We usually prefer to wash the car manually by hand with a hose and a few sponges. It's great fun for everyone to get wet when it's hot outside while still getting something productive done. One day after we drove the car through numerous mud puddles and gunk while it was raining outside, we took it to the car wash instead. Needless to say, it did the job by getting most of the car clean, but I wasn't satisfied completely with the windows, which still had water spots on it aftewards and trails running from obvious places. We had to touch it up at home after the car came back. I think if it wasn't for all the mud, we would have been better off washing it manually.