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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Touchless Car Wash



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      12-11-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
souzar
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Touchless Car Wash

With the current weather in Boston I have resorted to using a touchless car wash with blow drying. About 1 month ago I put on 3 coats of ZAINO (2 Z5, 1 Z2). My goal is to make it until March without having to do anything by hand. I will also be taking a lot of long drives up to NH for snowboarding. I have a few questions:

1. There is a super rinse and dry option. Should I use that if there is just light salt on the vehicle?

2. Anyway to know how harsh the soap is? I have gone through twice in the last week and water still beads nicely.

3. There is a spray wax option. If the water stops beading should I use that until spring comes around?

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Last edited by souzar; 12-11-2009 at 10:39 AM.
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      12-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #2
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I do touchless washes in the winter too, there's just no way to avoid it unless you have a heated garage (preferably with a drain). Got one this morning on the way to work, in fact.

Some say the soap is extremely harsh, but I have yet to have my sealant/LSP fade because of touchless washes. Granted, I only use them in the winter when it's below freezing. I always go to the same place, and have been happy with the short and longterm results. You should be fine for 2.5-3 months with the full Zaino treatment, wouldn't worry about using a spray wax.

As long as it's above freezing outside (which today it's not), I usually do the touchless wash then come home and ONR it. The touchless cleans off all the loose salt and sand, and the ONR gets what the touchless wash couldn't. Works well for me, ONR is fantastic stuff.
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      12-11-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
I do touchless washes in the winter too, there's just no way to avoid it unless you have a heated garage (preferably with a drain). Got one this morning on the way to work, in fact.

Some say the soap is extremely harsh, but I have yet to have my sealant/LSP fade because of touchless washes. Granted, I only use them in the winter when it's below freezing. I always go to the same place, and have been happy with the short and longterm results. You should be fine for 2.5-3 months with the full Zaino treatment, wouldn't worry about using a spray wax.

As long as it's above freezing outside (which today it's not), I usually do the touchless wash then come home and ONR it. The touchless cleans off all the loose salt and sand, and the ONR gets what the touchless wash couldn't. Works well for me, ONR is fantastic stuff.
Everyone talks so highly of ONR. I am going to pick up a bottle and try it out. I assume I can hide in the corner of the garage at my apartment and use it.

Which car wash do you use? I am looking to switch since the blow drying at mine is not that great.
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      12-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #4
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I use touchless quite a bit in the winter, too. The soap is harsh where I am, but not so bad that it completely strips the Zaino. The difference I see in Zaino beading goes from about 6+ months to about 3-4 months. Of course, the salt on the roads could also have something to do with it.

All in all, I hate the touchless gas station wash -- I still see a bit of a "film" on the car when it is done, and it doesn't clean the wheels -- but it's a necessary evil because I'm not going out in 20 degree weather with my ONR, only to get more snow and wet, salted streets the next day.

I'd just pick the option where it sprays the undercarriage and try to avoid it dripping wax or Rain-X all over the car. Around here, that's the "middle" option of 3 in nearly all the spray & wash places.
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      12-11-2009, 01:41 PM   #5
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This is my first winter with my 3 and I've been using ONR. When we (NJ) start getting consecutive cold days, I might start using touchless washes.

The one thing touchless washes dot hat ONR does is clears the under carriage of your car. Very important.
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      12-11-2009, 01:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souzar View Post
Everyone talks so highly of ONR. I am going to pick up a bottle and try it out. I assume I can hide in the corner of the garage at my apartment and use it.

Which car wash do you use? I am looking to switch since the blow drying at mine is not that great.
I go to this place: http://clippercitycarwash.com/index.html. Not sure how convenient it would be if you're IN Boston, but I drive by daily. For $6 it does all the basics, $8 if you want undercarriage. There are more expensive options too, but as BK said skip those. Also, they offer 25% off coupons if you buy 10 washes in advance. They give you a full 60 seconds of dry time too, which is the perfect amount of time.

As with all touchless washes, it's far from perfect. Great for the winter, but the car isn't really "clean" after. As much as I love ONR, I won't use it when the car has a layer of caked on salt and sand over the paint - Jet Black paint is one of the softest and most difficult to maintain, and it just doesn't seem like a good idea.

For my purposes, the touchless might as well be a high-pressure rinse. That's all I expect from it.
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      12-11-2009, 07:17 PM   #7
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I tried ONR last night and it was AMAZING! Stuff really works great. Co workers complimented on how clean it looked too. I support ONR!
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      12-12-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC316 View Post
I tried ONR last night and it was AMAZING! Stuff really works great. Co workers complimented on how clean it looked too. I support ONR!
+1

used ONR this morning and car looks fantastic. It was 30 degrees out and went with a bucket of hot water, some rubber gloves and I was set
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      12-13-2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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A little trick to save $$ when using touchless (wand) is to use the wax when rinsing the soap. The wax contains a neutralizer.
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