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



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      12-12-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
Dem3ern
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Winter Washing

It's gotten to around that time again in Michigan where it's a bit too cold for me to want to wash my car every weekend by hand. Usually go to the local self wash and spray it down with soap and then water, does pretty well. I may hand wash the wheels since they don't take that long and are a pain if they get too dirty... Had my car detailed and waxed in the fall for some winter protection as well!

Still hoping for the random 50+ days to turn the water back on and hand wash!

What do you other guys do in the winter that live in the cold/snowy states? Just curious if there's a better quick, easy and simple solution
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      12-12-2012, 05:34 PM   #2
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i usually try and not drive my car if its snowy out, and slushy. but what i did last winter was go to touchless automatic car wash with dryers, and always came out clean. this winter i dont plan on moving it out the garage if theres snow.
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      12-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Automatic touchless carwashes every week
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      12-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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I use Optimum No Rinse in a warm bucket of water, another bucket with warm water for rinsing and go one panel at a time with a sheepskin mitt. Wash, wipe off with microfiber and continue. Start at the top of the car and make my way to the bottom. I may empty the buckets and get new water/rinse depending on how dirty the car is.

I do the wheels sparingly - every other wash perhaps. I use ONR for them too except with a dedicated wheel brush.

If I got a ton of salt on the car I'd probably find a touchless wash (mainly to get the undercarriage). I don't have a need to drive for my job so I simply don't when the weather is bad. The problem with touchless washes is they use pretty strong chemicals so it will strip off whatever protectant is on the paint (wax/sealant).

This method worked well for me last year. No swirls, etc.
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      12-12-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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Be sure to use the 'two bucket' method when your car is especially salty/dirty. Takes more time but much better for your paint.
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      12-12-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
I use Optimum No Rinse in a warm bucket of water, another bucket with warm water for rinsing and go one panel at a time with a sheepskin mitt. Wash, wipe off with microfiber and continue. Start at the top of the car and make my way to the bottom. I may empty the buckets and get new water/rinse depending on how dirty the car is.

I do the wheels sparingly - every other wash perhaps. I use ONR for them too except with a dedicated wheel brush.

If I got a ton of salt on the car I'd probably find a touchless wash (mainly to get the undercarriage). I don't have a need to drive for my job so I simply don't when the weather is bad. The problem with touchless washes is they use pretty strong chemicals so it will strip off whatever protectant is on the paint (wax/sealant).

This method worked well for me last year. No swirls, etc.
+1 for ONR. Incredible stuff.
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      12-12-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMRWheels
Be sure to use the 'two bucket' method when your car is especially salty/dirty. Takes more time but much better for your paint.
What is the two bucket wash?
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      12-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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It's funny you posted this today, I'm in SE Michigan as well (Novi - Farmington Hills belt) and today being a somwhat warm day (40+), I was hoping the weather would hold out so I can wash the car first thing this weekend.

Hopefully the E92 is sparkling and smiling come Saturday!!!
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      12-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dem3ern View Post
Usually go to the local self wash and spray it down with soap and then water, does pretty well. I may hand wash the wheels since they don't take that long and are a pain if they get too dirty... Had my car detailed and waxed in the fall for some winter protection as well!
Ditto. I use a synthetic polymer in the fall (Klasse) so I know it will last through the winter. I use wax in the spring and summer when it can be done more often.

I wash mine in one of the local DIY wand wash places. Soap it, wipe it with a microfiber towel (never use a brush!), rinse, and dry with another MF towel. I try to go when the car wash does not have a line up so I have indoor drying time.

When it's cold out it stays clean for a long time. It's only when it gets up near freezing that the salt makes everything messy again.
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      12-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatre View Post
+1 for ONR. Incredible stuff.
+2 for ONR
Two warm buckets- grit guard-
I score the regular wal-mart wash sponges into cubes like a lake country sponge
http://www.wolfgangcarcare.com/car-wash-sponge.html

I rarely wash my car any other way.

Add some Eagle 1 Wax-as-u-dry and it brings a tear to you eye.
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      12-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VMRWheels View Post
Be sure to use the 'two bucket' method when your car is especially salty/dirty. Takes more time but much better for your paint.
Ive been lazy in the winters but will it harm my paint if I only hand wash it like once every month or two? I realize with the self wash it wont be as clean but since its my DD I cant avoid it getting dirty anyway.
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      12-12-2012, 11:20 PM   #12
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My dad had his garage built at a slight incline so I can wash my car inside of it, open the garage door a tad, so the water and soap will drain out, and it will be a cozy 50 degrees or so while it's below 32 outside. Soo no winter worries for me! She still gets her weekly wash
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      12-13-2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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The wand wash place down the street has garage doors on each end of the bays. With the warm water it gets downright tropical in there (well, almost), even when it's below freezing out. Not perfect but OK for a winter wash.
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      12-13-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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detail and wax late fall, then "laser wash" weekly through winter. I haven't seen a spot of rust on a vehicle of mine since the '94 Golf i had.
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      12-15-2012, 06:12 AM   #15
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Be sure to wash the undercarriage regulary in winter!!!
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      12-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #16
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OP, today shall be the day! Mid-50s in the afternoon, the rain's cleared out, and everything is looking good give my two autos a nice winter bath..
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      12-16-2012, 11:11 AM   #17
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I go to the wash bay when it is above 32F, and fill a bucket up and hand wash it in the bay. I still even use the 2 bucket method.

Then Take it home to the garage and give it a quick wax spray!
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      12-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #18
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bit of a revive here, but I thought I'd post how much I like using the 2 bucket method without actually using 2 buckets.
Go by lowes or home depot and pick up one of these, they are very convenient for rinseless washing.



http://www.lowes.com/pd_6262-1097-FG...7C1&facetInfo=
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      12-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZhengHellaFlush View Post
Grab a couple buckets of warm water and wash it. How i was my car in oregon Its about 35-40 degrees here

^Couldn't that crack your windshield?
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      12-20-2012, 01:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZhengHellaFlush View Post
nope. its warm water not hot boiling water.
Idk I did that once and it cracked my windshield. I will never poor water on my car in super cold weather again.
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