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Should I Be Upset That An Installer Machine Washed My Brand-New A5?

Should I Be Upset That An Installer Machine Washed My Brand-New A5?

Old 01-24-2019, 07:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2018
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Default Should I Be Upset That An Installer Machine Washed My Brand-New A5?

So got my 2018 Audi A5 Sportback last year December, and I almost instantly took my car to a tint shop to get window tints done. Went back a week later with 200 miles for paint protection film installed by the tint guy's brother who is apparently a certified 3M paint protection film installer. I had him do full hood/front bumper/rear bumper/fenders/the glass piece between front windshield and moonroof/partial side mirrors. Took my car in for a whole week, so before that I installed a dash cam just in case.

When I got the car from the shop, there were some noticeable scratches on the surfaces, one was significantly long - about 7 inches, but thankfully on the film. Told the staff checking in about it, and he said since its on the film and the film has self healing feature it will go away soon. I thought I was overly sensitive to something that other people won't even notice at all because it was a fresh car out of factory and dealership, so I decided to let it go as it will eventually take damages and wear out.

Then few days ago, I finally checked the footage of the dash cam, and I was shocked to find out that actually the installer's brother, who worked on the tints, took my car to a machine wash on the day they returned it to me. My jaw just dropped. I detail and wax my cars with my own buffer, have bunch of cleaning tools and been doing self wash with microfiber towers for years so I can avoid having scratches and damages done to the paint as much as possible. It was just painful to imagine my car going through the car wash and taking billions of minor scratches on the coatings and paint. It was painful not just because my new A5 costed me a kidney and 5 other organs, but also because I just care a lot about my car regardless of the price tag on it. I have been doing that for an already second-handed, 8 year old Volkswagen even on the day I sold it to a private party. The dash cam was not attached to the windshield, so they put my cam in the cup holder so they probably thought that it was not recording anything. But little did they know that sound was still being recorded and its location was tracked with GPS.

The whole reason I splashed 2,500 was to minimize rock chips, scratches and whatnot to preserve the paint, but the fact that they took my car to a car wash sabotaged my intention. Especially on other parts of the paint that was not covered by the film.

I was going to take my car in again because they told me they forgot to put back a plastic part in the engine room and needed to fix some bubbles still left on the film. I was thinking it was even worth it to mention about the dissatisfaction I have had upfront. Before expressing some negative opinions to someone, I took some time to think it twice, cool down my stirred up emotions and bring up my rationality.

Having him drive my car for 20 miles is totally cool, going over 3000rpm on acceleration with 200 miles mark is okay considering I take break-in period rather seriously, renting me a quite beat up 2002 Grand Cherokee for free but with low coolant level warning and almost flat tires was bearable, and not telling me about a loud scratching sound when backing up is okay. Machine washing is not a death sentence to a car, surely. I was going to detail and wax the car once every 6 months or so anyway. They are real nice people who are very personal. Price was reasonable and job quality is not the best but very good - left some little bit uneven cuts, and bubbles which they told me they would fix it if I bring the car in again. I am perhaps a little bit more than paranoia about having a perfect condition.

But I also wanted to hear some other voices about this case - would you be upset too if an installer took your new A5 to a machine car wash? What would you do if you find out about it? Or is it something I should be less sensitive about for the sake of my mental health? Lol

Last edited by Shon.C; 01-25-2019 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:22 AM
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A little upset, but perhaps more with myself on the choice of supplier

Having the brother of a window tint guy, rather than a car detailing specialist, do a paint treatment doesn't seem a great idea for someone concerned about maintaining paint finish quality. But then all they have done is stuck a film over the existing paint - it seems you had not arranged any form of paint correction before having the film applied. So it isn't as if one pass through a scratchy machine wash has marred a perfect finish.

But don't stress, the paranoia on maintaining a perfect finish usually only last about 3 months upon receipt of a new car, then you become a little more pragmatic about small scratches and swirl marks. Which to some degree are unavoidable, but equally are treatable.

You also need to ask yourself whether you were unhappy with the finish of your car, or is it only after checking the dash cam footage that you have an issue? If the latter, pretend it never happened and continue to enjoy your hard earned new car
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