This past Saturday, Energi Gal gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. She had me follow her in my car to the car wash and ordered the Manager’s Special for me. My car was dirty… very dirty. In the 6 years that I’ve owned it, I had given it a quick once-over on the outside about two times, but that’s about it. The Manager’s Special is not exactly, every cleaning service they have, but they were too busy to do full shampooing and their high level of cleaning. I was disappointed as I really didn’t want half the job done.
When I came to pick up my car 4 hours later, it was immaculate. If not for two minor nicks in the paint, it would have been indistinguishable from brand new. It was at this time, I realized the true value of a car wash. I had always been reluctant to spend money to clean my car when it’s just likely to get dirty again. However, just knowing that my car can look brand new gives me a feeling that I could get many more years out of it without feeling like I’m driving a piece of junk. Combine that with the new tires that I got last week, and driving is so much more fun than has been in 5 years.
Nothing beats a good car wash. I’m like you and I get in the habit of very rarely washing my car. In fact, I think last summer was the last time my car was washed, and it was certainly nothing like what you had done. If it wasn’t for time and/or money I’d do it more often, but having a nice clean car feels great. You get so used to it being kind of dull and dirty that it seems older than it really is.
I have also read a few things that said a washed and waxed car will help improve gas mileage slightly since the air can move more freely over the vehicle.
I wash my car myself. It takes about 15-20 minutes to do the outside only. I rarely do the inside. I have heard that allowing dirt to sit on the outside does long term damage to the paint. Obviously even more true for things like bird doo. Do you have access to a hose, a bucket and a sponge? That’s all it takes.
LAMG–Unfortunately, some of us can’t wash our own cars even if we want to. I, for example, have *never* lived in an apartment complex that allowed on-site car washing. I’m assuming the management does that to limit liability from slick parking lots.
At any rate, I’m glad the wash did the trick for you, LM!
I would think that they restrict car washing in a parking lot to prevent the water from damaging the concrete. An excess of water will cause cracking and pot holes, which would increase the maintenance costs of the parking lot greatly.
My Financial Journey says
If you can’t wash it on-site you can go to one of those DIY car washes $2-3 in quarters and you can do just as good as job as the professionals.
Lazy Man says
I didn’t have access to a hose until about 6 months ago. I could have done the outside on my own, but I would have had to purchase wax and do that. I’ve waxed my car twice and it came out horrible each time – meaning that I’d likely still have to go get it done by the time I was finished. I also had the whole inside done. Not just a vacuum, but a washing of everything inside. It included leather protectant and all that. Just to buy all the products would have probably cost me $15 (although I would have gotten several washes out of it).
I think many underestimate how bad my car really was in the 6 years. I actually had an ant problem and had to get ant traps for the car. I would have taken me 6 hours to do 1/10 the job that they did. From here on out, I’ll probably use the tools available to me, but it needed an extreme make-up to give me something to start with.