If you’re a proud BMW owner like we are, odds are you love your car with a love that can only be expressed in deep poetry and heartfelt songs. (We are only slightly exaggerating, and you know it.) In any event, you want to take very good care of your BMW, which is why you bring it to be pampered by the master mechanics at Coast Motor Werk.
Besides regular oil changes and inspections and all the other preventative maintenance measures we harp on to extend the life of your precious Bimmer, one of the most important – and easiest – things you can do to keep your car looking slick and well-cared for is to have it washed regularly. (It’s easy because it makes YOU look good too, am I right?)
Unfortunately, even well-intentioned car washers can easily do more harm than good. Improper scrubbing techniques, low quality soap, and the wrong sponges can all damage the paint, leaving unsightly swirls and scratches behind.
Here are some proper washing and drying techniques that won’t damage your BMW’s exterior.
How to Properly Wash Your BMW
1. Do it weekly.
Giving your BMW the salon treatment once a week will remove the bug juice and bird poop. These are not only gross to look at, but they can actually do substantial damage to your car’s exterior. According to Auto Geek,
These bio-hazards contain complex proteins that bond to the surface and organic acids that penetrate and break down the surface, eating into your clear coat if not removed promptly. Weak spots in the clear coat make your vehicle susceptible to corrosion and discoloration.
Weekly washings will also remove brake dust, (a contaminant that contains metal shavings) and all the other dirt and grime your car kicks up (or gets kicked onto it from other cars) as it glides down the road. And don’t forget, if you live in a place with an atmosphere of some type (pretty sure that includes everyone), there’s most likely going to be dust, as well as some invisible chemicals that get caked onto your car’s exterior. If these contaminants are left to sit, they will eventually eat through the clear coat and destroy your car’s finish.
2. Do it right.
Believe it or not, there IS a right and wrong way to wash your car.
Timing is important. Choose a shady spot or wash it at dusk, not in direct sunlight or right after you’ve been driving it. The heat will cause your water to evaporate and can damage the exterior. Also your cleaning products are not meant to interact with high heat.
Speaking of cleaning products, please do not use Dawn or other dish soaps/degreasers. These will strip the wax and disrupt the pH balance. Use only soaps that are intended for car washing.
Make every effort to eliminate any debris, tiny rocks or pebbles, dirt, etc. as these can all scratch your car’s surface. Do things like:
- Work up a nice lather with your soap or use a lubricant before wiping anything off.
- Use only microfiber or other super soft cloths/sponges. Nothing scratchy.
- Rinse your cloth often. If you drop it on the ground, it has been compromised. Get a new one.
- Make sure your car is super wet before starting to wash.
- Clean top to bottom. The bottom of your car is the dirtiest, so if you start there you’re likely to have dirt and debris in your wash cloth.
- Use two buckets: one with soapy water and one with clean water for rinsing.
- No swirling motions with your cloth. Do front to back motions.
3. Don’t forget to dry.
After you’ve done a great job washing your car, don’t neglect one of the most important of steps: drying. Allowing your car to air dry will certainly cause spots. For a shiny, clean finish, dry immediately using a clean microfiber cloth and using the same top to bottom, front to back motions.
For more car washing Dos and Don’ts, check out this video by ChrisFix:
Any questions about how to properly wash your BMW? Give us a call! We can recommend soaps and cloths that will leave your Bimmer looking shiny and new.