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LostInParadise's avatar

Are there any self-service carwashes near you?

Asked by LostInParadise (17723 points ) March 8th, 2009

There used to be two of them near me and now they are both gone. I wonder if the franchise went under.

If you don’t know what I am referring to, the self-service carwashes were a bare bones operation that cost about half of what a regular carwash charges. They could handle up to, I believe it was four, different cars at a time in separate car washing bays. You would purchase tokens from a machine beforehand. Each token allocated a certain amount of time. There was a dial that you could use to divide the time up into the various stages of carwashing, causing different things to come out of the hose. Then you just walked around the car spritzing it with whatever was coming out of the hose and changing the dial whenever you wanted to move to the next stage.

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8 Answers

chelseababyy's avatar

Yeah, just went to one today. On ours you can put your credit card in or just use quarters. 4 Quarters get you about 5 minutes or so.

Now our car is nice and spiffy.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

Yes I love them !! I go like once a week to vacuume and wash my car, fun, fun…

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I have two within 6 blocks of my house. One is a upscale German car wash, next to an import dealer—you drive in, robots do the rest. Very small. The other is the old fashioned type with the bubble wand, like you describe. It’s been there for as long as I’ve lived in the neighborhood – almost 30 years, and is going strong. It sits on prime real estate, too.

I still drive downtown and pay the $15 to have it done for me…it’s not out of the way, and they hire a lot of guys from the halfway houses, who otherwise wouldn’t have work.

kwhull's avatar

It seems like we have them in my town about every two or three blocks. There is one that we really like that we drive across town for. You get more time for the money & if you need a little more time, just put in one or two more quarters before it turns off.

gooch's avatar

Yes but they don’t wash as well as a rag, soap, water and elbow grease.

KimJSCP's avatar

Yes, but once I realized I could go to a great carwash where they did it for me and I did tn’t get sprayed by nasty water for less $, I stopped going to the DIY carwash.

The only way I could make the DIY less money, is if I let the money run out while the car was really soapy, spent some time scrubbing it with the brush and then put in more money to rinse. Not only did this need to be carefully choreographed, but it was so not worth my time.

The vacuums there are nice though.

LostInParadise's avatar

Darn! It must just be bad luck that they went out of business where I live.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

there are two full service wash places I know of around here, and at least a dozen self-serve ones. My favorite one has a dollar bill slot right inside the bay, and the changeover from one setting to another is rather quick (a sign of a good self-serve wash). I hate that waiting for the soap to stop and the rinse to start, wastes money.

I’ve never used a full service wash, as I prefer to wash it myself. For about six bucks, I can do a pre-wash, wash, rinse, wax, rinse, and spot free rinse. But then, I have a small Toyota truck, long legs and long arms, so I can move pretty quick, and git er done.

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