Vette(s): 1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette-White/Red
Would appreciate any and all comments, tips etc. regarding the washing/drying for my 78 vette????????????? I have always used drive thru car washes for my other vehicles but not quite sure how this would do for a vette.
Vette(s): Silver 1974 Convertible - L82 4 speed
Low miles (was only 8,900 when I bought it in March 2006) - Now 42K miles. Original owner bought it as an investment for son's college expenses.
2008 Jetstream Blue Convertible - DAILY DRIVER!!
First of all, welcome to the site! This is a great place and you'll find lots of great info here.
I think most people here are going to cringe when they read your post. To many of us, putting a Vette through an automatic car wash is sacralige. Aside from the ideas Larry mentioned, I'll add a few more, and give a few tips as to how to reduce the chore.
There's a saying out there, "there are two kinds of Corvettes, those who leak and those that don't leak - yet." The potential for having water streaming in through a T-top with no way to stop it is scary. If you wash yourself, you can limit the amount and pressure of water you put in those spots. With a 35 year old convertible top, I have certainly learned those spots.
Years ago, I used to work at a car wash with brushes. Over the years that I was there, I watched scratches and grooves form in the paint of my white car that I ran though that thing at least once a day (what the heck, I was a teenager and it was free). I'll assume you're talking about the brushless kind though.
So, with all of that said, what are you to do? I can say that I personally rarely have the time and/or patience to hand wash my car. When I do, it takes me an hour minimum. What I've learned to do is to just keep it clean. I give it one good wash and wax at the beginning of the season, then make sure it stays dry. I use a duster to take the dust off through the year, and use a spray cleaner for spots that might have gotten splashed or start to look bad. I will tend to potentially give one wash mid summer and one just before storage is a nice touch too.
In my quest to do the right thing, but not take too long to do it, I have found that the Mr Clean Car Wash System is a neat tool. It has a de-ionizer for your hose water so that as you spray down the car to rinse, it puts treated water on the car. The result is a clean, dry, spot free car. It's about $35 initially, and you have to buy refills for the de-ionizer. Seemed rediculous to me, but I bought one on clearance to try and I really like it.
Good luck, and again, welcome aboard!!
I wanted a Corvette my whole life, but I never dreamed of all the wonderful people I would meet because of it!
Vette(s): 1978 Silver Anniversary L82 4spd (M21) Red Leather.
-1978 Pace Car L82 4spd (M21) 20k miles.
I think i washed mine 2 times in 2 years. Once was after getting stuck in a little rain storm, ask Davem about that one. I have cleaned it many, many times though. After a ride it's back into the garage. I'll let her cool down a little and then get the California Duster out and some detail spray after that. Unless the cars gonna be your daily driver they don't get that dirty.
Vette(s): black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion
I give my 82 a hand wash a number of times duing the summer cruise season but rely on my california duster to save me many more washes. As for the automatic car wash, I would NEVER consider taking mine through one of those things. When hand washing I use only microfiber drying towels and a microfiber wash mit. With black paint, every little micro scratch from dirty water at the automatic car wash to polyester bath towels to dry her with shows. I do have one advantage with the washing in that Im in the South where I can drive and enjoy my car year round and wash it pretty much any time of year.
Vette(s): #1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/
Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight"
#2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto
Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas
Wait......you guys WASH your cars???? Are we supposed to do that???
In the 12 years I've had the '74, it's been washed....3 times? Maybe?
It has been caught out in some rain on road trips, too.
IF I have to wash it, it is done by hand. A little spray to get it moist, and I have some "special" wash soap that I was given when I had the "Color Finishes" coating put on. I hand wash small sections, and rinse as I go. Dry w/microfiber towels, and I'm done. Once it sits for a day, and is completely dry, I'll go over it with my spray detailer...no wax. Even once out at shows, or on the road, it's only California Car Duster, and spray detailer for me. A driver, tho, will need a little more care and attention than a garage ornament. Even so, a little time dusting, and spot cleaning after each ride will make a big difference.
Drive thru car wash? No. Not even with Mama's car!
____________________________________ Joel Adams C3VR Lifetime Member #56 My Link
Vette(s): 1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48
[QUOTE=Adams' Apple]Wait......you guys WASH your cars???? Are we supposed to do that??? In the 12 years I've had the '74, it's been washed....3 times? Maybe? It has been caught out in some rain on road trips, too. IF I have to wash it, it is done by hand. [/QUOTE]
I have to agree with everything said above, I've owned my 78 Pace Car for about 5 years now and have actually washed it like 3-4 times with actual water, and that was probably only after being cought in the rain.
If you don't drive your 78 in inclement weather you won't need to wash it very much at all. If it's kept inside it will mostly need a good dusting and polishing/waxing.
I take my 07 Avalanche through a Drive-Thru car wash but would never even consider it for my Pacer, the water will do more harm then good.
Welcome to the C3VR, I hope you decide to become a full member and stay round a bit
____________________________________ MARK LIFETIME MEMBER #117
Vette(s): 1971 convertible,375 HP 350ci,Muncie 4-speed,Edelbrock aluminum heads and RPM air-gap manifold,HEI distrubiter - old school mechanical tach drive. LOUD side exhaust!
The horror! Like all the other posts, I've had mine for 2.5 years, and it's been washed twice. Mine isn't a show car, but it's only driven on sunny days. It did get caught in a rainstorm last summer, and there was water EVERYWHERE . You best friend will be a california duster .
Vette(s): 1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear,
Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.
I don't wash mine unless it's seen bad weather. I only take my pick-up to the car wash in the winter to get rid of the salt that gets everywhere on the truck, nicer weather I wash it myself. The Vette gets the same treatment that everyone else here uses.
That's true - I can't remember the last time I washed the 76? I get the tires wet once in awhile to clean the white letters up, but other than that - just a duster and some spray detailer and it's good to go.
The 97 does get washed by hand a few times a year, but usually only after a road trip or it's just the duster and some spray.
Vette(s): 1979, Targa Blue (72 Color), Pace Car rear spoiler, L88 hood, Dark blue factory interior, 525HP 406, HD 700R4, 370 gears,Steeroids, composite rear spring, TT IIs wrapped in T/A Radials.
Knowing how fincky the T Top gaskets are, I wouldn't go near a car wash with the angles the water is pressurized at. I try to wash mine maybe once a year and use the Meguiars show spray wash in a bottle type stuff as needed...
____________________________________ LukesVette Homepage Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom
God Bless America Support Our Troops
You started a good thread here and I learned a few good things from it.
Myself included, I'd never, ever run mine through a car wash!
Mine is a "weeked warrior" which I drive for fun and attend a few events in.
I tend to wash it by hand alot. However, this spring I plan on giving it a good wash, a clay bar treatment and then some wax. Then I plan on keeping it clean with my (new for X-Mas) California Duster and some detail spray.
Vette(s): 78 White/Oyster all original. Purchased from original owner
Like others I'm not a big fan of car wash units,...... but.....How often you wash and how you wash is really dependent on how you drive.
I did a frame off two years ago and it taught me a lot. One major point is that there is steel in a corvette..... Steel rust.....
Taking care of the paint is important ,but cleaning the mechanics is also important.
About two times a year I give the girl (Susie Q) a complete wash ( I drive her a lot ). I jack the car up and wash the underside. I get the creeper out and wash from front to back. I spent a lot of time repairing and painting. I want her running gear to stay working and looking pretty.
Handwash mine at home. No Carwash!!! But I also make sure I drive it afterwards, so the wind will blow the trapped water from the places that you can't dry like the frame and radiator support. Places like that will rust from trapped water
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