Vacation Bonus: Free Car Wash!

It’s been a great vacation so far, and now I want to share some of that good fortune with you. Actually, it was my bad fortune that could work out for you.

At, we like to return our fleet cars filled with gas, and when we travel long distances, we like to also run them through a car wash and vacuum them out. When it was time to trade the CX-9 for the 2009 Honda Pilot, I took the CX-9 to a Texaco on Huffman Mill Road in beautiful Burlington, N.C. I filled it up ($3.79 a gallon) and, when prompted, said yes to a car wash. Oddly enough, the computer didn’t ask me which car wash I wanted, so it charged me for the most expensive wash they offered. Still, with the gas discount, it was only $5.

I drove the CX-9 around to the open door of the car wash, and it was …

In. Pieces.

I mean, literally, in pieces. See the photo. There’s some kind of brush mechanism lying at the back of the car wash. Of course, there was a flashing red “stop” light outside the wash, but that’s no different than any other drive-through car wash.

I was pissed. There was no indicator anywhere at the pump that the car wash was broken, and there was no warning when it asked me if I wanted a wash. But this was just the beginning.

I went in to ask the clerk for my money back.

“I can’t do that,” he said, smiling. He was very polite but very firm that I would not be getting my money back from him. “You can use that code at any Texaco for the next 14 days.”

That wasn’t going to do me any good; the car was going back to the fleet in five minutes.

“You can call your credit card company and have them stop payment,” he offered.

I have a better idea. Here’s the code:

8 4 6 1 0

First person to get to a Texaco (I don’t know if it has to be in North Carolina or not) can redeem that code for a free car wash. All I want out of the deal is for you to tell me when and where you successfully were able to get your car washed.

As far as Texaco, I can’t believe they would allow one of their stations to ask every customer who comes by if they want a car wash, knowing full well that the wash at that station IS IN PIECES. This Texaco is not far from Interstate 40/85, and I’m sure I’m not the first tourist to be disappointed. The main sign for the station clearly says “CAR WASH,” and it’s not until you pull up to the car wash that you see it’s not going to happen.

Texaco, the ball’s in your court.

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