Widder Curry Takes On Car Washes – First Up: “The Auto Scrubber”

by on June 18, 2012 · 0 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Popular, The Widder Curry

The Auto Scrubber
3405 Rosecrans St.
San Diego, 92110

Different Kind of Review – It’s a Wash!

Eating out several times a week is not helping me maintain my “girlish” – ok, “matronly” – figure, so I thought I would try reviewing something else that didn’t put the weight on. As I pondered what it might be, it came to me that I had told my beautician just this morning that I needed to have my car washed. I asked her where she went – her shop is just across the street from the GENIE Car Wash so I thought she would mention it. She surprised me by telling me that since she lives in Escondido she has her car washed closer to where she lives. Imagine living in Escondido and driving to Ocean Beach to work 4 days a week!

The last time I went to GENIE I had a bad experience so did not want to take my relatively new car – 1184 miles – there, although I will in the next few months. So I decided to start at “The Auto Scrubber”, 3405 Rosecrans St., San Diego, 92110 and work my way westward. (Next door to the Chevron Station on the corner of Rosecrans and Midway.)

I arrived at 12:43pm, and found that only one bay was busy with someone vacuuming their own car. I had already decided that I would have the “Full-service” because I had had Buddy in the back seat and they can do a better job than I in vacuuming the dog hairs from the cloth seat. I waited in line to pay my money since there were two cars ahead of me, and gave the friendly cashier $10.95. I didn’t think it was a bad price for both an exterior and interior cleaning. This was at 12:45pm. (BTW – their prices seem to be the most reasonable in the area, but I will double check when I do the next review.)

The “Auto Scrubber” is one place where you sit in your car as it goes through the various parts of cleaning your car. Good thing I didn’t have Buddy with me because he would have freaked at the thought of not being able to see out the window as the soapy water rained down; as the deafening noise of the fans sprayed the air to “wipe off” the water. And I can hear him admonishing me that I could have done a better job at home. (Except that their water is recycled and mine is not!)

Following a very short wash and rinse – 1 minute 47 seconds – I made a sharp left hand turn into the service area where a goodly number of employees were busy vacuuming, drying, wiping, spraying all the cars ahead of me. I checked my cell phone when I got in the queue because it seemed like one Range Rover was being vacuumed by 4 different people at the same time. It was 12:53 pm. There was one car ahead of it, and then a car between it and me. I was in the far right – a position that I would only find myself in at a car wash! – and there were 5 cars in the left lane.

Rather than get out of my car to sit in the waiting area, I stayed inside until they finally told me it was my turn and to drive up to the vacuums – and that was at 1:08pm. (The thought came to me that maybe I could back out and leave. It is no secret that patience is not my long suit, but there were already two cars behind me and I was trapped!)

While I was in line, a worker came by and wiped down the car; the outside mirrors – poorly – and the windows. I watched as another group of workers got into my car with the vacuum hoses and proceeded try to rid the back seat of Buddy’s fur. (He’s a big Golden Retriever and sheds a lot.) Then I watched as they went into the front of the car and vacuumed there too. I did not see them remove the floor mats and vacuum them , but in retrospect, the very first week that I had the car I took it to them because some dirty bird relieved himself on my window (with only 56 miles on the car) and they did not hook the floor mats back into place. (I drive a TOYOTA!! You know about the floor mats!) The mats looked relatively free of debris when I took possession of the car at 1:17pm.

Except there were two little problems. The first was when I was asked if I wanted a fragrance in the car. (Sometimes the “new car smell” was overwhelming.) So I said yes, and selected the vanilla scent. Which now, 1 hour later, I am still smelling and coughing from. (The alcohol count must be pretty high, because with the first breath I felt high.)

The second problem, and a little more worrisome was that I couldn’t turn the key in the lock! Now I am the person that drove the car to the vacuums. I was the one that put the car in “Park”; I was the one that left the radio and air conditioner off when I turned off the key. Then who turned on the radio and the air conditioner and locked my wheel? I had to get one of the workers to play with the wheel and the lock so I could drive away.

Ah…to drive away. Not an easy task, because there were two cars in the bays being vacuumed – there are 3 bays and someone had driven through the “exit” lane to get in line so he could have his car washed. He was blocking that lane. It reminded me of a war zone – a bunch of dirty cars, in many different positions, and people running about to do who knows what? (It should be noted that the “exit” lane is not marked; unless you had been there before you might not know it was an exit lane. )

I finally drove out of the exit lane only to be met with the oncoming cars going north on Rosecrans. And, of course, no one would stop to let me in. I probably could have pushed my way through, but, come on, I have a new car. So I waited, and waited, and waited, and finally got on Rosecrans at 1:32pm. (By that time I probably needed another wash job!) I had been there almost one hour!

Oh well, as someone once told me about car-washes – your car is usually cleaner than when you drove it in – as if that should make me want to do it again soon. But I promise you that the next time my car needs a wash, I will take it to another car wash in the Ocean Beach/Pt. Loma/Loma Portal area and begin my “comparison” reviews.

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