Are Automatic Car Washes Bad For Your Vehicle?

These days, it’s all about saving time wherever you can and automatic car washes will always be a popular option for drivers who simply don’t have enough hours in the day to wash their vehicles themselves. But would you continue going to this kind of car wash if you knew you could actually damage your vehicle in the process?

According to the Greenock Telegraph, a motorist has claimed that his sports car was actually damaged by this kind of car wash, saying that his Mazda 6 was scratched after he visited a local petrol station to use the car wash last month (February).

Peter Beaton, 47, is claiming that there are now scratches on the door and roof, which will cost him around £300 to repair. He explained to the news source that he took his car to a body repair specialist and they told him immediately after seeing the scratches that they’d been caused by a car wash.

“They told me that you can tell that the scratches are from the bristles of the big brushes as they are all equal distance apart and are not just random scratches,” Mr Beaton said.

It is bad luck if an automatic car wash scratches your car or damages it in another way, but you can check before you use it to see if it’s likely to cause any problems. For example, check that the car wash doesn’t use abrasive brushes instead of cloth (which some older washes may well still do). Perhaps try and see if there’s a touchless car wash in your local area, which will eliminate this problem entirely.

You’d also be very wise to give your car a once over after you’ve left the car wash but before you drive off so that if there are any issues you can alert management immediately and ask them to take care of the situation.

Also take care when opting for an after-wash wipe down. Always check to see the condition of the cloths that the employees are using. If you notice that they’re old or rough, speak up and ask them to use a fresh new cloth so you know your car won’t be damaged. Or you can skip this step – remember that simply driving your car home will allow it to dry naturally after being washed.

If you’re worried, it might be a good idea to try and find time to clean it yourself so you know it won’t get damaged. Alternatively, avoid the automation altogether and find a car wash that does it all manually. The added benefit of this option is that you can get the interior of your vehicle cleaned at the same time, which won’t add too much to the price and it’ll feel like a new car straight away.

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