Photo by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio

Winter car care 101: It’s all about the wash


Published: 11/26/2013

by Beth Newcomb


Honk if you love vehicle maintenance.  




Although a necessary evil, maintaining your car or truck can be a real drag. And that’s especially the case if having your vehicle serviced means taking time off from work or giving up precious personal time.   


But there is one virtually painless way to add considerable life to your ride, and enhance its beauty. Even better, it’s one of the fastest and most economical things you can do.


“A winter car wash does more than just blast away the dirt and grime on the exterior of your vehicle,” explains Kurt Loos, a former NASA engineer and the owner of Montrose Laserwash. “It also powers off the road salt that gets kicked up underneath, helping to prevent rust. The undercarriage is the first place the salt reaches—and then it just sits there. Our undercarriage wash uses a powerful 1,000 PSI of water pressure to get your car’s ‘belly’ clean, compared to the 60 PSI of city water pressure found at most other places.” 


It doesn’t do much good to have the exterior of your car looking sparkling clean while rust is eating away at the mechanical parts underneath.


Three of Montrose Laserwash’s four wash options include an undercarriage wash. The works, priced at $13, also features Rain-X complete surface protectant, along with soap, a paint protectant, a spot free rinse, and a flash dry. Kurt says Rain-X is the best that money can buy. The premium wash, at $11, includes the same, with a foaming polish instead of Rain-X. A Wash and Dry, at $10, features soap, a spot-free rinse, and a flash dry. There is also a basic wash and dry that does not include an undercarriage wash. It’s just $9. 


Now, about your precious time… Montrose Laserwash is the only four-minute wash in the area. Actually, it’s the only four-minute hot water wash in the area with a 360-degree rotating arm that senses the size of your vehicle and adjusts itself accordingly so there aren’t any missed spots.


“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 water. Ours is always a hot-water wash.”


And it’s foolproof. A new lighting system was recently installed to help guide you into one of the two wash bays. Arguably akin to a computer wizard discovering a way to make your user-friendly laptop even easier to manage, LaserGlow does the simple job of introducing enhanced lighting to make it easer for customers who visit Montrose Laserwash to navigate the wash system.


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 for a flash dry. 


“The lights change with each cycle,” Kurt says. “No more guessing about when to pull forward or how far. LaserGlow guides you every step of the way.


The lights start flashing green toward the center. And when your car is in position, they change to red. It’s easier to see because LaserGlow is mounted to the top of the wash bay, instead of off to the side. Some people are intimidated by driving into a car wash. Here, you don’t have to be.


“You’ll be in and out so quickly you won’t even have time to “like” the Montrose Laserwash Facebook page on your smartphone, so be sure to do that once you get home. Kurt posts periodic codes for his “fans” that give them access to special savings on vehicle washes. And here’s the cherry on the car wash sundae, so to speak. 


Kurt is a self-proclaimed car wash geek who spends hundreds of hours each year researching ways to make Montrose Laserwash the best in the area. He does one thing, and he does it well. A gas station, on the other hand, sells gas, pop, snacks, lottery tickets, and sometimes offers mechanical services. The car wash is slapped up on the end of the building as an “add-on” purchase at the pump. 


“Those are the worst car washes around,” Kurt says. “The wash quality is substandard because they cut corners on the equipment. If the choice is between a gas station car wash and leaving your car dirty, leave it dirty. You’re just throwing your money away.”


Montrose Laserwash is open 24/7/365, which means that even on the 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—is open 24/7/365. Visit the website to purchase discounted auto wash certificates, at Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, or text MLW to 88588 to get in on the latest deals.