All car washes are not the same: Touchless automatic


Published: 09/15/2015

by Beth Newcomb

Friction can be good. It keeps us from sliding while we walk and it keeps vehicles from skidding by slowing them down. Air resistance is a type of friction that makes cycling and running possible, and friction holds screws and nails in wood, which allows structures to stand. Particularly helpful to me, friction makes writing possible (pen to paper, mind you). Friction is an important force that can be found in almost all life processes.


But it can sometimes be bad.


Like on the inside of a car wash, where giant plastic brushes swirl around your vehicle, scratching the glossy surface you’ve been babying since you drove your car, truck, or SUV off the lot.  


“A friction car wash is any wash that uses brushes, cloth, or anything else that touches your car,” explains Kurt Loos, owner of Montrose Laserwash and a former NASA engineer. “It doesn’t matter what that car wash promises; anything that touches your vehicle will scratch it.”


Except clean water. Montrose Laserwash is completely touchless, and the 360-degree rotating arm that automatically senses the size of your vehicle, then adjusts itself accordingly so there aren’t any missed spots, powers the dirt off with fresh, hot water delivered in a powerful 1,000 PSI blast. Unless you and your spouse have an argument in the car during the four-minute wash cycle, there is no damaging friction. 


“Every 10 degrees of heat in the water helps to make the soap work better,” Kurt explains. “The bottom line is, our wash cleans better. Other places use cold, recycled water. Ours is always a fresh, hot-water wash.”


At Montrose Laserwash, there is no track or guide rail in the floor, so you don’t even have to pull in straight. When the light tells you to enter, you drive in. When it tells you to stop, you stop. When the wash is done, it tells you to pull forward. And every wash package offered includes a double dry.


Luxury vehicle owners in particular appreciate a Montrose Laserwash clean because they don’t have to worry about clearance, either on the floor or up above.


“Cars are shaped so many different ways these days,” Kurt says. “What happens at other washes is that rear wiper blades get ripped off and license plates become bent because the car wash can’t accommodate the vehicle. Damage like that can happen at least once or twice a day at those other washes, so the owners automatically assume they’ll have to pay for damage. They carry an insurance policy for that reason alone.”


It might seem innocent enough to pull into a bargain wash here and there, but Kurt explains that the first time your vehicle hits those brushes the damage begins.


“The dirt on your car is rubbed right into the finish. And the brushes in those washes have dirt already on them, which is also rubbed in. The particles from your car and their wash create micro scratches that blossom into swirl marks,” he says. “Once you’ve landed in swirl mark territory the damage is pretty much permanent and you can say goodbye to your resale value.”


And while it might be impressive to see a gleaming car being treated to a post-wash hand polish by five or six guys at the other wash, their rags can scratch, too, Kurt admits. That’s why on any given day you’ll see BMWs, Mercedes, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis pulling out of the Montrose Laserwash driveway.


“Those owners know they can be in and out of here in four minutes without any damage to their cars,” Kurt states. 


A self-proclaimed car wash geek, Kurt is constantly keeping current on the latest market trends. That’s why he introduced OverGlow, which coats your ride in a soft amber liquid that when dry will help to protect its paint and repel dirt.


He also added a new vacuum system. The credit-card enabled machine allows you to scent your vehicle with a choice of three fragrances, spot clean the carpet and upholstery, and easily vacuum up all of the crud.


“I try to add something new every year,” Kurt says, making mention of the fact that he attends car wash shows to stay “in the know” about the latest and greatest advancements in the industry. “It doesn’t matter what you drive, your vehicle is a big investment. I can help you to keep it looking newer, longer.”


A quality car wash really does matter, that’s why Kurt strongly suggests you avoid adding the purchase of a wash onto your fill-up at the gas station.


“Those are the worst car washes around,” Kurt says. “The wash quality is substandard because they cut corners on the equipment and don’t have the personnel to maintain it.”


Montrose Laserwash is open 24/7/365, which means that even on holidays you can keep your ride clean. Kurt notes that during the winter months he keeps the doors closed to protect the equipment. When you pull up, they’ll open automatically. 


Montrose Laserwash—located at 58 Brookmont Road, behind the Olive Garden on West Market Street and Swenson’s in Akron—is open 24/7/365. Visit the website to purchase discounted auto wash certificates, at Follow Montrose Laserwash on Facebook, or text MLW to 88588 to get in on the latest deals.