It's a winter where it's nearly impossible to keep your vehicle clean. Maybe you assume that rust takes a winter holiday and you wait until May to wash it. Or maybe you're obsessively getting your car washed twice a week.

That adds up. You can always save cash by going to self-service washes, but where are the cheap drive-through washes?

Here's one: A $4 drive-through wash at Jim's Chicago Service (5400 Chicago Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-823-9913). It isn't brushless, but it's cheap. Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Here are more with a caveat: a free wash on or near your birthday.

The Downtowner Car Wash (520 E. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-7045, offers a free Gold wash ($22 value) within a week of your birthday with the coupon from the website.

The Mermaid Car Wash (901 Louisiana Av. S., Golden Valley, 763-544-9700) allows a free Pelican wash ($13 value) on your birthdate only.

Dan's Nicollet Carwash (5925 Nicollet Av. S., Minneapolis, 612-869-5812, offers its Great wash ($13 value) if you sign up at the website and sign up for the e-mail birthday club.

Paradise Car Wash provides one full-service wash ($14 value) within three days before or after your birthday. Paradise has locations in Apple Valley, Savage (two), Bloomington (two) and Eagan. Call 952-431-4600 or go

There is self-service car wash on Energy Park Drive and Snelling in St. Paul that has has, um, $1 washes on Tuesdays, I think.  If anyone can confirm that, let us know.  

What cheap car washes am I leaving out across the metro? Chime in.