RICHMOND, Va. — Rhonda Wheeler, a columnist for the Times Dispatch who writes every week on the topic of cars, recently opened up about her great fear of the automatic carwash.

Wheeler's June 27 column states:

For a car chick I’m embarrassed to say that I have a slight fear of automatic car washes.

It’s not the car wash itself, really. It’s more a phobia of being the fool of the day who jumps the tracks and causes the machine to malfunction. You know who I’m talking about: he or she is usually driving the car ahead of you.

Wheeler goes on to state that she decided to tackle her fear and visit the nearby carwash. She writes:

..My car was so dirty I could no longer identify its true color.

I decided to take advantage of an afternoon off and splurged for the Deluxe Wash: undercoating spray stuff, protectant, wax, the whole shebang.

Read also: What customers really think about carwashes … and what you can do about it.

While I was waiting in line to buy the ticket, I saw something that only added to my anxiety. One of the clerks was clearly amused with what was unfolding on the screen of a closed-circuit TV.

“Try to stay within the grids this time!” he said into the intercom, suppressing a laugh.

Wheeler said despite her anxiety, she was able to drive onto the tracks without error.

"Whew! I made it. I settled in, breathed a sigh of relief," writes Wheeler.

To read about her entire experience, click here.