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TRULY touch less car wash?

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,372
721
Seattle, WA
Hi all,

I admit being borderline obsessive on keeping my S clean, though I succumbed to tired temptation last week. Just finished long drive back in rain/crud on I5, and really really didn't want to freeze the brass balls off cleaning my S (incl underside) ahead of holiday guests...

Anywho, long story short, I ended up going to Kingsgate car wash over in Kirkland and after manually inspecting the machinery, watching another car through, etc, too the plunge and it was a truly touch less experience. No brushes, or anything beyond liquids, touched my car. The pressure was strong, though no seals had any kind of issues.

The car was significantly cleaner, only requiring a few touch ups needed with my (always in my car) Griotts speed car wash and microfiber cloths, in order to meet my standards. The only place where it could have done better was the under wheel arches, though it's a known issue getting pine needles and crud off the fabric liners and I prefer it erring on the side of less pressure to wash them.

Overall color me impressed. Whilst I will still be whipping out my foam lance, many buckets and brushes, I thought this was a good alternative and wanted to write it up here as search did not find this Kingsgate car wash.

Finally, the owner (Charlie) came over to see me as I was exiting the car wash. Not only was he knowledgeable on Teslas he has a production Model X on order. He knew his stuff, was a member on TMC, and even about
the additional business tax break for the X. When I asked why he didn't post about his car wash, he said he didn't believe in shameless self-promotion... Right answer, though considering this car wash did a reasonable job, was truly touch free, and appears to be one of the only ones I could find, I thought I would promote it :)
 

dirkhh

Middle-aged Member
Jul 7, 2013
3,638
126
Portland, OR, USA
We have a truly touch less car wash in Tigard as well. I've used them once... I guess I'm on the opposite end of the car washing spectrum from you, Mike... ignoring visits to the SC, my car has been washed three times since I took possession in early March :)

United Car Wash
9855 SW Walnut Pl
Tigard, OR 97223
 
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pdxgibby

Software Engineer
Oct 30, 2015
600
717
Tualatin, Oregon
There is also a good touchless car wash in Tualatin -- Tualatin Space Age gas station ([COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.870588)]20599 SW 115th Ave, Tualatin, OR 97062). I haven't been daring enough to take my Tesla through that wash yet -- but maybe someday. Certainly do this one before I'll take it through a Kaady.
[/COLOR]
 

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,372
721
Seattle, WA
I thought they had to use a lot of chemicals in order to be touchless as well.

Good points both. Don't know if there's any real issue here, though if it strips off the Opticoat then I'll be right back to get it redone under warranty. Charlie did mention that some S owners didn't like the underbody spray due to the battery...? Really can't see that being an issue given all the water spray that we get off the roads here ;-)

@Dirk, I *know* there's something I could say to this... Though I saw how clean your car was, so I think maybe you're a closet clean-freak? :p

Also, that sounds like 3 touch less in Portland area, and just one up here? That makes me sad. Still, washed the car again today - so all those nasty chemicals have been replaced with mine...
 

dirkhh

Middle-aged Member
Jul 7, 2013
3,638
126
Portland, OR, USA
@Dirk, I *know* there's something I could say to this... Though I saw how clean your car was, so I think maybe you're a closet clean-freak? :p

It's called "rain", Mike. We have that here from time to time. And it does a fairly decent job to keep my car clean enough for me :p
 

ibdb

Any excuse for a road trip
Apr 29, 2015
433
254
Puyallup, WA
Also, that sounds like 3 touch less in Portland area, and just one up here? That makes me sad. Still, washed the car again today - so all those nasty chemicals have been replaced with mine...

There's one in Puyallup near the South Hill Mall. I've had to use it as a last resort a couple of times. (By last resort I mean like 10pm when my wife found that the parking space she'd carefully selected away from other cars that might door ding our S was apparently near the flight paths of a large number of birds with digestive issues.)
 

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,372
721
Seattle, WA
There's one in Puyallup near the South Hill Mall. I've had to use it as a last resort a couple of times. (By last resort I mean like 10pm when my wife found that the parking space she'd carefully selected away from other cars that might door ding our S was apparently near the flight paths of a large number of birds with digestive issues.)

Good to know, as a last resort obviously :)

- - - Updated - - -

I've used one just south of SeaTac airport on 99. Not sure if it's still there.

sounds like this one? Airport Touchless Car Wash - Car Wash - SeaTac, WA - Reviews - Photos - Yelp

often at airport, so if good for emergencies? All bio degradeable too
 

golfski

Member
Apr 17, 2014
179
3
Seattle, WA
I've tried the Kingsgate and Airport touchless - wasn't impressed with the Airport location, but the Kingsgate works well. There is also a touchless in downtown Snoqualmie, much closer and does a good job.
 
