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winter car wash tips?

680 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  throttle
Any one got any winter car wash tips for those of us stuck in the snow and salt of the north east?

I hate to see those damn salt sprays on the body but its too damn cold here in DC for the next few weeks to be washing it myself!

This is my first nice dark-colored (SBM) vehicle, I used to take my white 4runna through the regular brush car washes without a care. I found a brushless Exxon car wash but realized with the low profiles I don't know if its a good idea having my car pushed through the car wash on those rails. What do you all suggest?

Also, how long can that salt stay on the car before it starts messing the finish up?

Appreciate any help,
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I Live in PA, Take it to a detail shop, have them wash it, for around $25, or take it to a self sevice place and wash it when it is over 32 degrees.
Why can't you go back to the dealership?? I just brought in mine this morning. Luckily there was hardly anyone else waiting for service. I just told the receptionist I was there to have my car washed... when the kid came up to grab the key from me, I let him know I wanted it washed by hand. He said it wasn't a problem at all if I didn't mind waiting... so I waited and got my IS washed by hand this morning!!
Of course it got dirty again by the time I got home but still looks better than it was before... I tipped him $5 when he gave me back the key since they hardly ever get gratuities. *shrug*

I live in Minnesota and know how the salt and sand make your car's finish look like crap. I figure Ill take it into the dealership every two weeks or so to get it washed. This should be good enough...

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I wash in the garage with the garage door open just a little...enuff to let the water run off.

Haven't figured out what I do with the ice though.

Be careful though, your pipes will burst if you leave the water in the pipes. Use the water shutoff valve every time you wash and leave the faucet open.
wash using warm water, then pull your car inside a garage as fast as possible to dry it. If you have a portable heater in the garage that works well to.
Be careful when using warm water. Any chips in the windshield may crack when the hot water meets the cold windshield. Make sure the water is just luke warm.

Hey A-Train I can relate.

I live in Ottawa, which is a whole hell of a lot colder than your place and I also have an SBM IS300. I have been an enthusiast of cars my whole life (37 years) and have concidered just about every form of washing and caring for a car. Here is what I do:

#1) The winter sucks and there isn't much you can do about the car getting dirty quick after a wash, so set your standards lower during the ugly season.

#2) Never take a cool car like our IS300's through an aouto wash, even the touchless ones becuase4 like you said the 17" wheels wil get scraped sooner or later.

#3) Find your favourite "do it yourself" place. You know the joints where they give you a stall with a pressure hose, etc. And with that here is what I do:

a) keep a rubber glove, wash mit, bucket and two large teri cloth towels in the trunk.

b) start by pressure washing the car.

c) fill the bucket with soapy water before the end of the 1st cycle.

d) using your gloved hand wipe the entire car down with the soapy water.

e) rinse with a 2nd cycle

f) dry with the towels, and make sure you do not swirl the towels, try to dry in linear motions since even with this type of care your SBM will get micro-scratched.

Note: I have trouble doing the drying part of it in temperatures lower than minus 10 celcius (or approximatly 15 F).

Have fun

Throttle. SBM
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