: Hand Washed the V at home for the 1st time, it was a disaster



TriTexan
06-16-12, 07:15 PM
Ok - you'd think washing a car would be a pretty simple thing, right? Well it wasn't.

I'm not seeking advice or anything, I just gotta vent a little...

Normally I have my car washed at a local wash - yes, the automated type. I know, I know - hand wash vs. machine wash is a big religious debate just like manual v. auto. But I discovered the hard way today that the big place that normally does my wash has a few advantages I hadn't appreciated. Until today.

So I'm at home and the V is a tiny bit dirty. And it's got a few thousand miles on it and the deeper reaches of the wheels have accumlated quite a bit of crude - brake dust and the like. The outter portion of the wheel stays clean as it gets washed regularly. But the silver painted wheels look so much nicer when the deeper bits are nice and sparkly too. The local machine wash doesn't work for that, so I decided what the heck - I'll haul out the bucket and a long handled bottle brush and give it an old-fashioned hand wash, partly to get to the bits the regular wash doesn't reach properly, and partly just for my own personal satisfaction.

Well the wheels look awesome - super clean and shiny. My Thunder Gray paint didn't fare quite as well. Since I almost never use our tap water for anything other than laundry, washing dishes, showering, and watering the lawn, I was blissfully unaware of it's mineral content among other things. The car got a gentle wash - it wasn't really that dirty, and I promptly blew it dry with the leaf blower. It took all of just a couple of minutes. But in the baking 90+ degree temps here in Houston the paint got hot fast. Before I knew it, I had some NASTY water spots - really salty looking white ones. And that was WITH blasting all the drops off first. I'm sure I didn't do the wash properly - perhaps I should have spritzed the car with something after washing or dried it by hand with a soft cloth. Who knows - I'm sure you guys are WAY better at this than me. I recall washing the cars with my dad as a child and this sort of thing never happened. Maybe it was a freak thing.

Spray detailer and a terry towel to the rescue. After another 20 minutes or so of spraying, wiping, and buffing I had the bulk of the spotting under control. But by then I was hot, sweaty, and not happy. My big machine wash place does a better job in 3 minutes than I did in 30. Now I know they use special additives in the wash and rinse to prevent this sort of thing. And I know they treat their incoming water to remove contaminants before it even hits my car. I know the manager there who has been with the company more than 30 years - he's given me a tour of their underground water tanks for holding, treating, and recycling wash and rinse water and it's pretty sophisticated. But I never imagined washing at home would be this horrible of an experience.

Lesson learned - the $30/month I spend for unlimted washes at my local wash shop is a good deal after all. My last car, a black Chrysler 300 SRT got wash there for 6 years at least once a week and the paint looked great - no micro scratches or anything. So now the V will get nothing less...

TXAG2004
06-16-12, 07:31 PM
Yeah, the water here sucks. I would never send my car anywhere though...I don't let the dealer wash it either. I wash mine early in the morning, like just after sunrise. Or really late in the evenings if you can stand the mosquitos. I terry/squeegee mine before the crappy water has a chance to dry.

JoeS823
06-16-12, 07:33 PM
I would be scared to bring it to a machine wash anywhere around here in ct, they use the same broom on the cars and wheels and it sketches me out

Mike02z
06-16-12, 08:37 PM
Would never subject my car to an auto wash. Guaranteed to have massive swirls. Ever seen the towels they use to dry off any remaining water? They have no issue wiping the tire then the paint with the same rag. They drop it and keep on using it. Pass. That said, I NEVER wash my car in the sun. I wash it in the garage or wait until evening to wash it.

For really hard water, you can get a filter at Griots that attaches to your hose and will soften/filter the water. Might be worth it if you have a lot of minerals in your water. I have a whole house water treatment system as we have a well and very hard water.

TriTexan
06-16-12, 10:57 PM
Would never subject my car to an auto wash. Guaranteed to have massive swirls. Ever seen the towels they use to dry off any remaining water? They have no issue wiping the tire then the paint with the same rag. They drop it and keep on using it. Pass. That said, I NEVER wash my car in the sun. I wash it in the garage or wait until evening to wash it.

Well, these things don't happen at my local wash. Bentleys, Ferraris, Lambos, and a lot of other expensive cars going there. They actually do a GREAT job of putting the fear of God into their employees about proper practices and procedure. A dropped rag NEVER touches anything else - it goes straight back for cleaning. Separate rags denoted by color are used for tires and paint. All cars get any visible or loose dirt sprayed off carefully being going thru the wash. The washing strips and brushes are replaced regularly as are the rags- usually every week I see a completely new batch of rags being deployed.

