Posted by Pete on December 28, 1998 at 10:47:36:
In Reply to: Car Wash posted by SM on December 28, 1998 at 10:18:40:
Based on my experience:
Brush automatic is a BIG NO-NO. And I mean NO-NO!!
Brushles automatic (I'm talking about the ones on gas stations) only clean marginally. You will still found some dirty part of your car.
Higher class brushless car wash (the ones with hand drying on the back end of the process) often do a pretty good job. However, I was told, the kind of soap they use is very hard on the paint. (Dull paint with no scratch is no good either)
Be careful with hand washing. If you did this incorrectly, you will probably end up with unwanted scratches. (Still, the best way to hand wash often is somewhat of a controversy).
One thing that is very important when washing is from top to bottom. I use a separate set of wash mit for the lower part of my car (Nobody will notice any scratch or 'spider web' on those parts). Be especially careful with the hood, trunk and bumper (in some cars) since those are the most visible part.
Drying, IMO, is the hardest part. A lot of people said to use cotton terry towel. I found out that this does not prevent scratches from happening. (minimize-yes, eliminate-no). I think the more important thing is how you glide the towel on the car. I never pressure the towel (like when waxing). However, if you did not dry thoroughly, water spots will be a problem. If you overdry, you might end up with more scratch than you want.
Also, I would suggest against re-using the towel simply because you will accumulate dirt on the towel no matter how you clean it. (Sacrifice few extra bucks for the sake of your new E46 seems to be pretty rational ??)
So... which one is the best ? IMHO, combination of hand washing, higher class brushless, and occasional brushless automatic would be best.
Hand wash if you have time (and if you know what you are doing), and pay attention to details. Use the higher class brushless car wash if you are busy. Use the automatic in between just to loosen up dirt and prevent junk to 'stick' too tight to your paint.
: What's the best way to keep your new car clean? I assume that hand washing is the best. Any recommended products? Are any types of automatic car washes acceptable?