Updated at: 04-07-2022 - By: Lucas

To get your car washed, all you have to do is drive it to the nearest car wash. Or is it?

Many people don’t know what they can and can’t do when they take their car to get washed.

Before you get your car washed, you should think about any changes you made on purpose or by accident to the outside of your car. This includes things like roof and bike racks, temporary licences, cracked windshields, new paint, and more. If you don’t take these into account, you could hurt your car or even get fined.

In some cases, the workers might even refuse to let you into the car wash. Why does that happen?

So, I wrote this article to tell you exactly what you should and shouldn’t do when you go to get your car washed.

We’ll talk about the different things you can bring with you to a car wash, what you can bring through the car wash, and what you need to leave at home before going.

So, make sure you read this whole article so you know exactly what to do at the car wash and don’t get lost!

Can you go through a car wash with a roof rack?

Car Wash FAQS: Here’s What You Can & Can’t Do!

A roof rack is a rack that is attached to the top of your car. It is used to carry equipment, gear, or smaller vehicles like bicycles from one place to another.

Most of the time, this rack goes all the way across the roof of the car.

It’s best not to bring your roof rack with you when getting your car washed.

The reason for this is that the roof rack could get in the way of some of the car washing equipment, and if you use a self-service car wash, the overhead brushes could damage or even break your roof rack.

Also, there could be cleaning liquids on the roof parts under the roof rack, which could damage the finish of your car.

You can’t clean those parts unless you take the roof rack off first.

So, you should take your roof rack off before you take your car to a car wash.

The process of taking off the roof rack won’t take that long, and you can unload all heavy gear from the rack in 10–15 minutes.

Do this instead of having problems when you get to the car wash and getting a damaged roof rack as a result.

Can you go through a car wash with a soft tonneau cover?

There are different kinds of tonneau covers that fit over the open cabin of a pickup truck.

And if you’re getting your car washed, your tonneau cover probably needs to be cleaned, too.

What you need to know is listed below.

When you go through a car wash, hard-top tonneau covers are probably the safest because the brushes won’t damage them. The brushes, on the other hand, could scratch any paint you put on the hard-top tonneau. It is also said that soft tonneau covers are safe to bring into a car wash. Different soft tonneau cover makers say it’s safe to go through a car wash without taking off your cover. The soft tonneau cover, on the other hand, should be taken off. Most of the time, these are held on by Velcro or straps, so taking them off isn’t that hard.

What about partially open tonneau covers?

If you have equipment in the truck bed and your tonneau cover is only partially open, you might not be able to get your car washed.

The equipment could get in the way of the brushes or washing tools, so tonneau covers should be closed all the way before a car is washed.

In the end, both soft and hard tonneau covers can go through a car wash, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask the staff if you can keep them on or if you have to take them off.

Can you go through a car wash with a temporary tag?

Can You Get A Carwash With Temporary Plates-3

In some situations, your car may have a temporary tag that is made of paper and is easily damaged by water.

Before a car can be fully registered, the DMV gives temporary tags to district residents who have their cars inspected.

By law, you have to put these on your car until your real licence plates arrive.

You shouldn’t bring your temporary car tags into the car wash with you because they will get ruined and end up on the floor of the car wash.

DIY car washes, where you pay to clean your car yourself, are a good way to get around this problem.

Since you’ll be washing your car yourself, no one would mind if you put your temporary tag in the car and washed it to your heart’s content.

Can you go through a car wash with a crack in your windshield?

If your windshield has a crack, it can be hard to decide where to get your car washed.

Technically, you can wash your car even if the windshield is cracked, but the heavy equipment used in car washes makes it very likely that the crack will get bigger.

There are different kinds of high-pressure water machines at different car washes, and you have to be careful about how you wash your car.

For instance, if you go to a do-it-yourself car wash, you can use the high-pressure nozzles on everything but the windshield.

Then you can use a good quality windshield cleaner and a microfiber cloth to wash the windshield by hand.

This will make it less likely that the high-pressure water hitting your windshield directly will cause it to crack even more.

Some car washes use brushes that can damage cracked windshields because they can chip the broken glass even more.

