Volvo C30 DRIVe: Clean living

Clean me!

I'm always suspicious of automated car washes for three very good reasons: 1) I always worry about the effects it might have on the paintwork 2) I always forget to take off the aerial (I've killed many aerials in my time) and 3) I always think the horizontal drier is going to go straight through the windscreen.

Those fears never change but I still insist on using automated car washes because I think the jet washes are fundamentally useless... and I can't be bothered to do it myself.

I drive a total of 150 miles a day on a round-trip to and from work and as a result, the Volvo C30 DRIVe has morphed into a serial killer for myriad species of insects. By the end of the week my windscreen is usually a mass graveyard for gnats.

To keep the screen clear I use the automated car wash at the local Shell fuelling station in Peterborough. I've generated quite a rapport with staff who, although happy to have my custom, fear I have some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. It's not that I'm a cleanliness freak, it's just that I haven't had the chance to fill up the washer fluid bottle despite daily reminders from the C30's on-board warning light.

The car wash has performed admirably and all my worries regarding the paintwork on the C30 have proved to be unfounded. I inspect the bodywork carefully after I use the car wash and the paintwork remains perfect. The car wash never cleans the alloys properly though.

At £5 a pop my monthly maintenance bill now stands at £15. That's for three car washes and, surprisingly no oils top-ups, despite a 5927 total mileage. I am anticipating an imminent outlay for screen wash and, hopefully, that'll reduce my 'hefty' car washing bills. 

Aside from the weekly car wash visits, the C30 is still proving to be a wonderful workhorse that eats up the miles on the A1 at a fairly reasonable cost. Average fuel economy has gone up from around 45mpg to near on 49mpg and now I'm confident I can break the 50mpg barrier within the month.


Current mileage: 6697

Average mpg: 49.2mpg