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Car Wash/Detailing

Discussion in 'New England' started by theLuggage, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. theLuggage

    theLuggage Member

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    #1 theLuggage, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
    I've never owned a fancy-schmancy car before buying my MS, so I haven't thought much about washing in the past. I often took my previous car though a local, touchless drive-through car wash. Much of the chrome trim became very cloudy over time. (I had the car for 12 years.) I'm not sure if the car wash was the cause of the problem, but I assume it probably contributed to it. Perhaps due to harsh detergents.

    How do you keep your MS looking good, especially in the winter when it's too cold to hand wash it? Is Scrub-A-Dub safe?

    And for interior detailing, I'm concerned about the alcantara on the dashboard. Is special care needed to clean that?
     
  2. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I've been doing touch less periodically and then a deeper cleaning either by Tesla Watertown when it's in for service, or a detailer occasionally, or a hand wash at Somerville car wash. Never taken it through an automatic that's not touchless. Coming up on three years and haven't noticed any cloudiness with the chrome.

    I had opticoat pro put on by Rick at unique car care in Stoneham early on, that's a great protective finish. Shines through even when dirty.
     
  3. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Search will give you dozens of posts on this topic.
     
  4. mattmass

    mattmass Member

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    Which touchless places have you used in the area?
     
  5. theLuggage

    theLuggage Member

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    Yes, I did search. I was looking for more local expertise. Can't imagine someone from Texas could advise on how to deal with salt, etc. that we all have to deal with in the New England area.
     
  6. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    You're probably asking the OP but as for me, I've been to the one on Washington Ave in Somerville and the one on Mass Ave in Lexington, mostly the former.
     
  7. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    FWIW, I've been using touchless car washes as needed to keep salt off my MS. I'm not going to spring for a hand exterior detail every week, which is about what's needed with the current salt levels on the roads, and I've not seen any issue with the chrome. Micro-scratches on the finish? Yes, but I can't know if that's from the car washes or other issues. (My car was delivered in Dec. 2012.)
     
  8. JoeBoston

    JoeBoston New Member

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    Since you are in Marlboro, you can check out The Toy Wash. $20 for a hand wash when you need it. There is also something similar at the Natick Mall, but I have not given that a try.
     
  9. theLuggage

    theLuggage Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I had heard of The Toy Wash, but have never visited them. I checked their web site and I think I'll give them a try. I have gone to the guys at the Natick Mall for a full detail of my previous car when I had a Groupon. They did a good job and I was definitely considering them.

    For those who have used the touchless drive-throughs, did you have the wax applied? Is it safe to do an undercarriage wash?

    Thanks for putting up with my noob questions!
     
  10. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I raise the suspension (and GPS remembers for future) but Tesla recommends not doing an undercarriage wash. I just do the basic wash, no wax.
     
  11. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Do we know why? Water in the battery/HV system? I would have thought getting the salt off the undercarriage is always a good thing? Can you hose it off at the end of the season?

    If the $20 wash at the Toy Wash is a hand wash, it's a great deal. I've been using the drive though/touchless/laser wash on Rt 85 in Hudson (just north of Durand Chevy). There's another one around the corner off 85, but I've never used it.

    I have also used self serve/pressure-washer-type car washes to rinse off salt, but I usually don't pull the trigger to get the high pressure - just a quick rinse. I used the one on Rt 12A, West Lebanon, NH a lot. Just north of the Super Chargers, same side of the street, behind Panera, next door to the Weathervane seafood restaurant.

    Keep in mind, I'm washing 10 year old beaters... :redface:
     
  12. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    #12 PeterK, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016
    I don't know why, just know I've seen it in the documentation somewhere so stopped doing it after the first few times. The other issues I've had with touchless:
    - Getting my money back when the touchless machine was frozen on a really cold day
    - Finding the roof rack attachment point covers flipped up and one even broken off after a wash (Tesla replaced at the next service, gratis). For a while I carried 3M blue masking tape to tape them down before washing, then I got 3M double-stick poster hanging squares and put them on the attachment points to hold the covers down from the inside. I believe the newer covers are differently hinged so this may no longer be a problem
    - Getting moisture inside the rear light fixtures. Tesla Watertown has redone the seals a couple times but I still have some inside, perhaps due to the touchless jets rather than weather. I'll have them check again at my annual service in March but I'm done worrying about it.
    - Occasionally getting a bit of water inside on the top of the driver's door panel by the small triangular fixed window. I also get some wind noise there, I think there's a published fix that I thought had been applied but will request again at the annual service.

