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Re: Washing your car.

Regarding this question asked by Jason:

>2)  When I picked up the car from the dealer, he gave me some washing hints.
>Strangely enough he told me not to use SOAP for washing the car, as it would
>build up a film on the car (he suggested just water), I find this a bit odd 
>- - my 5000 endured several
>auto. car washes and looks brand new.  Maybe this is because the 90 has a
>pearlescent finish?  At any rate, what do the majority of you suggest for
>keeping the p/w finish looking great?

Having gone to many detailing seminars I've gotten my fill of info on taking
care of your car finish.  Not using soap has been discussed before.  After
you have detailed your car and you have a good coat of wax on the car it is
advised that you use warm (close to lukewarm so you aren't melting your wax
off) water without soap to wash your car after thoroughly rinsing it with
your hose.  The reason for this is that soap will start to remove your wax.
The wax will keep the dirt from sticking to your finish.  After 2 to 3 weeks
(possibly more depending on the weather and frequency of washings) your wax
won't be holding up as well and soap (mild) and about a tablespoon of cooking
oil in your warm water (about 5 gallons?) is advised.  The oil helps to
float off any small bits of dirt, so they don't stay there and cause

Watch out for auto car washes, if this is where you always have your car
washed you will eventually lose your paint.  My dad always took his coupe to
the car wash and developed a worn spot on his roof, centered just above the
windshield....just where the drying machine hit the roof.  Also they use HOT
water and  soaps that are harsh.  Car washes never polish off  the dead paint
(oxidation) on your car which is one of the most important parts to detailing
a car.

*Steps to a good car washing*:
Don't wash in the sun or when the weather or your car is very hot. Rinse car
thoroughly, including wheel wells and undercarriage.  Wash with soapy water
or just water and a soft terry cloth towel - rinse towel very often (if car
is black rinse towel almost constantly, trapped dirt in towel will produce
those lovely scratches).  Wash the car in sections, from the top down,
rinsing each section when
done.  Rinse whole car every time you rinse a section.  When drying car you
can use a chamoix (I like the artificial kind), although some people claim
that will scratch too, but if
you have confidence in your washing and rinsing job use the chamoix followed
immediately by a dry SOFT towel (two person tandem drying is easiest).
Chamoix don't pick up all the water and any remaining water will obviously
spot your car (Note:  rain water, in general, will not leave water spot
deposits  on your car, water spot deposits are from tap water which has
minerals in it).  Dry the upper parts of the car before you dry the lower
areas where you may still pick up dirt.  When done with the exterior of car,
dry inside of door ledges and door edges, dry inside of trunk ledges, finally
open bonnet and wipe down engine compartment.  Now you're ready for
polishing and a good coat of wax.

O.K. end of pontification.  Good Luck, and *do* avoid those automatic car
washes, if you plan to keep the car.