5 Reasons to Stay Away from Damaging Car Washes

It’s not safe for your vehicle

Have you heard the horror stories of someone having their 2015 Volkswagen Touareg scratched after going through a gas station car wash? Those stories are out there and here’s why; car regulation.  A major example of this is rusty cars. When a rusty car goes through a car wash, the rust flakes off then attaches to the cloth wraps, which clean the car more aggressively than foam wraps and are used at most gas station washes. Then you go through with your new car hoping to get a fast, cheap wash and those cloth wraps, with small rust particles stuck to them, scratch your car. Drive & Shine uses foam wraps and regulates the vehicles that enter the tunnel and turns away vehicles that have excessive rust so your car is safe from scratches.

It’s not safe for the environment

Washing your car at home can be causing unnecessary pollution. Between 100-120 gallons of fresh water is used to wash your vehicle and the runoff can contain grease, gasoline, oil, exhaust residue, bits of rubber, and road tar from your car. This material eventually flows into rivers and is very unsafe for wildlife that lives in and drinks the water. Turning to a short tunnel car wash to do the job not only harms the environment, it also harms your car! Some washes use Hydrofluoric acid because it is cheaper and removes road grime in a short amount of time but destroys rubber seals, damages paint, etches windshields and is terrible for the environment. Drive & Shine is a member of the Water Savers Program and only uses about 30 to 50 gallons of water per car which then is recycled.  There is also a longer tunnel giving the biodegradable soap more time to sit on the vehicle making it shinier while also being eco friendly.

It saves you money

Having a dirty car can become expensive. Let’s say you wash your car around 5 times a month and pay $8 every time. That’s $40 a month just on car washes! Now let’s say you pay the cost of 3 $8 car washes but wash your car as often as you want? That’s a pretty good deal, right? Drive & Shine actually offers this! It’s a VIP Unlimited Wash program where instead of constantly paying for car wash after car wash, you only pay $25 a month for about 7x more washes. Even if you don’t wash your car THAT frequently you can still save your money on car washes with the buy 5 washes get one free coupon book which never expires. EVER. See, you can still get the most for your money, even with a dirty car.

It saves you time

Washing all the rims, tires, and getting the bugs and bird poo off isn’t the most exciting way to spend your day off and could take hours. Scrubbing all the marker off your vinyl from those darn kids along with washing the food stains of out the carpets could be a whole day process which you COULD be spending by the pool or beach. Luckily there is Drive & Shine to take the burden of a messy, dirty car off your hands and put it in the hands of speedy professionals. You can get the full exterior of your car cleaned while a 2 week wax is applied and turn 3 hours into 3 minutes. As for the inside, the only thing you need to worry about is saying bye bye to those stains on your seats. Not only do you not have to get your hands dirty, but you don’t have to spend your whole day cleaning and more time enjoying the summer! 

Is it a name you can trust

Cars are not cheap and putting that big of an investment in the hands of just anyone can be nerve racking. You can be confident in bringing your vehicle to the #1 trusted car wash in Michiana. Drive & Shine wasn’t rated #1 in Michiana for 17 years in a row for nothing!  Pride and ownership is taken in every vehicle received and no job is finished until you are happy. Clean, shiny, dry and most importantly safe!

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Employee Spotlight - Meet Juan!

At Drive & Shine, we believe our employees are our greatest assets. We are proud to have many long-term employees who have dedicated their time and talent to serving customers through their role at Drive & Shine. We hope you enjoy learning more about some of these special employees and why they believe Drive & Shine is a great place to work.

How long have you been with Drive & Shine?

This October will be 15 years.

What is the story behind you coming to Drive & Shine?

The owner met me and asked me to come and work for him and I told him no.  It took 3 more times of him asking for me to agree and come to Drive & Shine.

What department did you work in when you first started?

I was a Lube Technician and then promoted to Lube Manager.

What do you do now?

I'm the Store Manager at the Mishawaka store.

What is your favorite part of working at Drive & Shine?

I have a passion for my work and I love when someone really appreciates what I do. I love our customers and the associates that work here.  I really like working for a family.  Everyone that works here builds a family-type relationship.

