Our Goal is to Never Stop Improving

Since its opening in Mishawaka more than 20 years ago, Drive & Shine has always sought to build long-term relationships with its customers.  Mission accomplished in the South Bend region, as we have been voted #1 for 21 years in a row- said Haji Tehrani the chain’s CEO and president.

An engineer and auto enthusiast, Tehrani wanted to start his own business so he set out to duplicate the best attributes of the upscale car washes he visited while traveling across the country.

His first location at 5406 N. Main St. in Mishawaka was built of brick and was considerably longer than other washes in the area to ensure the most gentle and thorough cleaning.

It offered amenities such as interior cleaning, detailing and oil changes for the convenience of customers, and Tehrani sought out the best people he could find, recognizing that an impressive wash wouldn’t overcome the experience its employees left the customer with.

The business model worked, and Drive & Shine continued to expand throughout the region, employing those and other ideas Tehrani saw while traveling in the U.S. and beyond as board chairman of the International Carwash Association.

In order to develop long term relationships with its customers, the business introduced its unlimited VIP Club which allows customers to wash their cars an unlimited number of times each month if they join their VIP program for as little as $20 a month.

We even have a dedicated lane for our VIP customers to reduce wait times, said Sherry Tehrani, VP of marketing

All of those principals were employed at Drive & Shine’s seventh location, which opened recently at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend. The $7 million project features a 200-foot wash tunnel that employs the same gentle materials and cleaning agents used at the other locations.

But there are a few important twists.

“It has an extremely advanced car-wash conveyor,” said Matthew Tehrani, vice president of technology and new product development. “It will wash cars to perfection at a pace of 200 per hour, making wait time a thing of the past.”

But just as importantly, the new wash includes a predominantly glass 20,000-square-foot operation that  offers it’s VIP members FREE vacuuming in the climate controlled building where they can sweep their cars, use air hoses to blow off any water that might have been trapped in the outside mirrors.

Each of the 20 vacuum bays also includes a dedicated mat-cleaning station, and will also available to non-VIP members using the wash for an additional $5 fee.

 Tehrani got the idea for indoor self-service vacuum stations in Germany where motorists can be fanatical about keeping their vehicles clean and tidy. Some of the design elements of this new location incorporate concepts Tehrani saw at auto dealerships Tehrani visited in various places in the world.  Everyone wants to know what is going to be built on the second floor- he said laughingly- saying that we want to leave our customers with many reasons to chose us as their favorite car care center.

“Our goal is to never stop improving, to always look for new ideas we can bring to the market,” he said.

 

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Winter is Here and the Holidays are on the way!

OK, you had your warning.

With the wet leaves all over the streets and the sloppy white stuff already falling, it’s time to consider getting into a program that assures that your vehicle will get through winter with no damage from the salt and other crud that’s kicked up.

Drive & Shine, which provides the largest footprint in the area with six locations and a seventh ready to open soon at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend, is offering discounted coupon books for the holidays as well as gift cards and its spectacular unlimited wash program.

As an incentive to purchase a coupon book, Drive & Shine always provides an extra wash with purchase. Through the end of the year, however, the business is providing two additional Ruby or Diamond washes – its two best – with the purchase of one of those books.

“They’re very popular as stocking stuffers,” said Sherry Hocking Tehrani, director of marketing for Drive & Shine and co-owner of the business. “Car washes make for great gifts that you know will be used.”

But beyond the coupon books, Drive & Shine also offers gift cards ranging from $25 to $500 that can be used for car washes or other services offered by the business such as detailing and oil changes, said Tehrani.

And its unlimited wash program allows customers to wash the same car daily for as low as 19.99 a month, said Tehrani, adding that there are nice incentives for those who enter into this no contract unlimited wash program with Drive & Shine.

Unlimited customers also have the equivalent of a fast-pass at an amusement park since Drive & Shine has special lanes to get them in and out as quickly as possible, said Tehrani, adding that little extra can save a lot of time on those days when lines can get long.

Services can be purchased online or at Drive & Shine locations, said Tehrani.

