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Discussion Starter #1
In the manual it says "Commercially operated automatic car washes, jet washes, and power-operated mops are not recommended."

But in the winter the car gets dirty really quickly, would be insane to be spending $50 for manual handwashes every week. Anyone here uses touchless car washes, and does it really ruin the car's paint/coatings as some may have claimed?
 

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After 9 mos I gave up and went through standard car wash yesterday. You have to brush the car doing a manual wash anyways--I didn't see a difference really.
 

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When I bought my truck a few years ago, they said to stay away from any brush/chamois automatic wash because it would swirl the clearcoat overtime. I would think hand washing it and not waxing would do the same thing?

I used a wand the other day and "hand washed" the F-Pace, but didn't go through the automatic. Not sure what the difference would be from hand washing. With my luck, it's more plausible that I would scratch it trying to hand wash it!
 

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I've never used a touchless wash, but it's definitely a safer option than a traditional car wash. Traditional car washes create a ton of swirl marks in your paint. Touchless washes won't get your car spotless, but they shouldn't create any swirl marks either. Personally, I don't know anyone who has had their car damaged by a touchless wash. It's probably fine to use once in a while.

Before I had access to a heated garage for year round washing (I do all my own washing/detailing) I used to go to a coin-operated wash bay during off peak hours and bring my own supplies (buckets, wash mitt, etc.) and wash it there. The key with that is to not use the wash bay brush, as that will likely swirl your paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies! Other than swirl marks from clothes, any potential problems with "jet washes"? There are multiple warnings in there about "abrasive cleaning fluids," and I'm wondering if touchless car washes' detergents/soap classify under that category.

What kind of soap or detergents do you use for your washes?
 

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After 9 mos I gave up and went through standard car wash yesterday. You have to brush the car doing a manual wash anyways--I didn't see a difference really.
I actually did one last week (heavy snow up here in Vancouver with salt everywhere). At the time I didn't think it could be a problem until I started reading reports how they could potentially damage the coating on the car's paint.

What I'm concerned is whether there are long-term consequences to touchless car washes, from their "jets" to the cleaning fluids they use.
 

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The soaps used in touchless washes are very hard on paint finishes. They strip any protective coating on you paint as part of their wash - i.e. waxes and sealers.

There is no substitute for a two-bucket hand wash with god quality microfiber.
 

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The soaps used in touchless washes are very hard on paint finishes. They strip any protective coating on you paint as part of their wash - i.e. waxes and sealers.

There is no substitute for a two-bucket hand wash with god quality microfiber.
" *GOD* quality " ???? That must be some GOOD Microfiber !!! >:)
 
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The soaps used in touchless washes are very hard on paint finishes. They strip any protective coating on you paint as part of their wash - i.e. waxes and sealers.

There is no substitute for a two-bucket hand wash with god quality microfiber.
Both parts of your comment seem very true to me.

I generally find a clean sheepskin mitt, a proper mild automotive detergent, and a low pressure hose really difficult to deploy at ambient temperatures below freezing, though.

For better or worse, I'd still suggest that an occasional touchless car wash during winter months is preferable to a continuous coating of salt and road grime.
 

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The best solution I have found is to go to a hand spray self serve place during the day when not busy, blast and soap it down, Bring 1 or 2 gal of the hottest water you can in old clean milk jugs, Bucket wash it with your favorite soap..changing water if necessary..
Then another 2.00 to rinse well, blast out the wheel wells, underside that you can reach, and mudflaps. Pull out and wipe dry in the sun if poss, and call it as good as it gets for winter....


I wax them well as late in the year as it allows and then as soon as the snows are over. Seems to maintain finish acceptably year after year....


My 1st 6 months with any new car are like a love story.. but by year 2 or 3..... #%& it just send it thru the soft cloth wash !
 
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I use a touchless car wash at least 2wice a month on both JAGs (I never go to a brush carwash..that is a finish suicide)...I do however, do a spray wax wipe down (with microfiber cloth) after I get it home (I use ICE spray wax)..The only problem you must stay on top of, is the window trim..it is anodized aluminum and will cloud up with too many washings..I use a good polishing compound and then spray wax on the trim to keep it shiny new...


With most these car washes, you get an undercarriage wash too, this will get all the road salts and crap off under there.
 