Like I said, my previous car, a black one, was washed there for 6 years and no swirls, so I feel comfortable with them. No, this is more about me venting about my failure in doing something as simple as washing a car...

As for washing the car in the garage - I guess yours is a lot bigger than mine!

Trapspeed
06-16-12, 11:23 PM
This is the main reason my car gets washed in the garage. The sun here would cook them into the paint in a nanosecond.

Darnell
06-17-12, 03:02 AM
Well, these things don't happen at my local wash. Bentleys, Ferraris, Lambos, and a lot of other expensive cars going there. They actually do a GREAT job of putting the fear of God into their employees about proper practices and procedure. A dropped rag NEVER touches anything else - it goes straight back for cleaning. Separate rags denoted by color are used for tires and paint. All cars get any visible or loose dirt sprayed off carefully being going thru the wash. The washing strips and brushes are replaced regularly as are the rags- usually every week I see a completely new batch of rags being deployed.

Like I said, my previous car, a black one, was washed there for 6 years and no swirls, so I feel comfortable with them. No, this is more about me venting about my failure in doing something as simple as washing a car...

As for washing the car in the garage - I guess yours is a lot bigger than mine!

I'd need to see pics in direct sunlight before I'd believe that. I've seen more than a few Ferraris/Lamborghinis at my detailer with jacked up paint getting corrected. Automatic washes are swirl machines and they don't care what brand it is.

That said, properly washing a car at home is a bitch.

SoCal_V
06-17-12, 03:28 AM
I lived in Houston for 10 years. I absolutely HATE automated car washes, even the ones at "high end" places that wash Lambos & Bentleys here in So Cal. Hand wash is 10000x better when done properly.

A few suggestions, if I may...BTW I can wash & dry a car using the steps below in around 15-min and it's pretty painless.

* Wash the car at dusk if possible, when the sun is setting and not providing direct light/heat on the car. If you must wash during the day, find some shade. If you can't find shade...well, be prepared to dry the car quickly (as described below).

* Use a high quality soap. I like Griots Garage car wash (super sudsy, very slippery which helps scrub grime away w/out scratches). The Meguires's Gold Class car wash has also been good for me and you can often buy it in a large container at Costco. Good soaps = less residue.

* To avoid hard water spots, use Griots Garage "Spray On Wax" as you dry the car while it's still wet. Yes, spray it on a semi-wet car and wipe the car down with a large microfiber drying towel. Sounds like lot of work...it isn't. You won't believe how incredible the car looks afterwards. Here's a link to the Spray On Wax--read the description-- http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/spray-on+wax,+35+ounces.do

* IMO never use a leaf blower or any type of forced air to dry a car. It will accelerate drying AND accelerate tons of dust onto the car and everywhere else. Makes a huge mess, is loud, and ineffective. Always wipe the car down/dry it by hand. Pick up a nice stack of microfiber drying towels.

I'm a big fan of the Griots line of waxes, polishes, car wash liquid & spray on wax. They've always done me right and I've yet to find much that compares at their prices.

These steps have kept my cars looking great, even when I lived in Houston and drove a black Evo VIII (impossible to keep clean).

I live in So Cal now and have even harder water here than I did in TX, and the above steps keep my all of my cars looking incredible. Two of my neighbors have complained/complimented to me that my wife's and my cars make everyone else's in the neighborhood look bad. One guy in particular asked about the hard water and how I avoided them on my wife's car's dark metallic gray paint.

Trapspeed
06-17-12, 08:21 AM
That said, properly washing a car at home is a bitch.

Best line so far. Soooooo true.

V locity
06-17-12, 09:23 AM
Ok - you'd think washing a car would be a pretty simple thing, right? Well it wasn't.

I'm not seeking advice or anything, I just gotta vent a little...

Normally I have my car washed at a local wash - yes, the automated type. I know, I know - hand wash vs. machine wash is a big religious debate just like manual v. auto. But I discovered the hard way today that the big place that normally does my wash has a few advantages I hadn't appreciated. Until today.

So I'm at home and the V is a tiny bit dirty. And it's got a few thousand miles on it and the deeper reaches of the wheels have accumlated quite a bit of crude - brake dust and the like. The outter portion of the wheel stays clean as it gets washed regularly. But the silver painted wheels look so much nicer when the deeper bits are nice and sparkly too. The local machine wash doesn't work for that, so I decided what the heck - I'll haul out the bucket and a long handled bottle brush and give it an old-fashioned hand wash, partly to get to the bits the regular wash doesn't reach properly, and partly just for my own personal satisfaction.

