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Discussion Starter #1
Chalk this question up to being stubbornly curious :roll:

O.K., I know what the manual says about the removing the skirts before sending the Insight through the automated car wash, but my question is why? I know, I know...it may cause damage, but how?

It seems to me, the brushes that clean the wheels would just pass over the skirts....What am I missing???

I know most of you will suggest hand washing instead, but for reasons I'd rather not get into :roll:, I'd like to send the car through the car wash with minimal effort...O.K. if you must know, I'm a lazy a$$... :oops:

Thanks for the info!
 

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I took my Insight through lots of touch-free car washes.
 

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My guess is that the spaghetti like strands on some car washes might snag the panel and rip it off as the car goes down the carwash. I've taken my Insight through car washes without taking off the skirts and haven't had any problems. That said, I do prefer touch-less carwashes when I don't have the time to do it myself, or in the winter when all I really want is to get the road grime off the car. In reality the warning in the service manual is probably more to protect Honda from upset owners who have the misfortune of having a skirt ripped off in a wash. At least Honda can say they've been warned. I've actually been more worried about the tracks of car washes or some of the other equipment catching on the underbody panels (especially since the rear has a narrower track than the front, so the rear wheel may not line up in the track well in an automatic car wash).
 

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I just got my Insight. I had heard that you can't send the Insight through a "Track" guided car wash. I have a monthly fee I pay of $30 for unlimited washes. They don't use the spinning nylon brushes. They have the hanging cloth type of machine. I was more worried about the rear wheels being closer together than the fronts and maybe doing alingment damage. Has anyone seen such damage?
 

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I've taken my Insight through a car wash with a track and guides, and did so without a problem. I was completely nervous the whole time. Probably depends on how wide the track is, as long as both the front and rear tires on the side with the track fit and can move forward without "crabbing", it should be ok. Only problem is, you won't really know until its too late should the fit not be as it needs to be. Even though I've done it in the past I generally don't take my Insight through track guided carwashes, especially ones I'm unfamiliar with.
 

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If I wrere to take my Insight through a guided car wash I would take the panels off just to be safe, and then wash them by hand later.
 

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***Warning*** Don't get me started on car washes.


That said, consider wheels are probably one of the dirtier surfaces that is often cleaned on a vehicle. Suppose there is a wheel brush that cleans the brake dust off of the rear wheels of all the vehicles before you. Now say you run your Insight through the same wash and don't remove the skirts, and assuming the brush doesn't rip the skirt off or anything it's going to grind all that brake dust from the previous vehicle in to your paint, in I'm guessing a circular pattern putting thousands of tiny scratches in that area.

Of course any dirt on anything that touches your car, from say the vehicles that went before you went though, is going to scratch your paint anyways. :wink:
 

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Took my Insight through a "track guided" real brush car wash this morning.

I was a little nervous the first time I did it, but now that I've done it several times, I don't worry any more.

I did notice a noise from the driver-side skirt when the wheel brushes were on it today; when I exited the car wash and pulled over to screw the antenna back in, I looked, and the skirt had somehow gotten a little bit dislodged; I re-seated it and drove on to work.

So yes, the skirts can be affected. But I haven't lost one yet, so I'll keep going. It's just not possible to wash a car by hand in New England in the winter.

MF
 

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Rick said:
***Warning*** Don't get me started on car washes.


That said, consider wheels are probably one of the dirtier surfaces that is often cleaned on a vehicle. Suppose there is a wheel brush that cleans the brake dust off of the rear wheels of all the vehicles before you. Now say you run your Insight through the same wash and don't remove the skirts, and assuming the brush doesn't rip the skirt off or anything it's going to grind all that brake dust from the previous vehicle in to your paint, in I'm guessing a circular pattern putting thousands of tiny scratches in that area.

Of course any dirt on anything that touches your car, from say the vehicles that went before you went though, is going to scratch your paint anyways. :wink:
Yeah Rick but it's starting to get a little cold to keep up with your Insight Exterior Maintenance plan (said with really big :D ).

Perhaps a good alternative would be to take the Insight to a wash bay, where you park, feed a machine quarters and wash it with the pressure washer? The one by my place doesn't allow hand drying in the bay, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I took the car to the same local car wash/oil change place that I take my other cars...Here's some observations:

1. The car went through the car wash fine. I no longer have any concerns sending it through. The car looks great...like the way my other cars do, but....

2. I had them also change the oil in my Insight (They do the oil changes in my other vehicles as well.) They carried my oil filter, and they supplied a new crush washer...They were also aware of the the "delicate" oil pan, BUT, they didn't have the correct weight oil, so I supplied them with the oil (with a small discount for bringing my own oil). They also weren't used to "pouring" oil out of a container and spilled it all over :evil: ...It wasn't till I got back home and noticed some "smoking." It has been cleaned up. Next time, I'll ask that they use a funnel. :roll:

Well, there you have it...my experience with a car wash/oil change....FWIW :| [/list]
 

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NO FUNNEL?!

Patrick said:
Next time, I'll ask that they use a funnel. :roll:
Weird. When I did my own oil changes in high school, of course I used a funnel. Noone had to even make the suggestion. Big slippery plastic bottle + small hole on shiny metal = funnel. With someone else's car, I'd think it would be common sense, particularly with the fabric-based lining under the hood.
 

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It's really not all that difficult to at least hit the opening where the oil cap is. By the time you fill the filter half way there's at least a little bit out of the first bottle. The trick is to hold the bottle sideways and pour slowly until you can get enough control to pour faster. The Honda oil was easier than the mobil one bottles though. You could actually just put the whole neck in the oil filler hole and cut the bottom off the first bottle and make your own contaminant free funnel out of that.

I did this method on my last oil change when I foregot to grab my own funnel, and I wasn't about to use the available ones that had caked on crud on them. These were the mobil1 bottles with the larger opening so I had to hold the one bottle with the bottom cut out and poured oil in to it. Worked pretty well, this made the first bottle the only challenge.
 
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