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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this has been posted before?

So.. already had my black CLA for 2 months now. Time flies!! :D

Any previous "black" car owners have any advice on best way to wash your car? First time I brought it through the automatic car wash. Washed ok but felt like it was taking a beating with those wipers :confused: After a few weeks of ownership I was looking closely at my car and notice some very very light streaks/scratches. I wondered if it was from the car wash? Then after I had my windows tinted someone there told me black cars can get scratched if there is the slightest dirt on you car and you wipe it down :( Which made me think. Whenever it rained I used to wipe it down with a dry cloth. Do you think this did the scratches? I've taken a peek at other black cars and have notice the same thing. Very very light scratches. :confused: Is this something I have to live with? I mean.. it's not noticeable unless you put your eye close and look for them. Any recommendations?

My car before the tint :eek:

 

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Never wipe your car dry or with just water on it. The tiny dirt particles will scratch the paint (or clear coat). You have to use good carwash liquid and water and make sure they get nice and sudsy. It's the suds that lift up the dirt away from the paint. Once the dirt is lifted off the surface of the paint then rinse it off with water. There are videos on youtube on the proper way of washing a car.

BTW, I had my black CLA tinted too. How dark did you go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Never wipe your car dry or with just water on it. The tiny dirt particles will scratch the paint (or clear coat). You have to use good carwash liquid and water and make sure they get nice and sudsy. It's the suds that lift up the dirt away from the paint. Once the dirt is lifted off the surface of the paint then rinse it off with water. There are videos on youtube on the proper way of washing a car.

BTW, I had my black CLA tinted too. How dark did you go?
Thanks for the reply. :) And the advice. I guess there's no in between. Either leave it unwashed... or give it a good wash ;) Any recommendations on a liquid brand? Also, what do you think about those drive thru car wash places?

I went as dark as I could go legally on the tint. However, don't remember what percentage that is.. think 25%? :confused:
 

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Thanks for the reply. :) And the advice. I guess there's no in between. Either leave it unwashed... or give it a good wash ;) Any recommendations on a liquid brand? Also, what do you think about those drive thru car wash places?

I went as dark as I could go legally on the tint. However, don't remember what percentage that is.. think 25%? :confused:
We have a drive through car wash near me but it's all hand washing. First they spray your car down with what appears to be just water. When the car enters the carwash it gets sprayed with suds. When the car is all covered with suds, there are guys in there doing the actual washing with these special mitts and towels stuff as the car moves along the track. So it's a drive thru car wash but is hand washed. I got mine tinted 50%/35% Front and Rear.
 

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I would AVOID


hold on let me clarify that again and let it sink in

AVOID

  • drive through car washes that are NOT touchless.
  • drive through car washes where high school kids use dirty wash mitts to rub dirt into your car
Do not wipe your car dry when it is raining. You are causing the scratches. Sorry to say but that drive through car wash along with you drying your car probably just caused lots of damage to your paint that can only be corrected through paint correction (you are looking at $400+job)


HOW TO WASH YOUR CAR:

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
We have a drive through car wash near me but it's all hand washing. First they spray your car down with what appears to be just water. When the car enters the carwash it gets sprayed with suds. When the car is all covered with suds, there are guys in there doing the actual washing with these special mitts and towels stuff as the car moves along the track. So it's a drive thru car wash but is hand washed. I got mine tinted 50%/35% Front and Rear.
I see. Does the mercedes benz dealer offer car washes? I think they do? I'm paranoid to trust anyone but I would trust them more then those guys who work at hand car washes :confused:

I would AVOID


hold on let me clarify that again and let it sink in

AVOID

  • drive through car washes that are NOT touchless.
  • drive through car washes where high school kids use dirty wash mitts to rub dirt into your car
Do not wipe your car dry when it is raining. You are causing the scratches. Sorry to say but that drive through car wash along with you drying your car probably just caused lots of damage to your paint that can only be corrected through paint correction (you are looking at $400+job)

HOW TO WASH YOUR CAR:

Audi R8 BLACKBIRD: Basic Car Wash Techniques - /DRIVE CLEAN - YouTube
Yeah... I should have thought twice. I've always used them and they done a fine job. But I've never had a black car before and starting to realize it's limitations when it comes to this. It doesn't really bother me cuz unless your eyes are inches away and looking for scratches you'll never know. May I ask what do you mean by "corrected"? :confused:

And also what do you think of mercedes benz dealership doing the car wash?
Thanks for the video!!!
 

