A car wash customer holds up damage that happened during his wash. An employee completes paperwork in the background. (Photo: Flickr/Stephen Ramsay)

A car wash customer holds up damage that happened during his wash. An employee completes paperwork in the background. (Photo: Flickr/Stephen Ramsay)

Every once in a while, the automatic car wash mechanisms that protect cars and make them look their best can produce the opposite effect, causing damage that customers are quick to — and right to — point out.

The International Carwash Association has conducted surveys to try to determine how often car wash damage occurs. Their most recent findings, released in April, suggest that reported incidences are extremely rare. Out of some 4.4 million car washes in the first quarter of this year, business reported fewer than 4,400 cars damaged.

From the data gathered by this program, at over 300 car wash locations, we know that car wash incidents are nearly non-existent — more than 99.9% of vehicles are washed without incident,” the ICA said.

Nonetheless, the ICA recently announced that it is hoping to learn more about the damage that does happen. Are some models of car — or some after-market products — more prone to damage than others? Do some kinds of equipment cause damage more often than others? The answers could prove invaluable to car wash businesses hoping to avoid costly problems with customers.

Submitting damage details is fairly easy, through this online form, and seems to be available to members and non-members alike.

Have you seen more damage inflicted on one kind of car or after-market product in particular? Let us know in the comments, Twitter, Facebook, or by email at carwashblog@gmail.com.