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Merry Christmas everyone!

My 08 is galaxy black. I live in Indianapolis and we just got pounded last week by snow. Lots of salt on the roads now that the snow is melting off. It's been really cold. My question is we have a chain of car washes here called Mikes Car wash.

It's NOT a touchless wash and i was wondering about scratches especially with a black truck. I'm concerned about residule caught in the strands that wash the vehicles. Any worries? I definately have to get the truck cleaned off and a handwash is out of the question throughout the winter.

The hand held spray guns never seem to do a very good job and can be time consuming and the amount of coins can get up to around the cost of Mikes so which way do most of your guys do your trucks here in winter wonderland?
 

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I have 2 black vehicles and swirl marks are a constant battle. A "car wash" whether its touchless or not will leave numerous amounts of swirl marks in your clearcoat. I would recommend doing it yourself. Wash with a genuine sheepskin mit and polish/wax with a good microfiber towel.

Always wash a dark car with how the wind flows over your vehicle. Don't wash in circles or up and down. Wash how the wind would flow over your vehicle.....basically side to side.
 

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996tt_sc said:
Always wash a dark car with how the wind flows over your vehicle. Don't wash in circles or up and down. Wash how the wind would flow over your vehicle.....basically side to side.
I don't get it,why does that matter? And doesn't the wind flow mostly front to back?
 

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I believe by "side to side" he meant front to back as he stated don't wash up and down.

Old-School: I would'nt run that thing through a car wash right now. The salt / rocks would destroy your paint.

Just wait for a day above freezing, bundle up and grab a hose.
 

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Nissan Mike said:
I don't get it,why does that matter? And doesn't the wind flow mostly front to back?
Reason you wash it side to side with the flow of the air over the vehicle is because its harder to see the swirl marks. You WILL get swirl marks no matter how you wash your vehicle.

Its easier to see swirl marks that are vertical and in a circular motion due to sunlight. Its much harder to see the swirl marks when they "flow" (side to side) on a vehicle.

Hope this helps.

Chris
 

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I wait for a day when it will be above freezing for a few hours and take it to one of the high-pressure hand-wand places. I would never run it through one of those places with the whirling brushes...that's just an invitation to ruin your finish. The high-pressure places aren't great but they do get the salt and crud off...and at least it looks a bit better afterward, if not perfect.
 

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I've had several black vehicles (gave up) and if you run them through any car wash that isn't touchless you will regret it. Wash it by hand after getting as much dirt as possible off with your sprayer or hose. Use microfiber mits and dry with a squeegee. Lay down a nice coat of synthetic polish and you should be good to go.
 

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Used a POS car wash with brushes, now I have a handful of new scratches on my new truck. Never again.
 

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996tt_sc said:
I have 2 black vehicles and swirl marks are a constant battle. A "car wash" whether its touchless or not will leave numerous amounts of swirl marks in your clearcoat. I would recommend doing it yourself. Wash with a genuine sheepskin mit and polish/wax with a good microfiber towel.

Always wash a dark car with how the wind flows over your vehicle. Don't wash in circles or up and down. Wash how the wind would flow over your vehicle.....basically side to side.

Outstanding advice...couldn't have said it better myself. Never, and I mean NEVER, wash or dry or wax in circular motions. I've never heard "the way the wind blows over the car" but it makes sense. Always front to back. Also, when waxing you never want to push too hard unless you're polishing but then you should be using a machine or paying someone to do it right as most people aren't familiar with the proper use of buffing or polishing machines. Microfiber is KEY as well. They are the best thing to hit the detailer's cart in a long time. Use them for everything! Washing, drying, windows, interior, wax and polish application, and buffing. Every once in a while, Sam's Club has a bulk package of 25 16"x16" towels for under $10. Buy 2 packages and use as many as you like each time you wash and wax. Wash them with detergent; NO FABRIC SOFTENER! It leaves a residue in the towels that smears. I called Sam's to see if they had the towels and the guy said they are seasonal and should be back in the stores after Christmas. Stock up because it's an incredible deal!

Another good washing tip is to use 2 buckets to wash. Fill one with cold water and one with soapy water. Rinse each time you go to re-suds your mit. It keeps all the dirt and particles in the rinse bucket so you're not cleaning your truck with dirty water. The best thing going for drying is a squegee (spelling?) like the California Blade, which happens to be what I use. You can get them just about anywhere. If you've never used them before, don't be afraid. It's made of super soft and relatively thin silicone rubber. It's IMPOSSIBLE to scratch your paint with it. When you're using it, it squeaks and squeals but trust me, it's not scratching. It removes the bulk of the water and usually 2 or 3 of the microfiber towels is all you need to finish drying the rest. The idea is to limit the amount of towel contact with your paint.

