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Posted: 6/25/2015 2:45:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 2:46:42 PM EDT by FourLoko]
I used to live in sunny CA where washing my car in the driveway was a no brainer. Now I'm in NE with crazy ass weather and seasons. I had few reservations about cramming my older car into the tunnel washes but got a new car a couple of months ago and don't want to do that yet. I'll probably cave during the winter but we'll see.

I found a local detail place that will hand wash and wax (quick orbital wax, nothing fancy). Their work has been ok and they rinse the car with high pressure water but don't use the "two bucket" wash method I've learned is the holy grail method. They get it done in about 30 minutes and it costs $40.XX. I don't mind paying this once a month but dislike having a dirty car and would like it washed more often.

I have a cart load of stuff over at Autogeek.net to the tune of $200. That includes $99.00 for an Optimum No Rinse setup (http://www.autogeek.net/optimum-no-rinse-buckets.html) which gives me the "less water" option and the two buckets I want. Also threw in a foam gun that runs off a hose for shits and giggles.

That $200 would pay for 4-5 washes at the hand detail place so I'm having some reservations. I really don't have the garage space to wash indoors so I have strong feeling I'll give up self washing during the winter. TLDR - Long story short and maybe the question is. Should I stick with the $40.00 wash once a month and shut up about a dirty daily driver or man up and invest in the DIY setup? Any advise from those that live in a 4 seasons locale would be appreciated. /TLDR
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 2:52:20 PM EDT
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 2:53:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 2:54:34 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 2:54:06 PM EDT
I wash my cars once a week. During the warmer months I just do it in the driveway much like you used to, then during winter I use a local self serve car wash.

I would recommend you find a self serve place and do it yourself every week or two for $5-6 per trip. If you like a clean car like I do, the little time and investment often makes a bigger difference than a real deep cleaning a couple times a year.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 2:55:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 2:56:45 PM EDT by Engineer5]
You don't need your car buffed/waxed once a month.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 2:56:30 PM EDT
The only time my car gets washed is when I have to take it to the dealer. It's a Range Rover so that happens more than I like.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:00:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.
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Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.


That's what I've been trying to do. Results not great.

Originally Posted By AeroE:
First World Problem.

A big one if you struggle with your options. But beware, next thing you know you'll have a gardener, cook, house cleaner, and au pair.


I considered a FWP flag on my post. I know.

Originally Posted By Engineer5:
You don't need your car buffed/waxed once a month.


I know this. Problem is they won't just wash it. I guess I could tell them to skip the wax but then I'd be paying $40 for a wash and i'm not that crazy.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:01:17 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Real_PhillBert:
I wash my cars once a week. During the warmer months I just do it in the driveway much like you used to, then during winter I use a local self serve car wash.

I would recommend you find a self serve place and do it yourself every week or two for $5-6 per trip. If you like a clean car like I do, the little time and investment often makes a bigger difference than a real deep cleaning a couple times a year.
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I considered the self-serve drive in. Would be nice for the pressure wash. I could probably get away with using my own buckets/soap considering there's a ton of those places and I doubt I'd get bitched at.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:03:42 PM EDT
Damn.

Thought this was going to be a Richard Pryor thread....

Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:05:06 PM EDT
bought this place a few years back, you wouldn't believe the profits I pull in

Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:08:45 PM EDT
Looks like Hesinburg leaving.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 3:11:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 5:29:19 PM EDT by 57Strat]
I wash my cars myself and have used the same method for 30 years. I drive my cars for about 10 years and it's important to me that the paint stays looking new. No one but you will take the care needed to keep from scratching the paint when they they wash it. First I pressure wash the car to remove as much dirt as possible. Then I hand wash the car starting from the top and I work my way to the bottom washing under the fenders and bumpers and running boards last. I use VO5 shampoo for car wash soap. VO5 sells for about $1.50 per bottle at Wal-Mart. Dirt is abrasive so plenty of soap suds is important. The soap acts as a lubricant and keeps the dirt particles from scratching the paint. VO5 is mild and won't strip off the wax. When you want to strip the wax off, use Dawn dish washing detergent. I use a standard bucket and 100% cotton wash cloth and towels. Nothing fancy and it works great. The paint on my cars still look new after 10 years.

Regarding wax: I have had excellent success with this product: http://www.zainostore.com/product/Z-CS.html
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 4:35:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 4:37:32 PM EDT by hk45shooter]
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Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.
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This is how my truck is done. It will get a good hand washing & waxing at least once a year, but living on dusty/muddy gravel roads it does not pay (in my time & effort) to do it often. I'll go to a self serve car wash in town about twice a month for a quick cleaning, concentrating most my time to the undercarriage.

