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Yesterday was good weather wise for car washing (i.e. above freezing) so I thought I'd share my cleaning routine that I follow every 2 or 3 weeks depending on weather. I do about 250 miles a week so this is a clean every 500-750 miles across mixed roads in southern Scotland.
The aim of this isn't a super detail but something to keep the worst of the grim and road salt at bay and that can be completed in under an hour when the outside temperature isn't conducive to spending too long on the job! I prefer to do it with my own equipment as the stuff at the supermarket jet wash is rather harsh and can strip wax.
A couple of pictures first to show the built up of winter grime.
First up a good layer of snow foam to drag off the worst without risking scratching.
After giving it 5 minutes to dwell and a light rinse with the pressure washer (nothing too fierce at this stage) about 90% of the dirt has been removed.
Next up are the wheels. I give each a spray of cleaner, give it a couple of minutes and then wash off at about 80% pressure.
Next up with the main wash. Speed is of the essence so I go with spraying on the wash/wax solution. I then wipe this over using 2 buckets and 2 wash mitts (one for the top and the other the lower parts).
Finally the suds are rinsed off at 80% pressure and the windows cleaned. Results:
Pressure washer - Karcher K4 Bog standard buckets, one with a Grit Guard Wash Mitts - Meguiar's Lambs Wool Foam lance - Elite Car Care Foam - Bilt Hamber Auto Foam Wheels - Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Cleaner Wash - Autoglym Pressure Wash Windscreen - Autoglym Fast Glass Other windows and mirrors - Rain X 2 in 1 I do a good clean in autumn including wax with Armour All Shield that lasts well into winter so the dirt doesn't stick too bad. Inside I apply Gtechniq I1 to rain/snow coming in doesn't soak the seats or carpet. Come late spring the clay bar will come out to remove the ingrained stuff like tar sports that have accumulated over winter and I'll spend a full day pouring over it.
By Ten Ninety
I am posting this for the information of other GS300h owners who are considering changing their tyres. Please learn from my own stupidity. Do not purchase Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 in size 235/45!
When looking at reviews, I found near-universal praise for these tyres (in other sizes) for being quiet, comfortable and low rolling resistance. Despite the fact that I know full well that tyre reviews are second only to food reviews for being utterly pointless subjective tripe, I allowed myself to be persuaded away from spending the extra on Michelin CrossClimates which have been recommended by owners on here. That was foolish, and it is going to prove to be an expensive mistake.
These tyres are not quiet. They produce noticeably more cabin noise than the OEM Bridgestone ER33s, which I did not consider to be a quiet tyre in the first place. They are perhaps more 'comfortable' in that they make the car feel as if it's driving through treacle. However, the biggest problem is that the rolling resistance is absolutely, utterly, appallingly terrible. Unbelievably, it has actually made a noticeable impact on performance - significantly more throttle is now required in any given situation, and the distance I can get in milkfloat mode has been considerably reduced. As a result, fuel economy is now catastrophically bad. I'm not talking a slight reduction - I'm talking a minimum 10% worse and on some journeys up to 20%. Where I would have been touching an indicated 50mpg on these cold days, I am now struggling into the low 40s and occasionally dipping down into the 30s. If I needed more proof that those ridiculous EU economy ratings are anything other than fabricated bulls--t then this is it - these tyres have the same rating as the ER33s they replaced, and the associated mumbo jumbo claims a maximum difference of 7.5% between A and G!
I hoped they might just need scrubbing in, but there's been no improvement after a few hundred miles. I have tried whacking the pressures up to 2.7bar, but this has had little impact on economy. It just makes the ride unsettled. And yes, I've checked they were fitted the right way around!
Clearly, these tyres can't be universally awful. I've actually got the Asymmetric 3s (the updated version) on my wife's Auris HSD and they're absolutely fine. However, on a GS300h they are an unmitigated disaster if you have even a passing interest in fuel economy. I hope this information may save others from making the same mistake as I have made.