Care(!)Wash - Epic 80
This morning I visited my local filling station to use the car wash, as a gentleman was coming to view my car in order to purchase it. I paid my £4.99, had the car washed by the machine, then left, thinking it was a little violent, as i had to readjust my door mirror on leaving.

It was only when i reached home that i discovered that the carwash had scratched huge circles into the roof of my car, and created on deep circular mark.

Needless to say the potential buyer thought the roof in terrible condition and walked away.

I returned to the garage to complain, but was told that there was nothing that could be done, as i had left the forecourt without complaint, and could not prove anything and that no-one else had complained that day.

Where do I stand? Any other similar experiences out there? Should i contact trading standards?
Care(!)Wash - lauriew
I would never use a carwash of that type as they knock hell out of the paintwork,(actually I dont use any type of carwash).We had a big buswasher where I used to work(big enough to take a doubledecker) and we stopped using it due to the damage it caused, usually rearview mirrors getting caught in the brushes and then bashing every panel down the vehicle.It was cheaper to employ manual cleaners.
Care(!)Wash - Dynamic Dave
Most, if not all car wash sites will have a disclaimer on show announcing that Joe Public use the car wash at their own risk and that they will not be held responsible for any damage caused.

Personally I hate car washes. The few times that I have used them, something either gets damaged, or scratched. I\'ve had a couple of mirrors \"eaten\", and have never been impressed with the finish it does to the paintwork either.

I suspect in your case, you might have followed a car through that was in front of yours that was very dirty and all the muck that was cleaned off was still attached to the bristles. There have also been instances where vandals damage the brushes overnight - even going to the extent of pushing razor blades deep into the centres of the brushes!!

Sorry to say, but at the end of the day it all boils down to \"if a jobs worth doing, then do it yourself\"
Care(!)Wash - martint123
Agree with the above. When I last sold a car I spent a nice Sunday afternoon cutting it, polishing it and waxing it. Almost made me want to keep it when I finished and made me realise I should do it more often. The effort was well worth it and first viewer went off with a bargain.
Care(!)Wash - slefLX
I agree too, I NEVER go to automatic car washes now. I did a few times on my first car (an old banger) then after the first time in my current car it dislodged my mirror and put minor scratches in my paintwork. Now I always either do it myself or go to a hand-car-wash if I'm feeling lazy or want it done quickly, as I always spend a good few hours doing it properly when I do it myself.
Care(!)Wash - Altea Ego
>Most, if not all car wash sites will have a disclaimer on show announcing that Joe Public use >the car wash at their own risk and that they will not be held responsible for any damage >caused.

completely meaningless and un-enforceable clause. If the car wash damaged your car thro no fault of yours in the way it was used, then the operator is liable for any damage - full stop.

in this case proving it may be hard, as no complaint was made at the time and therefore not verifiable that the machine did it
Care(!)Wash - DavidHM
I agree, UCTA and the Consumer Protection Regulations 93 (or 94, or something similar) pretty mcuh screw up that provision.

Of course, actually proving that you didn't buy a car ready scratched at auction, take it to the car wash and then sue them for a new paint job is a much greater obstacle.
Care(!)Wash - Blue {P}
Will the scratxhes come out with T-Cut?

If it's metallic paint then forget the T-cut though, and look at Meguiars scratch removal stuff, it may help fix the paint for your next viewer.

And never put it through a car wash again!
Care(!)Wash - chris2
Virtually every time I fill-up I overhear someone complaining that the carwash has damaged their car. What I don\'t understand is that most areas have the \"hand carwash for £2.50\" places, so why would anyone want to use a mechanical car wash ?
Care(!)Wash - ShereKhan
I took my new motor to one of thise hand wash places. They like to advertise that they use no brushes or rollers on the outside. But they still managed to scratch my bonnet. I now have lovely swirl scratch marks on my bonnet :(
Care(!)Wash - Burnout2
I would no more take a car of mine through an automatic carwash than I would clean it with a iron scouring pad. Even if you're fortunate enough not to suffer any major mishaps, the brushes simply scratch the lacquer topcoat over time and do an excellent job of dulling and ageing the finish. Handwashing & waxing is a little tedious, but it's the only way to maintain paintwork in as-new condition, especially modern water-based paint.

IMO, the operator should be held liable for the damage unless they have a highly visible at-your-own-risk disclaimer notice on the premises - it may be difficult to prove that the carwash was not operating corrrectly. The fact that you didn't notice the damage until arriving home does not absolve them in the slightest - the cause-and-effect is still abundantly clear.
Care(!)Wash - DavidHM
I'd like to agree with you, Burnout, but I can't fully, although I do up to a point.

The cause and effect may be clear to the owner and when it is noticed is irrelevant (as long as it's within three years for tort and six years for contract anyway...) However, it's difficult to show that the damage wasn't there before the car went in, which is what you'd need to do, assuming the car wash doesn't simply pass it on to their insurers who pay up without question.

Also, even a very clear disclaimer may not be effective in this case - except possibly at deterring people from making perfectly valid claims.
Care(!)Wash - Oz
I heard a theory that company cars are immune to such damage. ;-)
Anyway, now I personally own my own car, and it has never seen the inside of a car wash. As previously posted elsewhere, I spent 3 decades in the coatings industry (including automotive) and the adverse effects of automatic washer brushes on car finishes have long been known.
Oz (as was)

Value my car