So as many of you know I just bought my E46 in September and it came pretty new (37,017 miles & flawless condition). It has been snowing and icing here in New York almost every other day since the middle of December.
Usually, I park my E46 in the lot and we drive my gfriend's '08 Accord when the roads are sloppy with dirt and salt. But her parents are in town and staying with us for the holidays and she's driving them around. So I've had to drive my own car almost every day for the last week and a half and around here after 25 minutes of driving my E46 is literally covered bumper to bumper, roof to rim, in a white film of road salt, brown sticky snow and grime.
Last month the Gas Station near my home opened a $2.99 Express Drive Thru Auto Car Wash/Dry. It takes about 2 minutes whiles I sit in the car and drive thru it and although I know the big mop things that slap against your car so hard that your mirrors fold in and cheap pink soap will probably damage my car in the long term, but I'm just glad to see my car come out shiny clean and fresh before I drive it back home.
I've been doing this everyday I drive my car out and tonight I drove home and washed it again but this time I wondered if the road salt and grime is really worse than the soap/chemicals they use in the Auto Wash?
I usually ALWAYS hand wash my E46 but its also been between 13 and 24 degrees daily since Christmas so that is out of the question.