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.
Houston Auto Spa's technicians de-sully dirty vehicle frames by hand and microfiber, and then transform them into shining veneers with lustrous coats of dressing. Cleaners first blast through layers of filth with a meticulous hand wash and then caress them to a consistent dry with microfibers and a volumizing blow-dry. Next, they climb inside to tidy up debris-ridden seats with vacuums, wipe-down window glass, and cleanse doorjambs. Inner panels and surfaces spring forth from beneath dusty coats after technicians lightly wipe them down, and healthy doses of Wheel Brite and tire dressing touch-up road huggers and lure their inner shines to the surface. Like properly tying one's shoe, the wash takes 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the vehicle and its ability to sit still without squirming or wiggling its wiper blades.
BlueWave Express' car-wash system delicately transforms automobiles from dingy to dazzling through meticulous cleansings. During the Ultimate Wave road warriors get a soapy wash with a soft cloth, a spot-free rinse, and a moisture-zapping dry. A double-bond sealant with teflon protects paint for up to 30 days, and a tire dressing makes wheels more appealing to picky eaters. A coat of Simoniz triple polish leaves car exoskeletons shinier than a penny fresh from the Abe Lincoln face-shrinking factory. Guests can rid car interiors of dirt and dust free of charge with BlueWave Express’s powerful vacuums.
Car after car slowly rolls past as automatic sprayers lather them up and rinse them down before a mist of Simoniz Hot Wax & Shine is applied. It’s from West Oaks Car Wash & Mobil1 Lube Express’ roomy waiting area that customers relax after having cars cleaned, which when performed regularly can maintain the luster of the car’s exterior. Applications of Simoniz products shield the car from UV rays and guard it from minor scratches, and rust inhibitors keep auto exteriors from decaying. Bolstering each car’s surface protection, the Rain-X Complete option also repels water during inclement weather or when parked inside backyard pools. Besides keeping cars cleaned inside and out, the team at West Oaks Car Wash & Mobil1 Lube Express also performs maintenance services such as oil changes and lubes.
At Colonial Car Wash, automobiles' exteriors sparkle after whooshing through a full-service wash. Once vehicles have dried, technicians dress tires, vacuum interiors, and loop air fresheners around rearview mirrors to mitigate the smell of backseat hermit crab collections. And while their cars are in the expert care of Colonial's auto techs, customers can enjoy free WiFi in both the indoor and outdoor waiting areas.
The techs at Sparkles Carwash do more than just polish autos and vacuum interiors clean. They also aim to make your visit more convenient by performing oil changes, state inspections, and headlight restorations. However, it's the wash and detail services that really evidence their skills. During full-service washes, the crew uses products such as clear-coat conditioners and triple-foam wax to protect paint jobs and revive the shine. Detailing packages provide more intensive cleanings that have the staff shampooing carpets and blowing dust and debris out of the vehicle's nooks and crannies, including that cookie jar that some people insist on calling a glove box.