Can I put my car through an automated car wash?

There are some automated car washes that are safe to use, but most aren't.

We generally don't recommend it. It very much depends on the type of car wash. The older types have brushes which are plastic bristles like a garden broom, which are really no good for your car. Newer types are 'Soft Wash' and are less like a broom and more like a mop. These are far better if maintained in good condition. If they are old, however, the mops can be caked in soap scum and grit. Either way, an automated car wash is not the ideal way to clean your car in the long term.

The exception are touchless car washes which are ideal for cars with ceramic coatings, on the proviso that they are maintained correctly and not using very caustic soaps, which is something some outlets are prone to do as it saves them money.

No car wash cleans your car perfectly and there is no substitute for a hand wash, which we recommend you do once in a while to get all the bits a car wash can't reach.