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Car Care: Practical car care, what to do?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by William13, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. William13

    William13 Member

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    I am trying to decide how to care for my Model S. I live in a lot of ice and snow. I am going to drive all winter long. Do I wash the car every few days with a standard car wash? There are no touch less car washes unless I use a wand. That would be a no go in the winter.

    What do people use to keep the rubber seals air tight?

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    For days when it's way below freezing or the weather's too nasty to use a hose, I use Griot's Garage Spray-On Car Wash on my SLK55. Of course with a car the size of the Model S, a few more microfiber towels would be required. :) Here's a video explaining the product and process:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyaXXMNxFLY

    You can use Gummi Pflege to protect seals after you've cleaned them.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Maybe that will work for you, Mycroft, and I'm not sure where William13 is, but spray-on wash and microfiber towels sure isn't going to clean up a car during an Ottawa winter! Within a week of washing it your car inevitably ends up covered top to bottom in layers of salt. Most days it's hard to get the car home after a wash without getting it dirty. You can always tell when someone has washed their car TODAY because it isn't white colored. Having to hand-wash the Roadster is one big reason why I don't winter drive it very often!

    I'm really surprised there are no touchless car washes in your area, William13. Around here I haven't seen a car wash with brushes in years. Perhaps someone could point out a counterexample, but as far as I know all of the local washes have long been converted to touchless. Maybe if you look around a bit you can find a better car wash. One advantage of driving electric is you can go a lot farther out of your way for a car wash - the extra distance doesn't cost much. :biggrin:

    I have used hand wand places occasionally for the Roadster, as there's pretty much no other option in the winter. You don't want to take a carbon fiber car through an automated wash, and hand washing would just result in a car covered in soapsicles. They heat the water at the wand places, so they do work in the winter, although it's somewhat unpleasant and it can be hard to see what you're doing in the relatively confined and not-that-well-lit space. Sometimes I get home and discover areas that weren't cleaned properly.

    For myself, I expect I'll take the Model S to a touchless car wash. I know it's probably not the best thing for the paint job, but it's the only practical winter option in a location like this.
     
  4. MitchL

    MitchL S#945

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    Interesting topic, I was about to ask the same thing.... I don't have to deal with freezing winter weather here, but I do want to be able to get my model S washed.

    I remember when I got my old '00 Odyssey, and having to explain to the car wash employees that the sliding doors were automatic and they weren't supposed to force them.

    I wonder what I'll have to explain about the Model S - they typically vacuum the car and then drive it into the washing conveyor. The car is sent through with no people inside.

    - Will the car stay in neutral while it goes through the washer? What is neutral, anyway? Does the transmission actually disengage from the motor?
    - Will there be any issues with the performance tires? (I suspect not, there's nothing _that_ unusual about them).
    - Won't the parking brake engage when the driver unbuckles and hops out?
    - If the driver gets out and the key fob gets out of range, will it just shut down and lock?
    - How can we prevent the door handles from sticking out while the car is being washed?

    I'm tempted to go to one of those "self-service" touchless washes, where you sit inside stopped and the robot moves all around you, but the big car wash service here does a pretty good job on my car. I'll have to vacuum myself, but that's fine. This car, unlike the minivan, will have strict rules :).

    /Mitch.
     
  5. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Mitch, maybe these guys - Siteler Car Wash - On-Site Corporate Car Care Services : About Us - come to Infinite Loop as well?! They turn up at Oracle HQ twice a week, setup shop atop one of the parking structures and do a wonderful job of hand washing the car! You leave the car with them unlocked (and you take the key); they'll finish up, lock the car from the inside and give you a ring when done. Just a shade more costly than a regular touchless place.
     
  6. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    I know what you mean Doug. Fortunately, here in the great Northwet, when it goes below freezing, it doesn't stay too long and we don't use that much salt on the roadways. As long as it's in the mid 30's or higher, I don't mind using the hose.

    Like my SLK, the Model S will NEVER see the inside of a car wash.
     
  7. MitchL

    MitchL S#945

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    I totally, completely forgot about that. Yes, we do have on-site car washes here... and I've never used it! Thanks a bunch for reminding me! :)

    /Mitch.
     
  8. Dan5

    Dan5 Member

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    Delran, NJ
    What I normally do is get a bucket of warm water and a towel and wash the car off, get my car wash bucket fill it up with warm water, wash the car off and then do a final rinse with a warm towel and dry the towel.
    Car washes and the Model S is going to be very, very interesting I'm curious what the recommendation will be for undercarriage sprays.
    I'm kind of hesitant about taking any car to a car wash with brushes because you never know who has been there right before you.

    For non-washes, I prefer using a warm towel (get the bulk of the salt off) and finishing up with armoral detail ice spray
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Undercarriage sprays will be fine - otherwise the car would die after the first puddle. Having seen the pack casing in person, it's pretty hard to believe anything can get through the bottom.

    Brush car washes... how quaint. I wouldn't touch one with a ten foot car.
     
  10. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Thanks for this thread. I've been trying to figure out what to do for car washing too, being in upstate NY.

    Of course global warming seems to be close to eliminating our winter snow, but I'll probably still have salt problems for the first few years. And after that, mud problems.
     
  11. wshepherd

    wshepherd Member

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    Quick car cleaning

    The Glosser is a great solution for getting normal road dust off and leaving a nice coat of wax. They work really well and we always have some in the car:

    The Glosser Microfiber Detailing Wipes 5-pack : Amazon.com : Automotive

    For more significant cleaning needs, if you can't find a no-touch wash near you and don't want to hand wash the car yourself, sometimes a detailing shop will do a hand wash. (A guy near us will do a simple hand wash and vacuum for $20 in an interior garage, which is great during the winter).
     
  12. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    My local car wash, where I am now getting Nicola hand washed, tried to sell me on the virtue of Meguiras Mirror Glaze Professional Synthetic Sealant 21.

    Wanted to charge me special of $99, normally $199.

    Claims better than wax and would last 18 months. Bonds, fuses?, with paint, rather than protect?

    Any thoughts, recommendations?
     
  13. jerry33

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

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    This thread on paint finishes may help.
     
  14. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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  15. wstuff

    wstuff Junior Member

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    Can't find the thread where dirt was an issue, i had Opti-coat applied today and it really looks great, I am told you will never have to wax. It is supposed to keep the car cleaner as well as it sheets water off. I travelled 100 miles home , mostly on paved roads but several construction zones. I took some pics of the rear of the car and couldn't find a speck of dust, hope the trend lasts. Tesla opti 2 back.jpg Tesla opti 3 plate.jpg Tesla opti mirror.jpg Tesla opti 1.jpg
     
  16. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    My entire car has Opti-Coat 2.0, even under the hood, door jambs, rims inside and out. You will still get dust and dirt in the back. Cleaning is much easier since a simple rinse literally removes most of the dirt and dust away.

    The OC takes time to cross-link. for the next 30 days be careful in washing as the opti-coat is a bit soft until 30 days where it's pretty much hard as a rock.
     

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