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Your Car’s Modifications and Car Washes

cleaning modified car in carwash


Car modifications allow you to show off your vehicle and really make it your own. They can also improve the look of your car and potentially boost its value. But the more you modify your car, the more you’ll need to be attentive to careful cleaning. 

Regular car washing keeps your car looking great and performing well. But if have a modified car, you should consider how those modifications may impact regular cleanings. In this article, we’ll discuss modifications you’ll need to be careful about for car washes, along with other maintenance practices to adopt for your vehicle. With these tips, your modified car will look great for years to come.


modified vehicle in carwash


Special Car Wash Considerations for Vehicle Modifications

Before you modify your car in any way, it’s important to note that some changes will need careful attention during car washes. Here are some to keep in mind:


Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating provides an extra level of protection for your vehicle. It protects your paint and gives your car a beautiful gloss sheen. But ceramic coatings produce a hydrophobic surface on cars that can leave water spots if you allow your car to air dry after a wash. With ceramic coating, you’ll want to dry your car after a car wash to prevent water spots. Here at Sundance Car Wash, we have hand-wash bays that are especially handy for cars with this type of coating.


Lifted Vehicles

Lifting vehicles raises the clearance height, but lifted they should still fit in most car wash bays. Sundance has bays that are seven feet tall, so even a lifted vehicle will fit well. However, if you think your vehicle may be over seven feet tall, measure it before coming to the car wash to be certain. You, as the customer are responsible to know if your vehicle will safely fit in a car wash.


Lowered Cars

Lowering a car involves cutting springs or buying shorter ones to emulate the look of a race car. We have a flat floor in our wash bays, making it perfectly safe for even the lowest of lowered cars.


High Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights

These lights are brighter than the average headlight which makes them a great option for excellent nighttime driving visibility. Our car wash uses cutting edge technology and biodegradable soaps and waxes that are gentle on HID headlights and won’t cause dulling or clouding of the light lenses.


Modifications Inside Your Car

Adding things such as boomboxes, mirror hangings, or racing seat belts are fine going through an automatic car wash since that service will not disturb anything in the interior. For the interior, we have carpet shampooing and vacuuming equipment available and easy to use to make your car’s interior clean and fresh-smelling.


Low-profile Tires

Low-profile tires have a shorter sidewall and improve a vehicle’s handling. Our car wash is a great choice for cars with low profile tires because the bays have flat floors. They do not have tracks that could scratch or damage your low-profile tires.


shiny car rims after carwash


Tinted Headlights or Taillights

Tinting your headlights or taillights is not advisable, as these car modifications can make your vehicle less noticeable to oncoming traffic or those driving behind you. Nonetheless, these modifications can be safely washed at Sundance because we offer touchless car wash packages. Touchless car washing ensures that nothing comes in contact with the surface of your car except water and car-safe detergent that can clean your car without dulling or damaging your tinted headlights or taillights.  


Leather Seats

At all of our car wash locations we sell leather cleaning and conditioning wipes in our vending machines. Using these wipes will keep your leather seats soft and looking great for years.


Window Tints

Window tints are great at providing an extra layer of privacy. Those darkened windows also prevent glare from extreme light, protect your upholstery, keep your car cool, and keep you and your passengers safe from UV light. 

The exterior of tinted glass windows can be safely cleaned by Sundance, either using the touchless wash or the soft touch wash. Both options are safe for tinted windows.


clean modified car


Vinyl Wrap

Vinyl wrap is aesthetically pleasing and protects your car from UV rays, sand, dust, grime, and more. If you had the vinyl wrap professional installed, you can use our automatic wash bays; however, the best way to clean a vinyl wrapped car is by hand washing it yourself in one of our hand-wash bays.


galaxy design vinyl car wrap


Matte Paint

Matte-painted cars are distinctive and look great, but they require a touch-free car wash. In addition to going touch-free, you’ll also want to skip the wax with a matte paint finish. Regular waxing could negatively affect the sheen of a matte paint finish.


