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Old 02-14-2005, 03:52 AM   #1
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Question car wash

New owner, 2000 porsche boxster. Love it!!!
I was wondering can I go through a car wash or one of those self bays with laser jets that washes your car? If not, then I can I get a undercarriage wash?

TIA
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:21 AM   #2
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Hand wash only or live with swirl marks and damaged rims!!!
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:05 AM   #3
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Yes pls stay out of the car washes. Personally, I have a pressure washer which helps avoid much of the dreaded swirl mark issue.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:10 AM   #4
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I own a hand wash/detailing center. Never use force when washing. If the dirt does not come off then use a more effective means such as clay or mild solvents. Do not use more pressure as a wash mitt can act like sandpaper on your clearcoat. I also reiterate, do not go through a tunnel wash!!!
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:20 AM   #5
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What about those tunnel washes that don't use brushes?

In the sub-freezing weather, I had to get the salt off of my car, so I took it to one of those tunnels that uses strips of felt hanging instead of brushes. I watched the car through the entire process and the contact between the soap, water, sponge with the car was comparable to what it receives when I wash it.

Even the wheel washers were felt pads instead of brushes.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:37 AM   #6
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I go to the coin operated car washes. Wheels first, then from the top down. I bring my own soap, chennile wash mit, OXO feather tip brushes (one for wheels, one for top), and I use microfiber fiber waffle weave towels to dry the car. Basically I'm paying for water because I don't use the brush that's usually lying on the floor full of rocks. I can do it in five minutes and its costs $3.00 in quaters

The high pressure is good for the top, as I only rinse it mostly. But if it gets soiled(birds) I spray in Ragg Topp clenaser, lather it up with the OXO brush and rinse. Blot dry with waffle weave towels and later on I'll reapply the Ragg Topp protectant in an indoor parking garage. You know its working well when the water beads after rinsing.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:25 AM   #7
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I know Stryke and I are in total agreement on this one, since there have been similar threads on this topic before. I agree 100% with what he said.

Basically, you want to use as little effort (i.e. energy in any form) and chemicals as possible.

If your car has a good finish and has a good coat of wax, keeping the car clean is very easy. When my car gets salty or dirty in the winter and my hose is turned off, I take the car to the do-it-yourself wash bay style car wash up the street, and only use the super low pressure setting (basically a mist) that is supposed to just kind of get the car wet. Nothing else!! When the car gets wet, all the crap just kind of falls off with no effort what so ever. I then pull the car to the back of the parking lot and give it a good drying with some micro fiber towels and it’s done.

Once you get the car super clean (or keep it that way from the start) and get a good coat of wax, it takes almost no effort the keep it clean.

Few cars in the world look as nice as a Porsche (especially black ones ) when they are spotless, its worth it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:29 AM   #8
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Yellowjacket, I guess that construction van that went in right before you with sand and crap on it and got all of it stuck to these felt pads and turned them into sand paper means nothing.

Not to mention the tracks you put your rims in and let it bang up against the side of the lip.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:36 AM   #9
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I would have to say, "STAY AWAY FROM HIGH PRESSURE WASHES!!!!"
I went thought one when I first got my car and that was the last time. "High pressure" = "forced water into your cabin". It was one of those "no touch" laser washes, The pressure gun was so much that it forced water through the top.
not good.....
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryke
Yellowjacket, I guess that construction van that went in right before you with sand and crap on it and got all of it stuck to these felt pads and turned them into sand paper means nothing.

Not to mention the tracks you put your rims in and let it bang up against the side of the lip.
Tracks are pliable plastic. I checked into the whole process in great detail before I sent my car through there.

