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I gave my Elise her first wash today. Consequently, I finally put the top on. I parked the car pointing down the driveway; I didn't have any water overflowing into the trunk. No leaks from the top either. :)

It didn't really hit me till now that this car has lots and lots of nooks and crannies. Washing/drying the car is very time consuming, despite the small size. I think next time I'll try air drying by driving the car. :p At least that method is fun!
 

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Congratulations! I you thought you found all the nooks and crannies......wait until you try waxing it! :crazyeyes
 

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Get an electric leaf blower>>>

Yep...works like a charm...blows out all those nooks and crannies...nothing like getting car all 'dry' and shiney and drive and have water blowing out and spotting.
 

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Have you tried the new Mr. Clean system? It uses some kind of water filter, so you don't have to hand-dry the car after the final rinse. It air-dries nearly spotless, they say. Consumer Reports said it really works. I have one, but haven't used it yet.
 

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A made-for-washing cars brush can help with the nooks and crannies. Griot's sells one. Works great near the various grills and scoops.
 

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pinmagic said:
Have you tried the new Mr. Clean system? It uses some kind of water filter, so you don't have to hand-dry the car after the final rinse. It air-dries nearly spotless, they say. Consumer Reports said it really works. I have one, but haven't used it yet.
A lot of reviews indicate displeasure with it. I would not use it.

I thought the Elise was very easy to wash. Some nooks for sure, but it's so small it does not take long. I thought my MR2 was worse in water traps. The rear wing would seep water for an hour later. I had the habit of just blowing into the seams to remove water. I expect my neighbors thought I was odd. :)

The Elise water places is the rear taillights and any of the finned areas.
 

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I've heard that a leaf blower will work. I've seen then for $60 or so. Has anyone tried one yet?- seems like it shoud work.
 

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Leaf blowers work pretty well, except for that I usually finish washing when it's almost dark (start late to get shade) and not sure the neighbors appreciate it. Mop up anything else with a waffle weave microfiber towel, blotting and not wiping.

Use what you like. But no driving to dry the car off!
 

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I don't have my car yet, but for my existing cars, I use my compressor and air gun when I'm really being obsessive and trying to get all the water out. I admit, however, that this is not "neighbor friendly", but I try to keep the noise down by locating my compressor as far away from them as possible and using it sparingly.

Other thoughts - the car will be much easier to dry with a fresh coat of wax. You might also try the technique (as detailed in the Roadfly detailing FAQ section) of "using water to dry your car" it really does work ! In a nutshell, after the car is cleaned and rinsed, you turn the water volume down to a slow but steady stream, then kind of run the nozzle over (above) the car's surfaces, to create a sheet of water. The surface tension of the water will act to "pull" most of the water right off the car ! Of course you will still have to deal with the nooks and crannies, but most of the water on the flatter surfaces will be off.
 

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Vantage said:
Mop up anything else with a waffle weave microfiber towel, blotting and not wiping.

Any idea where can I buy one of those in Orange County?
 

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Jay said:
I've heard that a leaf blower will work. I've seen then for $60 or so. Has anyone tried one yet?- seems like it shoud work.
Motorcyclists have been using leaf blowers for years to blow out the trapped water around the engine, handlebars, wheels, etc... Works great!

You will however, be left with water spots that need to be sprayed and cleaned. Especially in areas where there's hard water (like Arizona!).

Like someone mentioned above, cars should always be washed and dried in the shade.

Bobby
 

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Patricko said:
Any idea where can I buy one of those in Orange County?
In Orange County you won't find it, people don't wash their cars they pay people to do it for them j/k

I've been once in there, never saw so many expensive cars in one spot other than porto banus in spain.

Back to your question this is the 1st link google found:

http://www.laokay.com/AutoParts-IndependentSuppliers_oc.htm
 

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Patricko said:
Any idea where can I buy one of those in Orange County?
I don't know about a "brick and mortar" location for these locally, at least not for the high-quality stuff. I'd recommend either Griot's Garage (http://www.griotsgaragecatalog.com/about.jsp) or of course Detailers Paradise (http://www.detailersparadise.com/), a proud sponsor of this very site, and a vendor I haven't yet used but plan to in the near future ! :p

I have used lots of the Griot's products and have found them to be excellent, even though I know a lot of people say they're overpriced on a lot of things and I generally agree. The quality is very good nonetheless.,
 

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I bought the large purple waffle weave from Detailer's Paradise and I could not be more pleased. That works incredibly well.

CLICK HERE!
 

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Yep, Detailers Paradise is a good source for all kinds of bits.

Chris
Disclaimer: receives no compensation in any way from DP;)
 

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I got a stack of yellow microfiber towels from Costco. Don't know about quality, but I'm only using them to dust the interior and clean glass surfaces.
 

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Also bought a pack of the Costco towels to use in the engine bay, door jambs, interior, wheels, etc...

They don't scratch on clean paint (or a CD for example), but because they have very little nap, any kind of dust or dirt could end up scratching your paint when wiping it down. Higher quality towels with thicker naps tend to provide more padding against the paint and have superior grabbing capabilities. These Costco towels are relatively poor quality, but this is a fair deal at 12/$8. Don't use them on your paint, but not a bad idea as throw aways for other jobs. The most plush and thick MF towels can go for over $5/each for a small towel, and perhaps more for something like a large drying towel.

Just because a towel does not scratch your paint, it does not mean the process of wiping won't. Generally this is why I advocate blotting rather than wiping with drying your car. You will become faster the more practice you get with your Elise, but at some point it comes down to priorities and which color you picked. How much do you care about faint spider webbing and swirl marks over the course of a year? Maybe your paint doesn't show much of it anyway.

If you want to use store bought MF, I know Autozone had Turtle Wax brand packs that come with one yellow and one blue. Decent towels that you could use anywhere on your car and have avg. nap. Sometimes I'll use one of these to remove a more stubborn glaze, as it has a bit more power than a super plush MF towel. San Diego has a detailing place called Rightlook on Miramar road.

Otherwise, stick to your online retailers.
 

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I have two or three packs of those Costco towels and can't complain. The short nap causes them to lint fibers when wet, so they're strictly for dry-work. I use them for detail misting, removing Zaino, anything that doesn't need a lot of absorbtion.

They're cheap enough that you're not likely to use them far past their useful life. They wash well without disintegrating. The best part is that with 20 or so towels in the bag, I'm more likely to reach for a clean one. Having just one expensive MF towel is a temptation to use it after dropping it. :)
 

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What specifically doesn't work with the Mr. Clean system? With dark-colored cars it's a must to chamois them to avoid water spots (which takes as long as the wash itself). So, I was hoping that Mr. Clean might be a good solution.
 

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Consumer reports did do a segment on mr. clean system, they say it does indeed dry spotless. I'd be inclined to toss the soap and use something "kinder, gentler" for my car, but might pick it up to see if it does dry spot free.
Chris
 
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