Well the wheels look awesome - super clean and shiny. My Thunder Gray paint didn't fare quite as well. Since I almost never use our tap water for anything other than laundry, washing dishes, showering, and watering the lawn, I was blissfully unaware of it's mineral content among other things. The car got a gentle wash - it wasn't really that dirty, and I promptly blew it dry with the leaf blower. It took all of just a couple of minutes. But in the baking 90+ degree temps here in Houston the paint got hot fast. Before I knew it, I had some NASTY water spots - really salty looking white ones. And that was WITH blasting all the drops off first. I'm sure I didn't do the wash properly - perhaps I should have spritzed the car with something after washing or dried it by hand with a soft cloth. Who knows - I'm sure you guys are WAY better at this than me. I recall washing the cars with my dad as a child and this sort of thing never happened. Maybe it was a freak thing.

Spray detailer and a terry towel to the rescue. After another 20 minutes or so of spraying, wiping, and buffing I had the bulk of the spotting under control. But by then I was hot, sweaty, and not happy. My big machine wash place does a better job in 3 minutes than I did in 30. Now I know they use special additives in the wash and rinse to prevent this sort of thing. And I know they treat their incoming water to remove contaminants before it even hits my car. I know the manager there who has been with the company more than 30 years - he's given me a tour of their underground water tanks for holding, treating, and recycling wash and rinse water and it's pretty sophisticated. But I never imagined washing at home would be this horrible of an experience.

Lesson learned - the $30/month I spend for unlimted washes at my local wash shop is a good deal after all. My last car, a black Chrysler 300 SRT got wash there for 6 years at least once a week and the paint looked great - no micro scratches or anything. So now the V will get nothing less...

Tri,

Just try early morning or sunsetish time... Sometimes it's nice to hand stroke your baby :)

neuronbob
06-17-12, 10:05 AM
I have a water softener in my home. $600 or so including install when I had it done 7-8 years ago. Buh-bye hard water! I love it because I get no spots on the car when hand washing it, and the wife likes it because soft water feels better on her skin. Win-win!

94danstang
06-17-12, 12:33 PM
I agree with all said above. I would like to add the following:
- wash in shade/dusk etc. If you can't, maybe buy one of those portable awning things - shouldn't be more than $100 (i think)
- try the two bucket method: one bucket for the soapy water, and the second for rinsing your mitt. Never shall the two meet. No grit gets in the soapy water.
- when done washing, take the nozzle off the hose and rinse the car completely with just the water from the hose. This will help the water sheet off without leaving as many spots. It will also help dry it faster.

I will have to try the spray wax as you wash idea. Might be interesting.

Thanks.

DAN

shchow
06-17-12, 02:00 PM
As already mentioned, don't wash in direct sun.
I also wash AND dry quarter panel at a time, so as to not allow any section to air dry.

lmurtha1
06-17-12, 06:35 PM
what about touch less car washes? I use them all the time and my paint still looks like new on my shelby. Its nice for a quicky wash inbetween real details and it comes out very nice. just a quick wipe of the few left over waters spots with a shamy and it comes out great. i would NEVER let a swhirly wash touch my car. might as well throw sand on it and do a redneck slide across the hood. my caddy will enjoy a nice touchless wash too.

Darnell
06-17-12, 10:11 PM
You won't get swirls from a touchless car wash, but they do use harsh/abrasive chemicals. Also, if they don't keep their filters changed you'll end of with waterspots.

hulksdaddy
06-17-12, 11:25 PM
I lived in Houston for 10 years. I absolutely HATE automated car washes, even the ones at "high end" places that wash Lambos & Bentleys here in So Cal. Hand wash is 10000x better when done properly.

A few suggestions, if I may...BTW I can wash & dry a car using the steps below in around 15-min and it's pretty painless.

* Wash the car at dusk if possible, when the sun is setting and not providing direct light/heat on the car. If you must wash during the day, find some shade. If you can't find shade...well, be prepared to dry the car quickly (as described below).

* Use a high quality soap. I like Griots Garage car wash (super sudsy, very slippery which helps scrub grime away w/out scratches). The Meguires's Gold Class car wash has also been good for me and you can often buy it in a large container at Costco. Good soaps = less residue.

* To avoid hard water spots, use Griots Garage "Spray On Wax" as you dry the car while it's still wet. Yes, spray it on a semi-wet car and wipe the car down with a large microfiber drying towel. Sounds like lot of work...it isn't. You won't believe how incredible the car looks afterwards. Here's a link to the Spray On Wax--read the description-- http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/spray-on+wax,+35+ounces.do

* IMO never use a leaf blower or any type of forced air to dry a car. It will accelerate drying AND accelerate tons of dust onto the car and everywhere else. Makes a huge mess, is loud, and ineffective. Always wipe the car down/dry it by hand. Pick up a nice stack of microfiber drying towels.

