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Hand wash, or drive through?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Comso, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Comso

    Comso Member

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Maybe this has been discussed, but I'm curious what the group tends to do to wash their Model S.

    Do you prefer a hand wash, or a drive through car wash? My old car would scrape the bottom on the tracks pretty badly, so I had to avoid the pull through style wash, but with the variable suspension height those are an option again.

    Also, what do you guys think of the soaps they use in those washes, and the effect on the paint? I understand Tesla doesn't have the most durable paint...

    Any group wisdom to share?
     
  2. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

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    Hand wash...I have yet to take it anywhere and am very scared to do so and will probably not. Just don't want to invite a problem for a wash. I have used pressure spray wash for a ehhh good rinse at best spraying carefully. I wish to find an easier resolve and may try a fairly local place I discovered through the forum that another owner has used, but I'm skeptical.
     
  3. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    Handwash. The local drive thru car wash here does not allow me to drive it through myself and I am the only Model S in a 30 mile radius so it would be too much of a bother to explain how it works.
     
  4. TurboFroggy

    TurboFroggy Member

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    Either hand or drive though. I just put my air suspension up on the HIGH setting and have had zero issues with any of the car washes in my area.
     
  5. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

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    And if yours has 21's which are really low profile....I couldn't imagine going through any machine wash even drive through coz this config. I'm careful how I drive never mind taking it through a car wash machine on rails and such....ouch I'm cringing just typing it
     
  6. linkster

    linkster Member

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    Ha!

    EXTREME "fusspot" here...my hand wash only! I have been told by my two SC's that I am the only person that always states on the maintenance/repair order to please:

    1) No wash
    2) No alignment
    3) No tire rotation
     
  7. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

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    Why linkster? I mean I know about the swirls even though the SC takes the utmost care, but alignment care? tire rotation? From what I've read and heard.....I will only trust the Tesla SC to do my tire rotations and change outs well besides myself ha

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would just not trust the local tire retailer to do a simple rotation or tire work is my meaning. I've read enough threads to avoid them of scratched/scared rims inside and out and just not properly hand torqued to 129 pounds
     
  8. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Touchless drive-through in the winter, or my own hand-washing in the warmer half of the year. Commercial handwashing can be just as bad as drive-through if they're not changing the water. At least with drive-throughs you know that there are filters removing the largest grit.
     
  9. linkster

    linkster Member

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    Opps, sorry. Yes! The Tesla SC personnel are "FABtastic" and I have let Jerome know how I feel about them. I just simply have weird/unconventional ways of doing things and prefer to perform these procedures myself. That's all.
     
  10. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

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    Would anyone care to chime in on the condition of their rotor hats and if you have any noticeable rust between the wheels and the disc brakes in this space of the vehicle?
     
  11. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    Better to have a dirty car than use the brush type car washes. Never ever, if you care for your vehicle ,as they scratch your car horribly.
    Only when desperate do I cave and use the brushless type of automatic car wash but be aware they have to use harsh detergent to get the dirt off without brushes. Good for stripping any wax off your car.
    I use the manual car washes which are equipped with a pressure gun and broom in a stall for car washing during winter and water restrictions. Make sure you use the spray gun to thoroughly clean the broom head before you use it.
    Best to do it at home if you can. Buy yourself a pressure washer and use that to rinse the car before washing, buy a bucket with grit guard and machine wash all sponges towels and chamois between uses.
    The ultimate is the 2 bucket method.
     
  12. tmyl21

    tmyl21 Member

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    meloccom....I can see that you have been a MS owner for maybe 2 years? Is that safe to say? Any rust on your rotor hats?
     
  13. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    Actually I still haven't got my Model S yet. :frown:
    Australian deliveries only started earlier this month and mine arrives next Monday. :biggrin:
    Most of the cars I have owned have had some form of corrosion on the rotor hats. On my classic car I bought it new rear rotors and painted them before giving them to the mechanic to fit them. I have read that some Model S owners have paid to have theirs painted as well.
     
  14. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Hand wash or let it go dirty. I either use the two-bucket method or Optimum No Rinse--mostly the latter these days with the drought in CA. As far as the touchless goes, I thought I read somewhere that Tesla recommends against that, the high pressure of touchless washes forces water where is should not go.
     
  15. TTT

    TTT Member

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  16. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #16 linkster, Dec 23, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
    tmy

    Minimal rust here after 40,000+ miles/23 mos., however, I refuse to "salt" the S. But yes, many northerners have resorted to re-painting the hat area due to unsightly rust.
     
  17. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    Hand wash only! I sold my first MS after a bad experience with a tunnel-based automatic wash - I couldn't get the swirls out of the paint.

    Here in Scottsdale, we have a semi-automated hand wash. Hand washers and the car ride on a large belt where the car is washed. When they're done with washing it, the car continues on the belt for rinse and high pressure air dry. Then the detailers take over. It's quick and easy.
     
  18. Rheazombi

    Rheazombi Member

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    I don't have a driveway, garage, yard or hose. So we use a 24 hour touchless car wash. I swear the opti coat makes it easier to clean, so after the wash it just requires a dry microfiber towel to dry it off. One time we had crazy caked-on bird poo that took 2 passes though.

    8$ every 2 weeks ain't bad.

    In between washes, I use a waterless detailing spray and a microfiber. This is only usually for the back of the car because dirt tends to collect there. (mainly visible on white).
     
  19. Mark Bloomston

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    I have the rust. Not too unsightly but drives me nuts. I'd love to hear people's comments on this as well.

    With regards to washing, I hand wash almost weekly. Have a 40,000 BTU heater in the garage and hot water spigot for the cold months. It's a long obnoxious, obsessive process that I LOVE and look forward to all week. I'll use touchless wash mid-week as needed when salt accumulates after a snow.
     
  20. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Well-Known Member

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    Is it OK to take the model S to those self-wash places where you just get a high-powered stream of water, some soap (if you want it) etc.? I wouldn't use their brushes, of course. I would just use either their soap and water, or just their water. I'm just wondering about what someone wrote here about Tesla indicating that the high-pressure from some high-pressure wash was too high-pressure. Does that apply to these self-wash places or not?

    Thanks.
     

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