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      03-25-2012, 12:12 AM   #1
malc410326
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Car Detailing Thoughts.

Was wondering....When do you think your first car detailing (polish, wax, etc.) will be for your Bimmer? I really want to keep our Bimmer and Benz in tip-top shape since I foresee ownership of these vehicles being (hopefully) a very long time. :thumbup: And of course, I'm starting to crave for that 'showroom' look that we had the day we bought both vehicles.

As for me, I'm thinking that maybe next month (early April), I may bring my 'German beauties' in for a wax. Not sure about whether or not I will have them polished as of yet (any suggestions on this would be great). Also, would you all do a liquid or paste wax?

Any suggestions would be great....

Cheers and keep enjoyin' the "Ultimate Driving Machine"!
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      03-25-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
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I will probably wax mine two months after re-delivery...

but in the mean time, wash the car every other week...

does that sound fair??

Anyone here have any recommandation on how to keep a brand new car in the showroom condition for as long as possible, without becoming maniac about it ... ??

the 335i will be my very first brand new car...
and i too am planning to keep it for a long long time...
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      03-25-2012, 02:57 AM   #3
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Our '04 M3 was washed by hand almost every week, or at least every other week. It received a wax and clay job about every other month or so. That was mostly my wife doing it by hand if she didn't have someone else doing it....

Then my '09 X5 came and, well, I had good intentions to wash it at least every other week but try to do it every week. My wife wouldn't/couldn't help as she got a new car of her own (plus she is only 5'1 lol)... However, because of the size of the car, it soon became like once a month and after a year or so it was simply done at a car wash.. I figured, it's a lease anyways so who cares As a matter of fact, since last year May it didn't get washed besides a few times at the dealership, by the dealership It's ok, it still looks awesome and I will give it a nice treat before I bring it to the dealership to turn it in

As my F3 is coming soon and since that one is going to be purchased (and paid off) I figure I should do a bit extra for the car. So now I'm going to bring it to a specialized detail shop for monthly service (a subscription), where they will do a wash, wax, rims, dress tires, fender wells, wipe down dashboard and door panels, shampoo and vacuum mats, vacuum carpet, door jambs, trunk jambs, clean in trunk, rain-x, deodorize and they will maintain any other services done to the car (direct copy n paste from their site lol). Other than this I will hand wash the car (only wash) it halfway the month in between the above service. And then, if needed, I will bring it in once every now and then for a full service (so not just the above but have some extra stuff done on it as well).
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      03-25-2012, 04:40 AM   #4
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Well said svanche.. I detail both the F10 and my Accord Euro very reguarly.. going to be doing the same to the F30 when it arrives.. If you are serious about detailing.. there are are heaps of websites you can use as a reference.. But if you're happy to pay for the service please make sure that you go to an experience detailer which can offer you proper advise.

Your first coat of wax is the most important.. you probably want to do the whole nine yards skipping polishing.. but would include claying getting , fixing any defects or any.. then waxing..

Do not apply your wax on top of contaminated surfaces... you'll just ruin it. Couple of common products I enjoy are the Meguiar's range i find them more user friendly and works wonders.. also you can use it them by hand. Some prefer Zaino... but I think personally using both Zaino is abit more expensive and requires SOoOO much more effort. Wax and sealant lasts abit longer than Meguiars.. but like many detailers will say.. IT SHOULDN"T FEEL LIKE A CHORE !

Rain X is definite must... I usually do a full detail interior and exterior (clay, polish, wax, gloss) every 2.5-3 months depending on weather conditions. Wash-Quick Detail and Quik Wax every week.
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      03-25-2012, 08:09 AM   #5
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My take

I am fanatical about car detailing so that this with that understanding:

1) I have my dealer omit any prep except required mechanical checks. They don't wash it or take off the plastic or cardboard or .... anything.

2) The main goal when washing a car is to avoid scratching it. This is particularly true for new cars. I find this method works pretty well:

.... remove any exterior plastic sheeting, being careful to avoid rubbing the plastic against the paint as you remove it.

.... spray the car at a do it yourself wand style car wash. Include the undercarriage and wheel wells. Keep the want 18 inches from the car. Use the no spot rinse at the end. Don't dry the car because there is still a lot of small dirt on the surface.

