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Can’t get car washed in Long Beach?

BillO

Member
Oct 14, 2015
146
80
San Francisco, CA
I went to two car washes today in Long Beach and they both told me they couldn’t wash Teslas (I have a Model 3). They said the car goes into Park if there is no one in the driver seat so they can’t put it through the tunnel. I have had the car washed several times in San Francisco (at Tower car wash) and they never said a thing. Is this true or is there a way around it that the guys in Long Beach don’t know about?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,083
8,946
Riverside Co. CA
I went to two car washes today in Long Beach and they both told me they couldn’t wash Teslas (I have a Model 3). They said the car goes into Park if there is no one in the driver seat so they can’t put it through the tunnel. I have had the car washed several times in San Francisco (at Tower car wash) and they never said a thing. Is this true or is there a way around it that the guys in Long Beach don’t know about?

As far as I know, its true that the car goes into park if no one is in the drivers seat. The places you went to just decided they did not want to deal with that (and they probably learned the hard way by putting it in neutral, getting out, and then the car getting dragged through the car wash).

You likely got it washed fine in San Fran since there are so many teslas up there, the car washes have decided they will put someone in the drivers seat to not lose business (cause "tesla" in san fran).
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,083
8,946
Riverside Co. CA
Turn on creep and maybe put in neutral.

I looked in the manual (because I wanted to take my car to a car wash that does hand wash but still puts it on one of those rail things to pull it through", and while you can put it in neutral, the manual says that if there is no occupant in the drivers seat it will switch to park.
====================
Neutral
Push the lever up or down to the first position
and hold it there for more than 1 second to
shift into Neutral. Neutral allows Model 3 to
roll freely when you are not pressing the brake
pedal.
If Model 3 is in Park and you use the
touchscreen to release the parking brake
(Controls > Safety & Security), Model 3 shifts
into Neutral (see Parking Brake on page 55).
Model 3 automatically shifts into Park when
you exit. To leave Model 3 in Neutral, use the
touchscreen to engage Transport Mode (see
Instructions for Transporters on page 161).
===================

But, if you look at the instructions for transporters on page 161 as it directs, it tells you that the car should never be "towed with wheels on the ground, even for short distances". I would consider car wash rails to be "towing on the ground for short distances", but maybe others see differently? In any case, I believe at a car wash, one "could" put it in transport mode so that it was in neutral without someone needing to be in the car.

======================

Never tow Model 3 with the tires contacting
the ground, even for short distances. Doing so
can cause significant damage. In addition,
before pulling Model 3 onto a flatbed truck,
you must use the touchscreen to enable
Transport Mode. Transport Mode keeps Model
3 in Neutral, allowing the tires to turn freely.
Transport Mode also prevents damage that
would be caused when the tires turn as you
pull Model 3 onto a flatbed truck. Do not
attempt to use Transport Mode to tow Model 3
with the tires on the ground.
Transport Mode
can prevent damage only when used for a
limited time and speed, and for a very short
distance, such as when you pull Model 3 onto
a flatbed truck. If you are unable to activate
Transport Mode, you must use self-loading
dollies or tire skates to prevent the tires from
turning as you pull Model 3 onto a flatbed
truck.

Warning: TOWING MODEL 3 WITH THE
TIRES CONTACTING THE GROUND CAN
CAUSE OVERHEATING AND DAMAGE TO
THE REAR MOTOR
.
Warning: To prevent damage and
overheating of the rear motor when
rolling or winching Model 3 onto a flatbed
truck, you must either enable Transport
Mode or use self-loading dollies or tire
skates. Do not allow the tires to turn
without Transport Mode enabled.
Note: Tesla is not responsible for any damage
caused by transporting Model 3, including
personal or property damage caused by using
self-loading dollies or tire skates.

========================

Speaking of Car washes... tesla has a chapter in the manual about washing the car. I dont remember seeing such in the car manual for the BMWs I have had, but maybe it was there. Interesting all the verbiage they have about car washes....

=========================

Cleaning the Exterior
To prevent damage to the paint, immediately
remove corrosive substances (bird droppings,
tree resin, dead insects, tar spots, road salt,
industrial fallout, etc.). Do not wait until Model
3 is due for a complete wash. If necessary, use
denatured alcohol to remove tar spots and
stubborn grease stains, then immediately
wash the area with water and a mild, nondetergent
soap to remove the alcohol.
Follow these steps when washing the exterior
of Model 3:

1. Rinse Thoroughly
Before washing, flush grime and grit from
the bodywork using a hose. Flush away
accumulations of mud in areas where
debris easily collects (such as wheel
arches and panel seams). If salt has been
used on the highways (such as during
winter months), thoroughly rinse all traces
of road salt from the underside of the
vehicle.

