All Posts By

Valley Car Wash

how To keep your doors from freezing in the cold weather

How To Keep Your Doors From Freezing in the Cold Weather

By | Winter Maintenance

how To keep your doors from freezing in the cold weatherTo keep your doors from freezing in the cold weather, Route 3 Car Wash recommends that you spray or smear silicone every fall and spring on all the gaskets between the door and the car’s body. If there is a gasket on each, then coat both. Additionally, it’s helpful to treat the gaskets on the trunk or hatch to prevent them from freezing

Stopping in regularly at Valley Car Wash is a great way to keep salt and grime off your vehicle in the winter, but washing your vehicle when it’s very cold outside can cause the door lock mechanisms to get wet, which may cause your locks to freeze. To prevent this from happening, it’s a great idea to spray graphite in the key slot or have a keyless entry system installed in your car. If you decide to spray graphite in your key slot, make sure to work your key into it several times to get the graphite deep in the slot.

Also, it can be helpful to keep a container of lock thawing chemicals handy in case the lock still freezes. The chemicals usually wash out the lubricant from the lock mechanism, so shoot more graphite into the lock after you get it open.

Car Care Steps to Take Before the First Snowfall

Car Care Steps to Take Before the First Snowfall

By | Car Maintenance, Winter Maintenance

Car Care Steps to Take Before the First SnowfallThe following winter car care steps should be taken before the first snowfall of the winter season:

  • Give your vehicle a good waxing in the fall to protect the finish. It will also help the snow slide off better for easier cleaning.
  • Visit your vehicle maintenance provider and have the belts and hoses checked. They should all fit snugly and should not be cracked, glazed or frayed. It may also be a good idea to change your oil to one made specifically for sub-zero temperatures, as this type of oil makes it easier to start-up the vehicle in the winter and typically causes less wear and tear on the engine in the first few minutes after starting it up.
  • Keep track of the wear on your tires. Most accidents in the winter are caused by driver error and worn tires. If you are due for new tires, don’t wait until the middle of winter; get them replaced before the snow falls. Make sure your tires are properly inflated and that your spare is in good condition.

Also, check to see if your spark plugs and battery need replacing. You don’t want to have a stalled car in the dead of winter. If your battery is more than two years old, take it to your maintenance provider to have the charging system completely checked. Keep in mind that older car batteries are less likely to start in winter temperatures than newer ones.

giving the gift of clean

Giving The Gift of Clean

By | Uncategorized

giving the gift of cleanDo you know someone who just LOVES their vehicle?? With Valley Car Wash’s Toke Notes, giving the gift of clean has never been easier! The program offers substantial discounts for any customer or company that purchases quantities of toke notes for our touch free and soft touch automatic washes.

Toke Notes are paper wash passes that are inserted like a dollar bill into the Auto Cashier. The Toke Notes have a value of $12 (perfect for our ultimate wash package!) and are sold in the following increments:
  • 10: $120 Value for $108, a 10% savings
  • 20: $240 Value for $204, a 15% savings
  • 30: $360 Value for $288, a 20% savings
  • 40: $480 Value for $360, a 25% savings
  • 50: $600 Value for $420, a 30% savings

Keep some for yourself or share with friends and family! The toke notes can only be used at any Valley Car Wash and depending on the amount of toke notes you purchase, the savings can be up to 30% off! You’ll love the convenience. They’ll love the gift. Purchase one today.

For additional information or to purchase Toke Notes, please call us @ 1-888-293-4746 or email us at info@valleycarwash.com.

how to drive in the snow

Winter Driving Tips: How to Drive in the Snow

By | Uncategorized

how to drive in the snowMore than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy or icy pavement every winter. It is no wonder, then, that drivers are concerned about how to drive in the snow. The Car Care Council assembled a few crucial points to remember while braving snow-covered roads, and if you follow these tips, you might even look forward to cold weather driving!

Slow, Turn, Go!

