The Car Wash is a business featured in many Grand Theft Auto games that lets the player take any passenger car, light truck or SUV to this facility to remove dirt, grime and the occasional blood.
Other GTA games
Car washes are found all over the map in previous Grand Theft Auto games, although the player cannot interact with them in any way as they are considered static objects. The player may still drive through the car wash and they also are often attached to a gas station. When accumulated dirt was introduced on vehicles in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, car washes were believed to be featured, but the feature was never included in the final version of the game, though during the car chase sequence of Reuniting the Families, a car wash sprays soap onto the Greenwood driven by Carl, Sweet, Ryder, and Big Smoke as the chase leads through it, much to the chagrin of Carl.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Available immediately after the beginning of the games, car washes are interactive in Grand Theft Auto IV and its episodes, though they are first introduced to the player during the mission Clean Getaway. In most cars and while not wanted by the police, the player can pull up to a marker behind the car wash to trigger a cutscene. In the scene, the player pushes a button on the control panel, opening the entry gate. The player then drives in and stops, allowing several brush strokes and water sprayers to clean up the car. Once the car is shiny, still in the cutscene, the exit gate opens and the player drives out in a view that shows off the new cleanliness of the car. The cutscene ends and the player will assume control and may now drive the car. If the player drives to it with a car with an open top (i.e. Feltzer or Peyote), a different cutscene plays where the player remains in the entrance while a random NPC starts to clean the car's right fender manually. Once the short cutscene ends, the player appears in the opposite side of the car wash.
Taxis, except Roman's Taxi, get a discount washing at $3 instead of the usual $5, except the car wash in Tudor. Large trucks and vans such as the Boxville, emergency vehicles, limos, helicopters, motorcycles and boats are restricted from the car wash. LCPD cars, NOOSE cars and the FIB Buffalo are also unwashable.
Occasionally, if the player skips the wash sequence cutscene, the vehicle's passenger side door will open, likely a game bug. Some others will have the same bug, but for both front doors.
Except for the one mission, there appears to be no apparent game-related benefit to using a car wash, other than making a vehicle look nicer for the player's enjoyment.
Grand Theft Auto V
There are two interactive car washes in Grand Theft Auto V, located in Strawberry and Little Seoul, Los Santos, even though the player doesn't need to use them to get a car cleaned. Vehicles can be taken to Los Santos Customs to be "repaired" clean. The car wash on Innocence Boulevard is based on Lennox Car Wash in Lennox, California, with some elements being based on Mission Car Wash in San Fernando, California.
GTA Vice City & GTA San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto IV
Grand Theft Auto V
- For some reason, the in-game message will state that they have to pay $5 for cleaning the Merit-based Taxi, instead of the usual $3 for the other taxis. However, after cleaning up the car, only $3 dollars are paid. This is likely a minor oversight.
- Despite the apparent restriction to van-style vehicles, the Gang Burrito and the Slamvan (both from The Lost and Damned) are still allowed to use the car wash.
- There is a glitch in Grand Theft Auto Online, where if a player blows up a car in the wash while there is a player in the car being washed, the player in the car would freeze in the car and become invincible, but after a while he will be kicked for being idle.
- There is a loading screen tip in Grand Theft Auto V, stating people will look down upon you unless you get car washes regularly. However, this is not evident in-game.