Columbia, MD Auto Repair & Car Wash


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Can Automatic Car Wash Hurt Your Car’s Finish?

February 24, 2023

Car going through an automated car wash machine

We get it — your vehicle represents a significant investment. It only makes sense for you to protect it with regularly-scheduled and preventative maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, etc. These services can help protect parts and extend the life of your vehicle. Even so, under-the-hood preventative maintenance isn’t all you should consider.

Don’t forget about your paint! Not washing your vehicle regularly in can cause your paint to fade and even rust. It can also help expedite paint chips and scratches. The best way to protect your paint is to wash your vehicle regularly, and the automatic car wash offers a fast and easy way to do just that.

However, one common myth is that the automatic car wash can actually hurt your vehicle’s finish. While this is always a possibility, it’s less likely than most people think. Let’s take a closer look at whether an automatic car wash can hurt your vehicle’s finish. 

Can Automatic Car Wash Hurt Your Car’s Finish?

While most automatic car wash facilities are well-maintained and safe, older and poorly kept automatic car washes may cause damage. For example, the abrasiveness of a traditional-style automatic car wash with large rotating bristle brushes may lead to paint damage. However, newer, more modern car washes use state-of-the-technology that eliminates the likelihood of damaging your car’s finish.

At Columbia Auto Care and Car Wash in Columbia MD, we use best-in-class soft spinning cloth bristles and gentle friction to carefully remove debris and dirt from the surface of your vehicle. Our car wash offers the best of both worlds by being safer than abrasive brushes and more effective than touchless car washes.

Why Should I Wash My Car?

The main reason for washing your vehicle is to remove debris, dirt, and other contaminants. If you leave these pollutants untreated, they can cause metal corrosion, rust, and paint damage. As such, it’s imperative to remove these pollutants and contaminants from the surface of your vehicle as soon as possible.

If dirt and debris are left on your vehicle, especially dried mud and road tar, it can trap moisture to expedite the corrosion. More so, the salt and corrosive compounds used on roads in Columbia MD can further cause and exasperate the rust. And if you allow bug splatter, bird droppings, and acid rain to linger, it will eat through the paint. Instead, the better solution is to take your vehicle through an automatic car wash. Using an automatic car wash at Columbia Auto Care and Car Wash inis one of the fastest and most effective ways to protect your vehicle.

Is It Safe to Wash My Vehicle Every Day?

It’s best to keep your vehicle clean at all times. And for most drivers in Columbia MD, this means washing your vehicle at least once every week or more. Regularly washing your vehicle can help preserve your paint and maximize resale value.

Don’t Forget About Underneath Your Vehicle

In addition to the paint and tires, you should pay special attention to the undercarriage of your vehicle. The undercarriage is the area most susceptible to corrosion and rust because it’s closest to the surface of the road. Because the undercarriage is comprised of metal parts, it can easily become damaged and sustain rust. The best way to protect your undercarriage is to use an automatic car wash to remove debris from the underbody. You can add an extra level of protection by using a rust inhibitor or underbody protection.

Contact Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash — The Best Automatic Car Wash in Columbia MD

At Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash, we make it easy and affordable to keep your vehicle’s exterior and interior clean. For one a low monthly fee, you can join the club to enjoy Unlimited Car Washes for just $35.00 bucks a month. Unlike other automatic car washes in Columbia MD, we finish every vehicle off with a towel hand dry.

Contact Columbia Auto Car & Car Wash today!

Complete our online contact form, stop by to see us at 10611 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia MD, or give us a call at (443)656-9274.


This article is intended only as a general guidance document and relying on its material is at your sole risk. By using this general guidance document, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash and its affiliates from and against any and all claims, damages, costs and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising from or related to your use of this guidance document. To the extent fully permissible under applicable law, Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the information, content, or materials included in this document. This reservation of rights is intended to be only as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the laws of your State of residence.

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