Stewie gets TLC


When I originally bought my S2000 (aka ‘Stewie’), in 2008, I became maniacal about keeping it clean and pristine. I learnt how to wash it properly to protect the paint, and keep it as good looking as long as possible.

I also acquired various products, accoutrements and tools to do my own detailing. From a collection of chemicals and the like, to special cloths and buffing pads, I began geeking out in detailing.

While we lived in Tucson, I religiously hand washed it every Saturday, waxed it every 6-8 weeks, and twice a year polished the finish to keep it sparkling. I knew that I couldn’t expect to keep the paint perfect being a daily driver, but I knew I could keep it pretty sharp.

After moving to Chandler, it became more difficult to keep up the washing, but except for a slight slip in the schedule, I kept up the handwashing regime. Continue reading →

Why I rarely use car washes

When I bought my Stewie, I made the commitment to keep it clean. I washed it every week, waxed it typically once a month (give or take) and polished/sealed the paint every year. I have all the gear, and all the chemicals to do this, and I actually enjoy it.

However, lately I have been pretty busy, and my schedule has slipped. I have gotten lazy, and there is a pretty decent hand wash place nearby. My time is valuable enough that it is worth the $15 to get my car cleaned. They do a good job, and take pretty good care of the finish. Not as good as my three bucket wash, but it is a good compromise.

But it reminds me of what I hate about commercial car wash places. They have a “greeter” who keeps trying to up-sell you. Are you sure you don’t want the VIP wash for $12 more? “no”. But it comes with a free exterior wash in a week. “no”. How about a hand wax/detail? “no”. You can bring it back for it later if you are in a hurry… “no”.

Now, I get that they are comped on how much they sell, and I appreciate the effort. But, the third time I decline, GIVE UP THE GHOST and move on.

And then there are the vultures who want to repair your windshield. For the record, I have several repaired dings in my windshield (hey, I live in Arizona, the capital of cracked windshields), and it never fails that they zero in on me to offer their services. They are almost worse than the greeters.

At least the team of finishers do a great job, and are appreciative of the few bucks I toss at them as a tip.

It is time to get back in the habit of washing my cars myself. I need to lay in some supplies, but that is cheap.