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Car Washing
Old 03-11-2015, 03:59 PM   #1
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Car Washing

Living in the north cars take a beating in the winter. Continually covered with salt/chemical ash which adheres to your clothes if you rub against it. Wondering where you live, how often you wash your car/s, and whether you do it by hand or a carwash. In the winter I say about 6 times a month for two cars. A neighbor buys an annual coupon and almost does daily, but that is his business car.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:04 PM   #2
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Normally in the warm weather I hand wash. When the temperature drops below 45 or so I take it to a no-touch car wash. These use high-pressure spray but no cloths clogged with grit from other cars dragging over the finish.

Occasionally when I'm feeling lazy, flush, or both I'll take it to the car wash even in summer.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:05 PM   #3
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Our cars get washed maybe once a month, probably less. No winter chemicals/salt to deal with just the usual grime from dust and dirty roads after a rain. Almost all the washes are done at a carwash. Our water is so hard it leaves a major coating of spots/film, no matter how well you try to dry. The only way I've been able to do a hand wash is in the rain, allowing the rainwater to be the final rinse.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:23 PM   #4
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The answer is... not very often. When we lived in the south, it rained so much that the car rarely needed a good washing (once or twice a year?). In California, it rains much less and the car gets dusty and grimy very quickly, even if it stays parked in the garage. But it still only gets washed twice a year. It's a bit of a disgrace at the moment, but I am conserving water. That's my excuse anyways.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:51 PM   #5
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I give my SUV the interior-exterior package at the car wash twice a year, supplementing that with a drive through car wash every month or two. It is parked inside our condo Parkade and I cannot wash it there. I can hand wash it at a local facility but as the vehicle is taller than I am, my efforts can be patchy.

It is very dusty in our Parkade right now and as soon as the municipality completes street sweeping, we are going to get the Parkade professionally swept and powerwashed. That's my cue to take my car for its Spring spa visit!
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:56 PM   #6
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Both cars garaged.. very little winter driving. Haven't been to a car wash on 20 years. Only use one car on the messy days. A bucket of warm water to wash and two to rinse. Not usually needed.

Warm weather, I wash and wax as a labor of love. Inside, outside and the engine compartment. Detail, with the better waxes, cleaners and leather and tire dressings. And yes, I use the hose and a degreaser on the engine.

Wash and hose from the bottom up, so the dirt gets a better chance to wash away as you get to the car top. Somewhat controversial. Always, always use Dawn to avoid streaks. Windows get the microfiber cloth treatment. Special cloth from some foreign country that I could only find at flea markets... sold out of a booth for about $4/cloth. Worth every penny... One swipe window wash on car and on house windows. A miracle.

Both Lincoln and Cadillac have special paints and imitation convertible tops. they always look showroom fresh despite their combined 37years of age.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:57 PM   #7
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About three times a year for me. DW gets hers done about monthly, because a dirty looking car is just unacceptable to her.

We have a truly wonderful drive-through carwash here that does a magnificent job in about two minutes. Depending on what you want done, the price ranges from $8 all the way up to $19. We usually get the $15 wash, but we buy coupons when they're on sale so it really costs us $10.
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Old 03-11-2015, 04:57 PM   #8
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Living in the Boston area, if you wait for three days in a row with no rain or snow predicted, it'll be a long, long time before you wash your car.

I wash the cars once a week regardless of the weather report.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:28 PM   #9
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I live in Denver. Our 1999 Town & Country has never been washed since we got it 137,000 miles ago. Our Roadtrek has been washed twice in the past six years. Why would one wash their vehicle when the rain and snow does such a good job of it?... or maybe the dirt just falls off. Hmmmm.


Oh! the windows are washed quite often... several times a week.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:30 PM   #10
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I rarely wash it from April thru October. But once it starts snowing and the dirt/salt/yuck builds up, I'll hand wash it 2-3 times each winter in my garage -- but only when the temperature gets to 40 or above. By that time the garage floor is pretty cruddy from built up snow melt.

I use one bucket with dish detergent. And a second for rinse.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
The answer is... not very often. When we lived in the south, it rained so much that the car rarely needed a good washing
+1

It rains so much here (over 60"/year), that I have never washed my 2009 Venza. It gets rinsed off thoroughly more days than not, since I have neither a garage nor a carport.

I'm not recommending not washing one's car in the South. In this post I'm just saying that like many/most here I haven't done it and for whatever reasons, the world has not ended. Also, it looks shiny and pretty.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:47 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
The answer is... not very often. When we lived in the south, it rained so much that the car rarely needed a good washing (once or twice a year?). In California, it rains much less and the car gets dusty and grimy very quickly, even if it stays parked in the garage. But it still only gets washed twice a year. It's a bit of a disgrace at the moment, but I am conserving water. That's my excuse anyways.
This.

I wash my car twice a year. It's not laziness... It's the drought, LOL.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:25 PM   #13
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Speaking of subscription plans...

Seriously, we do this. For the cost of about 3 washes we get unlimited use for a month. Recently, with all the salt on the roads I've been taking it in maybe twice a week. Depending on the weather. There is no incremental cost (besides my time, which is abundant) and it's nearby.

When DW got her new car, we added it - 50% off the second car.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:46 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:50 PM   #15
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Once a year for me, in the spring, after all the salt and dirt has built up. I bring it to a nearby car wash which costs about $6 or $7. Sometimes I find a coupon for a $1 off.


A few years ago I got a coupon for a free car wash at a high-end car wash place but when I tried to use it the line was so long and never moved so after 20 minutes I said, "Screw it" and returned to my regular no-wait place.


My car spends most of the year inside a heated garage so it is not exposed to the elements very often. I drive about 3,000 miles per year so it doesn't hit the road often, either.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:00 PM   #16
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The place I go to get an oil change offers a free car wash at the place across the street. So, once every 3 months or so, i'll have my car washed. I live in Wisconsin so it gets pretty yucky about half the year but I don't much care about how the car looks as long as it runs well. Years ago before the rust proofing that modern cars have, I washed my car every couple weeks in the winter to prevent rust. That is not necessary these days.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:10 PM   #17
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I pay ~$80 every six months for an automatic car wash with human, hand towel dry. I go once or twice a week, and vacuum at home each week when I vacuum the house. I like a clean car. It's black, so it looks awful when it's dirty. And our garage is pretty cozy and I hate getting it all over my clothes.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:17 PM   #18
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I hand wash our cars. The frequency depends on the weather. During a dry spell it can be a month or so between washes but usually it's every two weeks or so.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:05 PM   #19
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Trucks go through the car wash about once a week in the winter, every other week in the warmer weather unless we're at a muddy job site. All the cars are hand washed. We do not like dirty vehicles.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:17 PM   #20
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I rarely wash it from April thru October. But once it starts snowing and the dirt/salt/yuck builds up, I'll hand wash it 2-3 times each winter in my garage -- but only when the temperature gets to 40 or above. By that time the garage floor is pretty cruddy from built up snow melt.

I use one bucket with dish detergent. And a second for rinse.
Using dish detergent is one of the worst things you can do to your car's paint. It strips all the wax off. Buy any type of car wash soap instead.
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