Protect your truck — don’t wash it

I don’t know why I even bother to wash my truck, but once in a while, I have a lapse in judgement and decide to roll through the car wash. It’s always a waste of money, but sometimes it’s worse than that.

With all the ads for the new car washes in Cheyenne on the radio, I find myself thinking I need to get the ol’ Ram spiffed up. But then I remember what happened the last time I took my truck to one of the automatic car washes in town.

I won’t name the car wash, but it’s the first of two of the same name we now have in Cheyenne. When I rolled in, the attendant told me I needed to pull to the side and clean out the 2 cubic inches of wood chips in the bed. He told me all that debris would ruin their machines. I found this surprising, considering there was probably 100 pounds of mud clinging to the truck, but I didn’t argue.

After I swept the wood chips out of the bed, I started to back out to the road to head back in to the wash entrance. But the attendant came out and pushed my passenger-side mirror in and told me he’d guide me through the hairpin turn from where I was. This time I did argue. I told him there was no way I could make the turn, but he insisted he’d guide me in.

Against my better judgement, I let him. I got about 10 feet into his guidance, and I heard and felt a noise I really didn’t want to hear. It was a pole on the passenger side of my truck gouging into my right rear quarter panel. When the manager came out and I asked if the car wash would help with the repair, his answer was a question. He asked, “Well, who was driving?” Fair enough. But I can tell you honestly, the guy who was driving will never breeze through that car wash again.

I might try the other new car wash, but what’s the point? It’s hunting season. And then it’ll be winter. My truck will only be clean for about 10 minutes, and then I’ll have to do it all over again.

Besides, the dirt hides the dent I got the last time I tried to wash it.

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