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Any tips on detailing a Roadster?

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by dsm363, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #1 dsm363, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
    I just placed my order for an Arctic White Roadster which I imagine will show dirt a little faster than a darker color. I've never had a car that I cared enough to keep really clean and good looking other than taking it to the car wash once and a while.
    This could of course apply to any car I guess but anyone have a good reference on the proper way to detail/clean the outside of your car (what products to buy and use, how to do it...etc)? I'll be starting off with just a soft top so not sure about taking it through a car wash. I will be ordering the Tesla paint armor too if that changes anything. Thanks!
     
  2. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

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    I've owned white cars before: you will be surprised by how little dust shows (depending on where you live of course!)...

    I'm not big on car detailing, but I do keep my Roadster mostly dust free by gently washing it with a clean sponge and a bit of car soap (Mother brand, I think). I'm sure others will shower you with good suggestions. However, there is one point I would like to make perfectly clear:

    DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, TAKE YOUR ROADSTER THROUGH AN AUTOMATED CAR WASH.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Thank you. That was one of the things I wasn't sure about. I assume the ones where you hold the spray wand yourself are ok? I guess I'm not looking to keep the car showroom ready all the time, just not dirty looking.
     
  4. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Did you order the car cover?
     
  5. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    You might be surprised... I used to have a white car, and it showed the dirt less.

    Use a California Car Duster http://calcarduster.com/originalDuster.asp to touch up your car between washes. It won't fix you up after driving through rain and mud, but if the car gets a bit dirty and dusty you can spiff it right up. I got mine at Canadian Tire... I'm sure they're equally easily found in the USA.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I didn't order the car cover since it'll be in a garage most of the time.

    Thanks for the tips Doug_G too
     
  7. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks Doug, that looks cool...there are 60 new houses under construction next door to me (being built on an old peach orchard with red, P.E.I. coloured earth) blowing straight at my garage door...this duster could come in very handy!
     
  8. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    I've seen a handful of people use car covers on their "weekend car" inside the garage. However, if (when!) you start driving the Roadster on a daily basis this probably wouldn't be practical.

    I believe the wheels are going to be the hardest part of the Roadster to wash due to the style of the spokes. You might be OK to use a pressure washer (carefully!) on the wheels only but it would be best to get word from an actual Roadster owner or directly from Tesla.
     
  9. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    I wash mine in my garage by hand once it gets a bit dirty - can't have a dirty roadster can we? Also the car is so small it takes no time to wash by hand.

    Be careful of the TESLA lettering on the rear. It isn't held on by much glue - I lost the "A" once when my microfiber cloth snagged it and pulled it off! Luckily my Tesla rep quickly replaced it for me!!! gotta luv that service!
     
  10. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    I agree with you Pop that the car cover would be impractical for a daily driver, but with 6 acres of residential construction about 100 yards away, I'm going to have to live with it for a while...probably more so in the winter as it's more difficult to wash the car in the freezing temps.
     
  11. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks for the heads up on the lettering stenk...yeah, it is pretty small so it won't take too long...geez, I remember washing the Windstar in the driveway...had to get a friggin ladder out to reach the top. :rolleyes:

    I think that's when I stopped washing by hand and migrated to the automatic car washes...:biggrin:
     
  12. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I asked someone at Tesla to look into what products their Service team uses to prepare cars for delivery so I'll post that when I get an answer.
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Thanks dsm, I was just going to ask what cleaners & wax are recommended...I've never had a car with a carbon fiber body before.

     
  14. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I've always been a little obsessive about taking care of my cars, so you may not want to go as extreme, but the service manager did mention mine was one of the cleanest they'd had in for yearly service ;-).

    Griot's Garage has a detailing handbook that is a great place to start. When I got my used 911, I did the whole treatment, top to bottom, and it looked a bunch better - not quite new, but close. With a new car, things are much easier - the paint is still clean and doesn't need to have the fine scratches buffed out.

    Do not use just any cloth/rag on your car! They will scratch the clear coat! Not in an obvious way, so I'm sure there are many people out there who will say "it doesn't matter" - but at certain angles... Good microfiber or pure cotton towels are recommended. A good boar's hair brush to help gently clean the exterior is good. A small detail brush (thing old-timey shaving cream brush) is good for interior detailing - getting the dust out of the corners.

    As for product line, Zaino. No question - especially if you have the paint armor. Wax will just emphasize the paint armor instead of making it less obvious. Zaino's product line doesn't cover everything you need, so you need to fill in - I usually fill in from Griot's line.

    For the soft top, RagTopp makes a cleaner / protector pair. It's what comes with a lot of soft tops.

    For the interior, I use Griot's leather wipes at least once a month on the seats and leather parts, interior cleaner on the rest. Except for the carbon fiber or exposed paint parts, which I treat like exterior.

    I've got the black wheels - I treat them like I treat the paint.

    I agree on the California Duster - I have two, a big one for the body and a small one for the wheels (which gets dirtier faster). Also, whatever product line you choose, they usually have an 'in-between' wash quick-detail spray something or other to apply after dusting between washes.

    I've got a picture from the March road rally - where I spent the entire previous day taking care of the car - which justifies (IMO) the time I spent.

    Plus, the car just drives better when it's that clean.
     
  15. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wow. Thanks for all of that information. That is extremely helpful. Will order that handbook and the other stuff too. Finally I'll have a car to go with my 5 Tesla t-shirts, 4 hats, 2 golf shirts and 1 corporate jacket too=)
     
  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Ive had many black an white cars.

    "Nothing looks better than a clean black car." and "Nothing gets dirtier faster that a black car."

    White and silver look clean for the longest.

    I have a wash routine. it's three hours. I have not been able to shorten it.
     
  17. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    #17 Jaff, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
    Thanks SBuyer, that's a wealth of info!...I hope I can get the Griot's product line up here. :smile:
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I'd love to hear what your wash routine is sometime too if you get a chance to post it. Thanks.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    So you're planning to drive it through the winter? I must confess as much as I love the car, I am reluctant to winter drive it, for a few reasons:

    - dings from sand/stones being kicked up into the body (paint armor doesn't protect everything)
    - the Roadster is reportedly good in snow, and you can put on snow tires, but here in Ottawa we get snowfalls higher than the bottom of the car. It's a rare car that can move when its wheels aren't touching the road...
    - hand washing seems like an impractical thing to do in Februrary, and it's gonna get dirty every time it goes out

    At least it's not gonna rust...
     
  20. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    I know Doug, but I have no choice...it's a company car so I have to use it.

    Ottawa usually gets more snow than we do here in Niagara...I'm putting the recommended Pirelli snow tires on...my drive in to work is only about 2 kilometers through town...if / when we get a big snow, I still have the Lexus I can use...it will be a lot of washing though, but I figure the fun of driving it in the Spring to Fall will be well worth it.
     

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