A car’s three major capabilities are accelerating, turning and braking. When drivers are able to combine the three capabilities into smooth actions, vehicles are far easier to control. For example, if you’re approaching a sharp turn on a snowy road: first, gently apply the brakes in advance of the turn. After taking your foot off the brake, coast through the corner while turning the wheel. Only after you’ve exited the turn and straightened the steering wheel, gently accelerate. “As easy as that sounds, it’s really hard for most people to put into practice,” says Mark Cox, Director of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School.

Limit Your Speed and Think Ahead

Excessive speed is one of the most common reasons why drivers lose control in the snow. Simply slowing down will give you enough wiggle room to correct your course in case your vehicle loses control. “It takes 4 to 10 times longer to stop in ice and snow,” explains Cox. “Adjust your speed to the conditions, but also remember that going too slow can be just as problematic as going too fast.”

Know How To Correct Your Steering

Should you start to slide… don’t panic! A proper response will ensure that car control is regained. If the vehicle oversteers (i.e., the back end swings out), BSR, Inc. recommends accelerating lightly in order to transfer weight to the rear and increase traction. Conversely, if the car understeers (i.e., slides forward without turning), BSR recommends lifting off the gas and applying gentle pressure to the brakes. In all situations, if you look where you want to go, your hands will follow your eyes and steer away from danger.

Become Familiar with Your Car’s Handling Dynamics

Weight distribution, suspension and drivetrain setups (like front-, rear- or all-wheel drive) affects how your car reacts to adverse conditions, so becoming familiar with your car’s handling dynamics will prepare you for the unexpected. If you can’t attend a driving school and learn about vehicle dynamics from the pros, carefully explore your car’s limits in a safe area.

Keep Your Car Maintained

A reliable car can help avoid a world of complications in winter weather. Make sure your tire pressure hasn’t dipped with the drop in temperature and your vehicle will be easier to control as a result. Install winter wiper blades in order to maximize visibility, and test your battery to make sure it can handle the challenges of cold weather cranking. Take care of your car, and it will take care of you.

Did you enjoy this post? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to always get the best tips when it comes to car care in Northern Virginia!

how to drive in the snow

Winterizing Your Car’s Exterior

By | Car Maintenance, Winter Maintenance

winterizing your car's exteriorSnow and ice, as well as the scraping it takes to remove them, can be as rough on your vehicle as they are on you. This article will walk you through a few products and procedures that will give your vehicle just what it needs to weather the winter storm.

The Paint

Because of how often cars get dirty in the winter months, car owners tend to wash their car less- the opposite of what your car needs! Thanks to all the grit, salt and slush on the roads, it’s even more important to keep your car clean during the winter.

But it’s not too late.. there is still a lot you can do to retain your car’s value. A quality wax or sealant combined with correct maintenance will get your paint finish through the winter.

The Wheels & Tires

Tire protection is two-fold. For starters, the rubber needs to be kept supple in freezing temperatures to prevent cracking. Secondly, make sure your tires are properly inflated. The air inside tires shrinks in cold temperatures. If they become under-inflated, the tread will not make enough contact with the road to maneuver on icy asphalt.

There are also protective waxes which acts as a snow and ice repellent. It does require regular reapplications to maintain a high level of protection but the results are well worth the effort.

The Windshield & Wipers

In preparation for winter, we recommend changing your windshield wiper fluid with one that has antifreeze added to it. That way, your windshield can stay clean and frost-free. Also, Fall’s a great time to inspect windshield wipers and replace them if they are worn or have become hardened.

If you have a garage, use it for sheltering your car. This will help protect your paint job, guard against ice on the windshield and guard against the fluids and/or water in your radiator from freezing. If you do not have shelter for your car, invest in a car cover. While it won’t save you from freezing fluids, it will keep snow and ice off the windshield and your paint, and help protect your car from salts that might be used on the streets in your community.

When Is It Too Cold For a Car Wash?

When Is It Too Cold for a Car Wash?

By | Car Maintenance, Winter Maintenance | One Comment

When Is It Too Cold For a Car Wash?As we all know, water freezes at 32 degrees. Anytime the temperature falls below this you run the risk of things freezing.

In a Q&A held by the Chicago Tribune, Bob Weber answered one of the most frequently asked car wash questions: When Is It Too Cold for a Car Wash?

