Automatic car washes make keeping your car clean, but if your windshield or any of the other windows on your car are damaged, you have to be careful. Even if you get the windshield repaired, you have to restrict your use of a car wash. Timing really is everything after you get auto glass repaired or replaced. This doesn't mean you can never clean your car. But the methods you can use to wash your car will differ depending on where you are in the repair stage for the glass.
Avoid Car Washes if You Have a Crack
If the windshield is currently cracked, do not use automatic car washes. The high-pressure water can cause the glass to crack further or even fully break – not something you want when jets of water are hitting your car. Rollers in non-touchless car washes may also further damage the already weakened glass. Until you get the auto glass fixed, stick to hand-washing your car.
Avoid High-Pressure Car Washes for a While After Repairs
Advice varies, but in general, you want to avoid going through car washes within one to two days of repairing or replacing auto glass. Again, it's mainly a pressure issue. When the repairs are still fresh, they haven't cured enough to hold when under pressure. You also just don't want to get the area wet in general because that will delay, if not stop, the curing process. You can still hand-wash the car, but avoid washing the glass that was repaired or replaced. Again, this is for no more than a couple of days.
Try Touchless Car Washes After, or Wash by Hand
After those days have passed and the auto glass is fully installed, repaired, cured, or what have you, you can once again go through an automatic car wash. However, it's better to try touchless washes whenever you can. You'll still have to deal with high-pressure water, but you won't have those giant rollers and brushes pressing onto the windshield and other windows. That reduces the chances of additional damage should there be a new chip that you didn't notice.
Auto glass repair is easy to have done, but it's also easy to ruin if you expose it to pressure or water too soon after the repair. When you have auto glass repaired, ask specifically about how long to wait before cleaning the glass and going through a car wash.
Reach out to an auto glass repair shop to learn more.