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View Poll Results: Do you prefer car cleaning at Service Centre?
Prefer at Service Center 26 11.30%
Prefer outside car cleaning shops 204 88.70%
Voters: 230. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21st July 2021, 18:23   #1
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Default Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I own a Tata Nexon and I am used to cleaning the car myself. Most of the time I use the 2 bucket method. I prefer turtle products for car cleaning needs. I am especially impressed by their Ice Seal n Shine product.

Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-whatsapp-image-20210721-5.54.47-pm-1.jpeg

Turtle Wax Ice Seal n Shine hydrophobic effect after parking car in the open for a night in light rain:
Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-whatsapp-image-20210721-5.54.47-pm.jpeg

Recently, I had been to a service center for my car's 2nd service. Nowadays, almost all service centers have switch to dry cleaning for exterior cleaning.

Watching them cleaning my car with the same dirty cloth in and out literally broke my heart. They were using some strange liquid solution to polish the interior, which was sticky in nature and had a weird smell. They were cleaning the dirty bottom part and the upper part of the door panel with the same cloth in one go. It was very scary to watch them cleaning my car in this way

Finally, after the service, I took my car to a local car washing shop for a thorough wash. Then I brought the car back home and did all the polishing by myself.

Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-nexon.jpeg

Now I have decided that I will never use the dry car washing service at the ASS.

BHPians, do you still prefer getting your car cleaned at a service station?

Last edited by Aditya : 22nd July 2021 at 09:57. Reason: Language
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Old 22nd July 2021, 08:20   #2
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

Service center only if it's being offered free, which a few do. But if they are charging a pretty fee for cleaning, then it's best done outside (just like wheel alignment or detailing). The sole reason I can think of in favour of service center cleaning is convenience; since the car is already there, why not get it done too vis a vis taking the time out for a separate visit.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd July 2021 at 08:22.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 08:39   #3
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I prefer getting it washed from outside. Have been availing Maruti's Service on Wheels facility, where they send their service van to my home, and although they have water on board, it's not sufficient for any decent job. So I politely deny and they offer me to get my car washed at their main facility by mentioning it on their bill. So as of now I have 3 such "tokens" but I'll never get my car washed there. Reasons:

1. They are too overloaded to do any decent work.

2. Risk of them using improper methods of washing, Yes I'm a bit finicky for those things.

3. Time taken for a wash is actually less, but then the drama begins of moving the car out through congested premises, waiting for other cars, billing time etc. For the same reason I call their van for service, they do the required things in an hour max, and send me the bill over whatsapp, which is far convenient than spending unproductive hours at the workshop.

4. The nearby washing center/detailing shops do a far better job. Owner is my friend and I get my cars washed before/after their normal operating time. That matches perfectly with my office timings and secondly, they do a far more comprehensive job as per my needs, which sometimes includes drenching the entire underbody and cleaning deeply.

Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-20210713_172602.jpg

Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-20210713_172736.jpg

Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?-20210713_173450.jpg

Yes I do end up spending close to 200 rupees monthly extra for this, but it's entirely worth it.

Last edited by Leoshashi : 22nd July 2021 at 08:42.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 08:41   #4
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Service center only if it's being offered free, which a few do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
I prefer getting it washed from outside.
...
They are too overloaded to do any decent work.
+1 to both of you. If the service centers do this free as a part of the service, and if they are not overcrowded, then I would not mind this.

However, in my experience, my servile centers charge more for car washing than my preferred friendly neighborhood car detailing shops do. And then I see no point in this (paying more). Further, usually car wash at authorized service center is a pain. They often delay the car delivery (after servicing) under the excuse of "car is waiting to get washed" and usually they have log queues at their washing bays. I have had frustrating moments when I was waiting to pick up my car in the evening after a service and all my evening plans were getting delayed thanks to this "washing delays" . And to make it even worse, because of the queues and the rush at their washing bays, these service centers are often in a hurry to do a quick and dirty job of washing and do not even wash the car that well. After a few such experiences, I just stopped the washing routine at the service centers.

On the other hand, I have a couple of good car detailing places near my home. They wash the car properly, and do a good job in whatever interior cleaning/detailing I opt for too. And all this in a reasonable price, without the maddening rush of cars waiting in line and scrambling for space, and with a smile on their face. I usually like the experiences of washing my car at these places.

So my choice and vote is clear: I wash at dedicated car detailing centers.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 22nd July 2021 at 08:52.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:38   #5
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

Our vehicles do not go for servicing when it's dirty, the SA itself will tell me that the vehicle does not need a wash. If there are any grease marks after their work (Mahindra is infamous for it) , they will clean just that bit and give it back to me.

