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''That Car Wash Has No Soap''

''That Car Wash Has No Soap''

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The Jeep Wrangler I’d been test-driving all week was a mess. After hours driving it through mud, muddy water, watery mud, and other off-road nastiness for photos the day before, it was time to take it home.

This particular mid-morning, I’d return the Wrangler to Chrysler Canada’s offices and switch to another vehicle to review.

Chrysler has detailers that clean press cars when journalists bring them back. But removing my excessive mud would be the courteous thing to do, so I figured I’d whiz the Wrangler through the car wash at the gas station up the road, just to be polite.

I gassed it up and went in to pay. Whipped out my Petro Points card and Esso Visa Points card. I’m a points-card maniac and big fan of double-dipping for extra pointage.

“Anything else? Coffee? Hot Chocolate? Lottery?” asks the guy at the counter.

“No thanks.”

I don’t play lottery games. And only Tim Horton makes the only coffee that enters my mouth.

“Washer fluid? Gum? Candy?” he asks.

“No, thanks, just the gas.”

Shoot. The car wash. I’d nearly forgotten. Not enough Timmies this morning, apparently.

2012 Jeep Wrangler right side view
2012 Jeep Wrangler (Photo: Chrysler)

“Oh, can I get a basic wash, too?”

Counter Guy beams ear to ear and points to a colourful sign listing the available car washes. They start at 8 bucks.

“You want this one,” he says.

He’s pointing to the ‘Super-Dooper Mega-Deluxe Happy Wash’ at the top. It has tire shampoo, rust spray, triple-decker, raspberry-flavoured wash foam and rain repellent. Miniature flying robots from Jupiter will remove paint contaminants and help turn the Wrangler into a supercar of epic proportions, improve fuel mileage, and make me an irresistible sex magnet.

But that’s a 16-dollar wash, and I’m not in a real ‘sex magnet’ mood. I just want to get the Wrangler cleaned and dropped off. Things to do, you know?

“Just the basic wash is fine.”

I’m polite, for now.

“This one is better for your car. It’s the one you want,” he says, smiling.


“It’s not my vehicle, man. I just need the regular wash, thanks”.

“Well this wash is no good. There is no soap. It’s only a rinse.” He’s tapping the ‘Regular Wash’ on the bottom of the sign and I’m starting to get ticked off. He looks angry, too.

“Huh? There’s no soap?” I’m half-laughing, half-angrily.

“No, no, my friend, it is only a rinse.”

There’s a lineup forming behind me. But I’m not paying sixteen bucks for a car wash, even if it will make me more handsome.

“Well, your other sign says if my car isn’t clean, I get a free re-wash until it is. So just the regular wash is good, thanks.”

I slam my Visa and Points cards on the counter to end the argument.

“That is only on this wash,” he says, pointing again to the top of his menu. He’s smiling again.

I’m not.

I take a deep breath. My morning has now been reduced to arguing with a gas station attendant about car washes.

Maybe I should just let Chrysler’s detailer handle the washing, anyways.

One solution.

“Okay, forget the car wash. Just the gas. Thanks.” I’m not being polite anymore.

The guy at the counter pauses at length and glances down for a moment.

“I’m sorry. You know what, I’ll give you the regular wash for free, my friend.”

He clicks away on the keyboard, swipes my cards and hands me my receipt and car wash code ticket.


“Come again,” he says.

He’ll be lucky. I wondered if I got points on that free wash.

Either way, turns out that regular wash did indeed use soap. And it cleaned the Wrangler just fine – sex machine or not.