1. Choose a Modern Automatic Car Wash
If possible, choose a modern automatic car wash rather than an older one. This is because some older places may still use abrasive brushes to wash your vehicle, which might scratch a car’s finish. Most modern car washes use microfiber and foam brushes to help prevent possible scratches and be protected from picking up debris and dirt.
2. Remove Roof Rack
If you have a roof rack on your vehicle, remove it and any items on it before you go to a car wash. The roof rack may not meet the height restrictions required of the car wash tunnel. It can also help give you peace of mind knowing you don’t have to worry about the roof rack while your car is getting cleaned.
3. Secure your Vehicle
Before entering an automatic car wash, roll up and lock your vehicle’s windows. This is to help keep you and any passengers safe while going through the car wash. It’s also a good idea to tuck in your vehicle’s side mirrors to avoid them getting damaged. Though do remember to unfold them when you are finished with the car wash and ready to drive off.
4. Get on the Track
Once you have pulled up to the track system, you will be required to place your vehicle on the track. You will be notified when you are securely on it. If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, you will be required to put your vehicle in park or if your vehicle has a manual transmission, put your car in neutral. Keep your feet away from the pedals. To use the car wash safely and prevent damage to your vehicle, carefully read the instructional signs about the wash and listen to advise an attendant may give you.
5. Drive-Thru Drying
Depending on where you get your car washed, they have more than one way of drying off your vehicle. Most automatic car washes are equipped with strong jets that will blast heated air on your vehicle to dry it off, but some car washes have attendants wipe down your vehicle. This method is generally safe for vehicles, but sometimes the towels may contain a little dirt on them. Try to avoid going to the car wash on a busy day to avoid being given a towel that may have already been used.
6. Extra Services
There may be extra cleaning services available at the car wash that you go to such as undercarriage rustproofing, spray-on wax and clearcoat protector are a few extras that you can purchase. Depending on your vehicle and budget, you may choose to include these or skip them. If you have additional questions about the services, you can always ask the employees that manage the wash.
7. Check Your Car Before Leaving
After the wash, as a precaution pull your vehicle off to the side if you can and check the condition of your vehicle. Look to see if there are any scratches or marks that weren’t there before. If you notice something, talk to the manager. They may help find a solution.
7 Automatic Car Wash Tips
Driving to a car wash and having your car washed for you can help save time and water conservation. While full-service automatic car washes are a faster option, they can also be considered risky. Prepare yourself and your ride with these automatic car wash tips.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.