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

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

Post by ClevrChico » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:43 am

I take the cars to the car wash a few times/year. It's $6/wash, and I like the results.

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

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:49 am

I mow my lawn under cover of darkness for the same reason. I don't want anyone to know I'm burning gas and ruining the environment.
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Kenkat
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:13 am

I usually wash mine myself but will occasionally go through the local gas station wash in the winter when it is too cold to do it outside. I go for the economy wash which is usually around $6.

Water is plentiful where I live so water restrictions are not an issue. I do still try to minmize water usage when washing however and dry using a good quality chamois.

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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 11:47 am

Just washed our car this morning. We're on a well, the water is pretty hard so I always use soap that prevents spots and always dry. I wash it on the lawn. It's peaceful and quiet, it's only me, the trees and the wildlife.

tim1999
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:48 am

I hand wash my cars weekly. I would never go to a car wash that involves something other than a human touching my car. Learned the hard way not to do that years ago. I also pay a professional to detail (wax) them once per year. In the winter when it's too cold to run water outside I will take the car to one of those touchless washes that just sprays the car, but I find them somewhat ineffective and a thin dirt film is usually still left on the car.

rec7
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by rec7 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:52 am

I wash it once every year after winter ends God washes it the rest of the year.
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Dave C.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Dave C. » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:02 pm

I've got a drive-through car wash near my home that for $11.99 per month puts a sticker on my windshield which allows me to drive through as many times as I want!
If it's not crowded sometimes I drive through twice in the same day just to make sure they didn't miss a spot.

The term "work" is subjective. Some people's work is other people's pleasure. Washing my own car to me, is work.
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telemark
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by telemark » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:28 pm

Pharmacist wrote: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.
I do the exact opposite: rinse off the undercarriage and any bad spots in the DIY stall at the car wash, then run it through the touchless wash to finish things off. I never washed my first car and it rusted out in a few years.

Oh, and I wax the headlights by hand, in the hope they won't turn yellow again.

rgs92
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by rgs92 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:35 pm

The problem is the thick black layer of brake dust on the wheels that's hard work to clean by yourself.

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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 12:46 pm

rgs92 wrote:The problem is the thick black layer of brake dust on the wheels that's hard work to clean by yourself.
I put on ceramic pads when I do a brake job just to avoid the brake dust issue all over the rims.

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

Post by tinscale » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:11 pm

rgs92 wrote:The problem is the thick black layer of brake dust on the wheels that's hard work to clean by yourself.
Direct the hose water into the holes in the wheels as see what comes out!

tim1999
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:50 pm

Brake dust? I bought a brush at target for around $4 that is pretty good at getting it off. Spray the wheel with water, brush it off, spray again to rinse.

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

Post by Carlton » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:08 pm

I wash my cars when dirty, even the older ones. I don't like driving a shabby looking car with filthy windows and interior. Use a soft car wash brush and bucket, can wash all the cars in less time it takes to wait in line at the automatic car laundry for 1 car. Plus no scratches and save around $20 bucks.

Twice a year, they get a coat of Collinite 845 Insulator wax. The stuff isn't expensive, goes on and off really easy and lasts and lasts. (845 was originally used to protect and help keep clean utility high voltage power line and sub-station porcelain insulators) A good wax job also helps the car stay cleaner, the rain can rinse off the dirt.

http://www.collinite.com/automotive-wax/insulator-wax/

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

Post by whodidntante » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:18 pm

I take it to one of those places where people hand wash it and quickly clean the inside twice a year. Sort of a poor man's detailing. And I take it through an automated wash a couple times a year.

J295
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by J295 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:03 pm

Wash at least weekly. Use power washer and supplies from Griot's Garage. Our 2016 SUV cost more than our first house and I take good care of it.

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

Post by tibbitts » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:18 pm

Today I washed my car at home for the first time in more than a year.

I thought the water pressure was little wimpy, and when I got back inside the house I was sloshing through water (through the carpet.) Ugh. I've make a couple of passes with the shopvac but the carpet is still really squishy.

So if you need an excuse to never wash your car, now you have it. I'm sure this will cost a lot because I'm not going to try diy- it's an in-the-wall problem and I think a pro might tear up less than I would getting to the problem, and then might not burn down the house fixing it.

If it hadn't been for this thread I would never have thought of washing the car. Thanks a lot!

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

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:17 pm

tibbitts wrote:Today I washed my car at home for the first time in more than a year.

I thought the water pressure was little wimpy, and when I got back inside the house I was sloshing through water (through the carpet.) Ugh. I've make a couple of passes with the shopvac but the carpet is still really squishy.