“Unless there is already a crack or chip in the windshield, and the weather is extraordinarily cold, this is really not an issue for carwashes,” said Eric Wulf, CEO.

“The issue of freezing locks is one that many people are worried about, but it almost never happens. The keyhole is covered, and unless water is poured into the door and/or air is blown straight into that keyhole, this is also not really a risk. Plus, most drivers hardly ever use their keys anymore, with the advent of keyless entry.”

But, there are a few simple things you can do to help prevent freezing when it’s cold:

  •  Park in a garage whenever possible.
  •  Leave your car running or drive for several minutes after going thru the carwash.
  •  Spray lock deicer in your locks after you exit the wash.
  •  Put your key in every lock and turn it back and forth a number of times. This helps to displace any water that might be present.
  •  Take the time to dry off your doorjambs.





5 Halloween Pranks That Are Covered By Your Car Insurance

By | Fall Maintenance | No Comments

5 Halloween Pranks That Are Covered By Your Car Insurance…fear not, you’re covered.

Every year, Halloween brings out the neighborhood goblins, ghouls, and zombies, all looking for candy and maybe a little mischief. If your car winds up getting hit with broken eggs, Silly String or smashed pumpkins, you need to do you best to remove them quickly. If left on the paint for a period of time, this nasty mess can cause permanent stains that are not only unsightly but can lower your vehicle’s resale value. Check out some other interesting Halloween facts:

  • On average, there’s over $1 million worth of damage done to vehicles on Halloween.
  • Cars are, on average, twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween.
  • There’s been an average of 1,253 insurance claims made on Halloween, with a $1,528 average cost per claim.

But not to worry- many insurance policies cover the type of vandalism that typically occurs on All-Hallows’ Eve.

1. Airborne Pumpkins

Comprehensive coverage protects you from airborne jack-o-lanterns (pumpkins) that cause damage to your vehicle. Pumpkins flying through the air — known to some as pumpkin chunkin’ — has grown in popularity over the years.  If you find yourself a victim of an aerial pumpkin attack this Halloween you can feel safe knowing that comprehensive insurance covers these damages.

2. Black Cats

Don’t get spooked! Collision insurance covers damages to your car that result from hitting a tree after swerving to miss a black cat. Sadly, if a black cat runs out in front of your car and is hit causing damage to your vehicle, those damages would be covered under your comprehensive insurance.

3. Ghostly Decoration Damages

Damages caused by decorations that crash into your car are covered by comprehensive insurance. Damages to your car caused by crashing into stationary decorations are covered by your collision insurance. If your neighbors scarecrow takes flight and crashes into your car, or if while driving home from a fun night of trick-or-treating a ghostly inflatable decoration rolls out into the street and crashes into your car any dent or ding would be covered by your comprehensive insurance.

4. Toilet Papered Car

If the pranksters scratch your car while wrapping it in TP—comprehensive will cover the damage. This Halloween prank for the most part is harmless. However, if you find that the prankster scratched your car while wrapping it in two-ply, your insurance company will probably consider this an act of vandalism and your comprehensive coverage would cover this damage.

5. You Got Egged

Arguably the most notorious, comprehensive coverage will protect your vehicle from any Halloween egging’s. Eggs can wreak havoc on your cars paint job. If you are the victim of this Halloween prank washing off the egg residue may spare your car’s paint job.

Sources: Elephant Insurance Claims Department

What You Can Do To Prevent Halloween Vehicle Vandalism

Consumer Reports recommends giving your car a good wax the week before Halloween to prepare your vehicle for the holiday. And if possible, try parking your car in a garage or use a car cover on Halloween night.

Have you ever been the victim of vehicle vandalism?

Tell us about it in the comments below!


Why You Should Detail Your Car This Fall Seaosn | Valley Car Wash

Why You Should Detail Your Car This Fall Season

By | Car Maintenance, Fall Maintenance | No Comments

Why You Should Detail Your Car This Fall Seaosn | Valley Car WashWinter has the potential to wreak havoc on the interior and exterior of your car, particularly for residents of cold weather states who face the damaging effects of snow, sleet and salt all season. Detailing your vehicle in the beginning of fall is especially important, as it can offer significant protection for your car and even prevent some of winter’s worst damage.

