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Moved to caring for your slk
most members wash by hand

search for horror stories
 

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Pros and Cons Is it ok to take my 2004 SLK 320 to a auto car wash?

Thanks jnc1948
Now John.....we've talked about this. 😆

I would never take mine through an automated car wash.

Ours are black, right? And black is VERY sensitive in showing anything on the paint work.

Personally, after seeing the state the paint work was in when we bought her and spending over 1,000 on getting her paint up to a decent standard, never again. Hand wash only gets my vote.

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It is such a small car. even with the 2 bucket system, it goes fast
 

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I would never risk taking my car to a car wash. Either it's hard on the paint and messes it up by using hard brushes or soft (old) ones with lots of dirt in them, or it's just using high pressure water jets and the car won't get clean.

By washing it yourself you know the sponge is new and clean, you use the proper good cleaning and wax compounds, plus you get a close inspection of your car and will spot any dents/scratches in the paint in need to fixing up. And as said, it's a small car and won't take long to wash by hand! :)
 

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I have learned the importance of personal care and have stopped taking my automobile to the Car Wash. If I am that interested in listening to a bunch of 18yo girls giggle, I take my wifes car.
 

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I'm with everyone else...NEVER use an automated wash; I am not even satisfied with the dealer's hand-wash after they service the car. Any color will be scratched if one of those infernal machines is ever used. Same goes for the do-it-yourself wand washes; far too much water pressure is used and grit on the car gets blasted into the paint before it gets washed away. I usually take 45 minutes to wash Sunhilde; half for the wheels and half for the car itself. Her next wash on Sunday morning will take quite a bit longer, as she will have 2500 miles of bugs & rain grime on her from two weeks on the road in Canada. Since she's been driven through rain, I have to wash the undercarriage now, too.
 

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I'm guessing that this car is new to you. If so, what condition is it in? Odds are the previous owner has already done the automated car wash to it a bunch of times unless it is truly in pristine condition. If that is the case, I suspect continuing that pattern won't adversely impact it much more than it already has been. But if it is in pristine condition, personal washes is the way to go.

However, all of the above comments make good sense. It doesn't take long to do it yourself, you can do a much better job, you don't risk further damage and you get to spot any areas that need touch-up for prompt, proper fixing.

The key is to keep it clean one way or another. I have a relative who refused to take his MB to the wash for some of the above reasons. However, he never got around to doing it himself. After 6 months, it gets real bad and is now in much worse condition than the auto car washes could have inflicted - unless you are unlucky enough to experience one of the horror stories.

So if you have the discipline to do it yourself, that is your best bet. But if you don't, auto wash is better than not.
 

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plus one on all these

and I want to know where CNovack takes his wife's car.


Seriously though, its a very easy car to wash. have a good look at how well the drains are coping while you are at it. I had to unblock two last week, the by-product of living in a leafy avenue.:frown:
 

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Doing it your self you get into areas that the auto cars wash misses. You get up close and see more things about your car in doing a self wash. I like get the wheels real clean on the back side and car washes do not do a good job in this area. Now with that said MB builds these car just like all other models to withstand the elements which auto car washes are included. I do both if I want a rel good wash and detail then it is a self wash. If the car is getting a little dirty and pushed for time then it is the auto car wash. The biggest thing is do not let the dirt, grime, bug spats, tree sap, bird dropping and all the other stuff stay on the car for long time. A good wax or detail spray is good to protect the finish. Keep it clear and protected and DIY wash or auto car wash works.
 

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Just a word of warning on letting your car go through a auto wash. It will get scratch, in my opion its best to hand wash using a two bucket system or using a suds gun.
 

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Pace yourself. Do one side. take a break, etc
 

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Even the MB dealer knows enough to ask if I want the Dawg washed after the service, and they already know the answer, but they ask out of courtesy. But then again, they also state they have never seen such a clean car come in for service either! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone..... Took it to my dealer that I brought the SLK from and he vacuum and washed it for clean the rims and shone the tires at now charge and he even had a cold beer for me... That was very nice of him and the cost was free...yes free... So to say I am very happy with it. But next time I will try and do it myself....


jnc1948
 

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I take mine in once a year for service "A" . The dealership give our SLK club a small discount and yes they do a car wash for free. The bill says car wash $29.00 but paid by service manager. Not all dealership are out there trying to rip you off.
 
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