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Automatic Car Washes - Definitely Not?

Discussion in 'Bodywork, Tyres, Wheels & Trim' started by rhud, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. rhud

    rhud Senior Member

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    No-one can be a member here for long without becoming thoroughly indoctrinated into the horrors of automatic car washes (and the desirability of the 'two-bucket' method et al). However my old bones are increasingly resistant to braving the elements with buckets etc and I must admit to being tempted on occasion.

    I have been inspecting auto washes and they appear not to be all the same. One local (Total) garage has one which on close inspection has quite thick and soft 'strands'. Whereas the local Sainsburys version has very thin and hard strands which on the face of it seem not a good idea.

    I have also read comparison tests which found that the worst for bodywork are the Jetwash varieties with the bristly brushes expelling foam.

    Do I need to put these heretical thoughts behind me?
     
  2. mxs

    mxs Active Member

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    You must have a 'hand wash' local to where you live! The one down the road from me does a cracking job for a fiver! using woolen mitts and rinse aid.
     
  3. Wirral_guy

    Wirral_guy Active Senior Members

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    If you don't want to do it yourself but also not use the auto machines find a local hand wash - there are several near me that do a great job for around £5.



    Dave
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. OP
    rhud

    rhud Senior Member

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    Yes there are some 'Eastern European' outfits who claim to use Autoglym product. However I have heard mixed reviews (sponges dropped on the floor and not rinsed etc).
     
  5. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    In town we have two "automatic" car washes. One is a no contact jet wash type, seems to be favoured by the local taxis. The other is a recently revamped ARC that claims to use a soft foam "no scratch" technology.

    I've not experienced either but wouldn't be adverse to trying the ARC set-up

    There are numerous hand wash stations here also, who I would avoid like the plague..
     
  6. dml

    dml Senior Member

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    I generally use the local hand wash place - there are always nice cars being cleaned there!... And yes, they are Eastern European :D

    If I'm in a hurry though I have been known to use the ARC automatic thingie... It makes the outside of the car smell like candy bananas!!!!!

    Both options are preferable to doing it myself although I am tempted to give it a try in the summer but more for novelty purposes than anything else
     
  7. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Dan you are not a true enthusiast, I would never let anyone wash my cars or use a car wash, when you do it your self you get to see where the new stone chips are, and car park dings that can ruin a good day
     
  8. dml

    dml Senior Member

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    Haha exactly :D
     
  9. merc4me

    merc4me Member

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    I'm Not A Serial Merc Washer (hangs head in shame!)

    I've always had a theory that some drivers of flash motors are far too lazy to wash their own cars while drivers of Mercs are too busy wheeling and dealing.

    Anyone agree with that idea?
     
  10. littlebrooklyn

    littlebrooklyn Senior Member

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    We get ours cleaned and valeted by Eastern Europeans too. I think it costs £10 but they do a very good job :D
     
  11. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    But you should be doing it Lyn, you have nothing else to do all day:rolleyes:;):rolleyes:
     
  12. teabag

    teabag Senior Member

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    I used the ARC a few times when I had my black S Class and there were definate swirl marks left in the paint afterwards. Since then I have used the hand wash guys without any issues
     
  13. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    Did your ARC place have the 'new' technology soft foam, no scratch claim?
     
  14. Benzman

    Benzman Senior Member

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    Within the last year or two, there was an investigative section on a TV car program which looked comparatively at all sorts of 'paid for' car washes. I don't recall the program name but their overall conclusion, to the program's 'shock', was that automatic car washes did less damage to a vehicle than any of the paid for hand washes available. Mainly because the hand washes were often significantly careless over water/sponge/chamois cleanliness and the workers involved did not remove rings/ watches etc.
     
  15. mxs

    mxs Active Member

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    mmmm...... the jury is out on that one! One thing that auto car washes do, is use re-cycled water for instance, go figure!

    I have gotten to know the guys at my local car wash quite well, and they are very meticulous when it comes to cleaning cars as they rely on return business, they use lambswool mitts, microfibre towels etc..., I have also watched them drop either, and they fetch a clean uncontaminated one to continue the work!

    Maybe I am lucky and they are an exception to the rule, but I would use these guys before using an auto wash facility.

    Anyway, if the weather is nice I tend to wash the car myself.
     
  16. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    I thought this new nano paint resisted meteorite showers ?
     
  17. Mic

    Mic Senior Member

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    In the worst of the winter weather when the car is caked with muck and salt I will opt to use the latest ARC auto wash in preference to my own hand washing because it gets lots and lots of lubricating water onto the coachwork and underneath the car during the washing process. I have not ever suffered any consequential coachwork damage.
    I would not let any hand wash merchants any where near my car.......one dropped mitt with just one piece of grit not rinsed out properly and......not good.

    Mic
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  18. whitenemesis

    whitenemesis Senior Member

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    That is one major advantage! Chance to remove lots of salt infused mud and muck..
     
  19. mxs

    mxs Active Member

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    Mic,

    You are a poet and you don't even know it!
     
  20. Mic

    Mic Senior Member

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    You are quite right......I didn't

    Mic
     

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