Dealerships use some contractors for this washing activity, one cannot expect too much out of it but these are the same guys who wash the vehicle at the time of purchase!! So there is that, you can't avoid them

Beware of those sketchy looking hydraulic lifts used by car washes, some of them are sitting on your anti rollbars and too close to your brake lines for comfort. I just don't left those fellows lift the vehicle up in the air.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:46   #6
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

As far as my experience, there is no reduction/discount in charges at the service centre, if a customer does not opt for the washing/cleaning.
It does not make any sense in foregoing this 'included' service.

Secondly, Nowadays, most vehicles have 1 year service intervals.
So, whether the dealership is doing a waterless wash or water wash, is really immaterial.
I don't think once a year waterless wash will damage anything.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 09:55   #7
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I never get it washed at authorized service centre, cause they are supremely congested and they hardly do a good job using weird stuff. I have seen with my own eyes brake fluid being used to give shine to tyres.

I prefer doing a body wash and interior cleaning which includes vacuum and wipe at the nearby washing centre. I dont even do a under-body wash as once at a washing centre the water jet had so much pressure that it actually removed my undercoat at lot many places.

In the body wash they clean the wheel wells good enough without having the risk of them destroying the undercoat, i am bit particular about the undercoat as i live by the sea in goa.
Best is take your own car shampoo and hand them a bit and ask them wash it with that. Been to some places that use rin and surf as their cleaning agents due to impressive foam produced.Looking at all that it gives me sleepless nights.
Once every fifteen days my car gets washed outside so it remains squeaky clean and presentable.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 10:06   #8
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

The main reason I go to a car wash is to pressure wash the underbody, especially during the monsoon, hence dry wash doesn't make any sense to me either done in the ASS or outside.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 10:57   #9
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I use the service center for washing only if it is free or there is a scheme. Car detailing and washing is always done at a detailing center and wheel alignment at a good tyre shop. Also many service centers do not have facility to lift the car for washing and underbody washing is very important at regular intervals.

Some things are best left to centers / shops that specialize in their service or items.

Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 22nd July 2021 at 10:59.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 11:04   #10
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoshashi View Post
4. The nearby washing center/detailing shops do a far better job. Owner is my friend and I get my cars washed before/after their normal operating time. That matches perfectly with my office timings and secondly, they do a far more comprehensive job as per my needs, which sometimes includes drenching the entire underbody and cleaning deeply.
Oh man, your car looks dangerous from those angles. I am sure they follow all protocols while lifting the car. Any undistributed weight in the car could make it a dangerous procedure. Instead of these hydraulics, I give my car to a place where the service guys can get into a pit and clean the car from below. I find it very dangerous when they lift my car up and clean it from beneath. The showroom ASS has better infrastructure where they clamp all wheels.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 13:20   #11
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

During routine service at the service stations, I usually stay with the car till the work is finished. I tell them to not wash the car and also to not apply the dashboard polish(my car is a Maruti). The advantage is that you save good amount of time by opting to not wash it at the ASS and that usually leaves me with some time to visit the friendly neighborhood detailing place for a good cleanup.

The downside is that the cost of washing is included in the PMS and you are paying for it even though you aren't using it.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 13:27   #12
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

If the car is going for service then the wash is typically included. So I let them do it. In general I prefer to do it outside. Regular dusting is done with the Jopasu duster and once in a couple of months, I do a wash in an independent center.

Once in couple of years, get it detailed which helps take care of any of my cleaning mismanagement in the preceding 2 years.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 18:30   #13
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

If the car is anyway going to the authorised service centre for it's due service, then I don't mind a wash. Have always been offered a free wash for my Toyota Altis and the Jeep Compass too at the centers. I usually prefer to get the cars washed/detailed from a local shop otherwise. Everyday cleaning is taken care of by a cleaner who does the job reasonably well in the society. I opt for the local garage guy because we've been dealing with him for over 15 years now, he's superb. Unless there's a major issue with the car, I generally do not opt for going to the service centre, after the free service period is done.
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Old 22nd July 2021, 23:03   #14
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I usually don't get my car washed at the service center. Primarily 2 reasons:
1) Quality of work - Their work will never match what 3M can do. I am now used to 3M standards.
2) Time - Typically in a service center there is already a queue at the washing bay (at least in my case VW Gurgaon). It just adds to time, when I know that to satisfy myself, I will anyways end up taking the car to 3M.

Hence I avoid service center, and straightaway head to 3M.

Rachit
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Old 22nd July 2021, 23:06   #15
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Default Re: Car cleaning & washing at the service center, or an independent shop outside?

I ask the service center not to do it, and that was a long time ago. Mostly because
1. Invariably they forget something or don't do a good job which requires the mechanic to jump in again which ruins any cleaning that's been done
2. The oily stuff they apply to the dashboard leaves a messy residue and prefer something better quality
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