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  #1  
Old 09-22-2012, 01:33 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Using a car cover without washing your car

I have no garage. I'm considering getting a good quality car cover (probably the Covercraft Noah) for my 330ci, but I've heard that car covers will scratch your car unless your car has been washed the very day you put on the car cover.

I would be using the car cover on a daily basis, but I have no way to wash the car more often than once a week (can't wash it at home at all), so most of the time the cover would go on a car that hasn't been washed for up to a week.

I've heard that it's a bad idea to use a car cover under these circumstances. What do others think?
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2012, 02:38 PM
BobBNY BobBNY is offline
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Why cover the car at all? Do you have severe atmospheric pollution? Problem with bird droppings? Especially if you are going to wash the car every week or so.

To answer your question... yes putting a car cover on a dirty car will provide opportunities for slight scratches as you grind in the small dirt particles on the car. Keep a good wax job on your car and you should be fine. It also saves you the trouble of buying the cover, putting it on and off and other people screwing around with your cover, etc.

BB
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2012, 05:05 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Thanks! To clarify, I live in southern California, so I want to prevent the sun from oxidizing the paint. Will keeping it waxed prevent that well enough?
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  #4  
Old 09-22-2012, 08:17 PM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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I wouldn't worry about scratching your car. Covering a dirty car is much better than letting the sun beat the crap out of the paint and rubber seals and trims. At night, leave it uncover. I covered my 330i when it was in CA, and in TX, I find a shade even if I have to walk a mile, but then the shade doesn't last forever.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 09-22-2012 at 08:19 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2012, 06:10 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
Thanks! To clarify, I live in southern California, so I want to prevent the sun from oxidizing the paint. Will keeping it waxed prevent that well enough?
Use instead a "synthetic wax" aka "polymer sealant", and most commonly referred to simply as "sealant" by pros and enthusiasts. It will not only last much, much longer than a wax, it more importantly is much better at resisting UV. You can always top if off with wax if you want, just give it enough time to cure (and never the other way around). You can also do multiple layers of the sealant, it would take some searching of posts at detailing forums see if people have opinions that describe the diminishing returns. My opinion is that say two coats of sealant every few/several months is a great compromise. There are a number of excellent sealants out there, they are quite affordable, and a little goes a very long way. Keep the bottle indoors or at consistent temp just in case. $20 could last you many years.

For car covers, I've got one even w/ garage, for the times when she is booted outside for any number of days because the garage space is needed for whatever reason. One of the reasons I'm generally pretty good about a wash before using the cover is because I'm more daunted by the idea of washing the cover itself than the car. It's quite big, and I've read of some pros describe how to stretch or hang it all out, washed, dried, etc, and it does seem like an event.

You have window tint everywhere with +99% UV rejection? I do, including the windshield, very, very light at 78% visible light transmission, and yet it rated the very highest with UV rejection at the most famous tint shop near me. (Darkness has nothing to do with UV rejection). Final point has been covered by members above, do not neglect your rubber trim. Not only protection, but also occasional cleaning (APC seems to be popular as well as cheap).
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:01 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Use instead a "synthetic wax" aka "polymer sealant", and most commonly referred to simply as "sealant" by pros and enthusiasts. It will not only last much, much longer than a wax, it more importantly is much better at resisting UV. You can always top if off with wax if you want, just give it enough time to cure (and never the other way around). You can also do multiple layers of the sealant, it would take some searching of posts at detailing forums see if people have opinions that describe the diminishing returns. My opinion is that say two coats of sealant every few/several months is a great compromise. There are a number of excellent sealants out there, they are quite affordable, and a little goes a very long way. Keep the bottle indoors or at consistent temp just in case. $20 could last you many years.

For car covers, I've got one even w/ garage, for the times when she is booted outside for any number of days because the garage space is needed for whatever reason. One of the reasons I'm generally pretty good about a wash before using the cover is because I'm more daunted by the idea of washing the cover itself than the car. It's quite big, and I've read of some pros describe how to stretch or hang it all out, washed, dried, etc, and it does seem like an event.

You have window tint everywhere with +99% UV rejection? I do, including the windshield, very, very light at 78% visible light transmission, and yet it rated the very highest with UV rejection at the most famous tint shop near me. (Darkness has nothing to do with UV rejection). Final point has been covered by members above, do not neglect your rubber trim. Not only protection, but also occasional cleaning (APC seems to be popular as well as cheap).
This is very, very helpful; I'm a newbie, and I can use all the help I can get. I will try these things. Thanks--
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:37 AM
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Campfamily Campfamily is offline
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I cover my car all the time when it sits outside, primarily at work, but other places as well if the car is going to sit for more than an hour or so. If you do this religously, it's amazing how clean your car will stay; all you need to do is dust the car off every few days or so. The biggest issue you're likely to have, depending what time you leave in the morning, is uncovering your car in the morning, since the cover will likely be wet from the morning dew. When you uncover the car when it is wet, you end up leaving marks all over the car. Plus, now you've got a wet cover riding around in your trunk. Fortunately I'm able to put my car in a garage at night, which means I don't have this problem.

