Car Care Information
At Autowash Express we pride ourselves on our outstanding
customer service along with our top quality car care services.
Using only the latest technology in compounds and equipment
we know that you will be satisfied with the quality of care
that your vehicle receives while visiting our car wash and
detail centers. In this section you will find some misconceptions
about washing your vehicle along with auto care technical
information, common sense tips, seasonal cautions, and professional
recommendations. Just more proof that you need to visit an
Autowash Detailing Center today!
Do you wash your car at home? If so, then read the following Research Study from The University of Texas at Arlington.
• Six Misconceptions about Washing your Vehicle
• Four Seasons Attack on your Vehicle's Finish
Six Misconceptions about Washing your Vehicle
- "My car has a Clear-Coat finish;
it doesn't need to be waxed." Though a clear-coat
finish is an excellent protectant for your vehicle's paint,
it is still subject to the damaging elements that can affect
your paint (rain, acid rain, dirt, rock chips, bird droppings,
- "I always keep my car in the garage, so I rarely have to wash or wax it." Keeping your car in the garage will require you to wash it less frequently (for cosmetic reasons), however, it is still subject to the same elements when you drive and park it. In fact, in some cases it can actually do more harm to your car's finish. If it appears cleaner, you wash it less frequently, and may not give the proper attention to the finish and things like water spots, bird droppings, etc. may be left on the surface for a longer period of time, causing additional and more permanent damage.
- "When it rains my car gets a real
good washing, then all I have to do is dry it off."
When rain evaporates or is wiped off, it leaves behind a
multitude of harmful compounds such as: salt, sand, bug
residue, and air pollutants that will eat away a car's finish
immediately and are not removed by rain. In fact, NEVER
wipe a car down with a towel after it has been rain-soaked.
All you will do is "grind" the compounds into the finish,
scratching it or permanently damaging the paint.
- "I get FREE car washes when I
fill my car up with gas." You may not pay for the
wash, but your car's finish will. In lieu of an expensive
and safe soft cloth wash system, most gas station washes
use "automatics" with harsh bristle brushes and poorly mixed
and applied chemicals that are advertised as safe for your
car and the environment. Some establishments claim they
offer a "touchless" wash, where nothing but water, chemicals,
and air touch your car. Think about it. If only chemicals
and "high-pressure water" are used - the chemicals are usually
too strong and are harmful themselves or the pressures necessary
to remove dirt is "too high" and puts your car's trim, exterior
accessories and finish at risk of damage - it happens!
- "Car Washes waste water. They
are major users of water and must be limited or controlled."
Home washing uses between 120 and 175 gallons of water for
each wash. We are certified by the City of Raleigh to operate
under stage 2 water restrictions. We capture 90% of the
water we use and use less than 11 gallons of fresh water
per car. We also do not put dirty water on the car during
the wash process. The TOTAL amount of water that a full
service car wash uses, virtually does not even register
against most other types of businesses. That's right! In
a recent comparison, with data provided by the City of Raleigh,
North Carolina Public Utilities Department, the "combined"
seventeen active full service car washes use 1/6th the amount
of water as the 25th largest user! Strict and aggressive
water reduction would have almost no affect on the amount
of water used! (for the complete story and all of the facts:
- "I wash my car at home, try to
conserve water and use the safest cleaning products I can
find." All of that is great, but consider what happens
to the debris (road oils, tar, chemical overspray, gas and
diesel exhaust, unburned fuels, etc.) that you remove from
you car's paint surface, wheel wells, tires, and wheels.
When you wash and rinse off your car, where does the runoff
go? Into the lakes, rivers, streams, city sewage systems,
water treatment plants and worst of all - Ground Water!
At Autowash Express, like many car washes, the debris is
trapped, collected in tanks that separate the debris from
the water. The debris is then removed and disposed of in
the proper, environmentally safe manner, as required by
government agencies. Only lightly sedimented water is allowed
into the sewer system.
