From soft cloths to triple-foam polish to an air tool that looses dirt from floors, the technicians at Dolphin Inc. Car Wash & Express Detail use myriad cleaning methods to keep rides sparkling. Services range from exterior washes to full-scale detailing treatments that spruce up vinyl, leather, rubber, and surly chauffeurs.
So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Simotes specializes in pre-owned vehicles. Their lots showcase foreign and domestic cars from makers such as Cadillac, Jeep, and Volkswagen, with an inventory boasting trucks, sedans, SUVs, and convertibles. Beyond the sales side of the business, technicians invite drivers to take a detour for oil changes or detailing services, which include hand-applied waxes, wheel and tire scrubbings, and interior shampoos to give cars that classic "just had a shower" smell.
At Final Touch Auto Spa, techs eschew conveyer belts, concentrated chemicals, and harsh spinning brushes by hand applying gentle cleaning products with lamb's wool cloths. Their multi-step washing process begins at the tires, where spray cleaner breaks up grime before the team washes each panel with soft, sudsy strokes. Once finished, they whisk away left-over moisture with a swipe of a microfiber towel and force out detritus from crevices with puffs of compressed air. In addition to basic washes, full detailing packages can restore assembly-line luster, and window tinting preserves interiors by blocking out harmful UV-rays and ugly rainbows.
Specialty Auto Care’s team of mechanical transfusionists swaps out automobile lifeblood to keep pistons safely churning inside their cylinders. Technicians combine hydraulic hoists and impressive piggyback rides to raise cars and uncork oil pans before seamlessly replacing gritty motor oil with up to 5 quarts of freshly viscous fluids. During comprehensive maintenance services, tires play musical chairs for the prize of more even wear, a 21-point inspection identifies the car's deepest secrets, and fresh wiper blades clear away debris and stubble left on unkempt windshields.