Puddles Car Wash's owner has loved cars since childhood and continues to care for them as an adult by establishing an oasis where vehicles can rest and get grime washed away. The shop opens for washes and detailing services every day, catering to cars so well that corporate clients—among them ADT, Hooters, and Disney—have sent their vehicles speeding in its direction. While four-wheelers wallow in soapsuds and carnauba wax, their owners can visit the business lounge to relax in massage chairs, watch TV, surf the Internet, nibble on snacks, and stock up on auto accessories, such as air fresheners and inflatable backseat drivers.
The highly trained technicians at Jiffy Lube tend to about 24 million customers each year with services such as the Signature Service Oil Change package, which promotes the longevity of each vehicle. Staffers acknowledge that oil plays a crucial role in maximizing the lifespan of each car?it cools the motor and prevents moving parts from deteriorating. More than 20,000 technicians who have completed an extensive training program certified by the National Institute Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) nurse vehicles at Jiffy Lube.
In addition to performing oil changes, Jiffy Lube's savants perform air-filtration, electricity, and windshield services, among others. The technicians' quality pledge includes a commitment to transparency, which stipulates that they will inform car owners of any necessary services, only complete a service after it has been approved, and refuse to replace windshields with saran wrap.
Blessings Hand Car Wash boasts 20 years' experience in beautifying cars of all sizes. To begin each full-service wash, staffers scrub exterior surfaces by hand, erasing dust-traced love notes from amorous mail trucks before gently buffing away moisture with soft towels. Cleaners then dress tires and wipe windows inside and out. In auto interiors, a vacuum’s voracious snout devours cookie crumbs and flux capacitors that have dropped between seats, and techs sanitize the dashboard with a thorough wipe-down. As cars are serviced, customers can browse the gift shop or flip through 100 TV channels in Blessings’s recently remodeled lounge.
Since 1989, the founder of Mike’s Tint Shop has been augmenting car windows with his custom, computer-generated tints, which range from subtle dot patterns to flames and sports-team logos. His work has caught the attention of celebrities such as Hollywood heavyweight Verne Troyer, who played Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies, and whose Mercedes bears the company's namesake tinting work. Beyond tints, the shop offers LLumar paint protection, a nearly invisible coating that safeguards vehicles' bodies against stone chips, scratches, insects, and freckles. Technicians can also cleanse vehicles with hand washes and detail work, which ranges from wheel dressing to wiping out cup holders.
Magnolia & Katella Car Wash spruces up rides that come dragging dust in from throughout Orange County. Car-wash packages, which span from basic to platinum level, treat rides to a tire dressing, exterior wash, and vacuuming. Magnolia & Katella also details cars with luxe services such as wax applications, carpet shampooing, and leather treatments for seats, dashboards, and secret under-seat libraries.
Ultimate Shield sounds like a comic book character, and it could be—it heroically protects cars just as any decent superhuman would, fighting to keep vehicles beautiful at its headquarters in Ultimate Auto Care’s repair shop. One of the Shield’s weapons is paint-protection film, a thermoplastic material originally tested by military personnel and prized by racecar drivers for its ability to preserve sponsor graphics. Like most versions on the market, Ultimate Shield’s is known as the clear bra, and is designed to safeguard automotive bodies against flying gravel, debris, and people who jaywalk with scissors. Bolstering Ultimate Shield’s powers are special sealants that help the paint job resist UV rays, sap, bugs, and acid rain, and render interior fabric and leather resistant to stains. Ultimate Auto Care offers more than films and sealants, though—working in the Shield’s shadow, the shop’s crew can also detail motorcycles, cars, RVs, and boats. These cleaners attack grime with services ranging from basic washes and interior scrubdowns to a clay treatment for paint, which absorbs pollutants and other potentially corrosive elements. And once cars are clean, they can add a touch of customization by tinting windows, smoking taillights, adding dash accents, and painting brake calipers.