In 1981, Seal Plus Auto Detail sprang from the minds of two buddies whose love of car care inspired them to become business owners. Though co-founder Kurt Schuster became the sole owner four years later, he made it his mission to treat each customer like a friend. A commitment to customer service drives each interaction at this friendly shop, where attentive technicians deep-clean cars, trucks, and vans in a four-bay garage filled with buffing machines, sealants, and leather conditioners.
During the signature Seal Plus Detail, the technicians vacuum and shampoo the seats, mats, and trunk, then tidy the door panels, dashboard, and console. After wiping down the windows, they sends the vehicle to the adjacent Seal Plus automatic wash, where soft foam brushes gently erase dried mud and milkshake stains earned during duels with insolent ice-cream trucks. The service concludes with a buffing, a waxing, and, if desired, a high-five.
Though current owner Gary Pontious Sr. purchased Toledo Auto Care in 1975, the shop’s legacy stretches even further back, to 1917. Today, Gary and his son, both certified by the Automotive Management Institute, maintain the shop’s long-held reputation with the help of a team of ASE-certified techs. These auto wizards skillfully perform a wide range of services, including warranty-backed repairs.
Aside from oiling engines and servicing car parts, Gary’s staff takes care of customers by way of free roundtrip shuttles, towing, and engine-light inspections. These customer-comfort measures extend to the shop’s tidy waiting room, which is filled with stock-car memorabilia and complimentary Starbucks coffee. The team also supports local community efforts by offering free car-care workshops and raising money to aid the fight against cancer.
Blossoming from the original Pennywise, established in 1969, Expresso Car Wash now shoos dirt form begrimed automobiles at six convenient lube-and-detail facilities. Upholding a focus on swift service, mechanics perform quick 10-minute oil changes, towel off 12-minute full details, and scrub cloths on their eight-minute abs. As environmental stewards, the detailing staff carts off all used water to a water-treatment facility and uses fewer chemicals than home washings tend to.
Each vehicle's aesthetic and under-the-hood beauty gets continual boosts with additional services, including air-conditioner and timing-belt repair and transmission flushes. When they are not pampering autos, the Expresso staff lends philanthropic support to nonprofits, including local schools, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and teenage cars saving up for a new driver.
Ride Renewal revitalizes soiled road crafts at its shop or brings the clean to cars with mobile detailing services within a 12-mile radius of its location. Wherever the washing takes place, a professional crew makes automobiles immaculate inside and out in two hours or fewer. The exterior will experience a thorough soaping, scrubbing, rinsing, and waxing, as well as a grime-ridding wipe down for each rim and a tire dressing. As for the interior, a scrupulous sweep expunges the upholstery of garbage accumulation, fallen crumbs, and forgotten sandwich stowaways. Windows are either cleansed or cast under a spell of invisibility, and a final dressing dusts off the dashboard, console, and Donna Shalala–bobblehead-doll collection.
At Tuffy's, motor-vehicle caregivers spruce up patrons' horseless carriages and prepare them for a new season of dutiful service. After installing a new oil filter, auto artisans remove the old sludgy glop clogging the car's arterial system and replace it with up to 5 quarts of Valvoline 5W-30 or 5W-20 conventional motor oil (a $26.99 value, diesel or synthetic oil costs extra). The staff will also rotate tires to prepare four-wheeled wonders for safe gliding (a $12 value) and make sure air-conditioning systems function properly to bring you to the brink of coolness faster than Fonzie’s leather jacket ($9.99) . Finally, a pair of fresh wiper blades (up to 22")—grown locally by organic-blade farmers—supplants worn-out window-rubbers ($22) and a specialist conducts an extensive 41-point maintenance inspection.