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I know most people reading this stuff wash their own cars, but I always used drive thrus before, without incidence.The other day I drove the SOP thru and it made horrible sounds.The wash straps were pulling at the rearveiws and sucked the rear wiper straight out. Is anyone else concerned about the drive thru? Today I joined the car nuts (no offense Im well on my way) at the self wash.Strangely satisfying through terribly time consuming.My two little boys were inside driving hot wheels all over the interior while I got the washtime work out. Im short and the E is not. Also Im a clean freak(got wicked top dollar on both of my other cars).People snicker at clean freaks until its time to buy their house or car then they adore you.
I cant always hand wash please send answers for this dilema. Especially wiper in back? thanks in advance FT
 

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I always used drive throughs until I took my baby E for it's first car wash when he was 10 days old....and they chipped the farking paint! $560 worth of damage! (there is a post in this forum all about the experience) Now I only wash my E by myself by hand!
 

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2003 2WD MT GG, 55K as of 3/20(!), It’s a Fun Box
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I tried a quick & easy option for in-between cleans. Kragen's had a Turtle Way car wash product in a package like the outdoor windex package.

You attach it to your hose, it has a pretty tight nozzle so it causes the water to jet pretty well. First you rinse off the car really well, turnthe switch to detergent, and really foamy "self cleaning" detergent comes out, then you switch back to rinse. It's supposedly similar to the touchless car wash detergent. They also make a spray wax but I didn't try that. The wash actually exceeded my expectations (did have to hand-wipe the wheels, but nothing else). The bugs were all gone, too. I didn't expect that at all.

Here's a link to their page for the stuff: http://www.partsamerica.com/PartDet...Code=TTL&MfrPartNumber=T406&CategoryCode=3299
 

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[quote:ca15017e51="frenchtoast"]I cant always hand wash please send answers for this dilema. Especially wiper in back? thanks in advance FT[/quote:ca15017e51]

I use 2 car wash places...

One is a place that is not touchless but they pre spray the car down before it goes in and they tape the rear wiper to the glass with low tack blue painters tape. The car wash itself is very clean, seems safe, and does a good job. When the car wash is over they towel dry the car completely and pull the tape off. Great place to go! Find one like that and you're all set.

The second is one of those coin-op do it yourself wash places with wands but they also have a couple of touchless automatic booths that you pull into and this machine spins around with very high pressure blasts that do a great job getting my E clean. No attendants to towel dry here though - I always give my E the 55 MPH chamois afterwards however. :wink:

Finding a place like the second one I describe is probably your best bet. A good "real" car wash is much harder to find.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks you guys. I love the tape idea, I'ld be willing to tape it down myself before going in.I wonder if its just low tack painter's tape?Some places put a baggie on them but its not all that. I have a coin and wand place very nearby its just now I have my boys all summer. All mayhem all the time. They want to help and there is no way that's gonna happen.Thanks again for the product info too. FT
 

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It only takes 1/2 hour or so to wash the Element by hand with a nice brush on a pole, a wheel brush and a chamois. I've been washing mine once a week first thing Sunday mornings. I was parked next to another Element today and mine looked so clean.

By the way, I've got the air deflector attached to my hood, so I wouldn't try a 'drive-thru' car wash just because of that. The last vehicle I had with a 'bug shield/air deflector' had the deflector damaged during the mechanical wash. Not worth it.

8)
 

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I used a touchless car wash the other day and was quite pleased. It did pull the rear wiper away, but only on the hinge, so I folded it back again with no worries.

An automatic brushes and curtain wash is definitely not a good idea for the "E". They were designed for an older class of vehicle, not SUV-stye vehicles like the "E". The vacuum on the end of the line can cause some nasty damage.

I would be quite careful with sprayers at the local coin-op car wash. Very careful around the unprotected rad and cooler at the front of the "E". It won't take much to bend those fins.

A kid's step stool could be used with care to get up on the upper reaches of the roof. I would choose one with rubber steps and a top, if not rubbber feet to avoid slips. I may use one when I get arbout to wash the "E" properly.
 

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I always go in hand car wash and they do a great job.
I've found one near my home and they do a real nice job and the guy over there love my E so much that i always take extra care of it.
He's going to buy one for himself :D
It cost 15 $ once a week so it's not too bad.
I've just tried a product to protect the E panels it's call Armashine and it's made by a canadian company name Kleen-flo.
I like it so far, it give the E a nice finish not too glossy like armorall would do.
Ill post in a couples of days to say how it goes.
 

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I used to use the automatic car washes, until a friend of mine drove his Volvo through and came out the other end with almost $2000 in paint damage!

We have an excellent coin-op place that gets all my business now.
 

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I've used the auto-car wash at the chevron a couple of times. It cleans the E pretty well, except one thing. I've been noticing little "scratches" in the paint that can only be seen up close. Kinda looks like a fingernail was running across it, but its not deep scratches so i'm not sure. I see these after i went to the auto car wash, so it leads me to believe that it might be from there. Could be from a cat or something though...not sure, but better to be safe than sorry. Nice to know that those sprays work. Maybe just for those days that it needs a light cleaning after sitting at the beach all day.
 

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I try to avoid drive thru car washes, they scratch your car and rims......in the Winter here in MA, I would rather have a dirty vehicle than one that "looks" clean up until a foot away where you can see the swirl marks and fading of the paint....and for someone who does detailing for a few selected pll who like my work and take care of their cars by keping a layer of wax to protect it from the "elements" :roll: :lol:

If you do have to go thru these "tunnels"..take a few quarters with you and rinse your vehicle from top to bottom...using only H2O and no soap.....and then get in line ....this will garantee that the 'stuff" stuck on your car will not become a weapon against the paint......(grrr...I hate bird doodoo )

And once the ride is over and you're out...take "WAX AS YOU DRY" in a spray form and coat your vehicle and dry it with a chamois....( I know is work but the shine will last you a bit longer)....because in a week providing there where no birds or road crews applying pavement on the roads...a simple rinse will bring the shine back..... 8)
 
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