If you use do-it-yourself carwashes, chances are you’re doing it wrong — which could be costing you money.
Jerry Revette, manager of Car Wash at 1355 S. Country Club Drive in Mesa, said about 90 percent of people sudsing up their sedans could do it more efficiently. You should be able to wash a mildly dirty car for the minimum $1.50. "If you’re clever, it’s very simple," he said.
People often put money in the meter and don’t apply pressure to the handle, so nothing comes out. "If you don’t press on the handle," Revette said, "you’re wasting time and money."
Here’s his advice:
• Don’t buy more tokens than you need. The machine gives tokens as opposed to quarters, and there are no refunds.
• Always use the presoak option. "The pre-soak puts moisture on your car so it’s easier to wash," Revette said. "Otherwise, the soap is going to dry fast and leave streaks and will cost you more money, because it takes longer to rinse the streaks off."
• After the pre-soak, follow the order of washing stages posted in the stall, skipping the ones that you don’t need.
• The second step — engine and tire cleaner — is a degreaser. It also can be used on the car’s body to remove grease or tar. Otherwise, skip it.
• Use the foam brush only on very dirty vehicles.
• After rinsing, use wax only if needed.
• Always use the spotfree rinse, because it will save you time having to wipe with towels. "As you go down the road, it will dry without streaks," Revette said. Just remember not to roll down your windows.
• A horn will sound if you’re running out of time during the wash. If you aren’t finished, add a token immediately, or you’ll have to put in another $1.50.