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Four Seasons Attack on your Vehicle's Finish
- Rock chips, especially on the vehicle's front and windshield
are caused from sand and gravel used in street repair.
- Snow and ice removal cause surface scratches on paint,
glass, chrome, and wheels that can only be safely removed
by an experienced professional detailer. Do not attempt
machine buffing yourself as it is extremely dangerous and
can cause the paint to "burn" from misuse. This can only
be repaired by repainting the area!
- Never place bags or other items on the car. This causes
small scratches and is the most common cause of dents and
- Through the snow or ice season, SALT (the most common
cause of corrosion) is spread on the roads to prevent freezing.
This is very harmful to the metal components on your vehicle.
This salt is kicked up under the car and when it dries,
it leaves a substantial amount of salt under you car. If
not removed immediately, the salt will corrode metal parts
under the car. Several of our car wash packages provide
an Undercarriage Wash with an Under-Sealant to help prevent
rust and corrosion. Protect you vehicle from imminent damage
and keep the underside of the vehicle free from corrosive
salt. (See: Wash
- After the snow is gone, touch up any paint chips with factory recommended paint to avoid rusting.
- Yellow pollen blows in every nook and cranny of your car. If allowed to build up, this organic element can cause mechanical and small electrical problems as it compacts and becomes sticky and more difficult to remove.
- The birds are out in force and of course that means more
bird droppings. Bird droppings are extremely acidic and
corrosive and will eat deep into paint. Birds eat fine sand
to help digest their food, so the droppings are also abrasive.
If left unattended, the only way to repair is by repainting!
Remove bird dropping immediately and flush the area with
- Growing trees and shrubs begin to produce that sticky
pest - tree pitch. This cannot be removed by washing, even
at a professional car wash. Remove it immediately as it
will become more difficult to remove every day it is left
on. Try mineral spirits or Vaseline. If it is relatively
fresh, it should come right off. If not, visit the Autowash
Express Detail Department - we have a variety of products
designed to correctly and safely remove it. Never use a
razor blade to remove pitch and be cautious of retail "tar
and pitch removers" as they can damage the paint. Wax
the area immediately after use. (See: Detail
- Visit our professional Detail Shop if you have any questions.
Our knowledgeable staff can recommend the right service
for your situation. (See: Detail
- Road repair and construction is more prominent during
the Summer months. It seems as though everywhere you drive
there is fresh tar or pavement oil. Again, try mineral spirits
or Vaseline. If it is relatively fresh, it should come right
off. If not, visit Autowash Express' detail Department -
we have a variety of products designed to correctly and
safely remove it. Never use a razor blade to remove pitch
and be cautious of retail "tar and pitch removers"
as they can damage the paint. Wax the area immediately after
use. (See: Detail
- Houses and commercial buildings are being painted, so
paint overspray is common for this period. Remove it immediately,
but be careful what you use. This is best and most safely
removed by a professional using an approved product and
method. (See: Detail
- With Summer comes the sun. Those hazy-looking circular
marks on your paint (noticeable on dark cars) are water
spots. They are caused by water drops from sprinklers and
evaporated rain. As the water dries, it leaves behind mineral
deposits that become harder to remove the longer they are
left on the surface. These spots usually can be removed
by using a rubbing or polishing compound followed by a coat
of wax. This is a procedure that should not be performed
by anyone other than a Profession Detail Buffer. (See: Detail
All Year Long
- Fall is a great time to get your car ready for winter.
- Bird droppings are still abundant as well as many of the
other problems from spring and summer.
- With the heat of summer usually behind you, fall is a
great time to have your vehicle detailed to remove the accumulation
of contaminants that lead to paint oxidation. (See: Detail
- After refueling your vehicle, remove gasoline spills as
soon as possible.
- Avoid spraying water on the hot surface of the car.
- Routinely check the condition of outside lights, loose
moldings, and/or mirrors.
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