Frequently Asked Questions – Autowash Express of Raleigh, NC

At Autowash Express we would like to make your visit a pleasurable experience. To help achieve our goal of total customer satisfaction, here are some answers to our customers most Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question you would like answered that is not listed here, please let us know.


Are there any vehicles you can’t wash?
Autowash Express can wash most passenger cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks up to 88 inches tall. In our Wash Tunnel, we cannot wash trucks with dual wheels, trucks or vans with any exterior racks, cars, or trucks with wheels that exceed 12.5 inches wide. However, we can wash ALL of these by hand!
Can my exterior mirrors be damaged during a car wash?
Factory installed exterior mirrors are completely safe as long as they are in proper working order and do not have any pre-existing damage.
Is it safe to wash my vehicle if it was recently painted?
Yes. All of the materials that touch the surface of your paint are cloth and the wash solutions are mild so newly painted surfaces are safe. However, your paint surface MUST be cured properly before washing, so consult your paint and body shop for applicable curing times before you bring it in. The paint surface on newly purchased vehicles is fully cured before delivery to you. Ask about our outstanding Paint Protection System to keep it looking new.
Will my alloy wheels be okay?
Yes. Most manufacturers of factory-installed polished aluminum wheels recommend that you do not use cleaning solutions that contain any acids, which can stain them. Autowash Express does not use any acid or acid-based cleaning solutions on the wheels or any part of the car.
Can you wash a vehicle with a cracked window?
Whenever the integrity of a glass surface, such as a windshield, is compromised (weakened or changed) by small cracks, rock chips – even very small ones – it becomes more susceptible to changes in temperatures. It is usually very safe to wash your vehicle with such imperfections in your windshield, but the cracks and chips can expand from the change in temperature during the wash process. We recommend repairing or replacing damaged windshields immediately. Autowash Express is not responsible for repair or replacement of windshields with pre-existing damage of any kind.
Will my valuables be safe inside my vehicle while it’s being washed or detailed?
Autowash Express is not responsible for ANY valuables left in your vehicle while on our premises, during the wash process or not. If you are concerned about anything that is left in your vehicle, please remove it before turning it over to our employees.
Will my license plate be okay during a car wash or detailing?
Yes, as long they are in good condition, affixed properly, all of the screws are firmly tightened and do not have any pre-existing damage or wear. We are not responsible for after-market plastic license plate covers or frames.
Can you wash pickup trucks?
Yes, except we cannot wash any trucks with dual-wheel axles or with any external racks or hangers that can impede the wash process. Side step rails are usually okay, but are subject to inspection prior to entering our wash tunnel. This is for the safety of your vehicle and our equipment. However, we can wash ALL of these by hand!
Can you wash my convertible?
Yes, please make sure the roof is latched properly! Autowash Express is not responsible for any damages done due to an improperly latched roof.
Will my antenna be okay during a car wash?
Yes, factory installed antennas are safe provided they are affixed properly and are in good working condition. We ask our customers to remove any after-market antennas, such as, Cell Phone, or CB phone antennas before washing the car.
Important Notice: We are not responsible for damage to power antennas that do not retract. Please make sure your power antenna is working properly and retracts completely before allowing the car to be washed. Our wash attendants are not responsible for turning ignition and / or radios off to retract the antennas.
Will my custom wheels be okay during the car wash or detailing?
Autowash Express is not responsible for damage caused to custom wheels or wheel covers. If you have any concerns about your wheels consult one of our managers prior to washing your vehicle.
Will my bugshield be okay during my car wash?
Unfortunately we cannot be responsible for after-market products that are made of plastic. We wash virtually hundreds of vehicles with bugshields without incident; however, these products are extremely subject to hard-to-detect stress cracks and chips, especially near or around the installation hardware. Also, many are made of low-grade plastics that deteriorate quickly and damage too easily. We recommend “Lexan” bugshields which are extremely durable, long-lasting, and virtually indestructible if installed by a professional shop.
Can you remove pet hair from the interior of my vehicle?
Many of our wash packages include vacuuming carpets, mats and interior cleaning. Our attendants make every effort to remove as much dog hair as possible; however, dog hair is especially difficult to remove from fabric seats, carpets and mats. We have Special Services available to remove dog hair and other elements from headliners, seating, door panels etc. See our Detail Services for information and pricing.
What does Express mean?
To us, Express means Fast service while still maintaining the top quality service you’ll come to expect from Autowash. Our dedicated attendants and managers work diligently to limit our customer’s waiting time. Please be patient, we cannot control the number of vehicles that show up at any given time. We take our business and especially Customer Service very seriously and are always looking for ways to improve our speed and quality . . . Our Customers are #1!


Where is Autowash Express located?
The entrance is on Six Forks Road and is easily accessible from either northbound or southbound. Check out the map found on our Visit Us page. Watch for the Big Yellow Canopy!
How do I get started when I arrive?
Enter the driveway lane marked WASH & STOP at the designated STOP SIGN. You will be greeted by one of our Sales Associates who will explain our cost saving Wash Packages. After you have placed your order, and receive your White Wash Ticket follow a few simple procedures and proceed inside to pay for your wash.
When do I get out of my vehicle?

