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Full Service Wash - A Question

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Old 01-04-14, 07:09 AM   #1
woodturner
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Default Full Service Wash - A Question

Hello all. New member, first post. First, a brief explanation of my Lexus ownership history. My wife currently drives an 04 RX and my daily driver is currently an 02 SC. On 12/31 we purchased a new 13 GS for me and a new 14 RX for my wife. We are to take delivery in 8 days. (Rather than take the hit on the trade-in allowance, we decided to sell our current cars outright).

Now to my question. What is the risk (if any) in getting a car washed at a 'full service' facility (i.e. one in which the car travels on a conveyor belt and has those spinning flappers do the cleaning) as opposed to washing by hand? Do those flappers place small scratches in the finish? Any other concerns?

BTW, I scanned this forum for a similar question but did not see one. Please excuse me if it is a common query.

Thanks.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by woodturner View Post
Hello all. New member, first post. First, a brief explanation of my Lexus ownership history. My wife currently drives an 04 RX and my daily driver is currently an 02 SC. On 12/31 we purchased a new 13 GS for me and a new 14 RX for my wife. We are to take delivery in 8 days. (Rather than take the hit on the trade-in allowance, we decided to sell our current cars outright).

Now to my question. What is the risk (if any) in getting a car washed at a 'full service' facility (i.e. one in which the car travels on a conveyor belt and has those spinning flappers do the cleaning) as opposed to washing by hand? Do those flappers place small scratches in the finish? Any other concerns?

BTW, I scanned this forum for a similar question but did not see one. Please excuse me if it is a common query.

Thanks.
3 words... DON'T DO IT... wash it yourself but be sure to do it properly, go to youtube and pull up the Gary Dean wash method... works like a charm. any car wash, even hand wash facilities IMO are car grinders. your car may look good after it's washed and dried but after a couple of washes you will see the damage inflicted on your paint... hell, after one wash if you know what to look for you'll notice what was done.
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Old 01-04-14, 09:15 AM   #3
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3 words... DON'T DO IT... wash it yourself but be sure to do it properly, go to youtube and pull up the Gary Dean wash method... works like a charm. any car wash, even hand wash facilities IMO are car grinders. your car may look good after it's washed and dried but after a couple of washes you will see the damage inflicted on your paint... hell, after one wash if you know what to look for you'll notice what was done.
Thanks for the reply. From your response I presume you don't have your Lexus dealer wash your car when you take it in for service. Is that correct?
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Old 01-04-14, 11:26 AM   #4
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I do not let anyone other than me wash my car... automatics are basically sand paper on your paint. I've seen "hand wash only" employees drop drying "towels" on the ground, pick them up give them a quick shake and continue to rub them all over the car.
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Old 01-04-14, 12:10 PM   #5
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W.Turner,
Black (i.e.,dark colors) will get destroyed at a car wash. I don't have time to wash my car so have a detail service that comes to the house and charges about $3.00 more for wash than car wash & about $10.00 more for wax, their work is excellent. Look for someone with good references in your area. If you have time and know how to do it yourself, probably the best choice.
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Old 01-04-14, 01:49 PM   #6
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If you take your car through one of those automatic washes where the strips of cloth touch your car, you'll cause damage to the paint that will cost about $300 to remove.

Lots of people treat the paint on their expensive new cars like crap, and don't understand why their car looks old after only a couple years. After I did a full correction on my wife's Lexus, and pointed out swirls and holograms on other cars, and how her paint was perfect, now she notices the difference, and says "What's wrong with those people?" when she sees a badly swirled car.

She'll never detail her own car, but at least she understands and appreciates what I'm doing when I disappear into the garage all day a few times a year.
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Old 01-04-14, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply. From your response I presume you don't have your Lexus dealer wash your car when you take it in for service. Is that correct?
I bet several forum posters have those tags to hang on the rear-view mirror that read "DO NOT WASH".

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-04-14, 03:13 PM   #8
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Not to pile on, but DON'T DO IT!!! Like many others on this forum, I do not let the dealer wash my car, and I do not use the car washes that have those spinning brushes or anything else that touches the paint.

Hand washing with the proper technique, and the proper tools, is extremely important to protect your paint (and investment).
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Old 01-04-14, 04:20 PM   #9
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Like many here I do my own car wash. If you care about your paint and want to keep the car look good read a little bit and you will soon develop your own way of taking care of your car. Lots of good info and helpful people here. On the other hand if you dont care about the paint much, you may be just fine with auto hand/machine wash. I started a conversation with this guy because we both have 13 black GS. He was so proudly telling me that he lived near a dealership and they would wash his car for free anytime he wants. And that put an end to the conversation.
Congrats on the purchases. It must be nice being able to afford two new Lexus at the same time.
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Old 01-04-14, 05:47 PM   #10
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The short answer to the a rather complicated question is: Do not take your vehicle through any sort of 'production wash facility'. All it takes is one poor car wash to cause an incredible amount of damage to your paint.

I have an article pending publication on the Detailed Image Ask-A-Pro blog about a Lexus that was washed by a dealership (although the owner demanded it was not washed because he knows what could happen)... the paint was nearly flawless beforehand, and here is how it looked after ONE WASH by the dealership.

