Everything About Automatic Car Wash- Pros & Cons – Wheelsonspin
Car care Cleaning & Detailing

Everything About Automatic Car Wash- Pros & Cons

automatic car wash tips

If you feel proud of the car you drive, then obviously you keep it clean. That probably means that you choose an automatic car wash, mainly if you value your time. Ever since its discovery, the automatic wash has saved driver’s money and time. And given the complexity of the current day’s drive-through washes, your car can be cleaned and dressed within a short time. Here are a few important automatic car wash tips that will help you to have a sparkling clean car.

When was the Automatic Car Wash Originated?

You might be surprised to know that the first “automatic” car wash was developed in the early 20th century. The “Automated Laundry” was a business that was initially started by few guys in Detroit in 1914. While it was not automated, however, it featured an assembly line of employees lined up inside a tunnel, each with a distinct responsibility- wash, soap, rinse, and so on- as a car was pushed manually.

By the time the fifties rolled around, automated procedures were popping in the car washes. In the year 1951, the initial fully automated “hands-free” was discovered. Since that time, car washes have seen several advances and have become elaborate.

Different Types of Automatic Car Washes

There are two types of automated car washes: Conveyor and roll-over washes. Conveyor wash is a style which is known by most of the drivers. It is a long tunnel where your car moves along on a conveyor past a sequence of synchronized machines. On the other hand, in the roll-over style, you drive into a bay and remain stationary while the washing equipment moves past your car. You will find these washes at gas stations and are generally self-serve.

In an automatic wash, there are two different methods of cleaning a car. When you think about a car wash, you might see spinning soapy hula skirts and hanging tentacles brushing past you. That method of cleaning depends on soft materials to clean away dirt from your car. This soft-cloth car wash is effective and popular.  Old-school “brushes” found in the car washes in the past have been swapped by soft materials, making the procedure less aggressive and abrasive than it was earlier.

 The other method used in some car washes is the “touchless” wash that uses high-pressure water jets and detergents to take off the dirt. This method avoids physical contact with the car but may leave some areas unclean as it does not wash off any surfaces. And the chemicals can have a harsh effect.

Whether you drive through or drive-in, and whether the car wash makes use of high-pressure jets and soft-cloth friction, the whole process is the same. For the sake of discussion, let us have a look through the shaft of a soft-cloth automatic car wash. Not all the systems are similar, but you will get to know about the main idea.

Automatic car wash seems to be a convenient, fanatic, and the best alternative to a traditional hand car wash. However, various studies have shown that using an automatic car wash can do more damage than good. Abrasive materials can damage the paint and the clear coat, whereas brushes generally make so-called spider web marks on the exterior, lessen the shine, and blemish the car’s exterior.

Brushless car wash systems guarantee to lessen the possibility of damage, provide eco-friendly washing solutions, and offer a better product at the end. However, with time they have demonstrated some important disadvantages and drawbacks compared to classic hand wash and, in some situations, brushless car washes can do more damage than the basic automatic car wash solution.

Here, we will talk compare the pros and cons of the automatic wash system with brushless automatic wash. Moreover, you will learn about the things that you should do before doing an automatic car wash and lessen the possibility of any kind of damage.

Pros of Automatic Car Wash

  • Uses less water when compared to hand wash.
  • Does not need any physical effort.
  • Quite affordable compared to hand wash.
  • Does not need any physical effort.
  • Relatively comprehensive undercarriage cleaning

Cons of Automatic Car Wash

  • High risk of paint damage
  • Possible utilization of recycled water
  • Filthy and unmaintained brushes
  • Not as detailed as hand wash car cleaning
  • Scratches
  • Stains of water

Pros of Brushless Automatic Car Wash

  • Eco-friendly
  • Fast
  • It does not require labor.
  • Probably better when compared to the basic automatic wash solution.
  • Undercarriage cleaning

Cons of Brushless Automatic Car Wash

  • This car wash is not effective in removing thicker and larger debris when compared to an automatic car wash and hand wash.
  • Uses powerful chemicals that will probably shorten the lifespan of any sealants, waxes, and ceramic coatings on the car.
  • Potentially dangerous for the clear coat, if used frequently.
  • Possibly costlier when compared to the basic car wash.

It is common to find dirt remains on the vehicle after you clean it with a brushless car wash.

Ways to lessen the chance of any damage in the automatic car wash.

Both automatic wash methods- standard automated and brushless car wash- have both pros and cons, but the biggest problem is the chances of damaging the car. The automatic wash with physical contact and brushes between the brushes and the vehicle increases the chances of damage.

The most radical cases may generate visible physical damage like broken antennas and damaged bumpers and spoilers. Though, this damage does not happen often.  On the contrary, scratches on the paint job do happen frequently. The debris left on the brushes and the soft clothes after several car wash processes are probably to create so-called spider-web scratches on the clear coating. This issue is common in black cars.

Additionally, car wash attendees may cause damage to your car by removing water using a cloth or dirty rags. This is mainly like during the busy hours when car wash employees do not have enough time or the interest to change the cleaning cloth as often as required. In such a case, it is better to drive away in a wet car than to allow the attendees to dry it with a clean cloth.

Some other damage prevention measures that you can take include:

  1. Spray cleaner treatment after washing.
  2. Select an automatic car wash that has the hardware to clean the undercarriage- this should keep the drainage holes open and avoids accumulation of any type of dirt, salt, and harmful chemicals- a must for keeping the below part of the car in a good condition.
  3. Put retractable antennas down and fold the side mirrors.
  4. Remove all the cargo from the roof rack.
  5. Visually check brushes installed in the automatic wash- if they have dirt, it is better to find another automatic wash.
  6. Close the windows, roof openings, and raise the roof if you have a convertible car.
  7. Under any circumstance, do not visit and use an automatic wash if you find any water leaking problem in your car.

With repeated use, the first target of the automatic car wash is a clear coat. Contaminated cloth, brushes, and other hardware that encounters with the car cause scratches that make a so-called spider web effect.

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