Good point on the "other people's dirt" factor, though. Most of the cars going through this particular one were well-maintained Euros and upscale Japs as it's a pretty expensive place... but you make a good point. Every option has its downside, but I think this one is ok as a once-or-twice a year last-resort. I love my car to death, but there are certain times when I have to be practical about it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:43 AM   #11
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I bent a wheel once on one of those tracks. Cost $75 to straighten and repaint.
The shop had about 50 wheels waiting to be done in the garage. The high pressure(not too high) is only good if you can manually direct it yourself, making sure to stay away from the window edges and the back window. Its really important to dislodge all the debris in the top and a stiff stream of water is the least abrasive method. Traped dirt is what breaks down the fabric and causes tears. That's why a protectant is so important.
If you must go to the auto car wash tell them to use your microfiber drying towel and give them a Brand new chenille wash mit($4) and no soap on the canvas top.
That will eliminate most of the possible scratching. Car washes use low grade drying towels(usually dirty) and the wash mits have exceeded their shelf life.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 02-14-2005 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:50 AM   #12
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Every forum I've ever visited discusses the car wash thing. There is no arguement that nothing beats a hand wash both in terms of quality and safety. But for those of us living in colder climes, often there's little choice. Between salt remaining all over my car, and a touchless wash, there also is no choice. I agree that any public enviroment that makes contact with my car is verbotten, but the occasional touchless wash, aside from the high pressure, is not too likely to harm my car. It's a Porsche, not a sugar cube. On the other hand, using machine washes can lead to complacency, and the once in a while turns into once a week. Then one exposes themselves to the vagaries that machine washes offer. It's your car, so do what you are comfortable with.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:22 PM   #13
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Okay, one last word on high pressure washes:

Remember high pressure washes (and abrasive chemicals) actually clean your car by removing the layer of wax (or clear coat/paint!!!!) that has the debris in it. That’s why the car looks so clean afterwards. The trick is to remove the debris with out hurting the wax.

Also, I know this might sound nuts to some people, but it is very possible to wash your car with just a spray bottle of water and a micro fiber towel. I do this a lot in the winter or if I have been out in the rain. And while on the subject, if you are out driving in the rain (and you park in a garage of course) take the time to dry the car off when you get home.

Anyway, “to each his own.” Find a method that works for you and go with it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 01:51 PM   #14
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spray bottle and a towel?

spray bottle and a towel? wow, Q, you must really love your box. but i think i'll give that a try next time. its been raining like crazy here in Los Angleles.
bought some wax today, gonna wax it this weekend.


Quote:
Originally Posted by QporscheQ

Also, I know this might sound nuts to some people, but it is very possible to wash your car with just a spray bottle of water and a micro fiber towel. I do this a lot in the winter or if I have been out in the rain. And while on the subject, if you are out driving in the rain (and you park in a garage of course) take the time to dry the car off when you get home.

Anyway, “to each his own.” Find a method that works for you and go with it.
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QporscheQ

Also, I know this might sound nuts to some people, but it is very possible to wash your car with just a spray bottle of water and a micro fiber towel..
nope not nuts, a method recomended for daily drivers. A lubricating quick detailer spray (depending on what type of wax is on top, synthetic or carnauaba wax) and a few quick passes with MF towel. You want to fold the towel into fours and use a clean square on each panel, wiping perpendicular to the floor. One towel to clean and another to buff away any streaks. Try and stick with neutral colored microfiber towels like grey and white and use the blue and yellow and green for the interior. It may sound overly 'technical' but believe me after having a black daily driver for 5 years you see all your permanent mistakes (and so does everyone else). Using the spray bottle daily, five minutes tops weather permiting, makes the actual car washing easier on the paint.
http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-microfiber.html

here's something delicate German paints (banned in the US)
http://www.properautocare.com/aregepadi.html
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 02-14-2005 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:54 PM   #16
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Everyone seems to have a very adamant about the car wash subject so I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in This winter, I sold my daily driver and so my Boxster has become my daily driver. Of course this means lots of salt and crap all over my pretty car and I"ve got to say that I've been tempted to go through a quick car wash to get all that crap off.

PLEASE DON'T! All that high pressure water combined with whatever recycled crap is in the water is just asking for a sand blasting of the car. I finally found a day that was in the 50s, and hooked my hose up to my washing machine's hot water feed, and ran the hose outside. It felt great getting my car back to a non-salted state.

So, what everyone says is pretty much true I think. All the high pressure water is just asking to strip away whatever protection you have on the car. This of course, includes the high pressure washer that you wash the side of your house with. Of course, that is just my opinion.

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Old 02-14-2005, 04:10 PM   #17
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Talking

Right on PerfectLap!

I even do the same thing with the different colored towels!!! I do that mainly to be eccentric and annoy my friends; However, I always feel like the exterior towels get dirty.
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:27 AM   #18
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Thank you all for the feedback. I live in NE, I'm glad I was able to hand wash the vehicle this past weekend. I especially like the tip on the squirt bottle. Good idea!

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