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    Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    I had picked up my brand new 987s recently. Because of the soft top, I always take it to a professional cleaner in town who does washing only by hand. This cleaner has an excellent reputation in town and there are always Carrera GT, Ferrari 430 and many other convertibles being washed there.

    Recently, I took my cars there for a few times and I have to travel some distance to the cleaner. Yesterday, I dropped my car off before work right after I drove there just like I usually do it. I walked away and remembered that I left something in the car and went back to the washing house. Suddenly, something clicked and I felt puzzled. The guys were spraying water on the car and starting to wash it and I thought it must be bad... cos the car hasn't cooled down yet.

    Then I talked to the manager, he said the reason people said you shouldn't wash the car when the car is warm or under the sunlight is an issue of water spots more than hurting the discs or rims. However, I thought we should never spray water onto the rims when the car is still warm. Imagine a brake disc being still warm and you spray some water on it, it would contract and the disc's shape would bend in the end. However, the manager said they washed tons of super cars and it would never be a problem as they didn't spray directly onto the discs and most of these cars' discs were made with durability to withstand some sort of water even when warm. He said the analogy would be similar to driving high speed on the highway and the sky suddenly starts to rain or snow and he said it it would be that vulnerable, the disc would bend under heavy rain while in operation. Any input? It's not like I don't trust him but it looks like he also has the motivation to wash the cars as they come in as they can't afford to park them around for a 1/2 hour then wash it. Afterall, it's a volume and economies of scale issue for the place. I suspect that it probably doesn't cause the disc to bend out of shape unless you have been driving it at 150 km/hr before. Nonetheless, I do believe that washing the car in the morning before driving it would be much better for the car than washing it after operation?

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    I have warped my rotors on one of my other cars by stupidly using full power from a hose on the wheels right after a vigorous drive. This is called "thermal shock" and is much more intense than ambient temperature water splashing onto a wheel/rotor while in use. The rapid cooling (the stationary car is no longer adding heat to the mix) can warp even the highest quality rotors if cooled too quickly.

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Russell thanks. My question is then that is VISUAL INSPECTION enough to tell you if thermal shock had warped the rotors? Simply speaking, if any one is bent out of shape then it had to be warped for sure. If by observation they look normal then they should be fine?

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Then it leads to the question of braking, so when your rotors were warped, apparently, braking would be seriously affected so a simple brake test in addition to visual inspection maybe the best way to tell as an alternative to bringing it into a mechanic.

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    which shop are you mentioning?
    the one in happy valley?

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Jukemach, I have no clue. Actually, new Porsches are seldom taken to be serviced anywhere else other than Jebsen but do you know of another reliable source? Or else I am sure Jebsen can take a look at it after I do some braking tests.

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Quote:
    ptcja said:
    Russell thanks. My question is then that is VISUAL INSPECTION enough to tell you if thermal shock had warped the rotors? Simply speaking, if any one is bent out of shape then it had to be warped for sure. If by observation they look normal then they should be fine?



    NO, visual inspection will not reveal if the rotor is warped by 50-100 thousands or less. The test for this is with a dial indicator to test for "runout" with the wheel removed and the wheel nuts reinstalled, or on a rotor resurfacing machine. But, you WILL notice a "pulsing" sensation or vibration when applying the brakes, and I don't mean at impending lock-up w/the ABS triggered.

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    I had warped front rotors on my previous car (C4S cab). I would get some steering wheel shimmy when braking from higher speeds - that's how I noticed it. Think the rotors might have been warped when I washed the car before letting it cool down a bit.

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Hey, I'm no stranger...

    Re: Car Washing Question, washing when car still warm?

    Yes in fact, another professional driver told me that you would either hear noises when braking or pulsating sensation, vibration even when braking in front of lights driving at cruising speed of around 50-60 km. At high speed, the steering wheel should shake a bit obviously because a warped rotor has unsmooth bent surface and that's where the vibration is coming from. The obvious way to know is that if I don't feel anything, the rotors should be fine.

     
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