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13 comments on Ask-A-Pro: Should I Take My Car Through A Car Wash?

  1. Mo says:

    i avoid car washes at ALL costs. even if it means my car stays dirty for weeks at a time until i have an opportunity to clean it. Todd hit it all on the head with his response, so i dont have much to add.

  2. Fabian says:

    Hey Todd,

    Since I know you’re from Ohio, would you recommend Mike’s Carwash for a quick wash?



  3. Dave_PA says:

    The only reason and time that I use a car wash is in the winter and that is a touchless. The reason I go there is for the underwash (where you are basically driving over a ‘hose’) and it’s helping wash the salt off the car.

    Todd, could you recommend an alternative what would work better in removing under carriage salt from the winter?


    • David,

      Running it through a touchless during the winter like that is fine as long as it isn’t a regular thing. Just make sure you’ve got a durable sealant on the car to get you through. Don’t tell anybody, but I’ll run my car through the touchless a time or two during the winter to get all of the salt off of it after a bad storm…then I’ll follow that up with an ONR wash at home or the shop and a quick touch-up with a spray wax.

  4. F40Fan says:

    Is a “wand” wash okay during the winter months and to get rid of road grime until I can do a hand wash?

  5. Eugene says:

    Another great article. You are so right. for example, I had one vehicle swirled big time after using a car wash during winter. Never again. Washing by hand, or not at all, for me – even if the car stays a little dirty a little longer.

  6. Mao Dechert says:

    Many thanks for that details. It’s very appreciated! Best regards.

  7. Peter says:

    This is a good, but a bit scary article. I wonder what’s the best way to fix those years of car wash abuse? I’m looking into buying a CPO car but even those all seem to have been exposed to harsh brushes and have swirls all over.

    • Peter,

      Once the vehicles get swirled up like this, you need to either hire a professional detailer or learn about the tools, techniques, and products to do it yourself. Fortunately for you, there are hundreds of articles here in the Detailed Image Blog that can help you with the entire process.

  8. shannon says:

    Any advice on washing a brand new spanking truck during winter?? 3 months, and haven’t shined my new truck….. once.. Auto ca rwash is too easy but dont want to mess up …

  9. Mr. Barry Hodgetts says:

    Do not use automatic car washes I used one and the brushes caught hold of the wipers ripping them off . This caused damage to the bonnet of the car resulting in an an estimate for a re spray and replacement wiper of ¬£200 plus vat. Beware the company’s put up signs USE AT YOUR OWN RISK disowning responsibility for any damage

  10. Riverfront Details says:

    Todd,as a 28 yr Detailer I find that the definition of professional Detailer is used to scratch up lots of cars.I’m building two automatic washes right now,1soft cloth and 1 touchless. You can not clean a car without some friction,the latest NEW wash technology is not perfect but will give you 90% better wash than old.the salt must come off the car as soon as possible. The spiderwebs in the photo above are also results of people washing in a circle while applying to much pressure without proper lubricant SOAP. Thank you for your insight. Greg @ Riverfront Details.Boiler Up !

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