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How to Use a Drive-Thru Car Wash – A First Timer’s Guide

  • Car Wash
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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Most car owners prefer drive-through car washes because they are fast, time-saving, and clean your car to near perfection. What’s more, it’s one of the most eco-friendly car wash options out there. For the uninitiated, we’re breaking down the process of how to use a drive-through car wash in this post. Keep reading to know more.        

Why choose a drive-through car wash?     

If you’re someone who has all the time in the world and loves hand washing your car with wash mitts, soap, and buckets – that’s perfectly fine – provided you know what you’re doing. But remember, according to car wash experts, improper hand car wash techniques can cause scratches and swirl marks on your car’s exterior – just saying! However, if you don’t have the luxury of time but still want to wash your car regularly, then your quest for the best car wash facilities ends with drive-through car washes. 

How to Use a Drive-Thru Car Wash – A First Timer’s Guide

How to use a drive-thru car wash   

Step 1   

Locate a drive-through car wash near you. You can often find drive-through car washes near gas stations and convenience stores. Even a simple search for “drive-through car wash near me” on your phone can help you locate one. You can also try websites and apps like Way.com to find a top-rated drive-through car wash near you.    

Step 2     

After you reach the car wash location, drive up to the payment station to choose the service you want and pay for it. Many drive-through car washes also offer car wash extras other than the basic wash and dry option like undercarriage washes, wheel cleaner, etc. Choose a car wash extra only when necessary – a basic wash is good enough to keep your vehicle spotless. However, if you’re choosing a car wash extra, pick the one that is best suited for your car and your budget.     

How to Use a Drive-Thru Car Wash – A First Timer’s Guide

Step 3    

Drive up to the entrance of the car wash bay. You can follow the signs and arrows to find where you need to position your car. In most car washes, you will have to drive forward until the vehicle’s tires are aligned with a track system or a conveyor belt – which will guide your car through the wash. You will be notified with lights and arrows when you successfully place your car onto the track.  

Step 4    

Once you’ve successfully placed your car onto the track, make sure to switch your car into neutral and take your hands off the wheel and your feet off the brakes. Remember to roll up your car’s windows before going through the wash. We can’t stress this enough if you have children in the car, make sure to lock the windows so that they don’t accidentally roll it down. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy as your car gets cleaned in no time!    

Step 5

After your car is washed and dried, you will be notified when to safely exit the car wash by a series of flashing lights or other visual cues. You can slowly exit the car wash station with a squeaky-clean car. Remember to check for traffic and car wash staff before exiting the bay.  

Pro Tip: After the wash, make sure to check your vehicle thoroughly (both on the inside and outside) to be on the safer side. Look for scratches or marks that weren’t there before — if you find something, discuss it with the manager or the person in charge, and he can offer you a solution.  

Websites and apps like Way.com offer professional and top-rated drive-thru car wash services at great prices. What’s more, the whole family can get in on the sudsy action thanks to Way.com’s Carwash Voucher and Family Car Wash Pass that can be used on multiple (that’s right, multiple) vehicles! 

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Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.

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