Is automatic car washes as perfect as we think it is?
OK, they are very convenient and their popularity is growing. This is because they save a lot of time and hassle. They also have a lot of advantages when compared to manual car washes and even people who wash their cars themselves. These advantages lie in the completely automatic system which uses the perfect amounts of… well, everything. This leaves no room for human errors such as insufficient amount of water, bad kinds of soaps or just common lack-of-experience mistakes such as washing your can in direct sunlight. Basically, automatic car washes should be the thing that cleans your car completely and does that in the fastest way possible. Perfect, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Not all automatic car washes are the same. There are some things related to automatic cars washes which can make them pretty bad for your car and the worst thing is that you may not even notice the problems immediately. So, what should you look for when choosing an automatic car wash?
Automatic car washes use brushes instead of cloth, which are often abrasive. This means that they can scratch the finish slightly. This system was OK in the past since old cars usually had no clear coat to cover the paint. This meant that light scratches were not a problem and even if they became visible, buffing them out would solve the issue. Well, modern cars have that clear coating and that thing does not like brushes.
And spray-on waxing is not that. Looking at it you will love the shiny panels, but it just looks good. It’s actually far less effective than hand-applied waxing against UV rays which is one of the main reasons for waxing your car. Spray-on looks great and it is usually cheaper than hand-applied waxing, but the latter is definitely worth the extra buck.
You want this. All car washes will clean your wheels up to a point, but you do want them cleaned thoroughly. It’s not just the looks. Dust that is created when brakes do their job usually sits on your alloy wheels. If it is there for a long time, it will leave stains on your wheels which will become permanent. When you’ve tried an automatic car wash make sure that you see how clean your rims are. If they are not as clean as the rest of your car, washing your car at the same place is not a good idea. Not cleaning the dust completely will leave it there for a longer time and inevitably stain your alloy wheels.
This is an automated system, but this doesn’t mean that it is completely rid of errors. If you see that there is something wrong with the car after a wash, make sure you speak your concern with the management. Even though most of them have disclaimers that clear them of any responsibility, they often do offer to fix problems since it is very good for feedback and reputation. However, if the error persists, you should really find a new car wash.