Why do you think Drive & Shine has been voted #1 in the communities we serve every year we’ve been in business?

Because we have “The Best!” 

What sets Drive and Shine apart from the competition?

We have the best employees, best facilities – we’re just the best!

Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Schererville Indiana facilities combine Express Car washes, Full Service Car washes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof. We are known for being the premium customer and employee focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business- an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day. We also work hard at keeping our associates happy. To prove it- we have associates that have been with us since the day we opened our 1st location in 1997. Our strategy is to remain the best at what we do. We will do it through continued investments in the best of facilities, technologies and people our industry has to offer.

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Auto Detailing – Spring Cleaning For Your Car

Spring has finally arrived and this time of year we all have that urge to freshen up our spaces from the long, hard winter.  While you’re making your cleaning to-do list – be sure to include your ride.  According to a  U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey , the average American spends over 100 hours a year in their car.    

Here are 6 reasons a thorough cleaning is probably in order: 

  1. Road Salt. While we appreciate the road-clearing job road salt does on the snow, it’s wreaking havoc on your vehicle. It gets stuck in wheel wells and under the chassis putting your car at risk for rust. Not only does it assault the exterior of your vehicle, it also gets tracked in causing irreversible damage to mats and carpets. While a trip through the Drive and Shine car wash will help, a more in depth cleaning is in order.
  2. Paint Health. Cleaning, polishing, and waxing greatly increases the lifetime of your car’s paint. The paint and clear coat are there to protect the metal underneath. Keeping those protective layers in top shape will prolong the life of your vehicle.
  3. Interior Condition. Regular cleaning and conditioning of your interior vinyl and leather prevents cracking, fading and discoloration of your dash and seats.
  4. Germ Elimination. A deep scrub will do wonders for eliminating allergens and contaminants that are lurking on surfaces and circulating through the vents of your vehicle.
  5. Cosmetic. Hello gorgeous. Every drive is more enjoyable when you’re in a shiny, clean car.
  6. Resale value. Cars are an investment. We all know getting regular oil changes is a must for proper maintenance. Detailing is just as important to keeping your car in the best shape possible and one of the most cost effective ways of maintaining your car’s value. A clean car will fetch up to 20% more in a private sale or trade in.

 

Drive and Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Indiana, Mishawaka, Indiana, South Bend, Indiana, Granger, Indiana and Schererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof and you never need an appointment for any of our services. We are known for being the premium customer focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us number 1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business - an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day. 

If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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Protect the Environment; Use a Car Wash

Surveys suggest that more than half of Americans wash their cars at home at least once a month. The result is unnecessary pollution. The soapy, dirty water flows down driveways, into streets and into storm water sewers that lead directly to creeks, streams and rivers.

Using a carwash is a more environmentally friendly way of caring for your vehicle, many experts say.

The run-off from washing your car at home contains grease, gasoline, oil, exhaust residue, bits of rubber, and road tar. Oil products that flow unfiltered into streams and lakes can harm fish and wildlife that drink the water.

Even the detergent you use might be harmful, especially if it contains phosphates. Phosphates, a chemical that also is used in fertilizer, affects rivers and lakes because it encourages the growth of algae, a process that robs the water of oxygen needed by other wildlife.

Detergents can poison all types of aquatic life if they are present in sufficient quantities, and this includes the biodegradable detergents, according to Lenntech, a Dutch water treatment solutions company. All detergents destroy the external mucus layers that protect fish from bacteria and parasites. Detergents can also damage gills.

 In addition to polluting the environment, home car washing is wasteful and uses more clean water than necessary, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

 Somebody who washes a car at home uses an average of 116 gallons of water to wash a car. Most commercial car washes use 60 percent less water for the entire process than a homeowner uses just to rinse the car.

 If you must wash your car at home, the EPA recommends:

·         Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners

·         Use a spray gun with flow restriction to minimize water use.

·         Wash in an area that absorbs water, such as grass or gravel.

·         Always empty wash buckets into sinks or toilets.

