The automatic car wash is a hassle-free and time-saving way to wash your car. However, convenience isn’t everything as automatic car washes can actually do more harm to your car than good, and we’re going to tell you why.

Recycled Water

Automatic car washes are known for being an environmentally friendly way to keep your car clean as they economize on the water by reusing it. But while purification systems may be installed to remove contaminants, they are not 100 percent efficient. Grit and dirt can still get through and end up scratching the surface of your vehicle as it is washed, leaving you with potential car scratch repairs.

Abrasive Cleaning Agents

To minimize operational costs and maximize profits, automatic car washed tend to use cheap cleaning agents with the main ingredient being acid, especially in touchless washes. You may have a sparkling clean car when the wash is completed, but the acid can gradually erode your car’s paint and protective wax.

As for those automatic car washes that use rotating brushes and wipes to rub the dirt off your car, over time you will start to see scratches and a dull finish. Your car may be clean but it will likely not look the way you intended.

Dirt Left Behind

Particularly in a touchless setting, an automatic car wash does not have the capability to wash the vehicle in its entirety. Difficult to reach areas are not given the attention needed through the automated system. That means dirt will continue to build up in those spots, making your car look terrible.

Poor Drying Technique

Often, the heated air that blows away those beads of water from the surface of your vehicle is not sufficient. Driving away in a car that is not completely dry can leave spots and unsightly streaks. If not immediately cleaned off the car using a spray cleaner can lead to extensive polishing later on by an auto detailing specialist.

Hand Drying Option

We know what you’re thinking. Many automatic car washes use a heated blower to dry off the water flowed by attendants who hand-wipe the car once it emerges from the wash. This is fine, as long as they use soft, clean towels, which does not happen in many cases. These towels are often abrasive and dirty from drying so many vehicles before yours, so they can leave scratches and marred paint. The only fix then is to have a car scratch repair.

Maintaining your car to achieve the finish and glow you want is a matter of personal pride and it adds resale value. Automatic car washes can make your car look great in the short term, but continually relying on them over the long-term is asking for a scratched, dull finish for your beautiful vehicle that can only be fixed by an auto body repair shop.