There's a reason why owner Bill Lawrence decided to set Bubbles Hand Car Wash apart with upscale services and a pleasant ambiance. As Lawrence relayed to Allison Wollam of the Houston Business Journal, he was charmed by a clean, welcoming car wash he visited shortly after moving to Texas from New York, where car washes typically charged a convenience fee to any customer who smiled. Lawrence knew he could cater better to luxury car owners like himself with a conveyerized hand-wash system that combined the convenience of the tunnel model with the hands-on meticulousness of a traditional hand wash. His idea has caught on with some very high-profile customers. Houston Texans linebacker Mister Alexander trusts his ride to the skilled hands of Bubbles’ technicians, as do Houston Rockets players Hakeem Olajuwon and Kenny Smith, not to mention former president George Bush.
Even patrons without a Porsche or a professional sports career appreciate Bubbles' gentle lamb's wool mitt washes and eco-friendly soaps, sealers, waxes, and conditioners, as proven by the business’s 2010 and 2012 Houston A-List awards for Best Car Wash. Customers seem to be as taken with the company’s facilities as they are with its services; each lobby invites relaxation with free WiFi, a bemusing gift shop, and shoe shines so effective that patrons need only stand beside their vehicle to check its undercarriage. The community-conscious car washes also use less than a quarter of the water typically expended during a home wash, and the locations offer free car washes for military personnel on Veterans Day.
Paradise Total Auto Care eschews automated machines, performing all car washes by hand and also give cars a complete service or car maintenance. With a pat on the hood and scratch behind the fender, their detailers welcome autos into an onsite shop. Here, they wax paint jobs, remove bugs, and smooth uneven surfaces with clay-bar treatments. The detailers can fight grime on larger vehicles as well, such as the family RV, boat, or zeppelin.
For 23 years, Splash N Dash Car Wash & Lube has washed, detailed, and fixed up vehicles from its retro, yellow service compound. Automatic tunnels lavish cars with tri-foams, clear coat, and conditioners, and rigorous detailers shine façades with Blue Coral waxes before restoring cabins to pre-carpool condition with interior shampoos and upholstery treatments. Onsite mechanics flush residue and Crackerjack prizes from stagnant transmission and cooling systems, and dispatch standard, synthetic, and diesel motor oils to mediate between friction-filled components. Customers flop down on plump leather couches inside Splash N Dash's waiting lounge, where flat-screen TVs and a small convenience store distract car owners from their desire to peek at their cars in the shower.
H2O Carwash's staff keeps cars in showroom condition with an emphasis on attentiveness and high-quality products. Meticulous hand washes are the team members' hallmark, and they perform each scrub down with soft, wool mitts instead of relying on machines or enormous carnival dunk tanks. To keep every vehicle looking its best, washes incorporate 100% carnauba wax to baby paint jobs and Lexol conditioners to gently maintain inside upholstery. The technicians rid interior and exterior dirt with a suite of washing and detailing services that leaves finishes glowing and interior fabrics looking freshly laundered. While the team does its work, motorists stay entertained in a lounge furnished with free WiFi and cable TV, and a kids' play area complete with video games works even better than hiring the GPS navigator to babysit.
At Genie, nearly a half-century of business success lends an air of wizened experience to locations recently upgraded with $500,000 in renovations. A large staff efficiently shuttles vehicles through a wash tunnel cushioned with foam pads designed to leave exteriors unscratched. Patrons can choose between one of six multistep car washes, or cherry-pick à la Carte services such as leather conditioning, engine cleaning, and headlight restoration. Detailing packages assemble extra touches that subject disheveled cars to white-glove once-overs including trunk cleanings and carpet steam cleanings.
Visitors to Shine Express Car Wash face a flurry of choices, each of which decides their auto's ultimate fate. Upon venturing into the tunnel, motorists select from four washes, with a basic soft-cloth wash as the foundational service built on by enhancements such as an underbody rinse, tire shine, Teflon coating, and five-day wash-again guarantee. As the track pulls vehicles along, customers' choices play out in the different blue, green, and red lights that activate in accordance with an ascending level of features. Emerging from the mechanized fury, motorists again decide their fate with one turn of the wheel: a right turn takes them into a full detailing center, whereas following a U-shaped path leads to a stable of 16 free self-serve vacuums waiting to swallow up crumbs, dirt, and omniscient narrators.
Since 1988, Auto Care Super Saver has been helping car owners save cash with maintenance punch cards redeemable at local auto shops throughout the course of a full year. These cards come loaded with all kinds of prepaid services, including at least three full-service oil changes with up to 5 quarts of oil, lube, and a new filter. Depending on the location, punch cards may also feature tire rotations, brake inspections, engine-light readings, air-conditioning performance tests, and other repairs and inspections essential to a car's well-being. Customers can transfer the punch card's benefits to any ride, ranging from station wagons to sports cars to feral merry-go-round mounts.