“The best way to minimize the effect washing your car has on the environment is to use a commercial car wash. Most (carwash) locations reuse wash water several times before sending it to a treatment plant,” an article on the EPA website says.

The International Carwash Association (ICA) encourages its members to participate in its WaterSavers program, which requires that a carwash discharge all of its used water to local water treatment or to a permitted leech or septic field. The certification also requires regular maintenance of equipment.

Haji Tehrani, president and CEO of Drive & Shine car care centers, is a on the board of directors of the ICA. He said he has been encouraging even higher standards, including the use of biodegradable soaps.

 Tehrani would like the use of hydrofluoric acid (HF) banned from carwashes. Although the chemical is poisonous, a diluted solution is used in many carwashes because it is cheap and effective at removing road grime. He says that HF destroys rubber seals, damages paint, etches windshields and is terrible for the environment.  Tehrani refuses to use it in his carwashes.  

Instead, Drive & Shine operations have 200-foot tunnels that negate the need for such nasty acids. The longer tunnels allow his carwashes to use safe soaps, Tehrani says.

“We use biodegradable soap,” Tehrani said. “Most carwashes with short tunnels use hydrofluoric acid for cleaning.”

The longer tunnels provide more time for soap to be effective. The effect is similar to taking extra time to wash your hands. The longer you scrub, the soapier your hands get while the soap becomes more effective.

Even with such long tunnels, Drive & Shine uses just 30 to 50 gallons of fresh water for each car.

Several of the Drive & Shine locations recycle the used water. They also have baffled filtration systems to remove sediment from the water. The sediment removal eases the strain on sewage treatment systems and allows for either disposal or use of the sediment in other products.

Taking care of the environment is part of being a good citizen and neighbor, Tehrani said. “We live in the communities we serve. We’d better be nice to their environment. We need to be good citizens to our current and future generations.”

This article was originally published in the Elkhart Truth on June 5th.

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Benefits of Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Regular maintenance is the key to your vehicle’s longevity. For many, car maintenance is nothing more than filling up the fuel tank and an occasional oil change. If you think giving your car a once over before heading out on a long road trip is a waste of time, you cannot be further from the truth. Regular vehicle maintenance will not only ensure maximum car performance but will also prevent costly repairs, increase safety and improve fuel economy (How much is gas these days?!) Sometimes, even the smallest defect that seems irrelevant may lead to a major problem. 

 Oil and Filter Changes

 Getting regular oil changes is the absolute easiest thing you can do to extend the life of your car and save yourself from the inconvenience of breakdowns and repairs. Over time, motor oil becomes contaminated with engine metals, acids and air humidity, eventually transforming into sludge. Waiting too long to change your oil will increase the likelihood of sludge infecting all the parts where motor oil travels. As part of routine maintenance, oil changes are essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently.  (Recommended every 3 months or 3,000-6,000 miles depending on your vehicle)

 Transmission Flush

 The importance of a transmission flush often goes unnoticed until serious problems arise. It removes dirt and contamination from the system that causes early deterioration, blockage, and damage to the transmission. New fluid will also protect transmission components and prevent premature failure and very expensive repairs. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Coolant/Antifreeze Service

 Over time rust and scale deposits build up within the radiator. A flush helps to remove these deposits which get pushed out with the old anti-freeze. This is important since these build ups can cause overheating or even damage your radiator. The additives in the coolant lubricate the vehicles water pump which will lengthen its life.  A flush completely drains the system of the old anti-freeze which means that any contaminants that have made their way into the system will be flushed out as well. The additives in the coolant can lose important anti-corrosive properties over time which leads to the build up of particles. Also, the new anti-freeze will have additives that help prevent rust and build up. It will also prevent foaming in the system which helps it operate efficiently. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Power Steering Service

Normal fluid will get slightly darker and thinner with age. Heat and pressure breaks down the fluid and creates flecks of rubber and metal from the steering system seals and metal components and pushes them through the system. As there is no power steering fluid filter, these little flecks are abrasive contaminants and will further wear away seals and components, which then cause more contaminants to become ingrained in the fluid which allows deposits and varnish to gum up the system. This will decrease performance- sometimes causing sluggishness and noise. Often times, it is damage that you are unaware of and could lead to very expensive repairs to your internal system parts. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Differential Service

