Wash My New Prius Myself Or Go To A Car Wash?!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Grocked, May 27, 2008.

  1. Grocked

    Grocked Green Patriot

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    My Magnetic Grey Prius is less than a month old and is in bad need of its first car wash! I live in Los Angeles where hand wash car washes are very cheap (about $12-$13). I'm a bit concerned about someone else washing my car (dirty rags, carelessness etc..). Should I wash my new Prius myself or trust it to one of the professional (while-u-wait) car washes? Anyone have any positive/negative experiences? Thanks PC!
     
  2. lefat1

    lefat1 Fat Member

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    get urself some microfiber cloths and towels, a chamois, all of which i'm sure the car wash guys dont use, and a good car wash like mcguires and have at it...my spectra blue is 6 months old now and has no swirl marks or scratchs
     
  3. bac

    bac Active Member

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    Please do your finish a favor, and wash your car yourself. IMPORTANT: Do some research about properly washing and caring for your auto's finish first. If you're not willing to do the research, then it really doesn't matter who washes your car. Do the work yourself ... it will pay off with a great looking car for years to come.

    Remember, just 1 bad wash will put swirl marks in your paint's finish. You may be able to buff out some, but it only takes 1 time to damage your finish. Good luck.

    ... Brad

    PS: Anyone use a hitch-mounted cargo carrier? (please click below)

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-main-forum/47716-hitch-mounted-cargo-carrier.html
     
  4. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Another worry is that if you go to an automatic car wash you should remove your antenna.
     
  5. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    Cruiser's car wash on Tampa in Northridge. $7.99 + 6th wash is free. No brushes, hand wash, vacuum, etc. Every 2000 or so miles (about once a month, works for me). Of course my car is white. Dark colors or metallics, may require more care. that's why I have white. Your mileage may vary.
     
  6. GatorJZ

    GatorJZ Member

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    I won't let a car wash near one of my cars. Get a quality dedicated car wash (NOT Dawn), a 5 gallon bucket, a Grit Guard for your bucket, a lambswool mit to wash with and waffle weave microfiber drying towels (Big Blue Waffle Weave) to dry. I would then suggest topping with a good paint sealant such as Ultima Paint Guard Plus or Optimum Opti-Seal....Zaino if you want to spend a lot of time on it. This is an abbreviated version of what I do, but will be entirely satisfactory. You might want to clay the car to remove surface contaminants prior to sealing it. Ultima is a wipe on walk away product. It takes about 10 minutes to apply, let it cure for 12 hours and you are done....no buffing. Zaino is good stuff, but VERY labor intensive compared to what I suggested....just boils down to what you want to spend your free time doing.
     
  7. NoMoShocks

    NoMoShocks Electrical Engineer

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    Use the two bucket method.
     
  8. bac

    bac Active Member

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    That should be a given, but I guess not really.

    ... Brad
     
  9. sktn77a

    sktn77a Member

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    Wash it yourself - it's a small car! Don't use dishwashing liquid as that is very harsh on both wax and paint. And afterwards use a good synthetic paint sealer, eg turtlewax teflon or NuFinish (my favorite) to protect the clearcoat from the sun in SoCal (I lived there for 10 years and I've seen the damage the sun can do to clearcoats - especially on the roof if you "skip" it on occasion).
     
  10. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Zaino is no longer time consuming. I put on this years (spring) coat in about 1 hour. Z2 and ZFX.

    The Prius has such a small surface area it takes little time to wash and polish.

    When washing and polishing, move fore/aft on horizontal surfaces and up/down on vertical surfaces.

    I use a mitt, which I blast clean with the hose (right after rinsing off the part of the car I just washed) each time I'm going to the bucket for wash solution. Usually I just use warm water for washing, though I do have Zaino car wash soap.

    I dry with a micro-fibre cloth, wringing it out frequently. Don't forget inside the door jamb edges, including the hood and hatch (open and wash/dry there).

    Was at a car show on Saturday (showing off Pearl). Pearl is one year old last week. Many people couldn't believe Pearl is a daily driver, including all winter. She looks brand new.
    Hey Toyota, I want a commission! I'm sure I sold 4-6 cars that day. The attendees were amazed she is getting 4.7 l/100 km/60 MPG imperial/50 MPG US. They also commented they were glad to see a Prius there, amidst the hot rods. Hey, parked next to Pearl was a 1952 Hudson Hornet Twin Power, which looked brand new! Hood was open, people were snickering at the flat head six with the dual carbs., until I pointed out that car still holds the NASCAR record for most consecutive season wins. :)
     
  11. Jennjay

    Jennjay Member

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    I'm going to get a lot of slack for this, but going to a car wash is much more environmentally conscious than washing a car yourself. Most car washes reclaim water and there is a lot less waste than washing in your driveway. After all don't a lot of us drive hybrids because it is better for the earth?
     