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  #8  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:52 AM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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If it is just a little bit of dust, no worries. If it is a lot of dirt/mud type stuff, I wouldn't. N4S
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:36 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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I generally only use the car in weekends and it is garaged in my building in Manhattan. When I return to the garage I have the attendant wash it and cover it with a fitted cover.

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  #10  
Old 09-27-2012, 01:12 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
This is very, very helpful; I'm a newbie, and I can use all the help I can get. I will try these things. Thanks--
You're welcome. I do think getting the cover is a great idea, it will come in handy for sure, maybe when you're out of town, freak weather conditions over the weekend, etc. I suppose it's also possible you come up with some compromise system, say wash Sat morning, covered over weekend and say Mon/Tue until it's getting dirtier, uncovered until Sat, rinse/repeat . . .

You will note that after a fresh coat of wax/sealant, the car cover will very easily slide off the car!

A product that is worth looking into for you is Opti-Coat 2.0. I've never used it, I don't need it, it's more expensive, it doesn't look as sexy as fleeting waxes, but it is "permanent" (until mechanically abraded away), can be used on your lights as well as on your wheels inside and out (and top detailers I trust say that this seems to shed brake dust better than anything else they've tried). It has UV inhibitors. The consumer version costs maybe $60 for a syringe (should be enough for the whole car).

If you pay for a pro detailer to do this for you, well this is JMO, I wouldn't pay anyone to do this for me unless he is top notch. That is somewhat easy for me to say, because they would have to be at least pretty good to exceed my own DIY efforts.

EDIT: I totally forgot to mention . . . you say you can't wash at home at all . . . please look into both waterless and rinseless washes, neither require a hose or drain. The former requires that you only bring a spray bottle to your car! (Ok, with some microfiber towels tossed over your shoulder). Really, that's it, but only for light washes, more or less. The latter is more economical, it requires a bucket that you fill with a couple of gallons of water at home, and of course the MF towels. No hose, no drain, just walk right to your car and do it. Look into Ultima Waterless, DP Waterless, for Rinseless there are many as well (I have Optimum, makers of OptiCoat).

I've bought a lot of towels from many places, believe you me, and so far the best value I've found is here below. Do not go by weight alone, I believe the more important factor is quality, and you will get value back for your money because they will remain more supple over more washes. Go for Korean MF such as these:

http://www.microfibertech.com/16-x-1...ack_p_252.html

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 09-27-2012 at 01:18 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2012, 04:14 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Davis View Post
Thanks! To clarify, I live in southern California, so I want to prevent the sun from oxidizing the paint. Will keeping it waxed prevent that well enough?
I've had my car for 13 years. Have never covered it or waxed it (except the the mild wax in my car wash stuff). The paint (Biarritz Blue) is still beautiful. Pamper your car if it makes you feel good, but a BMW does not need protection from the elements.
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2012, 07:30 PM
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Expo BMW Expo BMW is offline
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I've been using a car cover on my daily driver for many years even when it's dusty to keep it cool and protect it from the heat. The paint along with all the trim is still in VERY good shape. Your electronics will last longer too. I also use a California Duster.
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Last edited by Expo BMW; 09-27-2012 at 07:35 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-28-2012, 12:50 PM
John Davis John Davis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
EDIT: I totally forgot to mention . . . you say you can't wash at home at all . . . please look into both waterless and rinseless washes, neither require a hose or drain. The former requires that you only bring a spray bottle to your car! (Ok, with some microfiber towels tossed over your shoulder). Really, that's it, but only for light washes, more or less. The latter is more economical, it requires a bucket that you fill with a couple of gallons of water at home, and of course the MF towels. No hose, no drain, just walk right to your car and do it. Look into Ultima Waterless, DP Waterless, for Rinseless there are many as well (I have Optimum, makers of OptiCoat).
Very handy advice; I'll try this. Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2012, 01:41 PM
5erTouring 5erTouring is offline
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I used to put a car cover on my Jet Black e46 m3. The car is always garaged but black is the worst color to keep clean. Before I cover it up, I use a microfiber cloth and dust off the car. But if the car is really dirty, I don't cover it up. Scratches are very visable on a black car.
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