I'm a big fan of the Griots line of waxes, polishes, car wash liquid & spray on wax. They've always done me right and I've yet to find much that compares at their prices.

These steps have kept my cars looking great, even when I lived in Houston and drove a black Evo VIII (impossible to keep clean).

I live in So Cal now and have even harder water here than I did in TX, and the above steps keep my all of my cars looking incredible. Two of my neighbors have complained/complimented to me that my wife's and my cars make everyone else's in the neighborhood look bad. One guy in particular asked about the hard water and how I avoided them on my wife's car's dark metallic gray paint.

No problems with anything you said but the highlighted. I use a Master Blaster to dry. Works great, gets rid of dripping, and the fewer things that touch your finish, the better.

TriTexan
06-17-12, 11:41 PM
I gotta challenge the 15 minute at-home hand wash and dry...I've tried to do the full job in 15 minutes and just can't pull it off. Just lugging out and putting away the hose takes a couple of minutes. So we're down to 13 mins to wash and dry. Nix another 2 minutes to get your mitt and bucket ready and filled with the right solution - a little more if you use the 2 bucket method mentioned earlier. Now we have 10, maybe 11 minutes to hand wash and towel dry the whole car? If you can do a proper car wash in 15 minutes of the quality everyone describes here, post a video of the full process, including all pre-wash prep and post-wash cleanup on YouTube. I'm not saying it can't be done - I'm just not good enough or fast enough and would really be impressed if someone can pull it off in 15 minutes beginning to end.

Further - wash your car outside (or even in the garage) here in Houston, even in early morning or at dusk, and you've got two major issues. First, the mosquitos will eat you alive. And two - YOU will need a bath after giving your car one due to the high heat and humidity. Overnight lows during the summer can be above 90 degrees at my house, higher any time the ball of fire in the sky is visible.

Plus, it's not always workable into my schedule to wash first thing in the morning or right at dusk, so that's a factor also. While I love my car, my schedule doesn't revolve around it...

TriTexan
06-17-12, 11:45 PM
the fewer things that touch your finish, the better. TOTALLY agree with this - wiping the car over and over again, no matter how clean your cloth is, can't be good on the finish over the long haul. Blowing with clean, dry air has to cause less wear on the finish. Plus, I agree it works really well at blowing out water from nooks and crannies you just can't get with a rag. It takes care of drips and runs that will definitely crop up once you drive the car. I would agree the air needs to be clean, but that's easy enough to handle with a decent air filter - I think the Master Blaster comes with one, right?

zinner
06-18-12, 12:09 AM
Need to wash early or late in the day, when the sun isn't a factor. I keep the car wet the entire time, wash a panel, rinse the entire car, keeps the metal cooler and the water from drying. Then I use a squeegee and a towel, still get some water spots but it's mostly ok. Also I do the wheels first and keep the water off the steel metal as much as possible until I am done with the wheels.

I will do a auto wash once in a while between waxings if I am in a time crunch and I need the V to be clean.

zinner
06-18-12, 12:14 AM
TOTALLY agree with this - wiping the car over and over again, no matter how clean your cloth is, can't be good on the finish over the long haul. Blowing with clean, dry air has to cause less wear on the finish. Plus, I agree it works really well at blowing out water from nooks and crannies you just can't get with a rag. It takes care of drips and runs that will definitely crop up once you drive the car. I would agree the air needs to be clean, but that's easy enough to handle with a decent air filter - I think the Master Blaster comes with one, right?

That is exactly why you wax, do you are wiping wax, not clear coat :)

SoCal_V
06-18-12, 03:35 AM
I will have to try the spray wax as you wash idea. Might be interesting.

Thanks.

DAN

Just to clarify, the spray-on wax is used as you dry the car after the entire car has been washed and rinsed.


As already mentioned, don't wash in direct sun.
I also wash AND dry quarter panel at a time, so as to not allow any section to air dry.

This seems a bit overboard & would be frustrating for me since I've tried this and still get the other quarter panels wet when washing thoroughly. I keep the entire car wet by spraying it as I rinse each quarter of the car after it's washed. A quick once over w/a water blade for the big pools of water and then a quick wipe down w/the spray-on wax, and it's good as new.

I'll look into the Master Blaster...usually I don't like the idea of forced air from a dusty leaf-blower on the car unless it's a fine-point compressed air blast into door sills, etc.

I would assume the Master Blaster is a cleaner, more concentrated air source than a leaf blower!

