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To car wash... Or not to car wash - That is the question!

Discussion in 'Wash, Wax, Detailing, Protection, Cosmetic Repairs' started by angrytoddler, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. angrytoddler

    angrytoddler Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Steve
    Car(s):
    Red LE Supra MKV, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Explorer Sport
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    Title sums it up....

    I love washing all the cars myself but there is a new high tech wash near me. Traditional drive thru inexpensive version... Have been using my other cars as tests.

    Pretty impressed.... But I'm sure there is definitely the chance of a scratch or debris from the other cars stuck in the cleaning brushes.

    Today took my wife's explorer sport - which was filthy from a drive to the mountains and unpaved roads. Surprisingly it really did a good job even on the rims which were caked with grim.

    So.... The question.....

    What does everyone else think? Would be great to have a quick option for exterior washes sometimes. And the monthly membership is only $23 with tax for the month.... Can cancel anytime.

    Plus my neighbor likes to tell me im hurting my car by washing it to much. LOL
     
  2. YungMercureal

    YungMercureal Well-Known Member

    Car(s):
    2020 3.0 Premium Supra - Nitro Yellow
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    If there's brushes then there always a chance to get scratches and swirls on the paint. Comes down to if you care about that level of detail. If I were to ever take mine to a carwash, it would be a touchless one, and idk if I'd want to do that.

    I plan to wash mine every 2-3 weeks once it stops being cold outside, but I enjoy doing it. Gets me outside of my house.
     
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  3. Supraboi7

    Supraboi7 Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Jonathan
    Car(s):
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    I would say skip it, the issue being those same brushes that are slapping your car have been all over everyone else’s. From the guy in the lifted truck who goes mudding to the typical neglected minivan, and the brushes aren’t washed or changed out frequently enough. I worked at a car wash for a long time that claimed to clean well and be state of the art and all that good stuff but there was no denying the cars that were regulars had their fair share of swirls. The paint won’t look bad right away, but they’ll build up over time. What you make up for in speed and convenience now you may lose later in painstaking paint correction and compounding. If you’re not picky about the finish, or have a lighter color or keep it waxed every now and then you’ll probably scoot by just fine and it’ll look ok but i think the Supra deserves better, just my 2 cents :)
     
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  4. Supraboi7

    Supraboi7 Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Jonathan
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    Oh and let’s not forget all the other real damages that happens at these automatic car washes: cars hitting each other, mirrors being ripped off, curbed wheels pulling up on the track, one time a fish hook got stuck in the brush and scratched the piss out of everyone’s car...lots of fond memories haha
     
  5. OP
    OP
    angrytoddler

    angrytoddler Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Steve
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    Yeah... This is what worries me I guess. I will continue to have wash.... Hopefully my neighbor doesn't tell me how I'm hurting my car by washing it.lol
     
  6. digicidal

    digicidal Well-Known Member

    Car(s):
    2020 Supra, 2020 RX350, 2007 4Runner
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    If you're doing it yourself and not using harsh abrasive cleansers... then it's quite the opposite. A gentle soap and water wash wouldn't hurt if you did it every day IMO. It's the stuff that gets on the car that will hurt it... bird poop, bugs, tar, oils from the road, etc.

    If you're not using anything that can rub off the clear (compounds, etc) then it's fine. If the clear coat was that thin and/or weak... no one living in the UK or either US coast would have any left! Gentle soaps just lift dirt and oils... they don't have anything that can wear away the finish - brushes in a car wash on the other hand... definitely do!
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    angrytoddler

    angrytoddler Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Steve
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    Yeah - I almost only need to suds it down and then dirt pretty much rolls off. I use Adams Care care stuff for now - and don't use anything abrasive. Maybe the neighbor washes they car with sandpaper and had a bad experience?
     
  8. phm14

    phm14 Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Peter
    Car(s):
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    Hand wash is always better. I did our LC 500, Tundra, 4Runner, and '20 YXZ1000R, on Saturday. Took ~ 4 hours, since the Tundra and YXZ needed road salt removed (underside and engine bay get attention), from the last interstate trip. Recently started using a brush designed for cars, with a long, extendable handle. It's fast, and saves your back. How long would 4 rounds trips to the car wash take, and how much $, for an inferior result?
     
  9. XtremeMaC

    XtremeMaC Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    MaC
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    If there are no spinning things that touch your car, you should be OK.
    I personally wash it in my garage with foaming cannon and 2 bucket system.
    I saw an undercarriage washing attachment, not sure if it's worth the effort now.
    Wish I had a lift for many reasons. :rolleyes:

    get this for your garage: ;)
     
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  10. Half Vast

    Half Vast Well-Known Member

    Car(s):
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    Bottom line is it's your vehicle, treat it as you wish. You'll get some folks that say don't do it ever; some will occasional is ok. If the car is a keeper, consider the long term effects of machine wash.

    For me, my choice is hand wash. Like others have said, I enjoy doing it. Although, if I could convince the wife to put one of those "No Touch" washes that @XtremeMaC posted......
     
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  11. digicidal

    digicidal Well-Known Member

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    I'm reasonably sure that between the cost of the machine, the installation requirements, sealing and tiling your garage, etc.... it would probably be quite a bit cheaper to just purchase a second identical supra to remain "pristine" (or just fully repaint yours in 4-5 years). o_O
     
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  12. 30MilesOffshore

    30MilesOffshore Well-Known Member

    Car(s):
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    Definitely hand wash all the time. I remember my buddy telling me about one time when he was a teen and they tied bolts onto the brushes on one of the automated car washes. He said when the brushes started spinning all you could hear were the bolts smacking the car and beating it to death. Plus, remember that the sign when you drive in says "Not Responsible For Any Damage"......

    Ever since I heard that story, I've never been to another automated car wash ever again.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    angrytoddler

    angrytoddler Well-Known Member

    First Name:
    Steve
    Car(s):
    Red LE Supra MKV, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Ford Explorer Sport
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    South Jersey
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    Yeah.... I have stuck with hand washing.

    But I do take the FJ to the auto wash.... Surprisingly they say they cover any damage to cars less than 10 years.
     

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