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Old 09-24-2008, 01:18 PM   #1
greenc51
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Default Car Wash: Self-wash or auto-wash?

hey all
i have an 08 wrx and it finally needs to be washed...rain hasnt come for a while so i guess i'll have to do somethin about the dirt instead of waiting on rain
but i'm curious to know whats better for paint? goin thru the auto-wash (brush or brushless) or takin it to one of those self-washing places and doin it myself...i live in an apt so i have no garage or driveway to do it myself at home.
i hear/read auto washes that use the brushes create all kinds of swirl marks and i want to prevent that, so any advice is appreciated
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
CC4nj
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Yea stay away from automatic washes.
Alot of them reuse the dirty water


I like using the self serve ones.

The 24 hour one by me, I sometimes bring a bucket and hand wash it
Just something to do at 2am and you cant sleep.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
newblue
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I would wait untill you can goto a self-cleaning carwash place, not only do the auto-washes causes swirls, they can cause thin scratches, paint damage etc. One time in my old WRX I went through one and my driver side mirrior had a gash through it. They do a decent job getting it clean, and if you are not the type of person who doesn't notice that stuff they are convienent.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:33 PM   #4
STi22B
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if you auto wash.... the ghosts of old detailers will haunt you until you stop being lazy
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:45 PM   #5
thereplacement
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definately no on the brush-auto-wash,

probably self wash to be safe, though i have gone through a local "laser wash" (brushless) that gets the car and even wheels amazingly clean (wonder what kind of harsh chemicals they're spraying on???). But I'm sure blasting your car at high pressure probably isn't the best long-term, though the drive in self washes do this too, but at least you have control
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:08 PM   #6
doylfish
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^^
oh yeah..it's the chemicals..and they are some rough stuff..do a great job stripping dirt, but careful cause it strips the wax too
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:14 PM   #7
iRace559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenc51 View Post
hey all
i have an 08 wrx and it finally needs to be washed...rain hasnt come for a while so i guess i'll have to do somethin about the dirt instead of waiting on rain
but i'm curious to know whats better for paint? goin thru the auto-wash (brush or brushless) or takin it to one of those self-washing places and doin it myself...i live in an apt so i have no garage or driveway to do it myself at home.
i hear/read auto washes that use the brushes create all kinds of swirl marks and i want to prevent that, so any advice is appreciated

I think you need to start by keeping your car clean in the first place. If your trying to prevent swirling, leaving dirt,grime,etc. on your car and waiting for rain to come isn't the best option.

Stay away from the auto-car washes and go to a self serve. Buy yourself some supplies too. Get some microfiber drying towels and a good cleaner wax.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:26 PM   #8
STINOMORMONEY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC4nj View Post
Yea stay away from automatic washes.
Alot of them reuse the dirty water


I like using the self serve ones.

The 24 hour one by me, I sometimes bring a bucket and hand wash it
Just something to do at 2am and you cant sleep.
LOL i thought i was the only one, every so often im restless and can't sleep so i drive off at 2,3 in the morning and give it a wash
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
1stockwrx
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damn,you drive a wrx not a POS honda..please wash your car by your hands..

IBRALLYBS
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:58 PM   #10
greenc51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iRace559 View Post
I think you need to start by keeping your car clean in the first place. If your trying to prevent swirling, leaving dirt,grime,etc. on your car and waiting for rain to come isn't the best option.

Stay away from the auto-car washes and go to a self serve. Buy yourself some supplies too. Get some microfiber drying towels and a good cleaner wax.
i mean its not that easy to keep it clean when you work 2 jobs...at the end of the day u just want to go home and relax.
but i guess just what?...wipe down with detailing spray every few days or something?
and now i've never been to a selfwash place before, but the apt i recent moved to has one 5 mins away. do i bring my own soap and mitts and whatnot?
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:23 PM   #11
Spore
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I used to hand wash my car every week (a typical Sunday task) when I was not busy. Now I wash every 3 weeks. I try to keep the car as clean as possible by rinsing the car with a hose then wipe dry every week that I'm not washing the car. Plus, the more frequent you rinse your car, the less work you have to put when you actually wash it.

