Express Tune technicians extend automotive longevity, drawing on ACE certification to tweak performance and bolster vehicular safety. The mechanics keep motor oil on hand to keep engines from accumulating damaging buildup and lift hoods to service engines and belts. In the bustling shop, a clattering chorus of tools drifts from beneath undercarriages as techs improve brake function and inspect tires. As state-certified emissions specialists, the mechanics test automotive output to make sure no car is polluting the airways with above-legal levels of toxins, and they inspect used cars for potential malfunctions or Kick Me signs taped to the bumper.
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.
Of all the tools at Mark’s Auto Detail, the staff probably relies on the water heater most. That’s because hot water is used during each of the detail shop’s hand washes—the foundation for several different tiered details that feature top-notch car-cleaning tools such as Aquapel, premium carnauba wax, and clay bars. Equipped with these resources, the staff tidies up cars, boats, and RVs. They also offer window tinting to keep out the sun’s rays, heat, and bad driving directions.
Inside the service department at Michael's Chevrolet of Issaquah, technicians treat GM vehicles to routine maintenance that takes between 20 and 45 minutes. An oil change introduces up to six quarts of standard oil to engines; drivers who need synthetic lubricant can upgrade for an additional fee. The shop's mechanics will also perform a 27-point inspection and rotate the tires to ensure even wear, leaving the vehicle wagging its bumpers and grinning from headlight to headlight. Motorists can take the opportunity to teach their cars some personal responsibility by having them register online through the appointment scheduling page.