My last piece of advice would be to stay away from car washes until your windshield is fixed and wash your car by hand until then.

Can you go through a car wash with a cracked window?

When going through a car wash, cracked windows in the back and on the passenger side have the same chance of getting worse as cracked windshields.

Water and cleaning liquids can get into the car through the crack and ruin the inside.

If you get your car washed with a cracked window, you might have to put a thick cloth over the crack to keep water from getting in.

Aside from that, the warm water in the car wash will cause the glass to grow, which will make any cracks bigger.

When you get out of the car wash and the glass starts to cool, it will be put under more stress, which will make the crack get bigger.

Your best bet would be to use an automatic car wash or a do-it-yourself car wash, where you can completely avoid washing your windows.

This way, you can stay near the bottom of your car and keep the cracks in the window from getting too much pressure.

You will also keep soapy water from getting into your house and ruining it.

Can you go through a car wash with a bike rack?

Attaching a bike rack to your car makes it easier to move bikes from one place to another. Most of the time, they attach to the back of your car and can hold about two to three bikes at once. Now, taking off your bike rack before going to a car wash might seem like too much trouble, and you might be tempted to just let it go. But I would suggest that you don’t bring your bike rack into the car wash with you. Instead, safely remove it to keep both your car and your bike rack in good shape. The reason for this is that many bike rack manufacturers say you should take your bike rack off before going to a car wash, and many car washes won’t let you in if you don’t. The bike rack can get in the way of the car wash equipment and damage the brushes by getting caught on them. In very bad situations, the bike rack can even be ripped off the car! Bike racks can also rust, and the chemicals used in car washes might damage the paint finish on the bike rack.

Can you take a light bar through a car wash?

A light bar is basically a long strip of LED lights that is attached to the car’s bumper or roof. These are used to add more light, which can be helpful when driving at night or in places where you need to be able to see well. In some cases, you can leave your car’s light bar on while going through a car wash. In other cases, you might need to take the light bar off before going through the car wash. If you have a light bar on the roof of your car, you should avoid car washes that have brushes to clean the roof. These brushes can do a lot of damage to these lights, so it would be best to use a touchless car wash instead. High-pressure water is all that touchless car washes use, which isn’t strong enough to damage your light bar. If you put a light bar on your car’s bumper, you can probably use any car wash without damaging the light bar. In short, you should only use a touchless car wash if your car has a roof light bar.

Can you go through a car wash with a light bar?

Ladder racks go on top of your car and let you quickly and easily transport ladders.

If you use brush washing, it can be dangerous to take a ladder rack through a car wash.

There have been a few reports of ladders getting stuck in the soft touch brushes. This is usually because the ladders have rough edges and shapes that make them easy to catch on the brushes.

I would suggest that you use touchless car washes if your car is much shorter than the maximum height limit.

If you leave your ladders on during the car wash, they could get damaged and it would be harder to clean the part of the roof below the ladder rack.

In conclusion, it’s safer to take the ladders off the car before washing it or use a touchless car wash instead.

Can you go through a car wash with a fresh coat of paint?

Most car manufacturers say that you shouldn’t wash your car for 30 days if you want the paint to stay fresh.

So, if you just got your car painted, I’d suggest waiting until you’re sure the quality of the print won’t be affected.

When it comes to new paint, you shouldn’t wax the car for at least two months after it has been painted.

Waxing your car is a good idea because it gives it an extra layer of protection and keeps the paint’s finish.

The wax finish will also protect your car’s paint from acidic bird droppings and dead bugs, which can damage the paint finish.

Final thoughts

Well, I hope you can find the answer to your question in this article.

Most of the time, you should take your car’s accessories off before going through a car wash because they could damage the car wash’s equipment or the car itself.

If you have cracked windows or windshields, I would honestly tell you to stay away from car washes because they are more likely to get worse. The best thing to do would be to wash the car yourself.

Even if your car is extremely dirty, it would take only a few hours to completely clean it by hand and you wouldn’t risk further breaking your windows.

So, this is the end of the article. I hope you make a well-informed decision and make the necessary arrangements before taking your car to the carwash. This way, your car will shine the way it should, and nothing will get broken.