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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being in boston in the middle of winter my dark dark DARK purple needs to wash off all the salt.

I realize there are pros and cons to both but any opinions on touchless vs soft cloth automatic car washes?
 

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Touchless will not remove dirt and grime. It will show after the wash. Best bet is hand wash at home or self-serve car wash. Microscratches and swirls will be shown very well on dark colors.

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I just got back from a +4500 mile road trip to the PNM and had 3 weeks of road muck stuck to my Fathom Blue pearl 19 MDX. I tried to spray off the muck and it didn't do $hit. This is with PPF on the front end and Cquartz Finest ceramic coating everywhere else.

It took a hand washing with microfiber with a ton of carwash ceramic soap. I could only wash about a 1/4 of the MDX before I needed to dump the dirty coffee w/ cream colored wash water and continue. I'm lucky to have +50 degree F temps and bright sunny days once I got back home to New Mexico to clean her up.

Touchless is better than nothing; especially, if they can spray under the MDX. I think I would leave it alone until I could hand wash and do touchless+undercarriage in the meantime.


Only microfiber hand wash to save your paint from winter muck if your MDX looks like this:
Wheel Tire Car Land vehicle Vehicle
 
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I also try to avoid all auto washes.....I am also in Boston area and this is not always practical due to the weather. Generally, there are enough "warm" days (ie over 40 degrees) that I can usually get a wash in a few times during the winter. What also helps is that in the fall I always put on a coat or two of Zaino which lasts several months and makes the wash process very easy. Pretty much any polymer based wax will also work as they tend to last longer on the car than natural wax.
 

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Do not ever use an automatic wash that touches your car's paint in any way (whether it's soft touch or regular bristles) if you don't want scratches and swirls.
 

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I use a touch free wash regularly as the full service Touch Free near me gives you prewash and presoak then a hand pressure washer and then the rest is automated drive through with just various pressure wash nozzles. It's the only one nearby and I'm surprised there are not more (other than the DIY wash bays). It's not perfect but It works until we get a warm day when I can give my MDX a proper exterior hand wash. Have a good was or other treatment makes a world of difference in washing off the filth and muck that winter driving seems to apply quickly this time of year in the Northlands. I have a black MDX so any brush or soft touch automated wash is a NO GO in my opinion.
 

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Do you have a driveway you can wash it yourself in with a hose sprayer and a bucket of soap and some microfiber towels? That'd be best. It was in the low 80s at my house today so it might be a less pleasant task in your area.

Alternatively you could take it to what I used to call a 'quarter car wash', i.e. a DIY car wash that has the pressure wands that you can use to get the underside pretty well. Note that my name for them is very dated - I haven't been to one in decades. I suppose they're more than a quarter now.

I definitely would 'not' use a car wash that slaps the fabric against the car - that's guaranteed to be problematic. I also don't know how well automated car washes, both touch and touchless, get the undercarriage of a vehicle. I don't use them but it seems their focus is not the undercarriage and that's where most of the salt is and where much of the salt damage will occur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you have a driveway you can wash it yourself in with a hose sprayer and a bucket of soap and some microfiber towels? That'd be best. It was in the low 80s at my house today so it might be a less pleasant task in your area.

Alternatively you could take it to what I used to call a 'quarter car wash', i.e. a DIY car wash that has the pressure wands that you can use to get the underside pretty well. Note that my name for them is very dated - I haven't been to one in decades. I suppose they're more than a quarter now.

I definitely would 'not' use a car wash that slaps the fabric against the car - that's guaranteed to be problematic. I also don't know how well automated car washes, both touch and touchless, get the undercarriage of a vehicle. I don't use them but it seems their focus is not the undercarriage and that's where most of the salt is and where much of the salt damage will occur.
No sir todat was about 7 degrees in boston!
 

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^^ Yeah, I know there's been an arctic blast in the Northeast the last few days. I guess I was just rubbing it in a little. Hopefully it'll ease up soon for you.
 

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As a resident of a cold-weather city (Chicago), I'd like to mention that even when it's too cold to wash your car yourself here, in addition to automated car washes and do-it-yourself spray booths, there are also plenty of places that offer car washes by hand.
 

