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E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio - General Forum
The E9X is the latest evolution of the BMW 3 series including the highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! Post questions about "upgrading" from your current E46 here or jump over to E90Fanatics.com!

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Old 12-15-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
Sayust
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DIY detailing shop

Hi all,

Does anybody know about a heated DIY car wash anywhere in the US? I live in WI and with the cold winters here is almost impossible to take good care of my 335. I am thinking about about a business that would offer just that, heated space for car wash and detailing (pay by the hour). Please note that detailing is a challenge here even for those with heated garages because they still have to drive the car from the car-wash to their garage before detailing, which is not ideal. Please share your thought

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:41 AM   #2
tootall
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I don't think the NYC area is as cold as WI, but I can say that I use the full service Splash car wash, which has a hand wash lane with Ferraris and Porsches in it, a lot more in the winter than any other time. After a snow, that car wash is packed. I do wash my car by hand anytime the temperatures rise above 40, quickly washing in and moving it into the unheated (but rarely less than 50 degrees) garage to dry it.

My speculation with the DIY detailing is that you would have bays open to DIYers and a bay or two for professional detailing. Unless you keep all of the bays busy, it might not be profitable. I have not even seen one of those DIY spray car washes in years, although I think there might be a few of them around here somewhere.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:13 AM   #3
Sayust
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DIY detailing shop

Thanks Tootall for your thoughtful feedback. Judging by the comments I have seen - specially from the e46 forum - I am realizing that most normal people aren't as crazy about cleaning their cars as I am. So, the market for such business is a lot smaller than I thought. I used to own a 2000 323i which I washed and detailed once a week regardless of the season. It's really cold here in WI. However, that didn't stop me from taking my bucket to the nearby self-served car wash and hand-wash the car. I would do this very early on the day before the carwash got busy, otherwise, they would kick me out for using a bucket. Then I would take it to my unheated garage and finish the process (1 to 2 hours every time). It was the coldest part of my weekend, but also, one of the most fulfilling. I have a busy life with family, work and grad school and I find that cleaning my car is gives me much joy. So, I would be happy to pay for space to do that comfortably. In fact, I haven't been able to detail my 335 since I bought it last summer because I haven't driven the car much and because my new garage is detached and cold as balls; and I can tell you I am not enjoying the 335 as much as I enjoyed the 323 despite all it's mechanical, electrical and cosmetic issues. The bottom line it that I was proud of the old 323i because I worked hard to keep it looking nice. On the other hand, the 335 is just new, and that doesn't make proud, it doesn't say anything about me - other than the fact that I can afford it - I wish I had an easier way to keep it clean year round, I think I would actually drive it.


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Old 12-21-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tootall View Post
I have not even seen one of those DIY spray car washes in years, although I think there might be a few of them around here somewhere.
tootall, there's a 3-4 bay DIY car wash near you. It's behind the Fairway in Pelham on Boston Rd. Next to the Diner on the Mt Vernon border.

Not quite high tech as Splash, but it does the job.

Sayust, that's actually a great idea. A lot of our brothers here have 2nd cars for the winter though. If it's not terribly expensive, how about putting an ad in your local paper? Maybe you can use the responses as a deciding factor on pulling the trigger for your business.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #5
tootall
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Sayust, you sound a lot like my oldest son, who used to wax his cars every month. He has a wagon exactly like mine and a 1987 Cadillac Fleetwood that he is restoring. He uses Griots Spray Wax after he washes the cars and he says it cuts down on having to do a full wax as often. Whatever, his cars are always clean enough to eat off off, almost anywhere on the car.

Unforgiven, that part of town is not along the places I usually visit, although the wife has been to Fairway, so maybe I will go with her next time and check out the 4 bay spray car wash. However with a house, you rarely have a need to go to a spray wash, but it might be convenient some time in cold weather.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:07 AM   #6
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That's true. Enthusiasts who are homeowners have it the best. The garage is the ultimate man cave.

One day....
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:10 AM   #7
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I'm very lucky. I have a 2.5 car garage at home and a covered parking garage at work. The only wear and tear on my car comes from I95 and the small stones and debris whipped up by trucks and cars on that thruway.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:49 PM   #8
Sayust
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I am a homeowner too. But, garage is detached and cold as balls! No way to wash my car in the driveway when temp is bellow freezing (1/2 the year). So, not all homeownership are created equal. BTW, you really don't want to wash your car in your driveway unless it drains to the sewerage and it gets treated at the sewerage plant; I live a block away from the lake which means the runoff from my car goes straight into the lake. That's bad!


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