LOS ANGELES & SAN JOSE – The scorching summer heat makes it less fun to wash your own car, so you might want to take it to a professional car wash. Just like any business, car washes aren’t created equal! Some are reputable and put the customer first, but others neglect their equipment, which can rub off on your car—literally.
Consumers ask BBB what they can do to not only avoid body and paint damage from a car wash but what recourse they may have. Here are some tips, courtesy of our top Accredited Businesses.
- Do a drive-by first. Look around the place. Is it clean and organized? Is the staff in uniform? Do the customers look happy? First impressions can tell you a lot.
- Look for closed-circuit cameras. Cameras have become so inexpensive and easy to operate that most car washes have them. Having several sets of “eyes” helps a car wash owner confirm if your car was damaged by his equipment or not. Are they at the tunnel entrance, throughout the wash belt and at the tunnel exit?
- If you suspect the car wash damaged your car, look at other cars before and after yours to confirm common symptoms.
- Immediately point out any damage to your car and other cars to the manager. Take pictures of all damaged vehicles
- Investigate car washes at bbb.org and other sites.
- If you can’t resolve a problem, file a complaint with BBB. It’s simple and only takes a few minutes.
- If you’re still not getting satisfaction, you can always go to small claims court.
BBB receives more complaints about lost keys, promotion scams and aggressive upselling than for damage. Beware of expired promotions or discounts with no expiration dates, and look for honest marketing campaigns.