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2016 XTS Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
Looks like I might need to take my coupe to the car wash locally. Both leading sites have the material strips that wash the car. Dont know what you call them - but they dont use the round spinning brushes which I understand we should avoid to prevent swirl marks. Not sure about the wheel cleaning. I think they both use the standard track for rolling the car through the wash.
Any recommendations on what wash technology to avoid or which is preferred and any names associated with either?
 

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2012 Black Diamond CTS-V Coupe
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You are referring to soft cloth car washes. U only use touchless. It may not come out as clean, but the soft cloth may not either as it can't reach everywhere, like underneath the decklid by the license plate.
 

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Previous: '08 CTS4, '09 CTS, '11 CTS4, all Premium models. No longer own a Cadillac.
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JG, do not bring your CTS to any automatic car wash facility that utilizes 'soft cloths' or 'spinning brushes' or a track that rolls your car through.
Note with the soft cloth method some of the grit removed from previous vehicles being washed can remain on the cloth media and get transferred onto your car's paint finish, as the cloth strips strike your vehicle and move all around.
Use only touchless when you need to bring your car for an automatic wash. There must be at least one touch-free car wash facility in your area.
 

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'11 CTS 3.6 Premium, Black on Black, 19" Summer Tire Package
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I go only to "hand" car washes -- water and soap are sprayed on the car, but only men with large sponges and soft cloths actually touch it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
No touchless down here in the south. Its usually the do-it-yourself or gas station washes. What does touchless look like? Nothing touches car? Hows that work?
 

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'11 CTS 3.6 Premium, Black on Black, 19" Summer Tire Package
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Looks like a regular car wash. When the car enters the tunnel, there are two or three guys with high-powered hoses who wash the worst of the dirt off the car, then scrub the tires and wheels with soapy water and brushes, then go over the entire car with soapy water and large sponges or soft cloths. As the car moves through the tunnel, it's sprayed with soap and then water, rinsed a couple of times, blown dry, then hand dried. Costs about $8 to $10 around here. Any system that doesn't actually touch the car in one way or another isn't going to remove all of the dirt.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe, Premium Pkg
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I wish we had something like that in Cleveland. I'm with jghiller....the winter salt is brutal here and unless you have access to a heated garage, there are few options for getting your car clean. There are hand wash locations, but they are generally either very expensive, or located in parts of town that I would rather not take my car. To get a decent clean, automatic car washes are sometimes the only viable option. I certainly don't like doing it, but I admit to taking my chances with them from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Never saw one on the east coast - ever - dont exist - nowhere I have ever been in northeast. Have to deal with the best I can find.
 

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2010 AWD Sportwagon, Diamond white, 3.6 DI
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Hard to believe you don't have any! I think around here, they're all going that way. From outside, looks like a regular drive thru wash. Inside, you drive in to bay and stop when indicated, then a spraybar moves around the car once for each stage, soap, high power wash, rinse, then you exit slowly thru ducted dryer air. Car is untouched and more or less clean, depending on how dirty it was. Most, if washed regularly, come out looking pretty good. Well dried on bugs, bird droppings, road tar and the like, don't really come off completely, if at all. Nothing beats good old fashion elbow grease.
 

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I wish we had something like that in Cleveland. I'm with jghiller....the winter salt is brutal here and unless you have access to a heated garage, there are few options for getting your car clean. There are hand wash locations, but they are generally either very expensive, or located in parts of town that I would rather not take my car. To get a decent clean, automatic car washes are sometimes the only viable option. I certainly don't like doing it, but I admit to taking my chances with them from time to time.
Really? I run mine through the laser wash and it comes clean everytime. Parma, strongsville, brookpark, just a few places that have a laser wash
 

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2011 CTS Coupe, Premium Pkg
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Laser washes work ok, but there is still always a film on the car if it's not being touched at any stage of the wash. I would NEVER run a towel across my car after coming out if a laser wash. And air dryers...well we all know those are mediocre at best. For anyone that has a black car, air dryers are our enemy, as they do nothing but leave water spots everywhere. The other poster was describing a car wash where you pull in and someone actually washes the car by hand, before sending it through a laser wash type tunnel. That, I have never seen.
 

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I have always used a soft touch car wash and never had a problem or even any fine scratches. Maybe I've just been lucky or the washer tech is new as the company just refurbished the whole system.
 