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As a resident of a cold-weather city (Chicago), I'd like to mention that even when it's too cold to wash your car yourself here, in addition to automated car washes and do-it-yourself spray booths, there are also plenty of places that offer car washes by hand.
Sure.......but I personally can't wrap my head around paying $$$ to wash my car and then head right back out on the salt-covered streets so that my car is nice and salty again by the time I get home. Sort of like standing in a rainstorm with a towel trying to keep drying off your patio table and weird that it just keeps getting wet
 

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Sure.......but I personally can't wrap my head around paying $$$ to wash my car and then head right back out on the salt-covered streets so that my car is nice and salty again by the time I get home. Sort of like standing in a rainstorm with a towel trying to keep drying off your patio table and weird that it just keeps getting wet
There are days when your car will get full of salt - such as when the temperature rises above freezing and the roads are wet - and days when it won't - when it's well below freezing with no snow expected. It's no different from warm weather in summertime. Just need to time your car washes so the car might stay clean for a while.
 

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Anyone notice how much dirtier the tailgate gets as compared to the rest of the car? None of my other SUVs were this way....must be the aerodynamic design....
 
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I keep Windex and paper towels in the hatch to help clean off the back-up cam, glass, rear lights in winter months.

One big difference I've noticed between my 2nd Gen MDX compared to my 3rd Gen MDX is water has way more places to hide and drip out later. I could wash/dry my 2nd Gen and maybe get a few drips later from the side mirrors. I spend more time drying the drips from my 19 MDX compared to just drying the SUV. I have to use my computer air blower to get all the hidden water trapped in cracks, seams, grill, emblems, side steps, hatch, door jam, and lugs I can see this being an issue in rust belt of hidden corrosion after years of salty roads.
 

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Anyone notice how much dirtier the tailgate gets as compared to the rest of the car? None of my other SUVs were this way....must be the aerodynamic design....
All of my SUVs have been like this - Jeep Cherokee, Exploder, Durango, Tucson, MDX. It's just to do with the shape and the vacuum effect of the tailgate area - it attracts the dirt/dust/moisture. Some of those had the aerodynamics of a box.
 

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There are days when your car will get full of salt - such as when the temperature rises above freezing and the roads are wet - and days when it won't - when it's well below freezing with no snow expected. It's no different from warm weather in summertime. Just need to time your car washes so the car might stay clean for a while.
Thank you sir for helping to keep the economy humming along by making sure there is consistent cash flow to the hand car washes even during the cold winter months!
 

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All of my SUVs have been like this - Jeep Cherokee, Exploder, Durango, Tucson, MDX. It's just to do with the shape and the vacuum effect of the tailgate area - it attracts the dirt/dust/moisture. Some of those had the aerodynamics of a box.
All I can say is that the 2022 is far worse than my 2002 MDX and my 2017 Honda Pilot ....I suppose I am splitting hairs in that yes, they too were the dirtiest part of the cars, but thus far, what I have experienced with the new MDX is far worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^^ Yeah, I know there's been an arctic blast in the Northeast the last few days. I guess I was just rubbing it in a little. Hopefully it'll ease up soon for you.
Its so cold out here it dropped to 5 degrees... Yesterday it bounced back up to mid 40s, and now we're expecting mid teens again. So we got a small break!

I think im going to try the touchless for now just to wash the salt off. Right now i dont care if its prestine but shes salty!
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Being in boston in the middle of winter my dark dark DARK purple needs to wash off all the salt.

I realize there are pros and cons to both but any opinions on touchless vs soft cloth automatic car washes?
I'm a north of your state border neighbor. MDX is 1st generation dark blue. I always use a very good local soft cloth auto car wash (not by choice - & yes, arguable if there is even such a thing... :) ) with always undercarriage wash & the recently added ceramic coating (another topic...) & semi-annual exterior detailing. All that works for me. But again, it's 1st generation with battle scars. So, little scratches don't even show... :) Not that I care; 18 years old with 160+ miles. I am surprised the ceramic coating works especially well for my MDX; get frequent compliments for such an older vehicle. But, I also know doesn't work for everyone. Like others here say, nothing beats doing the TLC yourself. But, if that's not an option...
 
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