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Old 18th January 2013, 08:10   #1801
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Arrow Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Anyone has tried the touchless washes? This is the one where the water pressure washes the car and no brushes used. Is it good or bad?

All said and done a good hand wash is better than any technology. Reaches areas a machine cant and its easier to spot something left out.
Usually people shy away from automatic washes (brush & touch-less) because of the fear of scratches and harmful chemicals that might damage paint.

I'm not that finicky and even though I do prefer getting a hand-wash I do use both automatic (brush) and touch-less car washes.

Touch-less washes aren't very common in the NE. Only place where I've encountered a lot of them was in Maryland.

You do have to wipe down your car after either a brush / touch-less wash to get rid of excess soap. I sometimes use a wet-spray-on and wipe-off wax (protectant) afterwards.

I try to get my car professionally detailed maybe once a year - doesn't always happen though.

West Coast weather is very different to that in the North East - we don't have the luxury of keeping cars spotless year round.
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Old 18th January 2013, 11:41   #1802
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Anyone has tried the touchless washes? This is the one where the water pressure washes the car and no brushes used. Is it good or bad?

All said and done a good hand wash is better than any technology. Reaches areas a machine cant and its easier to spot something left out.
When we lived in Kansas City I used the touchless washes frequently on all of our cars. By and large they're ok if the car is not too dirty and as longs as it is mostly dust it's ok.

I've been using the proper car washes with rotating brushes and all the other bells and whistles on all of my cars as long as I've owned cars as well. I've never noticed any negative effect on the paint whatsoever.

I do like to handwash my cars though. I just enjoy fiddling with my cars and washing them is just one of the ways I enjoy them. And I do a better job myself than all automatic car washes combined. In addition you notice little things on the car early and you can take corrective action early on. Whether its the paint, some rust, or maybe an ornament that's becoming loose, or a rubber starting to perish.

The automatic car washes are just convenient and do a decent enough job. Especially for my daily runners I used the automatic car wash at least once a week. For my classics I nearly always handwash, but even my 1982 Mercedes W123 will go through a automatic car wash with brushes on a fairly regular basis.

I really like my cars to be clean and tidy, inside and outside. So, even when I'm on a driving holiday, I will just quickly pull into a carwash every other day or so, just so it looks nice again.

My wife on the other hand couldnt care less what the outside of her car looks like. And she treats the inside as just a very large extension of her handbag. Meaning her car is full of stuff, and it's all over the place. It drives me bonkers so sometimes it just gets me and I clean it for her. You would not believe the amount of stuff I collected from the inside.

I found three pair of sunglasses, two pair of reading glasses, six hairbrushes and combs, a large assortement of make up, two nail files, various keys (which I thought were lost), a mobile phone (which was lost as well), a huge collection of books, magazine and brochures, a watch, a bracelet, endless number of paper and plastic bags from various shopping expeditions, a huge stack of receipts from the various shopping expedtiions and endless bits and pieces of paper that under no circumstance I was allowed to thow away.

She says she does appreciate when I clean the car for her, but I'm not sure I believe her.

Jeroen
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Old 19th January 2013, 22:44   #1803
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Fifth Gear did a comparo among three different car washes


I wont accept their conclusion though. The hand wash would have won hands down had they not used that plastic thingy to dry the car.
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Old 20th January 2013, 09:07   #1804
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Another week and thoroughly enjoying the 335, especially the acceleration. All my friends who drove this say "WOW!". The torque comes in so low, its "always there".

<random-thought>Ironically, the car (don't laugh) reminded me of my second car for a moment - Indica Xeta. Started thinking about why this is so, but it turns out the Xeta had (does it still exist?) its peak torque coming in at a ridiculously low 2600rpm. I thought for a moment, what a contrast to our petrol hatches like Alto, Spark etc in the same price range. Maybe that Xeta deserved more appreciation in its time. </random-thought>

We did find a Ford Explorer for the Tahoe trip, so I'll go with my friend and experience snow with his help . Turned out well. Looking forward to the trip.
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Old 20th January 2013, 09:21   #1805
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Usually people shy away from automatic washes (brush & touch-less) because of the fear of scratches and harmful chemicals that might damage paint.
Various Shell pumps had a free automatic wash with 8$ of Petrol Purchase. I used it for 4-5 times a year for 6 years without any problems.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 21:59   #1806
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Any thoughts on buying a car which was leased or a rental use car?
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:06   #1807
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Any thoughts on buying a car which was leased or a rental use car?
Wont the two be subjected to different kind of treatment? A rental would be subjected to a lot more abuse than a leased one. No?
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:22   #1808
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

A close friend of mine bought a 2007 Nissan Sentra in 2009 and that car was used in a rental fleet previously, he got it for cheaper than market price but faced a bit of difficulty selling it later. I guess the rental use thing shows up on Carfax history.

Buying a car which was leased previously shall not result in any such issues though; moreover, many of the certified pre-owned cars at the dealers are fresh off lease vehicles.

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Any thoughts on buying a car which was leased or a rental use car?
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:24   #1809
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Wont the two be subjected to different kind of treatment? A rental would be subjected to a lot more abuse than a leased one. No?
Hmmm possibly, yes the rental ones are abused. But in terms of maintenance both are maintained by the respective companies.

