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Most Underrated Paint Protection Resource


You may have just spent 2 days out of your week polishing your car.  You may have spent several hundred dollars or more on a paint correction service.  The car looks great!  Now your focus shifts towards keeping it this way.  You just purchased some top of the line microfibers. Shampoos, Grit Guards, and your favorite drying aids are on your shopping list.  All of those things are important, but there is something more…

The “Do Not Wash” Rear View Mirror Hang Tag is rarely discussed.  But the consequences of not using one is a common problem I see and once upon a time experienced myself.  You may have experienced or seen the rants on social media.  A clean, polished, and protected car that looks better than 90% of the cars at the dealership is sent off to be assaulted by brushes out of (gasp) courtesy.

I remember soon after the first time I had detailed my car.  I had to get a part inspected that week.  This guy proudly exclaimed, “I took the liberty of washing it for you.”  My clean car, are you freaking kidding me!  Being now the second time this happened to me, I would not allow a third incident.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and be that guy!

On the phone scheduling an appointment date, I requested the work order for them to not wash the car.  Her response, after a awkward pause “so wash the car.”  I respond “No!  Do not wash the car.”  It took a few seconds for her to process and acknowledge what I was asking.

A verbal request alone was not going to give me that peace of mind.  Arriving with multiple colorful signs strategically placed in conspicuous areas. “Rodney I got it to make sure we wash..” After gathering myself emotionally I said again “no, do not wash the car.”

The point I am making is you (the reader of this article) will most likely represent a small number of people who REALLY care about swirls and scratches. Yes, it pains me to say that!  The people that ran my car through the scratch-omatic thought they were providing a great service.  I did not at the time realize this was something that happens regularly.  Even many of my clients, who wondered where the swirls came from, did not even realize that a dealership wash is NOT a hand wash.  I would also be just as weary of complimentary hand washes.  I have polished enough allegedly brand new looking vehicles to say they are most likely not going to make it enough of a priority to discern between the car guy and the average Joe.

You have to be proactive. In addition to a verbal request, I always have the Detailed Image Mirror Hang Tag and a sheet in colorful font left, in plain sight, expressing my desire to leave the cosmetic care to the enthusiasts.

Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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6 comments on Most Underrated Paint Protection Resource

  1. Steve K. says:

    Thanks, Rodney. My dealer knows that my coated truck is not to be washed. I have them hand write it on the service order and hang the sign up.

  2. McLain says:

    I’ve never seen a dealer have a machine car wash, they always do a “hand” wash, and I don’t know what’d worse. I’ve seen these “detailers” drop the towels or wash mitts onto the ground and them put them right back on the car.
    And the repair technicians aren’t any better. I get knots in my stomach if I need to bring my car in for a recall.

  3. Christine Brown says:

    I also had this happen at my dealership for an oil change. I told them please Do not wash the car! and stressed it’s Black and I do not want any swirl marks! I had spent hours the previous night detailing my car and it was obvious my car was already clean! When I got my car back it was half dried and water spots all over! II flipped!! I reached for my detailing spray and immediately started to attack the water spots and I did this right in front of the dealership! I went to the manager and said what the Heck! The manager was a bit embarrassed because I was detailing my car trying to clean up their crappy wash! Then I saw that Detailed Image offered the Do not wash hang tag I ordered three! I hang one on the rear view mirror I also bring one in for them to attach to my work order and hang one off the passenger seat and also point out to the service adviser the tag hanging from my mirror and seat. I tell them I mean business! Do not wash my car! This tag is awesome!! The dealer hasn’t washed my car since I have had the tag. Thanks Detailed image!

  4. Chris McG. says:

    I spent 10 hours detailing my Subaru STi. I had taken the car in for service, they needed it overnight for the amount of work. I did mention “Do not wash the car” and they wrote it down at the dealer. Next day, come pick it up to find the paint wrecked. I got ANGRY. I said to the service manager “Did you guys wash my car????????” He said “yeah, we did.” and I got pretty angry that they even admitted this to me after I had them say they wouldn’t. He replies back “Don’t you wash your car??” I said “Yes, I DO..not anybody else”. I bought this and since then I never had any issues if I had to take my car in somewhere that they may potentially wash my car. I know the pain my man. It’s terrible. These min wage porter people grab your keys, run it through the worst wash possible, and dry it with a terry cloth. Not good. With Subaru paint, the paint is so soft, you can scratch it with your finger nail. Imagine what a terry cloth could do to the paint?

  5. Will says:

    Probably the best bang-for-the-buck detailing product available!

  6. Jason Atwood says:

    You know what’s the worst thing of a dealer? They don’t give a damn about your car!!! I have seen couple of times they will just leave the towel on the ground and then put it back on the car. Couple of time my car got scratches from the dust pull up!! Nightmare!!

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