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2018 Forester 2.5 Premium
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I live in the mountains of North Carolina, where we typically get 36+ inches of snow per year, as well as sleet, freezing rain and general icy conditions. My previous Subaru (1999 Outback Limited Wagon) had developed rather severe rust through from all the road salt used here. In an effort to prevent this on my '18 Forester, I bought a monthly 'wash pass' to the local automatic car wash. It is a spinning cloth type of car wash. After a few months of car washes, I have noticed very fine scratches on the plastic side portions of the bumpers, both front and back. Is this common, and is there a way to mitigate this with polish or wax?

Thanks for any ideas.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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It is a spinning cloth type of car wash. After a few months of car washes, I have noticed very fine scratches on the plastic side portions of the bumpers, both front and back. Is this common
Yes, it is. The brushes themselves aren't great, but they also tend to retain some of the dirt in the fibres which can make them extra abrasive. If there isn't a brushless carwash in your area consider buying a pressure sprayer and cleaning the car yourself. For the last 25 years I've only ever cleaned my cars with a truck wash detergent applied with a snow gun powered by a pressure sprayer. I don't hand wash, or apply wax. That said, road salt isn't a factor where I live.

The important thing is flushing the salt off, especially from underneath. Ime, car washes don't really do this that well. Hopefully, they do better in areas where road salt is used.
 

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2019 Forester
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I hand wash my Forester every two weeks and never use automated washes. Every dirty car that goes through end so up scratching your car.
 
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