FAQ’s

Welcome, it is our pleasure to serve you…

What should I expect when I arrive?
You’ll be greeted by our friendly, professional team members who will guide you through the simple process.  Basically, all you need to do is put your vehicle in neutral when asked, and relax! We’ll do the rest.  We clean the vehicle exterior with gentle touch washers and mild cleaning solutions.  Your wheels and whitewalls will be cleaned, and your vehicle will be rinsed and gently dried with our exclusive hot air drying system – all automatically, in about five minutes or less!

Should I remain in my vehicle?
Yes.  For safety reasons, there must be a driver at the wheel.  Metro Express Carwash uses extensive LED lighting and lots of glass inside the tunnel, to create a comfortable, bright environment.  We’ll give you easy to follow instructions, answer any questions you might have, and guide you through the process.

Do you hand dry my vehicle?
We have a custom-designed “drying area” at the end of our wash process that uses powerful jet air stream produced by nine 15 hp blowers (3600 RPM per blower) to dry your vehicle without having to touch your car.  Vehicles coming out of the carwash tunnel also receive our exclusive reverse osmosis water to give your vehicle a rainfall rinse that washes away practically all the impurities on your vehicle’s exterior.

And if that is not enough, our friendly team members “hand towel dry” each vehicle everyday between 10am – 5pm.  Due to popular demand by our customers, we provide this as a complimentary service.

Do you offer towels and glass cleaners?
Yes.  We have 12″ clean microfiber towels as well as glass and multi-surface sprayers for your use.  These items are provided complimentary for your use while at the carwash.  Please return these products promptly so that other customers may use these items and help us keep our environment clean.

Do you take credit cards?
Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.  Our POS system is EMV-chip enabled for your protection.  Our POS also accepts touchless payments (Apple Pay, Android Pay, etc.).  We are enrolled in Trustwave’s Trusted Commerce™ program to validate compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) mandated by all the major credit card associations including: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa, Inc.  We employ end-to-end encryption of your credit card data and do not store your credit cards on premises.

Do you take Apple Pay or Android Pay?
Yes.  Our POS accepts NFC enabled pay-by-phone as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Do you clean the inside of the car?
Metro Express Carwash offers “exterior-only” service.  We provide self-service, powerful 120-hp vacuums onsite.

What kind of cleaning products do you use?
Our cleaning products are specifically created to be effective and safe in our environment.  They are fully biodegradable and safe for your vehicle and for the environment. To guarantee this, they are manufactured to the highest environmental standards for Metro Express Carwash.  They are made exactly to our specifications to ensure that they are the safest, most effective products available.

Do you recycle your water?
Yes.  We recycle, retreat and reuse our water with our on-site reverse osmosis system to ensure safe, high-quality, retreated water.

How do you save water?
By comparison, a recent study shows that the average person uses over 100 gallons of water when washing a car by hand. Our computer-controlled system uses under 45 gallons of fresh water for each wash, in addition to approximately 50 gallons of retreated water.

What’s the difference between “brushless” and “touchless”?
We employ a highly advanced process, using only soft cloth neoprene wraps and mitters that gently wash the surface of your car in combination with safe, biodegradable shampoos and cleaners. “No Touch” operations, on the other hand do not use direct-contact cleaning media.

How do you clean my vehicle’s tires?
Tires are scrubbed online using twin Bison brushes and Tire Dressing is applied online by a Tire Dressing Machine.

Will my vehicle fit?
Almost certainly, yes! If you ever have any questions, please feel free to come by our office and we’ll be happy to check your vehicle for problem areas.
Here are a list of vehicles that might not be able to fit.

  • Vehicles that sit 4.5″ or lower to the ground.
  • Vehicles with tires wider than 40″.
  • Vehicles taller than 85″.
  • Extended Height Full Size Vans (over 85 inches)
  • Vehicles with permanently affixed tripod style mirrors.
  • Full Size Hummers.
  • Open bed pickup trucks with a fuel tank that has a fill nozzle and hose attached
  • Open bed pickup trucks with debris, tools, straps, rope or any other loose materials.
  • Some 1965-69 General Motor vehicles with large fins and wrap-around bumpers.
  • Trucks/van with ladders.
  • Vehicles with large ladder racks.
  • Vehicles with “rocket boxes” on top.

