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The kid loves a drive-through car wash. Are there any in or near Oakland other than the Ken Betts Suds Machine which is a very short machine and doesn't always do the job.
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We use the car wash at Oil Changers at Park and Macarthur (across from Oakland High), although the line there is often ridiculously long. Some people I know go to the car wash in Alameda just over the Fruitvale Ave bridge. If you want to make it an excursion, there are a couple places on the Peninsula that have rainbow soap and lights - the Shell on Rengstorff and Central in Mountain View, for example. I'm not sure if any place closer does the rainbow thing - it seems to be a Mountain View/Sunnyvale phenomenon.
It's not in Oakland, but if you find yourself further North in El Cerrito, we love the Kaady Car Wash on San Pablo, near the EC Plaza. It's a pretty long and thorough drive-thru wash and it's not expensive! Great brushes and sponges and suds and a deluge of water!!
I love car washes too! Not super close, but if you take a shopping trip up to Albany there is Kaady car wash which I love. 400 San Pablo.
This is not in/near Oakland, but I couldn’t resist posting it - Lil’ Bear Car Wash in Walnut Creek (just off the freeway) is a car wash filled with extra lights in changing rainbow colors. It’s like a car wash meets a disco. Your kid would likely love it if you find yourself out that way. :)
There's Kaady Car Wash in Albany.
400 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706
We used to take our kids thru the Nob Hill gas station car wash in Alameda (right at the end of the Fruitvale bridge) - the 'triple wash' cycle has rainbow colored foam, that was a big hit. I can't say it gets your car the cleanest, and there can be a line unless you go early or late, but they loved it. I totally get it!
We go to Kaady in Albany for our drive-through car wash experience.
Go to Kaady Car Washes in Albany. A very thorough automatic car wash that gives the kids a long, fun ride. It's worth the drive.
The Shell station in Emeryville (on Powell, right under the highway), and the Chevron on Telegraph at 55th both have drive through car washes.
For an Oakland location, I use the drive thru at the Chevron at Telegraph and 55th. It's near my son's school and he loves it.
The Shell/Loop in Emeryville has the rainbow soap, but it doesn't do a great job. Good for a quick wash and kid entertainment though.
Solar Car Wash in Berkeley just opened a drive-through location: https://thesolarcarwash.com/#our-locations.