How to Drive Into a Car Wash

by Contributor

Remembering a few pointers while driving into a car wash will assure not only an effective wash but also the safety of your vehicle. Follow these steps.

Lower any power antennas and fold in the outside mirrors. Raise the windows and lock your doors. Make sure that the moon roof is closed.

Center the vehicle before the ramp for the best wash. Pull forward slowly when the driving light flashes.

Drive up the ramp until the front tires fall into place. Stop immediately when a horn sounds or the stop sign lights up.

Place the vehicle in park or in neutral and engage the parking break. Remain in the vehicle during the complete car wash operation.

Stay in the vehicle while the conveyor belt rolls along the car through the tunnel. The procedure is the same for both touchless and cloth friction washes.

Exit the car wash when the drive sign flashes. Drive slowly through the drier that forces heated air through a series of nozzles to dry the surface of the vehicle.


  • check Verify clearance for oversized vehicles. Watch out for warning signs about vehicles with body parts that are not allowed in the car wash.


  • close Do not drive vehicles with exposed propane or gas tanks or pickup trucks with loose items in the bed into a car wash.

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