Visitors to Shine Express Car Wash face a flurry of choices, each of which decides their auto's ultimate fate. Upon venturing into the tunnel, motorists select from four washes, with a basic soft-cloth wash as the foundational service built on by enhancements such as an underbody rinse, tire shine, Teflon coating, and five-day wash-again guarantee. As the track pulls vehicles along, customers' choices play out in the different blue, green, and red lights that activate in accordance with an ascending level of features. Emerging from the mechanized fury, motorists again decide their fate with one turn of the wheel: a right turn takes them into a full detailing center, whereas following a U-shaped path leads to a stable of 16 free self-serve vacuums waiting to swallow up crumbs, dirt, and omniscient narrators.
Established in 1995, Cartique specializes in high-quality auto cleaning executed with the softest of whipped-cream-caressing touches. Customers pulling their grocery haulers into Cartique’s glistening family-owned abode are greeted by an experienced staff of dirt-blasting pros that smell like newly minted dollar bills. Each sedan ($35), SUV ($40), and wagon ($40) will be treated to a thorough Gold Package hand wash that includes a gentle exterior hand wash, chamois hand dry, hand buff, and express wax that scares off pterodactyls with its blindingly lustrous sheen. Interiors are assiduously cleansed of grime with an interior vacuum, window cleaning, dash and console wipe, and raccoon removal. Additionally, weathered tires are cleaned and treated to a luminous tire shine ($1 per tire) that efficiently removes dust, debris, and acne.
In 1945, R.D. Beck, a small-town gas-station owner, started scrubbing patrons’ cars with his son, Lamar. At first, the service was a way to score a little extra business, but before long, throngs of eager customers circled the tiny shop. Unable to meet the demand, they built a conveyor-belt system that washed cars just as well as they could. As their business grew, they purchased a Columbus, Georgia, car wash with a strange but memorable moniker: GooGoo. Though the name stems from a famous duck on a 1930s radio show, it now stands for the goo-goo eyes that Lamar makes when a clean, shiny car drives by.
GooGoo’s also short for GooGoo 3 Minute Express Wash, the modern incarnation of the Beck family business. Here, staffers dressed in bright-red ties prep cars for baths and guide drivers to the washing tunnel’s conveyor belt. Drivers kick back as gentle machines scrub their autos with Neoglide foam and microfiber cloths as soft as a baby chick wearing a lamb's-wool sweater. Biodegradable soaps and house-label waxes imbue exteriors with shine and sparkle, and a stable of free-to-use vacuums helps drivers extract dirt and debris from seats, mats, and floors.
At Laserwash of Euless, cars transform from mud-slicked messes into sparkling points of pride at any hour of the day. Here, members can access the 24-hour facility with the swipe of a keycard to suds up their vehicle at whatever time is most convenient, whether that is 5 a.m. before a day’s commute or 3 a.m. after a night spent shooting paintballs at your car for no reason. Ridding exteriors of unsightly grime, the automatic carwash performs a basic, midlevel, or deluxe wash to banish varying degrees of filth. The staff can also pair drivers with a car vacuum and fragrance islands to top off cleanings, and the collocated gas station helps both customers and vehicles refuel.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.