Frequently Asked Questions
Money-Saving Tips to Help Protect Your Car's Finish

Reasons to Use a Professional Car Wash


Frequently Asked Questions
Money-Saving Tips to Help Protect Your Car's Finish

Q: I wash my car at home using a garden hose. Lately, the finish looks
dull and marked. What could be wrong?

A: Washing your car at home is extremely harmful to the finish since University of Texas proved that a single home hand-wash can leave scratches in the finish as deep as 1/10 of the paint's total thickness. Also, the average garden hose cannot supply enough water and water pressure with the detergent action to avoid damaging a car's finish.
This important study concluded that automobile owners should avoid washing their cars at home. Only a professional car wash can provide the proper amounts of water and water pressure needed with the appropriate cleaning solutions to safely and effectively clean your car.

Q: What are the advantages of washing my car in a self-service car wash?

A: The self-service car wash is designed to allow you to custom wash your car. Self-service units have everything you need including proper water pressure that you cannot get from a garden hose.

How can I keep my whitewall tires looking like whitewalls?

A: Don't use scouring pads to clean whitewalls. They deteriorate the whitewall surface. Your self-service car wash in most cases provides whitewall cleaner and the proper wash pressure to clean the tires.

: Does it really help a car's value to keep its finish looking new?

A: Yes! Appearance is the first thing that people look for in a used car. If a car's finish turns buyers off, it's virtually impossible to get a good price - no matter how well the car runs. The car, which is noticeably rusted, dull and spotty, will sell for significantly less than the same car with a showroom finish. Proper care of the car's appearance will definitely pay off at trade-in time!

Q: Is it true that my new car shouldn't be washed or waxed for a certain period of time?

A: This may have been true a long time ago, but with the new modern acrylics and enamels, your new car's finish needs tender care immediately.
Be careful to wash your car properly. Most new cars are treated with a clear-coat finish. It's important that you exercise extreme care - especially when washing your new car for the first few times. Many initial washing errors result in water spots, setting stains and loss of luster. Without the benefit of protective coating layers that your car will receive over the years, mistakes made during the first few washes may not be correctable.
Should you decide to wax your car, use a wax that's compatible with your paint. Check your owner's manual and the wax's label for instructions.

The best advice is to trust your car's finish to a professional from the beginning.

Q: How often should I have my car washed?

A: It depends. If your car is exposed to corrosive materials like salt, sand and industrial fallout, it should be washed often. The same goes for vehicles in areas with high humidity. Moisture attracts contaminants and promotes a variety of chemical reactions that can destroy your car's finish. Frequent washing is essential to the life of your car's chrome and painted surfaces.
In seasons or climates less conducive to corrosion, a wash every two weeks or so is adequate. In areas with acid rain, a wash every ten days is advised. Of course, these estimates may vary depending upon whether your car is kept in a garage or out in the elements.

Q: Periodically, I notice a layer of residue on my car's finish. Is it from the atmosphere? Is it harmful?

A: What you are referring to are black particles that come from areas of heavy traffic. They are gritty, abrasive substances coming off tires as they wear. Also, chemicals from diesel smoke and other emissions in the atmosphere settle on your car's surface. If this residue isn't removed immediately, permanent damage to the finish can result.

Q: Why does my car ride better after I've had my car washed? Am I imagining it?

A: Not at all! Actually, it's very simple. Dirt and grime collect in the areas around your car's wheels. The concentrated spray at professional car washes loosens and rinses the grime, giving you a smother ride. The spray also helps prevent rusting inside the wheel wells - the most difficult type of rust to stop. In addition, tests show that a properly cleaned and waxed car has less wind resistance resulting in a smoother ride and improved fuel economy.

Q: When should I wash off insect residue?

A: As soon as possible, especially if the car is new. Insect residue and bird droppings form acids that immediately start to eat away a car's finish.

Q: What is the major cause of rust?

A: Rust is simply the oxidation of untreated metal surfaces when they contact the elements. Moisture is the main cause of rust. Since dirt attracts and traps moisture, a dirty car is the instigator of almost all car rust, especially in those hidden areas behind the chrome and trim. Only a professional car wash operator has the equipment and know-how to effectively reach all those hard-to-reach places and remove corrosion-producing grime before damage is done.

Q: What can I do to remove the tar that occasionally gets on my car?

A: Tar and certain oils used on roads require extremely strong solvents to remove. Naturally, we cannot use these solvents when we wash your car since just a few washes with such strong chemicals could harm your car's finish. There are many excellent tar solvents on the market and we would be happy to recommend one to you. A word of caution - follow directions carefully and wash your car as soon as possible after using such a solvent.