Protecting Your Paint Job

Because your car’s finish is extremely delicate, regularly maintaining its surface is particularly important all year long. The first step is thoroughly washing your vehicle using a cleaner specifically designed for cars, as any other household detergent risks stripping your car’s protective wax.

Once your car’s exterior is clean, apply a high-quality paint sealant to protect its finish from road salts, water and chemicals used on roads in winter weather. High-quality paint sealants typically offer protection for about six months, allowing you to apply the sealant now and be protected all winter.

Safeguarding Your Interior

Detailing the interior of your vehicle in preparation for winter is also necessary, particularly if your car has leather seats. Leather can be dried out by winter’s cold weather and lack of humidity, and unmoisturized leather is prone to cracking.

Moreover, because leather is porous in relatively warm conditions (above 50 degrees Fahrenheit), you must condition your car’s leather seats in fall, before winter weather sets in. If you decide to condition your leather interiors in cold weather, the leather will appear supple but will not have actually absorbed the necessary moisture. Look for a conditioner with lanolin and mink oil for the best results.

Protecting Your Tires

Your tires come into the closest contact with the salt and other chemicals on the road in winter. By making use of a high-quality polish–applied at the beginning of fall and reapplied often after washes–you can ensure that your tires both look good and are protected from the winter elements.

If you live in an area with particularly hard winter weather, you may want to use a silicone-based dressing in your wheel wells. Although silicone-based products should not be used on painted surfaces, applying such a product to your wheel wells can prevent salt, snow and ice build-up.

By detailing your car in the fall, you can ensure that your vehicle makes it through the next 6 months in top condition.

Fall Car Care Tips

By | Car Maintenance, Fall Maintenance | No Comments

Fall Car Care TipsThe autumn season is approaching, and for most of the country, this means changing tree colors, cooler weather and pumpkin EVERYTHING; but also, it means some necessary fall car care is in order.

With winter just on the horizon, most customers may not feel the need to wash their cars as frequently. However, automotive enthusiast and blogger Scott Huntington says that you should still get your cars washed and waxed. Doing so can help shield them from the detrimental effects of fall debris like leaves, sap, mud, tar and bird droppings.

Here are five additional fall car care tips that will keep your cars looking great all season long:

  • Clear off any debris. Fall can be tough driving weather. It gets cold and dark early, and storms roll through often. You’ll need perfect visibility for these conditions, so it’s always a good idea to brush off any leaves, mud, dirt, etc., when present.
  • Check the wipers. Make sure they can wipe water and grime away quickly and efficiently.
  • Have some cloths and anti-freeze solution nearby. The harsh weather of early winter can take a toll on cars faster than you can say “Jack Frost.” We recommend purchasing cloths and anti-freeze to combat the weather.
  • Vacuum interior areas. Leaves and mud can litter your floor mats, and fingerprints can pile up on the dash. Do yourselves a favor and vacuum and wipe down your interior whenever possible.
  • Keep tabs on the important stuff. Brake pads, tires, the engine and other vital components of the car should be maintained regularly to keep the vehicle operating at optimal performance levels, especially on slippery fall and winter roads.


Tips to Help Boost your Fuel Economy

By | Car Maintenance, Uncategorized | No Comments

Keeping our vehicles looking nice is just part of the appropriate maintenance. Although, cosmetic care can be just as important as internal, there are useful tips to help boost your fuel economy. Watching for the right signs your car may be putting off, safe driving patterns, and general upkeep all play a part in making your vehicle as energy efficient as it can be. There are a few easy steps that we can all incorporate into our daily routines for a bigger return on our investment.

Fueleconomy.gov provided a great list of gas mileage tips that can help you reduce the amount of gas you use. How does your routine car maintenance and checklist ad up to what they are suggesting?

Tips to Help Boost your Fuel Economy


Drive more efficiently

Keep your car in shape

Plan & combining trips

Choose a more efficient vehicle