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Old 10-05-2007, 08:08 AM   #1
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Drive Thru Car Wash

I am a new Boxster owner and this is the first convertible car that I have. I am planning to take my car to the drive through machine car wash later today. Is there anything I need to watch out for?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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sure while your at it why don't you wax it with a brillo pad? Maybe clean the top with Clorox? LOL

DO NOT WASH YOUR PORSCHE IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR WASH.

You will get soap on the canvas top. don't ever get soap on the canvas. Just rinse it and use the Raggtopp kit when its dirty.

if the car wash has a wheel track that's trouble for your wheel paint.

Wash the car yourself using two buckets. One with clean water and one with soapy water. Use a water softener like Optimum No Rinse in both buckets. Any car wash soap will do. Take the spray nozzle of the hose to rinse. Dry with a waffle weave towel. Maybe spray a quick detailer on while the car is still wet/damp before wiping dry. This reduces the swirling, you should avoid rubbing on dry paint.

If you don't have a hose fill a bucket with warm water and add a couple of ounces of Optimum no Rinse and after soaking the car, wipe the paint down paint in one direction, dunk the sponge and repeat. This method has become very common for high end pro detailers because it gets the car clean in the least amount of time...without having to use a hose.

If you absolutely must wash it away from home, find one of those coin operated car washes where you spray down the car yourself but don't use their brush and their soap. First stop by Pepboys, Wal-Mart and buy some car wash soap (I like the turtle wax clear soap) a sponge, a Meguiars Gold Class wheel face brush, two small buckets and buy a waffle weave towel from Bed and Bath. Once you have all your "supplies" put in the quarters and add soap to the two buckets, fill with water all the way to the top, rinse down the car itself, Rinse out the wheel wells, rinse the top WELL, and rinse under the bumpers. Put down the hose, brush your wheels and tires with one bucket, and then wash the paint and glass with the other bucket. Take your time. Then fill the coin machine up again and when the water comes on just rinse everything down.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 10-05-2007 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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I am a dumb a**

I just realized I asked a very stupid question. I will spend the time to hand wash it.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #4
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well if your in Mass washing it yourself in winter can be hard. I have a garage now but before this I would take the BoxsterS to an underground parking garage and use the one bucket (with a lid!) filled with warm water and Optimum No Rinse. Good excuse to get out of the house when its too cold to do anything else.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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realistically, what damage can a touchless car wash do to your car?
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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to the paint nothing really but for your canvas top those detergents are no good.
Detergents attract dust. which gets into the threads, brings on fading, and ends up tearing threads and gives you those weird looking creases.

If you have a hardtop its fine, that's if you can find a touchless car wash.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:53 AM   #7
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oh, thanks I didn't know that.

So I guess I could drive with the top down through the car wash then
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfectlap
to the paint nothing really but for your canvas top those detergents are no good.
Detergents attract dust. which gets into the threads, brings on fading, and ends up tearing threads and gives you those weird looking creases.

If you have a hardtop its fine, that's if you can find a touchless car wash.
agreed .... up to a point though.

since i've joined up with the pca, i attended a clinic for detailing (http://polishandwax.com). the local automatic carwash probably doesn't attend to their chemicals as well as we could at home. and if i'm proven wrong by those that own a local auto-wash, i'll bet that the next guy down the road hit the snooze button on his/her auto-wash maintenance.

ichiro75, you'll do more for your car's appearance, up-keep and a longer lasting shine when you spend just a little time with a nice meguire's wash/wax. (insert your favorite here) when you do a little searching around here on this subject, you'll see some in-depth knowledge to learn from & hold on to. i did.

'nuff said.....
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:24 AM   #9
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I know from experience, i took the boxster to a carwash and the tire guide track scratched up my drivers side from rim, it scratched up the lip pretty good.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:50 AM   #10
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I would stay away from any car wash that is not a hand wash or a DIY carwash with the canvas top. I got a hardtop so I might try the drive through automated ar wash, but the one that does not use a track.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:21 PM   #11
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Sad to admit, but I rarely washed my car prior to getting my box - I once went about 3-4 years without a wash on my old car. As a result, I had to re-learn how to wash a car.

I don't have a house or a hose and there are no hand-wash places around where I live. As a result, I use DIY car ports. One instant word of caution is do not spray the canvas top with the jet on high intensity. Gently spray on lower setting and start from a distance.