ETA: But NEVER use the brush!
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:12:56 PM EDT
Car wash places are the devil! I follow all of Junkman's car care advice, it's expensive and time-consuming but I knew what I was getting into owning a BLACK muscle car...
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:15:30 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By hk45shooter:


This is how my truck is done. It will get a good hand washing & waxing at least once a year, but living on dusty/muddy gravel roads it does not pay (in my time & effort) to do it often. I'll go to a self serve car wash in town about twice a month for a quick cleaning, concentrating most my time to the undercarriage.

ETA: But NEVER use the brush!
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Originally Posted By hk45shooter:
Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.


This is how my truck is done. It will get a good hand washing & waxing at least once a year, but living on dusty/muddy gravel roads it does not pay (in my time & effort) to do it often. I'll go to a self serve car wash in town about twice a month for a quick cleaning, concentrating most my time to the undercarriage.

ETA: But NEVER use the brush!


I wash my truck in the winter if it gets into the mid 30s or a couple times in spring, to get the salt off. Pretty much the only reason I wash it.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:17:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 5:18:31 PM EDT by BillofRights]
LoL, no. Too busy working and living. But I do wish I was friends with You, so I could get my car washed for free.

- It's a weird fetish, but not as weird as Milkman's.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:18:12 PM EDT
In CO you'd have to use a car wash at least twice a month or your truck would rust to shit.

Not a good idea to leave all that crusty salt on it for too long.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:18:28 PM EDT
OP, pics of your obsessively-washed car?
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:20:45 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By DeltaElite777:
Damn.

Thought this was going to be a Richard Pryor thread....

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I was thinking the indie film Bikini Carwash Company 1 and 2.

Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:21:22 PM EDT
I started doing it for quick touch up on my boat, but mtm foam cannon + CR Spotless water filter = quick and easy.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:21:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:23:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 5:24:10 PM EDT by Enlightenme556]
I don't even drive the same car in the winter. to hell with hand washing in the snow.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:26:39 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.
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That's my system.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:28:38 PM EDT
I use a two bucket wash...Mequires Gold Glass soap...dry with a leaf blower and final dry with Ultimate Quick Wax. Also at least twice a year I use Mequires 21 Sealant. Started with a new truck that didnt need any correction and have no swirl marks two years later. Usually wash twice a month and takes about 1-1.5 hours.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:30:24 PM EDT
put a good coat of high quality wax on it twice a year and most of the dirt comes off when it rains. I don't have to wash my cars nearly as much, when I keep em waxed.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:31:49 PM EDT
I haven't washed my pickup in ~8 years.




Pretty sure if I washed it more than a good raining would do, the paint would all come off.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:32:35 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By desertw0lf:
I haven't washed my pickup in ~8 years.




Pretty sure if I washed it more than a good raining would do, the paint would all come off.
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That was my FJ Cruiser. When I did wash it, I realized the clear coat was gone.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 5:33:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GreenBastard:

That was my FJ Cruiser. When I did wash it, I realized the clear coat was gone.
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Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
Originally Posted By desertw0lf:
I haven't washed my pickup in ~8 years.




Pretty sure if I washed it more than a good raining would do, the paint would all come off.

That was my FJ Cruiser. When I did wash it, I realized the clear coat was gone.

Link Posted: 6/25/2015 6:29:53 PM EDT
I hit the wheels with some Sonic X wheel cleaner, wells with some snowfoam soap in a spray bottle.
Brush it em down
Snowfoam soap in spray bottle on engine compartment
Brush down
Rinse
Pressure wash car
Hit it with the foam cannon
Hand wash (2 bucket, microfiber wash mitt)
Rinse with pressure washer
Leaf blower for the cracks and crevices
Dry with microfiber towel
Spray with quick detailer
Wipe down again
Dress tires and wheelwells (303 aerospace)
Glass with invisible glass
Vacuum interior

Takes me about 2-3 hours and I do it once every 2 weeks.
Once a year my truck gets handed off to a pro for paint correction, CQuartz, interior shampoo and headlight reconditioning.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 6:39:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2015 6:41:41 PM EDT by pointman12]
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Originally Posted By shadowblade232:
Park vehicle outside. Wait for rain. Done.
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Bingo. It's ok for cars to get rained on. It won't hurt them. When I do wash mine, it goes into an automated car wash. For $9 it does the job just fine.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 6:40:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Ciraxis:
bought this place a few years back, you wouldn't believe the profits I pull in

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130730024310/breakingbad/images/c/cd/1x01_-_Pilot_50.png
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Looks legit.
Link Posted: 6/25/2015 7:04:12 PM EDT
Pic of vehicle needed...
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 7:28:37 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Silver_Surfer:
Pic of vehicle needed...
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here's a stock photo, same car:



I ended up ordering my own supplies online. Was hoping they'd be here by tomorrow but they won't arrive until Monday. Rained again today anyway.
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