Protecting Your Paint Job: Why You Should Never Use an Automatic Car Wash

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have the time (or inclination) to wash your car by hand. As a result, you might be tempted to take your vehicle through an automatic car wash when it starts to look dirty. However, there are a few things you should know about automatic car washes before you use one. Namely, they can damage your paint job. Here’s a closer look at how tunnel washes can damage your paint and what you can do to protect your vehicle’s finish.

How Tunnel Washes Damage Your Paint

Tunnel washes use long brushes to clean the exterior of your car. However, these brushes are often made of stiff nylon or polypropylene bristles that can easily scratch your paint. In addition, the brushes in automatic car washes are usually set at a fixed height, which means they can miss dirt and grime that’s accumulated in hard-to-reach places. As a result, your car might not be getting as clean as you think it is.
What’s more, the high-pressure water used in automatic car washes can also damage your paint job. In particular, it can remove wax and polish from your car’s surface, leaving it susceptible to scratches and swirl marks.


How to Properly Wash the Exterior of Your Car


To avoid damaging your paint job, it’s best to wash your car by hand using a soft microfiber towel or wash mitt. If you don’t have the time (or patience) to wash your car yourself, you can always take it to a professional detailer who will hand wash it for you.


Maintaining the Integrity of Your Automobile’s Clear Coat


In addition to washing your car regularly, you’ll also need to maintain its clear coat—the protective layer that’s applied to the paint job during manufacturing. The clear coat protects your paint job from UV rays, oxidation, and other environmental factors that can cause it to fade or become dull over time.
To maintain the integrity of your automobile’s clear coat, we recommend applying a high-quality wax or sealant at least once a year. This will help protect your paint job from the elements and keep it looking shiny and new for years to come. If you do happen to have damaged your clear coat from using the tunnel wash, you can restore the condition of your exterior with a paint correction.
While automatic car washes might be convenient, they’re not doing your paint job any favors. To avoid damaging your vehicle’s finish, we recommend washing it by hand or taking it to a professional detailer for a thorough cleaning. In addition, don’t forget to maintain your automobile’s clear coat by applying a high-quality wax or sealant at least once per year!