MSOsr
06-18-12, 10:42 AM
If you wash your car often, use something like Optimum No Rinse to wash it. A couple of ounces in a bucket of water, wipe down a section with a good soft mitt and dry with a good microfiber towel. The stuff really works and is recommended on Autopia.org, a great resource for taking care of your car. You can do it in your garage (since you aren't spraying water) and the water spot issue never comes up.

Mike (was afraid to use it at first also)

needspeed
06-18-12, 02:21 PM
I guess I am getting old since I no longer am anal about this stuff I run my F430, Z07 and CTS-V through the touchless wash when I feel like it and get them waxed 1 or 2 times a year. Life is short and cars are cars........Steve

TriTexan
06-18-12, 02:35 PM
I guess I am getting old since I no longer am anal about this stuff I run my F430, Z07 and CTS-V through the touchless wash when I feel like it and get them waxed 1 or 2 times a year. Life is short and cars are cars........Steve

Steve - Maybe instead of getting old, you are gaining perspective...and if you own all four of the cars you mentioned, I would guess life has treated you pretty OK. No need to stress out over washing your car IMO.

I'm perhaps "less old" but nonetheless I want to spend as much (or more) time enjoying my car than I want to spend washing, waxing, and maintaining my car. Plus, I think babying it too much makes you emotionally invested in it. Then when it eventually gets a door ding or a scratch or something, you're not freaked out by it.

Overall, I know that perhaps the wash system does make a difference, but not enough for me to haul out the bucket, get bitten mercilessly by mosquitos, and slave away in the Houston heat. I have a lot of other things I enjoying doing - like spending time with the family, cycling or running (now that's sweating I don't mind!), vacationing, going to the movies, etc etc. In my list of quality ways to spend what time I have here on earth, washing the car is kinda far down the list...

neuronbob
06-18-12, 03:20 PM
^^^^^
You make me super-glad to live in Cleveland. I just do a hand wash in the garage, 12 months a year, no mosquitoes, and car is sparkly after every snow storm. It takes me closer to 30-45 minutes to do the job right even if I use a "rinseless" system (I just started using Optimum No Rinse this year), but that's my stress relief. :) Speaking of which, I have to take care of my car tonight.

TriTexan
06-18-12, 03:34 PM
[QUOTE=neuronbob;2999475car is sparkly after every snow storm.[/QUOTE]

Heh - it's either snow storms or mosquitos. I guess every place has it's ups and downs. Then again, I will be in the swimming pool with bikini-clad women by early February at the latest...woo hoo! Even in the dead of winter its shorts and t-shirts here. Really hot during the summer for sure, but I'll take the heat over snow any day.

cdog533
06-18-12, 04:08 PM
Optimum No-Rinse is really the way to go. http://www.autogeek.net/optimum-no-rinse.html See a review here: http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/product-reviews/25616-review-optimum-no-rinse.html And a great thread on how to use it: http://www.detailingworld.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=195294

You can wash the car in the sun (although shade is better), and you don't need a hose. I've been using this stuff for a couple of years and don't want to go back to a traditional 2-bucket method.

FYI: Never WASH your car with a hose and bucket in the direct sun. And automatic car washes aren't doing you any favors...

For me, detailing cars is super fun and one of my hobbies. When others are out golfing, I'm probably detailing... I can do the exterior, quickly, with ONR in about an hour. To completely wash the V, do the interior, wheels, engine compartment, and maybe a little Optimum Spray Wax takes me about 8 hours.

Airfoto
06-18-12, 04:30 PM
How sad! Half the fun of owning a car like this is taking care of it! Doesn't take much effort only a little time!

SecretWeapon
06-18-12, 05:37 PM
Which car wash do you use and where is it?

V locity
06-18-12, 05:58 PM
Bending over to really clean the wheels is really getting to my ruptured lumbar discs. I thought about hiring the young college girls in the neighborhood , as I'm sure they can bend over to get to those wheels much better than I. I think if they wash the wife's car first, it may work... Of course I'll have to supervise to assure quality control, especially on the inside of those wheels. I may have to add extra soap in the buckets too.

Mike02z
06-18-12, 06:06 PM
Just use a stool to clean the wheels. I picked one up for 49 bucks. It has wheels and is easy to move from spot to spot. I use it to wash my wheels and wax the sides and bumpers. I have a herniated disc and can't bend for long myself.

Also pick up one of these....Makes cleaning the barrels VERY easy.

http://www.autogeek.net/ezdebrfca.html

SoCal_V
06-18-12, 08:37 PM
^^^^^
You make me super-glad to live in Cleveland.

I think this may be the first time I've ever heard anyone say this sentence.

