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Discussion Starter #1
I got my first wash for the maserati yesterday... and I realized how little I paid attention....

I got to the place, drove up in line, and realized the guy was staring at me... "So, one hand wash?"

"Oh, you do handwashes now?"

"Well, it IS a special car... A handwash will be 60 bucks" (total rip btw)

"oh... will the regular wash scratch my car?"

"I dont think so"

"Then Ill do the regular wash... but I dont want people in the car, since it is a cambiocorsa... Ill drive it in, blah blah"

"oh ok"

Those 5 minutes in the washing machine were the most horrible 5 minutes I have even experienced... It started with these HUGE blobs of cloth slamming into my car from side to side... then from the top, then from the front and back...

painful.

then, the driers came, these huge fans wth little rollers on them, that would fall ON my car, and "glide" (hah glide my ass) over the car...all over it...

Needless to say... I am getting a handwash... ALL THE TIME.

I never really noticed how horrible the washers were when I was in the other car... Oh well :p

Which brings me to my question... How many of you get handwashes? How many get the regular washes?

And, does anyone know a good place in the LA area?

Thanks :)
 

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I go to Palms on Santa Monica in WeHo. They have a handwash option, but I do the standard wash + hand wax / detail for 50 bucks. I think with a hand wash it goes up to like 65 bucks.

There are mobile detail shops around, they'll do everything to your car for like 100 bucks, if you want to baby the paint that might be a good option.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm...

Does Palms scratch the paint "that bad"? I may just go to them... How fast is their turnaround?
 

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NO ONE (or no thing) ever washes any of my cars. I do it myself, in the driveway. Takes 5 minutes to get out my stuff (correct non-detergent car wash soap, etc), 5 minutes to wash correctly (using microfiber mitt, frequently well-rinsed & swished in the soapy water .... to minimize swirl marks) and 10 minutes to dry by hand with 3 perfectly clean microfiber towels (including all the door jambs, and inside trunk and hood edges). Maybe 10 more minutes to use a spray gloss enhancer to bring up the glow-in-the-darkness.

Total time does not exceed 30 minutes. No $50-60 handwash guy on the planet can do a better job than I can. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than therapy.

I do, however, occasionally run the daily-driver Range Rover through the commercial car wash when I'm really busy.
 

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MaseratiBoy said:
...
Those 5 minutes in the washing machine were the most horrible 5 minutes I have even experienced...
on congratulating your new purchase:
M! said:
congrats!
the best thing you should do is to give her a nice bubble bath and enjoy her curves, and then take her out for a ride ;)
should have listened to me, LazyBoy. :p
 

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I do the wash myself in the driveway. it's not good therapy though cause I ALWAYS find new dings :mad:
 

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I wash the car myself too... That's the best carwash you can possibly have provided you are adequately equipped. We used to have those menacing looking commercial cashwash machines in our country. It's however all a thing of the past now as they were infamous for damaging the paintwork / leaving behind horrible swirl marks. It's been a good many years since we last saw one of those machines....
 

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Here's an unusual perspective for you (and for a car that spends 10K+ a year on the road):

1) I would never, ever, EVER use an automatic wash that makes any contact whatsoever with the vehicle. Too many horror stories of trim pieces, antennas, and such being caught in the washers and destroying the next vehicle through.

2) In the 20 months I've owned my Maserati, it has rarely if ever been hand washed (some small hand-washing on bug splats), and looks spectacular. And this is for a daily driver that has seen salt, bugs, and other nasty road grime. I only use high-pressure soap and water on it.

3) Same for the wheels. Never, ever, ever would I use an acid-based solution to remove brake dust residue. High pressure soap + water gets it done just fine.

4) I found a high-end no-touch automatic system (though only $10 USD) that I use occasionally as an alternative to the high-pressure "hand wash".

5) Just as important is how you dry it. I use a chamois + microfiber towel(s) - but the standard warning applies - MAKE SURE YOUR CHAMOIS IS WET! Otherwise, you'll scratch your finish terribly.

I will let a well respected, insured and bonded, detailer give it some love this spring, but other than that, don't trust the $5.00 an hour car wash idiots.

Bottom line, if you clean it regularly, you don't need to scrub it.
 

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I wash by hand. The only way would go to a car wash is to use one of those power spray wands to wash a thick layer of crud off of the car.
 

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Fred, I'm a "hybrid" - I only wash by "hand", using a high pressure wand...have never used a cloth or sponge on it except in rare cases.
 

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Home wash.. I use a pressure washer with a low pressure car wash setting (BE CAREFUL! The high pressure nozzles will rip the paint and trim off a car!). Mine has a place for detergent which can be switched in/out. I sometimes scrub bird and bug juice manually. I then dry the car with an electric leaf blower (works great to free trapped water in the mirrors, door handles, wheel lugs, etc.)

As someone posted earlier, Black Magic kicks a$$! It penetrates very fine scratches and hides swirls. GREAT for black but works on anything (don't be fooled by the name). Microfiber applicator and towel!
 

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I also picked up a water deionizer for the final rinse.
After rinsing, you can let the car air dry, and there will be no spots.
(as per testing on my sliver car, and the woman's white car)

If you have a black car, the leaf blower helps to make it perfectly spot free, without touching the paint.
 

