Vacation Bonus: Free Car Wash!


It’s been a great vacation so far, and now I want to share some of that good fortune with you. Actually, it was my bad fortune that could work out for you.

At, we like to return our fleet cars filled with gas, and when we travel long distances, we like to also run them through a car wash and vacuum them out. When it was time to trade the CX-9 for the 2009 Honda Pilot, I took the CX-9 to a Texaco on Huffman Mill Road in beautiful Burlington, N.C. I filled it up ($3.79 a gallon) and, when prompted, said yes to a car wash. Oddly enough, the computer didn’t ask me which car wash I wanted, so it charged me for the most expensive wash they offered. Still, with the gas discount, it was only $5.

I drove the CX-9 around to the open door of the car wash, and it was …

In. Pieces.

I mean, literally, in pieces. See the photo. There’s some kind of brush mechanism lying at the back of the car wash. Of course, there was a flashing red “stop” light outside the wash, but that’s no different than any other drive-through car wash.

I was pissed. There was no indicator anywhere at the pump that the car wash was broken, and there was no warning when it asked me if I wanted a wash. But this was just the beginning.

I went in to ask the clerk for my money back.

“I can’t do that,” he said, smiling. He was very polite but very firm that I would not be getting my money back from him. “You can use that code at any Texaco for the next 14 days.”

That wasn’t going to do me any good; the car was going back to the fleet in five minutes.

“You can call your credit card company and have them stop payment,” he offered.

I have a better idea. Here’s the code:

8 4 6 1 0

First person to get to a Texaco (I don’t know if it has to be in North Carolina or not) can redeem that code for a free car wash. All I want out of the deal is for you to tell me when and where you successfully were able to get your car washed.

As far as Texaco, I can’t believe they would allow one of their stations to ask every customer who comes by if they want a car wash, knowing full well that the wash at that station IS IN PIECES. This Texaco is not far from Interstate 40/85, and I’m sure I’m not the first tourist to be disappointed. The main sign for the station clearly says “CAR WASH,” and it’s not until you pull up to the car wash that you see it’s not going to happen.

Texaco, the ball’s in your court.

The Suburban Dad's Vacation blogging

By Suburban Dad | August 7, 2008 | Comments (5)
Tags: Suburban Dad



Got to hand it to ya. You were a hell of a lot nicer than I would have ever of been.


Texaco huh? Ironically a Texaco car wash screwed me out of $38 about 15 years ago. That was the cost to fix the wiper mechanism on the back of my Acura Integra. The car wash literally sucked it off. I went to file a complaint and the station said Texaco would pay for it. Long story short they gave me a number to call and when I did Texaco said 'Sorry there is a sign posted saying they are not responsible'. I informed them there was no sign and they said 'Oh well'. The next day I went back to the Texaco station and sure enough there was a brand new sign warning drivers Texaco is not responsible for any damage incurred during a car wash. The station refused to pay me so let's just say over the course of the next six months their car vac hoses went missing and I hear someone slashed the air pump hose not once but 3x. Payback really is a bitch. We don't tolerate that crap up here in NY.

Ken L.

This is why I only use hand wash when getting a car wash. It may cost a little more, but you don't get the scratches and plus your vehicle comes out cleaner as well. Lesson learned a few years ago.

In the UK we have free car wash all year round. Instead of putting the car in the garage we leve outside on anight and the rain does the rest!

Hello Patrick Olsen ,I am a rwandan fellow,and I like cars very much.My salary could help me to buy a car,but since life is very tough here in Rwanda,it takes many years for someone to buy a car for him as big men of the world,and good helpers,help me with a car;

Let me assure you sir,if this action is executed,within the coming years,I will be your great buyer of cars,because I have no promise of poverty for long in my my life.
Thanks very much.


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