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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:05 PM   #1
djsway
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how bad is it if I get it washed by carwash?

If I put my car thru a "hand wash" car wash, how bad will that be? Will I get majo swirls?
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Old 03-24-2006, 05:13 PM   #2
Greg@DetailedImage.com
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Totally depends on the process they use and equipment. If they use brushes and/or dirty/contaminated towels very good chance they added some micro scratches/swirls. If they use new towels and washed with a good mitt that frequently got rinsed then maybe there were no swirls added. ONe wash shouldn't be horrendous but repeated usage will definitely be very noticeable fast. Swirls can be removed with polishes like the Poorboy's SSR 2.5 and SSR 1.0, which can be applied by hand or preferably with the Porter Cable 7424.

Let me know if you have any questions.

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Old 03-24-2006, 07:22 PM   #3
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What about those drive thru ones with the big spongee noodles? There is a place near me that uses that and the end result is pretty good for a drive thru but I worry.

Edit: I only attempt it when it's too late in the day and I need a wash.
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Old 03-24-2006, 07:42 PM   #4
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I have owner several hand car washes. The most important things I emphasized to my employees were to constantly change the wash solution, clean and change wash mitts and only use a microfiber drying towel once then it was ready for the laundry.

Take a look at their wash tubs. Do they look fresh? Inspect their mitts. If they are using brushes make sure they are the soft blue synthetic type or boars hair. Sheepskin are the best.

Most important! Don't let them use anything other soap and water on your rims. Most car wash operations use hydrofluoric, phosphoric and sulphuric acid to clean rims. This saves them a lot of scrubbing but will damage your wheels and calipers.

If you decide to use a hand car wash as a last resort and you are concerned, try keeping a kit in your trunk. I had several customers that brought their own mitts and chamois. Some even offered to pay extra for this service which I did not accept. Maybe make the offer just to be nice. If they are good business people they will accommodate you.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-24-2006, 07:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travs25i
What about those drive thru ones with the big spongee noodles? There is a place near me that uses that and the end result is pretty good for a drive thru but I worry.

Edit: I only attempt it when it's too late in the day and I need a wash.
I can understand the need to get the wash especially when its late or your tired. However, I acutally fear the ones with big sponges/noodles and espically bristles more. Some of them move at such high speeds and are filled with contaminates that they almost definitely add some micro scratches/swirls. If you have touch free washes thats probably your safest automated wash while I don't necessarily recommend going there.

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Old 03-24-2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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Yeah, I noticed swirls after going that's why I asked, I wanted to make sure it was not something coincedental (sp).
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:28 PM   #7
djsway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCDGarage
I have owner several hand car washes. The most important things I emphasized to my employees were to constantly change the wash solution, clean and change wash mitts and only use a microfiber drying towel once then it was ready for the laundry.

Take a look at their wash tubs. Do they look fresh? Inspect their mitts. If they are using brushes make sure they are the soft blue synthetic type or boars hair. Sheepskin are the best.

Most important! Don't let them use anything other soap and water on your rims. Most car wash operations use hydrofluoric, phosphoric and sulphuric acid to clean rims. This saves them a lot of scrubbing but will damage your wheels and calipers.

If you decide to use a hand car wash as a last resort and you are concerned, try keeping a kit in your trunk. I had several customers that brought their own mitts and chamois. Some even offered to pay extra for this service which I did not accept. Maybe make the offer just to be nice. If they are good business people they will accommodate you.

Hope this helps.

Brett @ OCD
I would look like a nut case if I was to dry my own car after sending it thru a pay car wash... BUt I wouldn't mind drying it myself
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djsway
I would look like a nut case if I was to dry my own car after sending it thru a pay car wash... BUt I wouldn't mind drying it myself

You wouldn't be the first, I've seen this done before. LOL, Good Luck!

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Old 03-26-2006, 09:42 PM   #9
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I would rather look like a nut case drying my own vehicle than become one from all of the scratches they caused.........lol



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Old 03-27-2006, 09:53 AM   #10
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It depends on the Carwash. I'm a senior limousine driver in the Greater Los Angeles area. There is plenty of carwashes here and I wash the car every day. Swilmarks and other damage is MOST LIKELY to occur unless you go the a professional car wash. Belive me, I know what I'm talking about. Unfortunately all carwashes advertise themselves as professional and not many of them are. If you are asking this question you are probably on the right track. You probably have a very good feeling how a good carwash should operate. Well, just go with your feeling and check how the guys at the carwash work. Most importantly try to get a "regular" carwashguy to wash your car every time (TIP him $5-$10) and try to get a backup for him. DON'T EVER LET ANYBODY GET INSIDE YOUR CAR. Most of the guys (exept your "regular" guy) will scratch your instrument panel with their towels or they scratch the tint on your window as they clean it with the towel. Those parts are extremely soft and the regular terry cloth has to be used extremely careful on them. Also DON'T EVER LET ANYBODY VACUUM YOUR CAR. Another great potential for scratches. No matter where you go, don't trust anybody and always be around your car at every step of the process. Hope this helps, Andreas
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Old 04-01-2006, 02:28 PM   #11
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I used a car wash while I was traveling. That's how I got swirl marks on my car. Don't do it.
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Old 04-02-2006, 03:04 AM   #12
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totally depends on the detailer ...
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Old 04-09-2006, 12:23 PM   #13
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Los Angeles has many "professional/expert" detail/car wash places...dont experiment by driving in and hope for the best..before you bring your car in..see how they treat cars on a busy day..does the "track" in the wash tunnel scratch wheels..do they have a repair policy or is it "at your own risk" .. do the guys drop towels on the ground and then continue using them..are there many "high end" cars being detailed..ask the owners if they are satisfied (some folks are informed about detailing to a degree and do care about swirl marks..wheel scratches etc)

i sometimes go to an "auto spa" they will hand wash (no tunnel) for an addition $5 - 7..and its above average..and the level to detail is good.they don't dry using circular motions...but..i have to watch the guys work..remember its not "their" car..

but no matter how good a job a place may do..im not completely comfortable unless i do it myself

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