In 1950, a man named Ernest Ellis started a car wash in Grand Rapids. There were no motorized brushes or automated sprays back then; instead, cars would drive through the building as staffers positioned along the route used steam guns, wash tanks, and hand mitts to wipe away dirt and Dewey for President fliers from automotive exteriors. After a name change, a panoply of new locations, and many upgrades to what was often the most cutting-edge wash technology in the country, today's Southland Auto Wash maintains its high-tech approach to cleaning with automated wash tunnels, in-depth detailing, and luxurious extras including its own signature tire protectant. This passion for meticulous care, along with the wash's extensive water-conservation projects, earned the sudsatorium a nod as Grand Rapids Magazine's Best Car Wash for more than 14 years straight.
At Benz Tech, cars, trucks, and SUVs return to smooth-running efficiency and glistening beauty by undergoing thorough repair, maintenance, and detailing services. Owner/technician Andy Bogue plies his trade with a wealth of experiences and accolades under his belt, a belt extracted from the engine of a car. He spent 10 years working for a Mercedes Benz dealer, achieving a coveted Master Guild certification. The veteran tech boosts automotive performance and appearances by performing routine oil changes and checkups, intensive repairs, as well as meticulous interior and exterior detailing. Benz Tech often serves remote clients through convenient pick-up, drop-off, or loaner car packages, or hosts customers in a comfortable waiting room, replete with complimentary Netflix, snacks, and coffee.
Rows and rows of new and certified preowned vehicles surround Hall Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Inside the dealership's service center, Chrysler-certified technicians change the oil, rotate the tires, inspect the emissions, and detail the surfaces of all vehicle makes and models. Members of the parts department lend a hand when vehicles need batteries, mufflers, brake pads, and more tiny horses to power their engines.
Drive & Shine's lengthy wash tunnel scrubs muck and mire from auto frames with eco-friendly soaps and nimble-fingered soft foam wraps. During the 10- to 15-minute service, an underbody wash cleanses the car's road-facing parts, and autos beam like a smiling hologram after being lovingly smothered in applications of clear-coat sealant and foam polish. A layer of Diamond Wax projects the radiant luster of the finish far into the future, and Wheel Brite and tire dressing keep the vehicle's rubber boots looking spick-and-span. To keep the interior looking sharp, technicians climb inside to vacuum dirt, debris, and crumbs from the rugs and seats, beat particles out of mats, scrub windows, and wipe dashes and door jambs with soapy foam wraps. Ten percent of Drive & Shine's proceeds will be donated to United Way, an organization that promotes healthy living and helps humans reach their full potential.
Ziebart has had plenty of time to perfect its auto-detailing services: the shop has been in business for more than 50 years. Trained and certified technicians use ultramodern equipment and Ziebart's own brand of products to detail interiors and exteriors, protect paint, and repair scratches. They also tint windows and program remote starters.
In family hands since 1967, Schroeder’s Body Shop & RV Repair employs technicians to restore a clean sheen to scuffed-up vehicles and attends to all manner of RV needs. Automotive wash-downs ($130 value) bring customer vehicles to the able hands of Schroeder’s car-wash technicians, who spend one hour to two hours hand-washing and drying the buggy and ensuring it won't gradually turn into a pumpkin. After a thorough chassis sluicing, window blasting, and wheel washing, technicians dress tires to the nines and cover the vehicle in wax to prevent the shine from escaping back into nearby jewelry stores.