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The Top Five Ways an Automatic Car Wash Can Damage Your Vehicle and Why You Should Hand Wash Instead

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t have time to wash your car by hand every week. That’s why so many of us rely on automatic car washes to do the job for us. However, what a lot of people don’t know is that automatic car washes can do more harm than good. In this blog post, we will discuss the top five ways an automatic car wash can damage your vehicle and why you should hand wash instead!

Number one on our list is that automatic car washes can scratch your paint. The brushes that are used in these types of washes are not always gentle and can leave behind scratches and swirl marks. This can happen in an automatic wash, including so-called soft-touch washes. The brushes are usually not cleaned often enough and even if they are clean, the pressure applied from the brushes can be too much, which results in microscopic scratches in the clear coat.

Number two, the chemicals that are used in automatic car washes can be harsh on your paint and clear coat. Most auto washes use extremely potent chemicals in their washes. This can leave your car looking clean, but these chemicals can strip away the protective layers on your vehicle, leaving it more susceptible to damage from the elements.

Number three, automatic car washes often use high-pressure hoses to blast away dirt and grime. This high pressure can force water into areas of your vehicle where it doesn’t belong, causing rust and other problems. There are electronics and other moisture-sensitive components that shouldn’t get wet on your vehicle. You run the risk of damaging these components when you use an automatic wash.

Number four, if you have a newer vehicle with LED headlights, you should avoid automatic car washes. The high-pressure water can damage the sealant around these types of headlights, causing them to leak and allowing moisture to get inside. Newer lights have a different type of sealant that isn’t as robust compared to the sealant of old.

Number five, automatic car washes can be hard on your tires. The chemicals and high-pressure water can cause the rubber to deteriorate, which can lead to premature tire wear. Considering the cost of tires today, you may want to avoid this if you value your money.

So there you have it! These are just a few of the ways that automatic car washes can damage your vehicle. If you want to protect your investment, we recommend hand washing your vehicle instead. Thanks for reading! Desmond, also known as the Iowa drywall guy, ( recommends using old toothbrushes for fine detail work.

Do you have any tips for hand washing a car? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more car care tips and advice.

Happy washing! 🙂