In this day and age everyone is trying to find things that make their lives easier, be it products that tout their ability to take minutes off your routine or services that cut down on unnecessary wastes of time, everyone wants to get things done fast. Car washes are no exception. The question is, do car washes damage the exterior of your car? The answer is complicated.
It depends entirely on the state of the car prior to entering the car wash. If you have a brand new car with no damage on it, odds are the car wash is not going to damage the exterior of your car barring some freak circumstance like a rock in the car wash or a wash that exerts too much pressure on your car. If you have a car that already has exterior damage there is the potential that the car wash will exacerbate the damage.
Say you have a dented in area on your bumper that has peeling paint on it, there is a chance that the force of the car wash can dislodge the paint that is already chipping which would in effect be causing more damage to your already damaged car. Also, if you have dents or breaks near your trunk there is a chance that the dent or break may allow water into your trunk, this is something that you should consider before getting a car wash.
I personally have never had a bad experience with the car wash causing damage to my car. The only thing about car washes that bothers me is the fact that they are slightly scary. Over all the likelihood of the car was causing damage to your car is relatively slim. If you’ve heard horror stories about all the damage that a car wash has caused to a car it is important to evaluate the source that you are getting your information from. Sometimes damage that is small can go unnoticed and it is easy to blame it on something like a car wash.
So in summation, the car wash can in some cases cause more damage or even cause damage to a car. The likelihood of the latter however is slim unless there are extenuating circumstances like a malfunction with the machine or some sort of outside element that is introduced to the car wash like a rock or other debris. Lastly if you already have damage to your car it is likely not the best idea to go to the car wash unless you know the extent of the damage and what is possible if you do decide to go to the car wash.