Reason I'm asking is I checked out a few cars at CarMax this weekend and they had most of the cars which were leased or registered as rental at one point of time.
Not sure if its worth buying these cars, prices are at par(probably little less) with dealer pricing.

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A close friend of mine bought a 2007 Nissan Sentra in 2009 and that car was used in a rental fleet previously, he got it for cheaper than market price but faced a bit of difficulty selling it later. I guess the rental use thing shows up on Carfax history.

Buying a car which was leased previously shall not result in any such issues though; moreover, many of the certified pre-owned cars at the dealers are fresh off lease vehicles.
Yes Carfax shows details if the vehicle was registered as Rental, if it were auctioned due to non payments etc. The cars sold by the rental companies are definitely priced little lower than dealer price

Last edited by kraft.wagen : 22nd January 2013 at 22:27.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:46   #1810
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hmmm possibly, yes the rental ones are abused. But in terms of maintenance both are maintained by the respective companies.
Rental companies don't have to perform a recall on the vehicle they have in fleet. There are just couple of companies who have agreed to it.

There was accident of two sisters who lost their lives because the rental car they had didn't undergo a recall and that resulted in crash.

http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fle...a-cruz-sisters

Also the maintenance they perform is hardly top notch. Most rental companies have a little shop at the back of their office where they change oil and filter. Apart from that, they don't do any major services.

I would be very cautious buying a rental car. Leased car shouldn't be a worry. If you visit a BMW Dealership, most CPO are leased return and most are in good condition. A test drive will show which owner kept it in good condition.

I test drove a 2010 335i which was leased returned. It was not in best condition. The radio won't work, the suspension would produce noise over broken roads. It had just 35k miles on odo and was under warranty. While the sales manager said all this will be fixed, it left a bad taste in my mouth because i was spending some $30k to buy it. OTOH, i drove another 335i at another BMW dealership and it was awesome. Just the way it should be. Too bad we couldn't agree on a price otherwise it would have been in my garage instead of a vette.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 22:57   #1811
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

A car sales person told me this so I take it with a pinch of salt, but still think it may be worth mentioning: He said, they actually price lease return vehicles higher because the company takes extra care to make sure it is serviced on time and well taken care of.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 23:29   #1812
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Rental companies don't have to perform a recall on the vehicle they have in fleet. There are just couple of companies who have agreed to it.

There was accident of two sisters who lost their lives because the rental car they had didn't undergo a recall and that resulted in crash.

http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fle...a-cruz-sisters

Also the maintenance they perform is hardly top notch. Most rental companies have a little shop at the back of their office where they change oil and filter. Apart from that, they don't do any major services.

I would be very cautious buying a rental car. Leased car shouldn't be a worry. If you visit a BMW Dealership, most CPO are leased return and most are in good condition. A test drive will show which owner kept it in good condition.

I test drove a 2010 335i which was leased returned. It was not in best condition. The radio won't work, the suspension would produce noise over broken roads. It had just 35k miles on odo and was under warranty. While the sales manager said all this will be fixed, it left a bad taste in my mouth because i was spending some $30k to buy it. OTOH, i drove another 335i at another BMW dealership and it was awesome. Just the way it should be. Too bad we couldn't agree on a price otherwise it would have been in my garage instead of a vette.
Wow this is scary. Yea I'm very much skeptical bout buying a rental but wanted to hear what the general view is bout it.

Are you sure bout "Too bad" on 3series
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Old 23rd January 2013, 00:20   #1813
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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A car sales person told me this so I take it with a pinch of salt, but still think it may be worth mentioning: He said, they actually price lease return vehicles higher because the company takes extra care to make sure it is serviced on time and well taken care of.
I think that is a true statement. The leased cars are often sold, serviced and returned to the same dealer as most of them have 2-3 year service plans with the car. Since the leasing company is typically manufacturer owned, it is in their best interest to keep the leased car in prime condition so that they can sell it off to a used car buyer at the best price once the lease ends.

I have bought a used car that was a lease return - supremely good condition, a lot of people had to be told it is a used car repeatedly till they believed. However while car hunting, I have seen horribly maintained lease returns also. So, your mileage may vary.. used cars in the US are a supremely good option, but make sure you check everything even if it is a CPO car.

I have seen some rental cars in the market for really low prices, that said, the price probably reflects the condition of the car. So, it is better to stay away.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 00:51   #1814
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Wow this is scary. Yea I'm very much skeptical bout buying a rental but wanted to hear what the general view is bout it.

Are you sure bout "Too bad" on 3series
For the price, indeed. But for what i got instead, i am thankful to that sales manager who backed off the right moment.
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Old 24th January 2013, 04:10   #1815
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Which is the best Bug and Tar Remover to apply on front bumper such that it doesn't affect the paint. Also, can i use the same on glass too?

The bumper of G35 is horribly black now a days with plenty of bugs and road tar. I got a quote of $25 from a detailing shop. I am wondering if it can be fixed for less than that?

Will a clay bar work? I have a spare lying around?

Thanks in advance.
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