Automatic Car Wash Basics: Breaking Down the Value

Automatic Car Wash Basics: Breaking Down the Value

The convenience of automatic car washes makes it easy to keep your vehicle’s exterior free from dirt, salt residue, and mud. A basic wash will get most of the grime off, but have you ever wondered if it’s worth splurging for the more deluxe washes? Here is a breakdown of some of the services most automatic car washes offer, and whether or not it’s worth the extra money.

Basic Wash

When you pay for a basic wash, you’ll typically get a pressure rinse, soap cycle, clear coat, and sometimes an air dryer. These washes usually run about $7 to $10 and can be accessed at most gas stations. Some gas stations offer a discount on washes if you purchase fuel first. This option is effective and affordable for just getting the weekly grime off of your vehicle. Pro tip: bring a drying towel along to dry off spots the air dryers can’t get to.

Deluxe Wash

Deluxe washes typically give you all the features of a basic wash, with several additions. Each car wash location is different, but some features you may come across with this package include undercarriage washing, tire cleaning, higher pressure jet rinse, and additional clear coating. These washes usually cost a few dollars more than a basic, but don’t necessarily offer anything more beneficial than a basic wash. If you’re wanting to splurge and get your vehicle the works, consider the “ultimate” packages, which will get you all the features of a deluxe and basic, but a few more.

Ultimate or “The Works” Washes

Usually the most expensive option, the ultimate wash will get you all the features a car wash has to offer. Along with the features mentioned above, ultimate washes also typically include tire conditioning, panel blasting, sealer waxing, and sometimes even vacuuming. If your vehicle is severely dirty, this option is probably your best bet. Though an automatic car wash can’t quite do as effective a job as a hand wash, they can be really helpful for people on the go.

So what’s the takeaway? Every vehicle and budget is different. You should consider the individual features of the car wash you visit and determine what is the safest and most cost-effective service for your vehicle. Though some of the deluxe features of car washes are convenient, you can often save money by doing them yourself. For example, don’t pay for vacuuming or wax sealing if you are able to do that in your own garage. Also be sure to check for car wash coupons or specials, as most places offer discounts on their services to encourage repeat customers. From all of us here at Quick-Set Auto Glass, drive safely out there!

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