Automatic car wash’s purpose is to clean your vehicle for a cheap price, quick turn around and at any means necessary; well that’s my personal experience. There’s 2 main automatic car wash’s methods which are touchless and foam & brush. Both will cause damage to your vehicle which could cost you more than you had hoped. Try to avoid any automatic car washes located in Brisbane to save your paint’s condition.
The foam & brush procedure may look appealing with flashing lights, colourful foam, colourful brushes, etc. but it’s proven to be the worse method to clean your vehicle. While you’re enjoying yourself from the entertainment they provide, the exterior of your car is getting worn and scratched. Those brushes are abrasive, and you’ll notice it will cause more light scratching/swirling quicker than what your car should have from a general wash. There could have been a very dirty 4×4 coming back from off-roading where it’s covered in mud that went through the car wash tunnel before you did. All that dirt that was cleaned off that 4×4, could still be left in the brushes and now damaging your vehicle. The foam and soap used get the job done quicker due to incorrect diluted ratio. This means your vehicle’s paint is getting washed with unnecessary harsh chemicals. In certain automatic car washes, acid is used to clean your wheels which I can’t stress enough how harmful this can be to your wheels. If this acid is sprayed on the wrong surface or material, you could be paying for a new part as it can cause staining and etching that can’t be removed. The potential issues caused by this fun, entertaining way to get your car wash could affect your vehicle’s condition. You may not see the damage after one stop at the automatic car wash, but you notice the damage overtime.
The touchless washes are similar to the foam & brush procedure, but its slightly better when comparing them to an automatic tunnel car wash. They use unnecessary non diluted/harsh chemicals but saving your paint a little more by not using abrasive brushes. I’d only recommend this if an automatic car wash is the only real option for the next few weeks. All automatic car wash’s will hinder the condition and the life span of your vehicle’s paint, which evidently impacts the value of your car. Again, if you have any way of avoiding this, I highly recommend doing so.
The best way to clean & maintain your vehicle is to take it to a professional car detailer rather than going to an automatic car wash. Another overlooked benefit from taking the vehicle to a professional car detailer is that they’re a human, you can query them by asking them questions. If a car detailer isn’t available to you, I’d recommend taking some time out of your day and while using proper methods, clean the vehicle yourself. Although I’d advised to take your vehicle to a professional detailer at least once in the car’s life. After doing a little research online, it can become quite simple looking after your vehicle. Some great products can be found at any local automotive car enthusiast stores, so acquiring the good products is easy. Looking after the vehicle yourself will increase the value of your car overtime as it’s been looked after correctly. It can teach you some basic detailing skills that’s transferable to any car. I’d also consider getting a professional Ceramic Coating applied by a reputable detailer to make maintenance simple and quick, but that’s another topic itself.