Here are a list of things that sometimes cause problems, and must be washed with some caution (it is the customer’s responsibility to follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines and the car wash cannot be held responsible for any damage resulting from the customer’s failure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines):

  • Previous Damage (loose molding / emblems, leaking moon roof, blistered or peeling paint, etc.)
  • Cracked windshields
  • Very low profile tires
  • Objects on antennas (balls, flags, etc.)
  • Power antennas that won’t lower
  • Ski and bike racks
  • Large “Knobby” tires
  • Spoilers
  • Racing fins or shark fins
  • Any after-market parts. Parts that are not put on by the manufacturer

What types of vehicles can you wash?
We accept most cars, vans and trucks up to 85 inches in height.  Our dual belt conveyors can also wash trucks with dual wheels (dually trucks can be washed but our equipment will not apply tire shine to the tires; please ask a site manager for precaution & assistance before taking your dually truck into our tunnel).  We cannot guarantee the safety of after-market and/or non factory-installed equipment.

Can you wash my pickup truck?
Almost certainly.  All we ask is that the pickup bed be empty before going through the wash.  This is for the safety of your vehicle, and those of other customers.  Also, some side-mirrors are incompatible with our process, and certain types of modifications that employ oversized or off-road tires or radically raised suspensions may not be compatible.

Is the wash safe for convertibles?
Yes. Please make sure that the roof is properly latched (so that the interior of your vehicle is not washed as well).

Is the wash safe for newly painted cars?
Yes.  We use soft neoprene cloth wash materials and mild cleaners.  However, the paint should be allowed to cure before washing.  Consult with your body shop for curing times (usually at least 30 days for repainted cars and body parts).  (Paint on new cars is fully cured before delivery.)

Is the wash safe for alloy wheels?
Yes.  Most car makers caution against automatic washes that use acids on polished aluminum wheels, since these can stain — or carbon or plastic tire brushes, which can scratch.  At Metro Express we use no such acids, and only soft cloth washing material; so your wheels are perfectly safe.

Will a cracked windshield be safe in the wash?
Yes.  However, once the integrity of windshield glass is compromised by rock chips (even very small ones), it becomes more susceptible to changes in temperature.  So, while you may wash your vehicle with windshield damage, cracks or chips may expand and naturally, Metro Express disclaims any responsibility of further damage to your windshield.  It’s always best to repair or replace a damaged windshield immediately.

Why does plastic fail?
There are three types of plastic failures:

  1. Environmental Failure: Exposure to the elements, UV rays and extreme weather.  With so much intense energy unleashed on a constant basis, it’s no surprise that vehicles that stand out in the sun day-in and day-out begin to discolor and bleach as a result.  The reason has to do with UV-A and UV-B radiation, two different types of solar energy that have different damaging effects on your vehicle. UV-B, with a shorter wavelength, is rapidly absorbed by plastics and rubbers, heating them and breaking down chemical bonds so that they become brittle, dried out, and discolored. Without good shielding UV-A, with its longer wavelength, is also able to penetrate deep into your paint layers and dry out resin, leading to cracking.  Fortunately, UV Rays can be blocked with the regular use of a number of different products, including vehicle waxes and sealers like Simoniz and various kinds tire gloss.
  2. Chemical Failure: Exposure to extreme temperatures like hot summers or cold winters will fatigue plastic over time.
  3. Mechanical Failure: Vibrations or continued pressure weakens plastic over time causing additional stress to automotive parts.  Leaving mirrors in the unfolded position would create additional stress, or, the forces that wiper blades are subjected to over time are two prime examples.

What are swirl marks?

These are circular microscopic imperfections on the surface of different vehicles, best seen on black or dark blue cars when illuminated by a single light source (like the sun). They are not to be confused with cracking or spider webs, both of which lie beneath the clear coat and are a result of imperfections or micro-fracturing in the paint itself. Most cars develop scuffing to one degree or another over their lifespans and they can be resolved with professional treatments.

The question, of course, is whether or not swirl marks are caused by automatic car washes like the Metro Express Carwash tunnel?

