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.
Divine Auto Salon runs on eco-friendliness. Inside a facility equipped with recycling bins and high-efficiency lighting, green cleaning solutions cajole dirt into releasing its grip on cars. Each solution comes from exclusively corn-based containers that, unlike plastic containers or Volkswagen Beetles, will break down over time. And the company's unconditional love for water means less of it gets wasted during each wash.
Before getting the green light, Divine’s technicians undergo three weeks of extensive in-house training that includes classroom time and hands-on detailing experience. Then, and only then, are they ready to walk customers through each step of the detailing process, explaining goals and revealing where cars most like to be tickled. These technicians enjoy more than just listening to dirt scream in protest as it's wrenched from vehicles, though. They also find joy in outfitting front ends with custom 3M bras, repairing dents without using any paint, installing SunTek window film, and updating headlights with HID conversion kits.
Martin's Auto Detailing has spruced up cars in its Tigard shop for more than a decade. During detailing sessions, technicians lavish rides with suds and soft cloths before treating paint to hand or machine-applied polish. After performing exterior services, which may also include dent and windshield repair, they step inside the vehicle to shampoo carpets and wipe down panels. Beyond cars and SUV's, Martin's staffers also service motorcycles, RV's, boats, and pimped out Radio Fliers.
Light prances across the hoods of gleaming rides in NW Auto Spa's sheltered bay, where technicians draw on extensive training to manually chase grit from finishes. Against a sonic backdrop of hissing water and raspberries blown on vehicular underbellies, crews polish windows and unleash vacuums in crumb-strewn interiors with services for all makes, models, and sizes of cars. In addition to basic details, crews bathe autos in luxury with additional services such as clay-bar treatments, fabric guard, headlight restoration, and tire dressing that leaves wheels with a sheen darker than Darth Vader's tuxedo.
Washman's expert auto detailers send gas-guzzling broncos on a quick gallop through the fully automated car wash, which laves vehicles using noncaustic, phosphate-free soaps and recycles 100% of washing water to be filtered and reused. A three-minute romp in the brushless, soft-cloth wash bay readies exteriors for an express hand wax, which buffs and shields cars from acidic remarks from younger vehicles. Harnessing the cleansing power of a 200-degree hot-water extraction unit, the cleaning crew thoroughly forces filth from carpets. Next, a vigorous shampooing or leather cleaning treatment leaves behind fresh seats, and an interior wipe-down tidies up dashboards, center consoles, and door panels. To conclude the process, which takes up to four hours, an odor eliminator tactfully removes lingering smells left by pets and moisture run amok.