“We’re not trying to be the least expensive car wash,” said Tehrani. “We aim to offer speed, convenience and top-quality services.”

Since its founding back in 1997, Drive & Shine has always sought to separate itself with the quality of its services and its employees. Drive & Shine tunnels, for example, are typically much longer than other car washes because it uses only biodegradable soaps and soft foam-like materials to ensure there is no damage to the paint, glass and seals on a vehicle,” said Matthew Tehrani, a chemical engineer who focuses on the technology and chemistry division of the family business.

Meanwhile, Haji Tehrani, founder of the business, continues to travel to fulfil his duties as president of the International Carwash Association and to look for new ideas to bring back to the Michiana area. “Our focus will always be on providing the highest-quality, highest value service for our customers,” he explained.

 

Drive & Shine Founded: 1997

Locations: 5406 N. Main St., Mishawaka, 2714 Cassopolis St., Elkhart; 400 N. Nappanee St. (limited services); 4340 Ironwood Drive, South Bend; 1350 U.S. 41 N, Schererville; and opening soon at 4035 S. Michigan St., South Bend.

Employees: About 100

Online: www.driveandshine.com or www.facebook.com/DriveandShine

 

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Not All Car Washes are Created Equal

 

Not all car washes are created equal, according to the owners of locally based Drive & Shine.

Since its founding by Haji Tehrani back in 1997, Drive & Shine has sought to separate itself from other car washes by the appearance of its buildings, the courtesy of its employees and the quality of its services.

Tehrani was working as an engineer for a company in the region but always wanted to operate his own business, said his wife Sherry Hocking Tehrani, director of marketing for Drive & Shine. Always a car lover, he had an idea to replicate some of the upscale washes he had seen while living on the East Coast.

Tehrani attended conventions and visited other cities before building his first location in Mishawaka. Since that start, the business has grown to five locations with a sixth ready to open soon at 4035 S. Michigan Street in South Bend.

But far from being content with its current footprint, Drive & Shine continues to look for new locations where it believes the Drive & Shine difference will be embraced by customers who want more from a car wash.

Sherry Tehrani said her husband, who serves as board president of the International Car Wash Association, continues to travel looking for the latest technology and trends to incorporate into the business. Their son, Matthew, who is Notre Dame chemical engineering graduate runs the technology and chemistry division of the chain. 

When choosing a car wash, consumers should consider the length of the cleaning tunnel said Matthew. The tunnels at Drive & Shine approach 200 feet and might contain nearly $1 million in cleaning equipment, she said.

The extra length and cleaning equipment means that Drive & Shine can use extremely gentle foam-like materials and biodegradable soaps to clean every corner of a vehicle without damaging the car or the environment, Matthew explained.

Over time, the harsh treatment at a smaller wash that uses cloth and cheap acidic soap will translate into damage to the paint, glass and seals on a vehicle, said Matthew, adding that Drive & Shine always seeks to minimize its environmental impact.

Besides using biodegradable soaps, Drive & Shine also has been recognized by the Carwash Association for its effort to reduce water usage. At locations with oil-change operations, waste oil is recycled to heat the buildings in the winter months.

Drive & Shine also offers a starting wage of $12 an hour so that it can hire and retain the best people that it can find to interact with its customers, said Tehrani, adding that some employees have been with the company almost from the beginning.

Though Drive & Shine separates itself by offering the “we-do-it-all for you” concept at most locations, some of the newest ones – such as the one on South Michigan will offer washes that allow customers to vacuum their own vehicles.

“The one thing that customers can always expect is a high-quality, high-value service that’s second to none,” Tehrani said.

 

Drive & Shine

Founded: 1997

Locations: 5406 N. Main St., Mishawaka, 2714 Cassopolis St., Elkhart; 400 N. Nappanee St. (limited services); 4340 Ironwood Drive, South Bend; 1350 U.S. 41 N, Schererville; and opening soon at 4035 S. Michigan St., South Bend.

Employees: About 100

Online: www.driveandshine.com or www.facebook.com/DriveandShine

 

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Car Appearance Maintenance made Easy!

