One of the questions Mike Khan at Coquitlam Express Auto Body often answers is: "How soon after auto body repair work can I wash my vehicle?"
"After we've completed the repair work," says Mike, "we typically wash your vehicle before returning it to you. If a customer is in a hurry, sometimes it's too soon after painting to wash the vehicle, so we'll return it straight away. That's when customers wonder about how soon they can get the vehicle washed."
Mike and his team at Coquitlam Express Auto Body suggests waiting for 30 days after a vehicle has been painted before taking it to the car wash.
"The standard car wash uses a friction brush system that could damage the paint work if the vehicle is washed too soon," Mike explains. "And the touch-free washes often use acid presoaks that could affect the finish on a newly painted vehicle."
If your vehicle needs washing before the end of the 30-day period, Mike suggests hosing it down with cool water, then drying it with a soft cloth to eliminate water spots.
"After the 30-day period, you can then give the vehicle a wash using a mild detergent recommended for the purpose," says Mike. "Again, you should dry it off with a soft cloth or shammy."
Keeping the vehicle away from tree sap and bird droppings is also ideal, if possible.
"Both bird droppings and tree sap contain acids that could damage the finish." Mike says. "If it's not possible to park the vehicle in a covered garage, rinse the vehicle as soon as possible after contact and dry it off with a soft cloth. This is particularly important for the first few days after painting."
Finally, allow the fresh paint to breath. Don't cover the vehicle with a tarp and quickly rinse off any gasoline, antifreeze or windshield solvent from the vehicle.
"At Coquitlam Express Auto Body we provide a high-quality paint finish when we've completed the repairs," Mike says. "Take care by removing dirt, debris, and solvents quickly and your vehicle will keep that "just painted" look."