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Old 06-21-2013, 01:27 PM   #1
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Car Washes and Paint

Hey all,
I am sure I am not alone in wanting to keep my Mustang nice and clean, both inside and out.

There is one of those stand-alone car wash "companies" on my way to/from work, that offer Unlimited monthly washes if you sign up for a recurring payment of $14 (So it pays for itself if you use it twice)

I have to park outside at work, and I usually try and park under a tree to help with the 110 degree temperatures we get here in Phoenix.
So along with falling leafs and pollen, I get the occasional bird droppings and everyday in Phoenix leads to lots of dust being blown around and coating your car.

Anyways, since I have this unlimited pass I have been going either everyday or every other day.

While I was going thru the tunnel last night I had the thought that I wonder if washing this often could have a negative effect on the car (mainly thinking of the paint)
It is a standard brush car wash, but the brushes are really soft and dont spin as fast as I would expect (keeps the car looking nice, but you get what you pay for)

What do you guys think?
Am I hurting my car by trying to keep it so clean?

Thanks!
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Old 06-21-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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I don't think the cleaning itself would hurt you . But those drive thru car washes are notorious for scratching rims. I haven't heard great things about the brushes they use , I assume they just use brushes that would last them as long as possible , without much thought on the fine clear coat scratches it could leave on your car. So Il put it this way , if I had the time to hand wash everyday I would.
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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I don't think the cleaning itself would hurt you . But those drive thru car washes are notorious for scratching rims. I haven't heard great things about the brushes they use , I assume they just use brushes that would last them as long as possible , without much thought on the fine clear coat scratches it could leave on your car. So Il put it this way , if I had the time to hand wash everyday I would.
I'm on the same page as geepoons. I don't think it would be the best idea to use a drive-through car wash every other day, since they're designed to be a quick cleaning "get the job done" process. You're better off hand washing the car each day, IMO.

It's a tough decision because not many people have time to wash their cars this often by hand...

Shane
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Old 06-21-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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I'm on the same page as geepoons. I don't think it would be the best idea to use a drive-through car wash every other day, since they're designed to be a quick cleaning "get the job done" process. You're better off hand washing the car each day, IMO.

It's a tough decision because not many people have time to wash their cars this often by hand...

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+1111111111111 My car will NEVER see a drive through car wash.
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:33 PM   #5
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Yea I would love it if I had the time to hand wash it all the time.
I had been just hand washing each weekend but with all the dust and pollen and crap that gets on it everyday, its been choose between having a dirty car or washing everyday via carwash
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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drive thru car washes are really bad for the paint, hand wash especially for black cars would be the only thing I would do, every time you wash you put swirl marks in the paint as well fyi
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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+1111111111111 My car will NEVER see a drive through car wash.
If you guys had the drive threw I have in my area you would. The track the tires run in are very low I have 255/45/18 front and 275/40/18 rear and the wheels are above the top of the track buy about an inch. The scrubbers are microfiber cloth. I also have the gloss black vinyl stripes no scratches after sending her threw about a dozen times so far this year. I must say the car wash does a job ever as good as my hand washing I give my baby. However I only use it when time is short. The drive threw in my area is top notch you can see Mercedes's, BMW's etc. go threw it all the time. Just last week I saw Porsche 911 going threw it. I would rate this drive threw 9.5 out of 10!!!
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:58 PM   #8
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If you guys had the drive threw I have in my area you would. The track the tires run in are very low I have 255/45/18 front and 275/40/18 rear and the wheels are above the top of the track buy about an inch. The scrubbers are microfiber cloth. I also have the gloss black vinyl stripes no scratches after sending her threw about a dozen times so far this year. I must say the car wash does a job ever as good as my hand washing I give my baby. However I only use it when time is short. The drive threw in my area is top notch you can see Mercedes's, BMW's etc. go threw it all the time. Just last week I saw Porsche 911 going threw it. I would rate this drive threw 9.5 out of 10!!!
I have one that has no track at all and is touchless, still prefer to hand wash! That's just me.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:02 PM   #9
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Ya there is one right down the street from my work that has been there for like 30 years and they do a great job. I have really nice cars there all the time.

