October 29, 2023

Automatic car washes. Good or bad?

Automatic car washes have become increasingly popular in recent years as they provide a quick and easy way to clean your vehicle. While they may seem like a convenient option, they can actually cause damage to your car’s exterior. In this blog post, we will explore how automatic car washes can damage your vehicle and provide sources to support our claims.

  1. Scratches and Swirl Marks

One of the most common ways that automatic car washes can damage your vehicle is by causing scratches and swirl marks on the paint. This is because the brushes used in many automatic car washes are made of stiff, abrasive materials that can scrape against the paint, leaving behind unsightly marks.

According to an article from Popular Mechanics, “The bristles of a car wash brush can trap dirt and debris, which then act like sandpaper as the brush rubs against your car’s surface. This can create small scratches that can quickly add up over time, resulting in a dull or faded paint job.”

  1. Damaged Mirrors and Antennas

Another issue with automatic car washes is that they can damage your car’s mirrors and antennas. This is because the brushes used in these car washes are often too aggressive and can break off these delicate components, leaving you with expensive repair bills.

As noted by an article from The Drive, “The brushes that come into contact with your car can easily snag on antennas and mirrors, potentially tearing them off your car. Even if the brushes don’t completely break off these components, they can still cause scratches and scuffs that detract from your car’s appearance.”

  1. Water Spots and Damage to the Clear Coat

Finally, automatic car washes can also cause damage to your vehicle’s clear coat, which can lead to water spots and other issues. This is because the high-pressure jets of water used in these car washes can strip away the protective layer of wax and other coatings that help to protect your car’s paint.

According to an article from AutoZone, “Water spots can occur when minerals in the water dry onto your car’s surface. In addition, the high-pressure water jets used in automatic car washes can also strip away the protective layer of wax on your car’s paint, leaving it vulnerable to damage from the sun’s UV rays and other environmental factors.”

In conclusion, while automatic car washes may seem like a convenient way to keep your car clean, they can actually cause damage to your vehicle’s exterior. From scratches and swirl marks to damage to your car’s mirrors and antennas, there are many potential issues that can arise from using these car washes. As a result, it is often best to wash your car by hand or to seek out a professional detailing service that uses gentle, non-abrasive techniques to clean your vehicle.

Sources:

  1. Popular Mechanics. “Is It Safe to Use Automatic Car Washes?” https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/car-technology/a26815337/is-it-safe-to-use-automatic-car-washes/
  2. The Drive. “Why You Should Never Use Automatic Car Washes (And What to Do Instead).” https://www.thedrive.com/cleaning-detailing/26907/why-you-should-never-use-automatic-car-washes-and-what-to-do-instead
  3. AutoZone. “What Causes Water Spots on Cars?” https://www.autozone.com/diy/detailing/what-causes-water-spots-on-cars

Jonathan – Certified Detail Technician

Flawless Coatinng and Detailing

5787 S Ridge Rd W, Geneva, Ohio, 44041

(440) 428-8012

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