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      05-14-2007, 04:55 PM   #1
The Cleaner
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Touchless carwash, OK now and then?

Ok I am new to keeping my car clean all the time. I will detail in a couple times a month but something I need a quick clean......

I am wondering if a touchless carwash now and then is bad for the finish. I know there are pros in the detail area on this forum so let me know what you recommend.
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      05-14-2007, 05:32 PM   #2
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As a rule of thumb if you want to maintain your finish for many many years to come the ideal is hand washing with particular products. You may already know what - microfiber, zaino or equivalent, and so forth.

High pressure washers tend to vary in strength and are usually made not to harm the finish of most vehicles. That being said i have read that these touchless carwashes tend to recycle water - all year long, saving cost. Their filters are only so good and at some point there will be a wash that picks up particles from the previous vehicle/s and sprays them onto your car.

At these speeds small particles can begin to scratch and almost sand blast the surface of the car. These washes will more likely than not strip any existing wax on the vehicle - they apply their own, but like the wash itself are cheap and their life on the vehicle is short. They will not protect the car for long.

If you must go to a carwash b/c you cannot hand wash or for whatever reason I would suggest the touchless for obvious reasons - nothing touches the car - with brush washes (whatever they are) you will most certainly get particles from previous cars in that wash - not good, plus anything harsher than microfiber just won't do in my book.

Pressure washing is a no-no in general, never pressure wash - you are pushing particles of dirt into and across the finish of your vehicle - notice the pressure wash car washes shoot a stream of water at 90 degree angle to the car - not good.

I've heard horror stories about some pressure washers (touchless wash) taking paint straight off the car. If that pressure stream hits a rock chip in the paint - it may force water underneath that area and begin to cause problems.

Try to hand wash, even if you have to wait an extra day or two - just try to avoid the pressure washing.

my 2 cents from several years of professional detailing.
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