I Swear By Regular Car Washes

Even my cheap, 100,000+ mile econohatch deserves it.

Are you a psychopath like me, washing your car at least once every few weeks?

Car: 2014 Mazda2
Location: Long Beach, CA
Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram + Twitter: @16vPete)
Camera: iPhone 7

I’m leaning heavily on the at least here, too; I tend to wash my Mazda2 every other week. I swear by it. The more regularly a car gets washed, the longer its paint will maintain its clearcoat. I’m not even talking about a full buff and wax, just a quick, five-minute visit to a DIY carwash.

I like to blast the crap off of it, suds it down, clean the wheels with the appropriate wheel-washing wand (if available), then rinse all the suds off. Finally, I spray it down with any available clear coat protectant and then spray that off with de-ionized water. Again, if these chemicals are available.

Because of regular washes, the 2’s paint finish is so good for never having been buffed or substantially waxed. At least in my mind. Sure, I’ve had to go a little more hardcore to clean all the accumulated dirt off of it for the best sheen, but for the most part, regular washes have done the trick.

I feel like I’m one of few people who washes their car this often. Or rather, washes their 2014 econohatch that’s worth around $5,000-$7,000 as much as I do. But whatever, I like it that way, and have even gotten a few compliments on how good the paint looks over the years.

So many econobox roofs start to lose their clear coat in the hot SoCal sun after a few years, not this one. $10-$15 per month in DIY carwash fees don’t feel like a bad investment. Plus, it’s fun!

Peter Nelson
Peter Nelson

Peter Nelson has been wrenching on and playing with cars since he started driving them quickly between the cones at Chicagoland autocross events in his late teens. Nowadays, he can be found wringing out his Mazda2 at tracks all over California. His writing background includes Winding Road, Donut Media, and Autolist.com. He's also an avid cyclist and '80s/'90s action film connoisseur. Contact the author here.