Keeping Your Mercedes Clean on the Road: Navigating Car Washes During Your Road Trip Adventure

Whether you’re going on a quick weekend trip or a long cross-country trip, keeping your Mercedes-Benz clean is essential for preserving its appearance, ensuring optimal performance, and improving your overall driving experience.

Cleaning your Benz is important because it keeps dirt, dust, and air pollution from damaging the paint and finish. 

Many people have these Questions Can Mercedes, on the other hand, go through the car wash?

Let’s get going…

Is it ok to run a high-end car through Automatic Car wash? Can Mercedes go through the car wash?

Yes, Mercedes can be washed at the car wash station. However, not all Mercedes models are capable of being washed in a car wash.

On the Other hand, some Mercedes models that have been customised with additional parts should not be washed through a drive-in car wash. 

This is due to the fact that if the extra parts do not fit within the car wash’s specifications, they could cause havoc on the vehicle.

The Mercedes GLS 2020 and earlier models are among the Mercedes models that should not be driven through a car wash. 

Additionally, any Mercedes can be driven to a car wash, if desired. You will, however, be required to select the type of car wash that will be used on your vehicle. 

Soft-touch car washes and touch-free car washes are the two most popular types of car washes.

Tips to make Mercedes go through the car wash?

Most Mercedes cars can go through a car wash, including automatic and touchless car washes. However, it’s important to take the following precautions to protect the car’s finish and avoid damage:

  1. Check the owner’s manual: Some Mercedes models may have specific guidelines for washing the car, and it’s important to follow these recommendations to avoid damage.
  2. Avoid high-pressure sprays: High-pressure sprays can damage delicate parts of the car, such as the windows, seals, and lenses. Choose a car wash that uses low-pressure sprays, or wash the car by hand.
  3. Remove dirt and debris: Before entering the car wash, remove any dirt or debris from the car, especially from the wheels and underbody, to avoid scratching the paint or causing damage to the car wash equipment.
  4. Avoid automatic brush washes: Automatic brush washes can scratch the paint and damage delicate parts of the car, such as the mirrors and antennas. Choose a touchless or foam car wash instead.
  5. Protect sensitive areas: Cover sensitive areas of the car, such as the antenna and mirrors, with protective covers or remove them before entering the car wash.
  6. Car Wash Mode: If your Mercedes GLS has a car wash mode, turn it on before going through the car wash. To better protect your vehicle during the car wash, this mode may fold in the side mirrors, raise the suspension, disable parking sensors, and deactivate automatic windscreen wipers.
  7. Antenna: If your GLS has a detachable antenna, remove it before entering the car wash to avoid potential damage.
  8. Choose an automatic car wash with a touchless or soft-touch system because these are less likely to damage your vehicle’s paint or exterior components. Avoid car washes that use abrasive materials or harsh brushes.
  9. Follow these steps: Pay close attention to the car wash’s guidelines, such as keeping your vehicle in neutral, not applying the brakes, and keeping your foot off the accelerator.
  10. After the car wash, take a moment to inspect it for any potential damage or areas that may require additional cleaning.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your Mercedes is properly protected during the car wash and avoid damage to the finish.

What Car Wash is Best for Your Mercedes-Benz?

 Use a Soft-Touch Car Wash

Because the car is collecting grime and dirt from the road, you’ll want to scrub it down thoroughly before driving it. 

Leave all of that gunk on the paint for an extended period of time will cause damage to the vehicle, especially if there is salt from the road. In this situation, a soft-touch car wash is the best option. 

Each of these models has a computer-controlled pressure system as well as specialised detergents to ensure that your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned.

Thanks to the fact that, as long as you use a reputable location, the pressure rarely becomes too intense to cause damage.

Touch-Free Car Wash for Your Luxury Automobile

 If you’re concerned about driving your Mercedes-Benz through the rollers, we understand your concerns.

When you have antennas and other protruding parts on your vehicle, it makes sense to use the touch-free option whenever possible. 

Rather than touching the vehicle, these car washes use a low pH acid and a high pH alkaline soap to thoroughly clean it.

Touch-less Car Wash 

This is also referred to as a hands-free car wash, which is the automated mechanised car wash that we all enjoyed as children. While automated car washes are generally less expensive than bringing your vehicle in for a hand wash, they do have some advantages and disadvantages:

Hands-Free Car Wash Advantages

  • Convenience – Automated car washes are designed for speed and efficiency, having your vehicle cleaned in less than 10 minutes.
  • Easier on Your Paint – Touch-less car washes are gentle on cars to avoid paint scratching and damage.
  • Cheaper Costs – No manual labor is involved in a touch-less car wash, so the costs are fairly low.

Hands-Free Car Wash Disadvantages

  • End Result Might Be Unsatisfactory – Since automatic car washes are gentle on car paint, they’re not always great at removing stuck-on debris.
  • Water Spots – Usually air dryers are at the end of automatic car washes so that they remove any stray water droplets, but they’re not always effective. Your car can still end up with water spots.

