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Winter Car Wash

PhilST

New Member
Messages
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Location
New York
#1
I am in upstate NY so handwashing outside is not much of an option. There are 2 automatic washing stations in the area with one being touchless and the other not. The soft touch still has the octopus arms slapping all over the place and other mechanisms physically touching the car. I have used the touchless in the past and they never seem to do much.

What do all of you winter drivers do to keep your ST/cars clean?
 

Jshaffer3819

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
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Location
Kaiserslautern, Germany
#2
I am in upstate NY so handwashing outside is not much of an option. There are 2 automatic washing stations in the area with one being touchless and the other not. The soft touch still has the octopus arms slapping all over the place and other mechanisms physically touching the car. I have used the touchless in the past and they never seem to do much.

What do all of you winter drivers do to keep your ST/cars clean?
I am in Germany And will soon be going through the same thing. I have a cheap pressure washer that I foam with a precast then blow off all the heavy dirt. I have some rinse less car wash and will do that in the garage with one bucket of warm water and the rinseless wash. Optimum No Rinse is a popular brand. Google and you will find lots of info on it.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Location
Burlington, ON, Canada
#3
I usually just suck it up and suffer the cold while I use the coin-operated washes. I'm a fat guy, though, so I'm kind of always wearing a winter coat all year around.

The good news is they're sheltered on three sides so you're usually out of the wind, if nothing else. Also, they're not as popular in the winter time, so you can usually take your sweet ass time drying off and whatnot. I try not to use the brushes if possible, although if I have to use them I powerwash the living shit out of them first to get any schmutz out of the bristles. Unfortunately they are usually the only way to get a good amount of soap foam onto the car - the soap spray from the nozzle is alright but it isn't thick and foamy.

In between those things, I usually keep a season pass loaded for Petro Canada car washes and go to whatever touchless ones I can find. Good enough to get the nastiest of the dirt off. Then use the occasional coin-op like I mentioned above when the touchless just isn't doing the job anymore.
 
Messages
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Location
Grimsby, ON, Canada
#4
Where I live we have 2 touchless car washes. They seem to do a good job. On the occasional nice day I will hand dry with a detailing spray.
 
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Location
Columbus, OH, USA
#5
I use quarter do it yourself washes, then come home and finish it up with a rinseless wash in the garage. Touch less car washes are ok if you want to knock the salt off a bit, but other than that they pretty much suck, but in a pinch I'd do it assuming nothing touches the vehicle.
 
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Location
Bloomer, WI, USA
#6
I live in Northwest Wisconsin--so it can get very cold up here. I have a brushless car wash about 3 miles from my house, so I run it thru there, and then drive real fast to get back to my house before everything freezes up and put it in the heated garage, finish it with Slick 50 spray on. As a side note, recently had some work done at the dealer, and they gave me a car wash card for a QuickTrip car wash. The wash has a guide bar for the tires on the right side. Had my F-150 (with 20" tires) thru it many times with no problem. However, with the low profile 21" tires it damaged my wheels. With the pandemic the wheel guy no longer goes to the dealers, and had to drive 90 miles to St. Paul to drop them off for repair. A free $10 car wash, and a $200 wheel repair.
 
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Location
Springfield, MO, USA
#7
I would run it through a touchless wash and then finish with some rinseless wash or Turtle Wax 3-in-1 someplace warm
 

PhilST

New Member
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Location
New York
#8
I went to the touchless today to give it a go and it was meh. Made it home in time with the car still being wet and finished with Maguire's spray wax. The car wasn't too dirty to begin with but in the end it all came out okay.
 

CoastieN70

Member
U.S. Coast Guard Veteran
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Location
Savannah, GA, USA
#9
I don't know what all the bruhaha about automatic car washes is.
Sure 20 or 30 years ago they "might" have been scratchy, but this is 2020 soon 2021. Do you think in this day and age if someone's car came out scratched the owner of the car wash wouldn't be sued into oblivion!?!
I have visited Buffalo, NY in January of this year and last year and have had my vehicle salt encrusted both times. I took it to one of the local "Sonic Car Washes" and was pleased with the results, Black vehicle both times. Just as importantly was the undercarriage wash I received at this car wash.
Visited my local car wash when I returned to Savannah and afterwards inspected for scratches, none were found.
 

Kirk ST

Member
U.S. Army Veteran
Messages
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Location
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
#10
I don't know what all the bruhaha about automatic car washes is.
Sure 20 or 30 years ago they "might" have been scratchy, but this is 2020 soon 2021. Do you think in this day and age if someone's car came out scratched the owner of the car wash wouldn't be sued into oblivion!?!
I have visited Buffalo, NY in January of this year and last year and have had my vehicle salt encrusted both times. I took it to one of the local "Sonic Car Washes" and was pleased with the results, Black vehicle both times. Just as importantly was the undercarriage wash I received at this car wash.
Visited my local car wash when I returned to Savannah and afterwards inspected for scratches, none were found.

