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Three questions about my new Ridgeline

2540 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Sparkland
I love my new RTL-E! I purchased it a couple weeks ago in deep scarlet pearl. I decided against using machine car washes as I've done research and found out they can leave swirl marks, I'll pass on that. So I decided to go to the store and purchase everything I would need for the two bucket method of washing. I went down to the local DIY car wash and got started, everything went pretty well. Better than I expected honestly as this is my first time really washing a vehicle like that. Three questions came up however and I didn't find any answers while searching this site:

1. Any good way to clean the chrome trim on the vehicle? Door handles, front grille and by the passenger Windows? That's the one thing I struggled with but wasn't a big issue.

2. In the attached photos (second one wouldn't attach but you can still see what I mean with the one photo that loaded) how am I suppose to go about getting the water out of these places? The black trim over the wheels and under the sides of the body. If water collects in there is it a bad thing or is there a way it drains that I could not see? Id have to imagine it couldn't cause a long term issue as rainstorms would always put water in those areas but I'm not sure.

3. Lastly if I do ever have to use an automatic car wash would a touch less one be ok? I'm in the north and salt is an issue so I was looking at my options of getting the underbody sprayed but automatic would be my only way of doing that. Unless the DIY wand I used would be good enough to do the trick if I angled it right?

Thanks in advanced for any help!


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Congratz on the RTL-E!

Chrome Trim -- Typically just washing the same as the paint has worked for me on other vehicles. If there are stubborn bits, you can claybar them. I would expect the trim to really be chrome painted plastic, so you dont want to use abrasives. You can also wax these pieces.

I dont think the water would be an issue... but you can always use a leaf blower to dry the vehicle better.

I am not an advocate of touchless washes. To compensate for the lack of physical touch, many utilize harsher chemicals. They can strip your wax off just as if you washed with Dawn detergent. Instead, I suggest utilizing ONR no rinse wash at home with lukewarm water. Works great.
I agree about the touch-less car washes, however, they sure are handy and much quicker than washing at home. I have been using touch-less regularly for my XT5 and will use it for my Ridgeline as well. After returning home, I wipe it down with Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Detailer and a micro-fiber towel. No scratches as a result. The chrome looks polished using the Quick Detailer.

The touch-less I use has an under-body flush that works well. I live in Wisconsin where a lot of salt is used during nearly half of the year. The wash place near me installed high pressure extensions on their under-body plumbing which works very well to knock the dirt and grime off the wheels. I used to wipe the wheels with a bath towel at every wash, but with the new flushing I need only to do that every third wash.

For the water in grooves and around the doors, I have a Metrovac Master Blaster that I use before wiping down with the Detailer. After drying the outside, I use an old bath towel to wipe down the door jambs and under the hood.

The whole process takes less than 1 1/2 hour and I get a lot of compliments about the detail job.
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A touchless is handy when really cold or to remove salt from underbody. I use it sometimes.

I think there is a good chance of getting scratches if you drive home from a touchless unless you live next door. You can easily get sand/grit/dirt/grime/salt on the ride home. A laserwash doesn't clean it completely as well, there's probably a thin layer of crud left.

If I do use a touchless I will use the one with least chemicals, I like to do the dryer too. Or hop on the highway soon after but spots will still show. Spot free rinse may be available in a laserwash.

I usually tend to use a DIY wash and only use the Spot Free Rinse on the weeks I don't wash it, or if the weather is cold/salty. I try to wash once a week at home. Spot free rinsing tends to hold my OCD over until I get time to wash, with the occasional laserwash.

Basically anytime you touch the paint you risk scratching it. So I make it that I'm the only one that physically touches the paint. Best way to dry is with a leafblower, I haven't done that though....yet. I use a waterblade, I find it's better than using a towel. I make sure the blade and car is clean before doing it. If somethings gets on the blade you risk scratching. Then I tap dry the leftover drops with a microfiber, I don't wipe it because there's more of a chance to scratch.

I don't wax/detail/hand dry the paint unless I wash it by hand using the two bucket method. Clean wheels first. Then clean top half, then bottom. Probably best to use two different wash mitts between the two. You can use a trim cleaner or rubber/plastic cleaner for the trim, tires, and rubber strips.

The water in between the trim and paint will dry

I can generally do a good, quick wash in an hour. Way longer if I am actually detailing.
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I use my air compressor and blow gun to dry those hard to reach places where water accumulates. Use two bucket method. Always hand wash and chamois hand dry. Never use same cloths/mitts, etc. on body that you use on wheels and tires. I use these methods on my two hot rods for car show prep and it works great.
I also have the Deep Scarlet Pearl on my RTL-E.
My son bought a foam gun for his WR Blue Pearl WRX and it does a fantastic job. I do not believe there is any microfiber towel that will not scratch the paint somewhat. Just the nature of washing, drying, polishing, and the softness of the clearcoat. Just depends how hard you look.

We have a black car, bright blue, silver, dark gray, white, and darker silver. We notice the slight swirls or scratches on the black, blue, and dark gray one. Just really fine scratches but they are there. We never take our vehicles to the auto car wash.
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