TriTexan
06-18-12, 11:03 PM
Also pick up one of these....Makes cleaning the barrels VERY easy.

http://www.autogeek.net/ezdebrfca.html

Perfect! Despite using the automated wash from time to time, there's really NO good wheel cleaning except the one you do yourself. If anyone else has other cool ideas, tools, or techniques for good wheel cleaning, please post 'em! I'm going to order one of these brushes tonight, maybe two - I always like to have a spare for a good product.

Darnell
06-19-12, 12:58 AM
I got a Daytona Speedmaster and Lug nut brush for my birthday after seeing my detailer use them. The insides of my barrels are still nice and shiny after a wash. I also use the speedmaster to clean the inside of my exhaust tips. I hand wash my car a couple times a month and the rest of the time I take it to the detail shop that did my paint correction.

Trapspeed
06-19-12, 07:09 AM
Bending over to really clean the wheels is really getting to my ruptured lumbar discs. I thought about hiring the young college girls in the neighborhood , as I'm sure they can bend over to get to those wheels much better than I. I think if they wash the wife's car first, it may work... Of course I'll have to supervise to assure quality control, especially on the inside of those wheels. I may have to add extra soap in the buckets too.

Party at V locity's house!!


93623

SoCalCTSV
06-19-12, 07:37 AM
I have a car wash in the garage at work. They wash inside the garage. It's a high end building where we pay $200+ per month to park and most cars are luxury with the occasional exotic. They charge $15 to wash and do a great job. It's worth it for me to spend that weekly. The rest of the time, I dust it off with my California Duster and touch up spots with the Griots waterless car wash. It gets waxed quarterly by another detailer.

6104696
06-19-12, 02:21 PM
I used to use the Mr. Clean filter system. Worked well to filter the water so that you got no spots in the event that you had no time to dry with towel. Unfortunately it was pricey and the filters would not last too long. The systems and replacement filters were on the market for a few years, but I guess it was a financial flop for them; you can't find the filters any more.

Have been toweling, but will look for a hose-end filter at Griots....

cdog533
06-19-12, 02:35 PM
I have a car wash in the garage at work. They wash inside the garage. It's a high end building where we pay $200+ per month to park and most cars are luxury with the occasional exotic. They charge $15 to wash and do a great job. It's worth it for me to spend that weekly. The rest of the time, I dust it off with my California Duster and touch up spots with the Griots waterless car wash. It gets waxed quarterly by another detailer.

Not to argue, but for $15 they can't be doing a good job. I'm guessing its the typical squad of hack illegals with a bunch of rags and squirt bottles doing the typical 15 minute wash. Usually, that doesn't end well.

And it has been my experience that luxury car owners typically have VERY swirly cars for 2 reasons: 1) they don't know what swirl marks are and 2) they never wash their cars themselves, always blindly trusting a bunch of guys with dirty rags to wash it. Also, a lot of luxury car owners tend not to be 'car guys' and people that aren't 'car guys' don't know anything about swirl marks or hologramming...

If you think your car looks good, look at it either in the direct sun, under gas station flourescents at night, or in a dark garage with a halogen flashlight. You'll see the swirls....

pmsteinm
06-19-12, 03:21 PM
My V is swirl free because it was only ever washed by me (car was even unwashed at delivery).

My wife learned the hard way about having your car washed: A few years ago when her BMW was very new we were in the middle of a drought here in NC, so no washing at home. I told her to just deal with the car being dirty and wait for the restrictions to ease. She wanted to use some service that came by her work place. I of course said no way on earth, but she thought I was being silly saying "they will mess up your car". Sure enough, I come home that night and she's in tears "They ruined my car!". The car is a dark blue ("Monaco Blue") and you could see major swirls everywhere. So after a few weeks of fighting with the car washing service, they said they must have used the wrong brush (to which I responded why are you using ANY brush on a car). They agreed to "buff" it out. After that it looked better, but I think they took a lot of clear coat off because now at 5 years old the paint on that car just doesn't look quite like I think it should.

Needless to say this was an "I told you so" I'd rather not have been right about.

I'm so anal I don't wash around pollen season, and if the car is really dirty I wash twice...once with a very light touch, then again with more force. I use a new cloth for each "zone" (top, hood, trunk, left, right, front lower, right lower, rear lower, left lower, wheels, tires). And I figure why bother washing if you aren't going to wax. Overall, cleaning the V is a major PITA, but I can't help myself. I need help, and admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.

SoCalCTSV
06-20-12, 07:37 AM
Not to argue, but for $15 they can't be doing a good job. I'm guessing its the typical squad of hack illegals with a bunch of rags and squirt bottles doing the typical 15 minute wash. Usually, that doesn't end well.