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Hard to believe you don't have any! I think around here, they're all going that way. From outside, looks like a regular drive thru wash. Inside, you drive in to bay and stop when indicated, then a spraybar moves around the car once for each stage, soap, high power wash, rinse, then you exit slowly thru ducted dryer air. Car is untouched and more or less clean, depending on how dirty it was. Most, if washed regularly, come out looking pretty good. Well dried on bugs, bird droppings, road tar and the like, don't really come off completely, if at all. Nothing beats good old fashion elbow grease.
^ MKWAGON, yes it's hard to believe so many forum members in the US don't have touch-free car washes where they live. In southwestern Ontario we have many of them - probably 15 or more in London, ON alone. There's a Petro-Canada touch-free car wash 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) away from where I live, and it's great. Many high-end cars visit this particular facility, which I rank as probably the best around. The high power wash & rinse cycles do a really good job in getting the car clean, surprisingly even in winter. On initial entry into the wash bay there's a high power under-carriage spray as well as other high power sprayers that clean the wheels, tires and wheel wells. On exiting the wash, if your car hasn't been cleaned to your satisfaction, facility staff will provide you a free re-wash. One (1) full-feature 'SuperWorks' car wash costs $11.00 and comes with a 48-hour weather guarantee - which basically means you can bring your car back (or any car of your choice) for a wash within 48 hours of when you initially used the wash entry ticket/barcode.
A Petro-Canada season car wash pass costs $169.00, which gives you 90 car washes over 90 consecutive days. As such the season pass allows you to have your car washed every day for less than $2.00. Any drawbacks? Yes - the season pass is very popular in winter, and there's often a line of cars ahead of you awaiting a wash. It takes about 5 minutes to wash each car, so if there are 6 cars in front you'll be waiting about 30 minutes. Like many things in life timing is everything. :)
My '11 CTS has only ever had hand washes (usually by me) and touch-free automatic washes. My vehicle's paint/clearcoat finish is perfect, with no visible swirl marks.
 

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2012 Black Diamond CTS-V Coupe
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RAB said:
^ MKWAGON, yes it's hard to believe so many forum members in the US don't have touch-free car washes where they live. In southwestern Ontario we have many of them - probably 15 or more in London, ON alone. There's a Petro-Canada touch-free car wash 1 kilometre (0.6 mile) away from where I live, and it's great. Many high-end cars visit this particular facility, which I rank as probably the best around. The high power wash & rinse cycles do a really good job in getting the car clean, surprisingly even in winter. On initial entry into the wash bay there's a high power under-carriage spray as well as other high power sprayers that clean the wheels & tires. On exiting the wash, if your car hasn't been cleaned to your satisfaction, facility staff will provide you a free re-wash.
A Petro-Canada season car wash pass costs $169.00, which gives you 90 car washes over 90 consecutive days. As such the season pass allows you to have your car washed every day for less than $2.00. Any drawbacks? Yes - the season pass is very popular in winter, and there's often a line of cars ahead of you awaiting a wash. It takes about 5 minutes to wash each car, so if there are 6 cars in front you'll be waiting about 30 minutes. Like many things in life timing is everything. :)
There were several of those in the Chicago Metro area when I lived there. I member a particular model (Laserwash 4000) that did a great job, even in the winter.

When I moved to southeast Michigan I can't find any decent touch less car washes. There is one near my house that I only use to get the real heavy stuff off in the winter when it's too cold to go to one of those self-service bays. As a result I never wipe the car down afterwards.

If anyone in the Detroit metro/Ann Arbor area knows of a good touch less car wash, let me know.
 

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There is a touchless laserwash on E. Ellsworth just east of Carpenter road in Pittsfield township (ann arbor). Next to Steak and Shake and Oil Change place. I used it yesterday with great results.
 

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We have the touchless washes here in Denver, but I prefer the power washes. That's the DIY washes with a couple different wands and a brush. They have 7-8 different settings and you can choose the ones you want to use. I can always do a better job washing th car and I don't have to touch the paint if I dn't want to. I always bring a few towels and dry it when I'm done. The power wash places usually have 4-6 bays as well so the wait is usually shorter. Once you get the hang of them, you can usually get you car clean(er) for about 1/2 the price of the drive through touchless uto washes.
 

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We have the touchless washes here in Denver, but I prefer the power washes. That's the DIY washes with a couple different wands and a brush. They have 7-8 different settings and you can choose the ones you want to use. I can always do a better job washing th car and I don't have to touch the paint if I dn't want to. I always bring a few towels and dry it when I'm done. The power wash places usually have 4-6 bays as well so the wait is usually shorter. Once you get the hang of them, you can usually get you car clean(er) for about 1/2 the price of the drive through touchless uto washes.
I agree and I do that too, but sometimes it still is too damn cold.
 

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I wish we had something like that in Cleveland. I'm with jghiller....the winter salt is brutal here and unless you have access to a heated garage, there are few options for getting your car clean. There are hand wash locations, but they are generally either very expensive, or located in parts of town that I would rather not take my car. To get a decent clean, automatic car washes are sometimes the only viable option. I certainly don't like doing it, but I admit to taking my chances with them from time to time.
I'll give you a little help. There are several laser/touch-free washes in the Cleveland area that are actually decent. I use them mostly for the undercarriage cleaning as I do have a (unheated) garage that I use to hand wash my car. Usually, I do the laser wash, then immediately do a more full hand wash of my car in the garage.

There's a Parma Laser Wash on Pleasant Valley Rd., Fairview Lazer wash on Lorain Av., and Valley Laser Wash at the corner of Granger and Canal in Valley View. I use the one in Valley View as it's closest to me. They don't do as good a job as a good hand wash, but again, I use it mostly for the undercarriage cleaning, which I can't do in my garage.
 
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