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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Koehn

What are you doing when going to an Automated car wash

Going through an automated brushed car wash can be detrimental to your vehicle for several reasons. While these car washes may seem convenient, they can potentially harm your vehicle's appearance and structural integrity.


1. Paint and Clear Coat Damage: The abrasive brushes used in these car washes can cause micro-scratches and swirl marks on your vehicle's paint. Over time, these small imperfections can lead to a dull and faded appearance, reducing the car's resale value and aesthetic appeal.


2. Scratches and Dents: The brushes are not always gentle, and if they come into contact with loose debris or dirt on your vehicle's surface, they can exacerbate existing scratches or even cause new ones. Additionally, the brushes may not adjust properly to the contours of your car, potentially leading to dents or dings.


3. Damaged Trim and Accessories: Automated brushes can be forceful, which can damage or dislodge external accessories, such as side mirrors, antennas, or roof racks. This can result in costly repairs or replacements.


4. Potential for Corrosion: Brushed car washes often recycle water, which can carry abrasive particles and contaminants from previous washes. These particles can scratch the vehicle's surface and, in some cases, even promote corrosion over time.


5. Inadequate Cleaning: The brushes may not effectively clean all parts of your vehicle, including hard-to-reach areas, wheel wells, and undercarriage. This can leave dirt and grime in hidden spots that, if left unchecked, can lead to rust and other long-term damage.


6. Strain on Mechanical Components: The conveyor system used in automated car washes can put additional stress on your vehicle's transmission, suspension, and brakes. Frequent use of these car washes may contribute to premature wear and tear on these critical components.


7. Chemicals and Detergents: Some car wash facilities use strong chemicals and detergents to remove dirt and grime. These chemicals can be harsh on your vehicle's finish and may strip away protective wax coatings, leaving the paint vulnerable to environmental elements.


To maintain the long-term health and appearance of your vehicle, it is often recommended to opt for touchless or hand-washing methods. These methods are gentler on your car's exterior and allow for more precise cleaning, reducing the risk of damage. If you choose to use an automated brushed car wash, it's essential to do so sparingly and inspect your vehicle for any damage afterward. Regularly applying wax and protective coatings can also help mitigate some of the potential harm caused by these car washes.


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