Love your car? Of course! It is typically the second biggest investment that each person makes behind housing. How do you keep it looking new as father time puts it to the test? Here’s a list of 5 things to do to keep your car in mint-condition. Brought to you by your friends at Drive & Shine

  1. Regular Car Washes (about every 4 days) and window cleaning

Regular washing helps keep your vehicles paint clean from bug guts, bird poop, brake dust, and other contaminants that can etch your paint which can lead to rust, paint chips, and etching of the finish. Regular washing also keeps your exterior windows clean for a safe field of view. Make sure to keep the inside windows clean as well! Make sure to use car-friendly window cleaner as some are not safe for using on vehicles.

  1. Contaminant removal (if necessary)

While regular car washing will help to keep your exterior free from contaminants, there are some things that the carwash will not be able to remove. Tar, brake dust, overspray, and hard water spots can cause permanent damage to your vehicle if not attended to. Run your hand along your clean vehicles side panels (behind the wheels and both bumpers is where it gets the worst) or use a light to see all of the contaminants on your paint. Contaminant removal clears up the clear’ coats surface to prepare for immediate waxing.

  1. Waxing

Waxing creates a barrier between your clear coat/paint and the elements. Depending on the quality, waxes can last anywhere from a few days up to years’ worth of protection after a single application. Running the back of your hand against the vehicle or pouring a bit of water onto the side of the vehicle are a couple of ways to check your level of protection. A well-protected vehicle will make your hand glide across the surface with ease and water will bead up and not dry up onto the paints finish. An under-protected vehicle will cause your hand to get “caught” on the paint and water will dry up onto the finish. Waxing protects your paint from damaging, helps resist the elements, helps cover up scratches (mostly minor), restores shine, scratch protection, and most importantly, keeps your car looking good.

  1. Conditioning

Notice all the plastic/vinyl/rubber/leather on/in your vehicle. Is it as glossy and smooth as it once was? If not, your vinyl/leather is likely drying out. This can lead to discoloration, cracks, tears, and permanent fading. Conditioning keeps the vinyl/leather moisturized to help maintain its condition. Purchasing sun shades and tint can also help keep your interior cooler and put less stress on the interior of the vehicle. Conditioning is usually the most over-looked aspect of car appearance.

  1. Carpet/interior cleaning

While regular vacuuming should help keep your car free of most stains accidents do happen. If a spill/accident happens make sure to tend to it A.S.A.P. this will give you the best chances of preventing the stain from setting and potentially becoming permanent. Vinyl mats are a must for winter time or any situations in which your shoes are wet.

These are 5 appearance tips to keep your car looking new. If you would like Drive & Shine to keep your car looking new, listed below is each of our full service locations. We provide car washes, oil changes, and detailing under one roof. Call or stop by today! No appointments necessary.

 

Drive & Shine Schererville    Drive & Shine South Bend     Drive & Shin Mishawaka
1350 US 41 North                   4340 Ironwood Drive            5406 N. Main Street
Schererville, IN 46375           South Bend, IN 46614             Mishawaka, IN 46545
Tel: (219) 865-7788                Tel: (574) 291-7788                 Tel: (574) 271-7788

Drive & Shine Elkhart            Drive & Shine Elkhart Exterior Only
2714 Cassopolis St.                400 N. Nappanee
Elkhart, IN 46514                   Elkhart, IN 46514
Tel: (574) 296-7788                Tel: (574) 389-7788

 

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How to help your Car beat the heat this summer.

Do you know if your vehicle is summer ready? Have you taken good enough care of your car since winter? Can your vehicle handle an impromptu road trip and all the stop and go traffic that comes with it? Here’s an extensive list we have created for you, at Drive & Shine, to help keep you and your vehicle safe from the drastic change in weather during the summer months. If you have any uncertainty with these tips, visit a service center or a mechanic to make sure your vehicle is taken care of.

Keep Fluids Filled

While your engine is used to getting hot, too much heat can cause serious issues without the right care (Lampe). “Oil helps keep your engine lubricated, which reduces friction (and heat buildup) under your hood” (Guerin). When your engine gets extra-hot, it uses extra lubrication to compensate. This makes it vital to check your oil level, make sure it is filled, and perform routine oil changes to prevent any overheating or engine failure. Frequently replacing your oil filter, with every oil change, will help filter out debris that has managed to enter the oil system much more efficiently than using the same filter for extended periods of time (Firestone Complete Auto).

