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Auto Car Wash Advice Please

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by SManZ, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:28 AM
    #1
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    My new truck is covered in salt and calcium chloride and I'd like to get it clean! I've been searching for touchless car washes in the area but all I find are the gas station ones that wet your car down so it looks clean but its dirty as soon as it dries.

    What do you all think of those autowashes with the foam strips that hang down? I'd never go to one of those washes with the spinning bristle brushes. Do the foam strip things do any harm to the paint?

    Is there such thing as stress cracking the clear coat? I'm wondering if its 20 degrees out and I take my truck to an autowash with warm water if it will create cracks.
     
  2. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:37 AM
    #2
    alpineski26

    alpineski26 Active Member

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    You get what you pay for with Auto Car washes. If you want something done right, do it yourself. A lot of big carwash places have DIY hot water pressure washers. If all you are looking to do is clean off the salt and road grime, hit that without soap so you dont have to worry about lots of streaking and bring a few extra towels, dry it off...Drive away
     
  3. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:38 AM
    #3
    RainDodger

    RainDodger YGWYPF

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    My advice is to never go to any automatic car wash of any kind, but that's my personal opinion. I always use warm water and plenty of mild soap - usually car wash soap that is easy on wax, and a wash mit. I have never had paint problems.

    Regarding salt on the car... I lived in the FL Keys for years and I owned a Porsche at the time. It was washed at LEAST once a week and I usually rinsed the underside of the car, fenderwells and all the cracks and crevices. When I moved back to the west coast after having that car in the Keys, I drove it for another 9 years and never had a spot of rust.

    My simple answer is: I wouldn't use ANY auto car wash.
     
  4. Jan 11, 2010 at 7:40 AM
    #4
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    I've taken cars to the Dr. Wash off route 50 by the Jiffy Lube before. They do a pretty good job inside and out, but a little expensive.
    The high on Thurs and Friday for us are supposed to be in the mid 40s, so I'll be out scrubbin in the driveway :D
    Hopefully my hose isn't frozen.
     
  5. Jan 11, 2010 at 9:54 AM
    #5
    SManZ

    SManZ [OP] el tráfico más lento se queda derecha

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    I just got back from this place in Manassas
    http://www.samscarwash.com/category/4387/8129-sudley-rd-manassas-va-20109.htm

    They have a touchless autowash as well as a self-serve wash with a high-pressure hose. You pay $2.25 for about 5 minutes. After that its 25c for each 30 secs. There's a knob where you can select high/low pressure water, soap, wax, spot free rinse, and some other things.

    I just soaped it up and ran the high-pressure water over it for most of the time. It looks okay, but nothing like a hand wash. All the salt is off the truck though!

    Not bad at all for $3. joneill03 - you're close, give it a try!
     
  6. Jan 11, 2010 at 10:04 AM
    #6
    JDCPA

    JDCPA Well-Known Member

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    I've used the touchless auto wash system for many years with no problems or scratchs in my paint. I carry a clean towel to wipe down the vehicle and the towel ends up finishing the cleaning.

    I would not use any car wash, even the soft touch, that touched my paint.
     
  7. Jan 11, 2010 at 10:22 AM
    #7
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    Sweet! Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to stop by there after work on the way home this week. Didn't know there were any of those places nearby. Thought Fredericksburg was the closest one. I'm most worried about the gunk on the frame, and my hose at home doesn't have the kind of water power to knock much of it off.
     
  8. Jan 11, 2010 at 10:32 AM
    #8
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    I bring a 5 gallon drywall (joint compound) pail filled with my carwash suds, (warm-cool) my wash mitt and the cap re-secured.

    After rinsing it down with the 1st round of quarters, i usethe pail to wash it thoroughly and bring an extra mitt to catch the lower areas and rims.

    I then quarter up for a 2nd round to rinse it and sometimes spray a wax coat on the CLEAN truck before rinsing that off as well. Usually have to add additional quarters before it runs out of time to get all of the wax off.

    I bring a previously warm soaked and wrung out chamois with a towel, sitting on the seat for drying after the wash. Temp determines whether i can dry it properly or not. I at least try and hit the top panels and windows if it is too cold to get the rest.

    If the carwash is busy, i pull out of the bay for drying...

    I spend more like $6, but the truck is actually clean when i leave.

    No way i would dry a vehicle that hasn't been hand washed by me, as you are just rubbing the grit into the surface.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2010 at 11:12 AM
    #9
    sernv99

    sernv99 Member

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    anything near Sterling, VA or is this place in Manassas the only game in town (for us northern VA folks)?
     
