End of Summer Marks Perfect Time for Car Care

Preventative maintenance now can help ensure worry-free driving this winter

The vacations are over, the kids are back in school and cooler evenings have begun. Take advantage of the lull to prepare your vehicle for the winter ahead, advise the pros and the non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Breakdowns, never convenient, can be dangerous in cold weather period.

The following tips from ASE should give parent and student alike a road map to fall car care.

First things first

Read your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules. There are usually two schedules listed: normal and severe.

Engine Performance

Have engine driveability problems (hard starts, rough idling, stalling, diminished power, etc.) corrected at a good repair shop. Cold weather will make existing problems worse. Replace dirty filtersair, fuel, PCV, etc.


Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Note, too, that a gas tank that’s kept filled helps prevent moisture from forming in the first place.


Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

Cooling System

The cooling system should be flushed and refilled as recommended. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is usually recommended.) If you’re doing your own work, allow the radiator to cool down completely before removing the cap. (Newer vehicles have coolant reservoirs.) The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a certified auto technician.


The heater and defroster must be in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility.

Windshield Wipers

Replace old blades. If your climate is harsh, purchase rubber-clad (winter) blades to fight ice build-up. Stock up on windshield washer solvent you’ll be surprised how much you use. Carry an ice-scraper.


The only accurate way to detect a weak battery is with professional equipment. But do-it-yourselfers can do routine maintenance. Scrape away corrosion from posts and cable connections; clean all surfaces; re-tighten all connections. If battery caps are removable, check fluid level monthly.

A word of caution:

Be sure to avoid contact with corrosive deposits and battery acid. Wear eye protection and rubber gloves. Note too that removal of cables can cause damage or loss of data/codes on some newer vehicles so refer to your manual for instructions.


Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses with a moistened cloth or towel. To prevent scratching, never use a dry rag.

Exhaust System

Your vehicle should be placed on a lift and the exhaust system examined for leaks. The trunk and floorboards should be inspected for small holes. Exhaust fumes can be deadly.


Worn tires will be of little use in winter weather. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Let the tires “cool down” before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. Don’t forget your spare, and be sure the jack is in good condition.


Carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flashlight, and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in your glove box.


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 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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Notice Anything New at our Elkhart location on Cassopolis Street?

At the beginning of July the Drive & Shine maintenance team installed new equipment at the beginning of the car wash, these pieces of equipment are known as “Top Brushes”.  The brushes spin at 100 RPM and with the combination of NeoGlide Foam and soapy cleaning agents, provide superior cleaning action to the top surfaces of your vehicle. We at Drive & Shine take pride in providing our customers with the best cleaning technology available in the car wash industry and making sure that your vehicle leaves clean, shiny, and dry every time!

Drive & Shine is a one stop shop for all your routine car care needs.  Our Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend and Shererville, Indiana facilities combine Express Car Washes, Full Service Car Washes, Auto Detailing, and Oil changes/Quick Lube services all under one roof!

Our customers have voted us #1 in what we do for as long as we have been in business!



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10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

10 Ways Car Owners Can Extend the Life of a Vehicle

Whether you drive an old Buick or a new Camry, you want to keep your ride going as long as possible, but it’s easier said than done. While in the middle of life’s daily hustle, you might be letting proper car care slide. Over the years, that will add extra wear and ultimately shorten the life of the vehicle.

Getting the most out of your car is easier than you might think. Once the warranty runs out or your service package expires, simple maintenance procedures (at small investments) are the key to avoiding expensive vehicle repairs. Reader’s Digest was good enough to point out a robust 74 tips to keep your car humming longer. That’s one tall, if instructive, order. Here are 10 tips for a more manageable assignment when trying to extend the life of your vehicle.

1. Rotate your tires

You ought to have your car’s tires rotated when it goes in for servicing, but if you are off the warranty, you are on your own. Goodyear recommends having the job done every 3,000 to 6,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the figure the manufacturer suggests for your vehicle, but once every six months is a good standard to follow. Some tire companies offer free rotations every 6,000 miles for the life of the tires when you buy their products.

2. Run your air conditioner in winter

With the temperature below freezing, the idea of running your car’s air conditioner in the winter might sound terrifying, but it helps your keep your cooling system working for the next time you actually need it (i.e., next summer). Otherwise, the moving parts can seize up and cause malfunctions come summertime. Pick a day when the weather is manageable, and you are fully bundled up to get the AC going.

