How do you wash your car?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

How do you wash your car?

I wash my car myself.
74
30%
I use an express car wash (drive through conveyor, gas station etc.).
44
18%
I get a full service car wash.
40
16%
I rarely/don't wash my car.
87
36%
 
Total votes: 245

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kirent
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How do you wash your car?

Post by kirent » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:41 am

Just curious on how everyone goes about getting their car washed. A side question that goes a long with that, how often do you go get a car wash, and how much do you pay?

I'm debating which option is best to keep my car clean, I'm leaning towards the express car wash, and then finishing up anything it misses myself. Washing the whole car myself seems like a lot of work, and the express car was sounds like a good compromise where I only have to put the finishing touches on whatever was missed without having to pay too much for a full service car wash.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial or legal expert and all information I provide is given for entertainment purposes only, at your own risk and with no guarantees of accuracy.

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corner559
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by corner559 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:14 am

I get mine washed and vacuumed. I don't have the time or desire to do it myself. Ditto for housework. I have my placed cleaned a 2-3 times a month.

denovo
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by denovo » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:21 am

It's ok to use the express car wash, but what is very important to maintain the quality of your auto body paint is to an annual wax and buff and polish. It won't be cheap , around $100.00
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tim1999
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:05 am

I hand wash my cars generally once per week at home. I also have a professional do a wax/detail job once per year. The home washes probably cost me around $1 each including the water, soap, and periodic sponge, wheel brush, and drying chamois replacements. The annual detail job is around $150, which is among the more expensive in the area, but the guy does a very thorough job. I have the hand wash jobs down to a "routine" and can do it from start (pulling out the hose and supplies) to finish (pulling the dried car back in the garage) in about 30 minutes.

I refuse to use an automatic car wash that touches the car. Too many issues in the past with hairline scratches afterwards. In the winter I will use one of the touchless ones to get road salt off if it's too cold to wash it at home, but the touchless ones aren't too effective, often leaving a thin film still on the car. The touchless one with dryer goes for $6 where I live. Most of the "touch" automatics are in the $7-8 range unless you start getting into all of the extra "treatments" and "protectants."

drawpoker
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:38 am

Poll results are rather startling. So far, overwhelming majority of those who voted say they rarely/never get car washed.
Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.
:shock:

slowandsteadyone
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by slowandsteadyone » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:43 am

drawpoker wrote:Poll results are rather startling. So far, overwhelming majority of those who voted say they rarely/never get car washed.
Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.
:shock:
I bought a brand new 2010 Nissan Altima almost 5 years ago. The exterior of the car has literally never been washed unless you consider the rain that hits it as washing it.

Just the other day, I was wondering what negative consequences I might be in for at some point since some people seem obsessed with washing their car. Since you say it is "irresponsible" to not wash your car - you seem like a good candidate to ask! What am I in for that will show up eventually that hasn't shown up in almost 5 years?

Serious question! And thank you for any response.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by hicabob » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:47 am

drawpoker wrote:Poll results are rather startling. So far, overwhelming majority of those who voted say they rarely/never get car washed.
Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.
:shock:

Washing the car doesn't make any difference to the lifespan of the vehicle - unless perhaps you live where the roads get heavily salted - even then I wonder. I did wash my 2006 truck once when I had a free carwash coupon. Still runs and looks great (after a good rain anyways :wink: )

anonforthis
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by anonforthis » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:49 am

I wash it myself every other year.

ol'man
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by ol'man » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:53 am

Don't have scientific studies to back this up, but if you spend some time reading the car detailing forums, those guys say that the automatic car washes use harsh soaps and chemicals that degrade the wax, clear coat and paint. Makes sense that it takes stronger soaps to remove grime without mechanical scrubbing.
I only wash my vehicles by hand.
My truck is 15 years old, has always been parked outside, often under hardwood trees, and the paint still looks good. I either wax it or have it waxed by a detailer twice a year.

Andyrunner
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Andyrunner » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:56 am

When mother nature decides (rain)

If it gets really dirty because of driving on gravel roads or something like that I will express care wash it.

FRANK2009
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by FRANK2009 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:34 am

I'm retired and have all the time in the world. I wash it myself nearly weekly when the weather is good. Not too often in winter. The car has never seen a car wash.

