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Automatic in an Automatic Car Wash


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When the automatic car wash are allowed to open I am keen to take my 2019 automatic focus through one ( I've owned it since last August and have only used the type of 'basic garage'  carwash)

My previous cars I've just put it into neutral , left the engine running and have let the carwash 'drag' me through, but the new 'dial' type the method seems a little different.

According to the owners manual:

Put your vehicle in Stay in Neutral mode when entering an automatic car wash
To enter Stay in Neutral mode, do the following:
  1. Bring your vehicle to a complete standstill.
  1. Press and hold the brake pedal.
  1. Shift into neutral (N).
Note:   A message appears in the information display.
  1. Press the manual (M) button.
Note:   A confirmation message appears in the information display when your vehicle has entered Stay in Neutral mode.
  1. Release the brake pedal.
  1. Switch the ignition off.

I'm a tad worried about number 6, switching the engine off especially when it says 'The transmission returns to park (P) if the vehicle battery charge is low.' would it do any harm if I didn't switch the engine off? the last thing I want it the car to go into Park mode halfway through the wash 'n wax

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9 hours ago, Luke4efc said:

LMAO I'd be more worried about the scratches that you're 100% guaranteed to inflict on your paint by going through those car washes.

Absolutely, if you really can't wash your car yourself, seek out a decent local 'manned' car wash. The one I sometimes use is really good, using pressure guns, and well rinsed noodle mops. (Owners Porsche 911 always sits in forecourt immaculate, he's very fussy!)

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If you do venture into a unmanned car wash please check the brushes prior to entering.

It has been known that some scrotes like to add unsavoury items to the bristles like steel bolts and screws just to give you that pimpled look 😮

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Automatic car washes have remained open through the latest lockdown.  The queues for them were ridiculous though!  

The part that worries me there is the EPB, it automatically applies when you switch the engine off normally.  I've got visions of the car wash ripping your car in half... :unsure:  Struggling to see what's wrong with the normal 'neutral' with the engine running.  Does it automatically select Park if it notices the car start to roll?  Or is the emergency brake assist going to get scared when the rollers come flying towards the front of the car?

You could test it by 'stopping' at the top of an empty hill, selecting neutral and letting the car roll down with the engine running...

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I have taken many automatics including Fords through car washes and never had a problem. Always just left the engine running and the car in neutral (remember to switch off the rain sensing wipers - which I often forget). I must admit that I've not taken my Focus Mk4 through a car wash yet so I can't say for sure how it would react but I'm sure by now lots of other Focus Automatics will have been in a car wash and we would know if there was a major issue.

 

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On reading this thread again, I think we're all guilty (including myself) of preaching to the poor OP. If he wants to use an automatic car wash, well, he's perfectly entitled to do so! Maybe someone can simply answer his request of whether his car will crash whilst sitting in it 😁

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My next door neighbour's lad bought a black '66 plate Fiesta ST-Line last year but very rarely gets it washed but when he did so a few weeks ago he used an automatic car wash and now has a medium-sized, circular swirled scratch on his off-side rear panel. Unfortunately he didn't notice it until his mum pointed it out a couple of weeks later, so has no come back on the car wash. 🙄🙄

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5 hours ago, StephenFord said:

On reading this thread again, I think we're all guilty (including myself) of preaching to the poor OP. If he wants to use an automatic car wash, well, he's perfectly entitled to do so! Maybe someone can simply answer his request of whether his car will crash whilst sitting in it 😁

There are many hundreds of thousands of car owners who have no means to wash there car other than at a car wash. Those who live in tower blocks and housing estates with central car parks makes it impossible to wash your car by hand. I agree that car washes don't do the paint any favours but is leaving the car scruffy any better?

This afternoon out of intrest and because my car was needing a wash I took my Focus Mk4 Automatic through the Tesco conveyor car wash at Durham. I did as I have always done - put the car in neutral, left the engine on - no handbrake - switched wipers off - and sat back and watched as the car got pulled along. There was no alarms when the brushes went past, the handbrake didn't put it's self on and all was well. I drove out the otherside with a clean car and my wallet or should I say debit card £8.00 lighter🙂

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6 minutes ago, unofix said:

There are many hundreds of thousands of car owners who have no means to wash there car other than at a car wash. Those who live in tower blocks and housing estates with central car parks makes it impossible to wash your car by hand.

