Paintwork damaged by car wash

Paintwork damaged by car wash

Author
Discussion

CaptainPeanut

Original Poster:

940 posts

125 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
Despite constantly discouraging my other half from using car washes she couldn't resist a BP special offer and put her car through one of the automated machines a couple of days ago. The following day I noticed that the bonnet, roof and the top section of the doors are covered in scratches (and deeper than the usual swirling). These are all in random directions and not just running from front to back.

The car wash she used is one if these fitted with soft brushes, essentially big strips of material, and I suspect that these were contaminated with grit from a previous wash, essentially turning them into sandpaper.

She has now learnt the hard way why I'm so against them (although I've resisted saying 'I told you so' so far) but I wanted to see if there is any likelihood of compensation from BP? All of their pre-wash steps had been followed but I assume that there will be a raft of disclaimers trying to absolve them of any responsibility for damage.

Hubris

147 posts

104 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
I doubt it, as they'd all end up paying out.

mmm-five

9,183 posts

251 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
I'd assume the fact that because your wife knew that a forecourt machine was going to scratch paintwork (from your vehement reminders) it would render any sort of claim null & void, as she knew what she was getting into when she went through the car wash.

Plus there are plenty of disclaimers on these machines saying they're not responsible for any damage (which I'm sure can't be legal if you can show they've been negligent by not cleaning the filters, brushes as prescribed by the manufacturer).

CaptainPeanut

Original Poster:

940 posts

125 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
Thanks.

I've warned her before due to the swirling and very minor scratches to the top coat that they cause. These, however, are much deeper and more noticeable.

CaptainPeanut

Original Poster:

940 posts

125 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
The Crack Fox said:
Oh c'mon, this isn't America, and you're not stupid. There are signs warning that they won't be held liable and the fact your missus doesn't care about your paintwork as much as you shouldn't mean you can claim compensation. rolleyes
I'm not American and not stupid, no, but would have expected a certain level of guarantee that the service wouldn't have damaged the paintwork to the extent that it has. I'm sure that valets and detailers require a level of insurance to cover against damage, surely an automated car wash would be the same.

Ali Chappussy

874 posts

112 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
You pays your money.......

There will have been signs saying the operator of the car wash accepts no responsibility blah blah. That's their get out clause so sadly, no compo this time.

Sorry it's been such an expensive lesson for you OP.

Durzel

10,188 posts

135 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
CaptainPeanut said:
I'm not American and not stupid, no, but would have expected a certain level of guarantee that the service wouldn't have damaged the paintwork to the extent that it has. I'm sure that valets and detailers require a level of insurance to cover against damage, surely an automated car wash would be the same.
It'd be interesting trying to argue in court that you knew automated washes are bad, i.e. have the potential to damage paint, but that you're outraged and demand compensation because your paint was damaged more than you were expecting/happy with.

Maybe you should ask your missus for compensation seeing as she ignored your advice?

CraigyMc

12,464 posts

203 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
CaptainPeanut said:
The Crack Fox said:
Oh c'mon, this isn't America, and you're not stupid. There are signs warning that they won't be held liable and the fact your missus doesn't care about your paintwork as much as you shouldn't mean you can claim compensation. rolleyes
I'm not American and not stupid, no, but would have expected a certain level of guarantee that the service wouldn't have damaged the paintwork to the extent that it has. I'm sure that valets and detailers require a level of insurance to cover against damage, surely an automated car wash would be the same.
Sorry, but these two things disprove each other.

talksthetalk

9,149 posts

102 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
I'm pretty certain that what I heard/read is useless internet rumour/guesswork, but here goes anyway....

Something in the back of my head that I read once somewhere said:
You will only get compensation if you can prove the operator was negligent in their maintenance of the car wash.
They're st,as you unfortunately knew, you did your best to educate, it did more damage than you expected, which is a PITA, but hopefully it will detail out.

A Sarcastic bd might have said:
You have no right to compensation as the car wash performed exactly to your expectations.
I fear this has the potential to become more of a domestic dispute than a dispute with the garage......
Neither is probably worth getting in to.

Sort it, move on, lessons learnt.
At least you have the next birthday present sorted
Wash mitt, bucket, chamois and a bottle of shampoo £10 from your local supermarket

tjob

782 posts

118 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
I'll just leave this here, a little test I did


http://www.flickr.com/photos/divinedetailing/sets/...

Snowboy

8,028 posts

118 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
Let's assume you sent a letter to the garage and they agreed they were liable.
What would you want from them?

£50 £100 £500 ?
A full valet? a respray?