    I've used the self-serve ones a few times as well, especially for rinsing off in winter. There is one much closer to me than either touchless I know of. It's good to know about the West Leb one because we often use that Supercharger and Panera on the way to and from the Adirondacks. On the way home the car is usually very dusty in summer or salt-covered in winter, so it might be worth a quick rinse as we're stopping anyway.
     
  13. alset

    alset Member

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    Interesting, I also have my roof rack covers flip up but never come off. I use a touchless in Lexington ("Mass Ave") and Somerville ("No Touch"). The Somerville location just did a nice upgrade of their equipment.

    I think the color of the car makes a big difference - I have the gray (dark) and the only time it gets bad is when there is a lot of salt (long highway drive in winter). A periodic deep wash (do it myself in the garage with a rinseless wash from Chemical Guys, takes about 45 mins) every few months. Combined with regular basic touchless washes every couple of weeks has kept my car in very good condition. I have never had an internal detail, just keep it clean with basic wipe downs if it gets dirty. Spills from kids in the rear seat at the primary reason I need to get out a sponge.

    And I've had enough minor issues over the years that the free "details" from Tesla Watertown have helped a lot. The benefits of a 2012 Tesla is frequent service center visits. :)
     
  14. David29

    David29 Member

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    #14 David29, Jan 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    Here is what I find in the Tesla owner's manual:
    "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."

    So I have been using the underbody rinse. I use the RoJo "Laser" touchless wash on Rte. 1 southbound in Norwood, MA. I have been going there for several years. It is the only touchless wash in my area, atr least that I know about. It is far from perfect -- sometimes I find there is soap left in places, and it definitely does not remove all the salt from the sides, especially the lower part of the doors. But it seems to help so I hope I am doing more good than harm....
     
  15. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    Thanks then I'll start adding the underbody wash, at least in winter. I'm due for another one today, hoping it doesn't rain.

     
  16. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    As my daughter and i went through the Somerville touchless this afternoon, I was thinking how amazing/strange it will be going through in the X, watching through the windshield.
     
  17. tliving

    tliving Member

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    I use a touchless when the salt gets real bad. One word of caution, don't do it if its crazy cold out as your door handles can stick. I did touchless and drove home once and my car was a sheet of ice and the doors wouldn't work. I know, I should have known better.
     
  18. ashokrs

    ashokrs Member

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    Folks,
    Here is my experience with my MS and I am relatively a new owner living in Boston area. I have never taken it to any car wash place not even a touchless one. I read on this thread that it is important to do a under car wash. ouch! I will take it soon especially in the winter months.
    I used Ceramic Pro 9H as soon as I bought (Apr 23 2015) without even detailing the car from where I picked up fro mthe Watertown service center. The person who provided the service in Billerica suggested the "Optimum No rinse" solution. It has been working great for me. My Tesla is black 85D. I clean EVERY WEEK using "optimum no rinse" so that I can bond :) with my MS. No swirls or spiders at all.
    We started having snow in the last 10 days. Of course the optimum no rinse couldn't clean it as the dirt and salt got stuck pretty bad. I used 50:50 of water and Vinegar and sprayed on the car. After that sprayed water (NOT too much force but gentle force) from a self service car wash on Monsignor OBrien Hwy in Cambridge, MA. Dried it with micro fiber cloth. Then gave my "optimum no rinse" spray and dried again with micro fiber cloth. Voila!! Came out to be a beautiful.
    Now..it is time for under the car wash!
     
  19. alset

    alset Member

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    I use Optimum but only after a touchless wash to get the majority of crap off the car first. Makes for a much cleaner and quicker no rinse wash. I was doing it about once a month in my first year but now 3+ years in, down to about 3 times a year. No swirls or spiders with this approach. Never seen a brush wash and I'm assuming Tesla Watertown takes care of our cars when washed there (it seems so).
     

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