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Old 11-10-2003, 9:02 PM   #1
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minimum temperature for car wash

Anyone know what is the minimum temperature outside to do a car wash? I think the winter is around the corner.
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Old 11-11-2003, 6:11 AM   #2
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Old 11-11-2003, 7:11 AM   #3
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Re: minimum temperature for car wash

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Originally posted by spc
Anyone know what is the minimum temperature outside to do a car wash? I think the winter is around the corner.
You talking automatic our pressure spray. I know Mike's Carwash (don't know if everyone has those) stays open year round, but the local gas station doesn't. Same goes with the pressure spray stations will stay open, hence the iced walls. If you want to wash your car at home, it would be bad to do that anywhere around freezing. Not because it hurts your car but because you run the chance of freezing the water pipe after you finish.
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Old 11-11-2003, 8:28 AM   #4
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Thanks! So, basically I might do more damage to myself and the hose instead of the car right? Therefore, I better-off wash it above fifty degree. Someone told me after he washed his car just above freezing point, his remote malfunction or maybe his door failed to respond to the remote or something similar.
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Old 11-11-2003, 8:32 AM   #5
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Is it a good idea to use automatic car wash place during the winter time? I heard we better not use those machine for new car. However, those snow mixed with salt and dirt might eat the paint of the car. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2003, 10:51 AM   #6
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Its definitely possible to freeze your locks whenever you wash your car during the winter. This also includes freezing your windows, doors and trunk.

Rule of thumb is, don't do anything unless there is a ton of salt on the car. You're actually better off if you park your car outside because the cold will keep the salt from melting the ice on your car which aids in rusting, but I don't suggest that if you have a garage to use.

I will only high-pressure wash my car.. no machines and certainly not my own hose in the winter time. Usually I'll just spray it down with soapy water and then a rinse keeping the heat on inside the car so as to help evaporated water away before I put the car back into the garage.
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Old 11-11-2003, 12:30 PM   #7
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Depends on the type of automatic carwash. Definitely avoid the ones with the hard plastic brushes, those are murder on the clearcoat. The ones with the soft cloth strips probably aren't much better. They might be OK when new, but most get so much dirt on them they'll scratch too. There's a few auto washes near me that are the "touchless" type. It's basically an automatic high-pressure wash. They do a pretty decent job, IMO. I use them all the time in winter.

Now and then the locks will freeze up after a car wash, so it pays to keep some de-icer on hand. Note: keeping it in the glovebox isn't as handy as it sounds at first. Chicken and egg problem if you're locked out of the car.

I have an unheated garage and it stays pretty cold here in the winter so melting, condensation and rusting aren't too much of an issue. Also we don't get much salt on the roads (too cold to have much effect generally), but we get a lot of sand/gravel. My main concern with keeping the car clean in winter is to get that grit off so that it doesn't damage the paint or come off on our clothes if someone brushes up against it.
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Old 11-11-2003, 4:49 PM   #8
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Just don't try to wax in the winter. It'll never work in cold temps...
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Old 11-24-2003, 8:34 AM   #9
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I polished and waxed my car yesterday and it was about 40 degrees out. It worked fine. As far as automatic carwashes, I either use the touch free one or soft cloth...never had any scratches come from the soft cloth one near me.
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Old 11-24-2003, 8:34 AM
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