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Old 04-03-2014, 11:32 AM   #1
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Frequent Car Washes - Paint Damage Concerns

Hello Folks,

I am obsessed with clean cars. I hate dirt, and I cannot stand a dirty car. I have an unlimited wash plan with Holiday Car Wash. Its the premium wash. It is touch free.

I generally wash my car every morning and every evening. So twice a day.

I have looked up my account information and seen I have washed my current BMW 277 times. I have not noticed any paint damage or fading at this time, but I heard so often that I am going to get peeling paint. I want to know if there is any truth behind this. I have searched the internet but cannot find any credible information about getting too many car washes.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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It's good to know the paint will withstand that kind of cleaning frequency. I checked my log and looks like I wash my car once every 2-3 months. The weather is great around here and most of the time I wash it because of the brake dust.

That said I can't imagine that frequency of cleaning is sustainable. It's gotta wear out at some point.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:40 AM   #3
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yes you are washing too much. you should be doing it yourself for best results. no car wash workers has ever touched any of my cars ever. the way it should be.

if you really want to be clean, try washing, scrubbing, and waxing your undercarriage. also try restoring the wheel wells. do this all yourself
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
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What kind of wash is it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #5
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Looking at your pictures, your car doesn't look that clean to me. The front wheels are showing signs of brake dust damage and the paint seems a bit dull. Touchless car washes are useful, but they don't get cars completely clean.

Personally, I would back off on the touchless car washes and add in hand washing at least twice a month. Generally I only wash my car once a week unless it gets unusually dirty.

Last edited by kr3678; 04-03-2014 at 11:51 AM. Reason: additional thought
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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I'd be a little concerned about the constant moisture continuity 24/7 in areas you can't see or even access without turning a wrench or dropping the suspension. Constant moisture will promote rust and wreck havoc on your electrical system. You won't notice it because you can't see everywhere it's seeping until you have to fix it. It will be clean, but there's water hiding somewhere. Moisture attracts dirt, if not dried off, the dirt in the crevices makes it harder to dry, the contaminates in the dirt accelerate etching the protective coating on steel.

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Old 04-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
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I'm here in Minnesota, we just came out of a very long and salty winter. Those rims are my winter rims, I don't maintain them though the winter, they just get s scrub down when I remove them in a week or so.

I could do a hand wash one a month probably, but I do not have the time to rely on that solely. I have noticed my paint is fairly dull, and that I noticed when I purchased that car. It is 13 years old now... I am more asking about if I will experience paint peeling in the future.

I recently purchased a 2007 335i couple, it has never been driven in the MN Winters, and will be more of my summer car. I am more or less asking these questions to figure out if its safe to do this twice a day washing to my new '07 335i.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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...what kind of wash is it.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #9
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I am more or less asking these questions to figure out if its safe to do this twice a day washing to my new '07 335i.
Forgive my bluntness, but washing it twice a day is insane. If driving on heavily salted roads, once a day is more than sufficient to keep it as best protected as you can.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:47 PM   #10
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I generally wash my car every morning and every evening. So twice a day.
I think Lithium would probably be the only thing that helps you.

Seriously though- I think you are probably seriously messed up in the head and you should go get treatment.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:54 PM   #11
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maintaining a coat of wax is more important than washing it twice a day, in fact you are doing a detriment to any wax you may have on there, which likely doesn't stay on there long with your cleaning frequency.

if you're obsessed with a clean car you will do a two bucket wash yourself, and a full detail (at least clay-bar if you're too lazy to get out the polisher, followed by wax), and keep that thing waxed and use automated washes sparingly just to rinse off road salt and debris. For between washes get a good spray detailer, of which there are many. i see your black plastic trim is a bit faded too, could use some trim restorer. You car might be clean enough to eat off of but it doesn't "pop" the way a properly maintained and detailed car should.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:49 PM   #12
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hahaha, dude, we're trying to help you. twice a day is absurd. doesn't even matter if it's okay for your car. stop wasting so much of your own time.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:59 PM   #13
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I feel like I need to point out that there's no reason a 14 year old car should have really dull paint, if it's either been properly maintained or properly detailed/restored at some point. I have a gravel/dirt driveway that alternates between mud pit and dusty hell hole (at least when it's not covered in snow), and those pictures of your car look less impressive than my car does when it hasn't been washed in weeks. You'll keep your car looking much cleaner if you properly seal and/or wax it and give it regular, easy washes once or twice a month.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:05 PM   #14
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You wash your car twice a day AND you're in law enforcement? Who the fudge thought it was a good idea to give you a gun?

As a serious answer you are washing the car too often and it isn't doing you any favors over the long run. I don't know that it will cause it to crack or peel, but I do know it will wear out or remove the clear coat and then do the same to the paint. Once a week (hand wash with something deep, it pulls the dirt off the car rather than rubbing it across it) is more than enough, and wax it good 3 times a year. That'll protect it and make it easy to keep clean.

With having been washing as often as you have I highly recommend having a GOOD detailer do it the first time, the guys I know do a phenomenal job and are well worth the cost once a year.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:10 PM   #15
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OP, I'm also from MN and I wash my car at least 4 times a week, all touchless car washes. This winter has been terrible and I daily drive my car so I don't want any salt or dirt clinging on too long under the carriage. The only thing I've noticed with automatic car washes is that it slowly deteriorates the black window moldings. What used to be shiny and smooth is now kinda dull and rough. Other than that, no paint issues so far or not that I noticed anything else.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:22 PM   #16
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Looking at your pictures, your car doesn't look that clean to me. The front wheels are showing signs of brake dust damage and the paint seems a bit dull. Touchless car washes are useful, but they don't get cars completely clean.

Personally, I would back off on the touchless car washes and add in hand washing at least twice a month. Generally I only wash my car once a week unless it gets unusually dirty.
Agreed.


I was mine every two weeks by hand by myself using a wash mitt. Then some hand glaze. I recently cleaned my wheels from the winter brake dust which I severely neglected.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:24 PM   #17
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Pics. Btw I'll let this thread stay in general for now

I used a soft toothbrush and black magic wheel cleaner. I'll use some claybar in a week to get those last few spots.

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Old 04-03-2014, 03:25 PM   #18
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Agreed.


I was mine every two weeks by hand by myself using a wash mitt. Then some hand glaze. I recently cleaned my wheels from the winter brake dust which I severely neglected.
Just curious, how do you guys hand wash your car in -20 F degrees weather? My hands would break off if I ever attempted that.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #19
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Just curious, how do you guys hand wash your car in -20 F degrees weather? My hands would break off if I ever attempted that.
Sigh, that's why I hate winter and my car gets neglected

I still washed it when it was like 35 outside. Sucks but doable
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:44 PM   #20
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Just curious, how do you guys hand wash your car in -20 F degrees weather? My hands would break off if I ever attempted that.
I never wash the car when it's below freezing, but if it's in 30s I'll usually just fill the buckets with warm water and suck it up. It's not really all that bad since I'm less concerned with appearance in the winter and really just want to get salt off the body and undercarriage.
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