Automatic car washes are much more popular now because they save time and money. The question that remains is… are automatic car washes safe for my vehicle? The answer may surprise you, but the truth is in many instances, the “safest”; thing for many vehicle owners who want to keep their car clean is to use a professional, well respected and maintained express drive-thru car wash.
Professional car washes can be safer for your vehicle finish than washing your car yourself, by hand, or unprofessionally mainly because it is automated and consistent. The probability of human error is higher than a professional well run express car wash because of several reasons: not using enough water to remove dirt safely or they wash the car in direct sunlight (which can burn spots in the paint). Another mistake is they use the wrong type of soaps or cheap chemicals such as dishwashing detergent, which removes protective wax and can cause damage to your clear coat or paint finish. Or possibly picking up loose gravel during a hand car wash. A well run and managed automatic express car wash uses rotating brushes and plenty of high quality chemicals which provide lubrication which maintains a slippery surface and flings off any excess dirt that it may have picked up from a previous vehicle. It is important that a car wash is well managed and maintained. A cheap car wash will generally yield lower quality results and potentially lead to unwanted results. All in all, when in doubt, let the professionals do what they do best and use a qualified and well respected express carwash to prevent potential damage.
In rare occurrences, a car wash may leave scratches and contribute to swirl marks due to a few reasons such as the current condition of the vehicle, lack of protective waxex, or impropr cleaning agents used. Using a cheap quality soap or chemicals or not having the correct chemistry in an automatic car wash can potentially be a cause for harm to your paint finish. We suggest always using a car wash that uses plenty of high quality chemicals and is well respected in the community. Look for name brands you trust such as ZEP, Armor All, Rain-X, and Black Magic when choosing a car wash to use regularly. I would like to tell you of two personal real life example, I have personally seen myself to support this statement. I detail and wash cars for a living and have done so for decades. In my recent years of auto detailing jobs, I use a high quality express car wash to take care of some of my work which helps save time in the time consuming areas such as cleaning (dare I say, it takes care of over 98% of the cleaning in a fraction of the time!). I have detailed old cars and new cars. I’ve even detailed brand spanking new high end sports cars and part of my detailing process includes to run them through my preferred drive-thru car wash which yielded exceptional results with no scratches or swirls and saved me lots of time in the detailing process which allows me more time to focus on deeper auto detailing needs such as for waxing, clay barring, deep cleaning and protecting of wheels, vacuuming interior and interior detailing. On the other hand, I have personally been to a few other express car washes around town and seen how lower quality and cheap chemicals produced inferior and unwanted results. Having been in the car wash industry for several years now I have seen the good and the bad that can come out of professional car washes and have seen first hand how using the wrong chemistry or low quality chemicals can sometimes only wet the grime and lead to potential damage to your vehicle finish. Low quality is utterly useless if you ask me. Go to a well respected car wash with great reviews to help keep your car cleaned regularly and be sure to have your car detailed by a professional at least once or twice a year to help prolong the life of your clear coat and paint finish.
Did we miss something? Do you know of a better way to detail or wash your car? Bring your expertise to us and let us know by commenting below. And please share this if you found it useful or informative! #letyourrideshine #keepmovingforward and #haveapositiveday
CAR WASH PRO TIP: Superior Quality = Superior Results.