BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > newbie "full service" carwash questions

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      02-16-2006, 10:24 AM   #1
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newbie "full service" carwash questions

I live in New England and don't have the time / am too lazy to wash my car by hand, plus it is way too cold to do this in winter here anyway. But I do like to take care of my car and like to keep it clean, and I want to go one step better than the typical gas station drive-through washes...Problem is, there are very few "full service" auto washes in New Hampshire or even Boston, and many that claim to be full service don't do interior cleaning, etc. I have found a couple online which appear to offer more true "full service" than most, but I have a few basic questions I hope you'll be able to give me some guidance on:

1. I've always been nervous about purchasing any kind of wax, etc. when I take the car to these washes because I remember once hearing that the wax is bad for windows, etc. and I assume if it is applied in a drive-through wash it will go everywhere. So I usually just ask for the wash/dry, tires and undercarriage. But going the "ala carte" route is often as expensive or more expensive than the value packages these carwashes sell which include wax, or sometimes a "clear coat protectant" or sealer. Am I right to avoid these, or are they good for the car or at least harmless to it??

2. If people think that these waxes/protectants/sealers are not a bad thing, then would you be able to tell me which of the following products are better? There is a Massachusetts full service wash which uses Royale Touch Triple Foam Protectant / Clear Coat Sealer / Polish Protectant, and there is one in New Hampshire who uses Blue Coral Velocity Hot Wax / Polish Wax / Clear Coat Protectant / Triple Coat Protectant. That place also offers Simoniz Double Bond Protectant with Teflon. Which of these products are better, what is okay to use and what should I avoid?

If anyone cares to go one step further and look at the websites of the two washes and weigh in on who they think looks better based on their website descriptions of what they do and what they offer, I'd be really grateful. I'm less concerned about which one is cheaper, more interested in who will take the best care of my car! I'm posting their websites below:



3. Finally, when I don't have the extra 20-30 minutes to drive to one of these places, if I dare to wash the car via a standard drive through wash, what is better, the regular ones or (if I can find one) the "touchless" kind? And would you recommend using or avoiding whatever kind of waxes/sealers these places offer?

Thanks for any advice you can provide!
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      02-16-2006, 11:19 AM   #2
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i second the 3rd question. i've been wondering about that myself. i'm sorry, but it's f-ing miserable here in pittsburgh all winter until like june and living in an apartment in the city, there is simply no way someone's gonna see me go out with a bucket of water on the street and start handwashing my car while it's 20 F out, snowing and i'm dodging the traffic on the road. ditto for waxing. but my car is getting ungodly dirty so one of those drive-through places sound very appealing. is it really that bad?
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      02-16-2006, 11:37 AM   #3
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The owner's manual says you can use those automatic places, but it says to try and find the ones with cloth strips rather than brushes, or use the touchless ones. It didn't mention anything bad about the soap/wax used at them. It does recommend using BMW products when you do it yourself, but that is probably just promotion of their products.
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