FAQ

If you have questions about your vehicle, please come by and speak to a Surf N’ Suds crew member prior to washing.

Q: What type of cleaning products do you use at Surf N’ Suds Professional Car Washes?

Surf N’ Suds uses environmentally safe products that will give you the best quality, cleanest, most shiny car in the market every time! Surf N’ Suds products are specifically designed for the types of dirt and road grimes in our Rocky Mountain area. All soaps are biodegradable, safe for your vehicle and safe for the environment.

Q: What is a “Spot Free Rinse”?

Spot Free Rinse is used to remove dissolved materials in the water. As normal rinse water drying on a car evaporates and goes into the atmosphere, anything that is not water (such as dissolved materials) will remain on the car. After the water is removed, the remaining material will leave a spot. By using Surf N’ Suds Spot-Free Professional Car Washes, it is possible to remove the unseen, non-water materials out of the final rinse water and helps to eliminate those unsightly spots.

Q: Is it better for the Environment to wash my vehicle at home or at Surf N’ Suds Car Wash?

When you wash your vehicle at home it can be damaging to the environment and will use an excessive amount of water. The water, along with all of the soaps, cleaners, road grime, oil and other contaminants all filter into the ground and run into the storm system. That water then flows directly into our lakes, streams and rivers. Rather than flush these biohazards into the water supply, come to Surf N’ Suds Car Wash to clean your vehicles. Unfortunately, charitable car wash events such as those held in shopping center and school yard parking lots also vastly increase the bio-hazards posed by washing vehicles with the standard hose or hand wash method. Because they utilize an excessive amount of our precious water resources and pollute the environment with soap phosphorous and other contaminants that run into the watershed; many states and environmentally conscious communities discourage or ban such events. Let Surf N’ Suds help you raise funds for your organization. Surf N’ Suds Car Wash reclaims the water used to clean your car. We filter and treat the water used to wash your vehicle before it is pumped into the city’s sanitary sewer system. This is large investment on our part, but it is the reason why we wash cars without polluting the environment. Wash Green–Cruise Clean at Surf N’ Suds .

Q: How does washing my vehicle with Surf N’ Suds Tunnel Express Conveyor conserve water?

The speed and convenience of washing your car at Surf N’ Suds Professional Car Wash are obvious upon your first visit which can take as little as three minutes from the time you pull in until you exit. But less obvious is the important fact that we reclaim the water used in our washing process, and discharge the excess into the local sanitary treatment facility. Computer-controlled metering of precisely the amount of water required for efficient cleaning contributes further to conservation. The Surf N’ Suds Tunnel Express Conveyor can save 50 plus gallons of water per wash compared to other washes and much more than washing from home.

Q: Isn’t rain a natural, cost effective car wash for my vehicle?

Absolutely NOT! Rain and snow contain acids that eat away at the paint and finish of vehicles. After acid rain falls on a vehicle, the water evaporates, but the acid remains. Concentrated by sunlight, this acid can become so strong that it will eat through the finish, ruining the vehicle’s paint and appearance.

Q: Is it safer for my vehicle’s finish to hand wash it?

NO. In fact, professional studies have shown that the good old driveway car wash is one of the worst things that can happen to a car’s factory paint job. Hand washing can actually damage your vehicle’s paint. Hand washing and use of many of the chemicals used not specifically designed to wash cars, like dish soap and other detergents, can damage your finish. Uneven pressure from the hand washing can place up to 100 pounds of pressure on your vehicle damaging your vehicle’s finish. Using improperly cleaned towels that contain dirt from other parts of your vehicle can also scratch your finish.

Q: What is the safest way to wash my vehicle?

Studies show that the safest way to wash your vehicle is at a professional car wash.
University Studies Confirm Hand Washing Harms Vehicle Finishes…
A landmark study by the Technological University of Munich (Germany), in association with Mercedes-Benz, showed automatic car washing to be far superior to driveway washing for preserving automotive finishes. Subsequent tests by the University of Texas Construction Research Center confirmed these findings.

Q: Will frequent washing ruin the finish of my vehicle?

Most vehicle manuals say to frequent professional car washes like Surf N’ Suds because clear coat treatments and wax protectants act to shield your vehicle from the damaging effects of weather or UV ray damage. Frequent professional car washing at Surf N’ Suds is actually good for your vehicle.

Q: How often should I wash my vehicle?

