What Auto Manufacturers Say About Car Washing

The Atlantic Auto Wash process is the safest method available for maintaining and enhancing your automotive finish. We use only soft-cloth washers (no brushes), safe shampoos, and no high pressure. Because of this we meet or exceed most auto manufacturer’s washing specifications as listed in their Owner’s Manuals. Here are some examples:

General Motors

“The best way to preserve your vehicle’s finish is to keep it clean by washing it often with lukewarm or cold water…. Don’t use cleaning agents that are petroleum based, or that contain acid or abrasives…. High pressure vehicle washes may cause water to enter your vehicle…. Don’t take your vehicle through an automatic vehicle wash that has silicon carbide tire cleaning brushes.”


“Make sure that the paintwork is not directly sprayed with a high pressure jet, as damage may result. Wash all the paintwork using…ample quantities of water and a neutral shampoo…. We recommend not having the car washes by [those] automatic washing plants which…employ very aggressive detergents.”


“Right from the start, you can wash your new BMW either by hand or in an automatic carwash…. When using an automatic carwash, ensure that the vehicle is cleaned with minimum brush pressure, and that ample water is available for washing and rinsing…. Always maintain an adequate distance between the spray source and the vehicle’s surface when using spray wands and high pressure washers. Inadequate distance and excessive pressure can damage or weaken the finish, making it more susceptible to subsequent attack. In addition moisture could penetrate to vehicle components, leading to long-term damage.”


“Clean the vehicle thoroughly using a mild soap…mixed with clean, lukewarm (never hot) water. Do not use strong household soap, strong chemical detergents, gasoline or solvents.”

Mercedes Benz

“Do not use hot water or wash your car in direct sunlight. Use only a mild car wash detergent…. Thoroughly spray the car with a diffused jet of water. Direct only a very weak spray towards the ventilation intake…. If the vehicle has been run through an automatic car wash…re-wipe the recessed sections in the tail lamps…if necessary.


“Wash your vehicle regularly. Always wash your vehicle in the shade using a mild car wash soap, and rinse the panels completely with clear water…. Avoid using automatic car washes that use acidic solutions or harsh brushes that may damage the wheel’s protective finish.”


“Wash the vehicle frequently…rinse the vehicle with clear, cold water…. Do not wash your vehicle with hot water. Also do not wash your vehicle while it sits in direct sunlight or while the body is hot…do not use steel wool, abrasive cleaners, fuel, or strong detergents…. These can damage your vehicle’s protective coating and paint…. Tire brushes used in automatic car washes may damage the painted finish on your aluminum wheels or wheel covers. Before going to a car wash, find out if the brushes are abrasive.”