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Car wash scare

Discussion in 'Model S' started by mbhforum, Mar 19, 2017.

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  1. mbhforum

    mbhforum Member

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    I took my MS for it's first ever brushless car wash and the guy told me I had to stay in the car to drive it through b/c it needs the weight, which I forgot about. He told me to put it in Neutral, which I did. Halfway through the car wash, it switched to Park. I was freaking out thinking the car behind me was going to rear end me or damage to car would happen since I heard all sorts of noises. I think it switched back to Park because I had my seatbelt off. I realized this after 2 more times of it switching back and the Manager coming over to see what is going on.

    Can someone confirm this?
     
    • Informative x 1
  2. Skysurfer

    Skysurfer Member

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    #2 Skysurfer, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    If you are in a car wash that tows your vehicle, you need to switch your car into 'Tow Mode' to keep it from drop back to park. On the screen go to Controls > E-Brake & Power Off >
    Tow Mode

    Also, see the owners manual or this towing guide for a bit more info: http://assets.teslastatic.com/roadside_assistance_extract.pdf

    Lifting weight off the seat or opening the door will cause the car to immediately go back into park.
     
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  3. mbhforum

    mbhforum Member

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    Gotcha! After reading months of this forum, I am surprised I never read about this before. I am sure it's in a lot of posts, just must have missed it.
     
  4. Skysurfer

    Skysurfer Member

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    Yeah, I had a similar thing happen on one of my previous cars. Scared the crap out of me, so I looked into it specifically when I got a Model S to avoid that happening again.
     
  5. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Gee, that explains why "tow mode" isn't working when I try to use it to pull tree stumps on the back forty.

    Maybe they should have called it "car wash mode". Hopefully it will get used more for this than being dragged on to a tow truck.
     
    • Funny x 4
  6. mikevbf

    mikevbf Active Member

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    I had a different kind of car wash scare. The service center had just tightened the seals on my Model X to decrease wind noise. They must have tightened them too much because I could only close the passenger window with the door open, otherwise once it reached the top the window would go back down.

    Any hows, I was in a car wash and the sprayer was about to come around when I thought I saw the passenger window cracked open. Out of habit, I hit the window up button and the passenger window went a tiny up then all the way down! At this point the spraying machine was rounding the car from front to driver side was almost to the back headed for the passenger side. In a panic I, unclicked my seat belt, dove across to the passenger side, opened the passenger door, put up the window, and closed the door. About 1 second later the passenger door and window got hit by the high powered rinse spray. I can only wonder what the hassle and costs would have been had I not shut the window fast enough.
     
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  7. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    fwiw:
    this info is available in the owner's manual as well.
     
  8. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    #8 McRat, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    Free-Wheeling would be perhaps even more descriptive. But... that is what neutral is for. Why have a neutral if it's not a neutral position?

    Tow Mode was in common use by many millions of US vehicles prior to Tesla Motors producing a single car and is still in daily use by perhaps 10 to 20 million vehicles as well as brand new models on the drawing board.

    What it does is alter the transmission programming for very heavy loads, and increased engine braking on downhill segments. It is the opposite of free-wheeling since it stops the transmission from it's normal free wheeling and locks the converter more often. It increases rolling resistance on grades and increases average drivetrain output during gear changes.
     
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  9. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Good points.

    So what if one just put a (non-air suspension) Tesla in "Neutral" when running it through a car wash?

    I plan to continue hand washing my MS. But it's got a LOT of skin to wash... and I'm not getting any younger.
     
  10. mbhforum

    mbhforum Member

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    I despise the Tesla owners manual. I find it very wordy and hard to find information. Before I picked up delivery of my car, I read it several times and there is just so much information in there it actually confused me more. I found using AP and TACC was much easier to use than he manual made it out to be. Just my observation.
     
  11. mbhforum

    mbhforum Member

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    To make matters worse, I noticed a scratch on my drivers side glass that I don't believe was there before. I hate going to car washes but in the Northeast when it's cold out, sand, salt and dirt all over my car and I don't have a big enough garage to do it myself, I don't see much of a choice.
     
  12. Sharps97

    Sharps97 Member

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    For what it is worth, I've used Mr Wizard car wash a few times already. It is a standard automatic wash with brushes and a rail that pulls the car through. No issues and I've been quite happy. I've seen a number of other expensive cars use it as well.
     
  13. croman

    croman Active Member

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    I just put in in neutral and haven't had an issue with it going back into Park. I just sit in my seat with my family and watch the suds fly. I usually hand wash it myself but I had a free car wash coupon for a new local place. They did an OK job. Got 2 slight clearcoat scratches from them using dirty rags to dry the car after. The wash itself seemed fine though its hard to say. I won't be doing that again with my soft painted Tesla.

    I got the entire front XPEL wrapped and that's looking great. The coating on the entire car did not prevent the slight scratches. The XPEL did. If I had the entire car wrapped I could just get an unlimited monthly pass for $25 at this place and keep going throughout the entire winter.
     
  14. Jashev

    Jashev Supporting Member

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    I have a monthly subscription and take the car to the wash at least twice a week. Never had any obvious damage and I've never had the car pop out of neutral. I just sit in the seat with the belt on.
     
  15. mbhforum

    mbhforum Member

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    Once I put my belt on, it didn't pop out of neutral. The entire experience has left me uneasy going back.
     
  16. fasteddie7

    fasteddie7 Member

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    I didn't realize how many of us use the automatic car wash, on a lighter note, next time you go through, consider putting on some classical music, it always syncs up and always gets a chuckle out of me and my little one!
     
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  17. Plan B

    Plan B Active Member

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    For those of you that use brushless car washes make sure to get out and dry yoru car off. Brushless washes use a rough chemical to dry your car that is horrible for your paint.
     
  18. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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  19. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    I had a similar scare in neutral with my seatbelt off. Just put it in neutral and leave your seatbelt on and it will not be a problem. Or for that matter, as long as your seatbelt is on, you don't even need neutral, just leave it in drive and tap the brake to turn off hill hold.
     
  20. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Funny story. I seem to recall an old Doris Day movie about a convertible going through a car wash and suddenly the top starting to go up. Imagine it would have ended up about the same way for you if you weren't as quick on the door and window.
     

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