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Old 04-01-2010, 12:54 PM
Status: "Hope is a walking dream." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
864 posts, read 2,983,650 times
Reputation: 691

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I am a detailer on the side and specialize in paint correction. Let me tell you that I can always tell what cars have been through automatic car washes...the damage they inflict is sometimes unbelievable. Also, the capabilities of standard over-the-counter car wax are greatly exaggerated. The coat will last 30 to 45 days, maximum! This is why I use sealant which is good for 3 to 6 months, depending on the prevailing weather conditions. And despite what your dealer may have told you about their fancy new protection package, there is no such thing as a sealant that lasts 7 years. It's baloney.

And for your pupil-perusing pleasure, here are some photos of a car I did work on last year. This was not a full correction or detail by any means but it helps to get the point across as to the damage automatic tunnel washes will inflict over the years.

This car is supposed to be black with a blue metallic flake.


The right side has been polished, the left side has not.


And again...


And a sun shot....
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:41 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,432,320 times
Reputation: 1616
I usually get my car detailed by this college guy with a polisher twice a year and it makes a difference. The only prob is that after 4 or 5 weeks the scratches and swirls start to resurface. Unless you're anally obsessive and can afford weekly touchups & proper non-abrassive washing regimen, it's a lost cause imho.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:55 PM
Status: "Hope is a walking dream." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Still in Portland, Oregon, for some reason
864 posts, read 2,983,650 times
Reputation: 691
Proper washing techniques go a LOONG way in preventing swirl marks but with today's soft paint, sometimes it's very difficult to avoid swirling and marring.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:02 AM
 
10,485 posts, read 22,565,034 times
Reputation: 6611
I have owned my car now for 3 years. I can honestly say I have never washed it even once. Ahh....the pleasures of owning a beater car.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:49 PM
 
404 posts, read 1,210,093 times
Reputation: 219
^ i guess thats what rain is for

and wind is for drying
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Virginia
7,894 posts, read 12,153,223 times
Reputation: 3554
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Use to love to take a weekend to wash, wax, and detail clean not only the interior, but also under the hood, in the door frame, and the trunk area.
We've always done a good job keeping the outside of our cars looking good along with the interior, but never under the hood. Anybody have any tips on cleaning the engine compartment of a car with dirt typical of a car with 30k miles?
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