The truth about "No Touch Car Washes"

Everyone, save yourselves the $8 bucks it costs to buy the "works" carwash at the gas pump. The Smart is narrow so the rocker sprayers for the rims are a bit far away and don't do a good job of cleaning. Then the parking sensor for the wash is the driver's side front tire, so the car is normal to the front and left side spray but far from the right and rear side sprays. The blow dryer worked os expected, but what good is it if the car is still dirty? Well, at least it got the bird poop off the sun roof! HA!

Check out some photos of what happens when you take a Smart through one of these machines.

Sure, everything begins normally, just as one would expect, soap please!

No problems on the sides of the car either.

The rear of the car hardly gets any soap at all.

The real "tell" is during the rinse; see how little water is getting to the car?

Look at the water jets on the left, they are about 4 feet away from the car!

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Comment by Ryan on April 18, 2009 at 9:02pm
If the one you went through is like the one that's near my house, it DOES have location sensors. Not on the arm where the water jets and stuff come out of. There's a metal arm that goes down i believe just behind that, and there's another metal bracket that goes across it at the very bottom of that bar to form an upside down T. On either end is what appears to be a little sensor. I dunno... maybe that's one way to tell whether they're Smart-compatible.... maybe the one near you doesn't have those.
Comment by Tommy Wong on April 18, 2009 at 9:51am
Yeah, you would think. This one was the kind with just one arm that turns 90 degrees in each corner and then moves down the side of the vehicle. With imaging systems and location sensors being what they are today, you would think people that build these things would add that feature to the product. It isn't a hard thing to do and the sensors are relatively cheap.
Comment by Ryan on April 17, 2009 at 10:33pm
Hmm.... you'd kinda think that the sensors they have on the bottom of the arm on either side would be a bit more adjusted to detect smaller cars. I believe i've heard that some are actually Smart-compatible, but not all.

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