---------- Post added at 08:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:02 PM ----------

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Ya there is one right down the street from my work that has been there for like 30 years and they do a great job. I have really nice cars there all the time.
I see nice cars*
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
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Let's not forget the tree you park under can also drip sap. As far as car washes are concerened it doesnt matter if they are microfiber or not. Think about the car that went through there before yours. It could have had dried mud or rocks which could get attached to the microfiber and scratch the **** out of your car. Not a good choice,IMO.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:20 PM   #11
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Let's not forget the tree you park under can also drip sap. As far as car washes are concerened it doesnt matter if they are microfiber or not. Think about the car that went through there before yours. It could have had dried mud or rocks which could get attached to the microfiber and scratch the **** out of your car. Not a good choice,IMO.
The tree in front of my house drips sap, what a pain in the *** to get off a car! Tree is now gone.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #12
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There's a tree above my girl friends drive way that drips sap, so my options are Street or sap. Lose lose
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:25 PM   #13
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There's a tree above my girl friends drive way that drips sap, so my options are Street or sap. Lose lose
Nothing a chainsaw can't fix. Lol
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:25 PM   #14
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As far as car washes are concerened it doesnt matter if they are microfiber or not. Think about the car that went through there before yours. It could have had dried mud or rocks which could get attached to the microfiber and scratch the **** out of your car. Not a good choice,IMO.
Then that is the fault of the car wash and they are liable for faulty equipment.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #15
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Just don't do it......its not worth the headaches! Touch less with no track and you should be OK. I wouldn't trust any other! I still say hand wash, most hand wash places are don't cost much more and you would have more piece of mind! I hand wash my car once a week, saves money for more mods. Lol
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #16
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Then that is the fault of the car wash and they are liable for faulty equipment.
Nope. You will never get that to stick. That has nothing to do with the equipment.
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:49 PM   #17
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Nope. You will never get that to stick. That has nothing to do with the equipment.
I would have to agree. Again just don't do it, if you love your car don't take the chance! If its your winter beater car than go for it! I don't understand why anyone would chance scratching the hell out of their baby! Scratch head.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #18
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Nope. You will never get that to stick. That has nothing to do with the equipment.
Lack of maintaining their equipment would not stick? Cleanliness of equipment falls under maintenance. How could they get away from paying for damage when their dirty equipment caused it? That would be the same as you taking your car to a hand detailer and he put his buffing wheel to your car and there happened to be dirty in the mitt and your finish gets scratched and he refuses to pay. Wow no liability, I think I'm going in to the detailing business.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #19
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I just wash my car, nobody or machine will touch her! 1 hour a week is all it takes.
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Old 06-22-2013, 05:49 AM   #20
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Same here, dealer offered me free weekly pass through theirs for a year as part of deal and I told him no thanks... Mine lives in the sun at work and home so good sealant/wax and weekend hand wash.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:19 AM   #21
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Car wash I go to wash by hand been here for 60 years. Use new rags for each car and its only $20
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdbdallas View Post
Hey all,
I am sure I am not alone in wanting to keep my Mustang nice and clean, both inside and out.

There is one of those stand-alone car wash "companies" on my way to/from work, that offer Unlimited monthly washes if you sign up for a recurring payment of $14 (So it pays for itself if you use it twice)

I have to park outside at work, and I usually try and park under a tree to help with the 110 degree temperatures we get here in Phoenix.
So along with falling leafs and pollen, I get the occasional bird droppings and everyday in Phoenix leads to lots of dust being blown around and coating your car.

Anyways, since I have this unlimited pass I have been going either everyday or every other day.

While I was going thru the tunnel last night I had the thought that I wonder if washing this often could have a negative effect on the car (mainly thinking of the paint)
It is a standard brush car wash, but the brushes are really soft and dont spin as fast as I would expect (keeps the car looking nice, but you get what you pay for)

What do you guys think?
Am I hurting my car by trying to keep it so clean?

Thanks!
It depends on the car wash. The full service car wash I use inspects the car for mud and sap because they're picky. The average ticket there is Mercedes and BMWs.

