The best method of protecting your car from the damaging effects of the environment is frequent washing and the application of a preservative. The underside of your vehicle should also be thoroughly washed for cinders, salt or sanding at winter's end.
The longer salt, road dust and industrial dust, dead insects, bird droppings or substances from trees (resin, pollen) are allowed to remain on the bodywork, the more serious is their harmful effect.
New cars should be washed carefully with plenty of clear water to protect the new paint work. Dark paint finishes show up the smallest of surface damage (e.g., scratches) more readily than lighter colors.
Dark colors are also more susceptible to scratching because of the composition of their pigments and require particularly careful paint care.
Moisture which gets on to the brakes during a car wash can reduce braking efficiency or make the brakes pull unevenly which could increase the danger of an accident, causing serious personal injuries or death.
Automatic car washes
Optional add-on parts or parts which project beyond the contours of the vehicle may be damaged by design features (e.g. brushes) of automatic car washes.
The following parts are particularly susceptible to damage:
– Windshield wipers (always switch them off to prevent them wiping unintentionally in intermittent or sensor operation)
– External antennas (always unscrew)
– Rear spoiler
– Wheels (the wider the rim and the lower the tire height, the greater the risk of damage)
– High-gloss wheels (to prevent these from getting scratched, do not clean with the wheelcleaning brushes of the car wash).
Automatic car washes spray water at odd angles and high pressures, which are not seen in normal driving. Therefore, water can sometimes find its way into the passengers compartment during or shortly after the car wash.