Where I live, all auto washers are touchless laser types. So I have no trouble with it scratching up our thin layered subaru paint. However, they do not clean as well as I hand wash. But at least it looks somewhat clean without much effort on my end.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #12
EnterTheDragon
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ONR @ home ftw
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:07 PM   #13
trueno16v
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stockwrx View Post
damn,you drive a wrx not a POS honda..please wash your car by your hands..

IBRALLYBS
Actually that POS Honda your referring to probably has better paint than our cars anyways...
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:09 AM   #14
greenc51
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Originally Posted by trueno16v View Post
Actually that POS Honda your referring to probably has better paint than our cars anyways...
i used to have an accord, but gave it to my mom. the paint was excellent, even for being 10 years old.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:07 AM   #15
redhammer082
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just wash it ur self no one will show it the love u will. most likely u will have a scratch or dent. what the hell do they care its not there car
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:42 PM   #16
greenc51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenc51 View Post
i mean its not that easy to keep it clean when you work 2 jobs...at the end of the day u just want to go home and relax.
but i guess just what?...wipe down with detailing spray every few days or something?
and now i've never been to a selfwash place before, but the apt i recent moved to has one 5 mins away. do i bring my own soap and mitts and whatnot?
?????
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:54 PM   #17
raheezy69
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do it yourself.
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:02 PM   #18
digitalmethods
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Grab a bucket and fill it halfway with water.
Grab a couple of dirty towels.
Get a scrub brush for you wheels at Walmart for like 2 bucks. I like the soft hand ones with a handle. They are usually blue.
Get a bottle of Greased lightning and a bottle of Spray as you dry wax.
Go to a touchless wash (i usually go to the touchless lazer washes that you drive into and put it into park.)
I usually stop in front of where you put your money in the machine. I get out of the car and spray all 4 wheels really good with the greased lightning. Then dip your brush in the bucket with some water and scrub your wheels down good.
Once wheels are all soapy but agitated then pay and drive into the wash. It will toughlessly pressure wash your car and rinse your wheels at the same time.
Once it's done pull off to the side and give it 1 squirt of spray wax to each top panel (hood, roof, trunk) while the car is still a little wet. The dryer won't get all of the water.
Then quickly dry the whole car from top to bottom and you'll have a thin coat of protection till next time.

I do this when it gets really cold out here and I used to run a detail shop so I know this quite well.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:18 PM   #19
bigturbogt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenc51 View Post
i used to have an accord, but gave it to my mom. the paint was excellent, even for being 10 years old.
Yeah, esp. that front bumper

J/K
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:43 PM   #20
greenc51
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Originally Posted by bigturbogt View Post
Yeah, esp. that front bumper

J/K
mehh...bumper came like that when i got it from the dealer...it was my first car so bleh

Last edited by greenc51; 09-25-2008 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:56 PM   #21
AlxSti
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i would NEVER take my car to an auto wash. i do everything my hand.. microfiber sponge and some wax safe wash. wax every other time.. clay once a year and polish when needed.

those auto wash places scratch the crap outta your car.. leave a nasty resdue everywhere.. and dont really clean the car well.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:02 AM   #22
wrxty
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Only time I use the auto is in the winter when I dont want to freeze my azz off! I always use the touchless ones in the winter too.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:10 AM   #23
XmikeX
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jsut like everyone said go with hand washing. me personally get excited after i was my car and my baby looks all shiny and good looking plus i get more satisfaction out of my car knowing that i did something "with" her plus i dont like sharing my girls or having hands on her that arent mine(even robotic ones)
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:13 AM   #24
greenc51
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do the self wash places provide wash mitts and buckets and stuff?...i never been to one before.
can i bring my own soap, etc?
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:53 AM   #25
BlueWRXRex
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dude if its 5 minutes from your house just drive there and check it out.
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