I have determined that DIY car ports are crap for washing a car if you only use the jet. To get junk off that car, you need to hand/bucket wash. I use them only fo pre-wash rinses and post-wash rinses. I do everything (washing and waxing) by hand.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:47 PM   #12
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well there are some automatic tunnell washes that I would sooner drive my car through than about 90% of the hand car washes I have seen.

The big problem is that the hand car wash places use their wash mitts and drying towels too long before they are cleaned. It's usually up to the guy working in the car wash when to decide to clean off the wash mitts/drying towels.
Which is nooooo good. Those guys don't give a **************** about your pretty Porsche.
I see these filthy SUV's go through righ in front of me and the workers will just do a quick dunk of the wash mitts. That means there are probably 20+ cars worth of debris in the sink before it reaches your Boxster.
And I've yet to visit a hand car wash (usually small ops) where they used a drying towel that wasn't CRAP with ripped binding and loose threads. As a matter of fact I wouldn't even let them dry the car. I'd give them a tip and ask them not to dry the car, pull over and take a waffle weave out from my duffle bag of detailing stuff.

I had a few black cars before, one of which was freshly painted before I bought it. After only a few months of hand car washing I could see spider webbing and swirls. And I once bent a $350 BBS RK wheel at one of those tunnell washes.

p.s.
^ A high pressure stream of water will not hurt the canvas, actually you should use this but avoid going near the weather stripping. I use an oxo feather tip car wash brush while rinsing to dislodge spotts.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
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also don't forget that the car washes add an acid to the water to assist in removing dirt. this acid over time is not friendly to paint and clearcoat finishes.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichiro75
I just realized I asked a very stupid question. I will spend the time to hand wash it.
That was not a stupid question. Since you didn't know the answer, it was a very good question to have asked!

Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the forum.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:57 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone!

So I took your advice and hand wash and wax the car. I also vacuum and clean up the interior. It took me 4 hours!!! but it was well worth the time and effort. The car looks soooo clean and good now. I am going to take some pictures tomorrow and post it here. Thanks again!
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:10 PM   #16
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Hi, Congrats, that wasn't a stupid question at all and I'm sure some others learned something from this post just like myself .

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:32 PM   #17
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Let's not forget how many of these places recycle their water as well. I stopped at a self serve wash in NM and for the kife of me could not get the black Benz clean. There was a lot of crap in that water, even the rinse was not 100% fresh.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:07 PM   #18
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Track fed car washes

This is an old thread, but I have to leave a comment after todays experience. I work in Novato, CA and I work a lot. Which in the winter time, when the sun goes down at 5 p.m. , makes it very difficult to wash the boxster during the week. So if I'm busy on the weekends, it does not stay as clean as it should.

Today I decided I would let someone else wash my car (big mistake). There's a handwash next to where I work but they use a track system. I drove over there anyway (big mistake #2) and they told me their track system doesn't damage wheels. I even showed them my perfect wheels before the car went in for a wash. Anyway, car came out, and big suprise...scratched wheels!

They told me the scratches were already there. I am having the wheels fixed then heading back to this carwash place to have them pay it. They don't know it yet, but they are paying one way or the other.

Moral of story: as has been said before, never, ever use a carwash with a track.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
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they told me their track system doesn't damage wheels. I even showed them my perfect wheels before the car went in for a wash. Anyway, car came out, and big suprise...scratched wheels!
What else do you expect the 18 year old minimum wage employee to say?

"Sir, please don't use our excellent auto wash as it will mar your perfect Porsche wheels. Thanks, have a nice day and don't ever come back."
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:02 PM   #20
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Point taken. However, the guy who welcomes you in, is the 50 year old owner of the carwash!

I made a call to find out how much it would be to get my wheels fixed, and I was quoted at 175 bucks. I then stopped back at the carwash to ask the owner to cover the cost. He told me the best he could do would be to give me a credit for $175 worth of car washes.

I thought about it for a second: carwash scratches the wheels on my car, I pay to have wheels fixed, owner reimburses me with more car washes. Does this make any since?

I feel like this guy is an "18 year old minimum wage employee". Anyway, Its my own fault, I shouldn't have taken the risk, but I hate when my poor boxster is dirty.

Last edited by achillian; 01-13-2009 at 02:26 PM.
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