Can A Truck Go Through A Car Wash? How Much Does It Cost?

Do you want your truck to go through a car wash but wonder if it’s safe? This is understandable because car washes have smaller vehicles in mind, and trucks are typically larger and sustained.

There are also concerns about whether the car wash’s equipment can accommodate a truck’s size and weight without causing damage.

Can a truck go through a car wash? Let’s dive in for more details.

Can A Truck Go Through A Car Wash?

can a truck go through a car wash

Yes, but you need to choose a car wash that can accommodate your truck’s size. Usually, a truck under 7 feet can do a drive-through wash easily without any damage.

Note that if you want a car wash after window tint, you should wait for some time.

Which Trucks Can Go Through A Car Wash?

Trucks that are 84 inches tall and have a ground clearance of 4 inches are generally safe to take through a car wash.

Pickup trucks (F-150, Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, etc.) and smaller SUVs are usually safe to take through a car wash, as they are often designed to fit within the standard size limits of a car wash.

However, note that even if a truck meets these requirements, there may be other factors to consider, such as the width of the vehicle, the length of the truck bed, and the weight of the vehicle.

Car wash for oversized tires or large trucks is also available. You should consult the car wash facility to determine if your vehicle suits their wash equipment.

Tips To Take A Truck Through A Car Wash

Choose An Appropriate Car Wash

You should research car washes first to see if they offer any pickup truck car wash. Most newly built car washes have state-of-the-art equipment and can handle truck washing needs.

On the other hand, older-built stations often have older car wash systems that can only wash smaller cars.

It’s best to choose a place that has a car wash staff. They will help you clean areas like the trunk and other sites where automatic washes can’t.

I often check the other trucks that go through a car wash to see if it fits your requirements.

Measure Your Truck

You need to use a tape measure or ruler to get your truck’s height, width, and length. Remember to choose a flat surface to park your vehicle on so that you can take accurate measurements.

Checking the car wash dimensions is also important. I usually look up the specifications of the car wash I plan to use.

Make sure your truck’s measurements are within limits specified by the car wash. You can also ask the wash manager about these sizes, but it’s best to check them yourself.

Finally, compare your truck dimensions with the car wash ones. If your truck’s size does not exceed the limits of the car wash, you can let your vehicle go through it.

Clean Out Your Truck Bed

Leaving items in your truck bed can cause them to shift or fly out during the car wash, potentially causing damage to your vehicle or other cars in the wash.

Also, if the items on your truck bed get wet, they can get damaged.

Removing items out of your truck bed also helps to ensure a better cleaning result. It allows the car wash equipment to reach all areas of your truck bed, demonstrating a more thorough cleaning result.

In case you don’t want to move your furniture, you can cover it with a waterproof tarp to protect it from getting wet.

Close All Windows And Fold In The Side Mirrors

Don’t forget to roll up your truck windows before going through a car wash.

When the windows are left open, water and cleaning solutions can enter the vehicle and damage the interior components, such as electronics, upholstery, and carpet.

Folding the side mirrors protects them from getting hit or damaged during the car wash process.

Check The Truck Before Driving Off

Before leaving the car wash, you should inspect your truck to ensure it was cleaned properly.

This includes checking for any missed yellow spots, water spots, or damage that may have occurred during the wash.

Checking your truck after the car wash can help you identify any damage that may have occurred during the wash.

This includes checking for scratches, dents, or broken parts that the car wash equipment may have caused.

What Are Some Car Wash Restrictions For A Truck?

can you take a truck through a car wash

Spray/Pay On Wax

Most spray-on wax products have less UV protection than hand-applied wax products.

In addition, it may not be uniformly applied during the car wash process, leading to uneven and unsightly wax buildup on your truck’s surface.

Thus, paying for a spray-on wax treatment during a car wash may not provide the desired results and may be a waste of money if the wax is not effective or causes damage to the truck.

It’s best to apply the wax to your vehicle yourself.

Wipe Down The Truck After Washing

Wiping down your truck with a dry cloth or towel after washing can cause scratches on the surface, especially if any dirt or debris is left on the paint.

This can lead to costly repairs or repainting.

Also, if the cloth gets dirty, it will leave stains on the truck. You will have to use a clean towel to wipe it off after driving off.

So you shouldn’t let the wash operator wipe down your truck after washing it.

Where Can I Find A Car Wash?

Various options in your area, ranging from drive-thru to full-service car washes, can meet your requirements. Some gas stations in my neighborhood also offer a quick car wash if I need it.

On the other hand, if you desire a more comprehensive cleaning with specialized treatments such as wax or ceramic coating, you should consider mobile services.

They will come to your place with all the necessary equipment to clean your truck.

Let’s say you need an automatic car wash; you can find several local garages that provide self-serve car washes that require no physical contact with the equipment.

How Much Does It Cost For A Truck Wash?

The car wash cost for a pickup truck can vary on several factors, such as the location, type of car wash, and services included.

On average, a basic car wash for a pickup truck can cost anywhere from $4 to $30.

  • A standard car wash involves a quick spray with soap & water, gentle scrubbing, and drying at the beginning and end of the process. The cost of these services usually ranges from $4 to $7.
  • For advanced car washes, soap & rinsing are standard practices. Yet, the process includes thoroughly cleaning the undercarriage and tires.

An advanced wash usually costs from $7 to $12, depending on the specific features provided, with more comprehensive services commanding a higher price point.

  • A complete car wash involves the use of premium soap, advanced waxing, and scrubbing techniques. It ensures that the truck’s exterior is clean, with wax sealing and shining for an added shine.

The cost of a full car wash package can range from $10 to $30, based on the quality of the car wash and the level of thoroughness required.


automatic car wash for lifted trucks

Are Automatic Car Washes Bad For Your Car?

Yes. Automatic car washes can be safe for your car if they are properly maintained and operated.

However, there are some risks associated with automatic car washes that can potentially cause damage to your vehicle.

One of the most common concerns with automatic car washes is the brushes used for scrubbing the car’s surface.

These brushes can sometimes become dirty or damaged, causing scratches or swirl marks on the car’s paint finish.

Is Truck Wash The Same As Car Wash?

Trucks and car washes are similar in many ways, but they are not exactly the same.

The soap used for washing trucks in a truck wash is typically a very strong and aggressive soap that is designed to strip away dirt, grime, and other stubborn substances that may be found on the surface of a truck.

This soap is more powerful than the soap used in a regular car wash, formulated to be gentle on a car’s exterior while effectively removing dirt and grime.

Can I Wash My Truck With a Tonneau Cover?

Yes. Your truck can go through a carwash with a tonneau cover on it. If the cover is made of hard materials such as fiberglass or hard plastic, it can safely withstand a car wash.

Are car washes bad for paint? Yes, when your tonneau cover has a painted surface. Thus, it’s best to choose a touchless car wash to prevent any potential damage or scratching to the paintwork.

Is It Possible With Automatic Car Wash For Lifted Trucks?

Yes, it is generally possible for lifting trucks to go through an automatic car wash. However, you need to know the exact width and height of the truck.

Many car wash height clearance is 7 feet and can support trucks 70 inches wide.


Can a truck go through a car wash? Yes. A truck with a height of less than 84 inches and with a ground clearance of up to 4 inches can go through a carwash.

Before washing your vehicle, measure its size and check the dimensions of the car wash to ensure a smooth procedure.

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