Surf N’ Suds advises our customers to wash their vehicles any time they are dirty. Dirt works into the paint and deteriorates the surface of the paint due to many types of pollutants in road dirt. It is best to remove insect residue, bird droppings, and other residue as soon as possible to prevent damage to your vehicle’s paint. If you drive your vehicle everyday, we recommend you wash at Surf N’ Suds at least once a week. Washing your vehicle once a week will ensure that the surface is being cared for properly. If you go for many weeks without washing your vehicle you may have allowed irreparable damage from acid rain, bird droppings, bugs or salt to occur. For many people their car is the second largest investment they make, after their home. Doesn’t it make sense to protect it? It will also increase the value at trade-in time.

Q: What if I don’t have the time or money to wash my vehicle regularly?

How can you afford NOT to protect one of your most costly investments? Surf N’ Suds Professional Car Wash systems provide a better way to clean your vehicle with safe, fast, high-quality washes at affordable prices. See Unlimited Monthly Pass for best option.

Q: Is it true that my new vehicle shouldn’t be washed or waxed for a certain period of time?

This may have been true a long time ago, but with the new modern acrylics and enamels, your new vehicle’s finish needs tender care immediately. Be careful to wash your vehicle properly. Most new vehicles are treated with a clear-coat finish. It’s important that you exercise extreme care specifically when washing your new vehicle for the first few times. Many initial washing errors result in water spots, the setting of stains, and loss of luster. Without the benefit of protective coating layers of wax that your car will receive over the years, mistakes made during the first few washes may not be correctable. It’s advisable to wax your new vehicle almost immediately. The best advice is to protect your investment from the very start. Always treat your vehicle’s finish to a professional car washing from Surf N’ Suds.

Q: Will the wax from the car wash streak the outside of my windows?

No. It is dirty wiper blades that streak windshields.

Q: Why does my windshield smear when I run my wipers?

The streaks that appear on your windshield are caused by deposits of road film that get trapped under the wipers. Once the vehicle has been washed and the glass is clean, the next time you use the wipers you are moving the residue on the blades across the clean glass causing streaking. A solution to this is to use a paper towel or cloth with white vinegar or window cleaner on it and run it across the wiper blades. Also, replace the wiper blades at the first sign of wear. Most manufacturers recommend installing new wiper blades every three to six months.

Q: What is oxidation?

Oxidation is the “damaging” and “drying out” of your vehicles paint caused by atmospheric conditions. You probably have noticed it more on red cars. When the pigment in the paint dries out, it starts to fade or have a dull look. For the most part, oxidation can only take place when the surface of your car’s finish has deteriorated from abuse or neglect to the point where the once impermeable surface has become permeable and then left unprotected. Deterioration is caused by, neglect, washing with detergent washes, the leaching and drying-out effect due to repeated exposure to inclement weather, baking in hot sun, natural wear and tear, and through the natural process of breaking down.

The best way to prevent oxidation is to:
Always wash your vehicles at Surf N’ Suds Car Wash.
Add a protective coating of wax or clear coat protectant to your finish. The most important thing you can do to prevent oxidation besides using Surf N’ Suds professional car washing services, is to protect the paint finish with a protective coating. A good protective coating will act as a barrier-film that will prevent moisture from coming into direct contact with your paint.
Whenever possible, park under cover.

Q: Should I Wash my Vehicle Before or After it Rains?

You should wash your vehicle whenever it is dirty, regardless if it is before or after rain. When it is dirty, your vehicles surface is holding all kinds of dirt particles, contaminants and road grime. Mix this with water and you have cement. Whatever is water soluble mixes with other particles and new paint problems are born. Rain WILL NOT clean these particles off of your car.

Q: Why do I need to wash my Vehicle after it Rains or Snows?

This is a critical time to protect your vehicles finish with a Surf N’ Suds Car Wash. Pollutants such as sulfuric and nitric acids from automobile, truck and factory exhaust become trapped in the raindrops or snow flakes that settle on your vehicle. The sun will evaporate the water and leave behind concentrated acid that can damage your vehicles finish. During winter season, CDOT uses three types of Magnesium chloride to treat roads, that stick to your car and need washed off ASAP. Mag chloride is both good and bad, the substance melts snow and ice effectively, but an added adhesive (which is dangerous for cars) makes the mag chloride stick to the road and also cars. The adhesive makes it difficult to remove from a vehicle, the only way to eliminate the substance is a thorough cleaning with a pressure wash.

