An automatic car wash is a hassle-free method to clean your car in the drive-through. However, many people complain that it damages the paint and transmission of the vehicle.
Can Automatic Car Wash Damage Transmission? Automatic car wash damage the transmission system due to the formation of rust on the metal parts or lining of the clutch plates. It also results in malfunctioning gears and brakes that reduce the driving performance. Moreover, the clutch plates also slip or stiffen due to corrosion and produce unusual noises. In addition, the water contaminates the transmission fluid and friction plates which leads to irregular gear shifts and vibrations.
This process takes less time as the brushes apply the soap and clean the surface.
Moreover, you do not have to wait as they use automatic techniques.
How Can Automatic Car Wash Damage Transmission?
However, the water gets into the transmission and damages the gearbox and clutch plates affecting the speed.
Corrosion of metal parts
The transmission does not function properly when the water enters the car system and engine.
During the automatic wash, the water does not dry out thoroughly under its hood, which causes the problem.
The rust on the battery terminals results in a faulty transmission system.
The battery supplies power to the vehicle’s electrical components through the computer system, and the corroded terminals lead to less voltage supply.
The buildup of rust results in the loss of power to the battery, and it does not start.
Moreover, the power does not reach the gearbox or clutch, which causes delayed responses during driving.
Malfunctioning of gears and brakes
The reduced performance of the gears and brakes of the vehicle indicates the presence of water in the lines.
There is a delay in reducing the speed of your vehicle and grinding noises when you apply brakes while driving.
It causes a temporary brake failure and results in rough and bumpy stops of your car.
Moreover, it decreases the gears functioning and results in reduced speed. You hear unusual sounds while applying them due to the wear-out system.
Over time the oil does not lubricate the metal parts as the rust develops on the gear plates.
The rough stopping and reduced acceleration occur due to the ceased brake and gear system.
You have to fix this issue as there are many chances of collisions and accidents.
Faulty clutch plates
The water enters the transmission when the gearbox seal breaks off.
It results in faulty clutch plates and failure in connecting it with the engine.
It is hard to apply the brake and put it into gear due to less performing clutch plates.
It leads to the wearing out of clutch plates due to increased friction.
Moreover, you notice the stiffing or slipping of clutch plates, and it takes more time than usual.
You also hear the unusual noise while pressing it, and you have to diagnose the issue to prevent it from further damage.
Irregular gear shift
The water in the transmission fluid causes irreplaceable damage to your automobile.
The inability to lubricate the friction plates results in a faulty gear system and does not shift into the gear.
Moreover, the sticking agent on the friction plates wears out due to water and starts losing lubrication.
Also, the water starts coming out from the system and results in white gummy-like substances on the plates.
It results in irregular gear shifts, and you feel a vibration while putting your car in gear.
It is not easy to reverse due to the malfunctioning gears.
You have to check the vehicle power system before starting it to prevent damage.
How do you know if you got water in your transmission?
It is problematic when the water gets into the car transmission system and causes damage.
The fluid turns into a mixture that looks like a strawberry milkshake and is not suitable for your vehicle.
You observe the unusual sounds like whining when you start the car.
Moreover, you hear the humming or grinding noise when you apply the brake and put it in gear.
Sometimes, you see the fluid leaks from the hood while driving and even in parking.
It gives a dark brown or red appearance in color and an unpleasant smell that indicates the fault in the system.
It also causes gear slipping and a faulty clutch system that results in loss of power to the engine.
It also makes noises and produces a burning smell when the vehicle is neutral.
The delayed responses of your vehicle indicate that something gets mixed with the fluid.
How does water enter the car transmission system during an automatic wash?
The water comes out from all directions in the car wash and causes many problems.
After drying, the soap and water remain under the hood and are bad for your engine.
The water enters through the radiator system or the external source that mixes with the fluid.
Moreover, the leakage in the system results in the entry of water and causes a problem.
Sometimes, the bonnet is not closed completely, and the water enters the car.
The moisture gets inside the dipstick due to leakage in the seal during engine washing and heating the system.
It also enters through the transmission vents when the water level is higher than the vehicle.
How to flush out water from the car transmission system?
The delicate parts of your vehicle get damaged when the water enters the transmission.
It is suitable to turn on the engine after the car wash as the water gets inside.
You have to replace the fluid immediately to prevent it from failing the system.
Any delay in fluid replacement leads to collapsing of the whole system, and you have to rebuild this system that is not budget-friendly.
You can flush out water by using a jack to raise the vehicle level and remove the transmission pan.
Then drain the contaminated fluid, and remove the filter for thorough cleaning.
After this, refill the fluid in the reservoir and connect the cooler-out line.
Ensure that the fluid level is adequate and it is free of contamination.
Run the engine to check the levels and lower your car.
Do automatic car washes cause damage?
Automatic car washes remove all the dirt and debris from them.
You have to drive through the service station, and the automatic cleaning process occurs.
However, the brushes involved in cleaning your vehicles are not cleaned and properly maintained.
Moreover, the dirty mops cause damage to the paint surface and reduce the vehicle’s shine.
It looks dull, and you observe the scratch-off paint surface due to high pressure.
The abrasive cleaning agents used during the wash also damage the topcoat and the car finishing, giving an unpleasant appearance.
Moreover, the water and soap do not remove thoroughly from the hood even after drying.
The dirt and grime are not removed from the inner spaces and cause water spots on the surface.
Do automatic car washes cause swirl marks?
Swirl marks are usually scratches or patterns in a circular motion on the exterior of your car.
These swirl marks are due to the usage of the wrong type of brushes during this process.
The brush material is harsh and filled with dirt or debris that is not good for the exterior.
It results in scratches on the exterior surface that are more visible on dark shades vehicles.
Moreover, these marks are present on the automobile body surface, windscreen, and bonnet that are more visible in sun rays.
It is due to using dirty brushes and microfiber cloths during this process.
It damages the exterior of your vehicle, and it looks worn out. You can apply polish to the paint for a glossy appearance.
Recently, my friend got the automatic washing of his vehicle, and he complained about the swirl marks on the windscreen.