Have you bought a used car, used SUV, or used truck from us and after owning it for a while you need to get it washed? Are you selling your car and need to make it more presentable to attract higher offers and a faster sale? Regularly washing your car will not only help it to look good at all times, but it will also help your car to retain its value which will be important when it comes time to sell your car. While conducting a hand car wash in your own driveway at home might be an option for you, sometimes the hassle of buying your own car wash supplies, maintaining your own car wash equipment, and taking the time and physical effort to do it yourself means that it is simply more convenient to have someone else do it for you. In this guide, we have detailed the types of car washes and listed a few of the best car wash in Plano options to help you get the job done.
The idea of getting a car wash in Plano may seem straightforward, but the many various methods available for getting your car cleaned may feel overwhelming. Some types are optimized for speed or cost while others prioritize getting your car showroom ready at a greater expense. Knowing the difference between each of the types of car washes available will help to ensure that you get the result you need. There are pros and cons for each type and we cover them below so that you can make an informed decision.
An automatic car wash, also known as drive through car wash or a tunnel car wash, typically uses a conveyor to maneuver your vehicle through a tunnel as it passes through a series of high-pressure hoses and\or brushes before a drying system at the end. Some automatic car washes, like the in-bay automatic (IBA), have machines that instead move around a stationary vehicle during the entire wash. The entire process is designed for speed, efficiency, and convenience and this method can save you a significant amount of time. An automatic car wash is also less expensive than some of the other more premium methods available for washing your car.
An automatic car wash can be either soft touch or touchless. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
A soft touch car wash involves the gentle use of closed-cell foam and soft cloths combined with soap and water to spread a cleaning solution across your vehicle. Any soap can clean, but the lubricating characteristics of the soap is an important factor in an automatic car wash. The ability of a cleaning agent to provide lubrication minimizes the possibility of damage to the car from the foam brushes used in a soft touch car wash. A computerized system called a carwash controller customizes the amount of pressure and the speed of the brushes for the right mix to remove dirt and other particles from your car. After a sustained torrent of water and cleaning solution has completely removed all debris from the car, a lower pressure rinse system utilizing clean water removes the cleaning solution from the car. Finally, a heated high-speed dryer completes the job by providing a streak and spot free finish.
The advantage of a soft touch car wash is the direct contact between the brush and the vehicle that delivers a complete removal of both organic matter as well as inorganic matter. Areas of the car that are out of reach for humans or touch free systems are more likely to be cleaned. Dust, pollen, and difficult to remove liquids are more likely to be removed in a soft touch car wash.
The disadvantage of a soft touch car wash arises when there is too much pressure from the cloth brushes that results in damage to the protruding parts of a vehicle. If the cleaning agent has not provided sufficient lubrication then scratches can result when the brush comes into contact with the vehicle. Poorly maintained brushes can prevent the cloth from being effective and this can result in an incomplete cleaning or even damage to the vehicle.
A touchless car wash, also known as a touch free car wash, is a little different from a soft touch car wash in that there are no foam or cloth brushes applied while cleaning. High pressure water is applied to the car by specialized equipment that also uses an acidic cleaning agent with a proprietary chemistry to remove dirt and debris. Most people think that the high pressure water or the touch free equipment is what cleans the car, but it is actually the cleaning agent that performs this task. High tech sensors help the touch free car wash system to identify the outline of the car and direct water and the cleaning solution to the right places accordingly.
The advantage of a touchless car wash is that its inherent no touch nature means that there is no friction due to physical contact with your vehicle that can lead to scratching or other damage during cleaning. The precise sensors and, in some systems, the reuse of water also allow for the reduction of water waste in a way that makes this method more environmentally friendly.
The disadvantage of a touchless car wash is that more difficult to remove debris may not be fully eliminated after the wash. Difficult to reach areas and other small cracks may not receive the same level of cleaning as easier to access parts of the car leaving the result less thorough than the soft touch car wash. Sometimes the reused water in a touch free car wash can cause damage if not properly filtered. Some of the harsher chemicals involved can also cause damage to the paint of some cars.
While an automated car wash is designed for higher speed and lower cost, a full service car wash is the most premium car wash service available with its intricate approach to thoroughly cleaning your car. Although some car washes will utilize automated equipment to assist with their full service car wash, most car washes will be sure to apply a hand car wash to your car because washing by hand is the best method for a safe and complete cleaning. A hand car wash can prevent the swirls, scratches, and water spotting that is a common result of automated car wash systems.
A hand car wash can also reach the most difficult spots on the car that an automated system may miss like the license plates, the top of SUVs and large trucks, underneath the car, and the top area of windshields. Trained specialists at a full service car wash can even perform paint scratch repair and eliminate rust spots with the right package. At the end of the hand car wash process, a full service car wash will apply a premium hand applied wax protection finish to your car to leave it shining like it is fresh from the showroom floor.
Over time, the headlights of your car can become opaque and cloudy as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light. This process can occur within a period of as few as two years and it can reduce the amount of light that is projected from your headlights to illuminate the road. The resultant poor visibility creates an unsafe driving situation for the driver. A full service car wash will provide headlight restoration that restores your headlights to new by removing this foggy layer of opacity from your headlights and increasing the safe operation of your vehicle at night.
Previously, the only way to solve this was to spend hundreds of dollars to completely replace the headlight assembly. At a full service car wash equipped with headlight restoration, your headlights can be restored to new using a combination of a liquid cleansing solution, a microfiber polisher, and a final protective layer applied by a skilled technician during a process that can take up to an hour to complete.
