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Old 03-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
hella_sti
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Default washing car outside with hot water-in the winter

so I live in the upper midwest and today I decided to take my 50 foot hose and hook it up to my washing machine valve downstairs and wash my car in the 28 degree weather outside. It worked fantastic! I was able to melt all the snow and ice from my driveway at the same time and also get all the grime and grit off easily (maybe even easier) than I could with cold water I normally use int he summer. My question being is what if any drawbacks besides potential hard water spots do I incur from a straight hot water wash? I'm thinking about hard plumbing a hot water spout in my garage now, I got a quick lesson in physics when I unhooked the hose from downstairs

here is a quick picture, notice the car buried in the snow across the street

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Old 03-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #2
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I do luke warm water washes during the winter as well at my aunts house.

good thing her washing machine/sink is in the garage lol.


Just be careful when you spray the hot water on the windows.
It could cause them to crack from the quick temperature change.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
DavC825
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your windows might crack. not the best idea, but hey if it makes you happy....
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
2001Impreza
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Haha thats crazy i would have never thought of doing that may have to next winter
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:37 AM   #5
hella_sti
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The window thing did come to mind, but then I remembered how many things have bounced off of them and I doubt a little warm water will do anything. Has anyone ever seen anything like that actually happen? THe windshield is a laminate so I know it won't crack. Maybe its best to do this after I've been driving a while with the defrost on.

edit:I just googled it and it more the hot glass going into cold water theory transcending everyone on here, when in all actuality the temperature difference would have to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at minimum to break the glass, the windows being 30 degrees and the water heater being set at 130 and the thermal loss through the hose I think I'm safe.

Last edited by hella_sti; 03-05-2012 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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lost 2 windshields from a small rock chip followed by defroster air & highway cold driving "crack!" it is intense.

but warm water wont give you that temp difference with the car stationary (no wind chill)
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thought View Post
lost 2 windshields from a small rock chip followed by defroster air & highway cold driving "crack!" it is intense.

but warm water wont give you that temp difference with the car stationary (no wind chill)
wind chill is the feeling that your skin has as a direct affect on temperature and wind combined. Your car or anything with out skin or nerves is not or cannot "feel" wind chill or a perceived difference in cold as it becomes more "windy" your car's temp is -30 regardless if the wind is blowing at 0 mph or 100 mph, there is zero difference.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hella_sti View Post
wind chill is the feeling that your skin has as a direct affect on temperature and wind combined. Your car or anything with out skin or nerves is not or cannot "feel" wind chill or a perceived difference in cold as it becomes more "windy" your car's temp is -30 regardless if the wind is blowing at 0 mph or 100 mph, there is zero difference.
Well put. I've never been able to articulate this when I try to explain it to people.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavC825 View Post
your windows might crack. not the best idea, but hey if it makes you happy....
X2. Be careful with the windows. I usually fill my bucket up with hot water when washing the cars but i've never hooked the hose up to hot water
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:17 PM   #10
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One of my friends with a DB9 had a hot water tap installed on the outside next to the normal tap. Used a second hose and it was awesome during winter months. Not the most economical method, but awesome if you can afford it...
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:55 PM   #11
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I suppose it depends on what temperature you keep your water heater at. Anyone with children shouldn't have it above 120 degrees F. That would seem safe to wash a cold car with. I prefer mine around 140. If I had a tank-less heater I'd even go up to 160, which probably I wouldn't want to wash a cold car with.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 AM   #12
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While I don't disagree with what you found, I have seen this happen, but a different method. Neighbor many years back took a bucket of hot water outside to wash the salt off his windshield, just tossed the whole thing on at once. Poof.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hella_sti View Post
The window thing did come to mind, but then I remembered how many things have bounced off of them and I doubt a little warm water will do anything. Has anyone ever seen anything like that actually happen? THe windshield is a laminate so I know it won't crack. Maybe its best to do this after I've been driving a while with the defrost on.

edit:I just googled it and it more the hot glass going into cold water theory transcending everyone on here, when in all actuality the temperature difference would have to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit at minimum to break the glass, the windows being 30 degrees and the water heater being set at 130 and the thermal loss through the hose I think I'm safe.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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(first post, yeah!)

I have managed for 2 different express wash companys over the past 8 years. My experience is that the windshield would not crack if it were not already damaged in some way. An average day washes about 400 cars, why would that one car be the only one that cracked its windshield unless its intregrity had already been compromised. (This is not an excuse either, we have always taken care of those customers unless it was obviously cracked already.)

Hot and cold expands and contracts everything from metal to concrete. Think about the expansion cracks in a drive way or roadway (they're there for a reason.) Think about the old dry ice trick for popping out a hail dent (from extreme heat to extreme cold causes the sheet metal to bend itslef back.) I dont know if glass can exp./cont. in that same way but the temp change must aid in the glass cracking if it is already damaged. So my suggestion would be to stay away from adding any more stress to an already stressed piece of glass in such cold weather if it already has chips that may lead to a crack across the whole thing.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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BTW, if its below freezing outside any water still on the vehicle will freeze shortly after application be it heated or not. Be sure to dry it off thoroughly and quickly. A clean car covered in ice is not the best sealant; stick with wax. And no matter how well its dried, if it sits outside you may have a little trouble getting back into the car (dang frozen door handles!)
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:20 PM   #15
mejifair
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The user manual says that we should not use hot water to wash the car.

Section 10-2 of my manual (2012 STi) says "Do not wash the vehicle with hot water and in direct sunlight"

Not sure why, but it was specifically stated, so it should at least be noted.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #16
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Check out Optimum No-Rinse Wash & Shine. I just washed my car in my garage with no hose using this method and am very surprised with the quality of the results. Follow the directions and you won't mar your paint. I would be comfortable doing this outside (if you don't have a garage) in the winter with warm (not hot) water just so your hands don't freeze.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:17 PM   #17
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I don't wash mine on really cold days, but I try to lightly spray the windows at first, I know it probably won't matter, but whatever.
We have a hot water spout with a cold water one, and I used it a few times over the winter, then dried it, and left it in the garage overnight to make sure the water was completely out of the doors/windows/all that stuff, and it's worked out great!
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