2. Hand Wash
Hand wash Model 3 using a clean soft
cloth and cold or lukewarm water
containing a mild, high-quality car
shampoo.
3. Rinse with Clean Water
After washing, rinse with clean water to
prevent soap from drying on the surfaces.
4. Dry Thoroughly and Clean Exterior Glass
After washing and rinsing, dry thoroughly
with a chamois.

Clean windows and mirrors using an
automotive glass cleaner. Do not scrape,
or use any abrasive cleaning fluid on glass
or mirrored surfaces.
Cautions for Exterior Cleaning
Caution: Do not use windshield treatment
fluids. Doing so can interfere with wiper
friction and cause a chattering sound.
Caution: Do not use hot water or
detergents.

Caution: Do not wash in direct sunlight.

Caution: If using a pressure washer,
maintain a distance of at least 12" (30 cm)
between the nozzle and the surface of
Model 3. Keep the nozzle moving and do
not concentrate the water jet on any one
area.

Caution: Do not aim water hoses directly
at window, door or hood seals, or through
wheel apertures onto brake components.

Caution: Avoid using tight-napped or

rough cloths, such as washing mitts.

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.

Caution: Ensure the wipers are off before
washing Model 3 to avoid the risk of
damaging the wipers.

Caution: Do not use chemical based
wheel cleaners. These can damage the
finish on the wheels.

Caution: Avoid using a high pressure
power washer on the camera(s) or
parking sensors (if equipped) and do not
clean a sensor or camera lens with a
sharp or abrasive object that can scratch
or damage its surface.

Warning: Never spray liquid at a high
velocity (for example, if using a pressure
washer) towards the charge port while
Model 3 is charging. Failure to follow
these instructions can result in serious
injury or damage to the vehicle, charging
equipment, or property.
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,171
2,898
Los Angeles
I would never take my car to this places...

You’ll end up with swirls all over...google 2 bucket car wash...or pay someone to detail if you can...

While I would agree not to go there as they seem to lazy to deal with Teslas, why would you assume you are going to get swirls without even knowing which place?

There are plenty of places around me that have a conveyer but are hand washed (and no rotating rubber brushes).
 

Randy Spencer

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
3,261
3,146
Alameda, CA
On my Model 3 the only way I have gotten this to work, so Tow Mode won't work, and putting in Neutral won't, is to turn OFF Creep and put in drive. You still have to ride the car thru the tunnel, but it will let the car be towed w/o issue.

-Randy
 
While I would agree not to go there as they seem to lazy to deal with Teslas, why would you assume you are going to get swirls without even knowing which place?

There are plenty of places around me that have a conveyer but are hand washed (and no rotating rubber brushes).

I was referring to car washes that are not 100% hand wash. Key things to look for is to places that have conveyors, which alone is a bad sign,
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,171
2,898
Los Angeles
What's wrong with a conveyor belt????

They are a gateway drug to these:

upload_2019-1-26_8-12-58.jpeg
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: TaoJones
Trying really hard not to come off as a d%#.

- 90% of paint blemishes like swirls and scratches are caused by manual manipulation like brushes from car washes, sponges that are used for tires and misc that are also used on your car.

Please use google and look up 2 car bucket car wash system. Your car abs paint will appreciate you for that for years to come.
 

r0xx0r

Member
Jul 9, 2016
437
335
CA
Trying really hard not to come off as a d%#.

- 90% of paint blemishes like swirls and scratches are caused by manual manipulation like brushes from car washes, sponges that are used for tires and misc that are also used on your car.

Please use google and look up 2 car bucket car wash system. Your car abs paint will appreciate you for that for years to come.

Not many people understand about the paint issues. Scratch to them means deep scratch. Hair scratches are normal.

