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  1. #1
    Active Member One Ring Botch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 10 2019
    AZ Member #
    My Garage
    2008 Toyota Tacoma, 2009 BMW R1200GS
    Ogden UT USA

    Automatic Car Washes - yea or nay?

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    Most of the time I hand-wash my convertibles ('88 Saab 900, '01 Saab 9-3, now my '18 Audi A5) but as both my schedule and my joints become less flexible, I find myself using the local car washes. The first place pulled your car through, sprayed with with various things, had rotating brushes that contacted the car, and a by-hand drying. New ownership, service went south, so now I'm using a new place: half the cost, by-hand soaping, spraying and rubbing with soft brushes, then you drive into a shell, stop, and various pressure washes and a curious, tri-colored soap is glopped all over the car (bubblegum or salt-water taffee colors), power rinse, then you drive out slowly while high-speed air jets blow most of the water off the car. Ends with by-hand cloth drying, but you do that yourself (the air jets don't get everything).
    I've never had any body damage, nor any leakage through the side window/rubber trim, nor paint damage that I could see, on any of my 3 cars. However, I'm curious about that tri-colored glop that gets drizzled on; I know the canvas top of our Audis is weathersealed, but are there any concerns with that stuff lodging into the fabric? Just curious.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Four Rings PaperToast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 29 2009
    AZ Member #
    My Garage
    Longmont, CO

    i generally stay way from the rainbow foam
    some will prolly stay behind just because of how auto washes work
    youd have to drive to a self service bay and hose off the rest
    Rockin' the Rockies
    '01 allroad, 250k woot woot, still boosting on original turbos and tippy, slightly modified. . .

    Scotty@Advanced, "Push it off a cliff, when it hits the ground you should have a few thousand horsepower available for a brief second."

  3. #3
    Active Member One Ring
    Join Date
    Mar 07 2019
    AZ Member #

    Hello OP, I work for an independent dealer specializing in luxury imports, we run our convertibles through the touchless washes that I'm sure are similar to the one you're talking about. We've never had an issue with it, no complaints after the sale etc., I run my S4 Cab through them at least 3 times a week, sometimes two but as of now zero issues with the top (2005 82k).

    In fact it looks fantastic after it dries so I'll stick with it.

  4. #4
    Active Member Two Rings Oldjeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 14 2019
    AZ Member #
    My Garage
    2007 A4 Cabriolet Quattro S-Line

    I had my wifes 07 in for an oil change at the local dealer last week so that I could have them go through the car and tell me if there was anything that needed attention. I was surprised when they ran it through their carwash - but I guess it is OK if they are doing it.
    Chuck P
    2007 A4 Cabriolet Quattro


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