Yellow and blue signage near the parking lots of shopping malls, offices, and entertainment centers indicates the presence of ProntoWash Eco AutoSpa, a car wash and detailing powerhouse that boasts more than 350 operations worldwide. Its business model revolves around accessibility—ProntoWash sets up shop where cars already are, saving drivers time and preserving all the gas and corn dogs that engines would have otherwise consumed during a trip to a traditional car wash. Helming special yellow Washing Karts, the company's technicians use biodegradable detergent and about a pint of low-pressure water to render each car clean. They also care for cars by vacuuming carpets, restoring headlights, stuffing multivitamins inside ailing glove compartments, and making arrangements to hit the road with their mobile car-wash service.
There is plenty to see from the San Diego Zoo's Africa Safari tram: resting lions, horned antelopes, majestic giraffes. But Detail Systems' Anthony Madafferi pays this wildlife little heed. He concentrates more on the sloping terrain that sweeps dust and mud on the beautiful, brightly colored trams he regularly details with his self-contained mobile detailing unit.
The safari trams are just some of the vehicles that Anthony and the techs at Detail Systems have revitalized over the past two decades; the list also includes the herds of Buicks that attend the Buick Invitational golf tournament. Their signature detailing service begins with a dousing in deionized water, which leaves the hand-washed exterior spot-free. Then, with a specially designed covalent chemical bond, Glassplexin paint sealant polishes a shiny luster on finishes, protecting them from oxidation and tailgating UV rays.
For more than 25 years, Mr. Tint's crew has safeguarded drivers from arm-scorching UV rays with their tinting services, laminating windows with a sleek film that fits like a pair of Ray-Bans for cars, trucks, and SUVs. Mr. Tint’s dedicated staff lavishes every vehicle that pulls into the shop with the same attention to detail, whether it’s a Lamborghini or a Formula 1 Wienermobile. The tinting materials come with the manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, which covers fading, bubbling, or peeling. Clients waiting for their four-wheeled companions can sip complimentary beverages or surf the shop’s WiFi network. Mr. Tint’s team can also tint residential windows for improved privacy, reduced energy costs, or decoration.
A gleaming Rolls-Royce parked front and center is not an uncommon occurrence at Keatley Detail, long the most trusted South of Market operation for an automotive deep clean. Interiors and exteriors alike emerge looking factory-fresh after one of their detailing treatments. Unlike the typical brushless car wash, Keatley offers a membership program of a few details per month, to keep that paint job shiny and maximize the resale value, should you ever look to sell your ride. Even waiting for your car to be cleaned is an upscale experience, with a waiting room that offers free WiFi, coffee and water. For fine-toothed detailing or to buff away the latest scratch and scrape that inevitably comes from parking on the street, Keatley Detail is the place to go.
At Great American Car Wash, dexterous carriage cleansers speedily refurbish dirt-encrusted vehicles with diligent washes. Cars careen through the automatic vestibule, where robotic scrubbers loosen dirt and tickle the underbelly, all within five minutes or fewer. Once the mechanical crew has done its job, the shop's meticulous detailing team takes over to douse paint in carnauba wax, treat windows to helpings of Rain-X, and vacuum and air-freshen interiors. Because maintaining a clean car may help prevent illnesses and allergies, monthly passes are offered to make sprucing up vehicles quick and easy. For certain packages, the shop hands out free rewashes within three days, granting messy roadsters a mulligan after an unexpected rainstorm or off-road trip through a sloppy-joe festival.
The techs behind Scrub Boys Car Wash polish cars of all shapes and sizes—as well as boats and RVs—with a combination of automated machinery and elbow grease. Their car-wash packages render interiors squeaky clean and lavish shells with clear coat protectant and Rain-X. They take the purification process a step further with detailing services, which include clay-bar treatments to remove tiny contaminants and high-speed buffing to diminish oxidation and scratches. When techs aren't lathering jalopies, they’re restoring plastic headlights, which tend to oxidize over time, helping remove the discoloration that makes it difficult to drive at night or through a nature preserve littered with black panthers. Frequent visitors can join Scrub Boys’ Scrub Club, which equips members with gift cards and free washes on their birthday.