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      10-13-2008, 11:27 AM   #1
M3 996
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Lowered car through car wash?

I know many will not agree with the thought of even putting their car through an automatic car wash, but I am a realist.

So, have any of you that have actually done the H&R or Eibach spring swap been able to run your car through an automatic (the kind with a rail and a conveyor) car wash afterword?

I would like to do this mod, but also need to consider the potential consequences.

Thanks!
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      10-13-2008, 01:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 996 View Post
I know many will not agree with the thought of even putting their car through an automatic car wash, but I am a realist.

So, have any of you that have actually done the H&R or Eibach spring swap been able to run your car through an automatic (the kind with a rail and a conveyor) car wash afterword?

I would like to do this mod, but also need to consider the potential consequences.

Thanks!
Masochist, you meant.

My personal problem with that particular kind of automatic Car Wash (the one with rails) is not so much about the car being lowered but most often than not the rail itself could scratch the wheels due to low profile tires. I have never had any issues with lowered cars in this kind of Car Wash, but the wheels being scratched is another story.

The only automatic Car Wash that I ever use -only in extremely rare occassions- is the one that is touchless and without any rails. And even some of them force you to place the front tires in between two small rails...
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      10-13-2008, 02:23 PM   #3
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If you care enough about putting a lowered car through an automatic car wash then you care enough not to spider web and scratch the living crap out of your clear coat!

Jason
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      10-13-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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I had the H&R Sport springs on my e92 335i before I got the M3. The one time I ran it through a car wash, something on the bottom of the car scraped the rails a bit. I've never had any wheel damage from these things.
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      10-13-2008, 11:08 PM   #5
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OK... I know I am not worthy... but, this is my daily driver, and I already have a lowered Porsche 996 that I have to hand wash...

My main concern is damaging the piece of crap, fiberboard/cardboard, black front diffuser... the one below the bumper, in front of the wheels...

Any one with a lowered car have a car wash damage this piece, or is there enough clearance with a 1" drop?

Flame suit on!
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      10-13-2008, 11:13 PM   #6
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I dunno, i used to go thru car wash with my E46 M3. bad experience, it broke my CF splitters.

ever since i got my M. i only use the touchless carwash with no rails....

and now i am sticking with hand wash.
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      10-13-2008, 11:43 PM   #7
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Shade,

Thanks for the input. Very nice ride BTW!

Cheers!
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      10-16-2008, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEllis View Post
If you care enough about putting a lowered car through an automatic car wash then you care enough not to spider web and scratch the living crap out of your clear coat!

Jason
Must chime in here, as someone who used to be a professional detailer I never saw any good soft cloth car wash scratch a car. Everyone talks about microfiber this and micro fiber that and its BS. Every car is going to have hairline scratches all over it if you look at it at just the right light, it occurs from dirst blowing over the car, and just being used everyday. White, Silver, SG all hide these surface scratches so that you nor I can see them, but they are there.

To the OP, if you hand wash your car and keep up on the hand waxes (few times a year at most) and take it to a really good soft cloth car wash the rest of the time, your paint will be no more fucked up then every other person who drives their car more than 5 times a year and doesn't. That I can assure you.

Cheers,
e46e92
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Last edited by e46e92love; 10-16-2008 at 08:07 PM.
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      10-16-2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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      10-17-2008, 12:08 AM   #10
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Anyone else out there who has done the mod??? This is really just a clearance question...
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      10-17-2008, 07:34 AM   #11
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It's your front valance or suspension control arm in the front that is the lowest hanging component in the area of the track. The control arm doesn't move relative to the ground after lowering so the only thing you should have to worry about is the valance. YOU should look underneath to verify the lowest component near the wheels.

My lowered e46 cleared those guides, but my stock height RS6 used to scrape the valance occasionally.
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      10-27-2008, 11:28 AM   #12
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Guys,

I did some of my own research on the topic I posted, and here is what I found:

Stock clearance height (measured at front diffuser/valence) = 4.5"

Car wash rail height = 4"

Hence, my guess is that anything beyond a 1/2" drop in the front will cause you issues if you want to run your car through an automatic carwash.

Hope this helps.
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      10-30-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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Your location says Chicago - do you not know of a hand wash place in your area? I can name about 6 or 7 between the loop and Wrigley.
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      10-30-2008, 02:37 PM   #14
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I can wash it outside my house anytime I want, but I am sure you already know that washing a car outside in the winter, by hand, is not desireable. This is my daily driver, as I already have a toy that is "hand wash only."
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