.... take the car home and use a boar's hair brush and lots of water from a hose - hose in one hand and brush in the other - continuously spray the are you are brushing. Of course, start at the top and go around and down.

.... using the boar's hair brush and a bucket of water with some Dawn in it. The Dawn will take care of any grease or oil.

.... still don't dry the car.

.... use a good quality mild clay bar and a detailer like Griot's Speed Shine. Clay the entire car, including the windows. Turn the clay frequently.

.... use a glass polish (like Griot's) on the exterior glass.

.... final wash with the boar's hair brush and a microfiber wash cloth in the areas where the boar's hair brush does not work (like around the side mirrors).

.... ok, now you can dry it for the first time - use microfiber towels.

.... use your hand to feel every inch of the car. You will probably still find a few tiny particles - remove them with clay.

.... examine the car for any small scratches - polish them out with Meguire's Ultimate Compound followed by Meguires Ultimate Polish.

.... apply a base coat of Nu-Finish. Let it dry for an hour before removing with a microfiber cloth.

.... apply a coat of Turtle Wax Carnauba Cleaner Wax - let dry four hours before removing with a microfiber cloth. Do it again.

Ok --- now to the interior and engine compartment............

Tom
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      03-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAShea
I am fanatical about car detailing so that this with that understanding:

1) I have my dealer omit any prep except required mechanical checks. They don't wash it or take off the plastic or cardboard or .... anything.

2) The main goal when washing a car is to avoid scratching it. This is particularly true for new cars. I find this method works pretty well:

.... remove any exterior plastic sheeting, being careful to avoid rubbing the plastic against the paint as you remove it.

.... spray the car at a do it yourself wand style car wash. Include the undercarriage and wheel wells. Keep the want 18 inches from the car. Use the no spot rinse at the end. Don't dry the car because there is still a lot of small dirt on the surface.

.... take the car home and use a boar's hair brush and lots of water from a hose - hose in one hand and brush in the other - continuously spray the are you are brushing. Of course, start at the top and go around and down.

.... using the boar's hair brush and a bucket of water with some Dawn in it. The Dawn will take care of any grease or oil.

.... still don't dry the car.

.... use a good quality mild clay bar and a detailer like Griot's Speed Shine. Clay the entire car, including the windows. Turn the clay frequently.

.... use a glass polish (like Griot's) on the exterior glass.

.... final wash with the boar's hair brush and a microfiber wash cloth in the areas where the boar's hair brush does not work (like around the side mirrors).

.... ok, now you can dry it for the first time - use microfiber towels.

.... use your hand to feel every inch of the car. You will probably still find a few tiny particles - remove them with clay.

.... examine the car for any small scratches - polish them out with Meguire's Ultimate Compound followed by Meguires Ultimate Polish.

.... apply a base coat of Nu-Finish. Let it dry for an hour before removing with a microfiber cloth.

.... apply a coat of Turtle Wax Carnauba Cleaner Wax - let dry four hours before removing with a microfiber cloth. Do it again.

Ok --- now to the interior and engine compartment............

Tom
WOW!!!
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      03-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAShea View Post
I am fanatical about car detailing so that this with that understanding:

1) I have my dealer omit any prep except required mechanical checks. They don't wash it or take off the plastic or cardboard or .... anything.

2) The main goal when washing a car is to avoid scratching it. This is particularly true for new cars. I find this method works pretty well:

.... remove any exterior plastic sheeting, being careful to avoid rubbing the plastic against the paint as you remove it.

.... spray the car at a do it yourself wand style car wash. Include the undercarriage and wheel wells. Keep the want 18 inches from the car. Use the no spot rinse at the end. Don't dry the car because there is still a lot of small dirt on the surface.

.... take the car home and use a boar's hair brush and lots of water from a hose - hose in one hand and brush in the other - continuously spray the are you are brushing. Of course, start at the top and go around and down.

.... using the boar's hair brush and a bucket of water with some Dawn in it. The Dawn will take care of any grease or oil.

.... still don't dry the car.

.... use a good quality mild clay bar and a detailer like Griot's Speed Shine. Clay the entire car, including the windows. Turn the clay frequently.

.... use a glass polish (like Griot's) on the exterior glass.

