The best care you can give your vehicle's finish is keeping it and clean free of oxidation. Nowadays, we can count on better enamels that are tested for extreme weather conditions. All Summer long the heat has taken its toll on our vehicles and now that we are entering the Winter season, we need to keep our entire vehicle clean from the under carriage to the wheels to the roof. Most regions in the US have to contend with Snow, Salt and Cinder which can and will accelerate the lifespan of our finish. It really doesn't take much travel for road film to collect on our finish and for brake dust to build up on your wheels, rims brake pads so regular washing, waxing and cleaning is highly recommended.
As the colder temperatures are settling in, I normally wash my vehicle at a minimum of once a week depending on the weather conditions. I no longer hand wash my vehicle for the obvious reasons (scratches and time), I visit my local Car Wash and get the Ultimate Wash which consists of Wash, Conditioner, Paint Protector, Hot Wax, Wheel Cleaner and Under Carriage cleaner and Dry all in about 4 minutes. All I have to afterward is wipe down any excess water missed in the dryer. I also like to add a little extra coat of Wax As U Dry for added protection and shine. All together, washing and waxing my car in the Winter takes 10 to 15 minutes and I'm on my way to do other exciting things like go shopping! I'm confident I am giving my vehicle the best care available today.
The products that most Car Washes use are much better and clean and protect your vehicle much better than the past. I wasn't always a fan of using Car Washes but ever since the products have changed and the enamels are stronger, I can say I am a changed woman! If you can find a car wash that uses premium products that actually clean your vehicle the first time around, then washing your vehicle regularly in a car wash is the best care you can give to the finish for peak gloss and color definition.
Note - I need to be clear however, that an old fashioned hand wash with a good car wash and a microfiber sponge is THE best thing you can do for your vehicle. Car washes are for those days when time is of the essence.