Q: Lately, my windshield smears when I run my wipers. What am I doing wrong?

A: Perhaps you haven't changed your wiper blades recently. Most manufacturers recommend installing new blades every three months. This will prevent wearing and smearing, which impairs your vision dangerously.

Q: Isn't rain a natural, cost-effective car wash?

A: No! Rain and snow contain acid that eats away at the paint and finish of vehicles. After acid rain falls on a car, the water evaporates, but the acid remains. Concentrated by sunlight, this acid can become so strong that it will eat through the finish, ruining the vehicle's paint and appearance.

Q: If my car has a high-gloss "clear coat" finish, do I still need to wax it?

A: Yes! Most new cars have a high-gloss clear coat finish, which is easily damaged from acid rain. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, salt, and road wear and tear also damage cars. Wax is an effective and efficient way to shine and protect a car's finish. Wax your car every six months. More frequent waxes are needed if your car is red, black or white because these colors are more susceptible to acid rain and UV rays.

Q: Aren't hand washings safer for my car and the environment?

A: No! Dirt that collects in wash water, sponges and chamois will scratch the paint. Hand washings use nearly twice the amount of water than professional car washes. Cleaning solutions professional washes use are biodegradable and safe for the environment. Also, high-pressure water at self-serve and professional washes cleans cars better and faster.

Q: What kind of car wash will do a good job of cleaning my car?

A: Any professional car wash - full-serve or self-serve - can effectively clean your car without damaging it. There are several kinds of professional car washes using variations of touchless, semi-touchless, cloth or brush methods of cleaning. In any case, high-pressure water and detergents are used to remove dirt and other potentially damaging particles from your car's finish, wheel wells and undercarriage. A final fresh water rinse leaves cars spot-free. Blowers or towel-drying remove excess water from the car.

Q: What if I don't have the time or money to wash and wax my car regularly?

A: You can't afford not to protect your investment! A professional car wash offers safe, fast, high-quality washes at affordable prices.

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Reasons to Use a Professional Car Wash

Let's face it. Most of us have a car or truck that we enjoy driving and perhaps our proudest moment is when the car is new and looks its best. For this reason, car washes have acquired popularity and have been able to provide us with that "new car feeling" that we all love.
A lot of people wash their own cars at home, but the convenience of an automated car wash and relatively low cost has become hard to beat. Our cars are subjected to all sorts of abuses from the environment including the sun, dirt, and smog, all of which will affect the best automobile. However, you can keep your car in new condition and the following information will show you how.

1. Feel Good - Washing your car is like brushing your teeth or taking a shower - you just feel better afterward.

2. Save Time - Do the things you'd rather do and still do the things you should do.

3. Protect the Environment - Professional car washes use sophisticated technology
and specially designed equipment to conserve water. The contaminants are washed
off and channeled through sanitation sewers to water treatment plants. Home car
washing wastes water, and the soap and dirt end up in storm sewers, which flow into
our lakes, streams, and rivers-polluting our environment.

4. Protect Your Investment - A good finish on your vehicle means a higher resale or trade-in value.

5. Take Pride in Ownership - Your car looks better clean rather than dirty.
And if you don't care for it, who will?

6. Preventative Maintenance - All vehicles, regardless of the finish (clear coat,
acrylic, enamel, etc.) require regular washing throughout the year, just like a
good maintenance program prolongs the life and performance of your car.

7. The Clock is Ticking - Time is a contributing factor that can harm your car's exterior. The longer an attacking substance is on the vehicle, the greater the probability and extent of damage.

8. Acid Rain - Emissions from chemical plants, fossil fuels, power plants and the internal combustion engine are transported and altered in our atmosphere. When
deposited onto your car's surface in either a wet or dry state, they become
sulfuric or nitric acids which, if left on the surface, can eat the paint.

9. Heat Damages - Temperature accelerates problems. The acids in bugs, bird droppings,
tree sap, and leaves become more active through heat. Metal retains this heat and
increases the chances of permanent stains.

10. Sun Burns - Sunlight exposure, with its ultraviolet rays, accelerates the aging process and diminishes the gloss on your finish. Protective coating and sealants are necessary to provide a protective barrier while enhancing your exterior's gloss and shine.

11. Moisture Destroys - Water can trap dirt to a metal surface, allowing the oxidation process to occur. It ultimately causes rust and corrosion.

12. Unhealthy Salt - Sea and road salt cause a chemical reaction that can
accelerate the pitting and rusting of your car's surface. The undercarriage
is especially prone to this damage due to many out-of-sight areas where
salt can lodge.

13. Clean Wheels - Road grime and brake dust cling to wheels and hubcaps.
If not removed, they can actually permeate the metal, causing major damage.

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