Do automatic car washes damage your paint?

By Stephen Corby, 12 May 2016 Car Advice

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Car driving through an automatic car wash

Tempted to enter an automatic car wash? Don’t do it! There are much safer, and far more thorough ways to make your pride-and-joy shine.

All you really have to ask yourself, before you drive your beloved and significantly costly new car in to an automatic car wash is; what would be the best possible way to treat your vehicle’s paint? 

Consider the more time-consuming method of washing your car carefully, by hand, with warm, clean water and carefully chosen washing agents. 

Now picture yourself actually doing that. 

Now, if someone were to offer you a big, spinning brush that hadn’t been washed for a while to use on your shiny car, what would you say? 

Or if you were asked to use recycled water – which may or may not have been delicately filtered to remove the dirt that came off the cars before you – would you be happy? 

Swirls, scratches, smears and a partially cleaned car, that’s what you’ll get from an automatic car wash. Don’t do it.  

If you don’t have the time or energy, take it to a detailer and get the cheapest hand wash you can find. It will still be better. 

Now read about how to choose the best new car colour.