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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new MINI is already getting dirty and I am wondering what people's experience has been with Touchless Car Washes.

Do you have to drive up onto a ramp, or does the machine move alongside you car and spray water? I read somewhere that the tires can be damaged by some kind of ramps?

Needless to say, I'm paranoid about anything happening to my car.

Until now, I have always gone to a car wash that uses the cloth rag type things that swish against the car and then once that was done, the car wash people vacuum the inside, dry and clean the car, windows and dress the tires etc.

Thanks a bunch.
 

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Sounds much better than letting someone or a machine brush or rag the car. That's a guaranteed way to get scratches. If it really is no touch and it cleans the car I think go for it. Personally no one touches J's (food if you watch friends) car ex for j
 
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All of the touchless washes where I live are the type with no track. You just drive forward, keeping between two metal rails on the ground. A red light comes on to tell you to stop. The wash equipment then goes back and forth around you while the car sits still. Nothing touches the car or its wheels.

The only risk I have seek is with big trucks the equipment car bump your mirrors. Fold em in to be safe. I have never had a problem with the antenna but the owners manual says to remove it.

I haven't tried it with my mini yet. It takes maybe 15 minutes to hand wash a mini.
 

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If you value your car that much, and you also sound like a very particular person, I'd say wash it yourself?

Any kinda car wash machine will carry risk of fine scratches and swirl marks.

I have just recently got a bottle of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax Anywhere. With this, you can give the entire car a wipe once a week, under 10 minutes, with just a micro fibre cloth. Really puts the shine on, and no scratch/swirl.

Just spray, wipe and buff.
 

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I always use a touchless wash on cars that I consider to be just transportation and have never detected any damage or harmful effects. One of our local touchless even has undercarriage rust proof washing that is useful after driving in winter road salt. I will probably put my mini through if that happens because there is no other way to wash the bottom side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the responses.

So I did get the touchless wash and it was pretty decent. The only real downside was the water spots left on the car, windows and mirrors.

Next time, should I get a rag and dry off the car? What is the best way to leave the windows and mirrors spot free? Should I go over them with some kind of solution?

Thanks all.
 

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For the Windows nothing beats a leather or microfiber drying towel and you next worry about scratching those.then a go over with autoglym window cream which I love.
 
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Would you love to wash our car as well then.....:D
If you were my neighbour I probably would. I have to like the car though. Current neighbour had a lovely red golf. Never cleaned it. Wife had to stop me numerous times as she said it would embarrass him. Now he has a boring silver vectra no desire! But a mini,yes I'd do it free ! I love Buying cleaning stuff too
 

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If you were my neighbour I probably would. I have to like the car though. Current neighbour had a lovely red golf. Never cleaned it. Wife had to stop me numerous times as she said it would embarrass him. Now he has a boring silver vectra no desire! But a mini,yes I'd do it free ! I love Buying cleaning stuff too
Hahahahahaha. That's great. ;)
 

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Thanks for all the responses.

So I did get the touchless wash and it was pretty decent. The only real downside was the water spots left on the car, windows and mirrors.

Next time, should I get a rag and dry off the car? What is the best way to leave the windows and mirrors spot free? Should I go over them with some kind of solution?

Thanks all.
I use a squeegee and one of those super-absorbent cloths. The first pass with the squeegee gets 90% of the water off (with issues around uneven surfaces and corners). Then I use the super cloth to mop up the rest. A final pass with microfiber cloth gets everything nice and dry with no streaks.
 

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To dry my Mini I first use my leaf blower to get rid of all the residual water, then go over the car with a synthetic chamois.
Mini Girl is in San Francisco. The neighbors might object. :)

I tried to use my leaf blower but it took longer than the squeegee-wipe-wipe method. Maybe I have an anemic blower. Others have posted about some insane turbojet typhoon thingy that apparently can blow the whole car dry in seconds without waking up the next country, but it costs $$$. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Metro-Vacuum-B3-CD-Blaster-Motorcycle/dp/B0000CCXWA


The leaf blower did a good job on the annoying nooks and crannies, however. I might keep using it for that.
 

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So I took my car through a touchless wash this week to get rid of road salt (brine) from our recent cold spell. I removed the antenna as recommended but I am not certain if this was really necessary. I was a bit nervous about it because I wasn sure how much force was required and didn't want to scratch it up using pliers. It turns out that there it a kind of ratchet pattern molded into the bottom of the antenna and it does a kind of clickety thing as you unscrew the first bit. After that it spins off easy. I left the mirrors in the normal position and crossed my fingers and went into the wash.

Our touchless is the kind where you just drive in and stop when it tells you. Your car sits still and the wash goes back and fourth. I had selected the luxury wash option as that one gives you the under car wash as you drive in, to get the road salt off the wheel wells and chassis etc. That option also gives me the trippy tri-coloured foam treatment that always make me feel like my medication is working extra well. :)

I inspected my car after the wash was finished everything thing look clean and perfect so as far as I can tell, no harm was done. I will still prefer to hand wash my car most of the time but for salt the touchless is still going to be in my routine.
 

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I took our Dodge Ram Hemi through the touchless just so I could get a photo of the Trippy Tri-Colour Foam for you all to see. I plan to spend a week's vacation inside this carwash in my Mini. I will bring a 6 pack of diet coke, a large bottle of prescription Tramadol, order an endless supply of Tri-Colour Foam and then go on a Magic Carpet Ride (any Steppenwolf fans left out there?).

;)
 

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