And it has been my experience that luxury car owners typically have VERY swirly cars for 2 reasons: 1) they don't know what swirl marks are and 2) they never wash their cars themselves, always blindly trusting a bunch of guys with dirty rags to wash it. Also, a lot of luxury car owners tend not to be 'car guys' and people that aren't 'car guys' don't know anything about swirl marks or hologramming...

If you think your car looks good, look at it either in the direct sun, under gas station flourescents at night, or in a dark garage with a halogen flashlight. You'll see the swirls....

Actually it's a bunch if homeless heroin addicts that run it. They use newspapers and spit. After they wash it, they have an orgy in the car.

Why the hell do you automatically assume the only people capable of doing a good job are the enthusiasts or something that has to be expensive? I work in the (former) MGM building in Century City where the building is occupied by law firms, entertainment agents and wealth management firms. It's not a fvcking corner lot mini mall where the anchor tenant is a laundry mat.

It appears YOUR experience is where ever you live, they have crappy services. Good luck with that.

V locity
06-20-12, 08:34 AM
I'm thinking the neighborhood college girls can use the homeless guys to wash the car?
93661

SoCalCTSV
06-20-12, 09:35 AM
I'm thinking the neighborhood college girls can use the homeless guys to wash the car?
<img src="http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=93661"/>

Holy Crap!

jwall09
06-20-12, 11:15 PM
Well, these things don't happen at my local wash. Bentleys, Ferraris, Lambos, and a lot of other expensive cars going there. They actually do a GREAT job of putting the fear of God into their employees about proper practices and procedure. A dropped rag NEVER touches anything else - it goes straight back for cleaning. Separate rags denoted by color are used for tires and paint. All cars get any visible or loose dirt sprayed off carefully being going thru the wash. The washing strips and brushes are replaced regularly as are the rags- usually every week I see a completely new batch of rags being deployed.

Like I said, my previous car, a black one, was washed there for 6 years and no swirls, so I feel comfortable with them. No, this is more about me venting about my failure in doing something as simple as washing a car...

As for washing the car in the garage - I guess yours is a lot bigger than mine!

I know your venting, but Zainos spot free car wash is some really, really good stuff.... and try sheeting the water with the hose as a final rinse - watch the Adams polishing youtube for how to wash your car to see the sheeting - the black corvette video.

Haze
06-21-12, 12:01 AM
Yeah, hard water is a pain, and there isn't a whole lot that you can do about it. Odds are that you car wash is filtering their water since most of them in places prone to drought are required to reuse water.

You probably would have had slightly better luck by one, washing the car in the shade, or at least straight out of the garage to prevent quick drying of the water. Two, drying with a terry towel is the better way to go than trying to blow dry the car. Three, not sure what you used for soap, but anything other than a purpose made auto wash, is probably going to strip your wax off the car, especially dish washing liquid whose whole purpose is to break down wax and grease. Also, when it is really hot like that, washing in the early morning or setting sun are easier than the heat of the day.

I know that you didn't want advice, but this has happened to all of us once or twice. Don't sweat it, and there is nothing wrong with taking it to a car wash. I only hand wash when I am going to paste wax, and I only do that every few years. The rest of the time it's the carwash for me!

mannyz
06-21-12, 11:30 AM
Just use a stool to clean the wheels. I picked one up for 49 bucks. It has wheels and is easy to move from spot to spot. I use it to wash my wheels and wax the sides and bumpers. I have a herniated disc and can't bend for long myself.

Also pick up one of these....Makes cleaning the barrels VERY easy.

http://www.autogeek.net/ezdebrfca.html

He doesn't want a stool dammit! Option 1 is better as long as it comes with pics.

cdog533
06-21-12, 11:54 AM
Actually it's a bunch if homeless heroin addicts that run it. They use newspapers and spit. After they wash it, they have an orgy in the car.

Why the hell do you automatically assume the only people capable of doing a good job are the enthusiasts or something that has to be expensive? I work in the (former) MGM building in Century City where the building is occupied by law firms, entertainment agents and wealth management firms. It's not a fvcking corner lot mini mall where the anchor tenant is a laundry mat. It appears YOUR experience is where ever you live, they have crappy services. Good luck with that.

It's casual man; I'm not arguing. Maybe your guys are good.

All I'm saying is that I am a good detailer, with years of experience, and I can't wash my car in under an hour. Also, I can't wash a car without inducing some swirls and defects over time. Bear in mind, I use the best possible methods/materials and take the utmost care. But at the end of the day, you are rubbing paint no matter how you slice it. So I still need to do serious paint correction every so often.

Again, most wealthy people I know and work with have super swirly cars from the hack washes at their condo buildings, parking garages, and health clubs...

