TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Car Care: High Pressure Setting @ Self Wash

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Francis Lau, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Because I don't want to use automated car washes, I have been using the self wash stations where there is a dial for various settings. Should I be using the high pressure setting to pre rinse and final rinse the car? Does it strip wax or any protective coatings off the car? I have kept the nozzle around 18-24 inches away from the paint.
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    Very good question. I don't know the answer to that for the Tesla. It's never harmed any of my other cars but then I haven't been scrupulous about keeping them squeaky clean either.
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,556
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I personally never found those washes to work very well just by using soapy spray pressure. What I do is take a bucket of my own soapy wash water and car wash brush. I rinse the car off, wash it with my own bucket and brush, then rinse again (at moderate pressure). Taking your own bucket and brush is frowned upon at the place I go, so I usually go at off peak times so no one is waiting on me.
     
  4. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    The one I use has a soapy brush that you can switch to for soaping the car, so my sequence is:
    1. High pressure wash (at a distance) to prewash car
    2. Soap the entire car with soapy brush
    3. High pressure wash (at a distance) to rinse car off

    It takes me about 8-10 minutes for $4-$5, and so far I like the results - it is fast, clean and there isn't any automated parts that can damage the car. However, I am just worried if the pressure wash is not good for the car.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,556
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Mine has that too, but I see people scrubbing wheel wells and other undercarriage areas with those! I would never trust them not to have grit and grease embedded in them and hence use my own brush.

    Years ago, I had a car with a galvanized fuel door and peeled the paint right off it with a pressure washer! Fortunately I was able to remove the door and drop off at a paint shop. I've never used high pressure on my cars since.
     
  6. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    I have to give my S her first bath.

    Myself in 30 degree weather or at a hand car wash?

    Prices for the latter vary between $25 (Sonic Car wash) inside and out, to $40 for outside only. Bit steep the latter?

    So, for now I'll do it myself ... before it dips to below 10F again.

    Big old sponge? But what kind of soap? I happened upon a large quantity of dishwashing soap called Method ...

    method : dish soap pump + refill kit

    is this "safe"?

    Never studied detergent .. it suggest detergent is dishwashing soap? And Tesla manual says no to detergent?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detergent

    So I am confused as to what to use?

    And what's all this about not allowing spray jets from getting the underside of the car to prevent water from getting into the battery compartment? True or false?

    As it is, there's so much salt around here (Illinois) that I have already taken the hose and given each wheel well a good 30 seconds spritzing to reduce salt build up as I hear salt eats away at aluminium?
     
  7. William13

    William13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    943
    Location:
    South Bend
    No dish washing liquid.
    Use a wand:
    Hand rinse and wash. Car wash with high pressure wand at least 8 inches away from the car.
    Wash and rinse the bottom first after placing the car on high and the jack mode.
    Wash and rinse then spot free rinse if able.
    10-12 minutes for the above. Best if 33*F or above. The wash water may freeze on the car even at 33.
    I usually use one or two microfiber wash cloths to lightly clean off the car with the soapy water, immediately rinsing. I wear gloves but am careful to avoid rubbing the car with my gloves. Microfiber gloves are far too cold near freezing. I occasionally dry, turning the towel. More dirt and grit is lower down.

    The colder, the faster I go.

    When I have time I use a double bucket wash and rinse at home in the garage. Warm water is key.

    By the way there are several other threads on this subject.
     
  8. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    I did look for advise in other threads here ... if you want to wash yourself, you mention hat NOT to use (dish washing liquid), but not what TO use? A wand is at a commercial station.
     
  9. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,674
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    It's better not to wash at all than to do it with the wrong equipment or materials. My local hand car wash costs about $38 for a full cleaning inside and out. But it's a major production line and I'm sure repetitive use of hand brushes and the like put small scratches into the surface.

    On the other hand, a local detailer charges about the same for a wash and he takes great care. So when my S arrives it will only go to the detailer. If he's not available it will stay dirty.
     
  10. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,219
    Location:
    Schaumburg, IL
    For now, I am taking my S to a detailing center and then come summer, I'll use these directions and do it myself. (Right!)

    How to wash your car like the pros: Ten steps to a professional-quality hand car wash
     
  11. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Finally got my Greenworks 1700 PSI pressure washer and MTM Hydro foam lance. Blasted the Model S with just some water to rinse it down and really wash out the wheel wells. Filled the foam lance with a couple of ounces of Chemical Guys Mr. Pink wash and water and then foamed up the Model S.

    Look at that foam!

    2013-06-08 14.34.08.jpg 2013-06-08 14.34.12.jpg

    No issues blasting it with the pressure washer.

    Washed it down with Blackfire Wet Diamond Conditioning Shampoo and applied Blackfire Wet Diamond Polymer Spray. Squeaky clean.

    Yes, I need a new garage floor...
     

Share This Page