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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

  1. "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, etc.).
  2. "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.
  3. "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.
  4. "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!
  5. "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: See Water Conservation)
  6. "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

Winter
  • 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 scratches.
  • 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 Services)
Spring
  • 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 water.
  • 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 Services)
  • Visit our professional Detail Shop if you have any questions. Our knowledgeable staff can recommend the right service for your situation. (See: Detail Services)
Summer
  • 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 Services)
  • 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 Services)
  • 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 Services)
Fall
  • 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 Services)
All Year Long
  • 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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