Can an automatic car wash damage your car?
This is a common question for people who have never had their car washed at an automatic car wash. The answer is: it depends on what type of automatic car wash you go to. First, let’s talk about how to avoid damaging your car with the right precautionary measures.
There are three main ingredients in most automatic car washes: water, soap, and wax. Water is important because it helps to remove dirt from your vehicle’s surface. Soap helps to create a barrier between the dirt and your paint job so that it doesn’t scratch off as easily when you drive away from the wash. And finally, wax helps to protect against UV rays, which can break down your paint job over time if left unprotected by a layer of wax or sealant (this is referred to as fading).
Not washing your vehicle can cause more damage to the exterior, especially the paint. Washing your vehicle regularly can help to prevent and avoid long-term damage.
Choose your car wash carefully
Not all automated washes are created equal. The quality of the equipment used at different carwashes varies widely, and there are some car washes that don’t care about how they treat your vehicle. While some car washes may be safe bets, others might not be worth the risk.
An automatic car wash can damage your paint if you don’t take care of your car afterward. If you don’t dry it off thoroughly after washing, the water can create scratches in the paint that will show up later. It’s also possible for dirt particles or other contaminants to get stuck under the clear coat of your paint job and cause rust.
Some may argue that the brushes also damage your car. However, the brushes used in automatic car washes are designed to scrub away any dirt or grime from a car’s surface, but they are also designed to be gentle enough not to damage a car’s finish in the process. Automatic car washes that do not allow excessively muddy vehicles to go through their wash tunnel protect the equipment and vehicles from damage.
So choose your car wash wisely!
How to tell if you have car paint damaged?
Look closely at your vehicle’s paint to determine if the paint has been damaged. If it looks dull, you may be dealing with a problem. If it has faded or changed color over time, there may be a problem that needs to be addressed. The shine of your car’s paint should come back to life when you use a good wax or polish. If not, it could be time to call in the professionals and get a new paint job.
You can also get an idea of whether or not your car has been damaged by looking at its clear coat—if there are cracks and chips in it, it probably means something happened during its lifetime and now needs fixing.
The good news is you can slow down this process and even save your paint by using a good car wash that keeps your car clean. A car wash may not restore your car’s paint fully but it can protect it and prevent further damage.
There is always a risk
Whether you hand wash your vehicle or take it to an automatic car wash, there is always a risk. Automatic car washes are automated by machines that are programmed and calibrated to wash your vehicle efficiently but accidents can happen. Things can get caught in the equipment, broken, or damaged.
Hand car washing is generally not as thorough as automatic car washes. They don’t have the technology or manpower to do a thorough job. You can easily end up with streaks or spots on your vehicle that can cause rusting if you don’t closely inspect it before leaving the manual car wash facility. There are experts in this field but they also do charge more for their expertise.
Employees at manual car washes may be inexperienced or careless with their work, so they could scratch or dent your car while washing it or even damage something on your vehicle.
Risk versus Reward
When it comes to car washing and the risk of paint damage, the answer is “it depends.” There are many variables to weigh the risk versus reward, including the type of car wash you go to and the kind of soap or wax they use. In addition, there is a lot of information out there that isn’t always reliable.
If you do the maintenance to keep your car clean and dry after leaving a car wash, you’re making a better choice than not using an automatic car wash at all in fear of what could happen. The only way to truly know is to decide what you value and choose the car wash that cleans and protects your car while keeping the risk of damage low.