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jfn111
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by jfn111 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:43 am

Summer time I wash the car myself. In the winter I take it to a do it yourself car wash, mainly to get the salt off the vehicle. (The fun of Minnesota's winters :( )

fposte
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by fposte » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:46 am

drawpoker wrote:Poll results are rather startling. So far, overwhelming majority of those who voted say they rarely/never get car washed.
Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.
:shock:
Heh. Because only getting two decades from my cars is terribly irresponsible. Maybe if I'd washed the old one it wouldn't have been rear-ended?

From what I can see, if you buy a durable vehicle, washing your car may help with its resale value, but it doesn't have a lot to do with its actual life of usefulness. I take very good care of the bits that run and am completely indifferent to the bits that show, and that's worked out great for me over the years. I think washing cars is kind of an old-school article of faith--it's more that it's characteristic of somebody who takes care of their cars than it's actually necessary for taking care of your cars. (And yes, I live in a wintry area with a lot of road salt.)

I'd rather spend the money and time elsewhere.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:51 am

When I go to the dealer for maintenance, they wash and vacuum the cars. Once a year or so, I get the cars detailed.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

adamthesmythe
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:02 am

Almost never.

Maybe once a year, if that, on a nice warm, but not too warm, day with classic rock on the radio.

22twain
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by 22twain » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:05 am

We use an express car wash ($5) two or three times a year, most often in the spring during pine pollen season. We're in a small town far from major metro areas so the air is usually pretty clean otherwise.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:06 am

> Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.

A few thoughts.

1. I don't think it really makes any difference to the life and little difference to trade-in value.

2. A car is just a tool for getting from one place to another. Tools get used. Tools get replaced eventually.

lululu
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by lululu » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:12 am

You don't have an option for do it yourself car wash places, those that provide high pressure water and soap (detergent?) for coins. That's what I use when I don't care if I get somewhat wet. More often in the summer than winter. It has to be quite dirty before I get motivated to do that.

When I was younger I washed it myself in my driveway.

The mechanic washes and vacuums it when it's in for service or repair.

I actually vacuum it somewhat often. Easy to do in my garage since the shop vac is right there.
Last edited by lululu on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Toons
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Toons » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:15 am

I wash vehicles,including RV with Meguiars Ultimate Wash & Wax on a frequent basis :happy

http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G17748-U ... sh+and+wax
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parsi1
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by parsi1 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:17 am

I hand wash my car twice a year, spring and fall.
I guess it is about time to wash my car.

drawpoker
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:19 am

Didn't mean to set off a firestorm here. :oops:
Since I don't have a garage and my car is exposed to the elements constantly - I tend to forget that other people (maybe more prosperous than me) do have garages to keep their cars.
So, to start over again :P
Is it okay to say that people whose cars stay outside all the time are irresponsible, for not taking better care of car finish?
Besides the aforementioned road salt that should be removed in winter - my car washing is needed for the tree sap that lands on car pretty much constant in spring/summer.

JW-Retired
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by JW-Retired » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:20 am

Every couple of months when it looks really dirty I take it to a big conveyor belt car wash and pay the $15 plus tip. They wash it, clean & vacuum the interior, and dry it all off in less than 10 minutes. Just about as long as it takes me to finish the complementary bag of popcorn.

We almost never wax it.
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cfs
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by cfs » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:21 am

From my side of the keyboard.

We must save water here, to wash my truck I just put the rag inside the bucket of water and clean the car with the rag, then I clean all glass surface with my 99 Cents Store glass cleaner, when I finish it looks freshly washed and clean. The other day a neighbor walking his dog asked me to share the trick of keeping the truck looking like new.
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nordlead
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by nordlead » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:23 am

My car is 10 years old and has dents from hail. I wash it 2-3 times per year just to clean off bird droppings and salt at the end of the winter. I might wash it mid-winter if it gets warm enough, otherwise I don't really bother.

DaftInvestor
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:27 am

adamthesmythe wrote:> Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.

A few thoughts.

1. I don't think it really makes any difference to the life and little difference to trade-in value.

2. A car is just a tool for getting from one place to another. Tools get used. Tools get replaced eventually.
In certain parts of the country it it becomes a necessity to do something in the winter. Salt builds up so heavy/thick on side-windows it becomes hard to see making driving dangerous. I suppose you could hand wash with snow (or use the the gas-station squeegee - but this gets really dirty as well) - but getting a fresh start with a car-wash does a good job of moving all the salt build-up. Also - I don't consider spending $15 every couple of months on a car-wash an "expensive item".

