Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

At car wash, how do you avoid charge port opening?

Not to say manual explicitly recommends against brush-type car washes ;-)

Caution: If washing in an automatic car wash, use Touchless car washes only. These car washes have no parts (brushes, etc.) that touch the surfaces of Model 3. Using any other type of car wash could cause damage that is not covered by the warranty.
 

pace

Member
Aug 7, 2017
30
22
Conway
I like to wash my car at home too, but in Michigan, we have a good 4-5 months of salty road slush blanketing our cars and it is too cold to wash at home.

If you have a garage you can use a couple of buckets of warm water and Optimum No Rinse in your garage. I wash this way in the summer because it’s in the shade. CarPro Eco is another product for rinseless washes: Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCjRhlUw99o

I
really like Opti-seal as a drying aid as well - the car dries with no spots and the shine is excellent.
 

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
135
124
Virginia
The charge port will only open when the car is in park.
The car automatically goes into Park when the door is opened. I literally never manually put the car in park. I always come to a stop press hard on the brake pedal to put it in Brake Hold mode then I simply open the door and walk away. So if you wash at a car wash where an attendant drives your car onto the tracks and then gets out I would assume the charge port may open since the car will be in Park mode when the attendant exits. Can it be opened in Neutral? I think they leave all the cars in neutral when they send them through the brushed wash.

*don't forget to turn of Auto wipers before getting a wash. Especially if it is the brush kind!
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,876
Cincinnati
The car automatically goes into Park when the door is opened. I literally never manually put the car in park. I always come to a stop press hard on the brake pedal to put it in Brake Hold mode then I simply open the door and walk away. So if you wash at a car wash where an attendant drives your car onto the tracks and then gets out I would assume the charge port may open since the car will be in Park mode when the attendant exits. Can it be opened in Neutral? I think they leave all the cars in neutral when they send them through the brushed wash.

*don't forget to turn of Auto wipers before getting a wash. Especially if it is the brush kind!
There is some song and dance you can do to get it to stay in neutral after getting out, but for a car wash it's probably best just to tell them the attendant should stay in the car. Because a car in park won't do well being pulled through the wash tunnel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 0ptions

Devanish

Member
Apr 1, 2016
135
124
Virginia
There is some song and dance you can do to get it to stay in neutral after getting out, but for a car wash it's probably best just to tell them the attendant should stay in the car. Because a car in park won't do well being pulled through the wash tunnel.

Oh right! Transport Mode.
Page 146:
Transport Mode keeps Model 3 in Neutral (which disengages the parking brake) while preventing damage to the rear motor as the wheels turn when pulling Model 3 onto a flatbed truck.
To activate Transport Mode: 1. Shift into Park. 2. Chock the tires or otherwise ensure Model 3 is stable. 3. Press and hold the brake pedal, then on the touchscreen touch Controls > Service > Towing. A message displays reminding you of how to properly transport Model 3. 4. Hold the Transport Mode button until it turns blue. Model 3 is now free-rolling and can be rolled or winched. To cancel Transport Mode, shift Model 3 into Park.
 

Nfuzzy

Member
Aug 27, 2015
22
35
CO
I always come to a stop press hard on the brake pedal to put it in Brake Hold mode then I simply open the door and walk away.

I have seen multiple posts now about pressing hard to put car in hold mode.
Not sure if this is something that has changed in recent updates or not, but in my 3 I simply maintain light pressure on the pedal for an extra second after coming to a stop to activate hold.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dre78

Kira

Member
Apr 6, 2016
332
356
Victoria, BC
So if in a car wash that’s touchless is there any worry of the charge port opening while in park?

I had to take the car through a Touchless wash twice in the past 24 hours (don't ask!) and didn't even think about the possibility of the charge port door opening. Had the car in Park both times and all was fine. I suppose going forward, I'll leave it in Drive with brake applied/in hold just to be on the safe side.
 

johndorian

Member
Mar 25, 2018
155
152
GTA
So if in a car wash that’s touchless is there any worry of the charge port opening while in park?

I had to take the car through a Touchless wash twice in the past 24 hours (don't ask!) and didn't even think about the possibility of the charge port door opening. Had the car in Park both times and all was fine. I suppose going forward, I'll leave it in Drive with brake applied/in hold just to be on the safe side.

Same as Kira, I put it in park not thinking about this possibility and it was fine. I've gone through 3 touchless washes since I took delivery.
 

kleynm

Member
Mar 1, 2019
24
44
gorinchem
Will charge port open when phone is in car with me and the port is touched by brushes when the M3 is in neutral?
Warning:
I had my new m3, in P, in a carwash last month where the car stands still and brushes move along the car..

Yes the brushes touched the chargeport door, that then opened.

Result: a mangled chargeport door and a dent in the rear fender.
When I contacted Tesla they refer to page 158 of the manual where they advise not to use carwashes with brushes (only 95% of carwashes in The Netherlands use brushes..)
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Apone and Dre78
Warning:
I had my new m3, in P, in a carwash last month where the car stands still and brushes move along the car..

Yes the brushes touched the chargeport door, that then opened.

Result: a mangled chargeport door and a dent in the rear fender.
When I contacted Tesla they refer to page 158 of the manual where they advise not to use carwashes with brushes (only 95% of carwashes in The Netherlands use brushes..)

I will confess to taking my Model S through this type of car wash once (just once). I never thought at all about the charge port door opening, but apparently didn't have any issue. However, it is likely that after pulling in to the Stop line, by chance I probably kept the car in Drive with my foot on the brake for the entire 2-3 minutes, and that kept the charge port door from accidentally opening.

That's at least one way to alleviate the issue in these stationary-type car washes.
 

Thp3

Member
Aug 21, 2017
541
540
Michigan
I like to wash my car at home too, but in Michigan, we have a good 4-5 months of salty road slush blanketing our cars and it is too cold to wash at home.

In northern Michigan, I wash the car in the winter by going to a self wash car wash, driving into a truck bay for room to walk around the car, (kicking the ice blocks to the side before entering the bay so the car does not drive on top of them ). Then I use the handheld spray wand to soap and rinse the car. I stand 3–4 feet away from the car and avoid blasting water directly into the door seams or charge port. This gets rid of most of the salt and sand used in Michigan. It’s far safer than an automatic car wash.

Then if I want to, I use one bucket to wash the car in about 20 minutes in the garage with about 20 Costco microfiber towels and Amazon-shipped Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine (ONR if you want to google it). I use just one bucket of warm water with ONR, quarter the towels wet to wipe the dirty panel, throw the dirty towel into a empty bucket, use a dry towel to wipe the washed panel dry, and repeat on a new dirty panel. My hand stays warm from the warm water and I get compliments on how nice the car looks all winter.

And Invisible Glass for the copious Windows.
 

DIAS

Member
Sep 10, 2018
21
9
Toronto
I had to take the car through a Touchless wash twice in the past 24 hours (don't ask!) and didn't even think about the possibility of the charge port door opening. Had the car in Park both times and all was fine. I suppose going forward, I'll leave it in Drive with brake applied/in hold just to be on the safe side.
You can put the car in N and you don't have to do either of the above
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,342
5,451
MA, NH
I think a car wash brush will do more harm than the salt. I wait for a break in weather to wash it at home. I drain the hose after I’m done so it does not freeze. If it’s a real long cold spell I have gone to the manual car wash stalls as mentioned. Or a touchless one that I remain in the car. But those never do that great a job.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top