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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Off-Topic Discussions > Anyone still use an automated car wash?



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      08-31-2016, 02:26 AM   #1
Broken_Gearbox
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Red face

I came across a random Fifth Gear video the other day... I know I know they are not exactly Detailing Word Gods... but the video did highlight the difference between various wash methods and mediums. The three were:

1. Automated wash
2. Bucket wash... with sponge... not the two bucket method
3. El Cheapo Pressure Wash - you know the one where they drop the rag on the floor and proceed to work the grit into your bonnet as you watch in horror... and then claim the lacquer has come off your wheels so you really should see a dealership about their poor workmanship when in fact it was the acidic truck wash that was used...


The scientific method used to check the difference between the three was a paint gauge... and non scientific was a visual inspection.

Anyhow the automated wash came on top... now the last time I went to one was when I was 5 and with my dad... it was fun as heck at that age... so I thought I would give it a try after more than 30 years...

I must say I am pretty impressed... compared with the horrible bristles they had in the 80's that scratched the car and were dirty from the previous car that had come in... the automated wash did a really good job. I used a paint gauge... visually inspected... and only two patches were missed on the body work... an area of about 1 cm x 1 cm behind each mirror... that and the wheels looked half done... but otherwise it came out bloody good... the blow dryer was brilliant so I didn't even whip out the drying towel I had brought with me.

Here is an image... the bonnet shot does not seem to want to upload on the hosting site...

[img]https://s14.postimg.org/riye0dwxt/IMG_8498.jpg[/img]

I haven't had the time to use the two bucket method I always use... so this could come in handy once in a while... otherwise I set aside 3-5 hours every weekend and alternate between our cars. I don't think I would ever take the black sapphire BMW into the auto wash... even slight scratches annoy me so probably not worth the risk.

Last edited by Broken_Gearbox; 08-31-2016 at 02:38 AM.
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      08-31-2016, 02:35 AM   #2
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Head on bonnet shot still not loading but found this one:



No buffing towels, no glass cleaner or detailing spray post wash...

You can see the huge areas missed out on the wheels but those will be easy enough to clean when I can.

The under body wash was included in programme 4... £5.40 not bad at all. At least it is not a foreign wash using a high pressure diesel powered washer on the paint... making stone chips worse and the likes...

Last edited by Broken_Gearbox; 08-31-2016 at 07:46 AM.
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      08-31-2016, 04:10 AM   #3
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One and only time I have used one of these on my own car the bonnet got severely scratched. Must have been grit or some shit in the brushes. Garage didnt give a shit as there was a sign stating they take no liability for any damage caused by machine.

Avoided ever since.
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      08-31-2016, 05:37 AM   #4
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Yep, you think they're fine till you use one that scratches a panel to hell. At best they will clean most of the car and at worst they will leave you with damaged paintwork. Just not worth the risk in my opinion.
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      08-31-2016, 12:45 PM   #5
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I had two experiences that put me off for life. When I was young my mum's Triumph Herald jammed the washer when one on the chrome strips came off. All my mum could do was honk the horn as it was not possible to get out the car. Eventually someone stopped it, but not before the footwalls started to fill up with water lol. The second bad experience was in a Saab turbo. The wheel washers got stuck on the doors either side and left circular scratches on both doors. I did get a payout from the garage though to respray the car.

With modern ways to hand clean you can't beat a hand clean. I can do it in less than an hour. Mind you I then spend hours on the wheels
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      08-31-2016, 02:27 PM   #6
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Yes the wheels take me at least an hour or two. I love hand cleaning because you can produce the results you want and it is a labour of love. I have been driving past this auto wash for 3 years and I notice that the cars come out gleaming. I've seen other washes where the cars come out with wax marks and water marring. There are a few regular customers and when I have filled up I have noticed the results. So I was tempted to try it after many years and there were no issues at all. It did a really good job other than the wheels. If I'm screwed for time again I will seriously consider this particular wash. I think the pump owner maintains it no doubt. All in all not a bad experience.

At least laser washes have moved the game on. I remember many moons ago when a guy took a rag top in and it not only destroyed the roof but shattered the windscreen as he had gone too forward! Oddly I think that was a Triumph too.
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      08-31-2016, 04:01 PM   #7
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Wheels are a pain, but I’ve found two great products that help reduce the pain.

Hudro2 lite

https://carpro.uk.com/collections/su...coating-1000ml

Hydro2 is an interesting product. It’s not specifically for wheels but it works really well. It’s water soluble but turns insanely hydrophobic when agitated. After cleaning the wheels spray the jet wash over them so they are wet. Spray on Hydro2 and the jet wash off straight away. The jet wash agitates the Hydro2 and leaves a hydrophobic coating. I dry off the wheels with an air dryer. I find it better than any wheel sealant I have used and it’s much quicker, plus it gets in all the nooks and crannies.

GYEON Q2 TIRE

This is a phenomenal product. It bonds to the tire and makes it hydrophobic. Great value, great look and lasts a long time

http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acata...n-q2-tire.html
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      09-01-2016, 01:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ao1 View Post
Wheels are a pain, but Iíve found two great products that help reduce the pain.

Hudro2 lite

https://carpro.uk.com/collections/su...coating-1000ml

Hydro2 is an interesting product. Itís not specifically for wheels but it works really well. Itís water soluble but turns insanely hydrophobic when agitated. After cleaning the wheels spray the jet wash over them so they are wet. Spray on Hydro2 and the jet wash off straight away. The jet wash agitates the Hydro2 and leaves a hydrophobic coating. I dry off the wheels with an air dryer. I find it better than any wheel sealant I have used and itís much quicker, plus it gets in all the nooks and crannies.

