The car wash is a business featuring in many Grand Theft Auto games but functional in Grand Theft Auto IV 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.
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.
Taxis get a discount washing at $3 instead of the usual $5, except the car wash in Tudor. Convertibles are washed by hand. Large trucks and vans such as the Boxville, emergency vehicles, limos, helicopters, motorcycles and boats are restricted from the car wash.
If the player skips the wash sequence cutscene, the vehicle's passenger side door will open, likely a game bug.
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.
GTA Vice City & GTA San Andreas
Ocean Beach, at the Going station (GTA Vice City).
Idlewood in Los Santos, attached to the Going station (GTA San Andreas).
East Los Santos (GTA San Andreas).
Mulholland, Los Santos (GTA San Andreas). The Mulholland car wash was previously more detailed during development than its final form.
Roca Escalante, Las Venturas (GTA San Andreas).
Tutelo Avenue, Beechwood City, northern Broker.
Saratoga Avenue, Willis, southern Dukes.
Big Horn Drive, Westdyke, north Alderney.
Tinderbox Avenue, Tudor, south Alderney.