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…As much as I would love to give my car a hand wash every week, it doesn’t happen as often as it probably should. Next best thing – touchless carwash. A lot of auto enthusiasts would choose not to go for a wax spray option due to the fact that it fogs up the windows and windshield. Is that true? How about an underbody wash? Is it okay to do it during every wash? Anything specific for the winter?
Appreciate your input, guys.
 

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DG_E46 said:
…As much as I would love to give my car a hand wash every week, it doesn't happen as often as it probably should. Next best thing - touchless carwash. A lot of auto enthusiasts would choose not to go for a wax spray option due to the fact that it fogs up the windows and windshield. Is that true? How about an underbody wash? Is it okay to do it during every wash? Anything specific for the winter?
Appreciate your input, guys.
Never fogged up my windows ( what mine gets is "clearcoat protectant" whatever that is) or hurt the car. Underbody every time. Winter=wash often, hopefully whenever the streets are dry enough. If you can, take a warm, wet cotton cloth when you get home and wipe the surfaces, door sills and jambs, trunk channel and hood channels and lastly under the rocker panels. Helps keep your car reasonably clean for an easier spring detail.
 

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This should go in the detail forum, if I had to nit-pick.

For those of you living in extreme cold weather and have access to a warm garage, a better alternative to a touchless car wash or any sort of mechanical carwash place is to use a product like Meguire's Quick Detailer or Final Detailer, or Griot Garage's Speed Shine. Just have 2-3 100% cotton towels, sprits on Quick Detailer or Speed Shine and lightly towel off, and then wipe dry with another set of 100% cotten towels. It takes about 10-15 minutes to do a whole car, and you'll only need to do this every other week, and both Quick Detailer and Speed Shine has a small percentage of carnuba wax that will protect your finish.

At the end of winter, do a full clay/polish/wax detail and you're paint will look as good as new throughout the winter. :thumbup:
 

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The HACK said:
This should go in the detail forum, if I had to nit-pick.

For those of you living in extreme cold weather and have access to a warm garage, a better alternative to a touchless car wash or any sort of mechanical carwash place is to use a product like Meguire's Quick Detailer or Final Detailer, or Griot Garage's Speed Shine. Just have 2-3 100% cotton towels, sprits on Quick Detailer or Speed Shine and lightly towel off, and then wipe dry with another set of 100% cotten towels. It takes about 10-15 minutes to do a whole car, and you'll only need to do this every other week, and both Quick Detailer and Speed Shine has a small percentage of carnuba wax that will protect your finish.

At the end of winter, do a full clay/polish/wax detail and you're paint will look as good as new throughout the winter. :thumbup:
Hack, with all due respect, you've got to be kidding.

Speedshining the car with salt and winter road shit all over it would be like washing your car with sandpaper. Furthermore, salt doesn't just come off, it needs copious amounts of water and flushing to get clean. And, what about all the nooks and crannies, how about the underbody? Every other week? At the height of winter messes, I'll be in the car wash 2-3 times a week. Maybe you meant your thoughts for non-snow, cold environments.

Any folks from Ill., Minn., Canada, New England areas care to comment?
 

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I am one of those nuts that you see out there in the middle of winter with a garden hose spraying down the cars :)

Around here, it hasn't been that bad lately. There is usually at least one day every week or so that isn't THAT cold, in which I don't mind going out (bundled up in several layers of course...) and wash the car. I have a few garden hoses I keep in the basement becasue it is usually alot warmer than the shed. They usually end up freezing after use, so I alternate. I haven't had a problem yet...

On the really cold ones when you still need to get the car clean, I have one of those touchless places a few streets over, and I just spray the car down with some water, paying special attention to the wheel wells and the lower portions of the body. Always make sure you dry the car well before you let it sit, and be sure to get any excess water out of your door openings... You don't want your doors to get frozen shut!
 

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I have to agree with "johnlew". With the snow, ice, salt and sand on ALL the roads in this area, during the winter, I'd never put a rag to the body without first washing off all the "crud" with a ton of water. The sand and salt stick to everything in the winter, and they can easily gouge the paint, if missed and rubbed with a cloth. They also get into "nooks and crannys" that you can't get at with a cloth....only copious amounts of water to wash away the "hidden" enemy!

In this area, the "touchless" wash is the best alternative, unless you have a warm water supply for your pressure washer, to keep it from freezing up in -40 weather! The touchless wash that I frequent uses FRESH warm water for every wash (no recylced stuff!).

My only concern is with the Cabriolet. I already tried the touchless wash with the soft top, and my dog got an unexpected "spray" bath in the passenger seat, when the seal between the 2 side windows split for just a second, while the high pressure sprayer went buy. I hope it's better with the hard top! I even had water dripping on the driver's seat from the windscreen/roof seal (and it was TIGHT!). My dealer thinks there may be a blockage in the pillar drain.
 

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johnlew said:


Hack, with all due respect, you've got to be kidding.

