In 1945, R.D. Beck, a small-town gas-station owner, started scrubbing patrons’ cars with his son, Lamar. At first, the service was a way to score a little extra business, but before long, throngs of eager customers circled the tiny shop. Unable to meet the demand, they built a conveyor-belt system that washed cars just as well as they could. As their business grew, they purchased a Columbus, Georgia, car wash with a strange but memorable moniker: GooGoo. Though the name stems from a famous duck on a 1930s radio show, it now stands for the goo-goo eyes that Lamar makes when a clean, shiny car drives by.
GooGoo’s also short for GooGoo 3 Minute Express Wash, the modern incarnation of the Beck family business. Here, staffers dressed in bright-red ties prep cars for baths and guide drivers to the washing tunnel’s conveyor belt. Drivers kick back as gentle machines scrub their autos with Neoglide foam and microfiber cloths as soft as a baby chick wearing a lamb's-wool sweater. Biodegradable soaps and house-label waxes imbue exteriors with shine and sparkle, and a stable of free-to-use vacuums helps drivers extract dirt and debris from seats, mats, and floors.
The storefront of Vaughan's Mobile Electronics is not flashy. The owner, Erik, prefers it this way. The focus of his electronics shop isn't glitz and glamour, but rather genuine customer service and quality products. It’s also, says Erik, "Texas owned and operated, and we take extreme pride in that." To uphold their mission, Erik—a graduate of The Installer Institute and longtime electronics sales associate—and his crew outfit cars, boats, and fleet trucks with the latest gear. They install everything from booming Sony audio systems and window tints that protect cars from UV rays to Clifford remote starters and car horns that play the entirety of “Stairway To Heaven.” Erik and his team also create an enjoyable experience for clients by providing them with complimentary WiFi while they wait.
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.
My Detail Guys’ technicians roam Arlington and the surrounding area, cleaning vehicles at their owners’ homes and workplaces. Their detail-oriented hand washes leave exteriors sparkling clean, and their vacuuming and upholstery shampooing strip grime from interiors. To these basics they add services such as high-speed polishes, carnauba waxes, vinyl cleaning, leather conditioning, and paint sealant—which protects the finish from the elements. In addition to cars, they detail boats, RVs, and any spacecraft with a pilot who can pay in dollars.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.
360 Cowboys Auto Center carries tires from leading makers such as Michelin, BFGoodrich, and Goodyear. The wide inventory of tires and wheels can help any hobbled vehicle regain its smooth gait, as can the staff of technicians, who service cars in need of maintenance or repairs. Their services include oil changes, engine service, and tire rotations, and 360 Cowboys Auto Center also deals in both foreign and domestic preowned cars.