Car owners in the United States spend roughly $5.8 billion to clean their vehicles every year at an average of $15 per wash. There are various options on where to get your car washed. These include soft-cloth car washes, coin-operated self-service options, and even a good old self-clean at home.

A significant concern when it comes to washing cars is maintaining the finish in case you will need to sell the vehicle. Pre-owned cars that retain excellent paint finish fetch higher prices compared to those with a poor finish that will go for 10% to 20% lesser value. The following are mistakes to avoid when visiting self-service and soft cloth car washes.


1. Don’t Skip the Undercarriage Cleaning

When you are pondering over where to get your car washed, a factor that can help you make the right choice is the variety of services on offer. Undercarriage washing is one of those essential services that doesn’t get the spotlight attention, yet it is a critical need for your vehicle.

There are some vital benefits to cleaning your car’s undercarriage at a car wash — a clean undercarriage is devoid of grime and mud that accumulate over time. Thus, when the engine heats up the undercarriage can help vent that build-up to avoid engine overheating.

Remembering to clean your undercarriage when you’re at the car wash will help you avoid rust. If your undercarriage isn’t washed regularly, it will become clogged. When you drive during rainy conditions and water gets into your car, it’s meant to seep out through the holes in the undercarriage. Since they are blocked, the water will accumulate and lead to rusting.

2. Don’t Leave Partially Closed Windows

It might sound like a no brainer, but a surprising number of people forget to close their windows fully when they arrive at a soft cloth car wash. Leaving a window open, no matter how small the allowance, will let a lot of water into your car’s interior. As soon as you get to where to get your car washed, ensure you make it a habit to confirm you’ve closed all the windows correctly.

3. Don’t Skip the Wipe-Down

After cleaning your vehicle, it’s important to dry your car properly. Using anything other than a soft towel may cause damage to the exterior of your car. 

If you are unsure if you should take your car to an automatic car wash or a self-service car wash, one way is by how the attendants wipe down vehicles during a busy day. If you notice that they keep using dirty towels to wipe the cars during busy shifts, then that is probably not a place you want to return to. Filthy rags most likely contain accumulated abrasives which will end up scratching your car just like sandpaper. If you notice this, it’s best to take matters into your own hands and visit a self-service car wash! 

An alternative here is for you to turn down any undesirable wipe down attempts and drive your wet car away. The air will flow over the car and cause it to dry. Any streaks that might result can be easily wiped away when you get home.

Protect Your Car with Every Wash

How you clean your car has a direct bearing on the quality of its paintwork over time. Not paying attention to how your car wash handles your vehicle can have an adverse impact. Ensure you develop an advisable cleaning regimen to keep your vehicle in the best possible shape. If you are in need of a self-service car wash, visit Main Street Car Wash is only one bride and one block from downtown Parkersburg.