Cleaning the inside of your car is a delicate and tedious process that requires some experience to be completed effectively. An interior car detailing package at a full service car wash will involve a full cleaning of the interior of your car to leave it looking and smelling like new. The detailing process will remove blemishes and upholstery stains to revitalize the interior of your car. This process involves interior vacuuming and steam cleaning of all fabrics and carpets, air vent sanitation, window and mirror cleaning, door jamb wiping, leather conditioning, spot cleaning floor mats, full trunk cleaning, and the cleaning of vinyl surfaces around the steering wheel, dashboard, and console. Trained specialists at a full service car wash will also have the expertise to know how to clean mold out of a car as well as how to remove pollen from a car.
A well maintained engine compartment can make your car look new and it can help when troubleshooting engine performance issues. While it is unlikely that keeping the engine compartment cleaned will help your car to run any better or prevent overheating, having an engine free of any oil, grease, and other contaminants can help to identify leaks or other problems with your car engine. Stray oil and grease around the engine compartment can accelerate wear and tear of the rubber hoses and other plastic parts used by your engine. Over time, this wear can cause a breakdown of these ancillary parts that can result in serious damage to your car engine. A full service car wash will use a chemical degreaser combined with a degreaser brush and often compressed air or a vacuum to assist in the complete removal of grease from every nook and cranny of your car engine.
Car tires are some of the most important components that affect the performance and safety of any vehicle. Road surface finishes, ultraviolet light, oxygen, ozone, oils, dirt, and other debris all wear away and degrade your tires over time. Using ill-suited chemical cleaning products on your tires can accelerate this process of deterioration. Any car wheel cleaning service should go beyond mere tire and wheel appearance to ensure continued safe operation of the vehicle and support tire health by cleaning them properly. A full service car detailing car wash will include car tire and wheel cleaning and some will even offer an alloy wheel repair service.
In order to delay tire degradation from the ozone gas that permeates our atmosphere, care tire manufacturers use an antiozonant chemical that is combined with tire rubber to help by continuously working it through the rubber while the car is driven. When an antiozonant chemical oxidizes, it can leave a brown film on the outside of your tires. This process is known as blooming.
Tires that are idle will not receive the full benefit of the distribution of the antiozonant and will thus have less protection. This can lead to the cracking and rapid breakdown of the tire rubber and ultimately tire failure. It is important that a tire cleaning process involves proper treatment to prolong their life with the appropriate finish like those found at a full service car wash.
Your car wheels can become worn or damaged from scrapes and scratches by curbs, other vehicles, and from the corrosive effects of the environment. An alloy wheel repair and refinishing service can restore your bent or damaged car wheels to their former original condition. Bent wheels will first need to be straightened using specialized tools in order to ensure that the wheels can be balanced. Then the wheel needs to be inspected for any curb rash, gouges, or corrosion in order to be fully restored. The final act can involve priming, painting, or re-chroming the wheel according to the original design. Check with the full service car wash near you to ensure that they offer this service if you require it because not all of them do.
The benefit of a hand car wash applied at a full service car wash in Plano is that it is safer for your car and more thorough than other available methods. A great level of professionalism can also be expected at an auto detailing service at a full service car wash because they use only trained professionals to care for your vehicle. These professionals are trained to ensure that your car is not damaged and that it does not leave the car wash facility with any staining or spotting as a result of the car wash process. They will deploy only high end soaps, cleaning agents, and equipment for the safest and most effective cleaning of your car. Additionally, an automatic car wash can use up to 40 gallons per car, but many full service car washes will utilize a “two bucket” method that reduces overall water waste making them more environmentally friendly.
The disadvantage of a full service car wash is that it can be time consuming and it can incur a significantly higher cost. This can be a limiting factor for those with limited time or a limited budget. Fortunately, many of the premium full service car washes in Plano offer luxury waiting rooms with food, bars, and entertainment. For those looking for other options to kill some time during a full service car wash, consider spending the wait at one of the best sports bars in Plano.
Becoming a regular customer at the right car wash in Plano can offer long term benefits in the form of loyalty programs and other rewards. Each of the companies listed at the end of this article have full service options.
For those who would prefer a mobile car wash in Plano, we have compiled a list of a few options from which to choose below. A mobile car wash can be an extraordinary convenience for those who are too busy with life to do a hand wash at home or to take their vehicle to a self service car wash in Plano, but who still prefer to have their car looking its best. These types of car washes often have a fully equipped and self contained cleaning system within a van or truck that can complete the entire car wash onsite wherever your car may be. The better services available even have an app for you to schedule an appointment. Some mobile car wash and detailing services will even come to your office park and clean your car while you work. Below are over a dozen such services from which you can choose if this type of car wash sounds best for you.
Mobile Car Wash Service
A self service car wash, also known as a coin operated car wash, allows customers to wash their own vehicles using the equipment and supplies provided by the car wash facility. These facilities typically have a kiosk where customers can pay for the use of equipment like high pressure hoses, brushes, and other cleaning supplies for a limited amount of time. You can use the provided equipment as needed and you can easily switch to washing by hand when extra care is required. A self service car wash allows you to be in complete control over the process so that you alone are responsible for what happens to your car, but it also demands far more of your time. If you are on a budget and you are concerned about possible damage to your car from other types of car wash methods then this may be the best option for you.
Now that you are familiar with the types of car washes available, below are a dozen of the best car washes in Plano for your consideration.
Getting your car washed when it’s filthy might seem obvious enough, but waiting until the license plate is too dirty to read is not an optimal plan. There are plenty of long term benefits to regularly washing your car that go beyond cosmetics as we have discussed above. These benefits include extra protection for your vehicle, retaining vehicle value, maintaining driver and passenger safety, increasing the life span of your vehicle, and enjoying peace of mind while on the road. The ideal time to create a plan for regularly servicing and washing your vehicle is immediately after buying a used car so be sure to do this for your newly purchased vehicle.