I like to finish everything off with a good in-between quick detailer like Meguire's or similar. If you wash your truck once a week then wax it once a month and you'll be amazed how easy it is to maintain. Lastly, everyone has their own methods to cleaning; these are just mine. Pick and choose the things you like and do what makes you comfortable and gets the results you want. By the way, I just used Zymol wax on my Smoke Titan and let me tell how bad*ss this stuff is. You can actually see where you left off, it makes that much of a difference. One coat down and the shine and feel are fantastic. Oh, and I clay barred the paint first....big plus I feel. Sorry for the long post but I get a kick out cleaning my truck and offering suggestions. Cleaning vehicles is relaxing in my opinion and seeing the end result is a real joy. Happy cleaning! :cheers:
 

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^^^^Great advice as well. I use Zaino products myself. Another good way to keep scratches to a minimum is limiting the amount of drying you do on the vehicle.

Leave suds on the car. Don't do a panel and then rinse it off. Wash the entire car and leave the suds on; then rinse the car of with a normal nozzle/hose.

Once all suds are off and the vehicle has been rinsed, take off the nozzle that is attached to the hose. Turn down the water pressure so the water is just dribbling out of the hose. Starting from the top of the vehicle, move the hose around and watch the water sheet off. When you use this technique and take off the nozzle, the water will sheet off leaving less water for you to dry on the car = less scratches/swirls from the drying towel.
 

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Another good washing tip is to use 2 buckets to wash. Fill one with cold water and one with soapy water. Rinse each time you go to re-suds your mit. It keeps all the dirt and particles in the rinse bucket so you're not cleaning your truck with dirty water.
Good tip. My method is to take the hose and spray the mit before putting in the soap bucket each time. The high pressure water does a good job of blowing out embedded grit.
 

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Great advice everyone!! One more tip is in the bucket with the soap. Use the hottest water "from the sink" your hands can handle. Seems to clean way better than cold. IMO
 

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HemiETR said:
Great advice everyone!! One more tip is in the bucket with the soap. Use the hottest water "from the sink" your hands can handle. Seems to clean way better than cold. IMO

I'm not sure if this is true or not, so don't take it as a disagreement to your comment. I've read and been told NOT to use hot water when washing. This sounds retarded and logical at the same time but, supposedly it can soften the clear enough to promote scratching. I'm still looking into that but I've always used cold in case there's any truth to it. At the very least I would think it would have negative effects on the wax. After I'm done waxing my vehicles, I actually take a microfiber towel dampened with very cold water and go over the entire vehicle lightly and then buff it dry with a dry one. I never knew what that did, I just did it. I know several pro detailers who I've seen do this and I just do it too. Never asked why. As mentioned before, I just waxed my truck with Zymol and lo and behold the bottle directions say to mist the car with a spray bottle when your done and buff dry. It says it helps "set" the wax. Who knows? Anyone hear or know anything similar to this? Inquiring minds wanna know!
 

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I have to agree with buildwonder. This is also another reason why you should not wash or wax your vehicle in direct sunlight. The warmer the clear coat the softer it is and therefore more susceptible to scratches.
 

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I say, move to florida.:smoke:

:cheers: lol

it was almost 75 and sunny today. going to wash and wax my beast tomorrow!!

Really, a useful tip: take the nozzle off the hose and let the water "sheet off". run full stream over the truck, this will minimize residual water. And as bad as this sounds, I actually get out my blower (not my girl friend:boxing: ) and blow off the truck before i dry( with a microfiber towel).

a really great site is autopia.org.

anyways - have fun in the snow:gunz:
 

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This is mainly why I held out for ther Blizzard. Black is awsome when it's clean, but that's only for about 9 minutes, then it shows dust and swirl marks!
I have hot and cold running to my hose in the garage. That's how I wash it all year. Really cold cold weather and I do take it to the local car wash but it's a really good car wash. They pre clean it and take it thru while you sit inside and have coffee. They also vaccuum the interior, do all windows inside and out, then completely hand dry the truck. Not cheap, but good...and white hides everything!
 

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Here in CT. I go through the touch less car wash. I hate having the salt and grime on my truck.

I use Klasse AIO and SG.
 

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Hey guys, here's a follow-up to one of my previous posts within this thread: I went to Sam's Club yesterday and guess what I found? Two pallets of microfiber gold! Apparently, Sam's Club doesn't hire very observant people as the person I called there said they didn't have any. They're exactly $9.56 for 25 of them. They have several colors available so if you're plagued with random OCD tendencies as I am, you can buy different colors and color-code them for various duties. Blue is for drying because water is blue, yellow is for buffing because you can see any little remnant of scratch-likely particles that may have found there way onto the towel, and green is for windows and interior because........because........they're green.:dunno:
 
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