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.
Goodyear Car Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
The computer-driven wash tunnel at Carisma Wash scours vehicles in four minutes or fewer, but that doesn't mean cutting corners. In fact, during the brief cycles, a parade of mild, wet, and grease-cutting soaps coat the body, tires, and windows of cars four times or as many as it takes to remove hitchhikers from the roof rack. Wheels covered with soft cloth gently scrub grime while passengers stay comfortably seated inside.
Washes range from the basic Touch It Up to The Ultimate, which encompasses everything from UV protectant to an undercarriage scrub. After an air dry, customers emerge and grab self-service vacuums to free interiors of crumbs and nephews who fell between the seats. Employees stand by their handiwork, granting patrons a free wash if they're not satisfied after their first spin.
The techs at All American Carpet Cleaning & Auto Detailing purge an average of 10,000 homes each year with eco-friendly concoctions and guaranteed services. During their high-powered extraction process, they slather rugs with a citrus steam solution that revives careworn colors, kills germs and dust mites, and erases stains before leaving a fresh, lemony aroma in its wake. Their certified techs also cleanse sullied upholstery with a similar method, ensuring sparkling results by drawing on their knowledge of fabrics and manufacturer recommendations. When floods overtake domiciles, they draw standing waters safely away from abodes with dehumidifiers and the promise of relocation to the Riviera. In addition to cleaning abodes, their mobile auto detailing crew frees cars from road-borne gunk, removing insects, cleaning engines, restoring headlights, and polishing chrome accents.
Over the last 20 years, Classy Chassis Car Wash's clientele has morphed from '92 Mustangs to 2012 hybrids. But no matter the make, model, or year of the vehicles that roll onto the lot, Chassis's staff of technicians and detailers stick to a consistent formula of washing, waxing, and shampooing cars in order to keep them pristine. A slate of wash packages incorporates rinses, tunnel waxes, and tire shines in the pursuit of that perfect gleaming finish. On the detailing end, technicians coax a blinding shine from the exterior with high-speed buffers, gild the newly minted colors in paint sealants, and soak the upholstery in shampoos. Even engines can join in on the fun as they get a wash and shine to impress mechanics and inspire pistons to incorporate graceful dance moves into their mechanical repertoire.
Every car is different, but they all look good after a fresh wash. The technicians at South Beach Auto Spa keep that in mind, delivering expert detailing services while taking the extra steps needed to protect vehicles. On top of traditional hand wash and wax services, the staff offers three- and five-stage polishing that buffs out nicks, scratches, water spots, or hood paintings of Princess Leia. Techs even use different wash sponges on the wheels than on the body, ensuring that sponges don't pick up the brake dust that can scratch a car's paint finish.
One of only a few local shops lucky enough to carry 3M products, South Beach Auto Spa also protects auto interiors with tint-installation services. Customers can gauge the potential appearance of different tinting films through a simulator, opting for color-stable, crystalline, or premium films. All tinting films are digitally cut using software and a Roland plotter, and help fend off UV rays and adverse temperatures while increasing each auto's security and appearance.