.... final wash with the boar's hair brush and a microfiber wash cloth in the areas where the boar's hair brush does not work (like around the side mirrors).

.... ok, now you can dry it for the first time - use microfiber towels.

.... use your hand to feel every inch of the car. You will probably still find a few tiny particles - remove them with clay.

.... examine the car for any small scratches - polish them out with Meguire's Ultimate Compound followed by Meguires Ultimate Polish.

.... apply a base coat of Nu-Finish. Let it dry for an hour before removing with a microfiber cloth.

.... apply a coat of Turtle Wax Carnauba Cleaner Wax - let dry four hours before removing with a microfiber cloth. Do it again.

Ok --- now to the interior and engine compartment............

Tom


I'll just point out, to the unaware, that if you use Dawn dishwashing liquid to clean your car, it will also strip the wax off your car. Make sure that's what you want. Otherwise, use a good quality detergent made specifically for cars.
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      03-25-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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I want to be as dedicated to detailing as TEAShea but I am afraid I'd screw it up. I wonder if the degree to which the car's finish is preserved is congruent to the extra effort put in.
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      03-25-2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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These are my thoughts:

- the factory wax is perhaps the best wax your car will ever see, so don't be too anxious to wash, polish or wax your car during its first or even second year.
- every time you wash you car, you remove a little bit of wax
- always check the weather report before washing your car. It will help avoid frequent waxing and extends your "clean car days".This all helps keep your wax on your car.
- never take your car to an automatic car wash
- be careful even at the do-it-yourself car washes. The high powered spray can stip wax also. If you must, get the spray wand as far as away as possible
- you can blindly trust Mcquires or Mothers products. All other products are not to be trusted unless you read many forums members swear by some other product. In other words, don' t let your car be the guinea pig. Stay away from anything by Turtle Wax or Armour All.
- you can never put too much wax on high wear areas such as the leading edge of the hood, side mirrors, and around driver-side door handle.
- if you drop a sponge, rag, cloth on h ground, discard it.
- don't wash you car with dirty bucket water
- wash your wheels as a last step because the bucket water will get very dirty
- yes, unfortunately you have to hand wash each wheel spoke individually. This sometimes will take up 50% of your car washing time.
- an auto enthusiast doesn't allow any other person to touch, wash, or wax his car.
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      03-25-2012, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivenByE30 View Post
I will probably wax mine two months after re-delivery...

.
Why wait so long ?
Factory paint ( called OEM paint in the industry) is fully cured on leaving the factory
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      03-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Thumbs up Detailing .... Fanatical !

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAShea View Post
I am fanatical about car detailing so that this with that understanding:

1) I have my dealer omit any prep except required mechanical checks. They don't wash it or take off the plastic or cardboard or .... anything.

2) The main goal when washing a car is to avoid scratching it. This is particularly true for new cars. I find this method works pretty well:

.... remove any exterior plastic sheeting, being careful to avoid rubbing the plastic against the paint as you remove it.

.... spray the car at a do it yourself wand style car wash. Include the undercarriage and wheel wells. Keep the want 18 inches from the car. Use the no spot rinse at the end. Don't dry the car because there is still a lot of small dirt on the surface.

.... take the car home and use a boar's hair brush and lots of water from a hose - hose in one hand and brush in the other - continuously spray the are you are brushing. Of course, start at the top and go around and down.

.... using the boar's hair brush and a bucket of water with some Dawn in it. The Dawn will take care of any grease or oil.

.... still don't dry the car.

.... use a good quality mild clay bar and a detailer like Griot's Speed Shine. Clay the entire car, including the windows. Turn the clay frequently.

.... use a glass polish (like Griot's) on the exterior glass.

.... final wash with the boar's hair brush and a microfiber wash cloth in the areas where the boar's hair brush does not work (like around the side mirrors).

.... ok, now you can dry it for the first time - use microfiber towels.

.... use your hand to feel every inch of the car. You will probably still find a few tiny particles - remove them with clay.

.... examine the car for any small scratches - polish them out with Meguire's Ultimate Compound followed by Meguires Ultimate Polish.

.... apply a base coat of Nu-Finish. Let it dry for an hour before removing with a microfiber cloth.

.... apply a coat of Turtle Wax Carnauba Cleaner Wax - let dry four hours before removing with a microfiber cloth. Do it again.

