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Auto-Braking Systems Are Being Tricked By Car Washes

At Shanahan's Auto Body & Paint, we remember, a trip to the automatic car wash was often considered an adventure, watching a series of robot arms while riding through a tunnel of soap bubbles and splashing water was auto-braking systems are being tricked by car washes

That may all change with the modern technology now being installed in the cars we drive in Sacramento, CA and all over the world for that matter. With the development of advanced safety features and autonomous vehicles, owners with certain makes and models are in for a surprise.

According to, a car shopping website, some cars immobilize at the beginning of the automatic car wash unless certain auto-braking systems are deactivated before entering. The sensors can’t tell the difference between the wall and the car wash “mitter curtain.” There are 14 vehicle manufacturers that require the safety system deactivated. It is an extensive list of both foreign and domestic vehicles including Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lexus, RAM, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo.

In some cases, cars have become stuck during the wash. Others jumped the rails in order to avoid a crash and then caused a collision with another vehicle.

In March 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced that 99 percent of U.S. automobile manufacturers will include automatic emergency braking systems in vehicles by 2022.

According to IIHS, automatic braking systems can reduce rear-end crashes by about 40 percent, and reduce injury crashes.

However, CEO Eric Wulf of the International Car Wash Association said, "There's no standardization in how autonomous and automatic braking systems operate, how they're disabled, or even if they can be disabled. reported that Wulf compiled an instruction document for member car washes to explain what to do for “Special Needs Vehicles.”

For some vehicles, it’s as simple as just pushing a button to disable the auto braking system; for others, it’s much more involved.In certain BMWs, for example, there is a special car wash mode so the vehicle can roll through the car wash if the engine is turned off. Maybe someday we’ll see a “car wash” button in our vehicle.

Want to ensure you don’t get stuck at the beginning of a car wash tunnel with a lineup of vehicles behind you? A full list of the Special Needs Vehicles is available at

Taking your dirty car to the automatic car wash may never be the same again.

We strive to bring you relative content from Shanahan's Auto Body & Paint in Sacramento , CA .

Sources:, and MSN

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