Tunnel vs. Touchless Car Wash: Which is Better for Your Car?

Blog | Mar 13, 2020

The benefits of regularly washing your car extend far beyond the cosmetic benefits. Routine car washes can vastly improve the upkeep of your vehicle, but with the endless amount of washes, soaps and cloth options, where do you begin?

With some car wash options, you may unknowingly be doing more harm than good. Learn more about the relative pros and cons of tunnel car washes when compared to touchless car wash services.

For example, touchless car washes:

  • Provide a hands-off approach. Since there is no friction with scrubbing off unwanted dirt, grime or bugs, touchless car washes rely heavily on intense water pressure to remove stubborn stains or stuck debris like twigs or leaves atop the hood.
  • Use harsh chemicals. Acidic and high pH chemicals are used to break down filth. With the use of these harsh chemical treatments on your vehicle means it will likely remove the vehicles wax coating such as carnuba wax or the protective ceramic coating on your car during the process.
  • Not ideal for paint. A touchless car wash can potentially dry out and dull your vehicle’s paint over an extended period of time. This may unknowingly accelerate the need for a new coat of paint for your vehicle, especially with the harsh calcium-heavy water in Arizona.
  • Water waste. According to the International Carwash Association, a touchless wash typically uses an average of 120 gallons of water per vehicle.

On the flip side, Cobblestone’s tunnel car wash gives you detailed attention, care and uses high-quality products that will keep your truck, car or SUV looking pristine.

Benefits of a tunnel car wash include:

  • Safe and effective cleaning. Cobblestone uses a Neoglide cloth which is a soft, foam-like material, similar to a wet suit. It has the power to scrub off stubborn dirt without scratching paint and provides a natural polish when combined with paint-safe products. The cloths are routinely rinsed after each vehicle to ensure your car gets a fresh clean each time.
  • Paint-safe detergents. Cobblestone uses top-of-the-line detergents, waxes and ceramic coatings that protect your vehicle’s paint while combatting tough stains and calcium water spots.
  • Less water use. A tunnel wash uses an average of 30 gallons of water per vehicle – significantly less than the average touchless wash. This saves both resources and your wallet.
  • Targeted technology. Cobblestone offers sophisticated technology called the Vehicle Profile Detector (VPD), which uses sonar mapping to define the shape and dimensions of each car in order to customize every tunnel wash and get those hard to reach places clean.

Though some perceive touchless car washes to be safer and gentler on your car, they are likely to do more harm than good long term. Cobblestone’s full-service and express car wash options are safe, detail-oriented and time-efficient.

For more information on Cobblestone’s car wash services, head to your nearest location or call us at (602) 788-9274.