Speedshining the car with salt and winter road shit all over it would be like washing your car with sandpaper. Furthermore, salt doesn't just come off, it needs copious amounts of water and flushing to get clean. And, what about all the nooks and crannies, how about the underbody? Every other week? At the height of winter messes, I'll be in the car wash 2-3 times a week. Maybe you meant your thoughts for non-snow, cold environments.

Any folks from Ill., Minn., Canada, New England areas care to comment?
I live in So. Cal. Go figure.

If it's CAKED with salt and road grime, hose it down clean first. :dunno:
 

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Canuck BMW said:

My only concern is with the Cabriolet. I already tried the touchless wash with the soft top, and my dog got an unexpected "spray" bath in the passenger seat, when the seal between the 2 side windows split for just a second, while the high pressure sprayer went buy. I hope it's better with the hard top! I even had water dripping on the driver's seat from the windscreen/roof seal (and it was TIGHT!). My dealer thinks there may be a blockage in the pillar drain.
As tight as the Cab is, it's bound to squirt under the high pressure touchless. I keep a rag in the car and on the high pressure rinse, hold it up where the front and rear windows meet. That's where mine seems to seep in. Car is small enough to reach the passenger side, especially if you raise the armrest.
 

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My tactics include:

DIY with closeable doors
Latex gloves (or if your name is Al use scuba gear :lmao: )
Hand wash
Dry
Home to warm garage
Detail spray


Don't use "hot" water to save you hands it will only destroy the wax.

If the car does not get wet in between you can follow the Hack plan and use a car duster to keep it looking good between washes.
 

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Exactly how I handled it too!
 

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In western Ny the touchless washes generally use fairly potent chemicals to compensate for "no touching" to get the car clean which strip wax faster than Palmolive. If possible, get insulated waterproof gloves (or wear gloves under the "dishwashing" type) and use plenty buckets of water in the self-serve pressue wash bay. Do not use hot water on behalf of your hands, it strips the wax and I think the wax is more important.

Personally, I carry the hose up from the basement and use super think rubber gloves, in the garage with a kerosene heater.
 

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325xi-SteelGray said:
In western Ny the touchless washes generally use fairly potent chemicals to compensate for "no touching" to get the car clean which strip wax faster than Palmolive. If possible, get insulated waterproof gloves (or wear gloves under the "dishwashing" type) and use plenty buckets of water in the self-serve pressue wash bay. Do not use hot water on behalf of your hands, it strips the wax and I think the wax is more important.

Personally, I carry the hose up from the basement and use super think rubber gloves, in the garage with a kerosene heater.
Gotta love your dedication :thumbup:
 

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Gotta love your dedication
Dedication is pretty cool but the ocd part is what can get to me! :)
 

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325xi-SteelGray said:


Dedication is pretty cool but the ocd part is what can get to me! :)
Join the club :eeps: We call that Alee-ination :eek:
 

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Join the club We call that Alee-ination
Got a good laugh out of me on that one!

Have been "playing catch up" - will be looking for other pictures of me to post as well. There was a "mini" version of this in my tattoo thread!
 

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325xi-SteelGray - is most definitely correct in stating the 'corrosiveness' of the soap used in touchless car washes. heck even the self serve wash places use pretty harsh chemicals. probably not a good idea to let the soap get onto your hands. speaking with the owner at a local self serve car wash he said he doesn't touch the soap without wearing gloves.

in the winter time they bump up the temp. of the water to prevent the hoses from icing up. i think he mentioned something like 180F. is that high enough to take the wax off if the soap didn't take it off already. :dunno:

then again with all the road salt caught in the wheel wells/underside of the car i'm sure rust is a bigger problem than keeping the car looking good.
 

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ChrisTO said:


in the winter time they bump up the temp. of the water to prevent the hoses from icing up. i think he mentioned something like 180F. is that high enough to take the wax off if the soap didn't take it off already. :dunno:

180F? Sounds highly suspect to me. Again, I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with the touchless washes. I can state UNEQUIVOCALLY, road salt is MUCH, MUCH worse. Worse case scenario, I have to do a detailing in spring...then again, I'd do that anyway.
 

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the owner said in the non-winter months they run the water around 120F and you can definitely feel it. not bad for those days when the body panels are hot from sitting out in the sun. cold water on a hot body/paint can't be good.

johnlew said:


180F? Sounds highly suspect to me.
 

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ChrisTO said:
the owner said in the non-winter months they run the water around 120F and you can definitely feel it. not bad for those days when the body panels are hot from sitting out in the sun. cold water on a hot body/paint can't be good.

Again, I've gone in MANY times from 90F to -20F and NEVER had a problem. I suppose there's a first time, but I have at least 100 washes of experience (multiple cars).
 

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Your hands are a lot less durable than your paint job with the clearcoat. Take you care to the brushless or handwash place and let them use the high pressure water and chemicals to get the salt off your paint and out the crevices. If you are really uptight about your car get a pressure washer and do it your self.

Man some people are really anal about their car.
 
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