Columbia, MD Auto Repair & Car Wash


Mon – Sat: 8 AM – 7 PM
Sun: 8 AM – 5 PM

Mon – Fri: 8 AM – 6 PM
Sat – Sun: Closed



Should I Wash My Car Before or After Auto Body Repairs?

July 18, 2023

Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash | Car wash Before and After Auto Body Repairs at Columbia, MD.

Paint jobs are not cheap! According to J.D. Power, a paint job can cost up to $10,000. If you’re having your vehicle painted or auto body work done in Columbia MD, it’s important to know the steps to take before and after the work is done. It can help amplify the impact of the auto body work, potentially reduce the time it takes, and protect your investment. 

Make sure to talk with your auto body repair shop for specifics and best practices on what you should do before and after the work is done. In the meantime, let’s explore a few best practices. 

Wash Your Vehicle Before You Have It Painted

Most people in Columbia MD do not wash their vehicle before they have it painted or auto body work performed. However, it’s always a good practice to do so. Visiting a car wash before your vehicle is painted can help ensure your paint process is performed more smoothly and unimpeded. In addition to the general car wash, here are a few bonus tips and best practices you can use to ensure the best paint job. 

  1. Open your hood, trunk, and doors and effectively clean all the debris and gunk that may reside in the gaps.
  2. Make sure to have your undercarriage washed to help ensure nooks and crannies are free of debris. 
  3. Clean around delicate areas, such as the spoiler, antenna, fins, mirrors, and other features.

Even though the auto body repair shop will clean your vehicle before painting, you can expedite the process by taking it through a car wash. The cleaner your vehicle, the less work your detailing professional will have to do, which can help expedite the process. 

Should I Have a Car Wash After Having Bodywork?

While it’s suggested to have a car wash after you have an auto repair, speak to your auto body repair shop for suggestions on how long you should wait before visiting a car wash. If you was your vehicle too early, it can jeopardize the health of the auto body repair and negatively impact the performance of your paint. 

How Long Should I Wait?

Opinions vary for the recommended waiting period after auto body repair. Most body shops suggest waiting for 30, 60, or 90 days before visiting a car wash. This is because your newly repaired car paint is still soft and requires sufficient time to cure properly. During this period, the solvents in the paint need time to evaporate.

It’s typically safe to rinse off debris with plain water. If you do, make sure to only apply gentle pressure. Some body shops may allow or suggest the use of car wash solutions. However, you should be very cautious about using wax on a newly painted vehicle. 

Applying wax to the car’s paint before it has properly cured can trap solvents, resulting in a dull appearance. More so, certain types of paints and coatings can be damaged by the chemicals in car wash detergents. Although it might seem like the recommended waiting time is excessive, it’s important to stick to the body shop’s suggestions. Doing so can protect the investment you’ve made in your car and ensure it maintains its best appearance.

Contact Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash Today

At Columbia Auto Care & Car Wash, we are proud to offer the best car wash in the Columbia MD area. We offer a state-of-the-art car wash system, world-class customer service, friendly attendants, high-powered vacuums, and more. Unlike any other car wash in Columbia MD, we will meticulously hand-dry your vehicle to perfection after every car wash.

As the premier full-service car wash in Columbia MD, we make it easy to keep your vehicle looking its absolute best with our monthly wash membership. For a single monthly fee, you’ll enjoy unlimited car washes, Armor All Extreme Shine Wax, wheel and tire shine, and more. In addition, car wash members save 20 cents off gas per gallon. And when it’s all done, you can use our high-powered self-service vacuums to keep your interior as clean as the exterior. 

Contact Columbia Auto Care and Car Wash today by calling (443)656-9274 or stop by to see us at 10611 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia MD.


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.

Skip to content