Automatic car wash is where gloss black car turns into a dark grey car.
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
2,857
The Americas
I looked in the manual (because I wanted to take my car to a car wash that does hand wash but still puts it on one of those rail things to pull it through", and while you can put it in neutral, the manual says that if there is no occupant in the drivers seat it will switch to park.
====================
Neutral
Push the lever up or down to the first position
and hold it there for more than 1 second to
shift into Neutral. Neutral allows Model 3 to
roll freely when you are not pressing the brake
pedal.
If Model 3 is in Park and you use the
touchscreen to release the parking brake
(Controls > Safety & Security), Model 3 shifts
into Neutral (see Parking Brake on page 55).
Model 3 automatically shifts into Park when
you exit. To leave Model 3 in Neutral, use the
touchscreen to engage Transport Mode (see
Instructions for Transporters on page 161).
===================

But, if you look at the instructions for transporters on page 161 as it directs, it tells you that the car should never be "towed with wheels on the ground, even for short distances". I would consider car wash rails to be "towing on the ground for short distances", but maybe others see differently? In any case, I believe at a car wash, one "could" put it in transport mode so that it was in neutral without someone needing to be in the car.

======================

Never tow Model 3 with the tires contacting
the ground, even for short distances. Doing so
can cause significant damage. In addition,
before pulling Model 3 onto a flatbed truck,
you must use the touchscreen to enable
Transport Mode. Transport Mode keeps Model
3 in Neutral, allowing the tires to turn freely.
Transport Mode also prevents damage that
would be caused when the tires turn as you
pull Model 3 onto a flatbed truck. Do not
attempt to use Transport Mode to tow Model 3
with the tires on the ground.
Transport Mode
can prevent damage only when used for a
limited time and speed, and for a very short
distance, such as when you pull Model 3 onto
a flatbed truck. If you are unable to activate
Transport Mode, you must use self-loading
dollies or tire skates to prevent the tires from
turning as you pull Model 3 onto a flatbed
truck.

Warning: TOWING MODEL 3 WITH THE
TIRES CONTACTING THE GROUND CAN
CAUSE OVERHEATING AND DAMAGE TO
THE REAR MOTOR
.
Warning: To prevent damage and
overheating of the rear motor when
rolling or winching Model 3 onto a flatbed
truck, you must either enable Transport
Mode or use self-loading dollies or tire
skates. Do not allow the tires to turn
without Transport Mode enabled.
Note: Tesla is not responsible for any damage
caused by transporting Model 3, including
personal or property damage caused by using
self-loading dollies or tire skates.

========================

Speaking of Car washes... tesla has a chapter in the manual about washing the car. I dont remember seeing such in the car manual for the BMWs I have had, but maybe it was there. Interesting all the verbiage they have about car washes....

=========================

Cleaning the Exterior
To prevent damage to the paint, immediately
remove corrosive substances (bird droppings,
tree resin, dead insects, tar spots, road salt,
industrial fallout, etc.). Do not wait until Model
3 is due for a complete wash. If necessary, use
denatured alcohol to remove tar spots and
stubborn grease stains, then immediately
wash the area with water and a mild, nondetergent
soap to remove the alcohol.
Follow these steps when washing the exterior
of Model 3:

1. Rinse Thoroughly
Before washing, flush grime and grit from
the bodywork using a hose. Flush away
accumulations of mud in areas where
debris easily collects (such as wheel
arches and panel seams). If salt has been
used on the highways (such as during
winter months), thoroughly rinse all traces
of road salt from the underside of the
vehicle.

2. Hand Wash
Hand wash Model 3 using a clean soft
cloth and cold or lukewarm water
containing a mild, high-quality car
shampoo.
3. Rinse with Clean Water
After washing, rinse with clean water to
prevent soap from drying on the surfaces.
4. Dry Thoroughly and Clean Exterior Glass
After washing and rinsing, dry thoroughly
with a chamois.

Clean windows and mirrors using an
automotive glass cleaner. Do not scrape,
or use any abrasive cleaning fluid on glass
or mirrored surfaces.
Cautions for Exterior Cleaning
Caution: Do not use windshield treatment
fluids. Doing so can interfere with wiper
friction and cause a chattering sound.
Caution: Do not use hot water or
detergents.

Caution: Do not wash in direct sunlight.

Caution: If using a pressure washer,
maintain a distance of at least 12" (30 cm)
between the nozzle and the surface of
Model 3. Keep the nozzle moving and do
not concentrate the water jet on any one
area.

Caution: Do not aim water hoses directly
at window, door or hood seals, or through
wheel apertures onto brake components.

Caution: Avoid using tight-napped or

rough cloths, such as washing mitts.

