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How do you wash your cars

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i4 e40 msport 19" 859M Sunset Orange, cognac vernasca, open pore oak trim
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There is also the option (not listed in the survey) of driving to a detailing shop and getting a hand wash there, which I have done.

I have also hand washed it myself using Meguier's gold shampoo and microfiber mitts and towels, which was a pleasure and took about 15 minutes.

I have a ceramic coating on the car so will only hand wash it myself or by a detailer. But the coating cleans very easily.

here is my car just washed.

Car Wheel Tire Vehicle Grille
 

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i4 e40 msport 19" 859M Sunset Orange, cognac vernasca, open pore oak trim
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I am never going to wash my car. Not ever. Not even once.

The reason being that I wanted it to be red, or blue, or purple. I was outvoted by the males of the household, even though it's actually my car. So the deal we did was this: I'd get the car in Mineral White, on the condition it was washed by hand on the drive outside every week, without fail. (The "on the drive" bit was added so that it doesn't get taken to the Albanian car wash and hammered by their enthusiastic jetwashing of everything.) Every single week, so that I'm never driving round in a manky shed covered in filth and awfulness.

I took delivery on Monday last week and put 83 miles on the clock by the weekend. The car wasn't actually dirty apart from a couple of specks, but it was washed on Sunday. Hurrah! 馃槅
Nicely negotiated, Squirrel!
 

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i4 e40 msport 19" 859M Sunset Orange, cognac vernasca, open pore oak trim
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I really don't understand how and why a car wash could cause any problems for the parking assist system. I mean, water is water, just like rain, so unless there is some manufacturing issue with the car, car wash should not cause problems, regardless how and who is doing it. I mean, certainly those guys know what they are doing, and the i4 is not different from other cars regarding water.
I believe the brushing is one factor and soap is another.

In getting my ceramic coat I was warned to use soap that will not dissolve the coating. Do they con me?

It makes some sense. They used some cleaner to remove the wax put on by the dealer against my request. (Their service department just did their thing).

also think of the car wash's interest in getting a car cleaned faster for better throughput. They may well use harsh soap.

for me I can wash the car faster than drive to a car wash, and it is enjoyable
 

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i4 e40 msport 19" 859M Sunset Orange, cognac vernasca, open pore oak trim
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The "brush" you see in my video is actually not a brush, it's made up of soft cloth, so it isn't damaging the car. I don't know what this "ceramic coating" so many here is talking about. Not something I ever done with any of my cars, but the last 20 years I always had metallic colors, and never really felt anything else, just a good washing. The car wash here contains some sort of soap and also wax which it is polished with. I have no idea if they con you or not, since I don't know what that coating does compared to the standard wax and polish, if there is a difference or not.

I don't know what they use in American car washes, but here in Europe I trust them. Last time I washed and polished a car manually was well over 20 years ago, but that was only because I was about to sell that car, so I wanted to be nice, clean and shiny when the buyers arrive, so I did that on my drive way. That was the last car I sold privately, after that I always traded in.
The ceramic coating is a hydrophobic sealer that resists dirt, chemicals and UV light.

I am getting it for the first time on my i4. And this was based on reading many posts on this forum by folks considering ppf and ceramic coatings. Ceramic cost me $800 and I decided to try it. (PPF offers more protection at a higher cost, yet I personally find the appearance unattractive)

My impressions are:

It is very easy to clean. Most dust rinses off with water. Bird droppings and smashed insects (bug splats in NC) take just a little rubbing with a cloth.

The car has a mirror finish without waxing. It is new, of course, but I will keep it looking that way, I hope.

The windshield (also coated) repels water amazingly. When driving in the rain the water flows off without forming drops, and I can clearly see, even before switching on thw wipers.

I am pleased with the product. As I mentioned, I can wash the car faster than taking it off to a car wash and it is a pleasure, so why risk it in an automatic washer?
 
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