Car Wash Expense on your Challenger Daily Driver? - Dodge Challenger Forum: Challenger & SRT8 Forums
Detailing / Car Care Want to talk about detailing your Dodge Challenger? Are you fanatical about the care and upkeep of your Challenger? Tell us about it in here.

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#1 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 01:48 PM
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Car Wash Expense on your Challenger Daily Driver?

For those of you that daily drive your challenger (even those that only do it seasonally) How much do you spend on car washing and how often, also do you do it yourself or pay a car wash / detail shop?

For me the car is a nice weather only daily driver, only gets driven in the rain if I get caught by surprise on one of those 20% chance or rain days that turn into major widespread downpours.


Weekly $12
About once per week depending on weather it goes through the local extra service automatic car wash with the works (this involves having the windows, bumpers, hood and wheels quickly hand washed before going into the automatic wash) , and I vacuum as needed about once per week at home with the shop vac.. This gets the car mostly clean, still leaves some brake dust in the crevices and maybe a few small spots on the glass.

Monthly - 6 weeks $70
It goes to a local detail shop for their basic inside and out wash, wax, vacuum and windows for $70 (they charge $120 for the full detail package)

Every 4-6 months $120
Full detail (this is projected at this time as I have only owned the car for about 3 months, but it is getting to the point where the various hard to reach places are showing a need to be cleaned)

(total estimated expense $900 - $1250 per year on cleaning)

Even though I have all the stuff for it I don't generally do this myself because I have a bad back (I fell and ended up with a split compression fracture of L2 just over 2 years ago, gets better every month, but washing and waxing a car would put me in bed for several days)

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Mods list: K&N Typhoon CAI, Skip Shift Eliminator , Petty Strut Tower Brace, Diablo Predator 91CAI tune, License Plate backup camera with Lockpick V2, mini spare tire and adapter, Moroso Catch Can, some BT bling, 3rd brake pulser, Larry's mod Hurst shifter, coming soon Web Electric Sequential tail lights and LED under door lights

Last edited by Isaac-1; 12-13-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 02:47 PM
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Initial investment probably around 250 bucks for all supplies including buffer. Guess now about 30 dollars a month. Wash once a week including interior, detail sprayer every other week. Hand wax sprayer every 3 months. Full on wax every 6 months with buffer. Probably clean motor once a month. If I had to guess its probably half of 900 probably 400 a year.

Last edited by racindemon; 12-13-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 02:49 PM
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Sorry to hear about your back. Trust me I take great pride in doing it myself but if I had the money I would pay someone else to do the job. . . The Older I get I realize that time actually is money amongst other things.

Last edited by racindemon; 12-13-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 03:21 PM
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Daily driver and it's black. I wash it once a week at a self-serve place (I live in an apartment) and it's the bare minimum. Costs me about $6-7. Then I spend more than with my other cars on products, but it's hard to quantify.
Black is slavery, but I do everything myself because I don't like people touching my car. And I see the time I spend waxing, polishing, and contorting as good exercise and bonding time with my car. I'm pushing 50 and not getting enough workouts so...
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#5 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 03:29 PM
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I wash exterior weekly, interior only steering wheel,shifter door handle rest of interior every 3 weeks as noone rides in my car but me. Initial investment was high as i went with Adams Polishes and bought everything i could
possibly need to mantain paint/clear coat/leather. So it was about 2500 more or less for all supplies like cleaners/polishes/waxes/conditioners/2xOrbital polishers/brushes/towels assorted.
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#6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 04:33 PM
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I usually wash mine twice a week at the do it yourself washes, $ 1.50 for two minutes, i take my own soap & buckets......another $ 1.50 for the rinse, getting pretty good moving fast, but usually i throw in another $ 1.50 for the spotless rinse.....so about 9 bucks per week.

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 04:56 PM
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 05:16 PM
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It's never been to a car wash and never will!!! I have spent I'm guessing 6-800 this year alone on products. It only gets driven a few days a month so never gets dirty. Never seen rain or snow either. I have yet to see a swirl mark on her yet to but I also use the two bucket method with lambs wool mitt then blow her dry.


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#9 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 05:23 PM
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I drive seasonally, but otherwise wash weekly at a do-it-yourself high-pressure wash--$8 each time. That's maybe $200.

I take a 4-week driving vacation every year and wash daily as above. The washes are cheaper in other parts of the country, so I spend only about $125.

The only significant detailing I do is to remove my wheels twice a year to wash and wax wheels and clean calipers and discs. The wheel wax cost $25 but will last a few years.

I've got some large micro-fiber drying towels that I paid about $75 for. These will last for years as well.

I use RO water (non-spot rinse water) to clean my engine compartment. That keeps it spotless without using brushes or having a difficult drying job.

Total cleaning cost in the first year was $425; ongoing cost is about $325 yearly.

At the risk of seeming heretical, I'm telling you my experience over many years and many cars is that if you use only high pressure water (no soap necessary) and then remove any remaining road film during drying, the paint finish maintains amazingly well...no scratching or hazing to be seen.

My compulsive car buddies who use soap and agitation to remove road film need to polish every 6 months to undo the scratching they cause. How my car continues to look so good without frequent polishing is a source of significant consternation to them.

Not saying polish wouldn't improve my car, just saying if you don't touch the car until after a high-pressure wash you avoid a lot of paint damage. I have the best-looking winter-driven, 15-year-old Saturn to prove my point.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2012, 05:34 PM
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Mine has never been to an automated car wash. Sorry about your back, hope it heals soon.
I have no paint sealant on this car, but have used it in the past, and the car does stay cleaner with it. The dust doesn't adhere as much, and after a rain, sometimes you can't even tell. Just a thought that might cut down on your visits.
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