GYEON Q2 TIRE

This is a phenomenal product. It bonds to the tire and makes it hydrophobic. Great value, great look and lasts a long time

http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acata...n-q2-tire.html
I have been using Hydro2 as well but not heard of Gyeon so will check that out. Always interested in new products / reviews. The Hydro2 works great on top of the Gtech wheel coating. Makes maintenance easier. For getting everything off the wheels I sometimes use Sonax Xtreme wheel clean - non-acidic and environmentally friendly.
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      09-01-2016, 02:23 AM   #9
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Oh cool. I should have mention I use Hydro2 on a base coat of GYEON Q2 RIM. It's similar to Gtech. I've used both but think Gyeon has the edge.

Hope you like the Gyeon Q2. Make sure the tires are really clean before applying and I'm sure you are going to be really impressed.

Do you use Reload from Car Pro for paint surface protection? I use it in conjunction with a ceramic coating. It's another phenomenal product, but needs to be kept away from glass and well buffed off to get a super slick hydrophobic coating.
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      09-01-2016, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ao1
Oh cool. I should have mention I use Hydro2 on a base coat of GYEON Q2 RIM. It's similar to Gtech. I've used both but think Gyeon has the edge.

Hope you like the Gyeon Q2. Make sure the tires are really clean before applying and I'm sure you are going to be really impressed.

Do you use Reload from Car Pro for paint surface protection? I use it in conjunction with a ceramic coating. It's another phenomenal product, but needs to be kept away from glass and well buffed off to get a super slick hydrophobic coating.
My paint protection goes a little something like this. Collinite 845 insulator wax and sealant followed by Sonax Xtreme PNS. This will last you a year no problems. It withstands rain, dirt, grime etc. Sadly there is nothing that protects against bird lime other than a rifle! Will check out the reload thanks for that.
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      09-02-2016, 07:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broken_Gearbox View Post
My paint protection goes a little something like this. Collinite 845 insulator wax and sealant followed by Sonax Xtreme PNS. This will last you a year no problems. It withstands rain, dirt, grime etc. Sadly there is nothing that protects against bird lime other than a rifle! Will check out the reload thanks for that.
I used this 3 part system for paint protection:

ē SiRamik Glasscoat SC-HR
ē SC-Ultima to give a gloss finish and hydrophobic layer
ē Diamas Professional (containing aggregated diamond nanorods) for abrasion resistance

It can only be applied by a small handful of approved detailers and it's expensive. On the over hand it lasts three years, provides scratch and chemical resistance. Nothing really sticks to it. It's a brezze to wash off bug splats and bird crap. I always wash off bird crap as soon as possible, but the detailer who did my car tested it on his wifes car and said there was no paint damage after leaving bird crap on the car for sustained periods of time.

I've used other nano coatings and its the best by far. Not only in protection but also in looks.

I use Reload from Car Pro as a detailing spray after cleaning.

Evaluating coatings on my car is difficult as it's not a daily driver and I avoid driving in rain. I did the above on my wife's car though and it stands up well to daily use and abuse. It's the best I've found to date and I have tried lots of products over the years.
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      09-02-2016, 02:24 PM   #12
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Here is my other half's car. A week after cleaning and just after some rainfall. Still holding some pretty good beading.

Sorry for going a bit off topic. Can you share a link to the video you referenced in the first post?
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Last edited by Ao1; 09-03-2016 at 05:43 AM. Reason: typo
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      09-02-2016, 03:49 PM   #13
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Found it.
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      09-03-2016, 05:51 AM   #14
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Thanks. Interesting. I've got to say I'm guilty of using a squeegee blade. It's got a silicone blade and I've [not] noticed it causing any damage. This could be for a couple of reasons. I jet was after washing and before drying so there should not be any contaminates on the car before drying. The ceramic coating I've got on the car also provides scratch protection . That said this may just give me the push I needed to get a larger air blower so I don't have to touch the car.

Last edited by Ao1; 09-03-2016 at 11:00 AM. Reason: mistake in bold
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      09-06-2016, 03:10 AM   #15
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Have you got a link to where you purchased the Diamas sealant from? Thanks
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      09-06-2016, 04:58 PM   #16
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      09-06-2016, 05:04 PM   #17
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BMW paint is hard and you obviously protect your paint work.

However Joe Bloggs in his Honda will much more susceptible to swirl marks.


My Mrs has a black Honda civic.. it actually looks more grey due to the amount of swirls. I am looking forward to going over it with my da though.
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      09-07-2016, 04:46 AM   #18
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I went through a phase of being really into detailing, spent way too much on products & was out on the drive at every opportunity sorting the car out.

Over the last year I've slipped back into using the local hand car wash, they use a 2 bucket method and actually take some pride in what they do so I'm more comfortable with it.

I decided it was time to be realistic, the car has nearly 180K on it, it's never going to be a show car and a few swirls are expected.

I'm now happy with just going to the local hand car wash, letting them do the basics then I come home and apply Sonax BSD, a hydrophobic coating on the windows every now and then and of course not forgetting Megs tyre gel.
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      09-07-2016, 12:50 PM   #19
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Yep its a labour of love and there is a compromise to being anal. There is also the other extreme of neglect. The guy over the road asked me to detail his car, but it was too far gone. The top coat was starting to show signs of debonding due to a lack if cleaning. Somewhere there is a compromise between the two extremes of being anal and neglect. A car wash seems to fit well in that category. I would never use a street hand wash. It's worse than neglect.
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