Why Automatic Car Wash Is Not Safe for Your Car
January 16, 2014
Have you ever been to a drive-through automatic car wash? If the answer is yes, then you might be wondering why you get your car back clean but chock-a-block with streaks, swirl marks, or even scratches after the wash process.
Even your detailer is well aware of the dangers of putting your car onto the conveyor belt system, where a machine wash it, scrub it, and rinse it. You probably saw the numerous signs warning customers that the facility is not responsible for any damage to the vehicle. Your detailer knows that while the cleaning machines should work on your vehicle with care, there might still be glitches in the system. Some brushes can literally scrub off your clear coat right through to the metal surface, while harsh cleaning chemicals can dull your paint job. In a worst case scenario, your windshield might crack or your side view mirror might snap clean off.
Automatic Car Wash – Safe to a Certain Extent
Despite these possible worst-case situations, the automatic car wash system is still relatively safe to use. It will not survive, if not for the fact that customers return over and over to clean their cars this way.
However, there are also times when the system will not work as efficiently as they promise. For instance, most conveyor belt car wash systems use hundreds of gallons of water every day to clean cars. What happens to all the dirty rinse water? The facility has the option of hauling it off to a recycling center, or it can install its own filtration and recycling equipment on site. Once the water is stripped of harmful chemicals, it becomes available for use during the next wash cycle.
Unfortunately, water filtration systems cannot get rid of all the chemicals in the waste water. The concentration of chemicals can increase to the extent that the water is no longer safe for further usage. But for the sake of cost-effectiveness and efficiency, they put such water back into the system. When the machine rinse your car with unclean, impure water, the paint job can turn dull as it reacts to the chemicals already present in the water. That’s why we recommend you to apply paint sealant more often if you’re a big fan of the conventional drive-through car wash.
So, the automatic car wash does not really clean your car all that much.
Pressure-Perfect Is the Automatic Wash
As you already know, you should apply pressure when you really need to take out stubborn, deep-seated dirt. But for those instances when you need a delicate touch, such as the polishing phase, too much pressure is a bad thing.
You can say the same when the machine put your car through the final round of rinsing. The machines will indiscriminately blast away at your car to get rid of the soap suds. But while the machine can calibrate the pressure to a certain extent, it does not come close to what you can do with a chamois cloth and light pressure.
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