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Is It Ok To Take Tonneau Cover Through Car Wash?

Is It Ok To Take Tonneau Cover Through Car Wash?

By PattyKay Lilley

Taking your vehicle through a car wash can be a great way to keep it clean without having to do any of the work yourself – but if you have a tonneau cover fitted on your truck, you might not be sure of whether it’s ok for that to go through too. After all, are the powerful jets of water and pressurized brushes going to cause damage?

Thankfully, understanding whether or not it is safe to take your tonneau cover through the car wash isn’t as complicated as it may initially seem. In this blog post, we’ll talk in detail about everything you need to know before taking your tonneau cover out for its own ‘spa day’.

Is It Ok To Take Tonneau Cover Through Car Wash?

In general, it’s safe to take your tonneau cover through an automatic car wash. These covers are designed to be durable and resilient, often constructed from robust materials like aluminum, vinyl, or high-density plastic.

They are intended to withstand harsh weather conditions – rain, snow, hail, and even the relentless sunshine. Therefore, a trip through the car wash is unlikely to cause any significant damage.

However, this doesn’t mean you should rush to your nearest car wash without a second thought. The type and quality of the tonneau cover, along with the kind of car wash, play crucial roles in determining whether it’s safe to run your tonneau cover through.

For instance, a soft, vinyl tonneau cover might not stand up as well to high-pressure jets or brushes as a hard, aluminum cover.

Additionally, the type of car wash can matter too. Touchless car wash systems, where no brushes or cloths come into contact with your vehicle, are generally safer for tonneau covers. They use high-pressure water jets and detergents to clean your vehicle, minimizing the risk of scratches or damage.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to check with the manufacturer of your tonneau cover before taking it through a car wash. Some manufacturers may void warranties if damage occurs from a car wash, while others do not have such restrictions.

In conclusion, while it’s usually safe to take a tonneau cover through a car wash, it’s best to take precautions to ensure your cover stays in the best possible condition.

Should You Remove Your Tonneau?

Should You Remove Your Tonneau?

Whether or not you should remove your tonneau cover before visiting a car wash depends mostly on the type of cover you have and its condition. If you have a hard tonneau cover that’s in good shape, it’s usually fine to leave it on. These hard covers are designed to withstand the high water pressure and mechanical movements of a car wash.

On the other hand, if you have a soft tonneau cover, especially one that’s showing signs of wear and tear, it may be a good idea to remove it. Soft covers are generally more susceptible to damage, from the high-powered water jets and abrasive brushes found in many car wash facilities.

Furthermore, an older tonneau cover or one that’s already showing some damage might not fare well in a car wash. Even a hard tonneau cover can be susceptible to damage if it’s older or has started to deteriorate. In such cases, removing the cover before washing your truck can help prevent further damage.

Additionally, the decision to remove or not might also depend on the type of car wash you’re planning to use. If you’re visiting a touchless car wash, it’s generally safer to leave your tonneau cover in place. However, if you’re planning on using a traditional car wash with spinning brushes and high-pressure water jets, removing the cover can help avoid potential harm.

Ultimately, the best advice is to consult your tonneau cover’s manufacturer. They can provide you with specific instructions based on the material and construction of your cover. Remember, keeping your tonneau cover in good shape will prolong its life and maintain the aesthetic appeal of your truck.

See more: Should I Roll-Up My Tonneau Cover In Car Wash?


When it comes to maintaining your tonneau cover and deciding whether to take it through a car wash, several common questions often arise. Here, we address some of the most frequently asked queries to help you keep your cover in the best possible condition.

Does a Car Wash Void Tonneau Cover Warranty?

Many tonneau cover manufacturers do not void the warranty if you take your cover through a car wash. Nonetheless, some might have restrictions, especially if the cover incurs damage from the process. It’s always recommended to check the warranty terms from the manufacturer. In the case of any ambiguity, contacting the manufacturer directly would provide the most accurate answer.

Can I Use Regular Cleaning Supplies on my Tonneau Cover?

The type of cleaning supplies you should use on your tonneau cover depends on the material it’s made from. For instance, a cover made of vinyl can be cleaned with mild soap and water. On the other hand, aluminum or plastic covers might require specific cleaning agents.

Always avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can potentially damage your cover. If your tonneau cover has a warranty, using improper cleaning supplies might void it. Again, consulting the manufacturer’s instructions would be the best course of action.

How Often Should I Clean my Tonneau Cover?

The frequency of tonneau cover cleaning largely depends on the external conditions it’s exposed to. If the cover is regularly exposed to dust, dirt, and harsh weather conditions, cleaning it once every two weeks is a good rule of thumb.

However, if you’re using your truck in a relatively cleaner environment, a monthly cleaning should suffice. Regular cleaning not only keeps your cover looking good, but it also extends its lifespan. Be sure to dry the cover thoroughly after each cleaning to prevent any potential water damage.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the decision to take a tonneau cover through a car wash depends largely on the type of cover and car wash, as well as the condition of the cover. Each type of cover has its strengths and vulnerabilities which should be taken into consideration before making the decision.

Regardless of whether you choose to take your tonneau cover through a car wash or not, what’s most important is regular and proper maintenance. Cleaning it regularly, using the right cleaning supplies, and protecting it from extreme weather conditions will go a long way in extending its life.

Moreover, always remember to consult your manufacturer or check the warranty before making any decisions. This will help ensure you’re not doing anything that may void the warranty or unnecessarily risk damage to your cover.

In conclusion, while tonneau covers are certainly robust, they still require a certain level of care and attention. By taking these simple precautions, you can ensure the longevity and aesthetic appeal of your cover for years to come.

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