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New car wash providing haunted house fun
Cen Cal Car Wash Halloween
Turlock resident Chris Karam recently expanded his car detailing business with Cen Cal Car Wash, where he spends his weekends this month dressing up as Pennywise the clown for a haunted drive-thru experience (Photo contributed).

Name of business: Cen Cal Car Wash

Type of business: Drive-thru hand wash

Location: 2301 Fulkerth Rd., Turlock

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Contact information: 209-417-8195

Specialty: Haunted car wash for Halloween


History of business:

Just two years after opening his first brick-and-mortar location in downtown Turlock, Chris Karam has a second location to his Cen Cal family which offers quick, quality hand washes for cars — and this month, some scares. 

Karam originally started his business Cen Cal Detailing in 2016, hoping to share his passion for making cars shine with the Turlock community by providing at-home detailing services. In 2019 he expanded that effort with a permanent home on South Center Street, where customers could bring their cars to be detailed.

In July he expanded yet again with Cen Cal Car Wash, a fully-serviced hand wash where customers can sit back, relax and let the car wash track do the work for them as they pass by Karam and his hard-working employees. 

“I just wanted to offer more. Now instead of saying we can’t wash a car because we’re too busy, we have another option and they can come here,” Karam said. “Not only that, but I wanted to expand so that I can pay my employees more and help them upgrade their lives. Everybody gets a piece of the pie.”

It takes less than 10 minutes to pass through Karam’s new car wash, which provides an affordable hand wash at $15 per car with memberships available. It’s a suitable alternative for Turlockers who appreciate the Cen Cal work ethic, but may not need a complete exterior and interior detail. 

“I’ve been trying to just give the customers what they want, at the same time making sure we're doing our job,” Karam said. “Other car washes may have locations all over the place, but they don't care how your wash comes out. We do, and if your car doesn't look good we’ll fix it.”

Karam and crew are also going out of their way to provide a bit of Halloween fun for the community this month, offering a haunted car wash this weekend and next. For $20 per car, drivers can pass through clowns, ghouls and ghosts during a frighteningly clean ride and will also receive a goodie bag and $5 Cen Cal Car Wash gift certificate. 

The haunted car wash begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 22-23 and 28-30, and Oct. 22 will also feature a Trunk-or-Treat event at the end of the tunnel complete with classic cars and plenty of tricks. 

“You always have to put your customers first and try to think of things they’d like to do, so we wanted to provide something fun for kids to do during the holiday,” Karam said. “So many people have thanked me for doing the haunted car wash this year, and really it’s a thank you from us to them for trying us out.”