WI have done everything. You’ve had a busy weekend, but an Ibis has ruined your paintwork with yesterday’s breakfast, the bottom line is you have to clean up the bird mess. Sometimes an automatic car wash is the only answer and, hey, once in a while it can’t hurt too bad, right?
Conventional logic says that frequent auto washes wouldn’t be too bad, but according to Damon Lawrence, owner of an automotive detailing business. Auto focusAutomatic washes are a major cause of paintwork deterioration.
What’s wrong with an automatic car wash?
“Automatic car washes, as convenient as they are, are ruining your paintwork because the brushes used are not properly maintained,” says Damon.
“These machines are basically like slapping your car with a dirty mop, creating hundreds of deep micro-scratches called ‘swirl marks’. Over time, this damage builds up and results in Your paint dulls and scratches show up easily.
“Swirl marks are repaired through a process called paint correction. This process smooths out any visible swirl marks on the surface by cutting off the tops of your paintwork. can only be done so many times because of a certain thickness, depending on your manufacturer. The cost of the process varies but averages over $1000.”
And if you think you’re smart enough to solve the problem by using a touch-free automatic car wash, chances are you’re still doing a disservice.
“Unfortunately as perfect as the idea sounds, not only do touch-free washes use aggressive acids to break down dirt – which can eat away at paint – a high-pressure hose won’t get it 100 percent clean. “
How do I clean my car quickly, easily and cheaply?
What is the alternative for time poor owners? Well, as the old saying goes: cheap, fast, or good. Choose two.
The best protection comes in the form of a high quality wax or even better, a semi-permanent ‘ceramic coating’.
Applying a ceramic coating is the best way to keep your car clean in the first place. The hydrophobic coating prevents dirt and grime from sticking to the car’s paintwork. Ceramic coatings also give you a ‘free wash’ when it rains.
Ceramic coatings can be applied at home, but it’s best to fix your paint first for best results. Again, DIY is possible although it takes at least a week to do it right, so finding a professional will fit most people’s schedules.
If you want to take the best care of your car’s paint, “it’s always best to do it yourself and use the two-bucket wash method, making sure to use a clean microfiber material when touching the car.”