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

Hand wash and microscratches: Any car wash recommendations in the West LA area?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by blaz, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. blaz

    blaz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, CA
    I've always had my black Model S hand washed at the same detailer in Santa Monica, but recently I've noticed some tiny scratches on the clear coat that seem to be consistent with hand washing motions. This is the first black car I've owned and reading about this it looks like black cars + soft paint + microscratches is actually a thing and it seems to happen when improper washing methods are used on dark cars like mine. I was hoping that a well-reviewed detailer would know about this and make sure they wouldn't scratch the car when washing it, but after hearing the manager deny that they could have possibly done this I'm now ready to shop around for another car wash shop that knows how to wash a black Model S properly.

    It's pretty frustrating because I've been super careful with the car and I originally looked around for a decent detailer to get the car hand washed at, and it hasn't been cheap to get it washed there.

    Does anybody have any recommendations for car wash places in West LA that know for sure how to avoid these microscratches, ideally around Santa Monica or Culver City?
     
  2. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Southern California
    Detailers should not get defensive when it comes to the Model S...light microswirls go with the territory...they cannot be prevented, only managed. Most professionals that work on Teslas know this already.

    Do you currently have any clear bra or coatings on the paint that might help in avoiding microscratches?
     
  3. blaz

    blaz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, CA
    Thanks for the reply Moe. No, I don't have any coatings on the car. I never thought they were necessary, until now I guess.
     
  4. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,144
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    This is always a risk with black. You have to be careful to baby them, and even if you do absolutely everything right you can still get tiny swirls and surface blemishes. As Moe says, this comes with the territory.

    If they bother you, your best bet is probably a full clear wrap. Coatings can help substantially, but they're not likely to completely eliminate the possibility of little swirls and scratches.
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    With the model S the paint is soooo soft that microswirls are not just inevitable but VERY EASY to appear despite how good anyone is at their washing skills. It should be a requirement that all Model S should have aftermarket coatings. After the first six months my car looked HORRIBLE despite how meticulous I am. I did a two step paint correction and then applied two coats of 22ple and 12months later there's not even a hint of swirls. 22ple is rock solid at protection and the shine is craZzyyy like blinding glass reflection.
     
  6. blaz

    blaz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, CA
    Thanks guys, I'll seriously consider the coating or clear bra option after this.

    How susceptible are non-black Model S colors to this? For example, would a Steel Grey need the same level of care to avoid these microscratches?
     
  7. CliffG

    CliffG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    New Jersey
    well, blue metallic is definitely susceptible. Without evidence, I'd guess any color darker than white would be, to one degree or another.
     
  8. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    86
    Location:
    Hamilton NJ
    I have white and it drives me crazy everyday these micro swirls in the top coat and the 'soft paint' syndrome. All MS's have it and it's either dealt with or not. I am in the process of having it dealt with ...
     
  9. Joseph Torbati

    Joseph Torbati Local Vendor - NorCal

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Well its the same as your car, only difference is the color is more forgiving and makes it harder to see. I highly recommend a paint coating Opti Coat pro and Cquartz finest are on top of my list for black. After that washing with care your car will look great for years. As for rec in west LA I think Moe is there or Tuan at Glosswerks. Hope this helps!
     
  10. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Northern California
    Also bear in mind hand washing if they use poor technique is not doing you any favors.
     
  11. birdsaresmarter

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    earth
    It definitely seems like a losing battle. After 20 months I have essentially no swirls and not many micro scratches. There is a certain amount of that happening when driving with misc debris moving across the paint while in motion anyway. However, it's taken far too much of my life to try to keep it from happening during wash. Also, what I do have are tons of little marks on the hood (noticeable to me although probably few others) where the insects strike. This is probably somewhat due to me being too paranoid to rub enough. So, I have a hard time thinking that anybody trying to actually make a living at washing cars can spend the time required to really avoid the marring. Enter...the sacrificial coatings.
     
  12. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,959
    Location:
    South Surrey, BC
    22ple really is amazing. I put it on my car right when I got it, and I did another coat six months later. No swirls at all and it really looks like it has a layer of glass on it. I couldn't believe the swirls on a red car I saw in the Vancouver store recently.
     
  13. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    266
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    They are in Mid-City, not quite the West side.

    Galaxy Detailing Car Wash
    5501 Venice Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90019

    at the corner of Venice and Hauser

    It is a small place, on the northwest corner of the intersection, half a block in on Venice.
    5 Stars on Yelp with 110 reviews. I did my Tesla while visiting my daughter who lives in mid Wilshire in LA. Spray and hand wash - $13 - cash only. You can wait or there is a Mexican Restaurant across Hauser. They also do detailing - quite a few Teslas use them.

    I have Opticoat Pro on the car. Didn't do a detailing since we were going to be driving back to the Bay Area.

    They did a great job. I had both my Model S and my daughter's filthy Subaru washed. She didn't believe how clean they got her car.
     
  14. blaz

    blaz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Marina del Rey, CA
    Thanks for the recommendation astrotoy, that's not far away from where I live at all.
     
  15. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Southern California
    Life's too short to fuss about swirls on soft paint. Put on a nano coating and/or clear bra and you'll be much better off.

    The paint is what's the issue here and no matter the color, the result is the same. You just notice it more on darker colored cars.

    So, even though a lighter color may have the same imperfections as a darker color, you may not notice it as much, therefor, caring for it is a bit easier
     
  16. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    if you do choose to go with a wrap (clear bra), the car still needs to be paint corrected first to get rid of all the damn factory swirls when the cars are delivered. once that is corrected, then you can wrap it, else you're just permanently wrapping the swirls lol
     
  17. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Southern California
    In a perfect world, you're absolutely correct. But it's worth noting, even with imperfections such as swirls, light scratches, etc., once you apply clear bra, none of that can be seen. The film acts as a new clear coat and hides all the flaws. Most clear bra shops simply wash and clay, then apply the clear bra right over the imperfections.

    It's not my preferred way because I'm OCD, and so are my clients, and every installation we've done has had a proper correction prior to clear bra installation.
     
  18. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Location:
    Northern California
    Try http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/bug%20smudge%20remover%2022%20ounces.do - it does a nice job soften up bug parts so you can wash them off without the scrubbing.
     

Share This Page