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2/1/09 7:46am - Original Message: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
MK's78
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Dover, DE - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary Corvette-White/Red 99% Original

Joined: 1/4/2009
Posts: 65
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.



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2/1/09 9:02am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
tuxblacray Lifetime Member
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Greensburg, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Previous: 1984 Silver / Charcoal Coupe, 1988 Maroon Coupe / 1989 Artic White / Mod. Red Int. Coupe, Present:1976 Stingray Black / Black, Auto, 350 slightly modified (355 hp) Luxor Wires Redline Tires. / 2001 Speedway White Vert, Torch Red Int, LS1, Auto.

Joined: 9/24/2003
Posts: 5174
I would never go through the automatic wash in mine. Not even the "touchless" kind.

I don't think either of our vettes will clear the tracks and such on the floors in some with the ground effects packages on them.

Non touchless washes do nothing more than grind somebody elses dirt into the paint.

But then I don't use the conventional wash with a wand either.....

Ours are either dirty from the 4wd trucks, wands are bent from somebody pissed because they lost their $$$$. Or, the pressure is to little too much.

I use a hand pumped pressure sprayer and wash them in the garage or in the driveway. I can regulate the amount of water easily and I don't have a huge amount of water left behind.

Occasionally I will hook up the hose clean them if I want to wash out the garage and driveway too.

Besides...... it is nice to be personal with them. Touching all of those nice lines and curves.....

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2/1/09 10:02am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
manget1 Lifetime Member
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Indianapolis, IN - USA

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!!

Joined: 9/3/2006
Posts: 2382
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!!


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2/1/09 10:15am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
Jeffm Gold Member
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Sebago Lake, ME - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary L82 4spd (M21) Red Leather. -1978 Pace Car L82 4spd (M21) 20k miles.

Joined: 2/15/2007
Posts: 962
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.


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2/1/09 11:00am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
crossfire1982
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Cramerton, NC - USA

Vette(s):
black 1982 coupe slate gray interior, 350 crossfire, 1985 fuel pump, Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 8/22/2006
Posts: 1094
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.

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2/1/09 11:22am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
corvette440hp Lifetime Member
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Posts: 8205
NEVER, EVER..........

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2/1/09 12:13pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
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!

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2/1/09 1:27pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
cilrah Lifetime Member
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San Tan Valley, AZ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Indy Pace Car 4851 of 6502, Auto, L-48

Joined: 6/20/2005
Posts: 4057
[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 Thumbs%20Up


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2/1/09 2:13pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
jgoglick Lifetime Member
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Huntsville, AL - USA

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!

Joined: 11/15/2003
Posts: 840
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 Angry. You best friend will be a california duster Thumbs%20Up.

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2/1/09 2:31pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
tuxblacray Lifetime Member
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Greensburg, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Previous: 1984 Silver / Charcoal Coupe, 1988 Maroon Coupe / 1989 Artic White / Mod. Red Int. Coupe, Present:1976 Stingray Black / Black, Auto, 350 slightly modified (355 hp) Luxor Wires Redline Tires. / 2001 Speedway White Vert, Torch Red Int, LS1, Auto.

Joined: 9/24/2003
Posts: 5174
Here is an alternative to washing if need be. Dry Wash is a product a friend of mine uses. He is very particular about his car and the products he uses. I have to admit that it looks good.

Just another option in case you were looking for one.Tuxblacray2009-02-01 11:38:06

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2/1/09 2:44pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
T-Mans70,73 Lifetime Member
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Elma, WA - USA

Vette(s):
Red 1973 Convertible. L-48 Auto #'s matching Red 1970 LT-1 Convertible #'s matching

Joined: 6/25/2007
Posts: 692
I would gather you now know where we stand on a machine car wash.

It would be kind of like giving your dog a haircut with a push mower.
Not a good idea.

I wash my car more than most but the key is those micro fiber towels and then keeping it clean. The California Duster just got added to my arsenal so that should help alot for dust.

Good luck, welcome to the site and hope ya stick around!

 

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2/1/09 3:47pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
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.
Good luck with the Vette.
Dave
DaveM2009-02-01 12:48:06

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2/1/09 5:34pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
Willis76 Lifetime Member
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Rockland, MA - USA

Vette(s):
76, L48, 4spd & 09, LS3, 6spd

Joined: 1/30/2003
Posts: 578
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.
 
 


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2/1/09 5:53pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
lukesvette Lifetime Member
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HOWELL, NJ - USA

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.

Joined: 5/18/2004
Posts: 6804
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...

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2/1/09 6:33pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
KDADDY79
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Dutchess County, NY - USA

Vette(s):
White '79 Corvette. It's a driver.

Joined: 8/27/2007
Posts: 2484
Hey MK,
First off, welcome!
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.
Let us know what you do.
 
Kevin
 


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2/1/09 9:41pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
greypoupon69 Lifetime Member
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Irving, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1 -1969 Corvette Coupe Riverside Gold, black interior,MN,A/C,350/350,PS,PB,window cranks. #2 -2000 C5, black/black, 6 sp, Bose system & lots of buttons.

Joined: 8/21/2004
Posts: 4273
ShockedShocked........OMG......NO car wash!......ShockedShocked
 
I hand wash mine, always.  I'm quilty of washing a lot, but I drive both of them.  It gets dusty in Texas.  Come to think of it, it's wendy too! Pinch
 
Welcome aboard here, Cowboy!Big%20smile


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2/1/09 10:00pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

Joined: 12/2/2003
Posts: 6410
I have to admit, I have not washed my car in 4 years.   
 
Okay, I confess, there was no paint on it until a couple of months ago, and it's not out of the shop yet.
 
When it is, I will do the same as above.


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2/1/09 11:06pm - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
white78
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Vette(s):
78 White/Oyster all original. Purchased from original owner

Joined: 12/10/2005
Posts: 81
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.
 
 
 
 


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2/2/09 12:41am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
BKVETTE
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Calhoun City, MS - USA

Vette(s):
1977 Black T-Top

Joined: 9/24/2005
Posts: 121
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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2/2/09 3:18am - Reply: 'Corvettes vs drive thru car washes?????'
2tonevette1981
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Hillsboro, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1981 beige/bronze

Joined: 3/2/2008
Posts: 147
I do wash my car often and since i live in apt i have to go to car wash. I will admit I did used a drive thru once and lost a center hub to it...never again.

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