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Touchless Car Wash

4242 Views 27 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  iGod
I"ve got a 'Touchless Car Wash' near my house and I used it on my old car. Basically, it's a car wash system that blasts the car with water, sprays on soap, lets it soak for 20 seconds or so, then rinses it all off. At no point does a brush come in contact with the surface of the car. I was wondering what you guys thought of this type of car wash system.

On my old car, I used it as sort of a pre-wash to blast off the big chunks of whatever is sticking to the paint, then I hand washed afterward. Makes it a lot easier to wash if you have the majority of the dust and whatever removed before you hit the paint with your cleaning rag/sponge/whatever. Its easier to focus on the areas that really need your attention.

Any thoughts on why or why not to use a touchless car wash?

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never tried it .. there one near my place too and i've been tempted to try it.. but i think i'd rather just handwash it... save money
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I have always found that washing it myself is better that having some machine do it for me. That way I can scrub the paint to get that extra clean shine. I am not a big fan of the touchless car wash whatsoever, personally I think it is bad for your paint.
Handwash with the wrong rag = scratches. I forgot what they called it, was it SpiderScratches? I don't know, just look at a car on a sunny day and you'll all these scratches, but look at the paint directly and it's perfect.

Touchless is ok, from what I hear, but the tC will leak in water or something from the sunroof? I remember reading some threads that water got in, so look into that before you do.
I've gone through a touchless wash twice... no problems w/ leaks, but the quality isn't nearly as good as if you did it yourself... last resort for me if I have no time or I'm on my way somewhere...
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well the dealership messed up on my car paint because I have a few spiders scratches, but I have gotten them out with the clay bar from mothers so all is well now. Another reason why I do it by myself. Time = Quality
Touchless car washes are a waste of $6 in my opinion, because they don't do much.

Swirl marks are caused by using dirty cloths, abrasive detergent, or applying heavy pressure to a dirty car. Always rinse the car off thoroughly first to remove anything big (and hard) enough to scratch the paint.
If you're going to go through an automatic car wash, make sure it is touchless. The one's that aren't scratch paint way too easily. Of course, the safest and best results are obtained when you hand wash it yourself (cheaper too)
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^^ I wouldn't say so.

You could use that Spotless Dry from Mr. Clean thing, which is somewhat expensive. You can buy microfiber towels, which I don't know how much they're worth. Clay bar, bucket, hose, etc...
Originally posted by SilverX@Nov 7 2004, 11:33 PM
^^ I wouldn't say so.

You could use that Spotless Dry from Mr. Clean thing, which is somewhat expensive. You can buy microfiber towels, which I don't know how much they're worth. Clay bar, bucket, hose, etc...
Yea sure the cost up front is more expensive to use what you want but over time it is cheaper because you get it done how you want it and use the chemicals that you know work.

Using the touchless keeps the dirt on there and then when you go towel it off, it scratches the paint big time! Making it really the end result cost more because you will have to wax and wax or clay bar several times to get all of those scratches to dissapear.
Well, since I live in the apartment, these touchless washes are pretty much the only thing that I used to wash my cars. I'd say it depends on how good their filter is - cause most of them are recycling water, so if the filter sucks you get spots. We had 2 in my area that went bad over summer - started off with no spots, now it does not make any difference if you wash the car or not - just the pattern of spots change
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Yeah you can go nuts and buy a ton of stuff (like me
) but it doesn't cost that much for the basic stuff. You can get MF towels for a couple bucks each and I think most people have a hose and some kind of bucket laying around. Oh and claybars are not really a part of the washing process as most people use it to prep their car prior to polishing/waxing.

Spider webs and other types of micro marring can be kept to a minimum as long as you are careful when washing.
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I've washed my car at least 15 times since I got it, and all but one of those times I went to the touchless carwash to do it. The local Scion Owners Club here frequents the carwash (particularly on Saturday afternoons before we head to the weekly car show) and they're working on a deal so members of the club get a $2.00 discount each time.

Even without that discount, though...I love it.

It has an underbody spray as you're driving into the wash stall, it presoaks, washes, rinses, has a wax/clear coat protectant, and dries pretty well, too. After the wash, I always pull up to their vacuums and finish off the drying with my Absorber (get the door sill and hatch area, etc), shine up my tires and wipe off the rims, then vacuum and use protectant on the inside. (It's nice having all the guys that work there checking out my car, too...hehe.)

Every time people at work see my car, they comment on how clean it is and joke about me washing it so much I'd wash the paint right off if I could.
So far the touchless wash has done a great job at getting all the (visible) dirt off the body of the car and I have NEVER had a problem with water entering my tC. The only areas it doesn't clean quite so well are the inside of the rims, and the wheel wells (so I have to do that myself now and then).

I don't worry too much about it ruining my paint (I've had a ding on the front of my car for awhile now and I always check after the wash to see if the paint is being blasted away from around the edge of the chip...but it still looks the same). Also, I have an external decal on my wind deflector and it's been through the wash 5 times now, with no incident.

True, it does get expensive pretty quickly, but the wash has a buy 5 get one free deal, which keeps me hooked on it, and I'm still in the "new car" phase, so I want to pamper it a bit. The bad weather is coming soon though, and I'll have to be washing it much more often, so I'll break out the bucket and microfiber towels then. Hehe.
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Talk about reviving an old thread... but I am a bit behind here
I just picked up my IIP tC last Friday and in the past 6 days it has gotten very very dirty. All the road salt in New England seemed to have made it onto my car. Anyways, I just brought it to a touchless car wash (Mr. Sparkle in East Hartford) and I gotta say that for the $4 it cost it definitley did a damn good job. It will never beat a good hand job.......
but when it's 10 degrees outside you can't beat it! wow... I'm done..
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Touchless is great for the quickies (carwash that is - d'oh) when your tC is covered with salt after snow. They're also great for the underbody blast too. Usually won't look as good as a handwash/Zaino would look but works in a pinch.
touchless is the best i would say for me..cuz i got a black sand im in there like every other day
During the winter I have no choice but to use a touchless. I never used them untill I moved here but it does the job to get all the salt and crap off my car. The underbody comes in handy and is almost a necessity here in the winter. Whenever I have the chance (weather and time permitting) I always wash my car by hand.
i went to a "touchless" car wash but its not really touchless, they still have some things that touch your car and i got a pretty nasty scratch from it so im never going to one again
Originally posted by superchargedscion@Apr 26 2005, 05:41 PM
i went to a "touchless" car wash but its not really touchless, they still have some things that touch your car and i got a pretty nasty scratch from it so im never going to one again

Then it obviously wasn't touchless, it may have been "brushless" though
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If you are in a rush then they are great, but don't use the car washes with the track that pulls your tire along... I used it once and the dealer noticed and said it was scratching the inside of my tire which could possibly cause tire damage!!!
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