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Old 11-30-2008, 12:15 PM   #1
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Automatic car washes?

I have been the proud owner of an '05 Boxster since February and I feel it represents about the most fun you can have on four wheels.

I live in a condo without access to a garden hose which raises the question about the advisablity of running the Boxster (with its convertible top) through a car wash. The dealer suggests it's not a good idea.

I have been driving the car to a friend's house and washing it there but that won't work when the weather turns cold here in Toronto.

What do you think about using an automatic car wash?

Thanks.

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Old 11-30-2008, 12:31 PM   #2
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Hmmm, good question.... If I were in your situation I would likely go to one of the self-serve bays with the high pressure wand, but bring your own bucket and wash mitt and try not to use the full force of the high pressure water, it can find it's way into tiny cracks and freeze...

or seriously consider buying a hardtop for the winter months.
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Old 11-30-2008, 12:46 PM   #3
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There are self-serve indoor car washes you can go to that charges by the minute, there's one by my area which I will go to.

Or else just pay a detailing shop to detail your car.

It's not a question of getting a hardtop or not. No car enthusiasts will take their car to an automatic car wash...

Last edited by ekam; 11-30-2008 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:07 PM   #4
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I have no issue with running my cars through a no touch car wash such as a Laser 4000 when the hardtop is in place.
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #5
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I've never had a problem with the top leaking, the top and windows are really tightly sealed on my car, so I don't think the pressure would be a problem. Just make sure the top is protected with Ragg Top or another such product that will keep the soap on the surface.

I would never run my car through an automatic car wash that uses brushes. That's just asking for surface scratches. The brushless washes, which don't do such a great job of getting the car really clean at least won't mar the finish, provided they don't use a strong detergent to clean the car. If they do use a detergent, it will strip the wax off the car, in which case, you'll have to wash and wax it again after getting it washed. Either way, it's not the best way to treat your Porsche.

The best solution is to find a water spigot near the house and wash it in the street/driveway with 2 buckets, a dedicated car wash solution and a nice, soft wash mitt.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:12 PM   #6
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I think my Owners Manual states to not use high pressure washes, and something is telling me why, but I am afraid to say it because I am not sure why I am thinking it. ha ha But anyway, there are reasons not to. I have used coin ops for a quickie to get dust or sap rinsed off, and I keep a distance with the wand so that the water is not high force when it meets the paint. You might like the coin op, if one is available to you, when it is really cold and you just want to freshen up the exterior.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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Check into a product called No Rinse wash and shine. I have used it with success and you only need two buckets that you can fill in your sink/bathtub.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:38 PM   #8
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I use one of those touchless self serve car washes about once a year or so to clean up the exterior while away from home. No perceived problems so far. 10 yr old paint still looks new... original top A-OK.
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Old 11-30-2008, 03:51 PM   #9
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You don't want to get soap on the softtop, so I would recommend using a self-serve car wash. That's what I do in the summer and it's my preference in the winter. Just avoid spraying the top with anything other than water. Occasionally I'll use an automated car wash, but only if it doesn't touch the paint and I have my hardtop on.
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Old 11-30-2008, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000
You don't want to get soap on the softtop
Why not? What does the soap do?
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:27 PM   #11
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I do remember being advised on this forum not to run my through a car wash, but I couldn't state specifics.

I take mine to my parents' house to wash since they have a better set up. I admit I'm not the best at doing it regularly though. I know we have self service car washes here like someone else mentioned.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:54 PM   #12
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canvas and car wash soap are not friends. the detergents attract dust which breaks down the threads. If you get soap on the top rinse it out thoroughly.

one more on the No Rinse solution if you don't have regular access to a hose. You can get away with one bucket of warm water and two shots of the No Rinse. Use a sheepskin mitt or a chenille sponge. dunk the mitt and hold it over each panel to wet down the car. then simply wipe in the direction of the wind. dunk the mit before moving onto another panel. To dry off the car use a waffle weave towel. Probably a good idea to use a spray wax or quick detailer before wiping.
With the remaining water in the bucket use a wheel face brush(Meguiar's Gold Class for intance) and brush down the wheels.

I actually use No Rinse instead of doing a full bucket and hose wash. Cuts down on the paint swirling.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:12 PM   #13
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Car washes are, in general, really bad for your paint. In order to keep costs down, the water is reused. They filter it for solid dirt, but the more it is used, the more acidic it becomes.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:14 AM   #14
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Automatic Car Washes?

Thanks to everyone for your helpful replies.

I am now convinced I should go the "No Rinse" method in my heated condo garage when I can't get to a hose and when outside temp goes below freezing.

Thanks, again.
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:53 AM   #15
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Which reminds me I have put in another order.

If you sign up for the detailcity.com newsletter they'll send you a discount code.

This bottle is good for a least 16 washes.

No Rinse
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:43 PM   #16
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Done.

Thanks Perfectlap
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:41 PM   #17
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I realize I'm late to the conversation and glad you've decided against using an automatic wash. I just wanted to add a couple items that haven't been discussed yet, but are important. I ran my previous Box through a touchless wash the first winter I owned it. It ended up knicking my nice Sport Classic IIs. The other item to mention is a Boxster is very low and may have trouble clearing everything without scraping. That can't be good.

+1 on using the coin operated hand wash.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:47 AM   #18
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Thanks for the tips.

All the replies I have received about my question were extremely helpful in getting me on the right track. Very educational.

An excellent forum.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:43 PM   #19
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Just to add to this, before using the No Rinse I usually take the Box to a do-it-yourself car wash and just use the wand set to rinse and spray the car, undercarriage, wheel wells and rims off.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:13 PM   #20
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Rain X warning

And one more piece of advice..... never, never , never use Rain X on anything other than your front windshield.

Rain X attacks rubber and neoprenes. If you put it on your side windows, it will attach the rubber seal on the door edge. It will attack emblems. GM still doesn't know what to do about Rain X.. they have warranty problems because people put Rain X on the Chevy Emblems to keep them pretty. The emblems peel and bubble up. (I can send you the GM test spec)

It ok on the front window and the back window... but no where else.

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