Good quality equipment is designed to not scratch the car but its also dependent on how they take care of it. The biggest danger comes from who is drying it and the towels they use.

My grandfather washes his car at the full service car wash all the time, and the paint still looks good. Yeah it has swirls but he never waxes or polishes because he bought "paint sealant."

Myself I use the full serve more in the winter

Jan-Feb
2-3xs a month

Mar-April
Depends on pollen levels on average 4 times a month about once weekly if pollen is bad like this year. I went through 2xs a week. It needed a fresh coat of pollen. It was almost worthless .We had almost 9,000 count one day.

May-June
2xs a month on average

July-September
1x a month on average

October-December
Depends on the weather you know ever since global warming hit its been milder, so I can wash my car to about Christmas now. I'm kidding

on average 2xs a month.

I wouldn't worry too much. I also hate the way the car wash does certain things so I end up redoing them.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #23
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Car wash I go to wash by hand been here for 60 years. Use new rags for each car and its only $20
We have one here but they're 30 and I bought a coupon making it like $50 for 4 washes then 6 1/2 price the manger always through a fit. So I never went back. Then we had an ice storm he wouldn't honor the coupons because they expired during the week they were closed.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #24
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I have only ever seen one full by hand wash in my life and I saw it a month ago. unfortunately it's an hour drive from my house and they seem to hardly ever be open (not to mention being really sketchy looking)
Everywhere else sends you thru a wash with a track and then some (which cost more) hand dries and vacuums

Guess I will stick to hand washing as much as I can and use the auto when I have time. Maybe move space between waxing to be shorter
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #25
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I have only ever seen one full by hand wash in my life and I saw it a month ago. unfortunately it's an hour drive from my house and they seem to hardly ever be open (not to mention being really sketchy looking)
Everywhere else sends you thru a wash with a track and then some (which cost more) hand dries and vacuums

Guess I will stick to hand washing as much as I can and use the auto when I have time. Maybe move space between waxing to be shorter
Yeah the place I go to hand drys vacuums and cleans the interior for 13.95

It's a nice deal if you have an SUV because for 17.95 they dress the tires add paint protection under carriage wash, etc.. I take my moms there when it needs to be cleaned.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:35 PM   #26
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Just an FYI, here in north Texas, what people think is tree sap in the spring time is actually aphid urine. It's more damaging to clearcoat than tree sap would be.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:19 AM   #27
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The tree in front of my house drips sap, what a pain in the *** to get off a car! Tree is now gone.
I part my back end under a tree due to my drive way and room mate. We switch it each month but man, come a good rain and all the flowers and pollen just get on my black and white. THEN I head to work and the car just bakes in the Alabama sun for 8 hours. Then back to the gay tree spot. I recently washed it Saturday. Detailer too. Still has water spots, and some pollen that has dried in it. I polished it out with elbow grease and a new mitt.

Just thought I would pick someone's post and pin my input to it :p also the tree is the neighbors and I can't trim the 12 foot tall branches.

Oh and my other neighbor has a 14 v6 base in ruby red. She manages to keep hers cleaner than mine and has the same type of tree. I suspect she washes it at the dead of night or she uses and auto wash.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:56 AM   #28
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Just don't do it......its not worth the headaches! Touch less with no track and you should be OK. I wouldn't trust any other! I still say hand wash, most hand wash places are don't cost much more and you would have more piece of mind! I hand wash my car once a week, saves money for more mods. Lol
You guys are waaaayyy too paranoid... hahaha
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:29 AM   #29
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You guys are waaaayyy too paranoid... hahaha
Your ride, lol.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:42 AM   #30
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Lack of maintaining their equipment would not stick? Cleanliness of equipment falls under maintenance. How could they get away from paying for damage when their dirty equipment caused it? That would be the same as you taking your car to a hand detailer and he put his buffing wheel to your car and there happened to be dirty in the mitt and your finish gets scratched and he refuses to pay. Wow no liability, I think I'm going in to the detailing business.
The auto washes here have a disclaimer at the entrance. Enter at own risk, not responsible for damage to vehicle. I'm sure if the thing kerrrploded and collapsed on your car you'd have a case for suit but small scratches? You'll be lucky if they refund you the cost of the wash.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #31
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I am going to have to agree with everyone else here, stay away from automatic car washes man! ESPECIALLY with a black car!