3. Engine cleaning

Washing your car’s exterior is taken for granted, but opening the hood and washing the engine every few years is a way to prolong the life of the vehicle. Removing the sludge that accumulates on an engine’s exterior helps keep the parts from overheating, which will allow you to stay away from the mechanic. Electrical parts and the air intake should be protected when you perform this task, so ask for advice at the auto parts store before you get into engine cleaning.

4. How to protect a car in storage

If you aren’t going to use your car for several weeks, there are steps you should take to protect its operation. Reader’s Digest suggests filling up the gas tank to avoid condensation and adding a fuel stabilizer to keep parts in working order while it sits idle. In addition, removing the battery from your car will protect it from damage and potential drain. Finally, wash and wax your car so the exterior remains protected in your absence. It will be much better off when you return.

5. Antifreeze maintenance

Over the years, coolant-antifreeze breaks down and becomes susceptible to contamination, which will shorten the life of your vehicle. Follow your owner’s manual to get old antifreeze out of your car’s cooling system. Three years will be the breaking point for most antifreeze products, but it could happen sooner with cheap products. This bit of maintenance protects your radiator, keeps your heater from failing, and helps keep the car’s thermostat in working order.

6. Wash your car in winter

Washing your car in winter can feel like Lucille Ball in her skit at the chocolate factory. As soon as you have it clean, some car comes splashing through a frozen slush puddle and ruins it. That evening, a snowfall might hit and ensure your car looks hideous for the coming weeks.

Rather than a cosmetic solution, washing in winter is about protecting your car from rust and corrosion. The salt and dirt from the road presents a big danger to your car’s undercarriage during the winter months. Routine washings will help you minimize this threat.

7. Transmission maintenance

Cars need fluid replaced in the automatic transmission every few years or 25,000 miles, depending on your make and model. Vehicles you use to tow need the fluid replaced more frequently. If you drive stick, manual transmissions need lubricant changes every 50,000 miles. Synthetic motor oil is the most recommended option for maintaining your vehicle longer, but your owner’s manual will have details for the particular model.

8. Filter changes

Everyone knows the filters in HVAC systems and cars need changing on a regular schedule, but life often stops you from getting it done. Clogged fuel and oil filters make automobile engines work harder to perform standard functions, so keep an eye out for issues and observe the recommended maintenance in your owner’s manual. Air filters and transmission filters also need changing on a regular basis. Even when your might not see obviously clogged filters, this bit of preventive maintenance is one of the easiest things for an owner to do to prolong the life of your car.

9. Protect vehicles from the sun

Sunlight will eat away paint and leave your car vulnerable to rust. If you can’t keep it in a garage, at least try to keep it out of the sun. Reader’s Digest suggests getting a car cover to give your car protection against moisture, bird droppings, and other debris. Covers also give you a line of defense against random damage that can occur to a car sitting on a residential street or in a parking lot.

10. Change oil more often than recommended

What do you get by avoiding frequent oil changes? Other than saving a few dollars, there is little advantage for car owners who wait the maximum time (or longer) to replace motor oil. A higher frequency of oil changes keeps corrosive materials out of the engine and helps you keep your car on the road longer. Drivers who are often caught in city traffic should especially follow this advice. As with fuel economy, city driving can put a hurt on your automobile’s engine. Oil changes help minimize the long-term impact.


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Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

Lather, Rinse, Repeat! Join our VIP Unlimited Car Wash Club today!

Love a clean car all the time? Then Drive & Shine’s VIP Unlimited Car Wash Plan is for you!

Wash your car as often as you want – as often as EVERY DAY for a low monthly fee. 

Enjoy the speed and convenience that a VIP Unlimited Car Wash membership brings with no long-term contract. Members can wash as often as they like at any Drive & Shine location and feel good knowing they’re always driving a clean and shiny car.

Our VIP Unlimited Wash Club provides members with unlimited, worry-free car washing starting at just $30 per month. With a range of VIP Unlimited car wash package options, you can choose the wash that best suits your needs and using your membership couldn’t be more convenient! Best of all, since there’s no contract so you can cancel any time.

Stop by any Drive & Shine full service location and sign up for our VIP Unlimited Car Wash program today!

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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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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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