SoCalCTSV
06-21-12, 01:43 PM
It's casual man; I'm not arguing. Maybe your guys are good.

All I'm saying is that I am a good detailer, with years of experience, and I can't wash my car in under an hour. Also, I can't wash a car without inducing some swirls and defects over time. Bear in mind, I use the best possible methods/materials and take the utmost care. But at the end of the day, you are rubbing paint no matter how you slice it. So I still need to do serious paint correction every so often.

Again, most wealthy people I know and work with have super swirly cars from the hack washes at their condo buildings, parking garages, and health clubs...

One day, I will buy two of everything. One to drive and one to put under a glass case. I'm not that rich though.

thebigjimsho
06-21-12, 08:46 PM
Not to argue, but for $15 they can't be doing a good job. I'm guessing its the typical squad of hack illegals with a bunch of rags and squirt bottles doing the typical 15 minute wash. Usually, that doesn't end well.

And it has been my experience that luxury car owners typically have VERY swirly cars for 2 reasons: 1) they don't know what swirl marks are and 2) they never wash their cars themselves, always blindly trusting a bunch of guys with dirty rags to wash it. Also, a lot of luxury car owners tend not to be 'car guys' and people that aren't 'car guys' don't know anything about swirl marks or hologramming...

If you think your car looks good, look at it either in the direct sun, under gas station flourescents at night, or in a dark garage with a halogen flashlight. You'll see the swirls....

Not necessarily. I've seen some garages that have these services as a draw for the high end renter. If you have a steady stream of cars to wash, $15 can be profitable per car if you have no rent fee...

carterb
06-24-12, 04:20 PM
I have lived in Southeast TX over 30 years and agree with all the suggestions above:

Never wash in direct sunlight - wash in the morning or afternoon in the shade.
I also have one of those wheel brushes for behind the wheel spokes - bought it at the Corvette Museum (also in Griot) - use it on both my Corvette and CTSV - works great! I also have the smaller version of that brush .
I can completely wash my car within 30 minutes - don't dilly-dally around when drying it. I use two clean white cotton towels (no fabric softner when in the dryer). One for the wet drops and one to finish off the fine droplets. Never had any spot or scratch issues.
I wax the cars about once-twice a year.
Also use Westley's Bleche-white on the wheels to clean them (works great on my wide-whites on my '55 chevy also)
A light touch of Meguire's wheel dressing and you're good to go.

Haze
06-24-12, 08:38 PM
Carterb - Sounds like a great process. Pretty close to what I do.

Darnell
06-24-12, 10:59 PM
I took my car in yesterday for a maintenance wash from my detailer - After

http://youtu.be/sTGWVx2XUis

Video I shot there one night after hours - NSFW?

http://youtu.be/yVVAAXNc8m4

SoCal_V
06-24-12, 11:21 PM
Yeah, hard water is a pain, and there isn't a whole lot that you can do about it.

As mentioned but seemingly ignored in this thread, if the car is towel dried with Griot's Spray On Wax, the hard water disappears.

We have absurdly hard water where I live...no spots on the V.

Mystical_Ice
06-25-12, 10:33 AM
Hey OP - send me your email addr and phone number. Would love for you to join the next time we have a little Houston V meet. Same goes for any other Houston V owners that have posted here

The $30 unlimited washes - you're talking about Mr. Car Wash, right? Curious - what side of town do you live? I've taken my Vs there for 5+ years, and never had an incident. I don't trust drive-through washes, but Mister Car Wash is good at what they do.

V locity
06-25-12, 10:42 AM
MI... Where in Houston are you?

DangFoo
06-25-12, 02:26 PM
As mentioned but seemingly ignored in this thread, if the car is towel dried with Griot's Spray On Wax, the hard water disappears.

We have absurdly hard water where I live...no spots on the V.

Good advice and I use the Meguiars spray detail or wax with a terry cloth and it does the trick with removing water spots too.

6104696
06-26-12, 09:56 AM
has anybody used that Griots inline water filter? It seems quite pricey at $110 per refill, and with only a 400 gallon maximum use (per the griot's chart), that's some expensive water softening. With the Mr. Clean system, the $5 filters were supposed to be good for 5 washings....I used to get around eight or nine washings before I noticed a degradation...but that filter was only used for final rinse.....

curvedinfinity
06-27-12, 12:23 AM
The spray wax comment inspired me to grab some meguire's ultimate spray wax. Have to say, the stuff is fantastic. Cleans up water spots and fills in swirls. Works magic on the gloss black interior trim too. It doesn't turn plastics white like liquid wax, so it can be left on all surfaces except for glass.