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2018 Outback Limited 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to know from others in the SF Bay area if there are any trusted/preferred car washes to use or go through. I prefer to do it myself, but if I don't have time, I go to automated washes. This is my first subaru and first car with sensors and rear cameras. I'm a bit paranoid that sensors would get damaged. Any recommendations?

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2015 Outback 3.6R Limited, Gray on Black
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Anywhere should be fine. I ran mine through a couple of times with no issue...
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Touring
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110 Posts
If anyone could recommend a great hand wash spot that would be awesome. I have the ceramic coating as well as vinyl wrap on the car so can't go through an auto car wash (not that anyone should be...).
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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315 Posts
If anyone could recommend a great hand wash spot that would be awesome. I have the ceramic coating as well as vinyl wrap on the car so can't go through an auto car wash (not that anyone should be...).
I can't testify as to "great" but we've used Auto Pride in Belmont / San Carlos and they have other locations around the Bay (not sure where you are). The one time I went there with my nearly brand spanking new Subaru I saw attention to detail (including my instruction to not spray the interior of the windshield due to Eyesight). I have been washing my Subie by hand for the most part, but as noted above did take it to Auto Pride for an initial wash a week or so before I turned a local detailer on it for a "new car" service of comprehensive hand wash, mild paint correction and then a sealant (not ceramic).

My wife's primary drive gets washed there all the time, and no complaints. My previous ride, committed to be sold back to VW under the diesel scandal settlement, went to a variety of washes since I wasn't concerned with preserving the exterior myself. I had used Ducky's in San Carlos, and used RWC car wash before they went to brushes a few years back, and after the settlement was announced started using the "free" car washes for filling up that can really mar a paint job (i.e. Rotten Robbie's and others). If willing to pay for a wash but not a detail and looking now, I'd go to Auto Pride over Ducky's.

Not sure where you are in the Bay - they appear (web search) to have seven locations but nothing on the east side of the bay. We've only ever used the Belmont location on El Camino.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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Thanks for the tip, I'm actually in the city but willing to drive out for a good rec.
While I won't commit to being the best or truly great, it is truly "hand wash only" and in the few instances where I (or my wife) had given specific instructions around X or Y, they've not flubbed it in any way.

I suspect if you indicate that the vinyl wrap needs tender loving care, they'll be sensitive to that. Can't guarantee that obviously, but would expect it.

In any event, should you use them, post it up here so I (we) can know better or have more confidence!
 

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Its a Subaru. Mine gets washed maybe 6 times a yr. BayArea isn’t SOCAL ie weekly car wash our water is too expensive. Besides I can always spot a newb Subaru owner when their Subaru is always clean. LOL
Mine currently still has mud splashed on it after driving through a Fire zone up near Yosemite over a month ago.

Don’t confuse that with weekly wipe down of the interior. Kids and dog require it.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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Its a Subaru. Mine gets washed maybe 6 times a yr. BayArea isn’t SOCAL ie weekly car wash our water is too expensive. Besides I can always spot a newb Subaru owner when their Subaru is always clean. LOL
Mine currently still has mud splashed on it after driving through a Fire zone up near Yosemite over a month ago.

Don’t confuse that with weekly wipe down of the interior. Kids and dog require it.
Yes, it's a Subaru. But it's also a new car. I'm happy to keep it clean if I can with a quick regular wash as opposed to letting the dust, dirt, pollen, tree droppings, animal scat (not bird poop - think bees and bugs and other little bastards) from baking on the finish or at least presenting a pretty gross exterior when looked at up close. I'll probably slow down from a bi-weekly quick hand wash after several months. But I also don't see having a dirty exterior as some sort of badge of honor.

Glad you're still enjoying the Yosemite fire-trail mud or at least not being bothered by it. Even with an older, non-Subaru, more run-down vehicle, I'd have washed it off by now. And I really can't stand going 2 months between actual washes. Heck, I'd have spider webs all over my side-view mirrors, at the top of the rear hatch, around the license plate, rear hatch release, etc. And that's with trying to clean off bird bombs pretty quickly after they're noticed! But I understand different strokes for different folks. Hope you understand that as well and don't think keeping a car relatively clean is somehow a misguided decision, or that ignoring the exterior but wiping down the interior weekly is the "right" approach in all circumstances.

Do you have a recommended hand wash place in the area?
 

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2018 Outback 3.6R Touring
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While I won't commit to being the best or truly great, it is truly "hand wash only" and in the few instances where I (or my wife) had given specific instructions around X or Y, they've not flubbed it in any way.

I suspect if you indicate that the vinyl wrap needs tender loving care, they'll be sensitive to that. Can't guarantee that obviously, but would expect it.

In any event, should you use them, post it up here so I (we) can know better or have more confidence!
Will do. I don't see it happening THAT soon since I drive it like once a week and it's garaged. Haha..
 
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