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  #1  
Old 06-22-2016, 10:39 AM
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Car wash question

I have a '14 JGC Black Altitude and I take it to car washes quite often. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin so we get a lot of snow here in the winter. I recently have noticed I have quite a few minor scratches on both sides of my Jeep. Are brush car washes not good for dark colored vehicles? Has anyone else noticed scratches on their car after using a car wash? Preferably someone who lives in the East or Midwest because of the snow and salt that they use on the roads in the winter time.

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Old 06-22-2016, 10:58 AM
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It totally depends on the car wash. I use nothing but car washes to clean my jeep at least once a month and more frequent in salt times of year and my paint has got no scratches. It you use a car wash use the premium ones it makes a big difference over those gas station, minimart washes with high speed brushes that sand your paint. My car wash is $25 bucks but it does a perfect job and no issues on paint(mine is black also)
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:12 AM
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Re: Car wash question

A black vehicle will show scratches a lot more than any other color, even the lights swirls caused by a car washes or anything else, that's why i hate black vehicles and will never buy one, plus they just look to vanilla to me in sunlight.

I asked this same question awhile back about the High altitude, although I will be getting a billet silver one my concern was about the black painted wheels going through a car wash. Everyone pretty much says don't do it. That will take a lot of getting used to and I am going to actually try to find a car wash that can shut off the side brushes by request hopefully.

Those touchless car washes I will have to give a try again but I didn't like the previous results. Will give them another chance when I get the HA.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:25 AM
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Re: Car wash question

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Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
A black vehicle will show scratches a lot more than any other color, even the lights swirls caused by a car washes or anything else, that's why i hate black vehicles and will never buy one, plus they just look to vanilla to me in sunlight.

I asked this same question awhile back about the High altitude, although I will be getting a billet silver one my concern was about the black painted wheels going through a car wash. Everyone pretty much says don't do it. That will take a lot of getting used to and I am going to actually try to find a car wash that can shut off the side brushes by request hopefully.

Those touchless car washes I will have to give a try again but I didn't like the previous results. Will give them another chance when I get the HA.
I have the metallic black paint so when clean mine looks much better than a deep black finish. I agree touch-less washes just don't get the job done well especially in the winter. In the summer I tend to hand wash my car but when it's 20 degrees for two straight months that's not an option.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:55 AM
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Re: Car wash question

Car washes with the brushes will leave scratches on your car. Just think about the super dirty 4X4 Jeep that just went through to get all the mud and debris off after their last outing. Some of that will stick to the brushes. If you care about your paint, try to go to a touchless wash. You might then still have to take some quick detailer to a few spots.
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Old 06-22-2016, 12:54 PM
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Re: Car wash question

Touch-less is the way to go. Keep a good coat of wax on your vehicle, so when you go to the car wash it will get it pretty clean. Nothing beats a bucket wash! My philosophy is the least you touch the paint the better, reducing swirl marks cuts down on maintaining the paint. I am a firm believer in the two bucket wash method, soap bucket and rinse bucket with grids in the bottom. A little extra time and effort, but the finish job looks great with leaf blower and light wipe down.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:57 PM
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Re: Car wash question

Some of the touchless washes, specially the ones with the underneath spray, are pretty good for winter washes where the goal is to keep ice melter from rotting the vehicle.

The coin op wand washes are useful when the underneath of your vehicle is totally coated with ice, the wheel wells barely have room for the tires, and the ice build up is so bad you can't lower the thing into park height. If the water is at all warm, it
can knock that stuff off well enough the touchless wash can get to the heavily waxed surface.

For the OP, I wouldn't use a brush wash whatsoever, but before you despair, try a good polish/wax to see if the scratches are just in the hopefully heavy coating of wax instead of the clearcoat.

A detailer could deal with clearcoat mild scratching but it will cost you, and they may yell at you for using a brush wash.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:43 PM
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Re: Car wash question

Any public car wash, and that includes ones where people use their hands and cloths, will 100% leave scratches and swirls on your duco. The mechanical ones with brushes, are the worst, although some hand ones are pretty horrific too. It there is nothing but soap, water and compressed air hitting your car, you are better off, although you won’t really have a clean car.
Nothing will beat your own attention, and a two bucket method with specific cleaning cloths/mitts for different parts of the car.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:52 PM
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Re: Car wash question

I have 2 black cars.

I only would use soft cloth car washes. The automated ones with brushes like at a gas station or car dealer, are the worst. But for salt, touch-less is pretty weak and really only rinses the car removing some of the salt. Then if you dry the car after the touch-less wash, you are smearing the remaining contaminant into the paint. At least the soft cloth is lubricating its "brushes" or mops with soap and water, reducing the abrasion of dirt on the paint. Contrary to "function12," in the winter you are not looking at people with mud on their cars (frozen tundra). They are all like you, removing the cake of salt. So the dirt on the brushes is salt and sand grit related, not a WI 4X4er's playing in mud. Ground is frozen, so no mud.

I personally wait for an above freezing day, move the car into direct sun, and wash with warm water bucket of soap. So yes, I have to open the hose valve inside the house. I even wash with snow on the ground but when the roads are relatively dry- I hate salt on (black) cars. I also have grit guards and use two buckets, one for the body and one for the wheels and tires. Hand washing is best, but best results for a car wash is soft cloth- my opinion.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:21 PM
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Thats how the one i use is, it slowly drags what looks like long strips of felt across the car no spining brushes. Its a bit expensive but doesnt scratch. Touchless dont clean well enough, spining brushes tear the paint up. Hand washing yourself is certainly the best but my days are over for that and this felt strip thing seems to be the next best and coupon and buying multi wash packs take cost from $25 to $17 and that includes a decent inside clean up. Paint on my last car was in great shape for 10 years of putting it though that type of wash when i got rid of it.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:21 PM
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Re: Car wash question

Another thing to take in to account is a lot of commercial car washes recycle their water. Some are required by local laws to do it. So, this can also cause paint issues too.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:22 PM
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Re: Car wash question

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvermax04 View Post
It totally depends on the car wash. I use nothing but car washes to clean my jeep at least once a month and more frequent in salt times of year and my paint has got no scratches. It you use a car wash use the premium ones it makes a big difference over those gas station, minimart washes with high speed brushes that sand your paint. My car wash is $25 bucks but it does a perfect job and no issues on paint(mine is black also)
If you're using any automated car wash that uses brushes your car has scratches. Now, how deep these scratches will vary. All you need to do is park in the sun and you'll see all the micro scratches.




To the OP, your best bet just use the touchless settings for now to blast all the mud and salt. When it gets warmer, hand wash so you can minimize the potential for scratches/swirls. Concerning the presented scratches, how deep are they? Just the clear coat? In the paint? Into metal? Maybe you can get it buffed out. Or just stop caring and let it be.
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