At the risk of sounding like a liberal:
Our XLR has never even been close to a car wash. :eek
Inside car washes lurk the worse kinds of debris to scratch your car. To wit:
Rotary brushes trap sand particles which slowly abrade your XLRs clear coat. :eek
High Pressure jets, loosen debris on one part of your car, only to sandblast another part. :eek
The towels those attendants use? What did they wipe before they scraped off your clear coat? :eek
Don't you love those "lower" brushes that schlep across your muddy tires before they scrape your wheels and rocker panels? :eek
And those grinning
wax-on, wax-off guys? Those rotary buffers make me cringe. :eek :eek :eek
Evidence of the above is found in the tiny "spider web" scratches and swirl marks that accumulate on your clear coat - seen best when your car is very clean.
The best way to preserve your finish is the following five step process:
1) Hand wash with very clean boars bristle brush or lambs wool wash mitt;
2) Dry with microfiber drying towels. Do NOT use standard terrycloth that has any polyester;
3) "Clay" the paint to remove micro debris clinging to the finish;
4) Polish to remove spider webbing and swirl marks; and
5) Hand wax with carnuba car wax - preferrably two coats.
For the perfectionist, doing this is very satisfying. Mentally cleansing. Relaxing and good exercise all at the same time. And you car will look better than the day it rolled off the showroom floor. If all this sounds like too much trouble.....well, for you, it probably is.
PS - I forgot the sixth step in the "five step" process. Wax your wheels.
Remind me not to swing any dead cats when in the Valley :glol