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Does pressure washing a car hurt?


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#1 AutoNova

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 09:53 PM

I read recently in a detailing manual that is better not to use the PW on the final rinse cycle of the car? it says you are better off to let the water cascade over the car to remove the soap?

I have always rinsed cars witha PW so i am not sure how much truth ther is in this?
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#2 stevet

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Posted 07 January 2005 - 10:49 PM

I don't think you want to be blasting your paint with high water pressure especially if the car is dirty. The water would cause the grit to marr the paint.

#3 Zackb911

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 01:08 AM

let me blast you with a PW and see how you feel..."Treat thy car as thyself"

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#4 salty

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 03:22 AM

By cascading the water, it causes the water to sheet off, less to dry.
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#5 Knockwurst

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 06:00 AM

While pressure washers a great for removing heaving dirt and grime, I’ve noticed a significant lapse in wax longevity.

#6 Acura92

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 06:15 AM

it hurts to see someone use a PW to wash their car. I saw this one guy use his PW in a 90degree afternoon out in direct sun. poor car. lol.

#7 Bill D

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 06:37 AM

Yeah, excellent points :up The polar opposite of the PW user is those of us :o who are obsessed only with the softest mitts, slickest wash and having a constant running stream of it over the finish
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#8 Ed Hartman

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 06:48 AM

Leave the pressure washer for decks and concrete

#9 SVR

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 06:49 AM

So if you don't use a PW, how do you get rid of dust, dirt and mud from the car. I have no trouble using a PM on a dusty car, side on angle of course, not straight at the paint.

The nozzle free hose rinse is the best and means less drying towels to use per wash.
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#10 hftw Audi 6

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 07:01 AM

I used to detail a guys H2 Hummer and i remeber one time i showed up at his house so he could show me his new bike! And he was outside power washing all this mudd off of it! Just straight blasting the thing! He actually removed part of the hummer logo on the side. His thoughts on the subject were, "ehh i didn't even like that logo anyway." And cotinued! lol
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#11 Alfisti

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 07:46 AM

PW is only harmful to your paint if used incorrectly.

One of our Autopian brothers said, "Treat thy car as thyself".

If you put your hand near the outlet of your PW it will cut it off. Place it four feet away and if feels like a strong, wet, breeze.

Thats how I would (and do) use it on paint.

Wheels wells and underbody requires closer positioning.
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#12 Bill D

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 09:43 AM

Yeah definitely:

"Treat thy car as thyself." and "Treat it like it's the only one in the world." :up
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#13 stevet

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 09:48 AM

Originally posted by Alfisti
PW is only harmful to your paint if used incorrectly.

One of our Autopian brothers said, "Treat thy car as thyself".

If you put your hand near the outlet of your PW it will cut it off. Place it four feet away and if feels like a strong, wet, breeze.

Thats how I would (and do) use it on paint.

Wheels wells and underbody requires closer positioning.



I agree. In the winter I sometimes bring my car to the wand wash to rinse most of the grime off than drive home and do a QEW wash. I make sure I am standing far enough away from the car when using the wand wash so that it really is just lightly rinsing the paint not blasting it. I get a little closer for wheel wells and under carriage.

#14 L33

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 10:06 AM

Originally posted by Alfisti
Place it four feet away and if feels like a strong, wet, breeze.

Thats how I would (and do) use it on paint.

Wheels wells and underbody requires closer positioning.



Exactly, its actually very gentle. The only draw back is you can't do a free flow as a final rinse with it.
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#15 Stratous

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Posted 08 January 2005 - 11:01 PM

A lot of the times PWs are all we have. A touchless car wash is nothing but PWs, and full service car washes have employees that are on work release (I know, I used to work there...Learned a lot, but worked with some messed up people). So I take my truck to the self serve, and all they have are PWs. Sometimes you are just stuck...

Note: I am refering to winter months.
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#16 UnsanePyro

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 07:45 AM

I think it's all in how you use it, some ways are 'safe' and some ways aren't. A little bit of distance without a concentrated stream should be ok. My dad just got one for Christmas, and this spring it's going to do my undercarrige and the inside of my rims (130,000 miles of brake dust).

#17 gav'spurplez

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:29 PM

i agree that pressure washing is not the best for your car and would not recommend it on a daily basis, or washing basis.

but if you have a car that you drive everyday and that might see winter months and snow and salt, it would be a good idea to rinse that muck off of the car with some emphasis before actually washing ;)
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#18 foris2

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:37 PM

There is nothing wrong with using a pressure washer to clean a car. I'm a mobile detailer and that's all I use on cars (1600 electric psi Karcher), unless I'm at a clients house where water and electric is available. It's all in how you use it.
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#19 Bill D

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 03:39 PM

If we're talking only about the paint wouldn't just a hose suffice?
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#20 salty

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Posted 09 January 2005 - 04:00 PM

The lesser of two evils. Most cars in my area are washed from a coin-op PW or touchless washes. Generally they only have minor swirls and scratches. Keeping wax on, is another story, as they use such aggressive soaps that only the most detergent proof wax or sealant will last for any amount of time.

The other option is to have them hand wash their car. Without the proper knowledge and technique they will probably cause more harm, than have them PW the car. But if they use a quality soap, they would save their wax, but might scratch the paint.

With proper knowledge and techniques i think they both can co-exist.
Mark
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