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:30 am

"....I don't consider spending $15 every couple of months on a car-wash an "expensive item"........"


No, no. It's not the wash that is the "expensive item".
The car is the "expensive item"
Last edited by drawpoker on Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pennstater2005
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:30 am

Last time I washed the car it was raining and so I ran in the garage and grabbed the scrub brush. No soap needed. Looked worse after I was done.
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Toons
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Toons » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:31 am

drawpoker wrote:Didn't mean to set off a firestorm here. :oops:
Since I don't have a garage and my car is exposed to the elements constantly - I tend to forget that other people (maybe more prosperous than me) do have garages to keep their cars.
So, to start over again :P
Is it okay to say that people whose cars stay outside all the time are irresponsible, for not taking better care of car finish?
Besides the aforementioned road salt that should be removed in winter - my car washing is needed for the tree sap that lands on car pretty much constant in spring/summer.

I wax the RV more frequently as it is outside....getting low ,time for more. :happy

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Crow Hunter
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Crow Hunter » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:33 am

I rarely wash it. Maybe once or twice a year when my wife will start washing them and I feel guilty so I go and help. If she doesn't start washing I won't. :twisted:

Now I keep in interior immaculate but I could really care less about the exterior. As soon as I wash it, it will get dirty again.

I had a 99 Silverado that I just sold earlier this year that I went years between washings and I still got more than Blue Book value for it.

If I lived somewhere that kept the roads perpetually salted 8 months out of the year then I probably would wash it more. :D

I have only waxed 2 vehicles in my entire life.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by armeliusc » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:33 am

I wash our cars by hand myself probably about once a month, or sometime a little longer than that. I use liquid spray on Meguiars Quik Wax while drying. Twice a year (spring and fall) I do a more thorough wax job. Once every 1.5 year I do a more thorough detailing job on the car (everything from clay bar to compounding/paint correction if necessary).

I don't let anybody else wash the car for me. I am not convinced they do a better job that myself and likely the care less about my cars than my self.

To answer the question regarding never wash / wax the car: bird dropping, saps, etc erodes the clear coat. You'll have more chance of clear-coat peeling off if there's no wax on the it and those elements are never removed. If you don't care about the appearances, then I guess it doesn't matter.

drawpoker
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:39 am

armeliusc wrote:...................To answer the question regarding never wash / wax the car: bird dropping, saps, etc erodes the clear coat. You'll have more chance of clear-coat peeling off if there's no wax on the it and those elements are never removed. If you don't care about the appearances, then I guess it doesn't matter.
Thank you. I feel vindicated. :D
Also, for those who don't wash, isn't it embarrassing to return to parking lot at mall after shopping and see someone wrote "WASH ME" with their fingerprints in the dusty back window?

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:41 am

When the weather is clement, I wash it at least monthly and before a road trip, wax it spring and fall. During winter I use the do it yourself places.

Reasons:

1) Bird doo
2) Road salt (Vermont has a "black roads" policy)
3) Road dust (I live on two miles of gravel road)
4) Tree sap
5) Everyone knows that a freshly washed car, with a clean interior, rides much better :D
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EnjoyIt
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:49 am

Car washes add swirls to the car. If you have a dark paint it will show even more. I always wash my own car once a month or two. Wax once or twice a year.

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pennstater2005
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:50 am

drawpoker wrote:
armeliusc wrote:...................To answer the question regarding never wash / wax the car: bird dropping, saps, etc erodes the clear coat. You'll have more chance of clear-coat peeling off if there's no wax on the it and those elements are never removed. If you don't care about the appearances, then I guess it doesn't matter.
Thank you. I feel vindicated. :D
Also, for those who don't wash, isn't it embarrassing to return to parking lot at mall after shopping and see someone wrote "WASH ME" with their fingerprints in the dusty back window?
Soooooo embarrassing! Happens like weekly especially at the mall. Damn kids.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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Raymond
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Raymond » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:50 am

I wash and wax my car myself two or three times a year, using a rinseless car wash product (Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine) and Finish Kare 1000P Hi-Temp Paste Wax. I use the inexpensive microfiber cloths from Walmart to minimize scratching.

Of course, what really makes a difference in premature aging of car paint (just as with our skin), is protection from excessive ultraviolet light exposure. If possible, park in shaded areas, carports or garages. If that's not possible, occasional waxing and washing will give you some extra protection.

