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Old 01-04-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
MtnXfreeride
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Member#: 228010
Join Date: Oct 2009
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Maine
Vehicle:
2012 WRX Prem Hatch
Dark Gray Metalic

Default Winter Car Washes

What do people do in the winter where it actually gets cold? Its hovering around 10-28F this month so far so hoses at the parents home are frozen, and at my apartment I have no garage to warm or thaw anything.

I am against car washes due to scratching, and most are only open when its above freezing.

I went to a "you wash it" type place today and paid $2.50 to use the pressure washer/foam gun and it did a pretty decent job. I regret waiting this long to try one of those places... I would have washed mine 3 times this winter by now instead of 1 wash today since october.
I did not use their brush at the car wash, only pressure washer.. so it didnt do a GREAT job.

Anything else people do?
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #2
kimgt
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In CA I dont have the problem of freezing temps, but since I get off at 5-6pm and usually its dark by then I use the DIY car wash and bring my own bucket/soap/mitt and use pressure washer for soaking and rinsing.

Another option is the waterless car wash. Can be done at a parking structure and supposedly safe for paint.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
Hammer0fman
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Default winter car wash

i had to turn my water on today, its almost pointless though because if you live in an area where it snows the roads are covered in salt and it gets all over, so i wash to a few times a week. its a pain.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
Big-E
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Let LED's light your way!

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If it's too cold out, I reluctantly go to the mechanical (not by hand) car-wash.

Otherwise I'll take a run up the road to the self-serve and use their power-washer and foaming soap brush. Unfortunately as of late, they have not been taking care of the equipment.

The last resort for me is to wash it myself with the hose and bucket. I don't have the zest to do so anymore - I no longer am willing to put up with the cold weather. When I was younger, yes. Not so much anymore.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
GrimmSpeed
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The do it your self washers are great but they don't wash salt off of the under carriage. For the winter i have a monthly membership at a touchless car wash near work/home. It's great because it covers the entire car and i don't have to worry about damage or scratches.

Mike
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
SubyDrewski
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Here in Germany, I try and jump on any day above freezing to wash the car. If that isn't available, I find a spray gun and hose down the car quite well 3-4 times a month (weekly or so). They use a lot of salt here in Germany.

Since my car is already quite swirly, I'll use the automatic booths if there is one available, if necessary. I try and wax just before winter to best protect it.

If you are looking for a quick way to keep it clean with little water usage, you can try Optima No-Rinse (ONR for short). It's not very useful at -10F, but if you can stand some cold hands for a bit, you can get your car cleaned in a relatively safe manner.
-Drew
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:35 PM   #7
plutinc
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After the last couple storms here in the northeast I had a good layer of salt on everything (Dark Grey Metallic was more like a light charcoal). After work today it finally was above 30 for an hour and went for it. Self serve bay and got down low and sprayed the underside, then brought the dark grey back up top. It's just about finding a good temp (32+) time for quick cleans until spring comes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:39 PM   #8
Kean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubyDrewski View Post
If you are looking for a quick way to keep it clean with little water usage, you can try Optima No-Rinse (ONR for short). It's not very useful at -10F, but if you can stand some cold hands for a bit, you can get your car cleaned in a relatively safe manner.
-Drew
Use hot water from the house to fill your bucket. ....that will help. I've seen some folks use dishwashing gloves which they claim also help.

....btw, its "Optimum" (in case some someone tries to do a search).
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:20 PM   #9
Dale2011WRX
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I use a touchless car wash in the dead of winter, and then hit any problem areas with quick detailer, do the windows. Works well.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #10
okayh
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Pressure rinse and soap at the DIY car washes. Dry by towel. Hit the car with quick detailer and do the windows. 30 minute quicky that yields good results.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:20 PM   #11
dangsy
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I was at the DIY car washes here in my area the other day. Did everything the same, 2 bucket method, used the power wash to rinse and hand dried with towel. When I went to wax, the wax pad kept getting dark from invisible dust.

I'm thinking the recycled water out of the power wash has very fine particles in it that their filters can't pick up.

beware!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #12
ColeBerkenbile
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I use car washes year round, mostly just the foam guns. DO NOT FOR ANY REASON USE THE BRUSH, you will be sorry lol. I foam gun, rinse, then spot free rinse if I have time left
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:43 AM   #13
LuigiTheDog
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I live in Southern California so I do not experience these temperatures but I have had good experience with both ONR and waterless washes. I live in an apartment and do not have access to a hose or a garage. I am able to use ONR or waterless in my carport once a week. Depending on how dirty the car is will determine if I use ONR or waterless. I exterior detail my car every week, less if rain is in the forecast. For regular conditions I simply use a waterless wash that has carnauba wax in it. Some people are scared to use a waterless because of scratching. If you take your time and use the correct method you will get great results with a waterless wash. If we get rain or I come back down from a snowboarding I will use an ONR wash with a two bucket method. Using the correct method on this will also yield great results. I was extremely hesitant on using either of these washing techniques for fear of scratching/marring paint. No issues with those problems, just take your time and do the job right.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:34 AM   #14
.Boston.
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There usually is a spicket behind your washer, I just run a hose long enough to reach my cars outside if its freezing or below.
I usually go to a car wash with a bucket and wheel cleaner, bug remover, rain-x soap, or any high end soaps with mild wax and microfiber sponges and towels. I never use the brush cause it can definitely leave scratches and swirls in paint, obp in the sunlight will look terrible.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:50 AM   #15
sgoldste01
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I have a subscription to a reputable mechanical car wash here in western NY. The $17/month subscription buys me one trip through the wash per day. In the summer I use this service at least 1x/week, but in the winter I use it much more often. I've used it the past three days in a row!

It's fast, it thoroughly sprays the underside of the car, I don't need to get out of the car, and I know I'm not letting salt/dirt/crud accumulate because I use the wash so frequently. It doesn't seem to be micro-scratching my paint, and I feel good knowing that I'm staying on top of the salt build-up.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:32 AM   #16
Paco1807
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I also use delta sonic in Rochester area, never had a problem.
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #17
sgoldste01
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Yup, Delta Sonic is the vendor I was referring to.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:34 AM   #18
mikeythejew
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You want to wash it even if it's too cold out and you'll get your car dirty quickly. You don't want to leave salt/dirt/grime on your paint for too long as it sorta embeds in the paint which dulls the finish.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:05 PM   #19
jh57
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I was able to wash both cars at home this past weekend when the temps were hovering around 32F. My two suggestions:

These super warm insulated and waterproof glovesThese super warm insulated and waterproof gloves

"
An RV blow out plugAn RV blow out plug
". When I'm done, I hook this up to the hose and use the air compressor to blow out the remaining water to keep it from freezing.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:21 PM   #20
Dale2011WRX
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2011 WRX, white
2014 Crosstrek, tangerine

Default

That blow out plug is pretty cool. What do you use for an air source?
I just disconnect my hose and drag it over a hill. Primitive, but it works.
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