Pressure washing can be an efficient way to clear off your ride, but if wielded by a careless hand, can do more damage than its worth. Most automobiles can handle the power of these types of washers in moderation, but only new makes and models can typically withstand its strength, provided the paint job has not been previously compromised. That said, it is a myth that the newer the vehicle, the less careful you have to be when spraying with them. A brand new exterior can be punished just as much as a car that is years old with flaking paint. There are instances when pressure washing a car is not ideal, and they include:
“Do not make the mistake of assuming that a power washer is akin to placing your finger over the opening of your garden hose… These washers are designed for things like heavy machinery and clearing off patios and rock”
Direct Application From Up Close
The worst thing you can do with a pressure washer is place it a foot or less away from the body of a car. The speed of the water is no joke, and has been known to damage even the toughest of paneling. Do not make the mistake of assuming that a power washer is akin to placing your finger over the opening of your garden hose. These washers are designed for things like heavy machinery and clearing off patios and rock. The common denominator for these examples is that they are nowhere near as delicate as the paint job that rests on your vehicle.
Flaking Paint Is Not A Green Light To Pressure Wash
If your ride has paint that has seen better days, this is not an invitation to pressure wash. Unless you have grand plans of completely overhauling the body, spraying even loose paint will frequently result in scratching. This will give you two problems to deal with as opposed to one. Pressure washers may be used on vehicles with flaky paint, but be sure to remove as much as you can by hand and car detailing clay before spraying these surfaces with liquid. Moreover, when applied on aged paint, start with a lower setting on the washer. You can always increase the speed of the stream, however you cannot undo your paneling taking a shot causing an indentation or scratch.
Choose An Environmentally Friendly Place
Pressure washing is not a good idea if it cannot be done on a concrete or similarly solid surface. There are numerous reasons for this, the first of which is its environmental footprint. Presumably during your wash, chemicals and cleaners will be utilized, so be mindful about where your stream is headed and whether such use is even allowed in your neighborhood. Secondly, without a flat, forgiving surface to use a pressure washer, it will make a giant mess, especially with dirt and grass underneath. Massive amounts of water can release from the nozzle in a short period of time, so do not bite off more than you can chew.
None of above listed reasons for when using a pressure washer is bad mean that it is not a worthwhile endeavor, but the truth of the matter is that a qualified and knowledgeable expert in auto detailing should be handling this task for you in a safe environment that allows for the maximum amount of positive effects on your car’s body and wheels. Overall, using pressurized washers is only bad if done by someone inexperienced.