Can you prove that the carwash damaged the car?
Is it 'damage' or just wear and tear?
Is it damage or just 'surface scratches'?

I think you should do two things.
1. Send a letter to the garage, you might get a fuel voucher as a goodwill gesture.
2. Forgive the wife, buy her some flowers, get on with life. smile


CaptainPeanut

Original Poster:

940 posts

125 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
talksthetalk said:
I'm pretty certain that what I heard/read is useless internet rumour/guesswork, but here goes anyway....

Something in the back of my head that I read once somewhere said:
You will only get compensation if you can prove the operator was negligent in their maintenance of the car wash.
They're st,as you unfortunately knew, you did your best to educate, it did more damage than you expected, which is a PITA, but hopefully it will detail out.

A Sarcastic bd might have said:
You have no right to compensation as the car wash performed exactly to your expectations.
I fear this has the potential to become more of a domestic dispute than a dispute with the garage......
Neither is probably worth getting in to.

Sort it, move on, lessons learnt.
At least you have the next birthday present sorted
Wash mitt, bucket, chamois and a bottle of shampoo £10 from your local supermarket
Thanks, finally a response from someone that may have read the post!

I know they're crap and now she does too. There'll be no domestic as it's her car and she feels bad enough already.

Annoyingly, already have the kit for a 2 bucket wash but she just couldn't wait for the weekend. Have been after an excuse to get a DA Polisher though so this could be an ideal opportunity and at her expense!


PurpleMoonlight

22,362 posts

124 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
Disclaimers on the wall have little or no legal enforcement, the car wash operate cannot avoid their duty of care by them.

Your problem would be proving on the balance of probablilites that the damage was caused by that specific car wash. Unless you have pictures directly before and after that is going to be very difficult.

talksthetalk

9,149 posts

102 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
CaptainPeanut said:
Have been after an excuse to get a DA Polisher though so this could be an ideal opportunity and at her expense!
Man Maths at its Finest. I Salute you
bowbowbowbowbowbowbow

Petrolhead_Rich

4,659 posts

159 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
CaptainPeanut said:
Despite constantly discouraging my other half from using car washes she couldn't resist a BP special offer and put her car through one of the automated machines a couple of days ago. The following day I noticed that the bonnet, roof and the top section of the doors are covered in scratches (and deeper than the usual swirling). These are all in random directions and not just running from front to back.

The car wash she used is one if these fitted with soft brushes, essentially big strips of material, and I suspect that these were contaminated with grit from a previous wash, essentially turning them into sandpaper.

She has now learnt the hard way why I'm so against them (although I've resisted saying 'I told you so' so far) but I wanted to see if there is any likelihood of compensation from BP? All of their pre-wash steps had been followed but I assume that there will be a raft of disclaimers trying to absolve them of any responsibility for damage.
For a few scratches, that you cant PROVE judge were caused by the car wash, not a hope in hell.

If one collapsed and wrote off your car, then maybe, or killed your children, almost certainly, for scratches, no, even if you COULD prove they were as a direct result.

Perhaps you could sue her parents for providing a daughter who didn't realise it would cause damage, oh no wait, that would be silly... sillynuts



Ray Luxury-Yacht

8,837 posts

183 months

Monday 17th June 2013
quotequote all
The only similar thing I've experienced is this...

I had a Porsche 911 in dark metallic blue. This colour means that any tiny little blemish showed up horrendously. Hence I was always careful to wash it with two buckets, clay bar, using nice polishing and waxing products and that.

Anyway I had gearbox problems, and a gearbox specialist (who weren't that special, but that's another story) pulled the box and did a load of work.

This was in winter, and when they test drove the car, it got dirty - so they took it upon themselves to 'wash' it.

They must have washed it with the grubbiest old sponges ever.

When I collected it, the first thing I noticed were monstrous swirl marks everywhere. I instantly went bananas and asked what had happened. The chap said that he'd got his workshop junior to wash it 'because we had got it dirty...'

Ok, I understand the thought was there - but to let the 'nipper' drag a sponge over what was clearly an immaculate car with a paint finish like glass was clearly a bad management error!

So - the compromise we came to was that they would pay for a full mop and detail from a professional valeter.

I got a local PH'er who does valeting to come and sort it out, and he managed to get it back to as near as dammit how it was - although there were a couple of admittedly almost invisible scratches left, that although I wasn't happy about - I decided life was too short to continue to let them bother me.

Anyway, the PH'er billed them direct for about £400 after his work, which they paid for.


(And as an appendix to the post, after their 'rebuilt' gearbox also failed shortly after, they also re-funded me the total £2,500 bill for that too...)