Q: What is “Acid Rain” and how does it hurt my vehicle

When rain or snow falls it can capture environmental pollutants from factory, automobile and truck exhaust. The water has a low ph reading (acidic). The sun heats and evaporates the water but leaves behind concentrated acid spots which cannot be removed. Prevention is key, so keep a good coat of wax on your vehicles finish and wash it at Surf N’ Suds Car Wash after it rains or snows.

Q: When should I remove Bugs residue and bird droppings off of my vehicle?

ASAP!!! Bug residue and bird droppings contain acid that will eat into your vehicles finish if not removed in a timely fashion.

Q: Do car magnets damage my vehicles paint and finish?

With the proper care, car magnets will not harm your vehicle’s finish. Make sure to remove the car magnet before washing your vehicle. Dry your vehicle before replacing the car magnet. It is best to move the car magnet around to different parts of your car every week.

Q: What is the “Clear Coat Finish” on my vehicle?

A clear coat is the top coat of a paint that contains no pigmentation or color. In a typical automotive paint surface, there is a primer coat which is what is sprayed on the metal or plastic body surface, a base coat, which contains the color and a clear coat. A clear coats purpose is to provide depth and gloss to the finish and to protect the base coat from the elements, including the harmful UV (Ultra-violet) rays of the sun. Clear coats became popular in the early 1990s and currently over 90% of new cars feature a clear coat as the top (exposed) surface. Clear coats require special care. Because they are clear, scratches and swirls tend to become more prominent since the clear characteristic causes such defects to be magnified. For this reason, avoiding scratches and swirls is critical if you want your clear coated surface to look good. Surf N’ Suds is proud to provide several options that contains surface reactive silicones and other polymers that bond to the vehicle’s surface to provide a stronger, more durable level of protection, shine and water repellency to paint, glass & chrome.

Q: What is the layer of film that covers my vehicle between washings?

What you are referring to are black particles that come from areas of heavy traffic. They are gritty, abrasive substances coming off tires as they wear. Also, chemicals from diesel smoke and other emissions in the atmosphere will settle on your vehicle’s surfaces. If this residue isn’t removed immediately, permanent damage to the finish can result.

Q: Why do vehicle finishes fade?

Because of surface contamination, environmental factors, stains and oxidation. Automotive paint is designed to reflect light to create the dazzling shine and gloss we see in most new-car showrooms. This shine and gloss would last for years if your vehicle were professionally washed on a daily basis and kept indoors 90% of the day. Most modern vehicle finishes consist of a base coating that contains the color, and a protective clear coating on top that is designed to keep the color paint from oxidizing. Oxidation was an obvious problem ten years ago because you could quickly recognize a color fade. Now that the outer paint layer is usually clear, oxidation is less obvious. The sun dries out the top clear coat layer and natural oils are lost. If these oils aren’t replaced by regular professional cleaning and waxing, the top clear coat layer oxidizes and the surface gradually becomes duller and duller. Even more than yesterday’s paints, today’s clear coat finishes look faded whenever the surface becomes contaminated by airborne pollution, acid rain, industrial fallout and countless other factors. If this contamination isn’t removed frequently, it reduces the reflective quality of the finish until it looks dull and lifeless. Also, this contamination will begin to etch into the thin clear coat layer and expose the base color coat if it isn’t removed frequently. The vehicle will require costly repainting once the clear coat protection is gone. All the more reason to wash your car regularly at Surf N’ Suds Carwash!

Q: I have the protective coating on my underbody so why do I need to have the underbody treatment?

The protective coating applied by the manufacturer or after market does provide some protection to the underbody. The underside of your car is susceptible to pollutants as well. Every time you drive through a puddle you are splashing up contaminants. The underbody of your car takes a tremendous punishment from small stones that are kicked up by your tires. These stones bombard the underbody and nick your underbodies armor and expose bare metal. Once rust gets a foothold it will spread regardless of the protection. The underbody treatment will rinse and flush the underbody and then apply a rust inhibitor to your underbody, which will help prevent the harmful effects of rust. The underbody treatment will not effect any of the electronics of your vehicle it is designed to be a full coverage low pressure (similar to driving through a puddle) rinse and application of a rust inhibitor product.

Q: I notice that Surf N’ Suds Washes are always so clean and neat, what do you do to keep them looking so nice?

It is our policy to keep our facilities as clean as we clean your vehicle.


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