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Touchless car wash for winter?, I wasted my money.

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Touchless car wash for winter?, I wasted my money.

Old 01-02-2016, 05:14 PM
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Default Touchless car wash for winter?, I wasted my money.

I tried a touchless car wash for the first time last winter and somehow it had worked well.

I went again tonight and this time it did just about nothing and I wasted $8, I'm not going back as I had used the same one that I did last winter. I had driven 240 highway miles and got the entire truck caked with all that New England roads get on them up here after a winter storm. Whatever alkaline/acid-chemicals that get used just won't cut through the crud left and dried on the vehicle.
Old 01-02-2016, 05:17 PM
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They do not work, at the beach, either. Waste of money.
Old 01-02-2016, 07:56 PM
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I use one for an underside rinse only. I found one that has a good long high pressure spray to knock all that crud out from underneath. I have one that hooks to the pressure washer but its a pain in the ass in the winter. The outside I do myself.
Old 01-02-2016, 08:35 PM
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Touchless are good for getting the dust off and excessive salt but it the car is actually dirty, you need to wash it for real. KInd of like a wash for between washes.
Old 01-02-2016, 08:41 PM
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touchless is quite good up here.. the water pressure is high enough to get the salt and snow off
Old 01-02-2016, 09:00 PM
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The touch less here has a good underbody spray. But it definitely won't clean a dirty car.
Old 01-02-2016, 09:14 PM
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Some around here offer hot water which seems to help?!?
Old 01-02-2016, 10:43 PM
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Laserwash...it's the only touchless I use.
Old 01-03-2016, 04:03 AM
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I havn't been to a car wash in 40 years. I have a hose setup for hot,cold or warm water and a long sleeve pair of gloves. After using the hose in winter I pull it onto my second story deck which drains it to be ready for next time. I leave the hook up end hanging near the hookup so if it freezes to the deck I can run hot water to free it. Keep the car waxed and it washes easy.
Old 01-03-2016, 04:13 AM
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Not really the car wash's fault if you get all that stuff caked on. If I wait too long between washes, even scrubbing will take a little more elbow grease.
Old 01-03-2016, 04:13 AM
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Never use hot water to remove salt , it drives it in further when it dissolves .
Old 01-03-2016, 04:53 AM
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In the past, I'd always take my time, lug out the hose, turn the water on and hand wash the vehicle(s). I realize now that if I want to stay as swirl-free as possible, that I'll have to either take it through a swirl-o-matic or just do it at home like I had been.

What the touchless car wash did was exactly the same thing as if I had spent $2.50 at the pay pressure wash and had waved the wand around my truck for 4 minutes except my glass was cleaner and dry when I drove out.
Old 01-03-2016, 10:24 AM
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Hot water takes the wax off too. That is why I have to be warm enough to rinse the truck when the soap is freezing. I have been using a soft bristle boat brush to wash the cars for the last couple years and it works much better and doesn't rub the salt in like a cloth or mitt.

I soldered a hose fitting to the bottom of my outdoor shower so I can adjust temp. I added a gate valve to the shower head feed to turn that off when using the hose.
Old 01-03-2016, 11:17 AM
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I realized that I just have to get thee exercise, and just draw the hot water from the hot water heater, which is easy enough, and get it done old-school as it just took me an hour to hand wash and dry both vehicles.

If I want it done right, I gotta do it myself, till the kid(s) get older.
Old 01-03-2016, 11:18 AM
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I had good luck with the one I used while living in Md. I ran my commuter through twice a week, and it kept the heavy crud and salt off. Not "clean" by any means, but decent. Depends on which brand of car wash, and how often you do it.

Best set up was my grandfathers garage - drive in heated basement with a trough drain down the middle. Wash the car inside, water drains outside - he drove 120 miles a day, and still had the cleanest in the neighborhood. Unfortunately I've never had a drain in my garage, and installing it would be too much money and hassle.

He also did something odd I'd never seen. Like I said, he had a long commute and traded cars every 3-4 years. He never waxed a car. He religiously cleaned them in his heated basement, then put a cup full of kerosene in a bucket of water, and floated the mix over the entire car. This was back in the 5-6-70's, when cars started to rust on the new car lot, yet his never got the common rust. Had kind of a satin look to them, but he didn't care.
Old 01-03-2016, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by thundra View Post
If I want it done right, I gotta do it myself, till the kid(s) get older.
Then youll have to do it yourself anyway. At least until they want to borrow the car.
Old 01-03-2016, 11:56 AM
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I install and service carwashes for a living, both touch free and ones with brushes. The touch free washes are meant to keep a clean car clean. They're fine for salt and pollen, or if you wash your vehicle weekly or bi-weekly. They wont take road grime off (oils that come off the roads mostly after a rain storms).

Brushes will clean a dirtier car better, but if really dirty you will see where the brushes miss. Also, all brushes will scratch clear coat, no matter what the brush is made of. Its not the dirt on a brush that scratches the car, its the brush hitting the dirt already on the car. You can wash by hand, but even that can cause CC scratches if rubbing the dirt on the car.

I bring my car (Lincoln MKT) thru a wash with brushes when really dirty, and then try to keep it clean by washing bi-weekly @ touch free. (cuts down on scratching).

People bring cars (not washed in 6 months) covered in tree sap and baked on bird shit into a wash, and then bitch it didn't clean their car. It only takes common sense, to realize they're only machines, they cant work miracles.

If you don't have the money to wash every couple of weeks, or a fanatic about your car, you should probably wash it by hand, or you'll never be happy.(But not everybody has the time for that, or the warm weather).
Old 01-03-2016, 12:44 PM
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I don't think my rack is car wash friendly

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Old 01-03-2016, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by richeerich View Post
Not really the car wash's fault if you get all that stuff caked on. If I wait too long between washes, even scrubbing will take a little more elbow grease.
We drive from Boston to Buffalo to visit in-laws on occasion. By the time we get to Buffalo (7 hours later) car is covered in whatever was on the roads. Touchless car washes won't clean it. In this case it went from clean to filthy in 7 hours, which isn't a long time between car washes.
Old 01-03-2016, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jobowker View Post
We drive from Boston to Buffalo to visit in-laws on occasion. By the time we get to Buffalo (7 hours later) car is covered in whatever was on the roads. Touchless car washes won't clean it. In this case it went from clean to filthy in 7 hours, which isn't a long time between car washes.
Thanks for that Mr. Literal. .

That sounds just a wee bit more than your typical 7 hours worth of accumulated gunk.

Funny thing is I'm actually on a road trip right now. Tail end of it heading back north. Touch less car wash when we got to where we were going and I thought...man, that didn't get it real clean. Then I realized I just drove 1000+ miles over 2 days when normally would take 3-4 weeks to pile in that many miles. Certainly didn't blame the car wash.

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