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The best solution I have found is to go to a hand spray self serve place during the day when not busy, blast and soap it down, Bring 1 or 2 gal of the hottest water you can in old clean milk jugs, Bucket wash it with your favorite soap..changing water if necessary..
Then another 2.00 to rinse well, blast out the wheel wells, underside that you can reach, and mudflaps. Pull out and wipe dry in the sun if poss, and call it as good as it gets for winter....


I wax them well as late in the year as it allows and then as soon as the snows are over. Seems to maintain finish acceptably year after year....


My 1st 6 months with any new car are like a love story.. but by year 2 or 3..... #%& it just send it thru the soft cloth wash !
I would not pull it out in the sun unless you want water spots to form very quickly. Its best to wash and dry in a shaded environment, it won't stop water spots from forming it just takes a lot longer in the shade than it would in the sun.
 

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Well when it's 17 deg and windy..I'll take sun over water spots...
Fairly good chance it will be dirty again in 1-2 days with normal Midwest winters. :)
 

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I agree with you. I live in the Northeast and If I couldn't go through an automatic car wash in the winter, my FE would soon disintegrate from all the **** road salt they use around here. The recommendation in the manual that automatic car washes are not recommended are fine if you live in CA or places like that......but not in these parts. I think there were two concerns that were just not expounded on in the manual - and it should have been. The first being that an automatic car wash that uses brushes would not be good for the finish on the vehicle. This is true and valid. I would avoid those at all costs. However, there are many 'brush-less' car washes now so that shouldn't be a problem. The second one is more tricky and could cause a problem in this case. I found out about it only after an astute tech at my dealership alerted me to it. It has to do with those FPs' that have the 'Hands-Free Gesture Tailgate' option with sensor areas near the rear bumpers. This allows a 'touch-less' opening of the tailgate by waving a 'foot kick' near the sensor. A valid concern was that certain water jets in an automatic car wash could potentially trigger one of the sensors and so could raise the tailgate while going through the carwash. (Nice! That'll get you on YouTube). The tech told me there was an easy way to prevent that from happening. Before going through the car wash, automatic lock all the doors - which also locks the tailgate and disengages the rear sensors. Also, make sure the key fob is not within 39 inches of the rear of the vehicle. Just make sure it's up front with you somewhere. I've been using brush-less automatic car washes since August and have not had a whit of trouble or seen any change in my FE's high gloss metallic finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I use a touchless car wash at least 2wice a month on both JAGs (I never go to a brush carwash..that is a finish suicide)...I do however, do a spray wax wipe down (with microfiber cloth) after I get it home (I use ICE spray wax)..The only problem you must stay on top of, is the window trim..it is anodized aluminum and will cloud up with too many washings..I use a good polishing compound and then spray wax on the trim to keep it shiny new...


With most these car washes, you get an undercarriage wash too, this will get all the road salts and crap off under there.
this would do for now until winter is over. Then I will get my wife to do two-bucket handwashes :D
 

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I agree with you. I live in the Northeast and If I couldn't go through an automatic car wash in the winter, my FE would soon disintegrate from all the **** road salt they use around here. The recommendation in the manual that automatic car washes are not recommended are fine if you live in CA or places like that......but not in these parts. I think there were two concerns that were just not expounded on in the manual - and it should have been. The first being that an automatic car wash that uses brushes would not be good for the finish on the vehicle. This is true and valid. I would avoid those at all costs. However, there are many 'brush-less' car washes now so that shouldn't be a problem. The second one is more tricky and could cause a problem in this case. I found out about it only after an astute tech at my dealership alerted me to it. It has to do with those FPs' that have the 'Hands-Free Gesture Tailgate' option with sensor areas near the rear bumpers. This allows a 'touch-less' opening of the tailgate by waving a 'foot kick' near the sensor. A valid concern was that certain water jets in an automatic car wash could potentially trigger one of the sensors and so could raise the tailgate while going through the carwash. (Nice! That'll get you on YouTube). The tech told me there was an easy way to prevent that from happening. Before going through the car wash, automatic lock all the doors - which also locks the tailgate and disengages the rear sensors. Also, make sure the key fob is not within 39 inches of the rear of the vehicle. Just make sure it's up front with you somewhere. I've been using brush-less automatic car washes since August and have not had a whit of trouble or seen any change in my FE's high gloss metallic finish.
Thanks for the advice! Never thought the gesture tailgate could be a concern.
 

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this would do for now until winter is over. Then I will get my wife to do two-bucket handwashes :D
If I wait for my wife to wash it.... Well, let's just say that ain't gonna happen!

:crying:
 
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