I use a pre-soak with the pressure wand and let that sit for a couple of minutes to loosen up the dirt. I'll then hit it with the high pressure wash, rinse it and finish it with a spot free rinse. Drying occurs on the 4 mile ride home on the highway (I basically go around the block using the highway). In 50-60 degree weather the car dries pretty much completely by the time I get it home. The only time I'm physically touching the car is if I wax it.
I'm not a detailer but it seems to me that the biggest evil in some of those coin operated wash bays is the foaming brush. I never use one since Jim Bob with his mudded up 4x4 has deposited tons of dirt in the brush that will easily scratch up my paint. Thankfully I don't have a finish that shows scratches easily. My wife's black Chally is a nightmare on the other hand since it doesn't even have a pearl coat to hide the most minute surface imperfections.
As far as water temp when doing it at home, I wouldn't worry too much. Whatever comes out of the tap should be OK. I'm sure Junkman will stop by and comment if there's anything that doesn't make sense.
2014 R/T Blacktop - 2015 Challenger R/T Scat
Last edited by Hazmat11; 11-05-2012 at 10:28 AM.