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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Let me say up front, before anyone says automatic car washes are bad for cars, that I am not allowed to wash my car myself where I live due to restrictions. Also I frankly prefer the convenience of an automatic car wash given my hectic schedule.
The closest decent hand car wash is far away and I always apply wax / sealant only immediately after a wash (before dirt accumulates which could cause scratching while waxing / applying a sealant), so a closer car wash would be ideal.

Was wondering if an automatic car wash would be safe for a 2018 Polestar in terms of not damaging the car hardware, especially given the new 2018-specific Polestar carbon fiber front splitter and new carbon fiber side skirts which the older models lack?
I stopped by the local car wash and while one of the workers thought it would be fine, the owner checked and wisely did not feel comfortable.
Nevertheless, looking at the car, I do not think the P* is that low overall, but the carbon fiber pieces worry me (and are what also worried the car wash owner).

To be safe, I am probably going to go to the hand car wash place (half an hour away). (I will, as always, wipe down the car with a California duster before waxing / polishing (almost 30 minutes drive from car wash to the house).
However it would be convenient to go to the automatic wash which is closer and avoid too many particles getting on it before I wax it (I always wipe it down with a California duster before waxing / sealing anyway).
Any owners been to an automatic car wash with a 2018 P* or a prior year P* with the carbon fiber aero kit added post purchase?
 

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Not sure what type of automatic wash you have there but I've always been concerned about the wheels getting scratched on guide rails for the wash and the front winglets too, not even considering the CF stuff on the '18 cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not sure what type of automatic wash you have there but I've always been concerned about the wheels getting scratched on guide rails for the wash and the front winglets too, not even considering the CF stuff on the '18 cars.
Thanks. I got my 2016 Golf R (no longer own it) washed there often and the 19" Cadiz rims were always flawless afterwards.
That being said, the Polestar rims are 20", which I have never had before. I was wondering about the wheels too. The good news is the 19" Golf R Cadiz rims are on slightly lower sidewall height tires than even the Polestar 20" rims (if I recall correctly from the site I entered them into side by side) and the Cadiz rims fared amazingly well in the car wash. Winglets were my other concern but I would assume they get other sporty cars in the car wash too.

Ground clearance on 2018 P* appears to be 5.4 inches (assuming link below is accurate), whereas Golf R is 4.8 inches. Not sure if the P* numbers include the carbon fiber in that figure.
https://www.autoblog.com/buy/2018-Volvo-S60-Polestar__4dr_All_wheel_Drive_Sedan/specs/
https://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/golf-r/2016/st-200749650/features-specs/
 

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I'd say it depends. Original MPSS 245/35R20 tires have a nice and beefy rib which guards the wheel from scratches against low curbs and guide rails (taller curbs is a different story). So I ran mine through the automatic car wash many times without any scratches.

However if you plan to buy winter tires and use narrower size (I use 225/45R19) then the narrower tire seems to have a somewhat less prominent rib and therefore provides less protection against curbs (which I learned by getting a few scratches where the wider tires would have been ok). So I hand wash mine in winter and auto-wash in summer :)

The carbon fiber lip had enough clearance so far (close but enough).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I'd say it depends. Original MPSS 245/35R20 tires have a nice and beefy rib which guards the wheel from scratches against low curbs and guide rails (taller curbs is a different story). So I ran mine through the automatic car wash many times without any scratches.

However if you plan to buy winter tires and use narrower size (I use 225/45R19) then the narrower tire seems to have a somewhat less prominent rib and therefore provides less protection against curbs (which I learned by getting a few scratches where the wider tires would have been ok). So I hand wash mine in winter and auto-wash in summer :)

The carbon fiber lip had enough clearance so far (close but enough).
Thanks for the feedback! Regarding the 19" wheels, thanks; had not thought about that. Guess I will be sure to get the right width tires to compensate.

I just measured the front carbon fiber splitter and it appears to have almost exactly 7 inches of ground clearance. I would think this is no lower than the Golf R which went through that same automated wash numerous times, but perhaps I am wrong.
The carbon fiber side skirts are about the same height off the ground. On the underside they go a bit lower which is not an issue since there is no contact with the car wash there.
The only concern with side skirts could be the car wash side brushes that clean the wheels etc.

