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Premium Member
2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Rambling post ahead. Avoid if not your cup of tea.

TLDR: Wife poked fun at me about Outback exterior care; wife now invested in exterior care.


My previous daily driver was a black VW TDI Sportwagen. When the VW diesel scandal hit, and then was settled with a buyback option, I pretty much let my car’s non-critical maintenance go. I like a clean car (generally) and kept up the interior, but I didn’t want to spend any money on the exterior of a car I knew I would sell back to VW.

So I let it get absolutely filthy. My cars are outdoor creatures – basically never garaged, and I park my daily driver at home in a spot that the local birds seem to appreciate as target practice. Local spiders also seem to believe that side view mirrors are awesome spots to spin webs to catch bugs. Long story shorter, the past two years I’ve had a daily driver that was not pretty on the exterior.

When I bought the new Outback, I promised myself that I would really take care of the exterior unlike the VW and after being out of practice. Shortly after I took the Outback home I had it detailed and sealed – meticulous hand wash, clayed, cleaned / polished, and sealed. And so today I am pretty cautious about bird droppings or other contaminants, and try to treat them promptly, and wash my car every week or sometimes two.

After watching me regularly touching up bird poop and other droppings, and ordering lots of micro-fiber towels, wash mitts, spot detailers, etc. my wife took notice and asked whether it made sense having her 2012 Enclave detailed.

The Enclave was pretty much always hand washed / touchless / brushless washed – no automatic car washes – but infrequently washed nonetheless. She might go 8 – 12 weeks before a wash, and longer during winter months. And its exterior had never been detailed or corrected, so as you might imagine even though it didn’t look “really bad” it certainly looked like a 6 year old vehicle, with minor scratches, swirls, and a lot of road grime. I encouraged having the same detailer who did the Outback have a go at the Buick.

So the Enclave was detailed almost two weeks ago. Amazing restoration – really happy with the outcome – metallic blue restored, lots of minor scratches gone, luster restored.

I’ve been taking a lot of ribbing and grief from her about spot cleaning the Outback every day or two to deal with bird-bombings. We also encounter a lot of pollen and dust and “other stuff” that settles on a parked car pretty quickly in our neighborhood. I can live with that, but don't like the idea of particularly nasty contaminants sitting on the car for days.

Today, she went out front to hose down the front porch and bay windows. I poked my head out to see her also rinsing the Buick, and using several microfiber towels and drying towels to clean it up. “I don’t want to hear another snide comment or satirical aside about my taking care of the Outback!” I got to shout. “But it’s pretty filthy – I’m just cleaning it up a bit instead of circling the car with a spray bottle every day!” she shouted back. 'Pretty filthy' for a vehicle that previously went a few months between washes.

Not sure if I won, lost, or just set a new normal here.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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2,264 Posts
Maybe over time she will take over that chore completely - it you are unlucky, because it will be one more thing she can hold over your head, as in "But I do all the XXXX around here!".


Haven't bothered washing any of my cars for maybe the last 30 years - the rain does a good enough job!
 

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2018 Limited 2.5i
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640 Posts
look into ceramic coatings... just had mine done and the coats good for 5 years. should make washes a lot easier and adds alittle more protection to the car
 

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Premium Member
2018 Outback 2.5i Touring
Joined
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315 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
look into ceramic coatings... just had mine done and the coats good for 5 years. should make washes a lot easier and adds alittle more protection to the car
I looked into options and concluded using a shorter projected lifespan sealant made more sense in my case. I'll have to apply Klasse or another sealant every year (and probably resort to wax occasionally for the last several months) to keep it performing, but it will be a lot cheaper than a ceramic coating. And with my use as a daily driver which is also always parked outside, I didn't think any of the ceramics would last what they claim (or they would themselves need a chemical clean and touch up after several years in any event).
 
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