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In Fayetteville, North Carolina, and took my 2-week old BE Ridgeline to the local automated car wash (TLC Autowash on Ramsey St) to wash off the salt. I washed and waxed the truck by hand three days prior, absolutely flawless paint. However, right after the wash, I went out to do a 360 of the job. Not only did the wash suck, but the entire car perimeter is now covered in horizontal scratches!
I showed it to the manager over and over would reply, "our brushes are not designed to do that". "Our brushes do not hold material that would scratch it". He implied the scratches were there on a two week old truck (my temp plates on the truck prove the age). He also implied I did it myself when I washed the truck myself with a contaminated rag, as if I would walk around in circles holding the rag against the truck and scratching it. I tried working with the guy, saying that the scratches do not look deep and would be okay if they buffed it out. He told me that he would have to charge me for the service. Called my insurance company, took a bunch of pictures, made a video, all on site. Hopefully they get the car wash's insurance to pay for it. To me, it feels like if I went to a restaurant and found blonde hair in my food, and me having black hair told the waiter, they would question me and accuse me of putting the hair in my own food.

But seriously, how do I deal with this? My insurance company said they will do an inquiry to determine who is at fault. But besides pictures, a receipt, and my statement, what else can I do?

Moral of the story, even if it is freezing outside and you don't have a lot of time, do it yourself or get a professional.

Scratches are kind of hard to see in the photos, but in direct sunlight, it is very noticeable. :mad:
 

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Never use a brush style automated car wash especially on black. Only wash I will ever use is in my own driveway or if I must automate then brushless or high pressure wash if you prefer. Pretty sure it will buff out but stay away from anything with brushes in the future!
 

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Black is a horrendous color to keep clean and scratch free, btw, I have a BE as well... I would have gotten another color if it was available in that trim


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I showed it to the manager over and over would reply, "our brushes are not designed to do that". "Our brushes do not hold material that would scratch it".
While the brushes might not have done the scratches, they may have dragged the little grain of sand the was on the paint and made the scratch. That grain just might have not been knocked off with the pre-wash. I hope the buff job works.
 
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Never use a brush style automated car wash especially on black. Only wash I will ever use is in my own driveway or if I must automate then brushless or high pressure wash if you prefer. Pretty sure it will buff out but stay away from anything with brushes in the future!


Also use a 2 or 3 bucket wash as well :)



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Thats why i installed a hot/cold water faucet in my house. It snowed last night here in NY and i was outside today on my knees spraying the ubdercarrage down/washing the truck in like 20 degree weather. Rather do that then take any of my car/trucks to a car wash.
 

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If you think your black Ridgeline is going to look like a show car in 5 years and be used as a daily driver, you're fooling yourself IMO.

Ours probably had that many scratches on it on delivery lol.

Insurance? sounds like wasted efforts.

I like black even on a daily but I just can't bring myself to freak out about it. Sorry.

Hope you can find some kind of satisfaction OP. But myself I would just chalk it up to black and move on.
 

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I once had a Black 1980 Mercury Capri Turbo RS - It was a beautiful car when clean. And I made sure it was clean all the time. No car washes except a spray do it yourself one in the winter - After washing it for two years that way it ended up with overzealousness of me washing and waxing it. I actually waxed the finish off the car ! lol A buff job with a power buffer was the only way to get it decent again and then I got married and sold the car. Never again for a black car since. (except one black company car which I put 99,000 mi on and didn't care as much but did take it through the automatic washes)

Lesson learned IMO. No more black cars no matter how nice they look at the dealership showroom!

Steve
 

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I once had a Black 1980 Mercury Capri Turbo RS - It was a beautiful car when clean. And I made sure it was clean all the time. No car washes except a spray do it yourself one in the winter - After washing it for two years that way it ended up with overzealousness of me washing and waxing it. I actually waxed the finish off the car ! lol A buff job with a power buffer was the only way to get it decent again and then I got married and sold the car. Never again for a black car since. (except one black company car which I put 99,000 mi on and didn't care as much but did take it through the automatic washes)

Lesson learned IMO. No more black cars no matter how nice they look at the dealership showroom!

Steve
Yeah, I usually get white or silver cars, but I loved all the black and dark metal grill trim on the BE that the other trims don't have... but yes, black shows every single flaw. :|
 

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If you think your black Ridgeline is going to look like a show car in 5 years and be used as a daily driver, you're fooling yourself IMO.

