How to Use a Drive Through Car Wash in 9 Easy Steps


Reviews I’ve had the monthly pass for several months and I am very happy. My car is clean all the time. I go at least once a week and use the vacuum area which always takes more than 5 minutes. I see other posts that complain about the vacuum time of five minutes but I have never had anyone kick me out for going longer than five minutes. I take my time and vacuum my car and come often. Quick, easy and convenient! Highly recommend for $19 per month when I used to pay $15 per wash with tip per week at local car washes which would take at least 30 to 50 minutes on the weekend. Marc Crystal – Los Angeles, CA

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Phone: (818) 982-2203 Address: 13310 Sherman Way North Hollywood, CA 91605 Email: Office Hours: Daily: 7 am – 8 pm


How to Use a Drive Through Car Wash Step by Step Instructions

It’s understandable how it can be anxiety-inducing

It’s understandable how it can be anxiety-inducing when you don’t know how to do something that you will do for the first time. But using a car wash isn’t really that complicated. You just need to follow these steps below:

Step 1. Search for a Car Wash

You can usually find car washes at some gas stations. Those gas stations would even often offer discounts on car wash services to those who buy fuel from them. There are also some standalone car wash businesses.

You can search on Google, “drive thru car wash near me” or “drive thru car wash + your location.” Look for those in close proximity to your house, workplace, or other places you frequent.

You can check out or inquire about their rates. Then depending on the best price and the closest location, you can choose which car wash would be more convenient for you.

Step 2. For Newer Cars: Go With Soft-Touch, Touchless, or Brushless Car Washes

The aforementioned types of car washes don’t use the abrasive brushes, which are typically utilized in older car washes. Modern cars, unlike older cars, usually have a thin layer of clear coating on the base paint. That makes newer cars more vulnerable to damages that could not be buffed out.

Older cars, on the other hand, only have single-stage paint and don’t have a clear coating. So they can tolerate older car washes’ abrasive brushes.

Step 3. Make Your Payment at the Payment Station or Cashier

Automated car washes usually have a payment station that looks like what you would see in a fast food drive thru. If the car wash you went to has one, drive up to it and select the car wash service you want. If there is no payment station, head on to the cashier’s counter to pay.

Car washes usually offer a variety of packages to deliver various needs, whether just a basic car wash or a car wash with additional services like undercarriage washing, wax coating, tire detailing, etc. Choose one that meets your needs and budget, then pay for it.

Step 4. Drive Through the Carwash Entrance and Pull Up to the Car Wash Track

When you navigate to a car wash area, follow arrow

When you navigate to a car wash area, follow arrows or signs that lead to where you should stop your car.

The process usually starts with you driving forward to align your car with the car wash’s track system, which will be guiding your car throughout the washing process. Lights and arrows would then signal when you’ve finally positioned your car onto the track.

Once positioned, if your car has a manual transmission, set it in neutral, if it’s with automatic transmission, set it in park. Then, remove your hands from the wheel and your foot from the brake.

Step 5. Turn Off the Automatic Windshield Wiper

Some modern cars are equipped with the automatic setting for the windshield wipers, which allows the wiping away of water without manual control. For car owners that have this feature in their car, you must make sure to turn it off to prevent any damages to your wipers and windshield.

If you don’t know how to turn this feature off, you can read your car’s manual. If you have an electric car, you can do it simply by pressing the button for the “Persistent Windshield Wiper” on the main computer interface and then pressing “Off”.

Step 6. Roll Up and Lock Windows

Another important thing you should make sure of when you go through a car wash is to roll up all of the windows in your car. See to it that all are closed and no window is partially open by doing a double-check.

If you have children with you, be extra careful and prevent the windows from accidentally being rolled down by locking them.

Step 7. Turn Your Car’s Engine off if Advised

In some automated car washes, you would be asked to turn your car’s engine off. However, if you’re not told anything, just follow the instructions in your car’s manual. For example, some cars require turning the engine off but with the key kept in the ignition.

Also, if your car is equipped with the collision avoidance feature, you must turn it off if you’ll keep your car’s engine on.

Step 8. Sit and Wait For the Carwash to Finish

After you’ve done all those precautionary measures for your car, there’s nothing else to do but sit and just let the automated car wash do its job.

In the car washing process, the track system will be moving your car forward. Due to the force and motions of the water pouring from the water jets as well as of the brushes wiping your car, you may experience a slight shaking in the car and hear a bit of noise.

Step 9. Exit Once the Washing Is Complete

When the car wash is finally finished, a sign or flashing light will appear to notify you when it’s safe to make your exit from the garage.

If you turned your engine off, turn it back on and set your car into drive. Drive out slowly and carefully as a caution for any vehicles or pedestrians passing by, especially if the car wash is by a gas station.


What Is a Touchless Car Wash and Is It Safe?

A touchless car wash, like any typically automated car wash, will require you to select how you want your car to be washed and make your payment in a machine. But unlike other automated car wash types, particularly the traditional automatic car wash and the brushless automatic car wash, an automatic touchless car wash doesn’t make use of any spinning brushes or cloth strips.

How to Use a Self Service Car Wash?

The steps that you need to take are: 1. Park the vehicle to be cleaned 2. Remove the interior floor mats 3. Locate the sprayer wand 4. Learn the sprayer settings 5. Familiarize yourself with the payment options 6. Wash the vehicle with water to remove loose contaminants 7. Add soap and cover the vehicle in suds 8. Rinse off all the soap and suds from the vehicle 9. Scrub the vehicle thoroughly 10. Rinse again and dry

How Much Does a Car Wash Cost?

It depends because there are different car wash types. It may cost as low as approximately $10 for an automatic car wash or as high as approximately $100 for a full-service car wash.

Long-Term Consequences

While your car may appear mostly clean from a distance, the scratches, chips, and whorls from the drive-thru wash can cause expensive problems down the road. The most apparent problem is that your car simply won’t look as good. This makes your car seem older and can harm the resale value.

A vehicle’s paint job is not merely of aesthetic i

A vehicle’s paint job is not merely of aesthetic importance, though. A well-maintained paint job and clear coat actually protect the metal body from oxidation and corrosion. In order to maintain the protective paintwork and clear coat on your car, it will soon become necessary to have the entire vehicle repainted. New paintwork can cost several hundred dollars, but the cost of allowing the car’s body to rust can be even higher.

Mobile Detailing and COVID-19

You shouldn’t have to choose between necessary car maintenance and your health. Mobile Detailing Pros adheres strictly to CDC sanitation guidelines to ensure a safe and satisfying no-contact experience, making it easy to practice social distancing and help prevent the spread of COVID.

Ready to give the safe, convenient, and affordable

Ready to give the safe, convenient, and affordable option of mobile detailing a try? Schedule your appointment with Mobile Detailing Pros today!