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Gas Station Car Washes?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by adambirozy, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. adambirozy

    adambirozy Member

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    fullerton, CA
    Hello everyone.

    New Pearl White MS 75. With my old Acura, I had one of those monthly car wash clubs at a local gas station. I would run my car through at least once a week. Thoughts on using that for my MS? I thought it may be an easy way to keep it clean but don't want to mess up alignment, paint (with opti-coat pro plus), clear bra (expel ultimate), alignment, etc.

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. wongbow90

    wongbow90 New Member

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    I had quartz and of done on my car. My retailer said the only car washes to use was brushless. However the brushless car washes are absolutely useless. Hence I just give it some to and do it myself by hand.
     
  3. wongbow90

    wongbow90 New Member

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    I had quartz and ppf done on my car. My retailer said the only car washes to use was brushless. However the brushless car washes are absolutely useless. Hence I just give it some to and do it by hand. They rewards are amazing.
     
  4. timvracer

    timvracer Member

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    I wouldn't go near that place! I have Opticoat Pro and Opticoat PPF (front, rockers, luggage shelf), but my detailer said to go brushless, or hand wash (which I do).
     
  5. Jimmy 1

    Jimmy 1 Member

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    What is the wash system like there?
     
  6. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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    On both my TESLAs (XPEL Pro and Cquartz coated) I have only used touch-less car washes. Does require little elbow grease but the elder sibling (2013) still looks almost brand new.
     
  7. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    machine car washes tend to scratch up the paint because the brushes are aggressive and pick up dirt from other cars or your own car. you may not see the result right away but you will see it over the years when it starts to swirl up. like others have mentioned. hand wash is a good option or if you want to dig deeper you can get into pressure washers, foam canons, detailing, etc
     
  8. trayloader

    trayloader Member

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    Contrary to most "experiences" Tesla´s paint durability/hardness/scratch resistance is very good.
    Weekly gas station washes didn´t affect my 2014 MC Red in any way. No swirls, scratches, abrasions etc.
    No paint protection at all. Stock. Once a year a mild polishing, also at the gas station.

    In this regard, gas stations are good ;)
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Stirthepot

    Stirthepot Member

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    Any car wash with brushes will DESTROY your paint. that is what causes all the swirls. Hand wash or brushless. even the brushless washes uses very strong chemicals that are overly harsh. Find a good local hand was detailer or better yet, do it yourself!
     
  10. zackmilo

    zackmilo No chrome for me!

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    I handwash my X myself only! NEVER take it to a car wash with brushes. Especially with Tesla's soft paint just don't! It will scratch and swirl your paint like crazy!
     
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  11. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    Tried it once on Tessie and it was horrible. Scratched clear coat I needed to polish out. I run my black Mercedes through same wash without issue.

    I now wash at home every 2-3 days. As soon as I pull up to my house from work, I blast with foam cannon, wipe it down with microfiber cloth that I toss in garbage, and rinse with CR Spotless. Takes me about 6 minutes which is less time to drive to the gas station. No swirls or scratches and saves time.
     
  12. ahkahn

    ahkahn Member

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    I am very particular about my paint. I have always taken my wife's and my cars to a higher-end TOUCH car wash. Why? I have a vendor who manufactures the "brush" material that is used in the touch car washes, and I know it's capabilities. Some of them are a foam based brush, and some are a polyester-based brush... but neither will harm your car. It is designed to be softer than the paint, so it will not/can not harm the paint. Someone made a comment above about it picking up dirt from other cars, and there is some truth to that, but in the higher end car washes they are designed to rinse that off of the brush material between each washing, unlike the gas station ones. Your run-of-the-mill gas station car wash has the soft brush material, but that's about where it ends. I avoid them, but would not be opposed to hitting a cleaner one that is higher end in a pinch.

    The touchless car washes are worthless. They will leave a dirt film on the vehicle, which will ultimately harm the paint, and with the high pressure water, I have seen and first hand where it has peeled some paint off vehicles. For those that say they wipe the car afterwards, that's even more detrimental to the paint. That's what creates swirls and microscratches. If you notice most gas stations that have them are replacing them with soft touch washes. Touchless may have been a better option in the early 90's when they came out, but they've been surpassed by the current generation of touch washes because of the non-scratch brush material used today.

    Hand washing can be OK, but you also have to be careful about that. It can be much more damaging than a touch wash. Swirling comes primarily from hand washing done incorrectly, as a touch car wash cannot "swirl" since those brushes are typically applied in a straight fashion.

    Nothing can help a car more than frequent wax jobs (with a high quality wax). Not only does the wax keep the cars pretty, it also creates a protective coating that repels dirt and protects the paint. The car will stay cleaner longer, and when washed, will come cleaner easier. I also wax my windows, but that's a personal preference. I use Collinite #845 insulator wax, which came recommended to me from an aircraft owner's group that I'm part of. The guy that swore by it was part of a sea captain's group, and they use it to wax the hulls of the yachts and such. I've used this stuff on my plane and my cars. It's better than any "car" wax on the market. It's solid at room temperature, and you need to shake the heck out of it to liquify it, but once it's thinned out, the stuff is marvelous and lasts a long time. Less is more on the insulator wax... so thin you hardly see it, and then wipe it off. I'll use about 1/4" of the bottle to do the entire car. It works even better when you do a second coat a month later.

    Here's a pic of my car freshly done:

    IMG_0850.JPG
     
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  13. adambirozy

    adambirozy Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. As a new MS owner, it is always good to hear from those that have gone down the path I am currently walking.
     
    • Like x 2
  14. DumbIdea

    DumbIdea Member

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    I seem to have noticed KMan on YouTube mentioning he uses brushless car washes. Okay. Well. Then he mentions that he has water inside his hatch and frunk. Hmmmm. Okay. So from what I know about brushless washes they shoot high pressure jets of water at the vehicle. Wouldn't that cause water to spill into places it shouldn't? I mean.... Tesla aren't exactly known for tight body tolerances. Anything but hand washing seems like a bad idea.
     
  15. Barry

    Barry Member

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    I've use a brushless car wash with my Tesla. In 2+ years, have never had water infiltration. YMMV.
     
  16. Mknac

    Mknac Member

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    Only wash Nikki by hand. Mcguire Gold soap. Chamois dry. MCguire Ultimate Quik Detailer. Car looks fab afterwards. Run you finger on it at it smooth as can be. Black magic on the tires.
     
  17. ####AFastTezla

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    Crew Carwash in Indianapolis, IN seems to look great $54 unlimited.
     

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