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 washing a Model S by hand

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by gmontem, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. gmontem

    gmontem Model S P01707

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Castro Valley, CA
    I will be washing my Model S today....

    Do you wash with the door handles extended? Is it possible for the shampoo to get inside the door through small openings? What happens if the soapy door handles retract, and how do you prevent that from happening?

    How do you go about cleaning the door handles if you wash the car with the door handles closed? Damp microfiber cloth?
     
  2. William13

    William13 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    933
    Location:
    South Bend
    The door handles will stay in unless you have firmware v4. Even with v4 they will be retracted most of the time. Push on them to have the extend after you have finished washing the rest of the car. The car is easier to wash than most with the smooth doors.
     
  3. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,571
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    I had my fob in my pocket part of the time when I washed my car and the handles would pop in and out depending on where I was. I don't think there are problems with the handles. It is pretty cool that the inside of the handles are car paint color! never noticed that before
    I just used a soft hand towel for it. looks good after a washing!
     
  4. ddenboer

    ddenboer MODEL S SIG

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    I washed mine yesterday with the help of my little kids to reach the lower areas.
    We rinsed the car with the hose first, and then using a big giant microfiber mitt and some Simple-Green, we washed the entire car using about three gallons of hot water. We then rinsed again with the hose, and using 3 different yellow microfiber cloths (from Costco), we wiped it down completely. One of the cloths was then used by my daughter to clean all the spokes (many rinses).
    When I was done and the car looked great I did two things (one good, one sad):
    1 (good) - I applied Aquapel to the windshield, and it looks great
    2 (bad) - I noticed 5 spots on the trunk lid which are total paint blemishes under the clear coat. Looks horrible, but I never really paid attention there until cleaning.
     
  5. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Bothell, WA
    Holy crap, that's terrible! What is our recourse when this happens? Will Tesla repaint the trunk? I sure hope so!
     
  6. contaygious

    contaygious Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Messages:
    984
    Location:
    Marina, San Francisco
    I'm afraid to look now for blemishes.
     
  7. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Sadly, factory paint is almost always going to be the most durable (as it's baked rather than time-cured). Instead of repainting, a new factory painted hatch would be the best option.
     
  8. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,691
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    They must have changed that, as all the showroom floor displays and (most?) current test drive cars have fully chromed handles, inside and out. Suspect this was a very recent running change, as I'll bet some early sig holders have fully chromed handles.
     
  9. jed-99aggie

    jed-99aggie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Bummer.

    I found some paint blemishes too. But after some diligence with the finish and some cleaner wax, I ended up resolving "flaws" that I thought were to be more concerning. It ends up that for me in shipping Tesla uses a vehicle wrap and in some locations the wrap contains strips of tape to adhere and not blow around. My guess is that some of these "flaws" we're containments from the tape. Some sparing treatment of cleaner wax along with elbow grease took care of it.

    Additionally I chose to "clay bar" the entire car. As mentioned above, given the overall shape and receding door handles it went very quick<30 min. Once the clay bar was complete, I then gave it a simple spray wax treatment. In the end I was very happy with the result. The paint is very smooth to the touch, no sensation of any grime or unevenness when you slide your hand across the surface. All in it took a few hours, but was a great way to get the paint in great shape for the long term of ownership.
     
  10. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,882
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    This weekend will be the inaugural washing. I'll do a full wash w/ Dawn to strip any wax or polish products, then clay bar, then Apply a couple coats of Zaino Z2. I found a small spot on the hood w/ some swirl marks in the clear (not unique to Tesla - I've found spots on all my cars). I'll use some Zaino Z-fusion to smooth it out.
     
  11. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,395
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    No need to go full abrasive Z-PC Fusion on a new car. Z-AIO should be more than enough to polish out swirls in clear coat on a new car.

    I've also found that Zaino Z5 works quite well to fill in minor swirls.
     
  12. Jkam

    Jkam Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    321

    Did the Zaino routine on my car the first weekend I got it. Really pleased with the results. My wife was astonished how great the car looked after I finished the 2nd coat of polish. I never knew what a clay bar was, but it turned out great.

    I get plenty of compliments about the car and its paint. I know a lot of it is due to Zaino.
     
  13. ddenboer

    ddenboer MODEL S SIG

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    Before trading in my Civic Hybrid to Tesla, I did a full interior and exterior detailing by Deep Reflections (bay area Zaino distributor), and was so happy with how it looked. Apart from a few clear coat holes, the car looked brand new. I will be doing quarterly visits to Deep Reflections to get my S done (don't trust myself to do it, and I have 4.5 kids!)
     
  14. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    I used to use Zaino almost exclusively, now adays, haven't ordered anything in years. Just my opinion, I prefer Optimum's products and other brands like Duragloss and Ultima car care products over Zaino. Z-CS, Z6, Z8 were staples, and have been replaced with Optimum Opti-Coat (true permanent protection), Optimim Opti-Seal or Ultima Paint guard plus over Z-CS and a number of new detailers and waxes over z6 and z8.

    Each product looks different, so it's all a personal choice. Z8 was always streaky on my black cars, even when lightly diluted, so I stick with Optimum Car Wax, which streaks less and works just as well. Lots of choices out there, however, lots of people swear by Zaino as did I, until I tried other products.

    I have no relation to Optimum or anything car related, just a happy user.
     
  15. NJS1207

    NJS1207 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    New Jersey
    I have always taken my cars through the local car wash, but plan to wash my Model S by hand. I have now had the car for 3 weeks and, sadly, it is getting quite filthy. I have all the supplies for a 2-bucket wash, but I am having a lot of difficulty finding a good place to perform the act. Anybody know of a good self-service car wash in New Jersey, preferably in Morris County?
     
  16. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Los Altos (Silicon Valley), CA
    If you use No Rinse all you need are your 2 buckets and your garage, and about 6 gallons of water total. Just a thought.

    Cheers.
     
  17. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,882
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Good idea. Start light and ramp it up if needed. If the weather cooperates this wkend I'll post back w/ results.
     
  18. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,133
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I think what he's saying is that the gap fill panel that ends up flush with the rest of the door when the handle extends is matched to the body color. The handle itself is chrome. It has been this way on every Model S I've seen, including the test drive cars.
     
  19. PeterW

    PeterW Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    I will be washing my car by hand only. Have car wash and polish (silicone glaze) sorted. Only thing I am not sure about is what cleaning cloths to use that will not scratch the car and leave swirl marks
     
  20. Zextraterrestrial

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Messages:
    3,571
    Location:
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    Do people wax their paint armor? Would/does it make it shine better or is it a pointless act?
     

Share This Page