One of the most common questions we get is whether or not you can go through a car wash with roof racks. The answer to that question depends on the type of racks and specific features, but it typically boils down to one thing – if there’s an option for high-pressure water jets to clean off the dirt from underneath the vehicle, then yes. Roof racks are designed not to obstruct visibility when driving around town, which means you can usually drive through a car wash with roof racks without any issues at all!
Yes, you can go through a car wash with roof racks. In-car washes, sometimes the roller brushes are not in the ideal condition due to their intensive use and can lead to some damage to the bodywork. You wash the vehicle by yourself at the car wash stations, but that takes more time and effort. An ideal time for cleaning your car is when you go on a trip or return from it, because our geography is full of car washes, and you can wash your vehicle on the go.
What are the risks when going through a car wash with roof racks?
Some unsuitable brushes can scratch the paint. Some leave traces of plastic that can look like scratches. Today, almost all bristles are made of polyethylene, a material very similar to textile fibres. When coordinated with proper watering, there is usually no risk to paint. The many complaints that come to us about scratches generally come from other reasons.
For example, grains of sand or very intricate dirt, or even dirt from the previous car, which has not been adequately dislodged and remains on the brushes, can cause scratches on the bodywork.
So a tip is to wash your car in a car wash on a rainy day. The dirt on the body will be softer and partly already detached. Another tip is to give it a pre-wash: this way, you remove superficial dirt and the dreaded grains of sand.
Tips for Going Through a Car Wash with Roof Racks:
When you go through a car wash with roof racks, make sure your roof racks are secured.
Secure your roof racks tightly to your car so that nothing is loose or hanging off of them, such as luggage. This will ensure the rack doesn’t get caught in anything during the car wash cycle and damage either vehicle. Also, make sure there are no items attached to the roof racks, so they don’t fly off during the car wash cycle and do any damage or even injure someone walking by outside!
Make sure the water and soap do not damage your roof racks during the car wash.
Ensure that your roof racks do not get damaged during the car wash cycle. This can cause rust or other damage to your roof racks that make them unsafe, and you will no longer be able to transport items safely on top of your car. So, take care when going through a car wash!
Sometimes car washes will try to remove dirt attached to anything strapped onto your car’s roof with high-pressure water hoses – keep an eye out for this happening during the car wash cycle. You might want to cover up expensive luggage or skis just in case it has lots of value!
Read over everything before starting the carwash. Before taking off into the self-serve carwash, be sure everyone is buckled in tightly inside your vehicles. If you are worried about damage, read our post here to answer ‘do roof racks damage your car?’.
If you do need to remove your roof racks, do so before entering the car wash.
By doing this, carwash attendants will be aware that they shouldn’t use water pressure to clean off the roof rack and belts.
Make sure your cargo is safe inside the vehicle before driving into a car wash with roof racks.
Once you have finished going through a car wash completely, carefully remove any remaining water off of your exterior before driving away from the car wash bay. Just remember that both vehicles need to go through these steps together at once if they’re sharing one car wash station.
Avoid using automatic washes that have brushes.
This can cause damage to the paintwork.
Ask the car wash attendant about the brushless system before going through the car wash with roof racks.
If you have a car with roof racks, it is entirely okay to drive through the car wash as long as you’re not carrying anything on top of those car rack bars.
When going through self-service car washes, always check the brushless system car washes first because they’ll be gentler and safer for your vehicle’s exterior paintwork. If there is no roof rack on top of your car, then you won’t be able to go through one at all due to safety precautions. Avoid using automatic car washing machines – especially if they have rotating brushes – since these can damage the exterior paintwork of vehicles.
Choose the right car wash program.
First, it depends on your budget and the weather. In winter, we recommend one with active foam, hot wax, and underbody wash. The prices for a standard washing program start at 5 dollars in the US, and the most intensive can go up to 15. See the prices for car washes from Car Wash USA here.
Put the car in the correct position.
Close the windows and the sunroof and with the engine running, deactivate the windscreen wipers and the rain sensor. Put the central locking system on to prevent the fuel cap from opening. And it is better to fold the mirrors and, if possible, remove the antenna from the radio. The specific indications of each car wash are usually visible on a poster.
Measures after the car wash.
Dry immediately with a microfiber cloth to avoid unwanted traces of water. Review areas that are difficult to access by hands, such as the seals of the doors, hood, and trunk. Wash all the windows with glass cleaner.
Mobile or static car wash?
It does not matter. The result is usually the same; in both cases, similar cleaning products and the same material for the brushes are used.
If you have suffered any damage, immediately call someone in charge and put it in writing and sign. Thoroughly review the status of the company and its license to have a car wash. All this information can be decisive in case of conflict.
Conclusion – can you go through a car wash with roof racks?
One of the most common questions we get is whether or not you can go through a car wash with your roof rack. The answer to that question depends on the type of racks and specific features, but it typically boils down to one thing- if there’s an option for high-pressure water jets to clean off the dirt from underneath the vehicle, then yes. Roof racks are designed not to obstruct visibility when driving around town, which means you can usually drive through a car wash without any issues at all!