Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

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squirm
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Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:09 pm

Usually I wash our cars in the morning before the sun starts beating down on it, every other week or so. Usually I do it myself and have a routine. We live out in the boonies, so washing the car without all the neighbors watching you is nice, unlike when we lived in the city where I felt like I was being watched. Been doing this since I was a kid. Once a month or so, get out out the shop vac and vacuum, dust, windows, and do a quick Armourall job.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:15 pm

We drive our cars enough that they wear out mechanically before the body goes. So not much point in washing them. I do wash it off about once a week after coming from the ski resorts in the Winter mostly to get the salt off the underside.

Growing up in Alaska, the bodies would wear out before the engines because you just didn't drive that far. Probably more important to care for it there.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by JoinToday » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:17 pm

squirm wrote:....so washing the car without all the neighbors watching you is nice, unlike when we lived in the city where I felt like I was being watched.
Why would you care if the neighbors are watching you? and aside from an occasional glance, do you think they are really watching you?

I wash my (new) car. Find it a little relaxing, and the exercise is good for me. I suspect this will change in time.

The other cars: sometimes they are taken in to be washed, sometimes we wash them. But they are > 10 yrs old.
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squirm
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:23 pm

JoinToday wrote:
squirm wrote:....so washing the car without all the neighbors watching you is nice, unlike when we lived in the city where I felt like I was being watched.
Why would you care if the neighbors are watching you? and aside from an occasional glance, do you think they are really watching you?

I wash my (new) car. Find it a little relaxing, and the exercise is good for me. I suspect this will change in time.

The other cars: sometimes they are taken in to be washed, sometimes we wash them. But they are > 10 yrs old.
Regarding the neighbors, they probably couldn't careless, but I grew up on acreage where you didn't have close neighbors, never got use to being in close quarters.
Agree, I find it therapeutic at times.
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ImaBeginner
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by ImaBeginner » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:26 pm

My kids wash mine for a quarter a time. The neighbors watch jealously as the kids run around spraying each other, having a good time while doing a job.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:27 pm

I don't wash my car except perhaps once a year after coming back from the beach. Then I just drive through a touchless car wash at a gas station.

I don't vacuum out my car either. Every once in a while I get my kids to do it if they want to drive it. So I guess I have it done. If I get my car serviced for something, then I expect the place providing the service to wash and vacuum my car 'for free', too, but I have not had my 2011 car serviced yet.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tainted-meat » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:27 pm

When I lived in an apartment, I would take it to the car wash and vacuum it for $5 because I didn't have a driveway to do it in.

Now, I vacuum it myself. If it is going to rain I pull it out of the garage and let nature do it's thing.

In the winter, I'll take it to the carwash to do the underbody.

EDIT TO ADD: I'll use windex and paper towels for the inside of the windows. I don't wash the outside windows except for carwash/rain.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by likegarden » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:33 pm

We drive our 2 cars every 3 weeks or so into an automatic car wash for $13 each which also provides a wax coat. Cars look like new afterwards.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by likegarden » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:33 pm

We drive our 2 cars every 3 weeks or so into an automatic car wash for $13 each which also provides a wax coat. Cars look like new afterwards.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by littlebird » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:47 pm

I enjoy washing my car in the garage (with the door open) out of the sun and with no hose involved. I use a no-rinse car wash product and do a quarter or so at a time. I learned this technique when we RV'ed, and normal, messy washing was not allowed in the nicer RV Parks. And it's age-appropriate for me. :wink:

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:49 pm

Every 3ish months to the touchless car wash for $10. I don't drive much.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:50 pm

I wash my (relatively new) car. When I had an older car, I rarely washed it, but if it got terribly dirty I would run it through a car wash. I would not run a newer model car through an automatic car wash and probably would not let someone else wash it--if it were a car I really cared about.

OTOH, I do keep the interior of any car I drive clean. And I do that myself as it is a pretty easy job as I don't trash the interior of my car--unlike others in my family :annoyed

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TxAg
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by TxAg » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:56 pm

I have a company car so i pay to have it done inside and out...probably wvery other week. I get reimbursed. My understanding is that the commercial car washes are water efficient...nice if true but I haven't read up on it.