Ok --- now to the interior and engine compartment............

Tom
WOW !! ..... Post Edit: this is Fanatical !

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtuds View Post
I want to be as dedicated to detailing as TEAShea but I am afraid I'd screw it up. I wonder if the degree to which the car's finish is preserved is congruent to the extra effort put in.
I too want to be as "dedicated" (for lack of better word) to detailing as TEAShea but i am afraid to be losing my entire weekend, every other weekend... my girlfriend not going to be too happy about the attention i would give to the car in that situation...

If such a wash program is required, i think i am just going to pay someone do it for me... (ensuring first that they have the upmost detailing standard as possible... and that's going to be tough to trust/pay someone else do it...! )

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrasty View Post


I'll just point out, to the unaware, that if you use Dawn dishwashing liquid to clean your car, it will also strip the wax off your car. Make sure that's what you want. Otherwise, use a good quality detergent made specifically for cars.
Thanks for the tips! Dawn dishwashing too good for cleaning huh !

Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet View Post
Why wait so long ?
Factory paint ( called OEM paint in the industry) is fully cured on leaving the factory
Yes, i know the OEM paint is fully cured by the time i get the car at re-delivery.

But JoeyO just confirmed my original thoughts, with his first tip below:
And Unless proven otherwise wrong, I want to let the OEM/dealership wax (if any at all) stand with the car as long as possible...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
These are my thoughts:

- the factory wax is perhaps the best wax your car will ever see, so don't be too anxious to wash, polish or wax your car during its first or even second year.
- every time you wash you car, you remove a little bit of wax
- always check the weather report before washing your car. It will help avoid frequent waxing and extends your "clean car days".This all helps keep your wax on your car.
- never take your car to an automatic car wash
- be careful even at the do-it-yourself car washes. The high powered spray can stip wax also. If you must, get the spray wand as far as away as possible
- you can blindly trust Mcquires or Mothers products. All other products are not to be trusted unless you read many forums members swear by some other product. In other words, don' t let your car be the guinea pig. Stay away from anything by Turtle Wax or Armour All.
- you can never put too much wax on high wear areas such as the leading edge of the hood, side mirrors, and around driver-side door handle.
- if you drop a sponge, rag, cloth on h ground, discard it.
- don't wash you car with dirty bucket water
- wash your wheels as a last step because the bucket water will get very dirty
- yes, unfortunately you have to hand wash each wheel spoke individually. This sometimes will take up 50% of your car washing time.
- an auto enthusiast doesn't allow any other person to touch, wash, or wax his car.
Every single tips you give confirms what i already know!
Thanks for putting them into words!
I absolutely respect the "wash your wheels last" everytime i wash my car.
it just makes sense, with all the brake dust down there, you just dont want to spread it all over your brand new car's body...

Well, i guess i will have many chances to put all the rules from this thread into practice during my Euro Delivery next months....

At least once for the car Drop-Off, and even before that during/along my travel to keep the car clean for the photo shots! :P

I will get some dirty pictures too

Last edited by DrivenByE30; 03-25-2012 at 11:08 AM.
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      03-25-2012, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
These are my thoughts:

- the factory wax is perhaps the best wax your car will ever see, so don't be too anxious to wash, polish or wax your car during its first or even second year.
I don't believe the BMW factory applies any wax at all.
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      03-25-2012, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgrasty View Post
I don't believe the BMW factory applies any wax at all.
You may be right. But it sure feels like it when I run my hands over it. Regardless, a car's finish at the time of delivery is probably the best condition your car will ever be in. I don't understand why some people are anxious to polish and clay bar within the first year.
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      03-25-2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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It's like Baby skin.... you only get it the first years of your life... after that... no matter what you paste or oil yourself with, you will never gonna get it in your life again...
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      03-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
You may be right. But it sure feels like it when I run my hands over it. Regardless, a car's finish at the time of delivery is probably the best condition your car will ever be in. I don't understand why some people are anxious to polish and clay bar within the first year.
Yes, the paint will never be better than when it is new. Clay with new paint is a complete waste of time; there's nothing on the paint to remove.
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      03-25-2012, 01:27 PM   #16
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I don't understand the point of claying a new car either, but to each his own.

