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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2012, 07:47 AM
Taeksoo Taeksoo is offline
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Car wash

Sorry if this is I. Wrong forum but since I'm gonna be a 335i owner soon I thought I'd ask here.
I've read in other threads that people wash their cars themselves. I can understand doing it myself -vs- taking it to car wash shops. But what I don't get is doing it myself -vs- dealer doing it. I thought dealers wash our car whenever I bring it to them as service. If this is true then I can't believe dealer wash would be a bad thing to my car.

So, any thoughts or advice on this? Do you wash your own car -vs- taking it to the deal? If so, why? Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:04 AM
jfox335i jfox335i is offline
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Probably depends on the dealer and how they wash it. The dealer closest to me has one of those automated washes, which I worry about scratches in those. (Hence why I wash my own)
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:09 AM
Taeksoo Taeksoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfox335i View Post
Probably depends on the dealer and how they wash it. The dealer closest to me has one of those automated washes, which I worry about scratches in those. (Hence why I wash my own)
Yeah, that makes sense. So I gotta ask my dealer around me how they wash. Thanks!

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  #4  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:12 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Most dealers have auto washes. Would take to much time and money to hand wash
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  #5  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:13 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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What about one of those pay-with-quarters-and-use-the-water/soap-spray-gun-yourself places?

Obviously you won't scratch the car this way... but is the water pressure too high? They kick out a LOT of water pretty quick.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:29 AM
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SergioK SergioK is offline
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High pressure water won't scratch the paint, unless sand/dirt/mud is on it.

What WILL scratch paint are cheap old rags and non-microfiber cloth, used to wash or dry. They create 'spider' scratches in the clear coat.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:35 AM
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Daedalus34r Daedalus34r is offline
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my dealer has a ghetto cloth machine like you'd see at a gas station. Im pretty sure all of them do, id be surprised if they had a touch-less setup. I rarely go to the dealer for work (out of warrenty) but when i do I am adament about not having a car wash done afterwards.

All this really boils down to how much you care about car washes, and how willing you are to do it yourself. i want to say 90% of bmw owners probably dont care as they are just buying for status. The other 10% being people who frequent this forum and take more interest in maintaining their ride.
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  #8  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:46 AM
otonimus otonimus is offline
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Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
High pressure water won't scratch the paint, unless sand/dirt/mud is on it.
Ummm... well that's kind of why you wash the car, no?

There is no low pressure pre-rinse option as far as I know
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  #9  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:48 AM
gpburdell gpburdell is offline
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Think this through....

Unlikely a dealer will have a touchless car wash; they couldn't put the convertibles through. Plus, I've never seen one which actually does anything more that get the top layer of dirt off, always they seem to leave a layer behind.

Non-touchless car washes... always a bad idea for the usual reasons.

If the dealer *does* do a hand car wash... Two problems... first, do you really think they'll use fresh clean high quality microfiber drying towels on every vehicle, or will they reuse the same drying towels over and over, carrying the grit from the previous car's rocker panels across your hood and roof? Second, will the person doing the washes be a skilled professional detailer who cares about the paint finish... or some minimum wage person who splits his time between sweeping the shop, acting as go-fer, and washing cars?
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2012, 09:09 AM
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SergioK SergioK is offline
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I can attest to the mind numbing minimum wagers washing cars by hand at dealerships in SoCal. I was one of them back when I was a teen. Oh those poor cars!

I make the SA write in big letters across the work order, DO NOT WASH!
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2012, 03:51 PM
donquixotesque donquixotesque is offline
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I've had my car long enough to need only a couple of washes so far, and I've stuck to touchless. They don't dry very well, so I spend a few minutes after the wash drying it myself gently with a clean microfiber.

I wonder how good a touchless do at cleaning after a long drive with bugs stuck in the front.

And when I take my care in for service, I'm definitely inquiring about their wash facilities before dropping the car off. I would assume that dealerships would be wise enough to handle these cars with care.
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:30 PM
Taeksoo Taeksoo is offline
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Thanks allot for sharing. Good info. Some I didn't even thought about. I'll washing it myself

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  #13  
Old 11-29-2012, 08:51 PM
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Most dealers have automated washes or have a deal going with the local gas station that has an automated wash. I know for a fact that a couple dealers here in MD have hired a 3rd party to wash their cars by hand.
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2012, 10:47 AM
Impatient Impatient is offline
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I've gone through the gas station touchless when it was looking bad & I couldn't get to it myself. I am not willing to take it to the AutoBell (better than gas station - they vacuum, towel dry, etc.) because they drive it on & off the auto external wash & I don't trust them with the 6MT. I am still in leaf season here & do not have a garage. Hoping I won't feel the need to wash so often once the leaves are down.
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:32 AM
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Hand washing is only part of the concern. The towels used, chemicals used to clean wheels and brakes are important, too. After seeing swirls accumulate faster than I thought they should after frequenting a "high-end" hand car wash, and a true paint correction detail to rectify matters, I only take my cars to the master:

www.justwaxed.net

Worth every penny.
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2012, 10:25 AM
doc_maverick doc_maverick is offline
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I was going through a similar dilemma when it came to washing my new 335i. I'm very very discerning when it comes to my car and spent a lot of time trying to find the most reliable but practically plausible option to wash my ride. I stay in the wintery north east ( Philly ) so I have to have to wash my car fairly regularly ( every fortnight ) to get rid of the salt and dried slush.