 

...and therein lies the future failure of the battery car! If you can't even wash it, how are you going to charge it LOL

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2 hours ago, StephenFord said:

...and therein lies the future failure of the battery car! If you can't even wash it, how are you going to charge it LOL

The same way you fill up now...  Unless you have your own private petrol pump mounted by your front door. :wink:

 

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1 minute ago, TomsFocus said:

The same way you fill up now...  Unless you have your own private petrol pump mounted by your front door. :wink:

 

mmm... so, if you live on the 3rd floor, do you just dangle an extension cable out the window overnight to charge it up for the morning? (Along with your 30+ neighbours) LOL To 'fill up now', all you do is drive to a petrol station, get your fuel, and drive off again. What am I missing here Tom? :thumbsup:

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5 minutes ago, StephenFord said:

mmm... so, if you live on the 3rd floor, do you just dangle an extension cable out the window overnight to charge it up for the morning? (Along with your 30+ neighbours) LOL To 'fill up now', all you do is drive to a petrol station, get your fuel, and drive off again. What am I missing here Tom? :thumbsup:

In the near future you'll be able to drive to a filling station and get 80% battery charge in a few minutes, same as brimming a tank of fuel today.  :smile:

 

 

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4 hours ago, unofix said:

There are many hundreds of thousands of car owners who have no means to wash there car other than at a car wash. Those who live in tower blocks and housing estates with central car parks makes it impossible to wash your car by hand. I agree that car washes don't do the paint any favours but is leaving the car scruffy any better?

There's many hand car washes you can go to, just like the OP mentioned he has been doing for a while now. Granted these aren't ideal either, but they're 10x better than those damaging automatic ones.

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Just noticed this on the Tesco (IMO) car wash information page (at the very bottom):-

IMO offers a range of car washes to protect your car from the 7 signs of ageing with a 100% non-scratch guarantee..

https://www.imocarwash.com/gb/car-washes/tyne-wear/imo-car-wash-durham-tesco/

 

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1 hour ago, unofix said:

Just noticed this on the Tesco (IMO) car wash information page (at the very bottom):-

IMO offers a range of car washes to protect your car from the 7 signs of ageing with a 100% non-scratch guarantee..

https://www.imocarwash.com/gb/car-washes/tyne-wear/imo-car-wash-durham-tesco/

 

Maybe the entire detailing community is just wrong about dangerous automatic car washes are to paintwork. Or perhaps IMO is telling a few porkies 🤔... There's a reason people use 2 buckets, a nice soft microfibre mitt and drying towel instead of a revolving brush to clean their car.

No matter what their claims are I can 100% guarantee your car will come out the other side with some paint imperfection due to their cleaning. There's so many experiments about this online, and the automatic ones always causes more swirl marks than a hand wash.

Reading the statement again it may seem it's pointing to their wax/sealant rather than the wash itself. In which case, you'd have to be pretty stupid to scratch your car whilst waxing it. The car wash certainly doesn't "protect the car from the 7 signs of aging" anyway.

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17 hours ago, Phil3747 said:

Unfortunately he didn't notice it until his mum pointed it out a couple of weeks later, so has no come back on the car wash. 🙄🙄

Im pretty sure there’s a disclaimer somewhere on every one of these automatic car washers . Whether it’s 2 weeks or 2 minutes later there is no come back. 

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13 hours ago, StephenFord said:

In the 80s, I was promised a hover board 'in the near future', I remain disappointed LOL

Official HOVERBOARD For Sale UK | Buy HOVERBOARDS At Best Price 2021 – Official Hoverboard :tongue: 

Fast charging is already possible though, plenty of phones have a 'turbocharge' that fills it up to 80% quickly.  It's the final 20% that takes the time to charge but now batteries don't have a memory like they used to, there's really no long term benefit of fully charging every time.

Interestingly, the first petrol station didn't open until after WW1...we know the infrastructure will take time for charging too.

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How we got from "Automatic Car Wash" to battery Cars to Hoverboards  is quite amazing 😀.

One small point that I've never seen addressed yet is where are we going to get all this extra electricity from. On a daily bases the UK's Generating and national grid is between 90 - 95% of capacity. Add 10 to 20 million electric vehicles trying to charge up and..........

Even local sub-stations and supplies on to housing estates will be unable to cope. Take an estate with 100 houses and an average of 1.5 cars per house. Most will want to  charge overnight at 30 Amps or more, that will place an extra load on the local supply wiring and sub-station of 4500 Amps.

Ah !!!! but of course thats what smart meters are for, so that when demand becomes crazy the electricity companies can charge premium prices and if that fails to flatten demand they have the ability to switch off individual smart meters or punish thoses users who have dared to use too much electricity with peak demand penalties.

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