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Can A Transit Van Go Through A Car Wash?

SUV going through car wash

If you own or operate a Transit van, you know how incredibly large they are. While Transit vans are handy for van camping, businesses and large families, it can be a challenge to give them a good, thorough cleaning. If you’re tired of seeing dirt and grime splattered on your Transit van, then you’re likely wondering if the local car wash can clean it safely and efficiently.

Can a Transit van go through a car wash? It all depends on the car wash and its height and width limits. Regular car washes likely won’t be able to handle Transit vans with high roofs, but low roofs should be okay. There are also specialty car washes for larger vehicles that you can use.

However, if you are unsure if your Transit van will fit, it’s best to call the car wash directly or clean it yourself.

You don’t want to find yourself in the predicament of your Transit van getting scraped and smashed-up because of the lack of room in a regular car wash. Also, the car wash owner won’t be happy at all when you tear apart their car wash. You might even find yourself responsible for paying for the repairs to the car wash; you don’t want that to happen.

So how can you make sure your vehicle stays safe and comes out squeaky clean? This post will tell you whether your Transit van should go through a car wash as well as give you superior cleaning alternatives.

Car Washes And Your Transit Van

Your Transit van is massive, and you like it that way! Let’s be honest – you probably get a little frustrated from time to time when you see a compact car quickly go through the local car wash and come out looking spectacular. You wish your van could get the same treatment. However, is it safe to take your Transit van into a car wash?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a car wash for your Transit. Most importantly, you should know that every car wash is going to have different height and width limits. It’s essential to check these limits beforehand. You could be surprised to learn that the local car wash down the street can handle your big vehicle.

However, if your Transit van is just barely below the limits, you shouldn’t risk it. The company may tell you not to use it at all, but some may say to use the car wash at your own risk. That doesn’t sound very promising. You would be risking scratches, dents, and other exterior damage to your Transit van that you could easily avoid.

Secondly, high roofs are less likely to fit into car washes. That is why so many people are opting for low roof Transit vans. High roofs are simply that – too high. They will not be able to go into most regular car washes because they are too tall. They could end up scratched and dinged or they won’t make the clearance in the first place.

It should be noted, though, that low roofs tend to be short enough to go through regular car washes. Again, every car wash is going to be different when it comes to width and height limits, so it’s a good thing to double-check before driving your Transit van inside. However, you will have much better luck with a low roof Transit van.

Specialty Car Washes

If you have called the car wash and they have advised you against running your Transit van through their car wash, all hope isn’t lost. Just because your Transit van can’t fit through the regular car washes doesn’t mean that no place will meet the requirements you need to wash your van.

Consider scoping out a local car wash specifically designed for larger vehicles, including Transit vans. If you live in a well-populated area, such as a big city, then there is likely going to be specialty car washes designed solely to accommodate larger vehicles.

Specialty car washes for tall vehicles are going to be your best option if you don’t want to clean your Transit van by hand. These car washes are tall and wide enough to take on all types of large vehicles, such as buses and commercial vans, as well as your Transit van.

The problem, though, is that many areas don’t have these types of car washes readily available to large vehicle owners. Small towns won’t find any use for building a car wash that is only used for larger vehicles because it will likely be a waste of money. So, what then, should a Transit van owner do to clean their prized camper van?

Other Posts of Interest

Auto Detailing Companies

Another option that you might not have thought of is an auto detailing company. These companies specialize in cleaning dirty vehicles. They usually operate out of a garage where they have all the necessary equipment and supplies to get you van sparkling clean.

Besides washing the outside of your van, they have packages that include sweeping out the inside, upholstery cleaning, cleaning the windows and waxing your van to help keep the finish sparkling.

You can drop your vehicle off and come back later and they will have taken all the work out of cleaning your van for you. Some companies also will come to your house or business, pick up your van and bring it right back to your door.

Some areas will have companies that provide mobile auto detailing services. These companies have a portable setup with everything needed to detail your van and they will come right to your van.

Washing Your Transit Van By Hand

Unfortunately, most of the time, your Transit van is going to be too big for car washes. If you have checked with local car washes and they have turned you down because of the height and width of your van, then your only other option is to clean your van by hand.

While it may sound like a daunting chore to wash your Transit van by hand, it’s not so bad. Sure, it might take some extra time and effort on your part, but it is the best choice to make sure that your Transit van doesn’t suffer cosmetic damage.

To clean your Transit van by hand, you only need a few products: a sponge, a scrub brush, a pressure washer, soap, and possibly a stool or short ladder to help you reach the top of the Transit van. Of course, the pressure washer isn’t imperative. If you choose to use a pressure washer, make sure to have the pressure setting low enough that you aren’t doing damage to the paint.

You can get by with using a regular water hose, although it might be a bit more challenging to get all of the soap off the van with a standard hose.

Here are the four easy steps to washing your Transit van by hand:

  1. Start by washing your van in soapy water. Get it wet first, then use your scrub brush (make sure to use a brush designed for vehicles, so you don’t damage the paint) to get the van nice and foamy.
  2. Scrub the Transit van with your scrub brush. Once you have it covered in soapy water, start to clean with the scrub brush to remove any visible dirt, grime, bugs and other unsightly spots. Remember to be careful not to scrub too hard on decals and stickers as they have a chance of being damaged or removed altogether.
  3. Use a sponge on the windows and a stiff brush on the tires. If there are areas that need more detailing, use your sponge or brush to clean them. Sponges are great on windows and tires, too.
  4. Wash off the soap and dirt. When you are finally satisfied with the cleanliness of your Transit van, wash off the soap and dirt using the pressure washer or a hose. You don’t need to use a pressure washer on the highest setting, especially if you have decals or stickers on your van. Instead, use a lower setting to keep these items safe. Make sure to rinse off the roof generously.

You can purchase wash kits that include the essentials that you need to hand wash your van. After you have the outside clean, you also have the option of adding wax to your Transit van. Just be sure you follow the directions to a tee and take extra care when doing so. It’s easier than you would think to wash your Transit van.

In Conclusion

It’s hit or miss when it comes to whether your Transit van can go through a car wash. It all comes down to the size of your van and the height and width limits of the car wash. Always call beforehand to double-check. If the car wash is not able to accommodate your van, consider using a specialty car wash, auto detailer or washing it by hand.

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Ever since I was little I have been a traveler at heart. It all started when I was six years old and my family took a road trip to Alaska. I enjoy visiting new places and revisiting some of the great locations that I have been to already.