2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Washing It Manually
June 21, 2010
I think a car like our 2002 Corvette Z06 should be hand-washed for a couple of reasons. The first one can't be avoided -- the Z06's super-low ride height makes the car just too low to go through most automated (track-based) car washes. Even if the front airdam somehow clears it's likely that the chassis will scrape or hang up, too. But honestly, is hand washing that difficult? It's a Z06, for heaven's sake. Treat it with some admiration. I hope other owners feel the same way.
Also, I'm curious what your thoughts are on washing a car yourself (either at home or coin-op) versus a professional car wash, particularly in regards to environmental impact. Maybe you've read write-ups like this one that argue that a professional car wash is better because it uses less water and cycles its waste water through the sewer rather than a storm drain. The sewer part makes sense to me but most of the estimates I've seen for hand-wash water useage at home (in the realm of 80 to 140 gallons) seem way over-inflated to me. I'm sure I use fewer than 10 gallons total washing a typical car at home. Spray off the car (a couple gallons maybe), fill up a bucket (three or four gallons), wash and spray off. Done.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 48,492 miles