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.

Caution: Ensure the wipers are off before
washing Model 3 to avoid the risk of
damaging the wipers.

Caution: Do not use chemical based
wheel cleaners. These can damage the
finish on the wheels.

Caution: Avoid using a high pressure
power washer on the camera(s) or
parking sensors (if equipped) and do not
clean a sensor or camera lens with a
sharp or abrasive object that can scratch
or damage its surface.

Warning: Never spray liquid at a high
velocity (for example, if using a pressure
washer) towards the charge port while
Model 3 is charging. Failure to follow
these instructions can result in serious
injury or damage to the vehicle, charging
equipment, or property.

Good lord almighty that's quite the list of don'ts that have evidently evolved over time for these chariots.

To the OP (@BillO): Look up a fellow named Richard Lin at Showcar Detail. Arrange for 45 minutes of his time and buy the $50 or so of materials he will sell you (they use the same in their shop). He has literally written the book (a series of videos) for high end car detailing and I believe with his father holds at least one patent for detailing chemicals or gear or some such as well.

He will patiently guide you through the process of 2-bucket washing. As a shortcut, consider 1-bucket rinsing at a not-busy manual/coin car wash with a commercial 2-gallon foamer and a gallon of distilled water. I've been washing my car(s) every 2 weeks or so for the past 4+ years based upon Richard's excellent tutelage, and I have to tell you, I thought he was on crack when he just offhandedly assumed that I was going to wash my car (I was there for Opticoat Pro a few weeks after buying the first S and hadn't washed any of my cars for about 30 years prior to that visit).

Given my travel schedule, I keep the foamer and a bucket of gear in the chariot now - it takes up not a lot of space and an added side benefit is that you'll know every imperfection on the car. Besides, nobody will do a better job than you will washing your own car. It takes me less than an hour every 2 weeks and it's the best 2 zen-like hours of the month. During alternate weeks or now maybe monthly I'll attend to the wood/leather/glass/carpet interior work.

I'm in SoCal as well and have exactly zero interest in entrusting my chariot or its contents to car wash personnel. Ever. Nothing against said personnel but all it takes is one bad hungover day and you've got an avoidable hassle with which to deal. This is one case when DIY is the way to go.

By the way, I have no garage nor hose nor leaf blower. Hence the coin-op car wash during a non-busy time and a bucket with the usual lotions and potions and aforementioned foamer.

If you don't choose to engage the services of Richard, there are plenty of Youtube videos, not to mention excellent threads both at tesla.com's fora and here for both technique *and* specific gear.

For example, I got my 2-gallon foamer from Sanitation Tools - ATP Testing Equipment, pH and Quat Test Strips and Janitorial Supplies - works great and they have great customer service as well.
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,962
9,592
SF Bay Area
I went to two car washes today in Long Beach and they both told me they couldn’t wash Teslas (I have a Model 3). They said the car goes into Park if there is no one in the driver seat so they can’t put it through the tunnel. I have had the car washed several times in San Francisco (at Tower car wash) and they never said a thing. Is this true or is there a way around it that the guys in Long Beach don’t know about?

Maybe when you are down in Long Beach again you can try these guys out for a waterless car wash: Mobile Car Wash & Detailing in Long Beach, California Their "Lavish" wash pricing is slightly less expensive than Tower Car Wash's (SF) Hand Wash plus their service provides more for the money. We've been using two waterless washes in the SF South Bay area and wouldn't do a traditional car wash on our cars for anything now, not even touchless. Looks like Washos can do traditional detailing or you can opt for the waterless for the same price.
 
Last edited:

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,717
6,248
Austin, TX
But, if you look at the instructions for transporters on page 161 as it directs, it tells you that the car should never be "towed with wheels on the ground, even for short distances". I would consider car wash rails to be "towing on the ground for short distances", but maybe others see differently? In any case, I believe at a car wash, one "could" put it in transport mode so that it was in neutral without someone needing to be in the car.

Pulling the car up on a tow truck has the wheels on the ground for a short distance.

I believe the issue is with the switched reluctance motor. It cannot be truly disengaged. But pushing the car 50 feet is a lot different from towing it a mile.

Transport mode is automatically disengaged if the car goes over 5 mph. I'm not sure how fast the tunnels go?

In any case, I have my set of buckets... and then a gallon or two of RO-DI water from the vending machine at the store for the final rinse.
 

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