I'm with you on this one. My buddy owns several gas stations w/car washes here in western PA. I asked him about touch/touchless washes and he said the touch washers are fine these days. (and I think they do a better job, esp. on the plastic body trim) The machines are all calibrated to not put too much pressure on the cars. The only real risk is one of the brush arms getting caught on a loose bumper cover or something like that. I had that happen to me on my previous truck, but I knew the cover was loose and wasn't properly clipped into place. (I popped it all back into place on my own.)
 
Messages
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121
Location
Columbus, OH, USA
#11
I don't know what all the bruhaha about automatic car washes is.
Sure 20 or 30 years ago they "might" have been scratchy, but this is 2020 soon 2021. Do you think in this day and age if someone's car came out scratched the owner of the car wash wouldn't be sued into oblivion!?!
I have visited Buffalo, NY in January of this year and last year and have had my vehicle salt encrusted both times. I took it to one of the local "Sonic Car Washes" and was pleased with the results, Black vehicle both times. Just as importantly was the undercarriage wash I received at this car wash.
Visited my local car wash when I returned to Savannah and afterwards inspected for scratches, none were found.
It's not scratches, it's swirling. If you're not anal about a nice finish they are fine, but anyone who is a detailing enthusiast wouldn't dream of going through one.
 
Messages
168
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121
Location
Columbus, OH, USA
#13
How about wheel scratching?
If you have the black 21's...there is zero chance I'd go through an auto car wash. Imagine the brushes that hit people's wheels with disgusting amounts of dirt and brake dust. If you're not picky it may be fine for you, but I assume since you're asking you're interested in keeling the car in the best shape possible. I'd skip the auto washes, but that's me. I haven't taken my personal car through one...ever. my wife's car, yes, lol.
 
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Location
Bloomer, WI, USA
#14
If you have the black 21's...there is zero chance I'd go through an auto car wash. Imagine the brushes that hit people's wheels with disgusting amounts of dirt and brake dust. If you're not picky it may be fine for you, but I assume since you're asking you're interested in keeling the car in the best shape possible. I'd skip the auto washes, but that's me. I haven't taken my personal car through one...ever. my wife's car, yes, lol.
I have the 21's on mine. Had some work done at the dealer, gave me a free car wash at a wash I have used many times for my F-150 with 20's with no problem. However with the 45 aspect ration on the Explorer the wheels were scratched by the guide bar. A free $10 car wash cost me $200 to get the wheels repaired.
 
Messages
43
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35
Location
Lima, Ohio,
#15
I usually just suck it up and suffer the cold while I use the coin-operated washes. I'm a fat guy, though, so I'm kind of always wearing a winter coat all year around.
.
I hear you on the "Fat Guy" thing. I too, use the quarter car washes in the winter. Fill a 5 gallon bucket (with screw on lid and grit guard) with warm water and you favorite car wash soap. Mine is Meguiars Ultimate. I use two boars hair brushes, one for the body and a smaller one for the wheels, tires, and fenderwells. Usually take along a rag to hit hard to get spots spots. Pretty much the same routine as the summer. Universal Brush Manufacturing Co is where I get my brushes. They're not cheap, but they won't scratch and last a long time. Mine are going on 5 years now. Another nice thing about the DIY washes you can spray the underside better than a automatic. IMG_1207.JPG
 
Messages
131
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Location
Burlington, ON, Canada
#16
I hear you on the "Fat Guy" thing. I too, use the quarter car washes in the winter. Fill a 5 gallon bucket (with screw on lid and grit guard) with warm water and you favorite car wash soap. Mine is Meguiars Ultimate. I use two boars hair brushes, one for the body and a smaller one for the wheels, tires, and fenderwells. Usually take along a rag to hit hard to get spots spots. Pretty much the same routine as the summer. Universal Brush Manufacturing Co is where I get my brushes. They're not cheap, but they won't scratch and last a long time. Mine are going on 5 years now. Another nice thing about the DIY washes you can spray the underside better than a automatic. View attachment 3271
Occasionally I’ll use the handheld brush at the coin-op, but not until I’ve scoured it thoroughly with the pressurewasher to clean anything out of it, and then I’ll usually squeeze my own soap (Chemical Guys) into the bristles, work it in, and then use as normal, adding more soap when needed. It’s difficult at best for me to take a bucket of water with me since in the winter all my outdoor water supplies are shut off.

Rest of the time I use a season pass card in the touchless drive-thru jobs.
 


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