When using an automatic car wash, what can I do to keep damage from occuring?

Some of the things that you should do to keep your Mercedes from getting damaged while it is being washed are as follows:

Common Car Damages Sustained at the Car Wash

Prior to visiting an automatic car wash, you can take some preventative measures to help avoid costly damages.

Verify that no cargo or other equipment was left on roof racks, as they are frequently too tall for car washes or can be ripped off during the car wash process.

If you have retractable antennas, remove them before entering the car wash. They are easily removed from the car during the wash.

Maintain good condition of your side mirrors; if they are loose, they are more likely to be knocked off by the force of the brushes as they clean your car.

Ascertain that you are visiting a well-maintained car wash. 

If an automatic car wash is still using an old brush, the bristles may have exposed wires or be too rough, scratching your paint and wheels.

Water and soap can seep in through leaking windows. Additionally, before entering a car wash, ensure that your windows and doors are completely sealed. 

Forgetting to close the back window a crack can result in a disaster!

Which Mercedes models should not go through a car wash and why?

Not all Mercedes-Benz models should be washed in an automatic car wash, according to the manufacturer. 

For example, Mercedes-Benz GLS models manufactured prior to 2020 should not be washed in an automatic car wash system.

Because this model is equipped with a Smart-key function, you must leave the car running while passing through an automatic car wash. 

As a result, if you want to turn your car off while it is in the car wash, you will be unable to do so due to the Smartkey. 

The good news is that this problem will not be present in Mercedes GLS models manufactured after 2020.

Are you planning a road trip this holiday season? Check out these tips & tricks for road tripping in your Mercedes-Benz vehicle below!

  1. Memory Seating – Will there be more than one driver taking the wheel on this road trip? Store your preferred seating position now!
  2. Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance – Add Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance to your contacts. Mercedes-Benz vehicles under the Mercedes-Benz warranty receive complimentary roadside services for flat tires, jump starts, towing and more.
  3. Play Your Music – Don’t let your road trip playlists go unplayed! Set up Apple CarPlay® or Android Auto™.
  4. Customize Your MBUX Profile – MBUX can store up to 7 profiles – create your personalized profile today!
  5. Mercedes-Benz Accessories – If you are looking for a Mercedes-Benz travel accessory  Check Out this link.

What is the best way to properly clean my Mercedes?

Remember to clean your Mercedes when it is cool outside and in a shady area to keep the shine and finish looking as good as it can.

You should also wash the exterior of the Mercedes with a vehicle shampoo to keep it looking its best.

Utilize a Mercedes-Benz paint cleaner to remove any stains that may still be present on the car before you begin polishing it.

When washing the exterior, use a vehicle shampoo diluted with water, such as Mercedes-Benz Car Shampoo. 

Washing is most effective when the weather is cool and in a shaded area. Use Mercedes-Benz Paint Cleaner prior to polishing to remove any surface oxidation or stains that did not wash away during shampooing.

Cleaning Your mercedes at Home

What is the procedure for activating the Mercedes car wash mode?( available only in GLS models from 2020)

Vehicles in Car Wash Mode are prepared to be washed at a car wash by ensuring that all programmed items are completed before the carwash begins. Invoking the car wash mode is a straightforward process. 

The procedure for activating the car wash mode in a Mercedes vehicle may vary slightly depending on the specific model and year. However, the general process is typically similar across most modern Mercedes models. Here’s a step-by-step guide to activating car wash mode in a Mercedes:

  1. Start the engine: Ensure that your vehicle is running before attempting to activate the car wash mode.
  2. Press the “Car” button: On the center console or infotainment screen, press the “Car” button to access the vehicle settings menu.
  3. Select “Vehicle Settings”: Once you’re in the “Car” menu, find and select “Vehicle Settings” or a similar option, depending on your model.
  4. Choose “Car Wash Mode”: Scroll through the vehicle settings until you locate “Car Wash Mode” or a similar option, and select it.
  5. Activate the mode: Confirm activation of the car wash mode by following the on-screen prompts. The car wash mode will typically disable or adjust several features, such as folding the side mirrors, raising the suspension (if equipped with air suspension), deactivating parking sensors, and disabling automatic windshield wipers.
  6. Drive into the car wash: With the car wash mode activated, you can now safely enter the car wash facility. Remember to follow the car wash’s instructions, such as placing the vehicle in neutral and not using the brakes during the washing process.
  7. Deactivate car wash mode: Once you’ve completed the car wash, the car wash mode may deactivate automatically when you reach a certain speed (typically around 12-20 mph) or when you manually turn off the engine. In some cases, you may need to manually deactivate the car wash mode by following the same steps you used to activate it.

Please note that these instructions may not apply to every Mercedes model, and it is essential to consult your owner’s manual or contact your local Mercedes dealer for specific information on activating and deactivating the car wash mode for your vehicle.

Road Trip Refresh: Keeping Your Car Sparkling with Convenient Car Wash Stops

Cleaning Your Mercedes during Road trip

Nothing beats hitting the open road for an adventure, discovering new places and making unforgettable memories.

