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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs Automatic Car Wash
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      10-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
Lee
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Automatic Car Wash

Realizing it is sub-optimal to utilize an auto wash, I think I may be forced into it as I have to turn my hose off or the pipes will freeze. Thoughts?
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      10-23-2012, 02:06 PM   #2
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bucket and sponge or better still a wollen mitten.
There's separate threads about detailing and washing cars but I would certianly never put my car through a automated car wash personally.
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      10-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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If you treasure your F10 , wash it with manually. No other way !
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      10-23-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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This is how you do a propper car wash. With a bit of practice you are done in approx 30 minutes for a F11.

1: Spray the whole car with Bilthamber Surfex HD diluted 1:30. This stuff eats dirt and dust like nothing else and wont damage paint or wax when diluted 1:30 Leave on for five minutes. I make a mixture of total 6 liters and soak the car in this.

2: Rins off with a pressure washer. Now you car allready looks clean by most peoples standard (yes, it's that good)

3: Wash the car with a wollen mitten using the two bucket method with grit guards (google it)

4: Spray off all soap with a pressure washer

5: DRY the car. Make sure whatever you do use is not harsh and is 100% CLEAN. I recommend using chemical guys miracle dryer. Have two of them. One will dry your whole car, and have the second one for getting the last bits and parts.

This is the least abrasive way to wash your car and is what is generally considered the "propper" way in the car detailing community. Even when washing it this way you do get swirelmarks, but you will get them much much slower than most other people. Polish you car once or twice a year and wash it this way and it will be a head turner all the time. Better than new.

It has to be said that a bad hand wash is just as bad or worse (depending on the machine) then a automat.
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      10-23-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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or you could just take it to a hand wash place
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      10-23-2012, 04:21 PM   #6
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How do you guys wash the under carriage?
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      10-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aman27 View Post
or you could just take it to a hand wash place
That usually leads to swirl marks. They actually tested this on the british show Fifth Gear. A regular cheap hand wash turned out to damage the car more then the automatic car wash. If you want to keep it clean, you need to take it to a detailer (expensive for the good ones) or do it your self.
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      10-24-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Realizing it is sub-optimal to utilize an auto wash, I think I may be forced into it as I have to turn my hose off or the pipes will freeze. Thoughts?
@ the family mountain house we have some sort of digital valve heater element that recirculates the water through the pipes. This eliminates freezing.
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      10-30-2012, 02:17 AM   #9
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Never ever use a auto car wash
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      10-30-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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I've been hand washing my car but with winter weather coming, not sure what I am going to do either. Maybe bundle up and go out to the car wash bays where you can use the pressure washers on low setting. That way, I can shutdown my outside faucets for the winter.
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      10-30-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
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If you treasure your F10 , wash it with manually. No other way !
Even if you hate your F10, don't ever put it through an auto wash.
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      10-30-2012, 08:14 PM   #12
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Also, check with your dealer. Mine does free washing every Saturday..........
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      10-31-2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Thanks for all you help. I finally came to my senses and found a place where I could use the wand and my own bucket.

That being said, anyone have any good lines on cloths/brushes to assist in washing rims?
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      11-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveLarger View Post
This is how you do a propper car wash. With a bit of practice you are done in approx 30 minutes for a F11.

1: Spray the whole car with Bilthamber Surfex HD diluted 1:30. This stuff eats dirt and dust like nothing else and wont damage paint or wax when diluted 1:30 Leave on for five minutes. I make a mixture of total 6 liters and soak the car in this.

2: Rins off with a pressure washer. Now you car allready looks clean by most peoples standard (yes, it's that good)

3: Wash the car with a wollen mitten using the two bucket method with grit guards (google it)

4: Spray off all soap with a pressure washer

5: DRY the car. Make sure whatever you do use is not harsh and is 100% CLEAN. I recommend using chemical guys miracle dryer. Have two of them. One will dry your whole car, and have the second one for getting the last bits and parts.
Hi Livelarger.
I read your post with interest. I've just taken delivery of a F10 in Sophisto grey and as yet has never been washed. I'd like to keep swirl marks to an absolute minimum so have been looking for ways to best clean the car. This surfex stuff you mention - how do you apply it? Foam lance?. Also, I read somewhere that the best method of rinsing is just with an open ended hose?, and that its best to let it dry naturally so no contact is made with the paint?

Thanks in advance.
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      11-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73henny View Post
Hi Livelarger.
I read your post with interest. I've just taken delivery of a F10 in Sophisto grey and as yet has never been washed. I'd like to keep swirl marks to an absolute minimum so have been looking for ways to best clean the car. This surfex stuff you mention - how do you apply it? Foam lance?. Also, I read somewhere that the best method of rinsing is just with an open ended hose?, and that its best to let it dry naturally so no contact is made with the paint?

Thanks in advance.
You may use a foam lance yes. I use something like this http://www.clasohlson.com/medias/sys...3708060702.jpg but I think a foam lance would work even better.

I like to use a high pressure washer for rinsing. Most detailers I know about does. If you want to air dry the car, you would need some extremely clean water to make sure you don't get chalk marks and what not. Regular tap water usually won't cut it, and you need to dry it.

You should also make sure surfex hd or soap doesn't dry on the paint. I like to do it indoors or in the shade with very little wind.
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      11-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #16
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I run my Jet Black F10 through the local auto wash twice a month. I clay and wax my car with Zymol twice a year, so far the paint still looks new w/o visible swirl marks. However, I don't plan on keeping any of my any of my cars past 3yrs so I can't speak for long term effect.

If you have the time, use the 2 bucket with wollen mitten wash method mentioned above. Never wipe off after rinse, only dap dry. Always soap/rinse from top to bottom. Don't buy any car wash soap that claims that it comes with wax. Wax doesn't stick to your paint that way.

If you can't wash it home, bring the buckets to the pressure car wash bay. Fill buckets with soapy water, rinse, soap the car, rinse, spot free rinse, and then dap dry with micro fibre or shammy.

Clay/Wax your car at least once a year.
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      11-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #17
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What about the automated no touch (water jets and soap dispensers only). Technically nothing actually touches the car.
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      11-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frag View Post
What about the automated no touch (water jets and soap dispensers only). Technically nothing actually touches the car.
It probably will be just fine, but it's likely to strip off any wax on you car. It doesn't really clean it well either.
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      12-03-2012, 11:43 AM   #19
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Thanks for all your input and you've effectively talked me into avoiding the evil auto wash. That being said, does anyone have any tips for washing the undercarriage to remove salt?
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      12-19-2012, 09:44 AM   #20
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It probably will be just fine, but it's likely to strip off any wax on you car. It doesn't really clean it well either.
very true
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      01-30-2013, 03:54 AM   #21
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Also, check with your dealer. Mine does free washing every Saturday..........
But aren't we talking about not doing the automated wash thingy? Unless your dealer is providing free hand washes, which I doubt they are, I wouldn't take it there either.
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