Going to see if can find the ground clearance measurement of the Golf R front end...
 

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Why don't you just use a 'no rinse' wash and a 2 bucket method like Garry Deans Infinite Use Detail Juice or Optimum No-Rinse? Spray, whip, new cloth, repeat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Why don't you just use a 'no rinse' wash and a 2 bucket method like Garry Deans Infinite Use Detail Juice or Optimum No-Rinse? Spray, whip, new cloth, repeat.
Good suggestion, been looking into it since you posted.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PS: I just checked my old 2012 S60 R-Design has the same ground clearance.

Anyway, I ordered the Wolfgang Uber Rinseless Wash in-a-Bucket Kit.
I will probably also try the hand wash this weekend. This way I have two options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just bumping this to get a few more opinions.
To be safe I had (till COVID-19 restrictions) been using a hand wash place for my P*; they have done a good job, but they aren't too close (usually combine it with shopping) and, unfortunately I am not sure they will survive given COVID-19 closure impact on business. :(

captain oblivion has safely taken his to the automatic car wash (for summer, since he has narrow winter tires).
I am not sure if automatic rail heights may vary (?) at different car washes, so I wanted to also know if others with the front Carbon Fiber front lip had taken their P* cars to an automatic car wash?
Also, the owner at the local automatic car wash (probably just due to not wanting to take a risk) was concerned and said it was not safe, but not sure if it was the front he was worried about, or the CF side splitters which I asked him about, or both.
 

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The issues with washing with waterless wash are heavy amounts of debris and lack of lubrication. You can eliminate a lot of this by having an extremely slick lubricant and ALWAYS having a clean surface to catch debris with.

I'd personally use CarPro's Ech2o, SUPER Slick, I use it as clay lube in extreme cases. Combine Ech2o with the garry dean wash method and you'll be alright.

https://www.detailingwiki.org/guides/garry-dean-method/
 

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My suggestion is to go to the automatic car wash during a time when they're not busy. Explain to the guy that you're trying to see if the car will fit into the car wash before you proceed. Usually when they're not busy, they'll allow you to pull it in so you can see if it's going to fit or not. Some places will just tell you that they don't want to take the risk and they don't want to wash your car. This is what I did the first time I wanted to get my car washed. I have a 2018 V60 Polestar. At first, the guy was hesitant but he had the car wash attendant pulled the car around while he and I watch to see if it would clear it or not. They're rails were pretty wide and low so it fits. Not every car wash is going to be the same though.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
'The driver' - Thanks a lot for the warning and tips regarding rinseless!

Thanks nuge! Definitely something to consider.

Quick update:
Well, while I wait for it to be safe (given COVID-19) to go back to the full service hand wash (the one that I like a lot since they do a thorough job including cleaning the wheels by hand, albeit the sometimes long wait since they can only wash and dry 1 car at a time), I found the following:

Touchless automatic wash that you pay for by machine (CC accepted) and drive through yourself, so there are no contact concerns with payment, nor any concerns with someone being in your enclosed car (given COVID-19).
The sensors worked very well; none of the car wash equipment ever made contact with my car.
The downside is it does not dry your car (I had read the reviews / site and came prepared with microfiber towels; also had a waffle weave drying towel, but did not use the latter - see next point). It also left a little detergent in the roof channels and in the bottom of the passenger door wells.
It was good overall, convenient / quick (14 miles, 28 mins away; not close but better than alternatives - see below) and it felt great to finally get my P* washed again! :)

There is another touchless car wash (higher rating) that has drying and triple pre-soak (vs. double), but it is more than 4 times the distance (59 miles vs 14 or so miles each way) and well over twice the drive time away. I did not feel that justified driving 118 miles and spending 2 hrs 22 mins driving round trip vs. 'only' 28 miles and 52 min round trip for the one we went to.
My wife came along to keep me company on the drive.

If anyone knows any good touchless car washes in NJ / PA (not too far from the central Jersey area), would love to know, thanks!!!
 
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