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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs Car cover in the PNW
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      09-19-2016, 02:06 PM   #1
SirNicholas
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Car cover in the PNW

I just moved to Seattle, and as you may know it rains quite a bit.

What I didn't know, is that there's quite a bit of tree sap being blown around by the wind (my car wasn't parked under a tree, but sap still got on it)

This normally wouldn't be an issue if you wash the car once a week or every two weeks. However, I have to travel often and sometimes am gone for 3-4 weeks. Last time I came back and the car was covered in dirt/dust. So I figured a good wash should do it. Turns out I was in a deeper hole. They called and mentioned "red sap" being all over the car (including windshields). Because the car wasn't moved for almost a month the sun "baked" tree sap in. It's very well possible it ate through the clear coat.

I have the car in for a full detail at the moment. However, to fight against this, I need a car cover. But I've heard terrible things about those (apparently they get dirty easily (pick up dirt from the ground or tires), can scratch the car with this dirt, moisture can build up under the cover during storms and can potentially ruin a paint job).

Luckily at work we have a covered parking garage. But at home, I am parked in an open space lot (no cover at all).

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any recommendations? Or am I totally screwed and need to find a house with a garage (very rare here in Seattle and the east side).
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      09-19-2016, 04:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to PNW.

This place is not car friendly at all and your car will require much more attention than it did before you moved here.

The easiest thing to do is keep your car waxed properly and constantly pay attention to its paint. I wax my daily drivers about every 4 months. When wax is properly applied red sap comes out pretty easy.

Car cover might be a great idea if you clean the car before putting the cover on and once again clean the car cover BEFORE removing it from the car. You will also need an out door cover that will stay on the car during windy days like the ones we had over the weekend.

But the best advice I can give you is to move somewhere with a garage. That has always been a #1 requirement for me.
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      09-19-2016, 11:46 PM   #3
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Thanks!

Yeah the windy weekend definitely showed me what is yet to come

Where do you wax your car? How much does it cost? I just got mine done today (clay bar, remove the sap, wax, polish) for around $150. They did a decent job, but I think they could've done better on the windshield. It still has some tiny specs on it unfortunately.

The car cover will primarily be for when I travel. Otherwise I'll get a wash in once every two weeks most likely. Maybe even use a pressure washer every week just to keep it fresh.

Does anyone recommend any specific car covers?
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      09-21-2016, 03:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirNicholas View Post
Thanks!

Yeah the windy weekend definitely showed me what is yet to come

Where do you wax your car? How much does it cost? I just got mine done today (clay bar, remove the sap, wax, polish) for around $150. They did a decent job, but I think they could've done better on the windshield. It still has some tiny specs on it unfortunately.

The car cover will primarily be for when I travel. Otherwise I'll get a wash in once every two weeks most likely. Maybe even use a pressure washer every week just to keep it fresh.

Does anyone recommend any specific car covers?
Due to lack of good shops around town with decent prices, I pretty much became a semi-pro detailer over the years. I do all of my own details at my house. When I did not have a place to wash my own car, I took it to one of those self wash places with my own buckets and did everything there. (Brown Bear Car Wash on Leary Way)

A good / quality detail around here is not cheap. Not sure what they did to your car for $150. To do it right, you will have to spend much more.

The shops I would recommend are Metropolitan Detail or NW Auto Saloon.

Unfortunately, they are both not in downtown area and they are not cheap. Heck, we don't even have hand car wash places in Seattle. If you are used to getting your car washed, it will be an adjustment for sure if you are after quality.

I am at a stage that I don't let anyone but me touch my car.

For car covers, either go with OEM or do some research on CACar Covers. I have heard good things about their products.

Here is a link:

https://www.calcarcover.com/n_carcovermaterials/All#
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      09-26-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTG View Post
Due to lack of good shops around town with decent prices, I pretty much became a semi-pro detailer over the years. I do all of my own details at my house. When I did not have a place to wash my own car, I took it to one of those self wash places with my own buckets and did everything there. (Brown Bear Car Wash on Leary Way)

A good / quality detail around here is not cheap. Not sure what they did to your car for $150. To do it right, you will have to spend much more.

The shops I would recommend are Metropolitan Detail or NW Auto Saloon.

Unfortunately, they are both not in downtown area and they are not cheap. Heck, we don't even have hand car wash places in Seattle. If you are used to getting your car washed, it will be an adjustment for sure if you are after quality.

I am at a stage that I don't let anyone but me touch my car.

For car covers, either go with OEM or do some research on CACar Covers. I have heard good things about their products.

Here is a link:

https://www.calcarcover.com/n_carcovermaterials/All#
Sweet, thanks for the link. I've already washed a few times at the Brown Bear car washes, but how do you dry there? In SoCal the self-wash car washes had spot-free rinse (RO water) which I would rinse the car with after finishing with the pressure washer, but the brown bear doesn't have this.

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      01-02-2019, 01:26 PM   #6
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The one consideration I had was the antenna. They gave me three options, a sock like sleeve sewn into the cover, a grommet hole, and no allowance for the antenna. After careful consideration, I opted for nothing, and I unscrew my antenna before putting on my cover. The grommet idea just introduces a spot where water can get in and the sleeve idea is just too difficult when trying to maneuver the cover over my car by myself. carcoverworld.com
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