I recently went through a divorce and live in an apartment now, so I don't have a garage or any place to wash my car. Also, I am an airline pilot and have to leave my car for 3-4 days at a time. I found a do it yourself car wash place around the corner. I take my car there once every two weeks or sooner if she gets really dirty. It's like $5 for 8 mins, but I never touch the car with anything except a micro fiber towel afterwards with a black spray detailer.

What you really need is a GOOD coat of wax on your black car. I wax mine once a month to keep a good layer of wax on there. The wax helps to keep the car clean between washes. And then because it is black, you HAVE to do something after washing to prevent water spots. I use a black spray detailer, either turtle wax black car detailer or Meguires black detailer spray. This keeps the car shining for much longer.

I did a wash and wax the other day, the next day it rained like a mofo. Car still looks great because the wax is fresh.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:13 AM   #32
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I am going to have to agree with everyone else here, stay away from automatic car washes man! ESPECIALLY with a black car!

I recently went through a divorce and live in an apartment now, so I don't have a garage or any place to wash my car. Also, I am an airline pilot and have to leave my car for 3-4 days at a time. I found a do it yourself car wash place around the corner. I take my car there once every two weeks or sooner if she gets really dirty. It's like $5 for 8 mins, but I never touch the car with anything except a micro fiber towel afterwards with a black spray detailer.

What you really need is a GOOD coat of wax on your black car. I wax mine once a month to keep a good layer of wax on there. The wax helps to keep the car clean between washes. And then because it is black, you HAVE to do something after washing to prevent water spots. I use a black spray detailer, either turtle wax black car detailer or Meguires black detailer spray. This keeps the car shining for much longer.

I did a wash and wax the other day, the next day it rained like a mofo. Car still looks great because the wax is fresh.
That's a beauty! Nice job on the stripes!
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:04 AM   #33
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That's a beauty! Nice job on the stripes!
Agreed, VERY nice!
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Old 06-29-2013, 10:22 AM   #34
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I knew all this was coming when I asked the question (hence me asking the question), but dang you all for ruining my daily 3 minute wash on my way home from work

The other day I did get "up close and personal" with my paint and I did notice what I am calling 'micro scratches'. What I mean by that, is the are not visible unless you get your face right down next to the paint.

Some of the little scratches she has are due to the 'little' accident she went thru not long ago, but those are on the very bottom of the sides of the car. (like right around the bottom of the car) but those were buffed the hell out and painted so they are also not visible unless you get right up close (these you don't have to be as close to see but you still have to be close and looking for them)

So with where I am now what would you all suggest
(besides just stopping with the auto washes)

What can I do to keep it looking clean so I don't feel like it needs to be washed every day?
@Davey13GT thanks for the tips on the black detailer, I will check that out. Does that just help with the water spots?

Is there anything I can do about these 'micro scratches' or am I just SOL?
How often do you wax, and what 'process' do you use to wax? (i.e.: personal or professional, by hand or buffer machine, amount of wax to use, etc) (I have never had a car worth really taking this kind of care of before)
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #35
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These micro scratches you talk about are merely swirl marks or scratches in the clear coat. You don't see them easily on lighter colors but black shows them. These occur from dust but also from anything but a microfiber towel touching the car.

They are easily removable with a good polish and wax. Check out the turtle wax black box kit. This includes a polish and a wax and it will take 98% of those scratches out. They won't come back unless you touch the car (even with a wash). So wash the car good, and do the turtle wax black box process (takes about 4 hours). This will get a really nice shine and good wax protection.

From there on, do TOUCHLESS car washes. I'm sure you can find a touchless car wash place near you (they have bays, you insert money, use a pressure washer type sprayer etc). Just do not touch the car, don't use that brush!

After your wash, use a mirco fiber towel to dry (do not use california water blade or those shami cloths) then using another clean micro fiber towel, use turtle wax black car detailer. It not only removes water spots but also brings the wax to a nice shine.

My car stays looking good by doing this. The key is to not touch the paint!
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