Follow these procedures:

  1. Place vehicle in park position.
  2. Retract power antenna (Radio Off).
  3. Turn engine off.
  4. Close windows & sun roofs.
  5. Remove any valuables.
  6. Leave your keys in the ignition.
  7. Inspect your vehicle before you turn it over to our wash attendant.
  8. Take your white wash ticket inside to our cashier.
  9. After you pay, keep the new white receipt – this is your claim check.
  10. When your vehicle is ready, present the paid receipt to the attendant.
  11. Inspect your vehicle & drive away in your sparkling clean vehicle.
Will you clean the inside of my vehicle too?
The interior of your vehicle will be vacuumed clean with all of our Package Washes, with the exception of the Exterior only Wash. Please refer to the description of services for each Wash Package to insure your expectations are correct for services you have requested.
How long does it take to get a vehicle washed?
The average time for a car wash is 15 – 20 minutes during normal periods and 20 – 25 minutes during peak periods. Though these are averages, our goal at Autowash Express is to minimize our customer’s wait while providing a first class full service wash. “Express” means fast, but also “Top Quality”. So if we take a minute or two longer, please be patient. We are just trying to provide the kind of quality everyone has come to expect from Autowash Express.
Can I use a credit card or ATM card at Autowash Express?
Autowash Express accepts, Cash, ATM (from one of the four Major Banks), VISA, MASTERCARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS, & DISCOVER credit cards.
Is Autowash Express Touchless or Brushless?
Autowash Express provides a trademarked Softouch Quality wash. What this means is the materials used in our wash tunnel that touch your vehicle’s finish, are Cloth. We have proved over the years that this is the safest and most efficient method to clean your vehicle.
Are your cleaning products safe for my vehicle?
Yes. The cleaning solutions and products that we use at Autowash Express are safe and approved by nearly all of the new car manufacturers across the globe. We do not use any caustic or acid-based chemicals. We use only gentle shampoos, liquid waxes, and protectants that are computer-controlled to monitor application solutions. They are applied with gentle mixtures of low pressure air and small amounts of conditioned water, providing a soft but extremely effective wash process. In our opinion, there is not a safer or more effective method for automated car washing systems. Our 10 year track record proves it!
How can I save money on car wash and detailing services?
Wow, can we help you there! We have several value-packed Wash Packages that offer BIG savings. Most of our packages include interior and exterior cleaning, bundled with lots of extras that will give you a great choice of services. Visit our services page for details and pricing. Also visit our special offers page for great coupons, discounts and packages.
Will the car wash remove disc brake dust?
Yes, most of our wash packages include having the wheels cleaned and most of the brake dust will come off. However, we need to define “Wheel Cleaning”. Certain wash packages include the application of a safe, non-acid based wheel cleaning solution sprayed on and pressure rinsed prior to the wash process. Though this does a really great job, brake dust that has accumulated and been left on for a long period of time can be extremely hard to remove. Many vehicles (BMW, SAAB and Volvo as examples) have particularly tough brake dust residue to remove. If your wheels have brake dust that will not come off in this initial process, we have a definitive Wheel Cleaning Service that will usually take care of it. (Note: In some cases brake dust will “STAIN” alloy and steel wheels if left on too long. We cannot guarantee that stained wheels can be completely cleaned).


Will my vehicle shine if it is waxed?
YES, if your vehicle’s finish is in good condition, our wax services can make it shine. However, if your finish is dull, streaked and “spotty”, then more than likely the paint has begun to oxidize. This occurs when the paint ages and deteriorates from exposure to sunlight, heat, road oils, and other contaminants. This process can be slowed down by washing your vehicle often by a professional car wash and applying a coat of good quality wax at least once a year. If the finish has already begun the oxidation process, a professionally applied (buffing) cleaning-polishing compound can remove most of the damage and then a coat of wax will usually render a glossy shine. Visit Autowash Express’ Detail Center for an estimate. You’ll be amazed at what we can do! A professional detail will increase the value of your vehicle as well as making it look great!
Why does the rubber, vinyl, or plastic on my car look dull?
The exterior rubber, vinyl, and plastic deteriorate much the same as the paint surface and in some cases at a faster rate. We recommend frequent cleaning and applying a high quality protectant to shield it from the elements. Autowash Express has just the service to either correct or improve the condition and protect it. Check out our detail services page for Exterior Dressing (may be included in some Detail Services Packages).
Will the car wash remove egg, overspray, or bird droppings?
Usually not unless you get to the car wash before it dries. If it occurs, flush as soon as possible with water. Egg is highly corrosive and MUST be removed immediately. Corrosion damage to your finish begins almost immediately. If it has dried, get to our Detail Center as soon as possible and speak to one of our professionals. Bird droppings are also very harmful and must be removed quickly before they damage your finish. Left on too long, they can result in permanent damage. Overspray from paints or other chemicals may come off in the wash, depending on how long they have been present. If the overspray does not come off in the wash, our Detail Center can assist you in removing it. Stop by and have one of our Professional Detailers give you an estimate. The longer it is left on, the harder it is to remove.
Will the car wash remove road tar or tree sap?
Usually not. There are specific products for removing these pesky elements. Some road tar will come off in the wash and we try to get as much off as possible. However, if it is extreme, our Detail Center can give you an estimate for removal.