For more than 60 years, Elephant Car Wash has resided on the cutting edge of car-wash technology. Archie, Dean, and Eldon Anderson founded the car wash in 1951 when they invented a hands-free machine that could clean cars and never be penalized in soccer. Thirty years later, they sold their shops to Bob Haney, who replaced the car-wash tunnels' plastic bristles with hybrid-blend cloths and high-pressure water nozzles. Nowadays, Elephant Car Wash features computer-operated tunnels that can read pH levels of dirt and—at certain locations—touchless car-wash tunnels that use high-powered water jets and potent detergents only.
Rotating above all of this technological progress is the car wash's signature pink elephant, which doubles as a polestar for drivers who need their vehicles washed, waxed, vacuumed, or shampooed. The trained staff waits outside the full-service car wash with towels and stages a slew of a la carte services including trunk vacuuming and leather conditioning. Elephant Car Wash works with the Puget Sound Car Wash Association and the Charity Car Wash Program, two organizations that strive to keep pollution out of waterways and inside the coffee mugs of Darth Vader.
In order to remove every speck of dirt from vehicles and return them to their factory-fresh shine, Dave's Hand Car Wash and Detailing foregoes machines and brushes in favor of agile hands and precise q-tips. Technicians turn all ten fingers toward scrubbing filth from the inside and out, removing surface dirt before rebuilding the glossy sheen with hand wax and clay bars and sprucing up the cabin with shampoo. In addition to wash and detail packages, they cleanly restore filmy headlights and remove unwanted decals and bumper stickers from failed class-president campaigns. While the technicians clean autos, boats, and motorcycles, motorists can take a break in the waiting lounge or grab a drink and a bite at the nearby Starbucks or Subway.
The ASE-certified technicians at Valley Automotive can never really graduate from school. Every staff member undergoes a mandatory 50 hours of training each year, learning about all the advancements and quirks of fresh vehicle models so that they can better receive them for treatment. Their services encompass basic procedures—oil changes, wheel alignment, and maintenance inspections—as well as more complex electric and automotive repairs. Flushes for brake fluid, transmission fluid, and cooling systems de-gunk their patients' many pipes, and prepurchase exams inform guests of malfunctions before they buy rings for new rides.
In the interest of convenience, the shop provides a shuttle service and loaner cars for clients whose buggies need extended stays. Its website also compiles frequently asked questions and guidelines for prolonged automobile life. Guideline suggestions include reducing the weight in your vehicle by unloading the trunk, cleaning mud from the undercarriage, and refusing to pick up even the loneliest-looking boulders. These tips speak to the trust-based approach of employees, who, in addition to enjoying 4x4 jaunts and customizing their own cars, prioritize professionalism over quick fixes.
Windshield menders at Speedy Auto Paint clear up chipped glass during services that may prevent the need for costly windshield replacement. Autos scarred by wayward road rockets can be rid of chips, bull's-eyes, and hog's-hooves with Speedy Auto's windshield-repair service. Today's deal can be used to dismiss two cracks, each with a diameter of up to that of a quarter ($69 for the first chip, $19 for the second). The repair—which takes 30 minutes for the first chip and 20 minutes for each additional fix—is designed to prevent cracks from spreading further across the glass, which could necessitate a windshield replacement. Though the repair helps to make cracks less noticeable, only rarely does it grant them complete invisibility or the power to turn bugs into gold. Though it's not included in today's deal, drivers can have additional chips repaired during the same visit ($19 each).