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2012 Outback 3.6i Premium
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My question is about the conveyor in automatic car washes. The dealer told me that the car cannot be towed except for a flatbed two truck because my 6-cylinder automatic transmission has a true AWD. Is it safe to take my car through a car wash that has a conveyor or am I doomed to washing it myself or finding a car wash without a conveyor?

What actually happens when I put the car in neutral while the engine is running (or switched off) and the car is pulled by the conveyor?
 

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2007 outback 2.5i
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271 Posts
it is quite safe to take your car through the car wash (at least to the transmission).

the conveyor is just like that flat bed in that no wheels are being driven.
 

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'11 outback 2.5i premium '12 impreza sport limited
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3,814 Posts
you're fine going through automatic car washes, but if you really want to clean the car, the best way is by hand. automatic car washes aren't so good if you're real serious about maintaining the paint quality and such
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,105 Posts
any system that drags a car through a car wash won't really be able to create 'torque bind' of any significant force due to the wet surfaces.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 i Premium
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474 Posts
Neutral at low speeds? Yeah, you'll be fine. Beware of car washes with brushes. If they don't have attendants doing a high pressure wash to get off the heavy stuff prior to sending you through you can expect a scratch here and there from the pads.

I usually just grab a mitt and go to work.
 

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05 OBXT 5eat stg1.2
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2,104 Posts
Depends on the type of conveyor. Some have rollers that push or pull the car while all wheels turn. Some keep 2 wheels stationary while letting the other side of the car move. I wouldn't trust the ones that keep 2 wheels stationary.
 

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238 Posts
you're fine going through automatic car washes, but if you really want to clean the car, the best way is by hand. automatic car washes aren't so good if you're real serious about maintaining the paint quality and such
Not to sway this thread into different direction, however, why do you think that brushless car washes are bad for your car?
 

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'13 OB 3.6R Ltd
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31 Posts
The strain on your drivetrain from towing your car behind another is far different than being pulled 100 feet through a car wash at a very slow pace. I wouldn't worry about the car wash.
 
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