Even the most cursory search online (or conversation over dinner) reveals the incredibly strong feelings many people have about the relationship between these abrasions and automatic car washes (friction cleaning washes in particular). It’s often just assumed as common knowledge. Car wash brushes are said to be too harsh, scraping vehicles and marring the clear coat, or the brush material (and sometimes even the water in the high pressure hoses) is said to become impacted with dirt and grit, which in turn is spread from vehicle to vehicle, resulting in scratches.

But the truth is more complicated and much more interesting.

First off, car wash materials and cleaning instruments have changed with time, but what hasn’t changed is the need for car was operators and engineers to balance the cleaning power of the wash against the resilience of the car itself. Back in the early days of car washes and up until recent decades, most of the wash power came from scrubbing action rather than chemical or detergent action or wash pressure. When most of the cleaning had to be done with brushes and friction, the degree of friction was ramped up with brushes that took off more of the dirt but had a greater impact on the surface as a result. Older style brushes were more abrasive and often worked with less lubrication, which in combination with single stage paint jobs, made minor scuffing a regular occurrence.

But today this damage is virtually unheard of and well-maintained modern express car washes have a number of safeguards in place to prevent swirl marks or customer damage. Advancements have been made in in water filtration, detergent application, high pressure washing, and in the friction cleaning material in particular (we’ll cover these other factors in a post soon).

Today’s soft cloths have forgone the nylon brushes that were famous for leaving brush marks in the 1970s and 80s and instead rely on a closed cell foam material that lacks any structure that could conceivably capture dirt or grit, OR a highly engineered cloth made from densely woven cotton or polyethylene microfibers. The foam and microfiber (which feels fuzzy like yarn with the consistency of a heavy cardstock and is often used for underwater curtains or faux-kelp in major aquariums) are both continually primed with body soap and fresh water, removing any debris and providing much-needed lubrication between the brushes and the body of the vehicle.  They’re safe to use and the overwhelming majority of patrons never have any issues—even after repeated washing.

But what about the occasional patron who does report scuffing and swirl marks?

There are a number of theories, each of which probably holds truth in certain situations.

  1. Non-standard paint jobs: High quality foreign cars in dark blue or black are sometimes still painted with old-fashioned single stage paint, resulting in a more fragile clear coat that is more easily affected by regular washing materials in both hand washes and automatic washes. The same goes for matte paint. In general, any antique or special high end car surfaces should be cleaned with great care.
  2. Revealing wear and tear: As a car wash cleans a car it can reveal imperfections and scratches that had previously been obscured by dirt and dust. The cleaner the car, the more easy it is to spot regular lines and nicks that can result from blowing sand, particle debris on highways, and even damage from improper hand washing practices like one-bucket washes, dishwasher soap, and artificial sponge use (which have been shown to be far more damaging to vehicle exteriors than most auto owners realize).
  3. Perception bias: Nearly every car on the road has marks of one kind or another, regardless of how it is cleaned or maintained. Usually you only see them when you are looking for them, and then when you spot a problem it’s all you can see! Because smart consumers look very closely after their car washes they are more likely to spot preexisting damage and blame it on the wash—even if the type or pattern of damage is clearly inconsistent with the action of the car wash’s components.
  4.  Was layering: New cars fresh from the dealer usually have a heavy, brand new coat of professionally applied wax to protect them from the elements, improve their gloss, and disguise those very same cracks and spider-lines we mentioned in the opening paragraph. As these brand new vehicles are driven that wax begins to break down, and when they go through the car wash the first time exposure to detergents and friction cleaning can actually thin and polish the original wax further, bringing out existing imperfections that had not been visible before (and often enraging the new car’s owners). A fresh coat of professionally applied wax easily corrects the issue, which is normally only present on very dark vehicles or vehicles with certain ‘flat’ paint tones.

If the brushes or chemicals in the wash were to damage a vehicle, the pattern of damage would be expected to follow very specific patterns matching the motion and action of the equipment used, and your average swirl marks don’t fit the bill.  Incidents of car wash damage are extremely rare and when they do, often times they most commonly involve other factors.

Will my antenna be OK?
Aftermarket products such as CB and cell phone antennas should be removed before washing; antennas on trucks, SUV’s, etc. should be removed prior to entering the wash; our car wash loading staff can apply masking tap to the rear wiper blades to lessen the movement of the wiper blade arms; we’ll gladly attend to this when you arrive and if you ask us to apply the masking tape to the rear wiper blades.

