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Lithium grey and drive thru washes...

Old 03-14-2018, 01:54 PM
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Default Lithium grey and drive thru washes...

I know drive thru washes are generally a bad idea, but I haven’t been able to squeeze in washing my truck in weeks. Do you guys use “quality” drive thru washes or are they just terrible on paint? (I’ve never really cared enough to be concerned, but this color seems to show a lot!)
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:11 PM
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I think, traditionally, drive through washes get a pretty bad reputation from those in the car hobby. I've done a little research in lieu of signing up for a local wash's Unlimited Club. The biggest complain from folks is the swirling that these washes "cause". I put cause in quotes because from what I've found is that they are not really causing the swirls and damaging the paint that many believe they are. The more you're washing a vehicle and the higher pressures used during is causing the breakdown and disappearance of any wax/coating. Thus, this is revealing the natural swirling in the clear coat.

Sure, I may have to apply coating more often, but I'll trade that off with the option of having a cleaner truck more often. If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nickf2005 View Post
I think, traditionally, drive through washes get a pretty bad reputation from those in the car hobby. I've done a little research in lieu of signing up for a local wash's Unlimited Club. The biggest complain from folks is the swirling that these washes "cause". I put cause in quotes because from what I've found is that they are not really causing the swirls and damaging the paint that many believe they are. The more you're washing a vehicle and the higher pressures used during is causing the breakdown and disappearance of any wax/coating. Thus, this is revealing the natural swirling in the clear coat.

Sure, I may have to apply coating more often, but I'll trade that off with the option of having a cleaner truck more often. If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate.
Interesting............I have to say, I find myself more times than not just driving mine through the automatic wash then a hand dry.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:46 PM
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Improper hand drying probably causes more swirls and
scratches than the car wash....Those auto washes tend to not do a great job and leave dirt in creases or along the bottom. Your drying towel picks it up and scratches the clear. Of course the wrong choice of towel will scratch it, too.

I have a 2000 motorcycle with almost 100k miles on it. I have probably washed it close to 100 times. I don't hand dry it. I dry it with a leaf blower. It's paint looks like the day it was new.

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Old 03-14-2018, 03:02 PM
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I only spray mine off in the winter and do a rinseless in the garage after it thaws. I would say you get more scratches than swirls from the auto places. The soap they use is pretty harsh and breaks down paint protection pretty quickly. I would go touchless if I could not spray it off and then the slap and scratch if that was my only option.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:36 PM
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Thanks all! This is the info I was looking for! Any links on good microfiber drying towels by the way? I’ve got a 100 yr old shammy it may be time to retire, lol.
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:38 PM
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If you plan to hand dry, you may want to consider a wax as you dry product. It will add some lubrication to the process and give you some added shine. The only one I don't recommend is Turtle Wax brand. It left a film on two of my vehicles that I had difficulty removing.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:09 AM
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AutoGeek, but be warned it can become addictive.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ero2 View Post
Thanks all! This is the info I was looking for! Any links on good microfiber drying towels by the way? I’ve got a 100 yr old shammy it may be time to retire, lol.
4 for only $2.69 at Harbor Freight. I use my electric leaf blower to dry the truck after hand washing and have had no issues with swirls.
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