Can You Go Through a Car Wash with Paint Protection?

Can You Go Through a Car Wash with Paint Protection?

The paint on a car isn’t just there for aesthetic reasons—a well-sealed coat of paint protections your car’s steel body from damage. The paint stops water and debris from acting on the steel, leading to corrosion over time. When a panel begins to rust, the damage spreads across the metal. This compromises the structural integrity of the car. Paint also makes a car stand out. It helps accentuate certain aesthetic features of the design or allows drivers to pick out their car among a sea of similar models in the company parking lot. How important is it to protect the paint, and can a car go through a car wash with paint protection, or will that strip off the protective layer?

What is Paint Protection?

Paint protection is a protective layer on top of the paint. It’s therefore, a second protective coat for the bodywork. It’s an invisible coating that’s applied to protect the paintwork from stone chips, bird droppings, and tree sap, among other things. If you want to protect your car’s resale value, you need to make sure it looks good. Paint protection will do that. There are two types of paint protection you can get. The first is a plastic film. The most common is a liquid that’s polished into the metal.


Is it Worth Having?

Paint protection is an optional extra for most brands. Dealers will charge a few hundred dollars to apply it to your new or used car. The cost is minimal when you consider the benefits – the car is easier to clean, and minor scratches and dings won’t be visible. You won't need paint protection if you park your car in a garage and rarely use it. If it’s out all night and you cover thousands of miles each year, you’ll see the benefit. Anyone with the time to care for their car may also find paint protection unnecessary, but if regular polishing is not your idea of a good time, paint protection makes a lot of sense.

Dealer or Aftermarket?

You could be reading this and kicking yourself that you didn’t take paint protection when you bought your car. With so many good aftermarket products, you don’t need to worry. You can apply paint protection yourself, but they are made from powerful chemicals, so you need safety equipment. You can also apply that yourself if you’re buying a protective film. You’ll need a little patience and be willing to follow the instructions to do a great job. There are many videos online and loads of written guidance on how it’s done.


Car Wash

One of the significant advantages of paint protection and paint protective film is that you don’t need to wash your car very often. Can you go through a car wash with paint protection when you do? Not all car washes are the same. If your local garage’s car wash has brushes that roll over and along the car, that will probably unpeel the paint protective film. You can take your car through a wash that jets hot water and soap onto your vehicle without fear of losing the protective seal. What about paint protection applied to the vehicle through a liquid or wax? You can use all car washes with this form of paint protection, but you risk some of the protective seal being removed over time. With paint protective film, you might see an issue immediately.

Whether you wash your car in a car wash or at home on your driveway, avoid abrasive brushes and harsh chemicals, and you’ll preserve the protection. You can apply protection yourself, but a professional service will do a better job than most of us can. In general, you should avoid car washes and clean the car yourself. The good news is that paint protection normally means your car won’t need cleaning very often.

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