5 Reasons to Visit the Car Wash—and What to Watch Out For
The truth is, you need to take care of your car so that your car takes care of you. Yes, there are oil changes and routine shop visits, but the occasional run through the car wash is one basic form of car care that’s often overlooked. Here are five reasons you should regularly visit the car wash.
1. Protect the Paint Job with a Car Wash.
Your car comes into contact with a lot of debris: dirt, bugs, bird droppings, salt and grime. If left untreated, these deposits could eventually eat away at the finish and paint, damaging the metal beneath.1A run through the car wash will eliminate these deposits. The simple rule of thumb is, when you can see the dirt on your car, it’s time for a wash.1
Looking to touch up your car’s paint job? Read up on the basics here.
2. Car Washes Improve Fuel Efficiency.
As absurd as it sounds, regular car washes will help to improve your car’s overall fuel economy. A layer of dirt on your car increases drag, causing it to use more fuel.2A washed and clean car allows for air to move more easily across its surface.3
3. Personal Pride and Well-Being.
Much like your home, you feel better when your car is clean and spotless, rather than coated in a layer of dirt with a helpful “wash me” hand drawn on the rear windshield. While your home occasionally becomes a bit messy, you still regularly clean the bathrooms and wipe down kitchen counters, right? It’s the same idea with your car. It’s your largest accessory, and a regular car wash will keep it looking its best.4
4. Maintain the Resale Value.
Besides making you feel good, regular car washes will help maintain appearance and overall resale value. Sure, you love your car, but a day will come when you’re in the market for a new and improved one. A regular car wash is an inexpensive way to keep your car looking great—increasing its resale value.4
5. Quick and Easy.
There’s no denying that a quick run through the car wash is extremely convenient. For the price of ten to fifteen dollars and around ten minutes of your time, you can fit a car wash into even the busiest of schedules. It’s a simple form of preventative maintenance that’ll keep your car protected and in good physical condition.5
What About All the Bells and Whistles?
You can’t deny all the positive effects regular washes have on your car’s condition and value. But that’s not to say you need to pay for all the extra features some car wash companies offer. Here’s a quick rundown on a few that may not be worth paying for each visit:
An undercarriage wash isn’t necessary every time your car is washed, but it is recommended that you have this done once every season. A high-pressure undercarriage wash will eliminate any buildup of mud, salt, moisture, and other corrosive materials, preventing rust damage.1
Opting for a wheel cleaning is a purely cosmetic add-on at the car wash. Brake dust—the black residue that accumulates on rims—won’t damage your vehicle the way dirt and grime will.1 If you want to keep your wheels and rims looking spotless, a wheel cleaning will do the trick—though it’s not a requirement.
Spray-on wax is another cosmetic addition that isn’t going to help a whole lot. What this wax will do is enhance the existing shine and help prevent water spots when drying. On the other hand, a car detailing usually includes a hand-wax, which improves the shine and protects the paint.
Go beyond the basic car wash—learn about car detailing here.
Do Some Research
Not all car wash companies offer the same equipment, and the quality and upkeep of that equipment will vary as well. You can start by checking out online reviews, but the best way of gauging a company’s quality is to take a look for yourself. Are the cars coming out of the wash clean? Is the building in good condition? If so, then there’s a good chance that the car washing equipment is well-maintained.
While a professional detailing can cost $50 or more, a standard car wash shouldn’t cost more than around ten to fifteen dollars; if a company offers anything cheaper, they may be compromising on the quality of their supplies. More caustic soaps will easily remove dirt, but can damage a car’s finish.1 Brushes that are not well-maintained can trap dirt and scratch a car’s finish.6 It’s worth the time to investigate and find a car wash that doesn’t compromise on quality.
Got a scratch on your car? Check out how to fix it here.
Could your car use a wash? Use our locator to find participating car washes and over 200,000 gas stations that accept the Synchrony Car Care™ credit card nationwide.* Manage your account online 24/7 with secure online account access, or with the Synchrony Car Care mobile app.
*Subject to credit approval. Valid everywhere Synchrony Car Care is accepted in the U.S., including Puerto Rico.
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