Where do you refuse to take your vehicle?

Unsplash/Jakob Rosen

Enthusiasts by definition are people who are “ardently attached to a cause, object, or pursuit” as per Merriam-Webster. But the dictionary goes even further in its descriptive example for the word, as the authors chose a sports-car enthusiast to prove their point. Be it sporty cars, trucky-trucks, recreational vehicles, or something in between, we love our rides. And we know that we shouldn’t take them everywhere they can go.

A non-enthusiast would beg to differ, but we know the truth: Where do you refuse to take your vehicle? Here’s my contribution: car washes!

Well, I will take something to a coin-op car wash and use the sprayer to clean under the hood or to remove caked dirt from an off-road adventure. But any other time? I generally have flashbacks to this video I took of a Porsche getting millions of micro-abrasions from the dry wash it received at a trade show.

The brushes in a car-wash machine can scratch paint, causing a haze in direct sunlight. Places that reuse their water aren’t ideal, either, especially if you live where roads are salted in the winter. Touchless car washes? They can use harsher chemicals and higher-pressure water, either of which may be bad news for an older vehicle with aged paint and weatherstripping. If nothing else, touchless places will strip off a protective coat of wax you may have applied previously.

My solution? Waterless car washes.

Their name is a bit misleading—you need a bucket (or two) of water—but doing a car wash in your garage without a garden hose is quite appealing. A waterless wash is much more work than paying a machine, but mobile detailing services are always readily available if you do a “near-me” Google search.

I’ve gone too far down this particular wormhole. The question remains: Where do you refuse to take your vehicle?




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    I will not take my 2021 Audi RS6 to an Iffy Lube or any other drive through oil change place. It either gets serviced by the dealer every 10,000 miles or by a very reputable German car specialist in between. I wouldn’t take any another car to a ‘quickie’ oil change place, for that matter.

    I won’t take my ’55 BelAir Convertible anywhere if the weather threatens. I won’t park it on urban streets if I can’t keep an eye on it. I definitely won’t take it to car washes. In fact, I have only washed it with water once in the 23 years I’ve owned it, and that was on day one. When I first bought it, I washed it thoroughly, rubbed it our, buffed it by hand, polished it with carnauba was and buffed it again. Since then I’ve cleaned it only with detailing spray and soft rags. It’s a 30 year old paint job, but for the most part it looks like it was painted last week.

    Overdrive is for wimps.
    Come on … 3.90 gears, 26″ tall tires, 1:1 final drive ratio and a 3000-rpm non-lockup converter makes for a sweet sounding 3500-rpm at 70-mph.

    Built my garage so I can hand wash my cars here at home year round with heat and water.

    Where do I not take things. Most places prone for theft. Cleveland or most other major city,

    We keep a 08 Malibu here and use it for trips into town where things are questionable.

    Here in Ohio if you keep out of the cities you can do ok. It has really gotten bad the last 3 years.

    A tire shop. Or any instant lube place. Too many horror stories and personal bad experiences. I change my own tires and oil.

    Agree 100% And when I have tires changed on the rims, I reserve a time with my favorite guy. Metal valve stems and sick-on weights as well.

    Sadly, my “favorite guy” sold his tire shop and retired (the nerve!), and I haven’t yet worked up the courage to visit the new owners and check ’em out. I’ll take a ranch vehicle in so if there are scratches in a wheel, I won’t care (or likely even know)!

    I second, third and fourth this replay.

    However I do that my 92 Taurus SHO to Walmart but that’s what its good for.

    I also change my own oil. This way I know what’s going in and in the proper amount. I actually have a local shop for jobs I don’t care to do myself that is trustworthy which is very rare. As far as where I don’t take it. all of the above.

    MB doesn’t go to WalMart, Publix, anyplace there are loose shopping carts and/or tight parking spaces. Doesn’t go anywhere NEAR places that have wrenches except for tire changes (and I take the wheels off and bring them in). Doesn’t EVER go to yard sales or flea markets – if I showed up in that I’d never get a bargain again. All that stuff is what I have a beater for (old Honda), everybody ignores it.

    Amen, Miami Mike. Mrs. DUB6 taught me eons ago to only have dollar bills at flea markets, garage sales, and swap meets. Hard to dicker when you’re thumbing through Ben Franklins!

    +2 on lube shops… it’s sorta about the cars… but it’s also about the obnoxious attempts to upsell me. Full disclosure, I spent five years working in lube shops

    Car shows I’ve had a 68 rs/ss convertible and a 70 bb convert
    Took them every where .Dogs ,kids,people on bikes I don’t like that always want to touch

    I will never use fast oil change places, too many horror stories.
    Always park far away from the crowd and walk; it will do you good!!!!

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