So if you need an excuse to never wash your car, now you have it. I'm sure this will cost a lot because I'm not going to try diy- it's an in-the-wall problem and I think a pro might tear up less than I would getting to the problem, and then might not burn down the house fixing it.

If it hadn't been for this thread I would never have thought of washing the car. Thanks a lot!
Think of it this way: It would have leaked eventually, with or without washing the car. Better for the water leak to have happened while you were there than while you were gone.

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

Post by brennok » Sun Aug 14, 2016 10:38 pm

I have a friend who details do mine.

j0nnyg1984
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:40 am

I haven't washed my truck, manually or through an automated car wash, in years. I just don't care about the appearance enough. Plus, it rains a ton up here in the pacnw, so it's washed naturally :)

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

Post by stoptothink » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:50 am

j0nnyg1984 wrote:I haven't washed my truck, manually or through an automated car wash, in years. I just don't care about the appearance enough. Plus, it rains a ton up here in the pacnw, so it's washed naturally :)
Ditto. I think we've washed our car twice in 6yrs. With 2 young kids, we do very regularly vacuum the interior (probably monthly) and the windows are obviously regularly cleaned. It's dark gray and spends 95% of its time in covered parking (garage or my wife's work garage); it looks the same 30min after washing as it did this morning after having not been washed for ~2yrs. If it was worth more than ~$4k, we'd probably care a little more.

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

Post by JimmyD » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:06 am

I enjoy my car and enjoy having a clean car...especially considering we have about $60,000 in value between them.

I take both my and my wife's vehicles through the $6 exterior wash twice a month and vacuum them there as well. I clean the interiors myself.

Now with a young child and working on an MBA, I'll probably take them to get waxed, but I used to do that myself as well.

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

Post by BW1985 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:07 am

When I was a teenager I was constantly in the driveway washing & waxing my red Camaro. It was 10 years old but the paint job looked new.

Now at 30 I just pay the $6 to the car wash but still wax it myself twice a year and vaccuum it out once a month or so.
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by JDCarpenter » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:12 am

I don't.

I bought mine new in 2012, it is black and we have a 1/4 mile white gravel/rock driveway to our house. I think the dealer may have washed it after a warranty visit? Otherwise, it hasn't been washed other than by the rain when driving (garaged each night).
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MrNewEngland
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by MrNewEngland » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:16 am

There was a drive thru car wash near my old job that did a pretty good job, I added Rain-X (I love that product) and it was still under $8. Then I sprayed tire foam on it and the car looks great.

With that said I washed it every now and again to really clean it: under the luggage rack, in all the crevasses in the rims, in the door jams, etc. I vacuum it out at home quite a bit too. I just do it because I like a clean car though. I think new cars have such great paint and materials that it's not really needed for protection.

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

Post by TheOscarGuy » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:19 am

I don't do it as often as I used to.
I have new cars. One thing I would recommend highly is *not* get the free car wash that dealerships offer as part of their oil change/maintenance visit. Or at the very least ask them if they use touchless car wash for their free wash. The cloth wash type car washes do, in my opinion, more damage than good, and will get swirl marks that are touch to get rid of on your car.
Our cars get more washes in winter than summer. Our cars get 2-3 car waxes per year, cleaning of leather and interior several times through the year.

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

Post by LarryAllen » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:19 am

I wash my car, mostly myself, and get it professionally detailed at least once a year. Ten years old and looks like new.

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

Post by surfstar » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:20 am

DIY

Done right, on my time and for nearly free.


Not done often, though. I think I went ~18months with my Saturn previously. Now, owning a 2016 Sportwagen, its almost once a month.

Purpose311
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Purpose311 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:26 pm

Have always washed my own car. I'm a DIY kind of guy, but also know that I will do a better job than most car washes. My first new car was a 2004 White Toyota Tacoma 4 door. It was parked outside for 11 years before I sold it to a good friend. I paid $23k out the door for that truck, and sold it 11 years later with 66,000 miles for $16k. The paint was bright and looked near new. I always like driving a clean car. My practice is to use the California water blade (does not scratch if you are sure to wash your vehicle thoroughly) and I use Meguiar's Gold Class Car Shampoo. I can wash my new to me 2012 Subaru Outback in about 45 minutes. I wash, dry, wipe down interior, dress tires and dress the black rubber trim. I'm shocked to read some of you bogleheader's never have your car washed and never wax. I live in the southern California sun, where conditions are harsh enough and I wax minimum 4 times a year with a quality synthetic polymer wax. Meguiar's makes a great one and so does Mother's.

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

Post by takeshi » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:31 pm

We have them done at a hand car wash. About twice I year I'll hand wash each vehicle myself, detail and apply sealant.
rgs92 wrote:The problem is the thick black layer of brake dust on the wheels that's hard work to clean by yourself.
Sonax works for me.

