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Old 03-11-2015, 08:24 PM   #21
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I take my car to a car wash that uses softened water and hand dries the car. Otherwise the hard water would cause spots. For the first 2-3 years, I did this almost every week and had a wax applied and armor all put on the dashboard about once a month. Also had the car detailed once a year. Then it was down to every 2 weeks for a few years and now every 4-6 weeks (the car is 9 years old). My w#rk parking lot is outside in an undeveloped area often with blowing dust. And if it rains, is usually just a brief thunder storm that washes the dust out of the air and onto your car.

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Old 03-11-2015, 09:21 PM   #22
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DW's Hyundai Santa Fe gets washed at the car wash about every two weeks in nice weather. She has a coupon book. My 2014 VW Passat diesel gets hand washed by me at home when dirty and periodically waxed with either McGuire's Quick Wax or a good liquid wax/sealant.

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Old 03-11-2015, 10:38 PM   #23
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When I wash the car, it is by hand in the driveway.
I have a few excuses besides being cheap:

I have not tried the touchless ones, but they do sound like they answer the embedded dirt issue in the old style brush types.

I avoid carwashes in winter and early spring as some (all?) recycle their water, so that means they spray very salty water in Northern States all over your car. Since the water is under some pressure, it could go deep into spots to sit and pool.

By Summer/Fall I figure the water has been desalted by dilution of fresh water, since they lose a bunch each time, but of course in summer, its nice to wash the car in the driveway.
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Old 03-11-2015, 10:49 PM   #24
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I am also leery of high pressure salt water in the winter and have pretty much given up on winter washing unless the temperature comes up significantly and I can use my own hose and bucket. Not often this year. In the summer it's hand wash more frequently.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:26 AM   #25
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I live on a gravel road, so it is a lost cause, especially when it rains. I wash it when it starts getting hard to see out the side windows.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:41 AM   #26
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+1 on gravel road. I wash it when it is dirty and I'm in town (where the automatic carwash is) and the weather is dry and the forecast is for good weather. There is not much worse than washing the car and getting it home and having it about as dirty as you start out with. In the winter, I often do the cheapy wash just to get the salt off.

In the summer I occasionally wash and wax by hand... and always use car wash soap.

On another topic, around here it was common to oil undercoat vehicles annually when I was a teenager and young adult, then the manufacturers improved their rust-protection and most of my adult life we didn't undercoat but there has been a resurgence of oil undercoating lately because we have been seeing more and more rust. The culprits seem to be more use of recycled steel and more importantly, the road crews are using brine on the roads rather than salt and many people blame that. My mechanic says that people have been going through brake rotors like crazy and he blames it on the brine.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:35 AM   #27
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:58 AM   #28
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Both cars are garaged (what a difference that makes!) but I wash about once a month. I usually do it at the house but on occasion, I will let a hand wash place do it for $25 (with tip). Twice a year, I clay and wax both cars which is a whole-day experience.

I get comments quite often that the '09 car still looks brand new inside and out. The '12 is *still* brand new, so of course it looks it!
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:02 AM   #29
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I do a lot of hand washing when the weather is nice. 3 vehicles about once every 2 weeks. I wax them in the spring and sometimes again in the fall. Also wash and wax MIL's car in the spring. I'll use the car wash at the gas station for my truck in the winter. DW takes her car to a car wash in the winter - one that hand wipes it down after the wash.

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Old 03-12-2015, 09:22 AM   #30
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I live in area with winter snow and so try to wash the salt/cinder mix off the cars when it clears up. I really do think it helps keep the cars in better shape for the long term, especially since I keep and drive my vehicles for many years. Gotta keep the older ones in good shape!

I also just like my cars and trucks clean, so probably wash them 2-3 times/month. Usually do the automatic wash, and bring an old towel to make it extra dry and clean. Use the self-serve vacuum and help keep the inside a bit nicer. I occasionally do by hand at home, but the same problem as before, the hard water is near impossible to keep from getting spotted.

I try to wax the vehicles a couple times/year. Especially get it waxed in fall before winter. I do this myself. Also do most all my own maintenance on the vehicles, so I tend to keep the engine compartment a little cleaner as well.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:56 AM   #31
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Roughly once per decade, give or take a few. Cars are garaged, so they don't get a rain-wash that often either.

My 15 year old Volvo has a little rust now behind the driver side front wheel, but this car has been on the OMY plan for a few years now.

I think I'l get a hose to hit the underside of the cars some warm day soon to get the salt off. Maybe.

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Old 03-12-2015, 10:10 AM   #32
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Our cars' dealers offer complimentary carwashes so we take them there when the temp is above freezing maybe once a month or so. One is not particularly thorough but good enough. We tip at both places.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:49 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
My car's only 11 years old. I was thinking about washing it, but just haven't gotten around to it.

Actually, I do run it through a car wash a couple of times/year after 4-wheeling through the mud/dust. I did, however, hand wash it once, about 6-7 years ago. I discovered that if you have tar and pine sap stuck to it, don't use the scrubby side of the sponge.

If I have to drive through salt and stuff, I just blast through a few puddles.
I hardly ever wash my car or truck....maybe a couple times per year....maybe. If it rains hard, they get washed by nature. In the winter, when I brush the snow off of them, the dirt & grime goes with it...again by nature. As for salt or mud build up, I just head for the huge puddles around town after a a good rain or after a snow melt. Once in awhile, though certainly not often at all, I'll hit them with a blast from the hose if I'm out watering in the gardens.

With all of that said, I did wash the truck by hand this morning and hosed off the car. That should be good for at least a few months.

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