  10. Jan 11, 2010 at 11:18 AM
    #10
    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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    Oh man...that salt and shit is rough on the paint and ya gotta worry about frame rust...My cousin in Indiana bought a 2008 Explorer and the paint is literally peeling off the body after 1 winter. I'd wash it yourself bud if its possible....just so you know it was done right :)
     
  11. Jan 11, 2010 at 11:53 AM
    #11
    Veccster

    Veccster bass turds

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    I always use the touchless (powerwash) cleaners. I put in $1.25 and use the soap spray (not the brush) to wash most of the crap off, then the rinse spray to wash the soap off. I can get the whole truck with both rounds in the 4 minutes they give me.

    I've never had any brand of vehicle w/out frame rust. Paint falling off due to salt is because the vehicle was not painted correctly. I've NEVER had that problem.

    I spray off my truck every couple weeks but the roads are constantly covered in salt during winter months.
     
  12. Jan 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM
    #12
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, you're pretty much just trying to remove the old salt to make room for the new salt until the cycle runs it course and rains wash the roads off in March or so.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2010 at 2:05 PM
    #13
    AverageJoe

    AverageJoe Well-Known Member

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    You wash your truck?
     
  14. Jan 11, 2010 at 3:04 PM
    #14
    DdayIsNear

    DdayIsNear Well-Known Member

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    i rinse with hose and wash myself with soft bristle brush. never scratched paint on any of my vehicles and works great for truck, i am 6ft tall and is still hard to reach all over the top. no side steps so have to get in the bed to wash it, . but when i get service at stealership done, they always wash it there
     
  15. Jan 11, 2010 at 3:38 PM
    #15
    skistoy

    skistoy Make mine a Double!

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    here in buffalo, with the amount of salt and snow on the ground right now, i have no problem running the truck thru a quality car wash. The daily drive and salted roads is doing more damage than any car wash could. so any time its in the 30s, i run it thru to get all that salt and grime off.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2010 at 3:51 PM
    #16
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Generally...I hate any car washes that rub anything on my paint.

    But, this winter has been awefully nasty with salt. My poor truck needs a cleaning. I used to pump quarters into those power washes and 'try' to spray underneath - but I end up drenched and frigin cold as hell by the time I'm done. I hate that.

    We have a Cloister nearbye and I'm really interested more for the underblast. I'm not sure you can get an underblast without getting the full $25 wash. Damn, that's expensive!! I hate winter!
     
  17. Jan 11, 2010 at 4:16 PM
    #17
    skistoy

    skistoy Make mine a Double!

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    I agree.
    But i remember in Guam where the salt content is high because of being in the middle of the ocean, All the aircraft would go thru a fresh water rinse at the end of the day to prevent corrosion. Same principle here in the snow, I would love to be able to hand wash, but aint going to do that while snowing and temps in the teens. Just look at it as preventive maintenance.
     
  18. Jan 11, 2010 at 4:21 PM
    #18
    steviestyles

    steviestyles The "Search" tab is your friend!!

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    It's a catch 22. You either get a rusted frame and peeling paint from the salt, or scratches from the car wash. I take mine to a good quality soft touch car wash. I'm with Janster, doing the pressure washer in the 20 degree weather we've been having is for the birds. My shoes and pants get all wet, and my hands are frozen trying to dry off the truck. If I use my own faucet and hose, the water freezes in the hose and cracks it by Spring. I haven't had too many issues with scratches from the car wash. I always rinse the foam brush off before I use it at a do it yourself wash. It's going to get scratches from all the road debris with the sand they lay on the ground around here so I have no issues going to the automatic jobber.
     
  19. Jan 11, 2010 at 4:26 PM
    #19
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    If you have access to your hot water heater, attach the hose to the spigot on the hot water heater. Plus its good to drain it every few months anyways. Thats how I wash mine in the winter. My hot water heater is in my garage though so easy access to hook the hose up.
     
  20. Jan 11, 2010 at 4:32 PM
    #20
    jamesglynn

    jamesglynn James

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    I'm a wash nut, I wash my Taco and my wife's car every Saturday. I never use the auto washes, and here is the main reason. On my 04 Taco, before the 2010 I just bought, I was constantly having to have brake work done. After several brake jobs I figured it out, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER wet your wheels just after driving. When the brakes, rotors and drums are hot from braking, when you wet them without cooling they will warp. Take if from somebody that knows.
     
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