Fiberglass Body Kit

This modification is durable; however, it scratches easily, so this is another custom modification that is perfect for a touch-free car wash or for a hand wash bay. Touch-free car washes or hand washing with soft cloths are gentle on any type of custom car exterior finish.



Decals allow you to customize your car in whichever way best shows off your personality. If your car has decals, use one of our hand wash bays and wash your car with soft towels and gentle soap.


Wide-Body Kit

A wide body kit changes the look of a car by expanding its profile with bumpers, side skirts, bonnets, front and rear side guards, and roof scoops. Changing the body of your car requires you to alter the way you have it cleaned.

For example, you’ll need a car wash service or car detailing service that uses small brushes to clean the parts where the body kit and the car’s surface meet. A conventional car wash may not be able to deliver that level of effort, so make sure to inquire carefully. 


Car Wash Soaps & Cleaners on Car Modifications

As Car and Driver says, “the best car wash soaps and car shampoos are specifically designed to be less aggressive on your car’s paint and finish than products meant to clean a crusty lasagna pan.” 

At Sundance Car Wash we use environmentally-friendly soaps with good lubricity, easy foaming, and thick suds to lift and suspend contaminants embedded on the surface of your car.

Never use a household cleaning product on your car. These cleaners contain chemicals that will damage the paint and plastic on your vehicle. The main products you should avoid are dish soap, dish detergent, and paper towels. These cleaners are not designed for automotive finishes. Here are some additional cleaners and solutions to avoid


Finishing Touches


Preventing Water Spots on Your Car

It’s not uncommon to find hard water stains on surfaces throughout your home. But one of the last places you want to find one is on the surface of your newly cleaned car. They negatively draw the eye on your car’s paint job and can ruin the clear coat on the surface of your vehicle.


washed and wet car window


The easiest way you can prevent these spots from staying on your car is to make sure it’s fully dried after a washing. As Pure Water Blog says, “if no water droplets are left on the car’s surface, there’s nothing to evaporate, and no calcium is left over to stain the paint job.” 

At Sundance we offer a finishing blow dry for your car to give it a more uniform rate of evaporation across the surface to help reduce water spots. We also offer air shammee blow dryers in our hand wash bays.


How to Select the Right Car Wash for a Modified Car

We offer hand-wash bays at all of our locations so you can safely wash your modified vehicle. Our hand-wash bays give you all the products and equipment you need right in one easy-to-use location, and allow you to be as gentle as you need to be with your car’s modifications.

If you choose to use the automatic bays, for modified cars choose our touch-free washes because it will be gentler on all types of modifications and exterior finishes, including the glass of headlights, taillights and windows.

No matter which kind of car wash you go with, you should take precautions to protect your car and its modifications before and after cleaning. Here are some ways to prepare your car for its best-ever car wash:


  • Choose a car wash, like Sundance, that has the proper tools to clean the undercarriage in order to prevent the accumulation of dirt, salt, and corrosive chemicals.
  • Put retractable antennas down, remove cargo from the roof rack, and fold in side mirrors before the car wash.
  • Use the hand wash bays if you have any modifications that you are concerned about.
  • Know your vehicle and the modifications you made. You are responsible for knowing if your modified vehicle can be safely washed at our car wash.


TL;DR — Extra Car Modifications Require Gentle Care When Washing the Car

Car modifications are a great way to give your vehicle extra personality. Make sure to do your research and take extra precaution when it comes to cleaning your modified car. Your best bet is generally to use our hand-wash bays for ease of use and handy access to the right tools for your modified vehicle.

At Sundance Car Wash we take care to wash your car effectively and sustainably, no matter the modifications you’ve added. We use efficient machines to save water, and biodegradable soaps and waxes to protect the environment, and the touch-free wash option can gently clean even the fanciest car modifications.

“Sundance is the smarter way to clean”, so come check us out today! Find your nearest Sundance location.



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