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Depends on how good your mercedes dealership is.

from most of the reviews I've seen... I would say no.. Just wash it yourself. And tell them to not wash your car when you service it as well.

 

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My MB dealer always washes your car after a visit. They even washed my car when I went back to pick up the new license plates. They put them on the car and then hand washed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Depends on how good your mercedes dealership is.

from most of the reviews I've seen... I would say no.. Just wash it yourself. And tell them to not wash your car when you service it as well.

Paint Correction on 1958 Porsche Speedster - /DRIVE CLEAN - YouTube
I see. The reason why I asked is not that I'm too lazy to wash my own car. Just where I park my car is not the best location to wash my car. Then time is my next excuse. I guess I'll just have to buckle down and pick a day.


My MB dealer always washes your car after a visit. They even washed my car when I went back to pick up the new license plates. They put them on the car and then hand washed it.
My dealership did the same with my license plates. Although they didn't give or ask me for a car wash. I've heard not to have them wash your car too. Although not sure why. Guess they do a lousy job? Couldn't be any worse then those other hand touch carwash places? At least to me anyway. Well.. appreciate the feedback. I'll just do the best I can and if it gets bad I'll just have it detailed :D
 

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My problem with trying to wash my car this time of year is the temperature. Yesterday the temperature reached a high of 11 F. This morning on my drive to work it was 9 degree and expected to reach a high of 24. Not too favorible for me.
 

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First off, avoid and decline dealership washes or detailing in general from them.

Also avoid the tunnel washes with the rotating brushes, your black car will exit the tunnel looking gray and with lots of inflicted damage from the brushes.

You need to do a VERY thorough pre-rinse before you start to hand wash the car yourself. You could also do a foam bath prior to the hand wash. When washing by hand, use the 2 bucket method and have grit guards in the buckets.
 

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My problem with trying to wash my car this time of year is the temperature. Yesterday the temperature reached a high of 11 F. This morning on my drive to work it was 9 degree and expected to reach a high of 24. Not too favorible for me.
my suggestion in the winter?

look up opti-coat or cquartz. find an installer in your area. or shoot me a PM and I'll find you the best installer in your area.

very durable sealant that will protect your paint and make it much easier to clean.

then find a laser drive through wash (touchless car wash - preferably with no rails for your rims)
 

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I heard the chemicals in the touchless car washes can be harsh and strip car wax and car sealants, would this be the case with products like opti-coat and cquartz?
 

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Does anyone recommend using a waterless detailer during super cold weather to get some of the grim off their car?
 

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You could technically use a waterless wash solution to clean the car but there are some concerns.

1. You are cleaning the car but that does not mean you are not scratching the car. There simply is not enough lubrication in most waterless wash products to remove the kind of grime that winter brings safely. Not without going through BAGS of microfiber cloths...

2. In the super cold weather the detailer might even just freeze on the surface. Some of the low temps may be so low that the cleaning and lifting agents in the solution may not be working properly which could continue to lead to damaging the surface.

Personally I would head to a heated pressure washer coin operated car wash business and spend the $2-$3 and get the car cleaned that way. The hot water should be able to blast most of the salt off without having to really use soap. And if you do need soap you can either use the soap they have there (downfall is that the soaps are kind of harsh and might strip/hurt wax and sealants) or bring your own premixed soap in a spray bottle.

Hope that helps. Winter is a big bummer but with the right tools and patience and frozen fingers you can get through it while still maintaining the paint finish.
 

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i admit it. i just drive my 300c 4matic through the carwash where it is blowndry by these big machines. results. great. im not a perfectionist but when i really want it gleaming i pay for the more advanced waxes dtc. most folks think my car looks great. this is for us who do not want to wash, wax and manicure their car. dont obsess about it too much. im probably in the minority but its what ive donefor years with all my black cars. (too many to count)
 

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I don't obsess over my car either. Of course I want to keep it looking good as long as possible but within reason.
 

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After I bought my car, I noticed on the black window pillar had swirls. This was a new car. From this I know I would not give the dealer my car to wash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My problem with trying to wash my car this time of year is the temperature. Yesterday the temperature reached a high of 11 F. This morning on my drive to work it was 9 degree and expected to reach a high of 24. Not too favorible for me.
yeah.. weather is always a problem. I went to an auto detailing place and they gave me some advice on washing my car. The little scratches they said were probably from wiping it down in a swirling motion. The said they can easily buff it out and recommended me put a sealant on it. Which to me sounded like a good idea. Told me it'll last for about 10 years. So I have an appointment end of Jan. :D
 
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