Changing the differential oil—it's one of the most-overlooked maintenance tasks on non-FWD light trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars. Because the differential is at the rear and under the car, it gets none of the star treatment that the engine up front does. However, if lubrication in the differential fails, you won't be getting very far for very long. The differential is a component in all cars and is designed to compensate for the difference in distance the inner wheels and outer wheels travel as the car goes around a corner. The differential oil lubricates the ring and pinion gears that transfer power from the driveshaft to the wheel axles. If your car is fitted with a limited-slip differential, it also keeps all the moving parts in that assembly healthy. Changing this oil is just as important as changing your engine's oil, and for the same reason. Metal-to-metal contact wears down surfaces and creates heat from friction, which inevitably weakens the gears and leads to failure. This small procedure can save you a big headache down the road. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Fuel Injection Cleaning Service/ Fuel Filter Service

From the first time your engine is started, dirt, carbon deposits and varnishes are formed in your vehicle's fuel systems, on the intake valves, and in the combustion chamber areas. Some symptoms that are caused by carbon buildup are engine pinging, poor acceleration, hesitation or lurching, repeated stalling, rough idle and poor fuel mileage. Cleaning your fuel system has enormous benefits.  It will save you money by improving fuel mileage and preventing costly repairs, reduces the risk of breakdowns, reduces air pollution and increases safety and dependability. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Engine Flush

The process involves removing the engine oil and pouring cleaning agents into the engine. The cleaning agents get into the tiny nicks and corners to flush the gunk out. The chemicals have strong degreasing properties which remove the toughest engine gunk.  Oil filters are effective but they do not filter out all types of residue.  It can be so miniscule the oil filter misses it. If the oil is not changed for a while, it keeps getting dirty. As the oil keeps gathering engine dirt, it begins forming residue around different engine parts. Even if you change your oil and add clean oil, the dirt will remain stuck to the engine parts and can cause serious damage to your engine in the long run. When gunk is stuck to internal components, the engine struggles to deliver optimum performance. Not only will this result in a lower gas mileage, but your engine will begin vibrating excessively. At times, the gunk chokes the small oil lines within the engine. After a flush, fresh engine oil will stay cleaner for longer. You will even notice a significant difference in the engine temperature and also the drive. (Recommended every 2 years or 30,000 miles)

Serpentine Belt Service

Driving on an old belt is a disaster waiting to happen because it powers most all of an engine’s accessories.  That means when your belt breaks, slips and, ultimately, wears out, everything – from the power steering pump to the alternator and air conditioner stops working.  What’s more, the parts it controls can become severely damaged.  Broken hoses and belts are bad, a damaged engine is even worse.  By replacing your belt periodically, can you minimize the risk of breakdown.  (When cracked, frayed, aged)

A/C Recharge Service

When an air conditioning system loses its ability to cool properly, it may be necessary to recharge the system. An A/C Recharge is the first line of defense if cooling is inadequate.  If you have a leak and the recharge escapes, another recharge is not recommended and you must get your system repaired. (Recommended when cooling efficiency is low)

Every vehicle manufacturer recommends routine scheduled maintenance- which varies in interval.  Drive and Shine performs all of the above routine and recommended services at a fraction of the cost of a dealership and without the need for making appointments, dropping off the car, getting rides or long waits.  We do them in just minutes while you wait in the comfort of your own vehicle.  You never need an appointment – we work on your schedule!  All services are performed by our highly trained technicians.

Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing - we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Schererville Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Change Services all under one roof. You never need an appointment! Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business. If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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Employee Spotlight - Meet Rich!

At Drive & Shine, we believe our employees are our greatest assets. We are proud to have many long-term employees who have dedicated their time and talent to serving customers through their role at Drive & Shine. We hope you enjoy learning more about some of these special employees and why they believe Drive & Shine is a great place to work.

 

Meet Rich!

