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If You Own A Nice Car, Stop Being Lazy And Give It A Decent Wash

Illustration for article titled If You Own A Nice Car, Stop Being Lazy And Give It A Decent Wash

Right across from the coffee shop I sometimes work from, there's one of those coin-op self-serve car washes. Put in $2 worth of quarters or those stupid dollar coins you can't do anything else with and you get like 3 minutes to rise, soap and rinse your car.


Turn up in an SUV and you'll want to put extra coins in for more time. Turn up in a Smart and you're done in a minute and a half. Or at least that's how I fast I could do it.

But what if you take your Porsche 997 or E90 M3 here? Say what?

Seriously, people take really nice cars here, like M5s, XFRs, Caymans. I once saw someone using the waterspray-thing on his restored Ford Cortina. When I saw this Carerra S and M3 side-by-side through the window of the shop, I jumped outside and into the middle of the street to take a picture.


I have no problems taking my car here because I really don't get much enjoyment out of washing my own car and the paint was in so-so shape when I bought it. Plus, I go basically after any rainstorm, which in Southern California is not that often really. Or after a lot of birds crap on it, which is more frequent.

But if I owned (and paid money for) a Carerra S or M3 or even that gorgeous Cortina, I'd learn to love to wash my car by hand, at home, with that expensive soap and soft washing supplies. If you use that scratch-o-matic foam brush they have at the $3 car wash on your fancy car, I sure don't want to be its next owner. It's no secret that those things take your paint off like a sand blaster.

What would you do? Do you swear off washing your car any other way than by hand? Or am I overreacting to these nice rides at cheap car wash?

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For any car I'd prefer the gentle touch of an 'Elephant Wash'.