There are advantages and disadvantages to both a tunnel car wash and a touchless car wash. The reason a touchless carwash "works" is because it uses harsh chemicals and acids to loosen the dirt and grime before it is pressure washed off. These chemicals can cause hard water spots in glass, paint and trim and will immediately strip waxes and sealants. If your car is coated with a semi-permanent type of coating like Opti Coat Pro+, 22ple or CQuartz Finest, then you don't need to worry about it stripping this because it is chemically inert. Sometimes if the car is really dirty and is not coated with a semi-permanent type of coating it also may not satisfactorily clean your car and may need some touching up. A traditional tunnel type of car wash machine will spray a pre-rinse on your car and use sponges or brushes to "mechanically" loosen and clean the dirt from your car. This will cause scratches in the clearcoat and will strip wax over time. If you are unable to wash your car or bring it to a professional shop for a proper 2 bucket hand wash, then a well maintained traditional tunnel car wash "can" be better if you wash your car very regularly, if you wait weeks between washings then it's more likely that the finish will scratch because of accumulated dirt that created a film over the car making it more difficult to clean. If you clean a nearly clean car it's not only a lot less abrasive, but you'll end up with a nicer job. I still recommend to perform a proper hand wash whenever possible! I hope this helps.


John Kleven
 

MikeBur

ManualPilot
Dec 8, 2014
1,372
721
Seattle, WA
There are advantages and disadvantages to both a tunnel car wash and a touchless car wash. The reason a touchless carwash "works" is because it uses harsh chemicals and acids to loosen the dirt and grime before it is pressure washed off. These chemicals can cause hard water spots in glass, paint and trim and will immediately strip waxes and sealants. If your car is coated with a semi-permanent type of coating like Opti Coat Pro+, 22ple or CQuartz Finest, then you don't need to worry about it stripping this because it is chemically inert. Sometimes if the car is really dirty and is not coated with a semi-permanent type of coating it also may not satisfactorily clean your car and may need some touching up. A traditional tunnel type of car wash machine will spray a pre-rinse on your car and use sponges or brushes to "mechanically" loosen and clean the dirt from your car. This will cause scratches in the clearcoat and will strip wax over time. If you are unable to wash your car or bring it to a professional shop for a proper 2 bucket hand wash, then a well maintained traditional tunnel car wash "can" be better if you wash your car very regularly, if you wait weeks between washings then it's more likely that the finish will scratch because of accumulated dirt that created a film over the car making it more difficult to clean. If you clean a nearly clean car it's not only a lot less abrasive, but you'll end up with a nicer job. I still recommend to perform a proper hand wash whenever possible! I hope this helps.


John Kleven

hi John,

thanks for the additional info, that's great context. Definitely more of an "emergency" (i.e. Friends visiting and know they'll want to go out for a ride and I just didn't have time) measure, though really good point on opticoat. That definitely is the case with mine, though good for others. In addition, I'm paranoid enough to have washed mine by hand a few days later (foam lance, 2 buckets, grit guards, etc etc ;-)).
 

kooljack

Member
Sep 15, 2014
74
3
Bothell, WA
There are advantages and disadvantages to both a tunnel car wash and a touchless car wash. The reason a touchless carwash "works" is because it uses harsh chemicals and acids to loosen the dirt and grime before it is pressure washed off. These chemicals can cause hard water spots in glass, paint and trim and will immediately strip waxes and sealants. If your car is coated with a semi-permanent type of coating like Opti Coat Pro+, 22ple or CQuartz Finest, then you don't need to worry about it stripping this because it is chemically inert. Sometimes if the car is really dirty and is not coated with a semi-permanent type of coating it also may not satisfactorily clean your car and may need some touching up. A traditional tunnel type of car wash machine will spray a pre-rinse on your car and use sponges or brushes to "mechanically" loosen and clean the dirt from your car. This will cause scratches in the clearcoat and will strip wax over time. If you are unable to wash your car or bring it to a professional shop for a proper 2 bucket hand wash, then a well maintained traditional tunnel car wash "can" be better if you wash your car very regularly, if you wait weeks between washings then it's more likely that the finish will scratch because of accumulated dirt that created a film over the car making it more difficult to clean. If you clean a nearly clean car it's not only a lot less abrasive, but you'll end up with a nicer job. I still recommend to perform a proper hand wash whenever possible! I hope this helps.


John Kleven

I started washing mine with ONR Wash/Wax so that i can do it in the garage .. results are as good as two bucket. John - you have any comments on OptimumNoRinse? on opti-coat?
 
I started washing mine with ONR Wash/Wax so that i can do it in the garage .. results are as good as two bucket. John - you have any comments on OptimumNoRinse? on opti-coat?

Optimum No Rinse is a great product, in particular on Opti-Coat. It's a great routine, but if your routine is ever delayed and the car gets excessively dirty I then would go to MikeBur's method with the foam cannon, 2 buckets and grit guards for more extreme situations. Opti Coat will help to reduce the surface tension on the paintwork making a pre-foam or even a pressure washing rinse more effective which in turn will help to reduce any marring induced when hand washing your vehicle.


John Kleven
 

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