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Discussion Starter #1
CRAAAAAP!!!

I read all the warnings about accidentally shredding your transmission if the driver at your car wash doesn't correctly put the car in Neutral after they drive it in.

Last time I got my '04 washed, I very carefully instructed the guy how to do it, then walked away with my SS/SE fob in my pocket. Geez, I'm an idiot. Nevertheless, the guy got my car into the wash, it looked like it smoothly rolled through, and it came out the other side, where I drove it to the spot where another guy wipes it down. (The wipedown guy tried to drive it out, but couldn't figure how to get it in gear, so he had me do it.) I only realized after I parked it that the fob was in my pocket the whole time.

So... did I just hideously damage my car? It seems fine - would it be obvious is something were wrong? What DOES happen when someone else is driving the car, and you walk away with the fob?

Tell me I didn't just trash my 2-month-old car.
 

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There is nothing wrong with doing that. Once the car is turned on, the fob can be removed and the car still works. The only thing is, the car beeps the whole time you drive without the fob. But there is NO damage that can come from doing this every once and a while. Well, if you do it all the time, the beeper might wear down. :D
 

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If it seems to work fine, and no warning lights are screaming at you, chances are nothing is harmed.

When you leave the car in Ready and walk away with the fob, the car is drivable, and anyone can get in and drive it away. But once he shuts it off (assuming he knows how) he won't be able to start it again.

So, to get back to your original question, assuming the guy followed your instructions for putting the car in neutral, the car never knew the difference.

Some folks just tell the car wash people, "This car is different. I'll take it through myself."

I go to one of those places where you put in $1.50 in quarters for 3 or 4 minutes of your choice: high pressure soapy wash, soapy brush, high-pressure rinse. For $3 you get it looking all clean and pretty.

I've read reports of people losing their antenna or their rear wiper in automatic car washes.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Phooo... that's a relief. Yeah, it seems fine.

I always unscrew the antenna when I go thru the car wash, so no worries there. Thanx for the rear wiper warning, though. The type of wash I go to doesn't look like the equipment rides the contour of the car too closely, so it oughta be OK, but it's good to be warned.
 

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Thomme, glad to hear you don't have transmission damage. Yesterday I took my 04 thru an automatic carwash and worried that I hadn't removed the antenna. It came out OK, but what I didn't know was the guy put duct tape on the rear wiper to keep it still. When I turned that wiper on (no one seemed on their way to wipe/dry) to clear the back window, the wiper didn't work for a second, and then it did. Later I found the tape and wondered if I had risked heating up the wiper motor.

But before the car wash started, I had a difficult time getting into N. Was in Drive, obviously, but it only went into N after first going into B. Several tries with my foot on the brake would not bring it out of D to N. I felt like an idiot with the attending watching me while I did this. What did I do wrong?

Susan
 

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Were you holding it in 'N' for a few seconds? (It won't shift if you just quickly filck it to 'N', you have to hold it there.)

heh. I always run my wipers when I'm in the carwash. I usually run it once or twice while I'm in the 'brushless brushes', and again when it's being rinsed, to make sure that the wipers themselves get clean, too. (And I run them in the blow dryers, too, so they get dry.)

I've noticed that the rear lower window never gets dry at the automatic washes I go through. The blowers just don't aim there, I guess.
 

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I've gotten to where shifting into 'D' or 'R', I flick it, to 'N', I just move it slowly. When I shift slowly, it usually shifts before I hit the end anyway. (The effect is the same as flicking and holding, basically, it needs to be in the 'N' area for longer than when going to R or D.)
 

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I don't drive my husband's 2004
very often, usually only to move it
out of the driveway to get my 2001
out... I have a bad habit when
moving the 2004's joystick to go
very slowly, making sure that I'm
putting it into the right gear.
Only problem is, usually I take too
long moving it, and the car goes
into N instead of the gear I want...
 

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I'm sooooo very glad I peeked into "Technical" - I was just wondering about going thru a car wash and getting pretty nervous about it - I think I stick with the power wash it yourself technique. For 3 or 4 $$$ you can't beat it - maybe another 2 for vacumming.

Anyone find the best window cleaner formula?
 
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