Ours probably had that many scratches on it on delivery lol.

Insurance? sounds like wasted efforts.

I like black even on a daily but I just can't bring myself to freak out about it. Sorry.

Hope you can find some kind of satisfaction OP. But myself I would just chalk it up to black and move on.

Yeah, but car washes aren't supposed to make blatant scuffs like that. I don't except showroom shine...as my previous car was a black Xterra Pro 4-X, but wash after wash would never get its paint like that, only minor swirl marks in direct sunlight at an angle. These are different and I want to get them to try to own up to it. That is just bad business. If it turns out I have to pocket that cost, I'll probably drop the claim.
 

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Man this is a tough crowd. I don't think he needs everybody telling him he made a mistake and should never use the business again. He already knows that.

If I'm seeing the scratches right, those look more like a something was dragged across the paint, like driving through bushes. I wouldn't expect to see a constant straight scratch from a moving brush.

Was one of the brushes not turning? Can you see something else that may have made contact, like a sensor line? A broken off bristle stuck some where else could cause a scratch. You should have stopped and inspected other cars coming out at the same time to look for the same scratches at the same level.

Of course the car wash was designed to not cause damage. But damage does happen. It's why car washes carry insurance.
 

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No harshness or tough crowd talk from me. I'm just a black car realist lol. Me and my wife have probably owned more black vehicles than anyone else in here.

The new Ridgeline gets washed with a wash brush on a stick and a plain old bucket. Granted it's a 20 year old 50 dollar wash head, it does a fantastic job. It's also been driven through high end automatic car washes.

It's gonna get scratched up and hazy. Sure I'll polish and wax it a few times in the summer but I just can't see going crazy in my head about it.
 
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That sucks. Hope you can get most of that to buff off or polish out to be harder to see. Black cars are so hard.
 

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Have you ever felt those automatic car wash brushes with your hand? They are anything but soft!

Hard to say what may have caused those scratches, but hopefully they'll buff out OK.
 
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I haven't worked with cars at this level in what seems like a million years. Back in the day it was rubbing compound and a really good wax to fix it. I think that was the question, how to repair? After all the, you idiot, why did you go through a wash with brushes, responses, I am a little fuzzy on the first query.

I would be losing my mind if that happened to my truck but I wouldn't think it anything some elbow grease couldn't fix.
 

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I have vowed to never take my RL through an automated wash. Once I had to bring in the hoses at home, I started washing it at the car wash but in one of the self-serve bays. I just wait for a day when the temp is above the mid-30s. So far this Winter it seems like we have been getting a 40 degree day almost every week.
I fill up my wash bucket at home (luke warm). Grab the wash mitt, a drying towel and about 3.50 in quarters.
Throw 1.50 in to spray the truck down. Then pull the bucket out and go to work. Once I have done the whole truck, drop in another 1.50 and rinse her off.
Dry her off and I'm done.
Tried the 2 bucket system once but it took too much time. Kinda have to wash quick so the first section you washed doesn't dry by the time you do the whole truck.
It can get chilly but it beats dealing with this kind of thing.
Hope it buffs out for ya.
 

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I haven't worked with cars at this level in what seems like a million years. Back in the day it was rubbing compound and a really good wax to fix it. I think that was the question, how to repair? After all the, you idiot, why did you go through a wash with brushes, responses, I am a little fuzzy on the first query.

I would be losing my mind if that happened to my truck but I wouldn't think it anything some elbow grease couldn't fix.
I escaped from North Korea and never owned a vehicle nor used a washer with brushes before. That is why I, the idiot, used it.

Maybe because over my life, I have used many washes with brushes, including this one, and never had anything like this before? Why would people drive on roads with the potential to get in an accident out there due to someone else's negligence. Those idiots.
Thanks for the heads up though, I'll check out the rubbing compound.
 

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Do yourself a favor and take it to a professional and your RL will be back the way you want it. Do NOT use the compound. If you don't know what you are doing, you could make it worse with the compound. Car washes do pose a risk with all of the disclaimers and warnings. Even if they offered to accommodate I would run. On a somewhat related note, did you see the Motor Trend article about the F-150 with car wash damage?

UPDATE: Drive-Through Car Wash Causes $6,000 in Damage on New Ford F-150 - Motor Trend
 
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