However, your car is bound to accumulate dirt, dust, and grime along the way, which can detract from its appearance and even affect its performance. It’s critical to know when and where to find convenient car wash stops if you want to keep your vehicle looking its best on your road trip.

The Advantages of Washing Your Car During a Road Trip:

Improved Visibility: Keeping your windscreen and windows clean improves visibility, which is essential for safe driving. Washing your car on a regular basis while on the road can help maintain clear sightlines and reduce the risk of an accident.

Paint and Finish Maintenance: Dirt and grime can deteriorate your car’s paint and finish over time. You can remove these harmful elements and maintain the appearance of your vehicle by washing it on a regular basis.

Improved Fuel Efficiency: A clean car can improve aerodynamics, lowering air resistance and possibly increasing fuel efficiency. This means that keeping your car clean while on the road can help you save money on gas.

Increased Comfort: A clean car is more pleasant to be in, providing you and your passengers with a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Choosing the Best Car Wash for Your Road Trip:

  • Plan Your Route: Before you leave, map out your route and look for potential car wash locations along the way. Make a note of these stops and their operating hours so you know when and where to go.
  • Use GPS and Smartphone Apps: To find nearby car washes, use your GPS or smartphone apps such as Google Maps and Waze. While driving, these apps can help you find the nearest and most convenient car wash options.
  • Look for Signs: As you drive, keep an eye out for car wash signs. Many gas stations and rest stops provide car wash services, making them ideal for a quick clean.
  • Seek Local Recommendations: If you’re not sure where to find a good car wash, ask around. They might be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Choose the Best Car Wash: Think about the best car wash for your vehicle and preferences. Touchless, automatic, self-serve, and hand washes are all possibilities. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that best suits your needs.

Conclusion: Keeping your car clean while on the road is important not only for appearances but also for safety and comfort.

You can easily find convenient car wash stops along your journey by planning your route, utilising technology, and seeking local recommendations. Keep your vehicle sparkling and enjoy a more comfortable and enjoyable road trip experience.

How to Clean your Mercedes Before, after & during Road Trip

In this guide, we’ll discuss the importance of cleaning your Mercedes before, during, and after a road trip, and share some practical tips to help you keep your car looking and feeling its best.

Before the Road Trip:

  1. Thoroughly wash and wax: Give your Mercedes a comprehensive wash and wax to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. Waxing provides a protective layer that can shield your car’s paint from damage during the trip.
  2. Clean the interior: Vacuum the seats, carpets, and mats, and wipe down surfaces like the dashboard, center console, and door panels. A clean interior ensures a comfortable and enjoyable journey for you and your passengers.
  3. Inspect and top off fluids: Check your windshield washer fluid, coolant, and other essential fluids, and top them off if necessary. This will help keep your car running smoothly and efficiently during your road trip.

During the Road Trip:

  1. Regularly clean the windshield and windows: Maintain clear visibility by cleaning your windshield and windows as needed. Keep a microfiber cloth and glass cleaner on hand for quick touch-ups.
  2. Use car-friendly wet wipes: Keep car-friendly wet wipes in your vehicle for quick clean-ups of spills, dust, or dirt. They’re perfect for maintaining a fresh interior during your journey.
  3. Find convenient car washes: Plan your route to include car wash stops along the way, especially if your road trip is longer. Use GPS apps, local recommendations, or signage to find car wash facilities that suit your needs and schedule.
  4. Protect your car from the elements: If you’re parked for an extended period, consider using a car cover or sunshade to protect your Mercedes from harmful UV rays, rain, or snow.

After the Road Trip:

  1. Complete post-trip wash and wax: Once you’ve returned from your road trip, give your Mercedes another thorough wash and wax to remove any accumulated dirt or debris from your journey.
  2. Deep clean the interior: Vacuum and clean the interior once more, paying special attention to any spots that may have been missed or dirtied during the trip. Consider using a steam cleaner or professional detailing service if necessary.
  3. Inspect your car for damage: Check your Mercedes for any dings, scratches, or other damage that may have occurred during your road trip. Address any issues promptly to maintain your vehicle’s appearance and value.

Keeping your Mercedes-Benz clean before, during, and after a road trip not only preserves its appearance but also enhances your overall driving experience.

By incorporating these cleaning tips into your road trip routine, you’ll ensure a comfortable, enjoyable, and worry-free adventure in your pristine Mercedes.

Wrapping up

When it comes to washing your Mercedes-Benz, there is no right or wrong way to go about it. It all boils down to what kind of vehicle you drive and what kind of lifestyle you lead, really.

Drivers may experience some anxiety when using the soft-touch option because it provides the best clean. 

If you don’t want your vehicle to get scratched, the touch-free option may be your best bet.

However, keep in mind that it may not be effective at removing deep-down grime..

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About the Author:

Toby Salvanos

Toby Salvanos is a true travel enthusiast, traveller, and Road Trip Guide contributor. Toby is a luxury car salesman and a passionate blogger r at @PEP Travel & Road Trip

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