My wife's car is garage kept so it gets dirty at a slower rate. We pay to have hers washed but it's only a couple times a year.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:59 pm

I go to a local drive-through car wash where you can pay $9 for them to wash the exterior, but you have to finish the interior (and some detail work on the exterior, like drying around the trunk). Or you can pay $20 for them to do both exterior and interior. There's also a rewards card that gets you one free $9 wash after 8 paid washes.

There's actually a second local place that is cheaper for the exterior wash, but their brushes really swirled up the finish on my last car. Haven't had that issue with this place, so it's worth the extra couple of bucks for the better brushes.

Given the drought conditions in California, this seems to be the best compromise between being eco-friendly (the car wash recycles water) and being economical (I usually use the $9 option).

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:05 pm

I used to get a free wash at the local Shell station. That was years ago, they gave it away with a fill up. I had an econobox, so didn't care if it was a good quality wash or not. They stopped doing the freebies, years ago.

Having a beater econobox car, can be nice. Once a Pepsi exploded in the car...didn't care. Another time, a whole bottle of soap, came undone, and spilled. Sponged it up, but didn't do much else, didn't care either. That wouldn't be the case with my cars now.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by cfs » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:27 pm

Just one bucket of water.

During the rainy season mother nature takes care of washing and cleaning my truck. During the non-rainy season, I do this once a week, before sunrise, one bucket of water, plain water, two rags [from old cotton t-shirts], clean with the first wet rag, dry with the second rag.

- To clean glassy parts I use this glass cleaner from Home Depot.
- To shine black tires I use this tire shine spray from Walmart.
- To clean wheels I use this cleaner and degreaser from Home Depot.

Total time for this evolution is about 30 minutes, and only one bucket of water wasted. Good enough for government work!

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by WJW » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:34 pm

I go to the car wash about once a month (where they recycle the water). Cost is about $14.00 for full service interior/exterior. I usually go on Wednesday, when they offer free wax.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by health teacher » Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:42 pm

Don't use a scotch brite pad to remove the glue from the little dealer sticker :oops:

I do a mixture of both. I'll detail myself, but will run through the $5 auto carwash on occasion.

Now that we have a new Odyssey, I'll be a lot busier since it won't see the auto carwash for a while. Interior every couple weeks, Exterior every couple months. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:00 pm

squirm wrote:Usually I wash our cars in the morning before the sun starts beating down on it, every other week or so. Usually I do it myself and have a routine. We live out in the boonies, so washing the car without all the neighbors watching you is nice, unlike when we lived in the city where I felt like I was being watched. Been doing this since I was a kid. Once a month or so, get out out the shop vac and vacuum, dust, windows, and do a quick Armourall job.
squirm:

Anytime my car looks dirty when I buy gasoline, I use the drive-in wash.

If my car looks dirty between fill-ups, I wash it down myself.

I learned long ago that there are two kinds of people: "Outer directed" and "Inner directed." I'm "Inner directed" so I don't care what neighbors think when I wash my car.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by mw1739 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:01 pm

We go to the local automatic car wash chain about once a month. Depending on the options chosen (tire shine, wax etc) it's between $8-15. Usually get about 6 gift certificates for Christmas.

Recently bought a new car and I'm considering signing up for their unlimited package - $30 a month for unlimited washes.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by celia » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:02 pm

In my area, you can get cited for wasting water on a car. Water is a precious resource in California. I think the drive-thru car washes here must recycle the water.

Please send the water that runs off your car to us!
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:19 pm

When we lived in the city the neighbor next door, every Sunday she would wash her car. After washing she'd open the doors and blast her music while cleaning the inside. Even inside our house, we'd clearly hear it all. Annoying!