 

How long have you worked at Drive & Shine?

17 years.  Since the doors opened in June, 1997.

 

What does your job entail?

I work the west end.  I get the full service cars out of the tunnel and finish their interior service and I work in the detail center. 

 

What is your favorite part of working at Drive & Shine?

My customers.  I like when they have a clean car, they’re happy and that makes me happy.

 

What is your least favorite part of your job?

Cleaning the pit under the wash tunnel.

 

What is the coolest car you have seen come through the wash at Drive & Shine?

A black Dodge Racing Viper

 

Why do you think Drive & Shine has been voted #1 in Michiana for 16 years straight?

Because, we take pride in what we do.

 

What sets Drive & Shine apart from the competition?

Courtesy, pride, and quality…..and the Monkeys!  People love the monkeys!

 

 

Come see Rich at the Mishawaka Drive & Shine located at 5406 North Main Street, Mishawaka, Indiana!

 
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Professional Car Washes and Lube Centers Better for the Environment

Cars are an indispensable fact of life for most of us. What we do with the used water, oil, and detergents makes a huge difference in balancing clean and convenient transportation with a clean and healthy environment today and for future generations.

Car Washing

You will waste less water and cause less pollution if you take your car to a professional car wash rather than wash it at home.

From a study released by the International Carwash Association®:

  • Washing your car at home in the driveway with a garden hose uses about 7 gallons of fresh water every minute. In as little as 15 minutes, washing with a hose can use nearly 100 gallons of water.
  • Carwashes enrolled in the WaterSavers program (like Drive and Shine) meet stringent environmental standards for water use and treatment. WaterSavers car washes use a maximum of 40 gallons of water per car in conveyor.
  • “It’s important to note,” says Eric Wulf, CEO of the Chicago-based International Carwash Association, “that washing vehicles on paved surfaces sends runoff containing soap and other harmful chemicals into storm sewers that empty into our streams, rivers and lakesIn contrast, professional car washes collect, treat and recycle waste water, discharging any remaining water into the local water treatment system, where it is processed before being released into waterways.”
  • Research shows that runoff from driveway or pavement washing can harm wildlife. A Washington state environmental firm collected actual runoff from a car wash fundraiser held in a parking lot. Rainbow trout were exposed to the runoff, and all the fish died within 24 hours. A second test, of water that contained the same concentration of detergent a car owner might use to wash a vehicle at home, produced similar results.

Drive and Shine is a proud member of the International Carwash Association's WaterSavers® Program.

Oil Change

You can make a difference by making sure the Lube Center you visit recycles used engine oil and filters.

 

Did you know used oil can be re-refined into base stock for lubricating oil?

 

If you recycle just two gallons of used oil it can generate enough electricity to run the average household for almost 24 hours.

 

We are all familiar with recycling newspapers, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, but you may not be aware of the efforts of the petroleum industry and other groups to promote used motor oil recycling: providing convenient collection sites for the purpose of keeping used motor oil out of our waterways and ground water supplies and getting used oil into the recycling system.

 

Motor oil has value even after it has been drained from an engine. The oil you take to a collection center to be recycled saves energy. It can be reprocessed and used in furnaces for heat or in power plants to generate electricity for homes, schools, and businesses. It can also be sent to a refinery that specializes in processing used oil and re-refined into lubricating base oils that can be used to formulate engine oils meeting API specifications.

 

Recycling motor oil helps prevent pollution and conserve energy for a safer and healthier tomorrow.

 

At Drive and Shine, we recycle 100% of used engine oil and oil filters.  We are also a drop off location for used motor oil.

 

Drive & Shine Car Wash, Oil Change and Auto Detailing website- we are a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs. Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Schererville Indiana facilities combine Express Carwashes, Full Service Carwashes, Detailing Services, and Quick Lube/Oil Services all under one roof. We are known for being the most premium customer and employee focused car care centers in the communities we serve.

Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business- an accomplishment we are very proud of and work very hard at retaining every day.

If you are a current customer, we thank you for your business. If you have not tried our services, we invite you to try us- we promise not to disappoint you.

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