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2011 Lotus Evora
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to get people’s opinions of whether wiping off rain before parking my car is a good or bad thing for the paint. Searching online for other cars gives mixed advice and wanted to see what people were doing. I’d like to keep my car looking nice but unlike the prior owner who lived in Texas and never drove it in the rain I can’t avoid the rain in Oregon unless I don’t want to drive it for months.
 

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2011 Evora, Persian Blue, 6-speed
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551 Posts
If you're really concerned then use a spray wax when drying.

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I wouldn't just dry it. You will be dragging around all the crap your tires or other cars kicked up on your paint. If you can't actually wash it, you could use something like Im_Not_In_San_Fran suggests. However, I would use a water-less wash such as :
 

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Less is Better
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If you've just been driving, your car has picked up dirt. Especially if it's been raining, the water will have dirt in it from the road. Rub a towel on a dirty car and you will get scratching. It may not bother you but for me, I'd rather have a dirty car that cleans up nicely than a scratched up dry one.

Waterless washing is OK but it's not hard to scratch the finish with those products as well.

I just wait to clean it properly.

If you want the car to stay clean for a long time, keep it waxed with a synthetic or even better, use a ceramic coating. They repel dirt and water.
 

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2008 Lotus Exige S240
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58 Posts
I have occasionally used a microfiber towel to blot the water on the horizontal surfaces; it helps deal with the worst of the water spots. Now that I’ve got a proper garage, I’ll be using my MetroVac Vac N Blo to dry it off between proper washes.

Cheers,
Bryan
 

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2011 Lotus Evora
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks I won't towel it off and wait until I can clean properly. Was just slightly worried as the rain drops seem to stay on the car for days when parked inside and not using.
 

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If anything when I dry cars even after washing I use a electric leaf blower for getting 90 % dry and the rest micro towels.
I use electric power washer for getting most grit off and then micro fiber very warm water in bucket with little soap
and then power rinse and leaf blower .....I know the Lotus I just purchased has a shield on it and it states not to hand
wash but know I am not going to have it reapplied and will use ceramic spray wax I used on wifes car and pretty pleased
with results and sure looks good after wiping light haze out..
 

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If you're really concerned, spray the car off with one of those "waterless" cleaners(Optimum No-Rinse, etc) and wipe the car off.
It lifts the dirt off the surfaces and lubricates it so should come off the paint without damaging the paint underneath.
 

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If you have the time to do all of the prep work you can put a ceramic coating on the car. In my experience this disperses the water and you won't get drops sitting on the car. If done properly you don't get a lot of dirt sticking to the car and can get away with a weekly rinse and a monthly wash to keep it looking good.
 

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I detail car 2-3x yr. It will live if you wipe it down. Waterspots are one of the bigger PIA's to deal with IMHO. Big deal you have a few swirls. Unless its some cars and coffee creampuff that gets looked at and rarely driven as it was meant to, The whole detailing world has gotten extremely OCD...its a car, it gets dirty, you wash it, wipe it, down , redetail etc. Ceramics will still waterspot. I have seen it.
 

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Naturally I have a whole regimen for wash and detail studied and developed over decades and so does everyone else. I have rules. Let's be frank and call it ritual. The rain water is not a clean lubricant, everybody has already said that. If you think in terms of lubricating the surface and lifting the dirt, not pushing it around you can reduce the damage that naturally occurs if you actually drive the car and try to keep it forever clean. There's way too much info available on this to say anymore.

I get professional detailing twice a year and keep it best I can using all the ritual developed over decades of turning new cars into used ones.

Detailing like they have now is a profession that didn't exist when I was a kid. I was the detailer in my family and let me tell you, I had no idea how complicated this was going to get.
 

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Whenever it rains here in San Jose, I park my car out in the open to get a free car wash. Best when it pours. Just let it soak while I work, then take it home and wipe away with microfib cloths. It's my daily, and I haven't taken my car to a carwash since September. I used to care so much for the car being spotless and clean, but now I can go on for months while sooth accumulates around the outside. It's liberating not to care. I actually take a slight bit of pride in the car being dirty and not a garage queen.
 

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I detail car 2-3x yr. It will live if you wipe it down. Waterspots are one of the bigger PIA's to deal with IMHO. Big deal you have a few swirls. Unless its some cars and coffee creampuff that gets looked at and rarely driven as it was meant to, The whole detailing world has gotten extremely OCD...its a car, it gets dirty, you wash it, wipe it, down , redetail etc. Ceramics will still waterspot. I have seen it.
 
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