details for the particular model.

8. Filter changes

Everyone knows the filters in HVAC systems and cars need changing on a regular schedule, but life often stops you from getting it done. Clogged fuel and oil filters make automobile engines work harder to perform standard functions, so keep an eye out for issues and observe the recommended maintenance in your owner’s manual. Air filters and transmission filters also need changing on a regular basis. Even when your might not see obviously clogged filters, this bit of preventive maintenance is one of the easiest things for an owner to do to prolong the life of your car.

9. Protect vehicles from the sun

Sunlight will eat away paint and leave your car vulnerable to rust. If you can’t keep it in a garage, at least try to keep it out of the sun. Reader’s Digest suggests getting a car cover to give your car protection against moisture, bird droppings, and other debris. Covers also give you a line of defense against random damage that can occur to a car sitting on a residential street or in a parking lot.

10. Change oil more often than recommended

What do you get by avoiding frequent oil changes? Other than saving a few dollars, there is little advantage for car owners who wait the maximum time (or longer) to replace motor oil. A higher frequency of oil changes keeps corrosive materials out of the engine and helps you keep your car on the road longer. Drivers who are often caught in city traffic should especially follow this advice. As with fuel economy, city driving can put a hurt on your automobile’s engine. Oil changes help minimize the long-term impact.


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Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

Love a clean car all the time? Then Drive & Shine’s VIP Unlimited Car Wash Plan is for you!

Wash your car as often as you want – as often as EVERY DAY for a low monthly fee. 

Enjoy the speed and convenience that a VIP Unlimited Car Wash membership brings with no long-term contract. Members can wash as often as they like at any Drive & Shine location and feel good knowing they’re always driving a clean and shiny car.

Our VIP Unlimited Wash Club provides members with unlimited, worry-free car washing starting at just $30 per month. With a range of VIP Unlimited car wash package options, you can choose the wash that best suits your needs and using your membership couldn’t be more convenient! Best of all, since there’s no contract so you can cancel any time.

Stop by any Drive & Shine full service location and sign up for our VIP Unlimited Car Wash program today!

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Preparing Your Vehicle for the Weather Ahead

The weather outside is about to get frightful. Here are some simple steps you can take to make sure your sleigh is up to the challenge of winter driving.


Get the right kind of oil change. Are you approaching the time for a 30,000-mile full service for your vehicle? If so, don’t procrastinate. Among other things, the service should include an oil change, and the oil used should have the right viscosity, or thickness, for your vehicle at this time of year. Oil tends to thicken as it gets colder, and if it’s too thick it won’t do the best job of keeping your engine lubricated. Check your owner’s manual for guidance about which oil to use in different climates and temperatures.


Make sure you can see. An easily overlooked part of your winterizing program is your windshield. Windshield wiper blades usually work effectively for about one year, so be sure to invest in some new ones if you’re due. If you have ever driven behind another vehicle kicking up wet, dirty road snow, then you already have a true appreciation for windshield washer fluid. For best results in clearing off cold, heavy grime, select a washer fluid with an antifreeze solution. Also check to see that your heater and defroster are working properly so you can keep the windshield nice and clear.

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Vehicle Warranties and Routine Maintenance - WILL IT VOID MY WARRANTY?

In accordance with The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, consumers are free to choose where to service their vehicles without jeopardizing warranty coverage.

If you own a car, you know how important it is to keep up with routine maintenance and repairs. But can a dealer refuse to honor the warranty that came with your new car if someone else does the routine maintenance or repairs?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, says no. In fact, it's illegal for a dealer to deny your warranty coverage simply because you had routine maintenance or repairs performed by someone else. Routine maintenance often includes oil changes, tire rotations, belt replacement, fluid checks and flushes, new brake pads, and inspections. Maintenance schedules vary by vehicle make, model and year; the best source of information about routine scheduled maintenance is your owner's manual.

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Choosing the Right Type of Motor Oil

Choosing the Right Type of Motor Oil


Baxter, Eric.  "How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Car or Truck"  16 May 2011. <>  07 October 2015.

Often times a manufacturer will suggest two or more motor oil viscosities for an engine, such as a 5W-20 or 5W-30, based on several different factors -- including temperature. The reason for this is that engines often need a different viscosity based on operating conditions. Knowing how scientists see viscosity will help an owner determine the best oil for the engine.

