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2020 Sonata Limited in Calypso Red
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to hear how you all take care of your exterior with regards to washing and polishing. Also, what polish/wax for the paint/tires/chrome do you use? Also, do you have to hand dry it after washing, or does driving it back home do a good enough job of drying it?

I know probably hand wash is the best, but my back can't handle that, so other than hand-washing, what is the best way to keep your Sonata shiny and new looking? I went through AutoBell once but didn't like how forceful the wash was. (It knocked a mirror back!) Seems like it was too rough on the car, but maybe it's OK to do this? (IDK)

Or was wondering if I should only use Touchless car washes, and then occasionally polish it. But what do you do? Please include brands (ArmorAll?) of what you use so I know what to look for and how often you do it.
 

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I use Meguiars products. And hand wash, typically. I would not drive my car in to a "touch" car wash. Although I took it through a "touchless" one this weekend and was reminded that its useless except for removing loose dirt, etc.

Air dry can work but a clean 100% cotton towel (or shammy) is more thorough.
 

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2017 Sonata Sport 2.0T
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If you use any automated car wash you will have an increase chance of minor damage over time. Everything from knocking off the shark fin, mirror damage and paint swirls or scratches in the clear coat. This can even happen with the so called "touchless" washes.

Ultimately the only way to properly maintain the finish and cause the least wear or damage is hand washing. Many people dont even do this correctly because it is extra work. Cleaning sponges, 2 buckets to properly rinse sponge so you dont rub the dirt you are removing back into the clear coat and create swirls or scratches.

If you cant do it by hand pay a detailer to do it . if that is too expensive try minimizing the car washes and use "waterless' detailers between washes if the car is not too dirty being careful not to use dirty microfiber towels to apply and buff. I carry Meguires spray detailer and a few microfiber towels in the trunk and can wipe down the whole car in 10 minutes between washes but with the waterless be careful you are not wiping the dirt around and causing scratches so they are good if you dont have a lot of dirt or gritty type dirt on the car and change towels frequently so you dont cause fine scratches.

There are also things that may make you doing a hand wash easier , like the Mr Clean Auto Dry system, it filters the water so you diont get hard water spots which is what can happen if you dont properly dry. https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Clean-AutoDry-System-Starter/dp/B0006M56CE

If hand washing is just not going to work, it is better to keep it clean any way you can than to let it stay dirty for longer times so if you need to use the touchless washes do use them but dont be surprised that you will have fine scratches in the clear coat and it will never look quite like it did new or if it was hand washed and polished.

I like Meguires products and have had good luck with them over the years. The recent waterless products are pretty good and make life easier. Ive also started using one of the many synthetic spray products on the market in between waxing and polishing There are many out there bu Im using F11 Top Coat, it wipes on and a quick buff with a micro fiber towel and the car is super shine and slick, water rolls off and so does a lot of normal dust etc so it seems to stay looking good longer. TopCoat® F11® FAQ & Applications
Been using it on my harleys and all my cars for about a year now between wash and wax and they have a deep shine and surface feels like it has been clay bared. there are many other similar products out there.

There are some good detailing forums for more information Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum
 
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