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Car Wash Disaster!

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by WhiteMS85, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. WhiteMS85

    WhiteMS85 Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    Hi everyone, Happy Holidays!

    I drove my Pearl White MS through the local car wash thinking I was getting a quick wash, only to emerge on the other side a greasy mess. Apparently a hydraulic line inside the carwash tunnel burst and drenched my car with hydraulic fluid. Needless to say it was ugly and it was everywhere. After wash, detail and wax, the car still looks like it was some sort of "film" all over the affected areas. Also, when I roll the windows up and down or turn on the wipers I get some sort of "smudge" or streaks, probably the oil inside the tracks or the felt along the windows. Does anyone know the effects of hydraulic oil on Tesla paint, plastic and chrome?
    My concern is that a few years baking in the sun the paint will start to peel, the chrome will flake and the rubber seals will crack and fail.
    Anyone have an "expert" opinion about this?
     
  2. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    Hydro flyid is very corrosive. I wouldnt consider myself a hydro expert but i used it daily for about 9 years as an aircraft mechanic.

    It is very thin and will get everywhere. Since its an oil, it will be hard to clean up. Im sure it crept into a lot of nooks and crannies of your car.

    Im sorry to give you bad news but you need to get it all off your car sooner rather than later. Water wont wash it off alone. Id try a degreasser like dawn dish soap.
     
  3. WhiteMS85

    WhiteMS85 Member

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    Buddy, thanks for the response. I'm sure it did creep into every nook and cranny. I'm wondering how to "restore" the vehicle at this point. The carwash thinks I'm over reacting and its just a little oil that got on my car no big deal. I live in Florida - the sun could cook a mosquito into the paint so deep it becomes part of the surface. Wondering what the oil particles would look like cooked into paint. Will my white car start to yellow? Also, I'm worried how the rubber and plastic will be effected as time goes on. Will the rubber start to crack and fail? Any chemists on this site?
     
  4. Jimmy 1

    Jimmy 1 Member

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    Where is Florida? You have to tell that car wash you are going to sue them for the cost of a Full Correction detailing. $1500. They can pay the bill or go to court. This is no small issue, but totally fixable. I would also find the best detailer in your area asap.
     
    • Informative x 2
  5. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    #5 SMAlset, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
    Feel for you and your car. What about contacting Tesla and seeing what they say and using that as the basis for whatever you go after them for remedy wise. Let them know that the car wash doesn't see this as a big deal and you need some guidance. Are you still under warranty? Could the fluid compromise any of the parts, sounds like maybe if it's corrosive - like inside door mechanisms etc. The thought of oil running down inside of panels and such no fun. I'm likely to order a white 3 and sure can understand your concern about the paint. Good luck and let us know how you fair.

    Did you get photos?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Rare combination

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    Buddy's suggestion of using Dawn is a good one. Oils are not easily wetted by water and need a special surfactant to break that inter-facial tension. Dawn is very good at SOME oils. You can get the paint cleaned - maybe best with hand operated bucket and cloth. Then I'd do a high-effort wax job to protect the recently stripped paint surface. (like preparing for c-quartz). Focus on the paint - biggest exposure, most watched.
    As for the nooks - the plastic and rubber parts - some will be helped by the hydraulic oil, some hurt. Oil on wipers blades, door gaskets...I baby my machine and would attack these surfaces with personal TLC and a variety of cleaners (isopropal alchohol, goo-gone, Dawn, detailer spray). You could farm out the work to a detailer, or do the detailers work yourself. My choice - take care of your equipment with a personal touch.
    Hydraulic oil is a highly refined product and not as susceptible to detergents as oils with a wider band of organic acids. You may have to TLC each part with q-tips and time.
     
  7. WhiteMS85

    WhiteMS85 Member

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    Location:
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    UPDATE:
    Called my insurance company and started a claim. Wanted this incident on record. However they are not sure how to handle such a thing and directed me to contact the manufacturer before any adjusters come out.
    Called Tesla. They directed me to one of their certified body shops in the area. After speaking to the body shop and expressing my concerns they assured me that if I get the car cleaned up properly there should be no permanent damage. The hydraulic oil is not as corrosive as other fluids such as brake fluid for example. To make a long story short, they recommended a mobile detail guy whom I left a message with and didn't get a return call. So I went back to the car wash and they were very eager to "make things right" after getting a call from my insurance company probing them about who their insurance is.
    The car wash manager personally cleaned the car with a pressure washer by hand. Degreaser. Pressure washer again. Foam window cleaner and orbital disk. Rubbed the plastic and rubber with cleaners. Cleaned the chrome by hand. Cleaned the entire surface, changing towels frequently. Then he clay bar'd the whole car then wax. Blew out every crack with pressure air. He also replaced the windshield wipers with Bosch Icon.
    Although I'm still feeling bad about the situation and I feel there may be some underlying issues since I don't exactly know every nook and cranny the oil made its way into, I sure can admit the car looks pretty darn nice.
    I'm praying this is the end of my trouble. Although I will still consult the insurance adjuster to get his take on this too.
     
    • Like x 5
    • Informative x 1
  8. Lasttoy

    Lasttoy Active Member

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    Dawn will wash it off, and wax. Just was it again.
     
  9. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Rare combination

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    Sounds like the car wash guy did his best at making you happy. As you described his dance, he hit every step correctly. The world would be wonderful if stuff did not happen, but a better measure is how someone corrects a problem when it does happen. You seem to have a good guy there. Congrats.
     
    • Like x 2

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