Viscosity, at its most basic, is a fluid's resistance to flow. Within theengine oil world, viscosity is notated with the common "XW-XX." The number preceding the "W" rates the oil's flow at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 degrees Celsius). The "W" stands for winter, not weight as many people think. The lower the number here, the less it thickens in the cold. So 5W-30 viscosity engine oil thickens less in the cold than a 10W-30, but more than a 0W-30. An engine in a colder climate,

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How to Fix a Flat Tire

With the unofficial end of summer quickly approaching, you may be thinking of heading out for one last hurrah before fall begins.  Even with Roadside Assistance, you should still be prepared to change a tire yourself in case you experience a flat far from civilization (has anyone ever gotten a flat in front of a service station?).  Here are some great tips to prepare your tires for the road ahead and what to do if you do get a flat.

Before hitting the road it’s a good idea to get your vehicle serviced.  Part of that overall checkup should include your tires.  Check the pressure (don’t forget to check the spare), look for worn tread, bumps or bulges, or cracks.  If the tires seem iffy, it may be time to get a new set.

Most cars come equipped with a simple jack and lug wrench, as well as a spare tire.  If you’re not sure how to access these items, check your vehicles owner’s manual.

If you do experience a flat tire, here’s an excellent step-by-step from Popular Mechanics on how to safely change a tire and get back on the road:


Step 1: Be Prepared

Planning ahead will save a lot of frustration. It's not a bad idea to keep an emergency kit in your trunk and disposable, but sturdy Tyvek overalls will help keep your dry cleaning bills down. Throw in some mechanics gloves, a good waterproof flashlight, hand cleaner and paper towels. Believe it or not, all that, plus wheel chocks, flares, tire gauge and tire sealant all fit into a shallow Rubbermaid bin. The lid can double as something to kneel on. Since flat tires happen year round, you can even fit in a collapsible snow shovel.

Step 2: Location, Location, Location

You want to choose your tire changing place very carefully. Once on the shoulder, slowly driving to the next exit ramp may give you enough space needed to stay away from the main flow of traffic.

Step 3: Not Enough Room

The line separating traffic from you on the shoulder is not an invisible force field. Be sure you are a safe distance from traffic. You will a need level, solid surface to jack up a car safely.

Step 4: Be Aware of Traffic

Turn on your four-way flashers. Using flares or reflective triangles will help give a long range warning that a disabled car is ahead. This is especially important at night or in the rain. Always be aware of on rushing traffic, especially heavy trucks that create suction in their wake that can pull you off your feet.


Step 5: Give Yourself Room

Be sure you have enough room around the flat tire to work safely. Keep the doors closed. A truck's wake can blow them suddenly wide open and damage the hinges.

Step 6: Set Your Parking Brake

Set your parking brake. Blocking the diagonally opposite wheel will help keep the car from rolling once the flat tire is up in the air. If you don't have a wheel chock, you can improvise with some suitable object found by the side of the road.

Step 7: Check the Spare

Check the spare tire and tools. If your spare is flat or essential tools are missing, there's no sense in continuing. You were prepared so your flat kit is fully stocked and ready to go. Remove jack and lug wrench.

Step 8: Use Your Owner's Manual

Your owner’s manual has all the vehicle specific instructions and pictures of where everything is located. It's not a bad idea to copy the tire change page instructions (double sided) and laminate them. A plastic kitchen magnet can hold them in a place easily viewed while working.

Step 9: Pry Off the Hub Cap

Use the sharp end of the lug wrench to pry off hub cap. Some cars have hub caps with false lugs that secure the hub cap or are just for decoration. It's a good idea to become familiar with your type of wheel fasteners before you are in an emergency situation.

Step 10: Remove the Hub Cap

Remove the hub cap and set it on the ground upside-down to use as a tray for the lug nuts.

Step 11: Loosen Lugs

Lugs will need to be loosened prior to lifting vehicle.

Step 12: You May Need an Adapter

You may have one lug that requires a special "key" adapter.

Step 13: Insert Key Lock Adapter

Insert key lock adapter.

Step 14: Use Your Floor Mat

Loosen the key lock. Here's a tip: You can use your floor mat to kneel on. Flip it over so the dirty side is on the ground.

Step 15: Remove Lock

Remove lock.

Step 16: Place Lock in Hub Cap

Place lock in hub cap. Loosen all the other lug nuts. You'll put all the lug nuts in the hub cap or other suitable clean place so you don't lose them. You also don't want to get dirt or grit in the threads.