Click the image to open in full size.

Pretty insane, right? I'll be sure to post a link to the full article once they get around to publishing it.


A trusted detailing professional will be your best bet if you are looking for someone to help maintain your vehicle... if you'd like a recommendation of someone in your area, let me know what city you are in and I will get you in touch with someone.




If you'd like to learn about how to maintain your vehicles on your own, CLICK HERE to read about the proper way to hand wash your vehicle. (or look up the Garry Dean wash method for rinseless washing technique as Syd suggested)


Here are some recommended supplies to get you started:
Wheels & Tires
- A Bucket and Grit Guard used ONLY for wheels
- Wheel Cleaner
- Soft Wheel Brush for wheel faces
- EZ Detail Brush for cleaning barrels of wheels and in between spokes
- Tuf Shine Tire Cleaner & Brush
- Wheel Sealant to protect your wheels and make them easier to clean
- Premium Tire Dressing - a water based dressing to help nourish your rubber and keep it looking good


Washing & Drying
- Two Buckets and Two Grit Guards (money saving package!)
- Sheepskin Wash Mitt
- Optimum Car Wash (High Quality Shampoo)
- Two (or more) Waffle Weave Microfiber Drying Towels
- Optimum Instant Detailer and Gloss Enhancer (Quick Detail Spray)
- 5 or more Plush Microfiber Towels for use with Quick Detail Spray (high quality microfiber makes all the difference! do not purchase cheap towels from your local auto parts store. If you have them, use them for wheels and exhausts... don't use them on your paint!)


Decontamination
- Iron X Iron/Fallout Cleanser
- Fine Grade Clay Bar
- NanoSkin Glide Clay Lubricant (dilute in separate bottle)
- Two Waffle Weave Drying Towels to dry clay lube


Protection
Sealant: Menzerna Power Lock
Wax: Menzerna Color Lock


Misc. Other Tasks
- Glass Cleaner: Stoner Invisible Glass
- Metal Polish/Protection: Chemical Guys Metal Wax (Metal Polish + Metal Sealant in one step!)
- Engine Bay Cleaning: Optimum Power Clean
- Engine Bay Dressing: 303 Aerospace Protectant for engine covers/plastic panels and Chemical Guys Black on Black spray for hoses, harnesses, and hard to reach areas.
- Exterior Trim Protectant/Coating: 22ple VR1 Plastic and Trim Restorer (up to 1 year of durable, fantastic looking trim protection.
- Light Interior Cleaning/UV Protection: 303 Aerospace Protectant for a slightly glossy appearance or Einszett Cockpit Premium for a 'like new' matte finish


You will find a full, comprehensive detailing guide by CLICKING HERE. It will help to walk you through basics of the full detailing process.

Please let me know if you've got any other specific questions regarding processes, products, technique, etc.

-Zach
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Old 01-04-14, 06:04 PM   #11
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Lots of good information here. Thanks, gentlemen. I was expecting the kind of responses I have received. In looking at one of Garry Dean's videos, I see that he uses a pressure washer. Is this common practice among enthusiasts or is it reserved primarily for detailing professionals? If it is something I might want to consider acquiring, is there a specific brand I should consider? a maximum pressure I should use? Should I be certain to keep the tip a certain distance from the surface of the car?

Thanks again.

Last edited by woodturner; 01-04-14 at 06:17 PM..
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Old 01-04-14, 06:09 PM   #12
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If you take your car through one of those automatic washes where the strips of cloth touch your car, you'll cause damage to the paint that will cost about $300 to remove.
Out of curiosity, what $300 procedure is done to repair the damage?
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Old 01-04-14, 06:59 PM   #13
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Out of curiosity, what $300 procedure is done to repair the damage?
That's about the least someone good is going to charge for a single-step paint correction.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:03 PM   #14
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Thanks for the reply. From your response I presume you don't have your Lexus dealer wash your car when you take it in for service. Is that correct?
yes sir, you are correct. i let no one touch my car. they know when i pull in that my car is not to be touched. if it comes in dirty ( which is never ) it leaves dirty.
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Old 01-04-14, 08:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodturner View Post
Lots of good information here. Thanks, gentlemen. I was expecting the kind of responses I have received. In looking at one of Garry Dean's videos, I see that he uses a pressure washer. Is this common practice among enthusiasts or is it reserved primarily for detailing professionals? If it is something I might want to consider acquiring, is there a specific brand I should consider? a maximum pressure I should use? Should I be certain to keep the tip a certain distance from the surface of the car?

Thanks again.
you can go to same club and get a 1700 PSI 1.2 GPM pressure washer for $130.00. IMO that is all you need, don't need a 2700 or 2800 PSI washer... don't waste your money. my little 1700 PSI works perfect. you're supposed to have the wand 6 inches from the paint but being that my PSI isn't high, i stand a little closer. i don't think it really matters unless you have a high PSI washer. i have a Black Max from sams club, there is also Karcher, and a few other brands, but do your homework and research.
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