Will a car wash damage my vehicle’s paint? 

There are several factors to consider with your vehicle’s paint:

  • Paint Hardness
  • Environmental factors
  • Routine Maintenance

First, let’s look at how vehicles are painted. Generally, all vehicles have three layers of paint: 

  1. Primer
  2. Base Coat
  3. Clear Coat

Primer is the first layer applied to the metal frame of a vehicle. This creates a uniform layer for the paint to be applied. The second layer is a semi-gloss base coat, which gives the vehicle its color. The third layer is a clear coat, which gives the vehicle its shine and helps protect the base coat color over time from damage caused by the sun and other environmental pollutants.

Every vehicle manufacturer uses different paint and clear coats that vary in density and hardness on the Mohs scale. Knowing the hardness level of your vehicle manufacturer’s paint can tell you how to properly take care of your paint and prevent scratching or other deformations. Vehicle brands based in Asian countries like Mazda, Honda, and Nissan tend to have softer paint that needs more maintenance in harsher climates compared to brands based in North America and Europe like Ford, Jeep, and BMW.

Proper maintenance of the clear coat will help to keep your paint color bright and shiny. The best way to protect your vehicle’s paint is with wax and sealant protectants. Carnauba wax is a great way to protect your vehicle from the elements. It is a wax that when applied, creates a smooth surface over your vehicle that prevents water and other pollutants from sticking to it. This allows the water to bead on the surface and protects the paint from damage. Carnauba wax is recommended to be applied a minimum of once every three to eight weeks to keep an even application, but this varies depending on factors such as how often the vehicle is in the elements and the type of weather conditions the vehicle is exposed to. An indicator that your carnauba wax needs to be reapplied is when the water begins to pool and look flat on your paint instead of beading, which shows that your vehicle has little to no protection left from the wax.

Automatic car washes like Tagg-N-Go Car Wash have protectants and sealants which can help to save you time and money. The Platinum wash at Tagg-N-Go offers the Ceramic Sealant and Protectant as well as the Carnauba Wax and Soak to properly protect your vehicle after the wash.

Learn more about how you can save time and money with an Unlimited Wash Pass from Tagg-N-Go Car Wash here!