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.
Established in 1995, Cartique specializes in high-quality auto cleaning executed with the softest of whipped-cream-caressing touches. Customers pulling their grocery haulers into Cartique’s glistening family-owned abode are greeted by an experienced staff of dirt-blasting pros that smell like newly minted dollar bills. Each sedan ($35), SUV ($40), and wagon ($40) will be treated to a thorough Gold Package hand wash that includes a gentle exterior hand wash, chamois hand dry, hand buff, and express wax that scares off pterodactyls with its blindingly lustrous sheen. Interiors are assiduously cleansed of grime with an interior vacuum, window cleaning, dash and console wipe, and raccoon removal. Additionally, weathered tires are cleaned and treated to a luminous tire shine ($1 per tire) that efficiently removes dust, debris, and acne.
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.
From more than 350 facilities in six countries, Precision Tune Auto Care has spent the last three decades keeping more than 2.5 million vehicles on the road with an array of maintenance and auto-repair services. Professionally trained mechanics lube engines with signature precision oil changes, rotate tires to ensure even tread wear, repair busted brakes, and test spark plugs to safeguard against ignition failure during dramatic drive-thru getaways. Whether performing complicated services on fuel-injection and cooling systems or simply aligning tires, the mechanics back all their services with a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty.