Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I wash my Vehicle at Cool Wave Car Wash?

Bobby Willis, the owner of Cool Wave Car Washes, has spent the last 20 years working with car wash owners and car wash equipment manufacturers around the country and has taken the best practices and processes he has learned and puts them to work at Cool Wave. Attention to detail was given to every aspect at Cool Wave Car Wash. Cool Wave uses the best of everything that is on the market from car wash equipment to the vehicle care products sold in the vending machines. The soaps and waxes used were developed exclusively for Cool Wave to ensure the highest quality wash results possible. Cool Wave has strict guide lines on equipment maintenance in order to keep everything working at its best for our customers.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Cool Wave Car Washes accept bills, quarters, golden dollar coins, and all major credit cards.

What do I do if I have a problem at the wash?

If it is between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm look for a Cool Wave site attendant to assist you. If you are unable to find a site attendant please call our office, 757-269-0200 and someone will assist you.

Is it better for the Environment to wash my vehicle at home or at Cool Wave Car Wash?

When you wash your vehicle at home it can be damaging to the environment and you probably will use an excessive amount of water. The water, along with all of the soaps, cleaners, road grime and oil all filter into the ground and run into the storm system. These waters then flow directly into our lakes, streams and rivers. Parking lot charity washes are the same. They use an excessive amount of water and pollute the environment. Cool Wave Car Washes 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.

When I wash my vehicle at home, why does the finish look dull?

The University of Texas completed a study that shows that a single home wash can leave scratches in your vehicles finish as deep as 1/10th of the paints total thickness. Hand washing and use of many of the chemicals used not specifically designed to wash cars, like dish soap, can damage your finish. Uneven pressure from the hand washing can place up to 100 pounds of pressure on your vehicle damaging your vehicles finish. Using improperly cleaned towels that contain dirt from other parts of your vehicle can scratch your finish. Also, the average garden hose doesn’t supply enough water or pressure with the detergent action to avoid damaging a vehicles finish.

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 (dish soap), 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 a professional car wash.
• Add a protective coating of wax or clear coat protectant to your finish a minimum of 3-4 times a year. The most important thing you can do to prevent oxidation besides washing, is to protect the paint you presently have 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.

Should I Wash my Vehicle Before or After it Rains?

You should wash your vehicle when 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.

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

This is a critical time to protect your vehicles finish. 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.

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. Keep a good coat of wax on your vehicles finish and wash it at a professional car wash after it rains or snows.

How often should I wash my vehicle?

Wash it when it’s dirty. There are fanatics who wash their vehicle every day. If you drive your vehicle everyday, we recommend you wash 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.

Will frequent washing ruin the finish of my vehicle?

Most vehicle manuals say to frequent professional car washes because clear coat treatments and wax protectants protect your vehicle from the damaging effects of weather or UV ray damage. Frequent washing is actually good for your vehicle.

What is the safest way to wash my vehicle?

Many studies show that the safest way to wash your vehicle is at a professional car wash.

Is it safer for my vehicles finish to hand wash it?

No. 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, 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 scratch your finish.

What can I do to remove Bugs, Tar and Tree Sap?

Tree sap and bugs are your vehicle’s worst enemy. They assault your vehicle day and night and stick like glue. Both need to be removed gently and quickly or they may damage your paint. Some bugs will eat into your paint and tree sap will harden like concrete and damage the paint. Tar and certain oils used on roads require extremely strong solvents to remove. Cool Wave does not use solvents in our wash process. We do however carry a Bug and Tar remover in our vending machines. All three can be removed using the Bug and Tar remover application pad with a little TLC and mild pressure.

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.

Do 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 magnet before washing your vehicle. Dry your vehicle before replacing the magnet. It is best to move the magnet around to different parts of your car every week.

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

This is no longer true with today’s vehicle finishes. Your new vehicle’s finish needs tender care immediately. You can start washing your vehicle at a professional car wash immediately.

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.

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

No. Dirty wiper blades streak windshields.

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.

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. In the Hampton Roads area we have fallout from Jet exhaust. If this residue isn’t removed immediately, permanent damage to the finish can result.

Isn’t rain the best wash for my vehicle?

No! 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.

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 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.

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? Professional car washes offer safe, fast, high-quality washes at affordable prices.

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.

What type of soaps do you use at Cool Wave Car Washes?

Cool Wave uses soaps that are specifically designed for the types of dirt and road grimes in our area. All soaps are biodegradable, safe for your vehicle and safe for the environment.

Are the Soaps and Waxes used at Cool Wave bad for the environment?

No. Cool Wave Car Wash only uses soaps and waxes that are biodegradable and safe for the environment.

I notice that Cool Wave Car 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.

Is it safe to wash my convertible at Cool Wave Car Wash?

Yes, we wash convertibles every day at Cool Wave Car Wash.

What is a “LaserWash”?

“LaserWash” is the brand name of our Touchfree Automatic Washes. The LaserWash Automatics use precise electronic vehicle measuring assuring optimal spray distances on all sides of the vehicle for superior cleaning.

Does anything touch my vehicle while washing in Cool Wave’s LaserWashes?

The only thing that touches your vehicle is soap, waxes and high pressure water.

What is “Touch Free”, or “Touchless” washing?

Touch Free Washing is a wash process where the only thing that touches your vehicle is soap, waxes and high pressure water.

Will the “Touch Free” Laser Wash scratch my vehicles finish?

No, the only thing that touches your vehicle is soap, waxes and high pressure water.

What is the largest Vehicle I can wash at Cool Wave?

Our LaserWash Touchfree Automatic Washes can accommodate vehicles up to 7’ 6” high. Our Self-Service Washes can accommodate vehicles up to 13’ high.

What is the “Caribbean Foam Bath”?

Cool Wave Car Washes Caribbean Foam Bath is a terrific visual display of colorful waxes that coat your vehicle and add extra protection for your vehicles finish. The red foam wax features a unique polymer formula which helps protect clear coat finishes from U.V. (Ultra Violet) rays. The blue foam wax has a unique formula developed to remove stubborn road grime from clear coat finishes. While the Yellow foam wax was designed to leave a protective shine on clear coat finishes.

What is “BodyGlo” clear coat protectant?

BodyGlo Clear Coat Protectant was developed exclusively for Cool Wave Car Wash. It is the ultimate protective treatment for clear coat finishes. BodyGlo locks on a mirror-like, weather-tight layer of protection to guard sensitive clear coat finishes from the elements. It contains enhanced polymers to help protect your car’s finish from the harmful effects of the sun’s U.V. (Ultra Violet) rays.

What is a “Spot Free Rinse”?

In simpler terms, reverse osmosis is pushing water through a membrane (filter) that traps the minerals from one side and allows the pure water to flow from the other side. Cool Wave’s Spot Free Rinse systems include five stages:
• a sediment filter to trap particles including rust and calcium carbonate
• a second sediment filter with smaller pores
• a carbon filter to trap organic chemicals and chlorination
• a reverse osmosis filter with a thin film composite membrane
• a second carbon filter
Reverse osmosis (RO) 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 RO at Cool Wave Car Washes, it is possible to remove the unseen, non-water materials out of the final rinse water and eliminate those unsightly spots.

Is Cool Wave Car Wash a Franchise?

No, Cool Wave is a privately owned and operated company. The name, logo and wave roof line are protected under federal trademark protection.

Can I receive a discount for frequent washing at Cool Wave Car Wash?

Yes, we offer several types of discounts for frequent washing. We offer fleet programs to businesses and Employee Discount programs for businesses.

How does my company get involved in the “Employee Discount” program?

Call our office for more information at 757-269-0200.

Does Cool Wave Car Wash offer a Fleet Vehicle discount program for companies?

Yes, call our office for more information at 757-269-0200.

Does Cool Wave Car Wash sponsor Charity Car Washes or Car Wash Fund Raisers?

Yes, call our office for more information at 757-269-0200.

Does Cool Wave Car Wash have Gift Cards for Birthdays, Holidays, etc.?

Yes, please call 757-269-0200 for more information.