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:26 pm

Is it bad to not wash your car? I have an 07' Accord and almost never wash it. It doesn't have any rust on it. At least none I can see :happy My kids occasionally wash it and I expect that's where all the little scratches have come from as I've seen the long brush being dragged across the driveway more than once.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Teague » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:29 pm

I get it done professionally, and regularly. Though that $8.99 once a year is really quite a splurge.
Is it bad to not wash your car?
Not as far as I can tell. I tell folks I use a protective coating that just happens to look like dirt.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Ninegrams » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:34 pm

Own older cars, rarely wash and don't give it a thought, why waste the water. Garaging them does go aways towards keeping the dirt in check.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by corwin » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:43 pm

We take our car to the car wash 6-8 times a year, usually before a party or event. Also the dealer washes it when the oil is changed. Don't do it at home because we are on well water and it spots the car.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:46 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:Is it bad to not wash your car? I have an 07' Accord and almost never wash it. It doesn't have any rust on it. At least none I can see :happy My kids occasionally wash it and I expect that's where all the little scratches have come from as I've seen the long brush being dragged across the driveway more than once.
I was bad about washing my first car. I'd wash it maybe once every three to six months and never waxed it until it was about 7 years old (other than the liquid wax at the drive-through car wash). The clear coat started to fail at around 13 years of age all over the car and the paint cracked on the hood. Then I got better about washing and hand waxing every couple of months and that kept the clear coat from failing further until I replaced the car.

For my new car, I wash it about once every 4-8 weeks at the drive-through car wash with the liquid wax option. I can already see that the liquid wax is not sufficient (water no longer beads up) after about a year of that, so once the summer heat dies down, I'll have it hand waxed before the rainy season hits. Not that we have much of a rainy season in California these days, but I'd like the finish to last at least 15 years on this car.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by unclescrooge » Sat Aug 13, 2016 3:52 pm

I wash my car myself twice a year.

But we're in a drought, so I'm skipping this year. My old neighbor had someone come to detail his cars every week!

But he's lived here for decades, so with prop 13 capping his property taxes, he's saving an extra $12 k/year. If I had an extra $1k/month and was 70 I'd probably hire someone too.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Kersten » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:01 pm

I always wash it myself. There are many things that I cannot do but this, well, I can do this. And I can paint my house and some other stuff that saves a few buckaroos.

It gives me a feeling of accomplishment, and that is important to me.

And, I like to be able to take care of the maintenance of the things I own. I purchase "good stuff" and take care of it.

When I do that, to me, it shows my appreciation that I have that car, tool, etc.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Raven2 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:11 pm

I always wash, vacuum, and occasionally wax my car myself whenever it is dirty. It protects the finish and keeps it looking new even when it is not which helps resist the temptation to replace it.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Loik098 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:24 pm

celia wrote:In my area, you can get cited for wasting water on a car. Water is a precious resource in California. I think the drive-thru car washes here must recycle the water.

Please send the water that runs off your car to us!
I'm in the same boat as Celia. No one in my area washes their car in their driveway, but a ton of them sure do have pristine vehicles, nonetheless. My wife and I figure the same folks who go to waste money at Starbucks 3-4 times a week also use the car wash twice a week.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by MathWizard » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:35 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:Is it bad to not wash your car? I have an 07' Accord and almost never wash it. It doesn't have any rust on it. At least none I can see :happy My kids occasionally wash it and I expect that's where all the little scratches have come from as I've seen the long brush being dragged across the driveway more than once.
I wash probably 4-5 times a year, going through a touchless car wash which has a sprayer that
sprays up to remove grime from the undercarriage
Especially right away in the spring, because there is a lot of salt used on the roads in the winter.
Salty water in the undercarriage starts lots of rust.

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Rob54keep
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Rob54keep » Sat Aug 13, 2016 4:54 pm

It depends on which vehicle and what time of year it is.
My car...no problem doing it myself when the weather is not too hot.
My truck....I take it to a $5 car wash and have it done but then I take it home and wax myself 2x/year.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Colorado13 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:03 pm

I go to a place where I wash it myself, but they provide a "stall" that has a brush and a sprayer (both are on a wand sort of thing, for lack of a better descriptor.) They have tire spray, foam wash (with the brush), soapy wash (no brush, just spray), clear coat, and spotless rinse. The disadvantage is that there is no blower/drier, so I dry it myself, which I don't mind doing. Typically it costs about $4. My car is black, so it looks better when it's clean.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by ScooterBob » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:05 pm

Raven2 wrote:I always wash, vacuum, and occasionally wax my car myself whenever it is dirty. It protects the finish and keeps it looking new even when it is not which helps resist the temptation to replace it.
True that it will make you think twice about getting another car when your current car looks good.
I wouldn't let ANYONE other than myself wash and/or wax my cars. I always say "no" to the dealer when they are in for oil changes. They use stuff- usually a brush- that will scratch the hell out of the finish. Maintaining the cars is a hobby of mine and I find it extremely relaxing to get out there and do a proper job each time. I really find it interesting that people will skimp on appearance maintenance on their cars. Its a big "Investment" and should be treated as such.

