Top 5 ways car tech breaks the car wash

Your car's technology may be setting you up for a sudsy fail.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and The PHM HealthFront™. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
International Car Wash Association
Watch this: Reasons your high-tech car hates the car wash

A car wash is a pretty simple affair, but it turns out your modern car is making things complicated. Forward collision warning tech, auto start-stop, even automatic wipers are giving car wash owners agita.

A recent survey of 250 car wash owners by the International Car Wash Association and Schwartz Research ranked the tech headaches by how many owners reported problems with them.

The fix? Basically, you have to remember to turn these systems off before your car enters the wet, soapy tunnel. That may sound simple, but a lot of drivers are barely aware their car has some of these technologies, let alone how to turn them on or off. 

I suspect you may soon see more advisory signs when you roll up for a wash that go far beyond "roll up your windows" and "put your car in neutral."