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How cold is too cold to wash your car?


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#1 csj0952

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:19 PM

It's been sub-32 (around 25-30F here in NY) that past couple of days and I am dying to wash my car cause there's tons of road salt on it. It's supposed to be 25-30 today again, can I wash it or do i really have to wait till it's over 32 degrees?

Is there any precautions I should use? Do I use hot water? Colder?


Thanks,
Chris

#2 MorBid

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 11:50 PM

well considering the freezing point of water is 32 degrees F and you don't want to have the soapy water ice up on the car while your working (which it will if it's below that temp, trust me on that one) I would think you don't have a choice.

Today I was washing my car in the garage with the heater running but left the door open and that's what happened to the the rear bumper and back of the truck lid.

All this being said, I think it's worse for the paint (appearance wise) to do a improper wash in the winter than just leaving the road salt dust and dirt on there.

The road salt and dust won't eat away the paint or anything else, bare/exposed sheet metal is another story.

Can't you find a touchless wash near you. Like at a gas station?

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#3 csj0952

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:15 AM

Yes, I can find a toucheless wash at a gas station, are you saying this would be better then a hand wash? I've heard that touchless washes use recycled water and blast sand particles all over your car.....



So I guess the question is, do I goto a touchless wash or not? and if i do, should I bother trying to hand dry it where the touchless wash doesn't clean off? Or will this just rub in any sand/salt still left on the car creating marks...

Or do I just leave the salt on the car and wait for a sunny day in a couple weeks...

#4 csj0952

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:16 AM

Hey Morbid, i'm from Rochester as well, specifically webster...

#5 MorBid

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:23 AM

Firstly let me clarify what I mean by touchless car wash. It is one where there is no mechanical abrasion whatsoever. Everything is sprayed on and rinsed off. Some car washes say they are touchless but aren't really.

Yes all car washes will use recycled water at some point. Mostly due to the local ordinances involved with them continually dumping they're waste water into the sewers but also to keep their water bill down.

Actually you can go to any car wash you like (touchless or traditional) but I don't want any thing touching my car when it's being washed except for when I do it.

I bring some Mf or WW drying towels and QD with me and yes dry the car afterward there.

Bottom line is if you do not have a garage or a garage with heat and want to wash your car your gonna have to take it some where.

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#6 csj0952

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:29 AM

I have a garage, but no heat in it. Also, no way to get rid of the water that splashes down...I dont need an ice rink in there....

What's better Morbid, Laser Washes, Buckmanns, Hess or Sunoco (the one on leah high station)...all of these are touchless. Just wondering who you think is the best if any....

#7 MorBid

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:30 AM

Hey Morbid, i'm from Rochester as well, specifically webster...


Howdy :sadwavey: :sadwavey:

I'm over in Greece. So we both get hammered with lake effect. There are a lot of places called Classy Chassy (or something like that) all around town. They have both self wash bays and the drive up touch-less.

When I don't feel like dragging out the hose and buckets or want a quick wash during lunch I go there. Take it to the self wash bay first and use the pressure washer hose to blast down the wheel wells, bumpers, and side skirts/lowers if you got em

Then go through the touch-less side. They drying t here is less than adequate so you'll need to do the other part I reccommended with/towels.

#8 MorBid

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:39 AM

I have a garage, but no heat in it. Also, no way to get rid of the water that splashes down...I dont need an ice rink in there....

What's better Morbid, Laser Washes, Buckmanns, Hess or Sunoco (the one on leah high station)...all of these are touchless. Just wondering who you think is the best if any....



There's a Buckmans right up the block from me at West Ridge Road and Long Pond but I never take my Black Audi there as it's not a touchless.

I've used the Sunoco one's when I go home (Staten Island NY) and want to get the whip clean after the drive and have no complaints about them. Hess might be the same.

I think the Laser Wash your talking about is the Classy Chassis, I was referring to in my other post. That's the one's I use if I have the need up here.

I have a one car detached garage and I run a Kerosense heater in there. The basic design of any garage should have the floor "pitched" to the rear where the door is.

This is because they know or should know that when you pull the car in after it rains or it's covered with snow and that melts water will hit the floor so it has to drain some place.

So there really isn't alot of puddling and hence no ice rink. Besides with the heater running the water evaporates off in short order anyway. Except in the back by the door where it's going out.

Been washing my car this way year in and out for the last few years since I moved into this place.

Greg

#9 csj0952

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:49 AM

here is the laser wash site LaserWash TouchFree Carwash

#10 MorBid

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 12:59 AM

Yup, that'll work. Looks like the one's I use, maybe a different company but the setup is similar.

#11 velobard

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 04:53 AM

Does anyone have a clue whether ONR lowers the freezing temperature of wash solution a few degrees? I washed with it yesterday, but it was in the high 30s. I use water that's at least lukewarm, which makes it much more comfortable to wash in cold temps, but that's not gonna do much to keep it from freezing when it's just a thin coat of water on cold sheet metal.

#12 David Fermani

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 05:47 AM

I've washed cars at coin operated car washes when it was below zero. You usually don't run into problems until you start to dry. It's usually frozen at that point. I think as long as their's hot water being pumped out, it will stay liquid for a few minutes. If it does freeze, going over it with new hot water will break it up quickly. Alot of car washes that advertise touchless aren't truely touchless(nothing touching), they are just touching less. It's a play on words. A true detailers wintertime secret is letting a solid sheet of ice form all over the paint. It's deepens the shine of your LSP. :LOLOL ":chill: "

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#13 mirrorfinishman

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:15 AM

It's supposed to be 25-30 today again, can I wash it or do i really have to wait till it's over 32 degrees?


There are a couple of things to consider when attempting to wash your car while the temperature is below freezing.

One of the biggest concerns would be the ice that forms on the pavement around the car. Especially on the side of the car that is not in direct sunlight. That is usually the area that freezes first. Another major concern is the water freezing on the surface of your car during and immediately after washing.

Just to be on the safe side, it much better to do nothing when the temperature is below freezing.

#14 BigLeegr

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Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:09 AM

If "Ya just gotta" wash your car, I've found that I can get the car washed when it's maybe 2 or 3º below freezing, as long as it's not windy, and as long as the sun is shining bright and warm. The paint seems to be a few degrees warmer, so the water shouldn't freeze as fast/at all.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to be careful of the ice build up around the car, esp. in the shaded areas. And if the water does start to freeze on the car-quit. No point pushing ice across the paint!
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#15 beabout

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:52 PM

I remember years ago, 1950's, when my uncle had me help him wash his car during the winter in northern Ohio. He mixed kerosene and water 50-50 and washed the car then pulled her into the garage and dried it off. I also remember how bad is smelled but, it was clean. :confused:

Later he used simonize on it and it seemed to do ok, he told me the kerosine took off the old wax and dirt......:buffing:
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#16 MorBid

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:56 PM

Dang, that's hardcore :)

#17 tom p.

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:20 PM

Dang, that's hardcore :)



LOL. Kerosene used to be a cure-all for many things automotive!

I wash (quickly) outside down to 20F. That's my limit. However, cold weather and using ONR in a garage seem to be a match made in heaven.

#18 Envious Eric

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:39 PM

How cold is too cold to wash your car? - WHEN YOU CANT FEEL YOUR HANDS, ITS TIME TO STOP!!! :grinno:

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#19 n2_space

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 09:40 AM

I've used QEW in 0 degree weather before. Wasn't fun, but I did it :lol
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#20 velobard

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 09:54 AM

I've used QEW in 0 degree weather before. Wasn't fun, but I did it :lol

Speaking of which, it's up to 38 and sunny so it's time to pull out the ONR and get busy!




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