I dont even want to try and use the automatic car wash. Had experiences with it ripping out antenna on other cars.I only tried a coin-op automatic car wash once.
Put my money in, drove into the bay stopping when the "STOP" sign lit up.
Then the machine started...
Rotating brushes started turning, moving inward from the forward position until they touched in the center...
Then water started spraying and the brushes started moving towards the front of my little Smart...
And stopped about 10" from the front of the car.
The machine did not detect that my car was even there so it reset itself and shut off.
So, from that time on, I only use self operated wand and brushes at the coin op.
Yeah, that would work too. But still, the manual wash costs me $4 where the automatic with all the same features would cost $15.When I had the stock antenna, I just removed it prior to going into the wash. I have an Avenger antenna now and it isn't fazed by getting beat by brushes.
Also a good note. The Webasto roofs on these cars (well, at least the 451s) degrade when you use the Spot-Free rinse solvents that many touchless washes depend on. Some soft-touch washes use those solvents too, so watch out.I wash my 2016 all the time in automatic car washes. Never had a problem (and they don't have a whip antenna). In fact, I seem to remember that the manual encourages using soft touch car washes and not to use touchless as they use much harsher chemicals. So, I'm just doing what the manual says! (and it only costs 8-10 bucks for a good wash)
Edit: Found it! From the manual:
"! Never clean your vehicle in a Touchless
Automatic Car Wash as these use special
cleaning agents. These cleaning agents can
damage the paintwork or plastic parts."
"You can wash the vehicle in an automatic car
wash from the very start.
If the vehicle is very dirty, pre-wash it
before cleaning it in an automatic car wash.
After using an automatic car wash, wipe off
wax from the windshield and the wiper blades.
This will prevent smears and reduce wiping
noises caused by residue on the windshield."