BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
My Other Car Is A Bus
Joined
·
1,097 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I generally try to wash my vehicle by hand. When it's too cold, or time is short, I use the touch free guide rail free automatic. I have found myself away from home for an extended period, and my X3 is very dirty. The service dept at my dealer has always advised against driving in to a guide rail equipped car wash. The wider wheels being cited as the reason to use caution. So has anyone had any experience with a guide rail car wash? Will a few trips through be risky? I have been unable to locate a guide rail free wash in the area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I've taken my 2005 X3 to kaady (www.kaady.com) car wash many times, which is a rail guide system. That is, if rail guide is defined as two rails that the driver's side tires fit between in order to guide the car through the wash.

I have never had a problem. I did not know there were any issues with rail guided systems. The kaady car wash site even has a write up that claims hand washing is bad for the car finish :confused:.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,596 Posts
I always use the automatic car wash at the various gas stations. I have never had any problem with the guide ramp, other than some of the washes not getting the brake dust off the wheels as well as I expected. I have never had a problem with swirls, or any finish marring either. Some will swear by the no-touch water jet systems but I find they are not as good in getting seagull crap off as the regular soft brush systems. I haven't washed a car/truck by hand for 30 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,193 Posts
I usually wash my car by hand and my own pressure washer..the pressure washer has seen better days and I have been putting almost 2500 highway (bugs) miles a month on recently, so handwashing was looking to be a project. Sometimes if it's really dirty I take it to a touchless automatic that moves around the car but it doesn't do much unless the car is already clean. Now that my lease is up and I don't care I've taken it to a rail guide twice with much better results, not as good as handwashing but good enough that I don't care at this point
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Never had any problems with guide-rail system on any of our cars including the X3. The one I use does an excellent job, even on the wheels.
 

·
Registered
2018 X5M, 2014 X3
Joined
·
769 Posts
Our X3 has never seen an auto car wash. Auto washes usually will leave swirl mark unless they are truly a touchless system....esp on darker colors. In a pinch I have used them on other vehicles, but I really didn't care what happened to those as far as swirls. As far as the rails, I wouldn't think it would hurt unless the wheels are oversized in width (stockers aren't too wide at 8"-8.5").
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,596 Posts
Mystic, we have certainly had different experiences with auto car washes. I have never found swirl marks on my cars after using them, and that includes a dark green Tahoe that I drove for 10 years. Perhaps the washes in California have better soft brushes (which are usually strips of some fabric here) rather than the old fashioned rotating actual brushes that were used long ago. It is my firm belief that all cars are designed to go through the auto washes and the washes are designed to handle all cars. There are exceptions of course, jacked up 4x4's and low slung high end sporters come to mind. Now there always will be washes that are out of alignment and knock off something, but truth be told it was probably not fastened on all that well in the first place. Just like anything else, being careful and checking out the car before and after pays off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
actually i m as well swear by using 100% hand wash....unless i really have to.......the hard sound of the rotating brush just makes me crinch everytime
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top