Bob

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by blueblock » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:11 pm

I get our car washed every month or two, depending on need. $14 includes interior windows, wipe down of the dashboard and other surfaces plus vacuuming.

What they don't do is wash interior surfaces, and we haul sometimes muddy dogs in the back, so I hit that myself from time to time.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:14 pm

Yes, I buff the cars, once or twice a year, sometimes even do a clay bar, makes the car look great, which as mentioned above, helps resist the temptation to replace it.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Rodc » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:16 pm

That is what rain is for. :)

We do not wash often other than in the winter to get the salt off. Here they use a lot of salt, hard to even get in and out without getting it on your clothes. Not good to leave on and under the car either.

We just run them through the car wash in the winter.

Once in a blue moon send the kids out to wash them otherwise.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Peter Foley » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:27 pm

I live in Minnesota. I wash the car by hand a few times over the spring summer fall and use a car wash in the winter.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by 22twain » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:33 pm

Here in the Southeast we get significant snow maybe once every two years, and the city responds with sand, not salt. Instead, we have pine-pollen season from late March through the end of April. During that period I drive my car through an automatic car wash a few times. The rest of the year, I do it maybe twice, whenever the accumulated dust starts to look yucky.

This is a cheap compact car, though. If I had a Lexus or BMW, I might feel differently about washing it. :wink:
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by midareff » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:41 pm

Always did it myself until age and arthritis caught me later 40's.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tinscale » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:50 pm

I do it myself even though it is somewhat harmful to the environment. The dirty water, soap, dirt, grime, grease, and oil flows into nearby storm drains and gets discharged directly into rivers, creeks, and streams where it can affect water quality and wildlife. Commercial car washes either recycle their water or are required to treat their discharge before releasing it to the sanitary sewer system.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Pharmacist » Sun Aug 14, 2016 1:59 am

I usually run mine through the car wash to get the dirt/mud/salt off and then go over it by hand to get tar or anything leftover and then I wax it. Car wash does a decent job but with a white car you notice what is missed. Even after the carwash I usually spend a good hour touching it up and waxing. My car has low mileage for the age so I try to wash and wax at least 1-2 times a year to avoid rust, especially before winter.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:29 am

I love doing my own car and also do my own lawn, guess they are things I learned from my dad.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by jharkin » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:14 am

I generally wash them myself.

When I was in my late 20s and had my first brand new car I would wash it nearly weekly... typical 20 year old single guy mindset.

Now that Im in my 40s I was the cars twice a year (fall spring - before and after the snow) to get a good coat of wax on them. The wax isn't to make it look shiny, its to help protect the paintwork and repel dirt. I generally vacuum out and clean the inside when it starts looking bad, maybe once a month.

Once an a while in between if its looking especially bad I may give it a wash and my wife will take he car to the drive through carwash.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by lthenderson » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:26 am

I wash mine a couple times a year as needed with my pressure washer.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Toons » Sun Aug 14, 2016 8:46 am

I have really enjoyed washing ,cleaning ,waxing my own vehicles for years,
And continue to do so.
I enjoy looking at the "shine"
I use Meguiar's products.

http://www.meguiars.com/en/#6x5KGUh9oUtipP1A.97
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squirm
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by squirm » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:22 am

midareff wrote:Always did it myself until age and arthritis caught me later 40's.
That stinks about getting arthritis at a young age.

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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:37 am

JoinToday wrote: Why would you care if the neighbors are watching you? and aside from an occasional glance, do you think they are really watching you?
I'm not exactly a tree-hugger, but it can be argued that washing a car in the conventional way damages the environment in various ways. So in some neighborhoods you might have to do it under cover of darkness, and it's hard to avoid missing spots when you do that.

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