Cloister Car Wash and Lube

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are your hours of operation?

Mon-Sat: 7:30am - 6:00pm
Sun: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Is washing my car at Cloister safe for the environment?

Yes, washing your car at Cloister is safe for the environment for several reasons. Whereas washing at home sends wastewater down the city storm drains leading to streams and dry wells, Cloister's wastewater is sent directly to the local municipalities' sewer system. This ensures that any pollutants washed off the vehicles are treated properly. In addition, Cloister is very careful when choosing soaps. Only biodegradable soaps will be used, and all our polishes and sealers are oil-free. Washing at Cloister saves water. A 10-minute car wash at home can use as much as 140 gallons of water. A Cloister wash uses approximately 50% less fresh water per vehicle. This substantial savings is achieved through high pressure washing.

How often should I wash my car at Cloister?

It depends. Personal preference, where you drive your vehicle, and where you store your vehicles are just a few of the variables that you must take into consideration. The International Car Wash Association recommends that if your vehicle is subjected to pesticides, sand, salt, and industrial fallout that the vehicle be washed weekly to protect your vehicles delicate finish. In seasons or climates where there are less harmful elements a wash every two weeks should be sufficient.

Hand Washing vs. Automatic Washing?

Driveway car washing is widely considered a wholesome ritual for those who care about their cars. Yet it's one of the worst things you can do to your car's finish. First, rags and sponges used in the process inevitably become impregnated with tiny grit particles that scratch the paint and clear coat. Garden hoses often fail to remove all soap film. Soap residue can "bake" into the finish and eat into the paint for days afterwards.

Why does my car seem to ride better after I’ve had my car washed? Is it in my head?

Not at all! It’s very simple. Dirt and grime collect in the areas around your car’s wheels. The concentrated spray at professional car washes, like Cloister, loosens and rinses the grime, giving you a smoother ride. The spray also helps prevent rusting inside the wheel wells, the most difficult type of rust to stop. In addition, tests show that a properly clean and waxed car has less wind resistance, resulting in a smoother ride and improved fuel economy.

Are there wash and oil change discounts?

Our Wash and Oil Change Ticket Books have a 20% discount, there are 5 tickets in a book, it's like buying 4 and getting one FREE.

Do you have a car wash program to help non-profit organizations raise money?

Yes. Our Grace Works fundraiser program is a great way for non-profit groups to earn money. We supply your organization wtih a customized fundraiser card that includes a compimentary $8.00 good outside wash and a $10.00 discount on an express wax. Your organization keeps 50% of the money raised. Find out more by visiting our fundraiser section.

Working at Cloister looks like it would be a lot of fun. How do I apply for a job?

Cloister is always looking for talented and enthusiastic people to join its wash tech team or its management training system. Wash employees enjoy a fast paced and exciting atmosphere guided by professional and caring management. Applications can be picked up at any Cloister location or online. APPLY TODAY!

Is Cloister a franchise?

No. Cloister is a privately owned and operated corporation. Mike and Rhoda Mountz, owners of Cloister Wash & Lube, had a vision in 1984 to change the way consumers thought about car washing. At this point the company has chosen not to franchise its look and concept but may consider this option in the future.

What is done with the used motor oil?

We use our used oil from our Lube Shops to heat wash water, outdoor concrete and customerland.

Can Cloister wash my vehicle?

