Those automatic car washes are destroying your paint.

By Desmond Morris

 Tunnel of Doom

Tunnel of Doom

Let me tell you something about your vehicle. It is the second most expensive thing in your life you will likely buy. That is why it gets me frustrated when I see these huge lines in front of the tunnel of horrors that is an automatic car wash. Think about it. These conveyors of doom spin at 100-500 rpm picking up grit, dirt, rock granules, and sand in their bristles. Then you pay them a fee to have them spin that on your EXPENSIVE car. The dirt on these brushes and rotating heads rakes your paint clear coat leaving you with swirls and scratches all over the surface. This is compounded by the sun, wind, and rain which digs into those microscopic abrasions increasing the likelihood of pealing, rusting, and full paint failure.

 

 Circular scratching in paint result of auto car washes.

Circular scratching in paint result of auto car washes.

I was there myself not too long ago. Winter was ending, there was quite a bit of rock salt, and dirt on my car and I wanted it to look fresh and clean for the spring and summertime. I went to an automatic car wash and was looking for the full package because I wanted my car "hooked up." I decided to get the 40 dollar full service package with the rain x, tire shine, undercarriage protectant, and interior clean. I surrendered my car to the 17 year old attendant who drove it to a booth and quickly vacuumed it out. I was concerned because there was a stash of quarters in my center console but presumed his 8 dollar an hour salary and high moral code would keep him on the up and up. After going inside past the "we are not responsible for damages to your car" sign I excitedly watched the car get hit with the brushes. I even grabbed one of the soap guns reserved for the kids and gingerly shot soap at it while making machine gun noises; cause every little bit helps right? Once out another minimum wage high school student  pulled my car out and wiped it down with a towel. This towel seemed like it was yellow in a previous life, but after such high volume use had become a dingy, stringy, mass of grey-yellow achromatic tinge. Either way i was overjoyed to take delivery back of my vehicle and drive it home using the popular drive-dry method.

The next day before heading to work I just wanted to take a look at the craftsmanship of this car wash. I pulled it out into the sun and was surprised to see water spotting, swirls, and a scratch that had definitely not been there before. 

Have you ever seen cars that have their clear coat fading and flaking away? Have you owned a car with this condition? This is a result of a lifetime torture we have put our vehicles through driving into these machines.

Well why should you care? Your busy and don't have the time to clean the car correctly, or the money to pay someone to clean it correctly. If you care about your number 2 lifetime investment; your car; then it is in your BEST interest to protect it and give it a long life. The first thing people car about when you are selling or trading your car in is how it looks. Its the first thing they see, its the first thing their brain processes and it can save you THOUSANDS of dollars.

The cost of a detail and the knowledge of how to care for your car exterior without taking much time, is EXPONENTIALLY less then the price of a new paint job, or the loss of trade value. Pride Auto detailing not only uses years of experience and excellence in detailing your car but we take that experience and show you how to care for your car exterior and interior quickly and easily.