Will my bugshield be safe?
Unfortunately, we can’t be responsible for aftermarket accessories made of plastic.  Most customers who have bug shields wash their vehicles with no incident.  However, problems can arise if the shield has already been damaged by rock chips, or by stress cracks around the installation screws (which can be hard to detect), or if it is made from low-grade plastic.  If you need a new bug shield, we recommend products made of Lexan, which is virtually indestructible.

Will you repair the plastic component that broke?
If the component was broken by an employee or an equipment malfunction, yes!  If the failure stems from one of the three plastic failure types discussed above, we cannot claim responsibility since we have no control over these failures.  If your vehicle is under warranty, your manufacturer may cover the component for premature failure.

Information about in-tunnel collision prevention technology in use

What collision prevention technology or systems do you use?

We recognize that these days customers have many distractions and car wash experience has shown us that a customer may on occasion cause some real damage to another vehicle in the tunnel or car wash equipment. There aren’t enough signs and instructions in the world that will keep a gas pedal from turning a vehicle into a wrecking ball halfway through the tunnel.

In those cases, NoPileups helps protect our customers, the car wash, employees from getting burned.

One of the most destructive things a customer can do is accelerate inside the tunnel.  While a stopped car can still be a problem, an accelerating vehicle (known as a ‘drive-ahead’) has the potential to destroy tunnel equipment and cause serious injury.

Our car wash uses advanced tunnel collision prevention technology to prevent customers from colliding into other vehicles (see the illustrative YouTube video below).

When a customer vehicle drives ahead or delays exiting the tunnel, NoPileups keeps the situation from getting out of hand.  Luckily, NoPileups doesn’t hesitate.  The moment a customer jumps forward, the system triggers an emergency stop to keep the situation from escalating.  Onsite employees can deal with the important crisis without worrying about a cascade of issues everywhere else.  Since NoPileups uses cameras to track where every vehicle belongs in the tunnel, the video records definitive proof of every movement.  In addition, NoPileups saves a record of every incident, so managers can quickly call up the right footage when they need to.

Information for VIP Club memberships

What is the VIP Club membership?
It’s like having your own personal car wash waiting for you whenever you want to clean your vehicle. The VIP Club membership allows you to visit us every day all year long.  Metro Express Carwash will bill your credit card a fixed membership fee every 30-days.  Our VIP Club membership makes it easy and convenient to get the wash you want when you want it — your way.  Best of all, our VIP Club membership offers our best Platinum level wash for one low monthly price, no gimmicks, no fuss.

How does the VIP Club membership work?
You select the VIP Club membership and insert your credit card into the pay station where your credit card is encrypted.  Our system is equipped with license plate reading (LPR) technology which captures your vehicle’s license plate information.  Thereafter, each time you visit, our system automatically recognizes your vehicle as a VIP Club member and you simply proceed towards the tunnel to get your vehicle washed.  If your credit card has expired or has changed since your last recharge, the pay station will prompt you to reinsert a different credit card.

How does the VIP Club membership work for commercial vehicles (e.g. Uber, Lyft, taxi or limousines)?
We have a VIP Club membership for commercial vehicles.  The subscription starts at $55.00 monthly for commercial vehicles and allows a single Platinum level wash of a registered vehicle per day.  If your fleet has multiple vehicles, please see an onsite manager for customized pricing.

Do VIP Club members get a towel exchange?
Yes, absolutely.  At each visit, you simply exchange the microfiber towel with a fresh, clean one.  This is an exclusive benefit for our VIP Club members.

Do VIP Club memberships have any terms and conditions?
Yes, terms and conditions apply.  Please review the T&C’s here.

How do I cancel or make changes to VIP Club membership?
Simply Contact Us to make any changes to your credit card, vehicle’s information or if you choose to cancel your VIP Club membership at any time.  Please keep in mind that any notice to cancel your VIP Club membership must be sent in writing at least 3-days prior to the auto recharge date.

What are your standard disclaimers?

As any other normal business, we operate within certain parameters.  Our standard disclaimer is clearly posted before the POS pay station as well as prior to entering the tunnel.  It is also provided below for reference.