In the state of California, smog tests are required every two years for all vehicles, from cars to mobile homes. At STAR-certified Smog Center locations, licensed technicians help owners stay compliant and air friendly through a three-step process. It begins with a visual inspection of the vehicle for obvious emissions problems, followed by a functional exam and an evaluation. But what the process doesn't include is a sales pitch: since the facility is a test-only center, the staff doesn't try to sell owners on extra repairs, nor on gold watches conveniently located in a mechanic's trenchcoat.
Drawing on half a century of automotive service, Midas helps drivers to prolong vehicle vigour with factory-recommended maintenance services. Mechanics pop car hoods to perform oil changes with standard and temperature-durable synthetic solutions, taking time to inspect belts, hoses, fluids, and the air conditioner's resident penguin. Armed with efficient catalytic converters built to U.S. EPA standards, the staff helps to shrink harmful emissions during muffler and exhaust-system checks. Trained technicians augment brake services with lifetime guarantees and curate healthy, evenly worn tires with rotations or replacements from Goodyear, Michelin, Firestone, and Bridgestone.
Most car-wash lounges don't give customers a hotel-lobby vibe. However, the one at Tempus Auto Spa gets pretty close, surrounding guests with marble countertops, exposed-brick walls, and large windows that cast sunlight onto posh furniture. As they wait here for their vehicle, visitors can sip gourmet coffee or browse the Internet at computer stations. The designer bathrooms' warm colors add to the ambiance?even they are part of the venue's mission to pamper cars and people simultaneously.
CS magazine_ highlighted Tempus Auto Spa as one business that "make[s] daily duties super swanky." As its waiting area charms clients with all that's chic, so its services indulge vehicles with careful cleaning and detailing. The technicians rely on their own meticulousness instead of traditional car-wash machinery and giant car dunk tanks, even refusing to use mitts and towels for more than a single hand wash. The same manual attention goes into their most comprehensive treatments?the Spankin New Look complete exterior and interior detail, for example, includes an engine cleaning, which technicians can do with steam or by hand.
Photographer Stuart Townsley uses a trained eye and high-tech equipment to capture memories into frameworthy prints and digital art, using 10 of LA's most attractive landmarks as backdrops. The famed local sites where he sets up camp—such as the roaring Pacific Ocean under Santa Monica Pier or the 1930s architecture and picturesque fountain of Union Station—elegantly complement subjects' smiling visages. His shutter snaps hundreds of times during each photo shoot, immortalizing the faces, poses, and secret handshakes of families and well-behaved pets. Well-versed in state-of-the-art retouching gear, Stuart unfurls his astutely edited creations onto glossy prints, canvases, and online albums.
Stuart's advice on what to wear and bring to shoots, garnered through 12 years of professional experience, conveniently resides online to aid in the selection of appropriate outfits for every mother, father, child, or hamster.
Whereas most safaris tend to muck up vehicles with mud and misplaced zebra stripes, Green Forest Car Wash's jungle-themed wash renders cars cleaner than when they entered. As cars roll through the five-minute wash, kids and drivers inside will spot a simulation lightning storm?along with a herd of dinosaurs that include stegosaurus, triceratops, tyrannosaurus, and more. But that's not to overlook the practical side of things; these themed washes launder cars with healthy doses of potent but still eco-friendly Simonize-brand chemicals. Green Forest Car Wash's owners empathize with their real-life brethren in nature, which is why they use biodegradable and eco-friendly products, and conserve, treat, and recycle the water they use. This sustainable practice has earned them proud membership in the WaterSavers program of the International Carwash Association.
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.