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Unfortunatly living in a complex I don't have the option of handwashing, or that's what I'd do.

My paint is craptacular, but I don't know if the car wash caused it or what. I've never had anything but positive experiences at Palms with my *other* cars...they tape down all the trim pieces and whatnot and seem to do a good job. The hand detail is excellent, the machine wash a bit nerve wracking. I'm getting my car buffed soon anyways, I'll see what Norm has to say about washing cars.

There's a shop on Ventura in Encino that also promises hand wash/detail service, near Jerry's Famous...they're TERRIBLE. I went there twice (2nd time was after I got egged and I needed something fast). They always leave water spots and miss spots in the wash.
 

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That's strange, I didn't think there were many car washes left in L.A. that used those cloth strips. Most automated car washes in the OC are "touchless" systems; shouldn't be hard to find one near you. I used to use one in Brentwood that I think was called "Speedway" or something @ the corner of Westwood and Santa Monica.
 

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A Hand -job Is The Way To Go!

If you want the job done properly-do it yourself!

TAKE OFF YOUR WATCH/MANICLES ETC.

First wash with ordinary water by using a hose or jetwash on low (to get rid of debris-otherwise you will introduce minor scratches).

Then wash with car shampoo and an expensive sponge (available at dealer- I got mine free from BMW dealer as I treat people nicely).[BE careful with yanking up the wipers as one wiper catches the bonnet(hood) when lifting up.]

Then use a jet wash(pressure washer) to rinse and dry with chamois leather (wet first). Very theraputic on a sunday afternoon when weather is good to fair.
Dont put any polish on new/fairly new cars as no need and you might take the expensive factory polish off. For older cars use Zymol which I have recently discovered.

DONT LET YOUR SMALL KID HELP YOU AS THEY WILL INVARIABLY DROP THE SPONGE NOW AND THEN AND WASH THE CAR WITH DEBRIS ON THE SPONGE THEREBY INTRODUCING SCRATCHES.


Always rinse car at least weekly-if you live in polluted areas or in winter to get rid off acid rain/salt. It makes a difference in the long run-trust me!
CIAO!!
 

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Machine wash vs Hand wash-I didn't even know there was a question

I thought it was common knowledge to NEVER use a machine based car wash.

I always hand wash at my own house.

I was going to go as far as find a way to attach a Britta type filter to my water hose to make sure the water was pure.

What i do know is that almost all Commerical car washers use recycled water and harsh harsh soaps.

those do it yourself, wand and wash places also use crappy water and those soaps are junk, and do you really want to use that Bubble brush, after the last guy cleaned off his brake dust from his wheels.

I look at it like this, You never see a fine looking female leaving a Supercuts, our cars are like a fine looking woman, they need to be pampered.
 

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I am nuts with the wash and wax....

Car has never been in the rain, let alone a car wash.... I hate what the car wash does to my black escalde.. I can not understand how they get away with being so rough....

Anyway.... I am in NJ and its 25 degrees today... As soon as its above freezing I will fill about 7 huge buckets with hot water and hand wash my baby.

I detail it every 6 months with a few coats of Zaino and an orbital... BTW.. I swear by these orbitals... Hand waxing is ok... But with an orbital those very fine swirls are gone in seconds with the right polish.... I never thought I would use one until I tried it... Amazing.. You can correct all the factory paint flaws....

Take Care. CM
 

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Oh dear... have you checked the paint for swirl marks and hazing, which are the typical by-product of automatic washers?

As for me: handwash ALL THE TIME plus 1 exhaustive detail every year (spring) including :

1) Initial handwash, 2-bucket method and using Meguiars products (shampoo+mitt+terry cloth). I say cotton mitt (NEVER a sponge... it does attract surface debris like a magnet...) and cotton terry cloth (NEVER a chamois... it tends to leave swirls if not properly used). 2 buckets means : 1 with shampoo and 1 with clean water for rinsing before the next dip in the shampoo bucket.

2) Dry, then apply Bilt-Hamber lehm clay throughout (using tap water as lubricant) to remove surface contaminants. Surface should be crystal-smooth after it.

3) Quick wash to remove clay residues

4) Paint inspection and polish using PC to correct major imperfections (e.g., deeper scratches, oxidation or swirl marks). Occasionally I do some WD sanding with Megs 2500/3000 unigrit to get the job done. Obviously I'm talking about things which do not need any paint job (touch-ups and above).

5) Quick wash again

6) Final touches with lehm clay where necessary

7) Final wash and drying

8) Application of Bilt-Hamber wax (Auto-Balm) throughout... superior protection relative to ANY Zymol products (although it does not give as deep, wet finish)

9) Autosol on chromed sections (ask a Harley owner what he uses to polish his exhausts...)

10) Polish to mirror-finish. Done!

About 5 hours work :D

That plus 1 application (top-up) of B-H wax at the beginning of the Autumn keeps the car in mint condition. In summer it gets a 1-hour wash every 2 weeks.

Ed
 

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Another danger of the automatic washes is the risk of the disappearing headlight washer covers. Between the pressure from the spray, the banging fabric strips and the power blowers, those little plastic covers can simply blow away.

Troesma, you are welcome to stop by my house and detail my car anytime!
 
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