Certainly cars are tools, and are eventually replaced, but I think one ought to give them a modicum of care :happy
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Chip Spoons
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Chip Spoons » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:53 am

drawpoker wrote:Is it okay to say that people whose cars stay outside all the time are irresponsible, for not taking better care of car finish?
In a few months, my truck will look like a salt-crusted branzino, so I'll vote "no".

Don't do much other maintenance, either (just oil/brakes/tires, maybe a tuneup around 100K). Nearing 200K, there's usually a repair that tips the balance. They "give" us $500 for it, and we get a new one. Last time all the mechanic had to say was…well, you sure got your money out of this one.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by placeholder » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:55 am

drawpoker wrote:Poll results are rather startling. So far, overwhelming majority of those who voted say they rarely/never get car washed.
I have had four vehicles in my life (about forty years total) and I didn't really wash them but while they will eventually get some rust going I never had to get rid of one for that (current one is a 1995 and still going).
Seems strange to me that bogleheads would be so, er, irresponsible, regarding such an expensive item.
I was unaware of this responsibility could you elaborate on whom this responsibility is towards?

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Rodc » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:02 am

Poll does not fit me.

Summer: rarely wash, but occasionally shoo the kids outside to wash car.

Winter: We have heavily salted roads and use automated wash with under-body wash moderately frequently. This is partly maintenance (reduce rust) and partly usability as otherwise you tend to get a lot of salt on your clothes as you get in the car, especially in tight parking lots.

Vacuum and clean windows fairly often because that has more user impact than some light dirt on the outside.
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:08 am

".....I was unaware of this responsibility could you elaborate on whom this responsibility is towards?......"



Maybe this poll is flawed. Is this something that may be gender-specific.
Besides washing my car on a regular basis (weather permitting), I also clean my diamonds and other expensive jewelry.
Is it so strange that some of us (women) want to take good care of the nice things we own, whether it be cars or other objects....... :?:

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Toons
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Toons » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:14 am

Works great for drying the vehicle. :happy

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Crow Hunter » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:17 am

drawpoker wrote:
armeliusc wrote:...................To answer the question regarding never wash / wax the car: bird dropping, saps, etc erodes the clear coat. You'll have more chance of clear-coat peeling off if there's no wax on the it and those elements are never removed. If you don't care about the appearances, then I guess it doesn't matter.
Thank you. I feel vindicated. :D
Also, for those who don't wash, isn't it embarrassing to return to parking lot at mall after shopping and see someone wrote "WASH ME" with their fingerprints in the dusty back window?
Actually our vehicles are so dirty that people avoid getting that close to them. :twisted:

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by BuckyBadger » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:20 am

I think the poll is pretty flawed, too. If there were an option that said "I don't wash it regularly, but if it suddenly was covered in poop and sap and caked in mud from an off-road adventure I would wash it" it would be pretty popular.

Assuming we all aren't complete idiots and would wash the car if we parked under sapping, pooping trees I don't think it's irresponsible to not wash your car very much. I've also never had a car get so dirty that you could write "wash me" on it anywhere. If I did, I'd wash it.

I park in a garage at home and a garage at work. If something gross gets on the car I wash it off. It gets washed at the dealership when it's in for service. I take it to one of those hand-dry, vacuum it out, wash the wheels type places if I'm going to be driving around anyone important in it. When I lived up north and had to deal with salty winters we would regularly take it through one of those touchless places for the undercarriage wash.

Other than that I don't regularly wash the car. It rains a lot down here, and that keeps it pretty clean.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by nordlead » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:37 am

drawpoker wrote:
armeliusc wrote:...................To answer the question regarding never wash / wax the car: bird dropping, saps, etc erodes the clear coat. You'll have more chance of clear-coat peeling off if there's no wax on the it and those elements are never removed. If you don't care about the appearances, then I guess it doesn't matter.
Thank you. I feel vindicated. :D
Also, for those who don't wash, isn't it embarrassing to return to parking lot at mall after shopping and see someone wrote "WASH ME" with their fingerprints in the dusty back window?
Despite rarely washing my car, no one has ever done that. Then again, for some reason the car doesn't get THAT dirty. I've seen other cars that dirty with WASH ME written on it.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by fposte » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:53 am

drawpoker wrote: Maybe this poll is flawed. Is this something that may be gender-specific.
Besides washing my car on a regular basis (weather permitting), I also clean my diamonds and other expensive jewelry.
Is it so strange that some of us (women) want to take good care of the nice things we own, whether it be cars or other objects....... :?:
I'm a woman. I take care of things where I can tell care matters. My car's coloring isn't one of those things. My previous car was parked on the street, and it didn't get washed any more than the garaged car does now. It never had any noticeable problems with the finish that weren't from yer basic door dings. Maybe you're buying the wrong cars?

