Risks of Using an Automatic Car Wash

Risks of Using an Automatic Car Wash

There is a lot to love about life in western North Carolina. We have the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River. Those mountains provide endless miles to beautiful forests and landscapes to explore. From DuPont to Bent Creek, to Kanuga, to Tsali, to all of the other trail systems and bike parks, we have the highest collection of world-class mountain biking on the East Coast. 

However, it is not just land activities that attract millions of visitors to our area. 


Any given day during the summer, you will see hundreds of people floating down the French Broad in tubes, canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards. If you want to try your hand at fly fishing, nearby Jackson County is the Trout Fishing Capital of North Carolina. For those looking for an exhilarating adventure, you can try whitewater rafting on the Nantahala or French Broad Rivers. 

There is no shortage of outdoor physical fitness options. Still, many residents and visitors enjoy simply taking a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or one of the many other routes through the mountains. After a day in the woods, on the water, or in the car, you can visit a world-class restaurant or catch a show. 

There are, however,  a few small disadvantages to living in the mountains. 

Many of our area roads are unpaved. If you live on or frequent a dirt road, it may feel like you can never get your vehicle clean. 

Being at a higher elevation, we do see snow and winter weather more often than they do in the flatter parts of the state. Often, it's not the snow and ice that makes your car dirty; it's the materials used to treat the roads. Even if it doesn't snow if the roads have been treated, your car will look like you drove through the Salt Flats in Utah. 

We're entirely too busy with work, school, and exploring our amazing area to wash our cars by hand every week. Before you stop at an automatic car wash, however, we want to make sure you are aware of the potential dangers. 

Six Ways Automatic Car Washes Can Damage Your Vehicle

Automatic car washes are often the quickest and easiest ways to keep your car clean. Here are six ways your car can be damaged in an automatic car wash:

1) Scratches and Chipped Paint

Whether it's at home or an automatic wash, scratching or chipping your paint is always a concern when you clean your car. With an automatic car wash, think about how much dirt and grime can be picked up in the brushes. It is so easy for those contaminants to be dragged against your car's paint, leaving behind scratches and chipped paint. 

Even brushless washes can cause damage if the pressure is turned up too high on the water. 

2) Damaged Mirrors 

When it comes to automatic car washes, your mirrors stick out like a sore thumb, ready to get dented and damaged

The farther out from your vehicle they are, the more likely they are to take a hit during the process.

3) Broken Windshield Wipers

Imagine rolling through an automatic wash, flipping on your wipers, and finding they no longer work. That is, unfortunately, an ever-present possibility when you use automatic car washes. 

4) Damage to Bike Racks 

Many Asheville residents keep their bike racks on their vehicles all year long, even if they do not have their rigs with them. 

If you forget to take your bike rack off your truck or hitch, it could be destroyed in an automatic car wash. Furthermore, it could cause damage to the back of your vehicle. 

5) Swirl Marks

You might not even notice swirl marks until you see your vehicle later, shining in the sunlight. However, automatic car washes can be unforgiving when it comes to your paint and clear coat, leaving behind ugly swirls. 

6) Scratched Wheels

For some drivers, clean wheels are just as important as clean paint. Unfortunately, many find that the process used in an automatic car wash can lead to nasty scratches on their wheels. 

The staff at First Aid Collision can assist you if you have damage to your automobile as a result of washing it or going through an automatic car wash. We've been repairing automobiles for Asheville residents and visitors for a long time. 

We know for a fact that the sooner you have repairs done, the better. 

Allow us to assist you in maintaining the paint and surface of your vehicle. Make an appointment with First Aid Collision in Asheville, or just bring your car to the shop.