- Oil is not the only fluid you need to keep an eye on. Make sure your coolant, transmission, power steering, and washer fluids stay at the “fill” level as they will evaporate or are used at a faster rate under the high heats of the summer. Have the fluids checked and properly flushed (as necessary) to prevent any overheating or major damages to the system.

Keep it Clean and protected

Driving with a dirty windshield can obstruct your field of view, sometimes making it nearly impossible to see. Conditions worsen over time as the grime accumulates, so make sure to have your windshields cleaned regularly.

                -Wash your car it is the most cost-effective means of maintaining your vehicles appearance.

                -Use a quality wax  it will help protect your vehicles clear-coat from the sun’s rays and any other contaminants. You may want to consider a getting a clay bar if your vehicle has any preexisting contaminants (most vehicles do). This will ensure that the wax is protecting the clearcoat and not sealing any brake-dust, tar, or overspray to the vehicle’s clear-coat. You can test to see if you have contaminants by running your hand along the side of the vehicle’s paint job, directly behind your tires is where they tend to accumulate.

-Check your wiper-blades for those rainy days- the streaks or missed spots caused by worn wipers can also obstruct your vision while driving.

Check your tires

The last thing you need on that road trip is a flat tire.

                -Make sure your tires are: at a safe level of tread, inflated properly, and are free of any nails or bubbles that could cause a flat. If your tires have a tread of 4/32nds of an inch or less, then you should consider getting some new tires. You can use “the quarter test” to make sure your tires are ready for replacement. Grab a quarter, turn the Washington side face down, and if you can see the top of his head with the quarter touching the tire in between the grooves of the tread, it is time to look at a new set of wheels (Tire Buyer). This will help reduce your stopping time when braking suddenly.

Don’t forget about your spare tire! While we hope that you never need to use it, it can be useless to you if it is underinflated, missing, or heavily damaged.

-Rotate the tires Perform recommended tire-rotations every 5,000 miles to help evenly distribute the amount of tread lost and prolong the life of the tires.

Keep it Cool

When it gets hot outside, your vehicle is working extra hard to maintain its temperature in the cockpit, and in the engine.

                -Have your Air Conditioning unit checked to make sure that your vehicle stays cold inside while outside temperatures are at their peak. Even if you can bear the heat with the windows down, The belt powering you’re a/c could be connected to other parts of your engine. “Ignoring a weak AC could actually cause your engine to overheat” (Guerin).

-See if your cabin air filter needs replacement, only some vehicles have these, which filters the air that enters your vehicle through the ventilation system. These get clogged with debris over time and need to be replaced (we recommend replacing them about every 10,000 miles). A properly functioning cabin air filter increases you’re Air conditioning unit’s efficiency (Lampe).

-Get a sunshade for your front windshield and even your rear windshield to help keep your cockpit cool and to prevent your interior from fading from the sun’s rays.

Drive & 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.

 

Works Cited

n.d.

Firestone Complete Auto. 6 Essential Summer Car Care Tips. 10 May 2017. Web. 1 May 2018.

Gallagher, Ryan. Summer Car Tips: Helping Your Vehicle Survive Extreme Heat. 14 August 2017. 29 April 2018.

Guerin, Jessica. Summer Car Maintenance: Your Car Needs You Now More Than Ever. n.d. web. 30 April 2018.

Lampe, Blair. Is Car Performance Affected By Warmer Weather? 3 July 2017. Web. 2018 1 May.

National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Getting Your Vehicle Ready for Summer. n.d. Web. 1 May 2018.

Pro-Car Mechanics. Is Your Car Ready For This Summer? 2016. Web. 30 April 2018.

Ryan, Colin. 10 Simple Summer Car Care Tips. July 2017. 1 May 2018.

Tire Buyer. How To Know If You Have Bald Tires. n.d. Web. 30 April 2018.

 

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