I tend to do a really good detail every 6 months. Having owned two dark cars in the past, I purchased a electric buffer kit with pads, polishes, etc. for $250. By far one of the best investments I have ever made! I would've paid double honestly, it makes that much of a difference.
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      03-25-2012, 04:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
- wash your wheels as a last step because the bucket water will get very dirty
People should always start at the top and work their way down when washing anything really
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      03-25-2012, 04:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyO View Post
These are my thoughts:

- the factory wax is perhaps the best wax your car will ever see, so don't be too anxious to wash, polish or wax your car during its first or even second year.
- every time you wash you car, you remove a little bit of wax
- always check the weather report before washing your car. It will help avoid frequent waxing and extends your "clean car days".This all helps keep your wax on your car.
- never take your car to an automatic car wash
- be careful even at the do-it-yourself car washes. The high powered spray can stip wax also. If you must, get the spray wand as far as away as possible
- you can blindly trust Mcquires or Mothers products. All other products are not to be trusted unless you read many forums members swear by some other product. In other words, don' t let your car be the guinea pig. Stay away from anything by Turtle Wax or Armour All.
- you can never put too much wax on high wear areas such as the leading edge of the hood, side mirrors, and around driver-side door handle.
- if you drop a sponge, rag, cloth on h ground, discard it.
- don't wash you car with dirty bucket water
- wash your wheels as a last step because the bucket water will get very dirty
- yes, unfortunately you have to hand wash each wheel spoke individually. This sometimes will take up 50% of your car washing time.
- an auto enthusiast doesn't allow any other person to touch, wash, or wax his car.
What about detailing spray after the car is dry on the body?
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      03-25-2012, 04:56 PM   #19
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Meh to all that complicated stuff.

BMW tried to sell me a "seal and protect" extra for 500 that would've paid for them to apply a hard wax to protect the paint as well as protectants for the carpets and leather.

I told them where to stick it and bought exactly the same original BMW kit from eBay for 15.

As soon as I get the car home I'm going to give the car a gentle clean to get rid of any dust and muck it'll have picked up on the drive home and apply all the treatment products.

More than that I can't be bothered with. I spent far too many weekends in my late teens and early 20s hand cleaning my cars when I should've been out enjoying myself. Now I have much less spare time I have better things to do than spend a quarter of every other weekend doing this, so these days it goes through an automatic car wash. I just make sure it's a carwash that has soft bristles rather than the horrible scratchy nylon ones. It'll still pick up microscratches but IMO life's too short to worry about things like that. After a few months I'll take the car through the carwash, take it home, re-wash it by hand and re-apply the wax. That way the car will still look damn good, the paint will still last, and I'll have more time to use for other things.

Regarding claying the car on delivery - doesn't clay take a small layer of the lacquer off to take out any scratches? Surely, as others have said, that's not necessary for a new car - all it should need is a good wax? If I'm right about clay then wouldn't applying it too often shorten the paint's life?

Last edited by Feanor; 03-25-2012 at 05:02 PM.
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      03-25-2012, 05:02 PM   #20
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This is by far my favourite car detailing tip guy. He also teaches you how to debadge.

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      03-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
I spent far too many weekends in my late teens and early 20s hand cleaning my cars when I should've been out enjoying myself. Now I have much less spare time I have better things to do than spend a quarter of every other weekend doing this, so these days it goes through an automatic car wash. I just make sure it's a carwash that has soft bristles rather than the horrible scratchy nylon ones. It'll still pick up microscratches but IMO life's too short to worry about things like that.
I hear that. I used to wash and wax my first car every weekend, but I'd be lucky to be able to do that every other month these days.

Don't they have the touchless car washes in the UK? The high pressure water ones?
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      03-25-2012, 05:15 PM   #22
Feanor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raspartan View Post
I hear that. I used to wash and wax my first car every weekend, but I'd be lucky to be able to do that every other month these days.

Don't they have the touchless car washes in the UK? The high pressure water ones?
I guess not, I've never heard of them! I'm not entirely convinced though - I have a pressure washer and it doesn't seem to be very effective at removing sticky road grime, even when soap is sprayed on first. I'm careful not to risk going too close to the paint with it though as I understand pressure washers can damage paintwork when used less than 30cm away.
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