Are Car Washes Bad for Your Car?

newly washed car

Are Car Washes Bad for Your Car? Find Out Why You Need Professional Car Detailing

Car washes are a gift to car owners who suck at cleaning their own vehicles and those that don’t have the time for it. While you are supposed to be the one to do this chore, the lure of going down the dark tunnel of a quickie car wash is just too hard to resist. After all, not only does it save you the trouble of DIY, but a car wash can apparently do a better job at a considerably low price.

Then again, car washes have their share of drawbacks that you should take note of to avoid being totally dependent on them. Knowing what they can and cannot do for your vehicle allows you to consider supplemental options, such as professional car detailing on the Sunshine Coast.  

Disadvantages of Car Washes

  1. They don’t clean well. Car washes rely on detergents and high-powered water jets, sometimes a system of rotating cloth, to rid a car’s surface of dust and grime. Considering that the entire process takes less than an hour to finish, let alone that it’s done entirely by a machine, it’s hard to imagine 100% cleanliness can be achieved. Even hand car washes won’t be able to guarantee the results you want. Chances are the stubborn stains as well as road salt build-up under the chassis will remain intact.  
  1. The machine might scratch your vehicle. You never know what happens outside your vehicle as it enters the tunnel. If something goes wrong with the car wash machine, there’s no stop button around that you can push to shut it down. Before you know what’s going on, a hard object may have already scarred the surface of your vehicle.
  1. Chemicals used may not suit your car’s paintwork. Car washes treat each vehicle the same way. They use the same cleaning agents and tools on all vehicles they service. The problem with this is that car paint varies from brand to brand, and each reacts differently to cleaning agents. If the detergent is too strong, it might damage or fade your vehicle’s paintwork each time you take your car for a regular wash-up.
  1. Results are short-term. Car wash isn’t a $500 million industry for nothing. Because it’s a service that only produces temporary results, more and more car owners have become dependent on it. Some are even so passionate about the cleanliness of their vehicle that they have it washed almost every day.  
  1. They can’t slow down aging. Not only does your car depreciate every time you hit the road, but it also loses its original appeal. The head-turner vehicle you are so proud of driving around your neighbourhood will eventually look old and rusty after getting beat from daily exposure. Unfortunately, this process is going to continue no matter how often you go to a car wash. While a car wash rids your car of excess dirt, it does not really perform any significant restoration whatsoever that your car needs to preserve, if not increase, its resale value.

Advantages of Professional Car Detailing

  1. Cleans Your Car Inside and Out – Unlike a car wash that only cleans up a car’s exterior surface, detailing covers the interior as well. It includes removing unwanted particles that may be hiding inside and outside of the vehicle. There’s hardly any large automated cleaning machine involved in the process. Everything is done by hand, painstakingly scrubbing every nook and cranny to purge out oil and dust entrenched deep into the piles of the fabric and leather surfaces. The same is done with the exterior. No tar, tree sap, or dried insects can escape the finicky eye of a skilled detailer.
  1. Restored and Protected Paintwork. Unfortunately, the paint on your car is very easy to scrape with a sharp object. This can happen when you go off-roading into the bush where your car becomes an easy target for flying rocks and debris. With professional detailing, all paint damage will be patched using high-quality auto paint. Then a special coating will be applied on the surface of your car to give it further protection. This special coating also gives the vehicle an extra gloss, making it stand out on the road or when parked side by side with other vehicles.  
  1. Improved Lighting – Professional car detailing normally involves cleaning and fixing the headlights and taillights. Your detailer will wipe away all debris and particulates that might be blocking and diminishing the light coming from these parts. You might be surprised just how bright your headlights will turn out to be after getting detailed.
  1. Renewed Wheels and Tyres – Overtime, oils, solvents, brake dust and other chemicals will build up along the edge of the sidewalls of your wheels. Grime and mud will get caught in the tread grooves, consequently reducing the friction on your tyres. Your detailer will meticulously look into this area and extract contaminants that are affecting the performance of your car’s tyres and wheels. They know that these contaminants can cause the wheels to corrode, increasing the risk of cracking and failure, which leads to road accidents.
  1. Increased Resale Value – You have no idea how much your car could change in both appearance and performance after being detailed. With every corner done up, you might even mistake it for a brand new vehicle waiting to be delivered to some showroom down in Brisbane. Imagine going back to the detailing shop after waiting for several hours outside and not recognising your own car, which happens to be right in front of you. That kind of scenario is commonplace in master detailing shops like Clean Getaway. Truly, detailing ramps up a car’s resale value a few notches, which is why it is highly recommended to have your car detailed first before putting it out on the market.

Are car washes bad for your car?

It’s not fair to disrepute car washes just because there’s a much better option out there. They also play an important role in a vehicle’s overall health and performance. Of course, a car wash can help prevent the build-up of dust and debris that can ultimately damage your car. It only makes sense to give your vehicle its well-needed bath in a car wash every now and then. After all, even a hardy machine like your car needs a regular pep-up. 

Contrariwise, knowing that car washes can only do so much for your car when it comes to keeping it clean and spruce, it shouldn’t be hard to decide to opt for professional detailing as well. In fact, considering that the results of detailing could last for months on end, you might even cut down on your weekly car wash as soon as you incorporate detailing into your car care. That, though, wouldn’t be advisable if you often take your vehicle out into the bush where it can be really beat up.

How often should you take your car out for detailing?

You have to remember that car detailing is a very thorough process. It’s almost like taking your vehicle back to the time when it’s just starting to accumulate dirt and grease as well as sustain minor dents and scratches. It took months for this change in your vehicle’s appearance and condition to complete and become so apparent that you had no choice but to have your vehicle detailed. And now, your car is back to how it was before. This means it would take several months before your next trip to the detailing shop.

Experts suggest having your car detailed 3 to 4 times a year, which seems strangely lop-sided. Did they mean you have to wait until your vehicle looks completely worn down before you take it to the detailing shop? That’s obviously not advice you would wish to take. If you really care for your vehicle, and you want to keep it looking as good as new for as long as possible, see to it that it gets detailed more frequently than that.

Choosing a Detailer

Not all detailers are the same. Some are worth their weight in gold, while others a little less impressive. You don’t want to take your vehicle to a detailing shop unless you are absolutely sure it’s in good hands. You will be spending a substantial amount for this service so you might as well find a detailer that can live up to your expectations.

First, find out if the detailer details the kind of vehicle you have. Some detailers only accept a particular car brand or type. Top detailers on the Sunshine Coast, such as Clean Getaway, are your best bet because they detail virtually all kinds of vehicle, including motorcycles. So if you have a Ducati or Harley-Davidson you want to spruce up, they can surely deliver.



When you book any of our Ceramic Paint Protection Packages in June, you will receive our Interior Protection and External Glass Coating Package worth $695 for FREE!