  12. AltonGrey

    AltonGrey New Member

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    So anybody have any negative opinion of the Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash kit? I use it for the drying feature as the water at my house is hard. I guess using a microfiber towel to dry with would help, but my last car was black, and using a normal towel would leave fibers all over the car. With the Mr. Clean, I don't even need to hand dry it.

    I've been pretty happy with Mr. Clean, but I don't know if the soap is a good quality or not.
     
  13. A Prime Factor

    A Prime Factor Formerly "I want my PHEV"

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    I wash it myself - at the car wash. I like the coin-op washes. It's cheaper than an automatic, and more fun. They have everything you need right there. I usually put in at least $5, then pre-wash, soap, a good rinse, then spot-free rinse. Then I let it air dry, often just drive off and let the water run off. I don't know if that is the best way to wash, but it seems good enough.

    I should probably do some kind of wax, but I'm usually too busy to spend that much time making the car look good. Is there something very easy I could use?
     
  14. Grocked

    Grocked Green Patriot

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    Re: Two Bucket Method??

    Can anyone explain what this "two bucket" method is all about? One bucket for soaping another for rinsing the dirty rag?? Thank you!
     
  15. rfruth

    rfruth Member

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    glad to hear someone say going to a car wash is more environmentally conscious (sad but true)
     
  16. ZC1

    ZC1 Junior Prius Owner

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    It took 5 hours for 4 coats of Z2 and ZFX this weekend. That was time consuming. I wish it was faster.

    Where you the only Prius and the only modern car in this show?
    If you were, my hats off to you.

    Nice and still interesting fact. Thanks.

    ZC1
     
  17. hiremichaelreid

    hiremichaelreid New Member

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    I second that question.

    I read some of the detailing threads, but I don't think I'll ever "clay" my car.

    I applaud those who enjoy detailing, but... Life is too short for ME to spend much time cleaning and detailing.

    My 94 Stealth has a really nice, robust clear-coat shine. I mostly automatic deluxe car washed it every 1-4 weeks for 12 years. It still looks quite nice IMO, given the lack of hand waxing and detailing. Yes, it has swirlies, but they don't bug me; I have to look just right in the light to see them. Are the swirlies from the old fashioned non-touchless washes ? I don't know.

    I sold that car last night and one of the major reasons the buyer liked it was because of the good paint. Strangely a friend had exact same car except red, and his paint was awful looking, but I wonder if that was a factory issue with the red paint.

    I've also used the self-serve washes many times, especially to remove undercarriage grit in winter, but sometimes I don't have the time or energy.


    So I'm looking for more tips for the "normal average Prius driver" with a job, family, house etc. as far as certain brands of auto-carwashes or quick cleaning tips. etc.

    I've heard the Prius clear-coats are a bit thin. Any ideas on how best to protect it on my new black 2008 ? Does a hand wax every 3-12 months really help much, versus car-wash "wax" ?
     
  18. ZC1

    ZC1 Junior Prius Owner

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    To the OP,
    On your first wash, why don't you just go to a brushless car wash. The ones I know of don't touch your car at all. Then when you get time, follow the ideas of the other fine posters in this thread.

    ZC1
     
  19. fcc

    fcc New Member

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    .. parked next to Pearl was a 1952 Hudson Hornet Twin Power, which looked brand new! Hood was open, people were snickering at the flat head six with the dual carbs., until I pointed out that car still holds the NASCAR record for most consecutive season wins.

    heck guys and gals, anyone who has seen the cartoon movie "Cars" should
    know this small fact ;-)

    good advice in this thread and i plan to use it.
     
  20. VaPrius

    VaPrius New Member

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    Wash it yourself. I went to a pool party this weekend and there were three other Prii there plus a Honda Accord Hybrid, then three other gas-guzzlers. My Prius was the oldest and looked the newest! Just switched to McQuires -- haven't found Zaino locally.

    If you're short on time, buy an electric buffer/polisher/waxer. They save some time and are only as hard on the car as you press. If used on my wife's minivan, but not the Prius.
     
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