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How to Protect Your Car from Damage in an Automatic Car Wash

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Traditional Car Wash
Photo: Pixabay

Running your car through an automatic car wash is a convenient and less labor-intensive way of cleaning the exterior of your car. Although regular car washes are integral to the health and look of your vehicle, automatic car washes can put your car’s finish at risk. If you’re about to patronize an automatic car wash, implement the following tips from Family Handyman writer Mark Johanson, so your vehicle gets squeaky clean and stays safe from damage.

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Before you roll into the automatic car wash, assess the vehicle in front of you. If it’s a dirty mess with mud muddying up the exterior, Johanson advises giving up your spot and putting “car wash” on your to-list for another day.

“Car washes of all types ‘self-clean,’ but not that fast. It takes a few cycles of rinsing to rid the brushes or soft cloth of excessive grit that can damage your finish,” he writes.

While you’re eyeing the condition of the other patrons’ vehicles, make sure to take a good look at the establishment.

“If it’s clean and modern on the outside the chances are good that they take care of the washing parts, too,” according to Johanson.

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In addition to protecting your car, you’ll want to protect your wallet, too.

“Most the of ‘extras’ are probably not worth paying for. A spray-on ‘wax’ will give a nice sheen but will fade in a few days. Do select the undercarriage cleaning, but only a couple times a year,” he advises.