I think there's a difference between an action that genuinely preserves value and an action that's important to the kind of person you feel you are. You feel like washing your car means you're someone who takes care of your things. It's perfectly fair for you to self-define that way, but it's not the same thing as a financially prudent action.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by Crimsontide » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:56 am

What an incredibly timely thread. I was wondering this exact thing this weekend as I washed my car myself :happy I have always washed our vehicles by hand in our driveway, same way my father did and the same way as my daughter and son-in-law do.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:12 am

"............. but it's not the same thing as a financially prudent action. ...."

I am not so sure about that. If I let crud build up on the top of car and did not wash regularly I think I might be letting myself in for a costly repair to the moon roof. Seems that is one part of the car that most definitely must be kept clean if it is to continue to open and close smoothly.

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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by ocdokie » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:29 am

I chose "full service car wash" but I only do it about 3 times per year. (We have so little rain for months on end that the car rarely looks dirty.) In the community in which I live in SoCal, we're discouraged from washing our cars in our driveways because: (1) we're in a severe drought and it's considered wasteful -- in fact, the HOA is implementing fines for those who wash their cars, patios, sidewalks, etc.; and (2) the waste water goes directly into the ocean, without any environmental control or clean-up.

So, I go to one of the many local car washes, which use a combination of automated washing and hand washing/drying. The waste water in these places goes into special tanks and is treated before being released into the ocean. I pay $12.95 for the cheapest car wash on the menu.

bhsince87
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:39 am

In my younger days, I was a fanatic. Hand wash once a week, wax 2-3 times a year, full detail (by me) once a year.

Now my "hot rod" Mustang gets a hand wash by me a couple times over the summer, and a wax in the Spring.

My 4X4 pickup stays outside, under trees. I blast off the crud with a pressure washer usually once in the summer, and hose off the undercarriage once or twice during the winter. I waxed it right after I bought it 10 years ago. It hasn't seen soap in 6-7 years, and it still looks fine to my eye.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

fposte
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by fposte » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:22 pm

drawpoker wrote:"............. but it's not the same thing as a financially prudent action. ...."

I am not so sure about that. If I let crud build up on the top of car and did not wash regularly I think I might be letting myself in for a costly repair to the moon roof. Seems that is one part of the car that most definitely must be kept clean if it is to continue to open and close smoothly.
But that's not the reason you've been giving for washing the car, or for why Bogleheads should wash cars. (And while your feeling may be correct about the value of cleaning moonroofs--I don't have one, I don't know, and my doors work fine without cleaning--I'm also seeing some suggestions that car washes are likelier to damage them.)

I think car washing one of those illustrations of the fact that what seems right and thrifty to us individually may be more a reflection of a philosophy than the preservation of an advantage. Which is fine, because we probably all have things like that. But I don't think we can use them to measure our actual financial behavior.

drawpoker
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Re: How do you wash your car?

Post by drawpoker » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:48 pm

fposte wrote:....
But that's not the reason you've been giving for washing the car, or for why Bogleheads should wash cars. (And while your feeling may be correct about the value of cleaning moonroofs--I don't have one, I don't know, and my doors work fine without cleaning--I'm also seeing some suggestions that car washes are likelier to damage them.)
You open and close the door every time you use the car. With a moon roof you might go several weeks without opening.
My hunch is that crud and built-up grime could be trouble down the road.
Anyway, that was just 1 example. I also have to hose down the wheels regularly to remove the brake dust that causes those awful squeals. I don't have a Mercedes, but I understand many Mercedes models are also prone to that problem.
I do my own wash as we don't have any of those car wash places here, but I agree, have heard some brushes have been known to damage finishes, so I probably would not use one if available. Car washing also is a form of healthy exercise, burns calories much like gardening, yard work, etc., and I am always up for good health habits.
I do think that part of being a true Boglehead - when it comes to spending money - is besides looking for good value - developing regular habits in taking good care of the things that cost a great deal of money. No one would argue that attention to regular maintenance isn't important to retaining the car's value. I guess the real debate here is: Is keeping the car clean considered to be maintenance, or not? :confused :confused

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