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Touchless Carwash

weather: cloudy
outside: 18°C
mood: not too bad
Originally, I was going to write this as a toturiToturi Only entry, because only people who really have No Lives™ write in their online journals about going through a touchless carwash. But I thought, ah, what the hey, there has to be at least one No Lifer™ on my Friends List .... =)

Both of our families have always washed cars ourselves. I'm the only Black Sheep Car Owner in both families who just can't be bothered. The only time the family cars were done by someone else, were the times when my volunteer group did Donation Car Washes and I asked them to help us out, we'd do all the cars for $5 each. It went to charity anyway and Grandma would usually give us $20 for two or three cars.

So, last night, I went to pick up toturi (that's Husband Guy, BTW). I usually wait for him in the passenger pick-up zone at the Delta Vancouver Hotel Downtown Suite Hotel. As I sat, water started coming down on the car. Bubbly water. And it reeked of chlorine. *blech* >K{ I got out of the car when I thought the water had stopped. One of the security guys also came out to investigate. Apparently, there's a swimming pool on the 4th floor. It must be an outdoor pool and it must've been the Olympic Cannon Ball & Belly Flop Qualifiers going on up there. toturi had to hose down the car in the dark when we got home. Blah... I'm not waiting in that spot again.

We'd been curious about the touchless carwash at an Esso gas station ever since we drove by it while test driving the TSX. Self: write about the TSX test drive...

So, I took The Knight Ridah in to try it out.

It was only $8.99 (+ tax) which is a bit better than the hand car wash that I usually go to which is $12.00 (tax included). The hand car wash place also wipes down the inside and vacuums the floors for you.

Anyway, we were in dire need of gas anyway, so I gassed up and went through the credit card payment first. There was an option to pay for the carwash as well. I hit "Yes" and it asked me which process I wanted, the Speedy, the $8.99 Regular or the $10.99 SuperProtectant(?). I just picked the Regular. Maybe I should have picked the third one because it isn't too much more than the hand wash, but oh well. It charged the credit card and printed a Carwash Code on the receipt.

I drove over to the wash bay and there's a keypad just in front of the door. I keyed in the number on my receipt to make the bay door open. All the windows got closed at this point. I drove slowly into the bay.

As I'm going in, a jet of water blasts the underside of the car. It's a bit freaky if you're not expecting it. There's a display panel on the far wall of the wash bay in front of you that gives you instructions. It says "Drive Forward" in green, so I went slowly forward until it said "Stop" in red.

Then, you're supposed to put the car in Park and stay in the car.

There's a spray bar that looks something like this. It passed over the car on all four sides in three passes. The first to apply soap and let the car soak for 30 seconds or so. The progress display says "Soaking". On the second pass, the panel said, "Clear Protectant Fluid" or some such and I'm thinking, "uh dunno man, that sounds an awful lot like WATER to me" XD And I guess the third pass rinsed with plain water.

The display panel changed to "Drive Forward" again, so I drove slowly forward and out, same speed as I did when I drove in. There's an air jet that is supposed to push all the water off the car and that's how it "dries" the car. It doesn't dry it very well. There were still water droplets all over. I had to flick on the wipers a few times. I wonder if that was supposed to be an air drying thing and I drove too fast out of the bay... oops... =P

It cleaned quite well, the remaining chlorine streaks are gone, but the car might be spotty by tonight.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 10th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC)
Wow, car washes are expensive in Vancouver! It's about $8.99 for the super car wash here in TO (and at the Esso Touchless too).
Aug. 10th, 2003 02:32 pm (UTC)
The first one I found was $35(!!). It was a hand car wash, but with no other experience, I thought that was okay. Then the $12 hand wash (AND vacuuming) was great. =)

It's possible that we have less cars here, so the prices are higher...
Aug. 23rd, 2003 09:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, I found out you get a $2.00 discount with at least a 25L fill-up. I guess I didn't get 25L last time, so it was more expensive for me =)
Aug. 10th, 2003 10:45 pm (UTC)
You say "gas" in Canada?

*is vaguely disappointed*
Aug. 11th, 2003 01:03 am (UTC)
Gas, as a diminuitive of gasoline... maybe it's "fill up the tank" =} Why, what do you say?
Aug. 11th, 2003 05:20 am (UTC)
I say "petrol".
Aug. 11th, 2003 09:25 am (UTC)
Oh... I've definitely never heard that one around here. I don't know if it's different anywhere else in Canada though.
Aug. 11th, 2003 07:40 am (UTC)
cripes! vancouver is expensive for cars. you should come to toronto. :)

you put your car in park? i always shift to neutral through car washes. you also gotta drive through *really slowly* when going through the dryer. shift it into drive, do not accelerate and brake to slow down even further. you want to be inching forward.
Aug. 11th, 2003 09:31 am (UTC)
cripes! vancouver is expensive for cars. you should come to toronto. :)

I think I heard that our gas was cheaper though... we're around 80 cents, but earlier this year we were anywhere from 67-75.

you put your car in park?

That's what the instruction plaque thing said... is it better in neutral?

you want to be inching forward.

Ah... stupid "drive forward" sign... makes you panic and want to leave =P =}
Aug. 11th, 2003 04:09 pm (UTC)
i've never put my car through a wash in park. i was raised on neutral through the wash. i have no clue what the difference is.

it's fair to say that our gas prices for the past year have been hovering in and around the 69 cent/litre mark. the Q2 average was maybe 64 cents. something like that.
Aug. 11th, 2003 04:21 pm (UTC)
That's not too bad. It must have been further back (2002 or 2001) when my MOH came back from TO and bawked at how cheap our gas was =)

But it's still through the roof when you compare it to American prices though. It's $3.50/gal (4.5L to a gallon, right?)...
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )


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