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5 Things to Do Before You Take Your Vehicle to a Drive-through Car Wash


                   GM Power Folding Mirror Motor

For many of us, washing the car or truck is something we enjoy doing. It’s a pleasant form of recreation the benefits of which we can personally identify with and take pride in.

For others, keeping the vehicle shiny is more of a chore than an enjoyable hobby, and that’s fine, too. You have busy lives out there.

So, while you can potentially save time and effort by taking your car or truck to a drive-through professional car washing or detailing service, there are still some best practices you should observe before you do so.

These are some of the most important. Keep these in mind, they’ll save you from potential headaches down the road.

1.Park in the shade beforehand, especially if you have a car with a dark finish.
It’s actually more important to observe this if you wash your car at home, on your own, because there’s not much you can do if you’re going to drive somewhere to a car wash, but it’s a good habit to observe, anyway.

Keeping your car in the shade will keep it cool by helping to prevent it from absorbing too much energy from the sun.

But why would you do that, don’t you want your car to dry after the wash?

Well, yes, but not too fast. If your car is covered with soap and water residue and very hot from the sun’s residual energy, all the water will evaporate right away, which can leave hard water spotting and soap residue on your car - meaning you’ll have to wash twice, which is not an option at a commercial carwash.

Another good idea is not to take your car to the drive-through carwash on hot, sunny days - it’s best to do so on cool, dry days with a little bit of cloud cover.

2.Double-check to make sure your doors are all shut tight.
This is self-explanatory. You don’t want to find out you have a door ajar while you’re going through the car wash. Opening and closing it in the middle of the wash will only ruin the interior of your car.

3.Check (and double-check) your windows and moonroof. Close them!

                   GM power folding mirror motors

Also fairly self-explanatory. Save your car’s expensive interior, double-check to make sure all the windows are closed.

And double-check the moonroof, too. You would think this would be obvious but apparently, it is not. There are enough viral videos out there of people that forgot to check their car’s windows and moonroofs that illustrate how easy it is to actually forget.

Don’t be the next internet sensation. Check your doors, windows, and moonroof, and then check them again.

4.Remove your antenna and any other external, removable devices you don’t want to be damaged.
Some older vehicles still have fixed, immobile metal antennae. If you have one, it’s a good idea to remove it before you enter the car wash. Otherwise, it might be bent or damaged by the car wash’s brush or rollers.

Otherwise, if you have a short retractable one, just pull it all the way in to prevent the same issue. Cars or trucks with small, fixed antennae don’t need to worry about this one.

5.Important! Fold in your power-folding mirrors to prevent them from being damaged by rollers or other equipment.
This is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of advice we can offer. If your car has power mirrors that fold in and out, bring them all the way in against the body of the vehicle before entering the car wash.

Many vehicles have small, sensitive motors that power these mirrors. For instance, GM power folding mirror motors of select vehicles contain a small, low-torque motor with a plastic spur gear mounted to the main drive shaft.

Impact, stress, and a variety of other conditions can cause the plastic mirror gear to crack, which will incapacitate the power-folding/unfolding function. Roll them in!

Welp, I Think I Need a New GM Power Folding Mirror Motor
If you’re getting to this just a touch late and your GM’s power folding mirror motor has failed and you can no longer roll your mirrors in or out, we have some good news for those of you with select 2007-2014 GM trucks and SUVs, including but not limited to Tahoe, Suburban, Sierra, Escalade, Silverado and other models.

We sell not only the replacement metal gears (that may have broken due to impact or some other stressor) but we also sell a replacement high-torque motor.

And be aware: you cannot simply install a new brass spur gear if the motor itself is still intact. Contact with brass will short out the OEM motor. You need to replace the motor if you’re replacing the plastic gear, too.

Take a look at our GM power-folding mirror motor replacement options via the previous link (which, like all our parts, come with a LIFETIME WARRANTY) and if you need special assistance or want to be assured that a part will fit your vehicle, please feel free to get in contact with us, we can help.

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