The Cloister washing system was designed to be able to wash the greatest variety of vehicles that are on the road today. We are pleased with our ability to wash so many different sizes and types of vehicles. Unfortunately there are some vehicles that will not fit our wash system. Because a safe washing experience for all is our greatest concern, specific guidelines must be followed when determining if a vehicle can be washed at Cloister. If you have additional questions regarding your specific vehicle, do not hesitate to contact Cloister’s corporate headquarters or visit a location with the vehicle in question and ask a site manager for assistance.
Vehicles we cannot wash:
    • Vehicles with hitch-mounted bike, ski, wheel chair or equipment carriers
    • Vehicles more than 89” tall
    • Trucks with dual rear tires
    • Vehicles with permanently affixed tri-pod style mirrors
    • Full size Hummers (H1) at our Ephrata & Manheim Pike locations
    • Open bed pick up trucks with debris, tools, or any other loose materials
    • Trucks/vans with ladders
    • Vehicles that sit too low (all locations have height gauges)
    • Trucks with greasy fifth wheels
    • Vehicles with ball hitches
    • Tires that are too wide
Cloister is responsible for:
    • Original factory equipment in good condition.
What our customer is responsible for:
    • Broken or Bent Antennas
    • Bug shields
    • Roof racks (bike, ski, luggage, etc.)
    • Modified or non-factory equipment
    • Existing damage (rust, cracks, etc.)

What if I want to stay in my vehicle as the oil is being changed?

All customers must exit their vehicle when their vehicle is being serviced in any of our Lube Shops. We provide a comfortable waiting area with complimentary beverages, newspapers, and magazines to pass your time along.

What type of oil do you feature?

We feature high-quality motor oils from Mobil.

What is synthetic oil?

Traditional oils are all derived from crude oil. Even after this oil has been refined, it still contains some contaminates. It is these contaminates that cause regular oil to thicken in cold weather, and to thin out in hot conditions. Cold thick oil (not flowing fast enough) causes wear on your engine in start-up; we know that most of your engines' wear comes at start-up. In hot conditions, regular oil gets thinner and does not carry away heat as easily.

Engines are designed to run under these conditions with regular, scheduled oil changes. By changing your oil as the manual recommends, your vehicle's engine should live a long life.

Synthetic oil is made up of Polyalphaolefins usually derived from natural gas and a combination of alcohols and acids. Like traditional oils, it too contains additives to enhance its capabilities. Being made this way encourages Synthetic oil to stay thinner in the cold, and thicker in the heat. This allows the oil to pump throughout the engine faster in cold weather and to carry away a little more heat from the engine in hotter temperatures. It is these attributes of synthetic oil that many experts feel will give your engine better protection, contributing to an even longer engine life.

Do I need to make an appointment for a car wash or oil change?

No. There is no appointment for any service we perform at Cloister except for our Touch of Class Reconditioning service at Ephrata.

Why should I change the oil in my vehicle?

Motor oil gets contaminated by substances like dust metallic shavings and even antifreeze. As these contaminants are whipped into the oil, sludge is formed. This sludge will stick to parts of the engine causing the engine to perform less efficiently. Eventually, this sludge can cause engine failure. Thus, the best preventative maintenance to extend the life expectancy of your car is to change the oil based on the vehicle's manufacturer's recommendation.

Why should I keep my tires inflated properly?

Under inflated tires make the engine work harder and use more gas, wearing out the two outer edges of the tire and causing greater frictional contact with the road. Over inflated tires make the center of the tread-contact-patch bulge and the center of the tire tread pattern will wear out from higher frictional contact before the outer two edges. Vehicles can add about 5% to gas mileage by keeping tires properly inflated.

Why should I change my gearbox lubricants (transfer case/differentials)?

Gearboxes such as differentials and transfer cases perform best when operating in a pool of oil. Normal use of the vehicle will subject these fluids to high temperatures which break down the fluid, causing it to become gummy. Once gummy, the oil loses its ability to lubricate properly which can cause abnormal wear on gears. In addition, if these fluids get too low, bare metal contact can cause premature wear.

Why should I change my air filter?

Your engine's air filter captures airborne contaminants, like bugs and dirt, out of the air before they enter your engine. Left unchanged, dirty air filters can lead to poor acceleration, lower gas mileage and poor engine performance. The positive crankcase valve and breather element process exhaust fumes to reduce air pollutants. Changing PCV valves and breather elements help the air filtration system do its job effectively. All three items should be changed approximately every 6,000 miles.

What type of oil do you recommend?

We recommend all Mobil products for maximum protection.

Cloister's Lancaster and Reading locations are built with skylights to reduce the need for additional artificial light sources.