I did not even consider auto car washes , could not put my car through that torture of dirt and grime stuck in so called soft cloth. might as well take a piece of glass and draw circles on your car ! I did consider touch less car washes and I guess it's better then the soft cloth car washes but some one told me that since they need to get the dirt off the car merely by means of high pressure water spray and soap, they end up having to use almost corrosive level " detergent " which over time could damage the car's clear coat and paint finish. Plus they are grossly inadequate in dealing with bug and tar stains.

So the only option I was left with was to hand wash my car but since I stay in an apartment community no car washes permitted there either. After asking around on this forum I came across a coin operated car wash and I have to say , I am extremely happy with the results.

First and foremost, I only use these as a source of pressure water ...nothing more nothing less. NEVER use their brushes or soap or rags ! I use Meguiar's gold wash and wax , two bucket method with grit guards, microfiber mits to actually wash the car and a super absorbent microfiber cloth to dry off the car. In the interval between car washes get rid off bird poo and the like , I use Meguiar's quick detailer spray and occasionally spray on wax. I also use latex gloves while washing the car...these doing a relatively good job of keeping my paws warm and dry , and also avoid any inadvertent scratches from a well meaning wedding ring !

Again I plead guilty to being OCD and you take what you want from my post, but in my experience , go wash your car on your own ( health and physically ability permitting ) ...it's a lot of fun and the most reliable way to clean your ride !
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2012, 11:18 AM
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CE750Jockey CE750Jockey is offline
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If you live in the cold climes, Optimum No Rinse and the two-bucket method as previously mentioned is the way to go. It's cheap, fast, easy, safe for your paint, and can be done in a garage with two gallons of water. 30 minutes and you're done without freezing your ass off.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2012, 01:00 PM
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The auto car wash down the street is no more risky than washing your car in the driveway with potentially damaging t-shirts, towels, and sponges.

Plus, when it's 25 degrees outside, and you car is soiled with road salt and road filth, who exactly wants to go outside and wash their car in the driveway anyway?

Seriously, in the winter, you basically have to wash your car after every single snow incident, and who wants to go outside when the wind is howling at 30 MPH and it's only 30 degrees outside?
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  #19  
Old 12-30-2012, 01:14 PM
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3284me 3284me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
The auto car wash down the street is no more risky than washing your car in the driveway with potentially damaging t-shirts, towels, and sponges.

Plus, when it's 25 degrees outside, and you car is soiled with road salt and road filth, who exactly wants to go outside and wash their car in the driveway anyway?

Seriously, in the winter, you basically have to wash your car after every single snow incident, and who wants to go outside when the wind is howling at 30 MPH and it's only 30 degrees outside?
Just washed mine by hand in 34 degree weather and 20 mile an hour wind gust! They salted the roads yesterday and I can't stand salt on my car. Two buckets, sheep skin mitt and microfiber = no swirls
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Last edited by 3284me; 12-30-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-30-2012, 01:20 PM
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krash krash is offline
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Just washed mine by hand in 34 degree weather and 20 mile an hour wind gust! They salted the roads yesterday and I can't stand salt on my car. Two buckets, sheep skin mitt and microfiber = no swirls
You must be a lot younger than I am, because I am not going outside to wash my car.

Clearing off the driveway with the snow blower wasn't so bad, but I'm not washing my car...

Plus, the auto car wash down the street always does a much better job than I.
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  #21  
Old 12-30-2012, 03:48 PM
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3284me 3284me is offline
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
The auto car wash down the street is no more risky than washing your car in the driveway with potentially damaging t-shirts, towels, and sponges.

Plus, when it's 25 degrees outside, and you car is soiled with road salt and road filth, who exactly wants to go outside and wash their car in the driveway anyway?

Seriously, in the winter, you basically have to wash your car after every single snow incident, and who wants to go outside when the wind is howling at 30 MPH and it's only 30 degrees outside?
Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
You must be a lot younger than I am, because I am not going outside to wash my car.

Clearing off the driveway with the snow blower wasn't so bad, but I'm not washing my car...

Plus, the auto car wash down the street always does a much better job than I.
Lol I am 50, but believe me I froze my butt off! It's all good.
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  #22  
Old 12-30-2012, 04:37 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergioK View Post
I can attest to the mind numbing minimum wagers washing cars by hand at dealerships in SoCal. I was one of them back when I was a teen. Oh those poor cars!

I make the SA write in big letters across the work order, DO NOT WASH!
Me too. Not in socal though.

The only person who washes my car is me.
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  #23  
Old 12-30-2012, 05:17 PM
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krash krash is offline
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Lol I am 50, but believe me I froze my butt off! It's all good.
You're the same age as me. I'm 50 too...
LOL!
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