Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.
The trained technicians of Jamie Staggs Auto Detailing load company vehicles with an arsenal of auto-detailing tools, creating a mobile car-wash service that tidies up rides at locations most convenient to each customer. The company provides two tiers of car-cleaning treatments, spending up to 2.5 hours pampering cars with wax applied by hand, carpet shampooing, and a thorough interior detail that scrubs away grime and invasive pine-tree air-freshener species.:m]]
A pair of husband and wife teams preside over Texas Splish Splash Hand Car Wash's original Webster and brand new Pearland locations. At the base of a comprehensive service menu, lamb's mitts buff out scratch-free shines and lull restless cars to sleep. By-hand detailing services ranging from window cleaning and carnauba wax to paint restoration and tar removal help customers thwart the damaging swirls of machine-wash procedures. Rain-X products and air fresheners cap off services to cars, trucks, motorcycles, and RVs, and the Pearland location's stocked snack area caps off satisfied customers with coffee, sodas, and empty cups with toupee tape.
Goodyear Car Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
Over the last 20 years, Classy Chassis Car Wash's clientele has morphed from '92 Mustangs to 2012 hybrids. But no matter the make, model, or year of the vehicles that roll onto the lot, Chassis's staff of technicians and detailers stick to a consistent formula of washing, waxing, and shampooing cars in order to keep them pristine. A slate of wash packages incorporates rinses, tunnel waxes, and tire shines in the pursuit of that perfect gleaming finish. On the detailing end, technicians coax a blinding shine from the exterior with high-speed buffers, gild the newly minted colors in paint sealants, and soak the upholstery in shampoos. Even engines can join in on the fun as they get a wash and shine to impress mechanics and inspire pistons to incorporate graceful dance moves into their mechanical repertoire.
Hand wash. Hand wax. That's what it says in bold letters right above the entrance of The Wash's modest, white concrete-block building. The staff keeps it as straightforward and simple as that. Car-wash technicians lather up and wipe down vehicles by hand, shine tires with Armor All, and vacuum interiors free of loitering carpoolers. Skilled in thorough detailing, they also condition leather and chrome and deodorize car cabins.
The computer-driven wash tunnel at Carisma Wash scours vehicles in four minutes or fewer, but that doesn't mean cutting corners. In fact, during the brief cycles, a parade of mild, wet, and grease-cutting soaps coat the body, tires, and windows of cars four times or as many as it takes to remove hitchhikers from the roof rack. Wheels covered with soft cloth gently scrub grime while passengers stay comfortably seated inside.
Washes range from the basic Touch It Up to The Ultimate, which encompasses everything from UV protectant to an undercarriage scrub. After an air dry, customers emerge and grab self-service vacuums to free interiors of crumbs and nephews who fell between the seats. Employees stand by their handiwork, granting patrons a free wash if they're not satisfied after their first spin.