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Hi all. I know that automatic car washes are pretty bad for my finish, but when my car is covered in road salt and the temperature isn't expected to get above 25 for a few weeks (yes, I would wash it by hand if it was 32+) should I bite the bullet and take it to an automatic wash? Can the salt do more damage? Thanks.

R
 

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From what I understand the salt does not start to do it's dirty work until the tempture gets above freezing and everything starts to melt. Don't know where I heard that no real proof. I found a good automatic car wash and will use it 5 or 6 times this winter. Natch I will hand wash in nice weather. Not as peticular as I once was. I have a 79 TA with 38K on it and it has never seen a car wash. My 04 M3 has twice this winter so far. I live in Cincy, the winters are not too bad. I prob. should not have said that.
 

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Yeh it was 65 today... to cold for me to wash my car
 

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agree; never leave salt residue on your car!!!
 

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Does simply spraying the car down with water when I bring it in help or hinder?

It does remove alot of junk from it, but not the really fine stuff..
 

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I would stay away from the automatic car washes as you don't really know what chemicals they could be spraying on your paint, not to mention the scratches they will make. You should just go to one of the do-it-yourself centers with the pressure washers. While the water won't clean the dirt off, it will rinse away all of the salt with no problem.

-Josh
 

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HAHAHHAHAHAH. I own you all! 71* today. Automatics are ok if it is touchless and you do it sparingly. If you dont know, the problems with touchless washes are 1 the oils in the plastics are dryed out and 2 they take off any wax you have on.
 

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here we go. the only ok auto wash is the touchless one. They suck tho because its basically a 1 minute pressure wash. Meaning imagine having a pressure washer at home and spraying ur car for 1 minute.

So if you went off roading and want to take some dirt and mud off then itll suffice. But your car will still be dirty.
 

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So simply spraying my car with a hose when it's not all frozen, as it sits in my garage is ok to remove salt??

I know it's not really cleaning it obviously, but just to remove the salt it's fine right? As I wait to give a full wash later on.
 

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Yes, salt will disolve and rinse away with water very easily and it won't harm your paint.

-Josh

someone make me a sig~
 

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Originally posted by Cavalier2123@Jan 15 2004, 05:59 PM
Yes, salt will disolve and rinse away with water very easily and it won't harm your paint.

-Josh

someone make me a sig~
not true. just rinsing your car with water will not disolve the salt. salt is actually pretty tough to thoroughly remove. there is something called salt-away that is used on boats after being run in salt water does wonders on removing salt. i suggest you check it out. it could save you some rust spots. here is their website... http://www.salt-away.com .
 

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I guess it depends on how long it has been on your car. I recently took a trip to Chicago, so my car was alot of salt on the bottom. I pressure washed it the day I got home and it did the trick.
 

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In areas where it snows they use salt to melt the snow and ice off the road.
 

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But it doesn't work well below about 10 F, and not at all below 0 F (By definition of the Fahrenheit scale). Below that, they use sand just to get some traction
 
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