Step 17: Locate the Pinch Flange

On most unit body construction cars, the pinch flange is the strongest part of the car for lifting purposes. Most cars have a notch that fits the factory jack. Consult your owner manual for lifting locations. Lifting a car at the wrong spot can damage the car and endanger you if it's unstable.

Step 18: Position Jack

Position jack under jacking location.

Step 19: Raise the Vehicle

Raise the vehicle slowly by turning the jack handle clockwise. You'll want enough height to not only remove the flat tire, but be able to install the fully inflated spare.

Step 20: Remove the Tire

Remove the remaining, already loosened lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Just pull, but be careful! It may be heavy.

Step 21: Remove Spare

Remove spare from the trunk or inside a rear panel on some minivans.

Step 22: Pickups and SUVs

On many pickups and SUV's the spare is suspended under the rear the truck. There is a center nut that holds the spare up. Direction to loosen is counter-clockwise. On some there is a manual cable "winch" that lowers the spare down. Consult your owner’s manual for details on operation.

Step 23: Install the Spare

Install spare by lining up wheel studs with holes.

Step 24: Finger Tighten the Lugs

You may need to use your foot to hold spare in place while you thread the lugs on. Just finger tighten until snug. You should NOT attempt to tighten the lug nuts with the lug wrench while the wheel is in the air. The wheel may merely rotate or could cause the car to fall off the jack.

Step 25: Lower the Car

Carefully lower the car by turning the jack handle counter-clockwise.

Step 26: Tighten the Lugs

Once the car is down you can tighten the lugs. Tighten them clockwise in a crisscross pattern. Your owner’s manual will show the correct sequence. Failure to tighten the lugs properly is potentially unsafe.

Step 27: Your Spare is Now Installed

Your spare is now installed. Note that these "space saver" tires are temporary spares. Do not exceed the speed label on the sidewall (usually 50 mph) and drive carefully. Because a temporary spare does not have the same handling characteristics and longevity as your regular tire, get your full size flat tire repaired or replaced right away.

Step 28: Remove the Jack

Be sure to remember to remove jack and stow in trunk. Look around and pick up your tools, hubcap, emergency kit, and everything else.

Step 29: Stow Flat in the Trunk

Place the flat, tools and kit in trunk.

Step 30: Reinstall Hub Cap

After you get a new tire mounted on your wheel, reinstall wheel and re-install hub cap. Put spare back in trunk. Secure jack and tools.

Step 31: All Done

All done! Remember: Don't delay getting a new tire.

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Feeling the HEAT? Your car may need an A/C Recharge

If your car's air-conditioning system feels more like a heater, the culprit could be low refrigerant which can escape your system over time. 
If your system is operating normally (no strange noises or hissing sounds) but is only blowing hot air, it’s likely your vehicle is low on refrigerant and in need of a recharge.  Most modern vehicles are designed to shut down the air conditioning system once the refrigerant level drops too low to prevent damage to the compressor.  

The problem isn’t confined only to the summertime; you will also see the affects in the winter when the snow starts to fly.  You’ll notice that the defroster isn't doing its job of clearing the foggy windows because most engage the air conditioning to dehumidify the air.

By performing a complete evacuation and recharge the repair shop will be able to test the complete system and recharge it with the precise amount of refrigerant recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. This needs to be done by a professional who has the necessary equipment to properly measure your refrigerant levels and ensure your system doesn’t get overfilled which could cause more complex (and expensive) problems.  According to the EPA , you can't tell precisely how much refrigerant is in the system without the proper equipment — gauges to measure how much pressure is in the system — so how much they add while topping off the system is largely a judgment call.

The EPA provides helpful information for consumers about whether they should have their air conditioner topped off with refrigerant or evacuated and recharged, foundhere.  They also add that usually there is no reason to clean the system unless it is opened up, such as to check for leaks or other problems.

A regular or annual “top off” of your refrigerant isn’t necessary as some vehicle owners may believe.  You could be proactive and have it done before you experience problems, but you shouldn't need that more often than every few years at the most. If you top it off or recharge your air conditioning and it’s still losing its cool, you may have a leak in the system.  If you stay cool and comfortable on your commute, even on the hottest days, just leave well enough alone. The air conditioner obviously has enough refrigerant.

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