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What are everyones thoughts about auto washes. I know hand washing is best, but who has that kind of time every time you need a good scrubbing. And what about the under carraige?? Does anyone do the drive through?
 

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In the middle of winter when it's cold as balls i will bow to the no touch car wash. But its' hurtfull.
 

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Hand wash only! In the winter, just wait 'til it's over 40 and feed hot/warm water to your hose. Even hand washing will create some damage over time, but one car wash can put permanent scratches all over the car, even the windshield. The darker the car the more obvious.
 

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What!!!!!!!!!!! Not to be mean, but how could you even think of doing such an evil thing!!!?????? :haha: :eek: Just playing around!! I wash mine indoors during the winter!! All you need is a drain in the garage and a hose connection there as well!! By the way, I always hand washed my cars, even my 87 Honda Accord, may she rest in peace! :sad3:
 

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I beleive a good friend and fellow board member said it best. "I love my car, but I'm not in love with my car." Therefor, during the 8 months out of the year here in Portland when it's raining and cold, sometimes a car wash is necessary.
 

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m5tackulous said:
What are everyones thoughts about auto washes. I know hand washing is best, but who has that kind of time every time you need a good scrubbing. And what about the under carraige?? Does anyone do the drive through?
Hand wash only for me. The whole process (clean only - not additional detail work) only takes me about an hour. By the time you drive to the car wash, wait in line, wait for your car to be finished, and drive home (and then dry the parts that got wet from the wind on the drive home:biggrin: ), you haven't saved all that much time. JMO.

PLUS - for me, washing the car gives me the opportunity to really admire the lines of the car I'm cleaning. Being a car guy, this is a bonus and I don't consider washing the M a chore by any means.
 

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i've always been a handwash guy.. but.. i have to admit, the last few times has been in a shop. but wait.. before you flame me, i take it to a shop in Tysons Corner, VA.
i pull up, they clean the interior. then i get back in the car, and i drive it into the car wash, onto the conveyor belt, where a bunch of guys with mitts and sponges wash the car by hand ! i sit in the car while it goes through the wash and dry process. then i drive to the wheel shine station where a guy uses an airbrush to shine my tires.
takes about 15 mins and 27 bucks though.
at my work, there is a hand wash and wax package for $50.. but they need the keys while i'm at work. forget that.

G.
 

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I think it depends where you live. M5tackulous, I hear your pain. With the way the weather is in chicago, it gets too cold to use the hose, so I go to the coin operated, do it yourself car washes or on rare occasions, the touchless, automated car washes.
 

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I dont know hoe it works in th US, but in Sweden all automatic car wash places have to use recirculated water.

In winter we put much salt on the roads. that salt get stuck under the cars. For what is wors the salt gets concentrated in the car wash tanks. The salinity is higher than in the sea.

In other words it is better for your car to wash it with seawater than in a car wash in Sweden.

In winter I go to pay-per-hour DIY wash places, or to a good hand-wash-pro.

It is important to wash the undercarrige.

David
 

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For me a quick hand wash and dry is 20-25 minutes. Longer if it needs wash-rinse-wash, detailing , etc, etc.

3 days if I am doing multi coats of zaino and masking the trim...

The coin op washs are not bad- I usually bring my own bucket of hot water and no-wax-stripping-soap in it. Just use the car wash for wetting down and rinsing.

My biggest concern with anyone else doing a wash is microscratching and swirls due to dirt in the mitts and towels they use, reuse, dry, reuse, etc etc...this includes people or machines.

Get down at low angles and look at the SURFACE of your finish- not the color, but the layer above it- see any lines? If not it is a rare and well cared for car!

here in Califonia the winters are brutally cold, so I usually wear long pants to wash it.

:)
 

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So washing the car in auto washes during the winter will almost aid corrosion then... That's terrible. I too live in Sweden and I know the car washes recirculate their water, but I thought they distilled away the salt as well as separating any oil. Don't they?

I nevertheless prefer hand washing. Occasionally I run my car through an automatic jet-washer, but always without those brushes, no matter how soft and nice they claim them to be! On dark colors you can clearly see that they leave marks (scratches) on the clear top coat, especially on newly polished/paint protected cars.
 

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I've alway used the pay-per-minute car washes in the winter. Always make sure to spray the undercarage very well, we have salty winter roads also.

Occationally i'll take it to the local places and have them do a Handwash and interior. I've come to have friendly conversatiuons with the guys that work their and the seem to do a better job and I don't have to wait at all anymore. 30 minutes tops. It does however cost $40 and I try and give each one who washed my car $10 tip, normally only one or two. But they do a great job and sometime will throw insome free services like lexol.
 

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Living in North Carolina, I have washed my car when the sweat was dripping off of me as well as when I was slipping on the floor from the ice.

Drive through car wash???

Ain't no way bro.
 

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OK- I belive the auto wash is sooo wrong for a car like the M5- but if you have to, then it comes down to your exterior color and your ability to live with clear coat scratches- aka: spiderwebs.

In short, ti silver= go for it- youll never see/ have a really difficult time seeing/ the clear coat scratches the wash WILL introduce. The darker the color= the more you will see those scratches. So lets say you want to save some time during the winter but you also do not want to see the "spiderwebs" on your car. That time savings now= big pain in the neck process later on. My advice is this: its better to not wash the car than go to the auto wash. When you can wash it by hand, just do it gently- let the soap/ chemicals do the work. Use a good car wash, not dish washing detergent. Wipe in straight lines. Dry gently.
 

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Keep in mind the touchless carwashes are no worse than washing the car at home...Air dry, no brushes and as long as you aint got no tracks to scratch the wheels you good to go.
 

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I nearly always hand wash, but that's because I'm lucky to live where I do and have the weather most of the year that I can do it. I would go to a touchless now and then, especially during what passes around here for "winter," were it not for the metal tracks and the fragile finish on our shadowchrome wheels. :M5launch:
 

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ard said:
here in Califonia the winters are brutally cold, so I usually wear long pants to wash it.:)
Now that's the first time I ever heard someone say California winters are 'brutally cold'. I wonder what you call them in Sweden / Norway or here in Germany?
Funny thing is sometimes we have to wear long pants to wash our cars here in the Summer too. :1: :1:
Ken
 
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