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best to hose car down after rainy day, or not?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by gnychis, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    My first rainy day in the Bay Area since moving out here. I think the area needed the extra water! This is my first high end car, so I'm trying to learn how to take care of it (and its paint) properly. My car (white) now has the usual brown dirt water marks along the doors and side panels from driving around on a rainy day. If I don't have time to wash the car entirely, I was wondering after a day like this, if it's best to:

    a) Hose the car down and let it air dry (I would definitely not towel it dry given dirt will still be present).

    or

    b) Just let the dirty water dry on to the car.

    I would be using your standard hose water :p No fancy distilled water. Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    I have a darker color and I usually let it dry on. I prefer to do a waterless car wash soon after - if there's no more rain on the horizon - and my preferred car wash place is Eco Green Auto Clean in Redwood City.

    There appears to be more rain in the forecast for Thursday btw.
     
  3. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Careful with the hose water -- if your car is black.

    My car is black, and water from my hose, if allowed to air dry will leave water spots... spots that can etch the paint if not dried quickly (with micro fiber towels). This is due to the minerals in our water source. Your water may or may not have this issue.

    Rain water is naturally "distilled", i.e. no minerals in the water, and will not (in most cases) leave permanent water spots. So I don't worry about rain and road dirt until the next wash, which is usually every 7 days or so (if I can).

    I ended buying one of these, and it works like a charm...
    DI-120 Cr Spotless Water System : Amazon.com : Automotive

    Wish they made a black metallic finish.
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I find this surprising.
     
  5. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Well, I should say rain is a natural distillation, that leads to *very low* mineral content, as compared to ground water... which depending on where you live, can be very high in minerals.
     
  6. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    How often to you need to replace the filter/resin or whatever it is that filters with this device? Does it cost 45 bucks like the site shows or am I looking at the wrong thing?
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    In Texas, there is so much mineral content in the water that you practically have to use a chisel to get a drink. If you wash the car and don't dry it it off, the car is more white than any other colour. Rain water has far less mineral content, just what it picks up from the air when falling.
     
  8. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    If you are a DIY person, get yourself a waterless wash product with high quality microfiber towels. Griots Garage sells some nice products for this, such as their Spray-on Wash and their Speed Shine (which is a quick detailer):

    http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/spray-on+car+wash+kit.do

    http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/speed+shine+maintain+kit.do?sortby=ourPicks

    You can buy the stuff by the gallon, and also buy extra towels. Of course, there are plenty of different brands for this kind of thing if you shop around.

    Always wash and dry your microfiber towels separate from other fabrics, and never use fabric softeners. You can also buy microfiber cleaning liquids.
     
  9. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    This is normally a good bet, but I remember rainstorms in PA where the rain droplets coalesced around the stack effluents of the local cement plants (this was the bad old days, before stack gas scrubbers were mandatory). The resulting rain deposited a fine coating of cement (you know, the stuff that binds concrete together) on every horizontal surface. When it dried on your automobile, it was not only a dirty grayish-white, but crusty.
     
  10. Zextraterrestrial

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    especially on the west coast with all of the crap coming from China and Fukushima that isn't spoken of in any sort of 'normal' media.
    ...'holds breath' ...cough, cough :wink:

    I like to wash my car when it is raining.
     
  11. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    This (black or not). Don't let water spots form on your car if you can avoid it. If you can't avoid it (sprinklers, for instance), get those spots off ASAP. Water spots can cause permanent damage.
     
  12. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Water spots from yesterday:

    5a3uzymy.jpg
     
  13. jbruce

    jbruce Member

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    Don't rinse your car with the hose without drying it. As others have said, it will leave mineral deposit water spots that often require polishing to remove. This appears even worse on dark cars. That said, environmental dust on the paint and mixes with the rain can also cause water spots but its usually not as bad as the mineral spots from the tap water. I used to live in the bay area (Stanford, PA, Hillsborough and SF). The tap water was definitely worse than the rain water + environmental fall out. I once had to leave a dark colored BMW at a friends house in Atherton while traveling for a week. I was going to cover it but it was raining when I dropped the car off. Over the week it dried out but the sprinklers got the car and left the worst water spots I've ever seen on one side. It took orbital buffing and lots of polishing to remove them. Damn sprinklers.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    You California guys are too funny. Here's my car, and it's going to look like this until the temperatures get above freezing (months from now):

    IMG_1622.JPG
     
  15. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    That makes two of us.
     
  16. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    Those probably aren't hard water sports, though. If they are, :eek:
     
  17. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Just moved from Pittsburgh, PA. I do laugh at how soft I've gotten out here quite quickly :p
     
  18. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't take long. I spent last week in San Diego (conference) and this week I'm in LA (brother's house). Already, I don't want to go home :smile:
     
  19. Shumdit

    Shumdit Member

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    I made a living removing (as best you could) acid rain spots in the late 80's at a Honda dealership. In those days the rain was more of an issue than the mineral content of tap water.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    The nature of the dirt and the lines of the car, in the picture, sure make it look like the rear door is dented, and to a lesser extent also the driver's door.
     

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