FAIRFIELD — The promise is simple and direct.
That 5 Star Car Wash will get its customers’ cars completely clean both inside and out, usually in about 20 minutes, as well as offer complete professional detail services that includes hand waxing, carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, leather cleaning and conditioning, engine cleaning, tar removal, overspray removal and oxidation removal.
“The level of service we provide here exceeds that anywhere else,” said Bill Proestler, owner of the 5 Star Full Service Car Wash and Detailing Center, which has been making the area’s cars look great for more than 15 years.
Running a quality car wash is a labor-intensive business, where keeping committed employees, paying attention to the details of making a car look great and keeping up on the latest technology are musts, according to Proestler.
The wash process employed by 5 Star Car Wash is extremely safe, using both touchless and soft-cloth technology, which uses only the best materials and chemicals, Proestler said.
Proestler takes pride in the fact that 90 percent of his customers are return business and that a lot of his employees are committed to working for 5 Star for the long haul.
He also tries to support the local community as much as possible, with involvement in the Police Activities League, the Kids Day of Fishing and University of California, Davis Cancer Research, which has containers at the two car washes where customers can donate their loose change.
“Those nickels and dimes from our customers add up,” Proestler said, noting that those donations generated $12,000 last year for cancer research. “If a lot of other businesses do the same thing, it would really make a difference.”
The company also puts on a free car wash day for veterans and military members, with nearly 400 getting their vehicles cleaned.
Proestler’s first paying job as a 16-year-old was working in a car wash in New York, “and I kind of liked the business.” After a stint in the Air Force and working for several years as a sales manager for some large industrial companies, Proestler decided he wanted to be his own boss and started looking for a good location in Fairfield to establish 5 Star Car Wash.
“It gave me a diverse background in making things run,” Proestler said of his previous job experience.
He then worked with the city of Fairfield to find a good site, which he said was difficult, but opened the Fairfield location at 900 E. Travis Blvd.
It was a steep learning curve in how to run a successful car wash, but every lesson learned was incorporated into the business’ procedures on how to make a car look like it just came from the factory. Any changes that are made are well-thought-out because “the only product we have is the service we provide,” Proestler said.
“We were able to assemble some very good employees,” Proestler said. “They have stayed with us and treat our customers very well.”
Six years ago, Proestler expanded to open up a second 5 Star Car Wash at 520 Orange Drive in Vacaville.
As for the future, Proestler said he will continue to keep on top of the best techniques and always look to expand his business’ services. For example, he recently added touch-up paint services to his Vacaville site and also recently started adding headlight restoration services.
“We always try to provide good value so that our customers will continue to come back,” Proestler said.
Customers Manuel Silva of Vacaville and Carmen Esperanza of Fairfield agreed.
“I probably don’t take my truck there as often as I should, but whenever I do bring it in, they do great work and the employees are always polite,” said Silva, who started patronizing the car wash two years ago.
Esperanza said she took her Nissan Altima last year after deciding one day that she did not want to wash the vehicle by hand.
“It looked a lot better than I could have washed it, so I will be taking it back,” Esperanza said.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.