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

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:47 pm

I find turtle wax black trim dressing works best. Best when applied in full sun.

BW1985
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by BW1985 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:58 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:I don't do it as often as I used to.
I have new cars. One thing I would recommend highly is *not* get the free car wash that dealerships offer as part of their oil change/maintenance visit. Or at the very least ask them if they use touchless car wash for their free wash. The cloth wash type car washes do, in my opinion, more damage than good, and will get swirl marks that are touch to get rid of on your car.
Our cars get more washes in winter than summer. Our cars get 2-3 car waxes per year, cleaning of leather and interior several times through the year.
Touchless often use hydrofluoric acid though so it's kinda pick your poison.
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Bungo
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by Bungo » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:05 pm

I bought my car in 2004 and have probably washed it about five times. I paid someone else to do it each time. It's about due for another wash as it has been about five years and it's pretty dirty.:D

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

Post by Elsebet » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:06 pm

My dealership washes the car when I get the oil changed, good enough for me.
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by ClevrChico » Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:37 pm

Purpose311 wrote: I'm shocked to read some of you bogleheader's never have your car washed and never wax. I live in the southern California sun, where conditions are harsh enough and I wax minimum 4 times a year with a quality synthetic polymer wax. Meguiar's makes a great one and so does Mother's.
For some of us, a car is simply an appliance, and we're going to drive it until it's worth little. I do wash mine periodically, as I don't want to trash my investment. But, I don't obsess over it either. :sharebeer

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

Post by squirm » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:26 pm

The cars we have at work get washed. Although they don't dry them and end up worse because of really bad hard water stains.

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

Post by CedarWaxWing » Mon Aug 15, 2016 5:30 pm

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.[/quote]

I used to have my wife wash the cars... but on hot days she wore her bikini... and all the neighbors were watching... so I started washing the cars myself, wearing my wife's bikini... and they all stopped watching. Problem solved. :)

M

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

Post by Runalong » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:08 am

The American way is to hire people to do all your car washing, yard maintenance, house cleaning, and other manual labor for you while you go to the gym and run on a hamster wheel to stay in shape.

You aren't some kind of communist, are you?

:wink:

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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 20, 2016 10:30 am

Runalong wrote:The American way is to hire people to do all your car washing, yard maintenance, house cleaning, and other manual labor for you while you go to the gym and run on a hamster wheel to stay in shape.

You aren't some kind of communist, are you?

:wink:
I must be. I do everything myself. I hate sitting around.

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

Post by stlutz » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:43 am

I wash my bicycles regularly. My car gets washed when it rains.

Priorities.

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

Post by Dimitri » Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:46 am

I bought a new Camry nearly two years ago. The dealer washed it twice out of the three times I've brought it in for service. Other than that I can't be bothered. It isn't going to drive any better washed or unwashed.
Let's never come here again because it would never be as much fun.

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

Post by Tycoon » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:05 am

I wash my car, my wife's car, my kid's car, my bicycles, my kid's bicycles, the dishes (sometimes), and my shoes; but never the clothes. I've been banned from washing clothes.
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pinecone
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by pinecone » Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:50 am

I have it done, because washing a car is a task I don't enjoy at all. There are lots of things I'd rather do myself than pay for, but washing my own car is not one of them.

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

Post by jdb » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:19 am

I wash our two cars by hand in our driveway, once every two weeks year round. Have a neighbor who walks by on occasion when I am washing cars, always say he knows a guy who will do it cheap. I always tell him that washing cars by hand is good for the soul and invite him to join me, so far has not accepted offer. OTOH my pickup truck only gets sprayed with water every two weeks, it looks better with a little road grime, like those younger guys with two day beards on the chick flicks that my wife watches.

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6miths
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by 6miths » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:26 pm

I wash our cars myself. Used to always be in the driveway. Nowadays, I am more likely to do it in the bay at the coin wash. Occasionally in a bad winter I will take them through the touchless wash at the gas station. Also, hand wax them. I used to be much more particular about my car but then I got married.... and then we had 4 children....
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JDCarpenter
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by JDCarpenter » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:38 am

6miths wrote:I wash our cars myself. Used to always be in the driveway. Nowadays, I am more likely to do it in the bay at the coin wash. Occasionally in a bad winter I will take them through the touchless wash at the gas station. Also, hand wax them. I used to be much more particular about my car but then I got married.... and then we had 4 children....
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:26 am

Just seeing the title to this thread reminded me to wash (by hand) my car yesterday, thanks. Yes, there is rain in the forecast today :happy
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jfn111
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Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Post by jfn111 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:23 am

Spring, Summer and Fall I wash the cars in the driveway. Winter time I take it through the gas station car wash to get the road salt off.

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