Grocery Carts, Keys & Brushes: How Do They Relate to One Another?

….Paint Scratches

In the Washington, D.C. metro area, space is limited. That means smaller parking spaces, tighter spots, and, unfortunately, little to no buffer space. Sooner or later, someone will open their door too far and ding your ride.

Maybe they left their shopping cart out and it rolls into your door. Perhaps you are trying to unlock your car but miss the keyhole. Some of the worst damage and scratches we’ve seen, however, come from drive-thru and automatic car washes.

What’s Wrong With Automatic Car Washes?

First off, the brushes used to scrub your vehicle are not cleaned. If the car that went in before you just got back from a sandy beach vacation, or has salt left from an icy road, there will be some sand or salt left in the brushes that can scratch your paint. In addition, the workers at the end usually use the same towel as the car before to dry your car by hand which can leave a residue. Automatic car washes focus on efficiency over quality; meaning, how fast can they get your car out so that the next one can get through.

Take this scratched up orange car with black hood decals for example:

Challenger Capitol Shine Ceramic Pro scratchCapitol Shine Ceramic Pro scratch fix

This vehicle was purchased used and brought to our shop for paint correction. These scratches are most likely the result of drive-thru car washes as well as washing with a dirty rag. If you think about it, a dealership’s main goal is to move cars, but the problem is that cars always look better clean. Since there are so many vehicles on the lot, many of these dealerships choose the most efficient way to wash cars instead of the RIGHT way. The results are scratches and swirl marks from drive-thru car washes OR from a dirty rag that “washed” a number of cars before the one you purchased. That means all of the dirt, sand, grime and whatever else that was on the prior vehicle clings to the rag and scratches the next car.

So while a car can look glossy, it may not even be shining at it’s highest level. Enough scratches can dim the glossiness factor of the paint, and we don’t want that, do we? After all, the purchase of a vehicle is one of the largest investments you will ever make, so retaining the value of this investment is important for many reasons.

Enter Paint Correction

Luckily, there are auto-detailers (such as yours truly) who can fix these marks. A process called paint correction (more details HERE) meticulously removes scratches and swirl marks from your vehicle’s clear coat, letting the paint shine through:

Challenger Capitol Shine Ceramic Pro.002 Challenger Capitol Shine Ceramic Pro.005
The majority of the time, the scratches are on the top layer (clear coat) and therefore haven’t actually damaged your paint yet. Over time, however, the clear coat scratches will continue to wear down until it reaches your paint base coat, which is where touch-up paint comes in handy. The trick is fixing the scratches before this happens.
As can be seen in the above pictures, fixing these scratches and swirls can make a huge difference in the appearance and gloss of your vehicle.

Here’s another before and after shot of the car, see the difference in gloss?

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After Capitol Shine’s trained professionals fixed the defects, the car was ready to receive a protective coating. The owner chose Capitol Shine’s Ceramic Pro 9H, which is the hardest paint protection available.

If you are unsure whether or not your vehicle requires paint correction services, that’s no problem! We can give you a FREE estimate in just 30 minutes. To schedule this estimate, a protective coating like Ceramic Pro or Opti-Coat Pro, or any of our other services, please head over to our scheduling page and make an appointment! Please schedule at least 24 hours in advance to insure time and date.