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Do not use automatic car wash!

Mike Tuccelli

Member
Nov 9, 2015
40
18
Elkton, FL
Today I attended the grand opening of the Tesla store in Jacksonville, Florida and there was an owners' reception. I was chatting with a guy and he said a car wash's spinning brush yanked off the T emblem (the one between the front wheel and front door) and he was told it was not covered by warranty.
Curious, I went to the showroom's car and could clearly feel a substantial gap between the trailing edge corner and the car's body and it is obvious a piece of a spinning brush can catch under it and catapult it from the car!
I guess you could use clear high quality caulk and seal around that edge so nothing would catch under it if you insist on using an automatic car wash.
 

TexasEV

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
7,646
8,481
Austin, TX
I cringe at the thought of a Tesla going through a car wash. It's horrible for the paint. You should hand wash it either with a water based wash or waterless such as Optimum No Rinse. There are plenty of YouTube videos demonstrating proper technique.
 

S'toon

Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
3,702
3,644
AB
From page 118 of the owner's manual:
Caution: If washing in an automatic car
wash, use Touchless car washes only.
These car washes have no parts (brushes,
etc.) that touch the surfaces of Model S.
Using any other type of car wash could
cause damage that is not covered by the
warranty.
 

jimtelsa

Member
Mar 31, 2013
412
124
Simi Valley
I use automatic car washes, I don't care.

Rebel you

I have a cool one near me, 9 dollars a month for unlimited washes
I had a pass with my dodge ram, it was swirl free.
and I am tempted but i have used the Optimum No Rinse, and have to admit its a pretty cool product with amazing results
Im also worried about fn up my rims with those tire bars they use to make your car align correctly
 

jgs

Active Member
Oct 28, 2014
1,581
934
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I use automatic car washes, I don't care.

Yes! Me too. I also don't have my car encrusted in aftermarket coatings and wraps that cost a significant percentage of the purchase price. It's a car. It gets driven on the road. It's going to get dirty, scratched, and dinged and eventually depreciate to zero (hopefully not for quite some time). I admit I did feel bad when it got the first tiny dent, though.

But people who enjoy hand-washing their car should by all means, carry on.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
Rebel you

I have a cool one near me, 9 dollars a month for unlimited washes
I had a pass with my dodge ram, it was swirl free.
and I am tempted but i have used the Optimum No Rinse, and have to admit its a pretty cool product with amazing results
Im also worried about fn up my rims with those tire bars they use to make your car align correctly

$9/month? I pay $9/wash!

And with 19" rims, I clear those bars. If I had 21s, I wouldn't try it.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,868
Toronto, ON
Automatic car wash! NO WAY EVER! I wash mine weekly with ONR. 30 minutes and no swirls or scratches. Your Tesla deserves it.

If I lived where you do, I would agree. I hand wash all summer long, but once the temps drop below freezing, it car washes for me. No other choice.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
I found a system that uses a conveyor belt to pull you through, rather than those mechanisms that pull you through rails.

I recall you posting about it before. Unfortunately I haven't seen one around here like that (actually, I've never seen like that, heh)
 

blanche

Member
Jun 30, 2015
100
8
Leesburg, Virginia
I just took my 21" summer wheels off and put on the 19" winter tires. I have an unlimited car wash package (limited to once per day) right next to work. Needless to say, I take my car through that at least 2-3 times per week. It works just fine with both 21" and 19" wheels. My car is white so its virtually impossible to notice any swirls on the paint. Now, my car is a lease, so I'm not as emotionally attached to it as someone who is financially stretching to buy their dream car and drive it for the next 10 years. But that being said, while I used to hand wash all my cars in the past weekly, my lifestyle no longer permits that luxury. Still like a clean car, so the automatic car wash it is.

Unless it is raining or snowing, I always have a clean car and get tons of compliments.
 

Ugliest1

S85: "Sparky"
Aug 19, 2013
1,401
1,645
Victoria BC Canada
Now, my car is a lease, so I'm not as emotionally attached to it as someone who is financially stretching to buy their dream car and drive it for the next 10 years.

Hey, are you spying on me?

My take: I have to admit I hand-wash (wand wash) only. Enough dings (including a rock chip from a lawn mower arrghghgh) will show up on their own anyway and I don't need to hasten the process. In a pinch (e.g. road trip) I'll use a touchless.
 

green1

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
4,548
1,123
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
So far I wand wash, but am considering switching to a no rinse product so I can get away with doing it in my garage (washing in the driveway here is illegal as soap may enter a storm drain and they don't care if it's bio degradable or not)
I do also have a touchless place nearby that has no track, you just drive through, but I wasn't super impressed with how clean my car was afterwards, and I can use the wand wash place for half the price
 

Morristhecat

Member
Jul 3, 2012
724
204
Burnaby, BC
There is a newly opened car wash near my place, and as a promotion they offered free car washes for the whole month this past November. I went through there so many times it was hilarious. Had I seen this thread I may have taken it a bit easier there. Fortunately no harm done.
 

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