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

How to handle car wash?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by Cheerose, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Cheerose

    Cheerose Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    With the pressure sensors, how do you handle having it go through a car wash? Is the answer simply "You can't"?
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    Pressure sensors?

    FWIW, a week after having my windshield replaced and alloy gators installed I went through a full auto car wash. No issues.
     
  3. Cheerose

    Cheerose Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    By pressure sensors, I meant the sensors in the driver's seat. At my preferred place, they put the car on a track to run it through the wash.

    I don't currently have a MS, but I was curious how you would handle this.
     
  4. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,868
    Location:
    Stoughton, MA
    You can put the Model S in "neutral" and power it off, shouldn't have an issue going through an automatic car wash then...
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,561
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I go to one where you drive in and stop. The mechanism then goes back and forth and around the car while you sit in it, in-place. Doesn't do the greatest job, but in the winter when I have my outside tap off and hose put away, it gets the road salt off and makes the car look at least half decent. This wash also does not have the so-called "bottom blasters" that I'm told are to be avoided with Model S.
     
  6. Elshout

    Elshout Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Novato
    I've never had a single problem and most of the workers in my car wash don't even speak English. I guess the car wash gets so many Mercedes every day that they handle it just like it was one. By the way what are pressure sensors?
     
  7. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    599
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    This has been one of my greatest concerns. After reading some of the manual and warranty. It sounds like pressure washing could cause permanent damage to the car, to the point where I would ONLY want hand washed services. I mean, I don't go around dropping 60k on a car only for a 10 dollar car wash to destroy my car. :(
     
  8. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,753
    Location:
    Texas
    In this case it's the sensors in the seat that determine if the driver is in or not. There are other pressure sensors such as the passenger seat's and the door handles'.
     
  9. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,868
    Location:
    Stoughton, MA
    I go to s similar one, mine does have "undercarriage wash", but it really is just hitting the bottom edge of the car. They also started doing something new, if you go during the day 9AM-5PM, they prewash the wheels for you with a brush and pre wipe the windows, they also hand dry it comming out of the wash and dry the mirrors, very nice for $5 (if you go to mine on a Wednesday, all washes are 1/2 price, so I buy 2-3 coupons for use at any time).

    I wouldn't worry too much about the undercarriage wash, its not long enough to worry about, and I'm sure the battery is well sealed.
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,561
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Yes, mine does have that. It is a spinning sprayer that hits the bottom edges (sides) as you slowly drive in to place. I used to take my old ICE to a mechanical wash that pulled the car through, and it had very powerful sprayers that came directly up through the floor to hit the entire bottom of the car. That's what I was referring to as a "bottom blaster".
     
  11. Hut

    Hut Canada

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Toronto
    Model S can't be washed with this type of "bottom blaster"?
     
  12. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    11,923
    I personally doubt it would. All the audis we've owned have had similar warnings and my paint has never been "destroyed".
     
  13. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    599
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I am not worried about the paint, I am worried about the battery and electronics that work on the car. Being an all-electric vehicle, it gives on pause to send your 100k car through the car wash only for the pressure water to hit valuable electronics and void your warranty. Leaving you with a very pretty brick.

    Has anyone been concerned about this? Or am I being too overly cautious. If I remember correctly the documentation scared me from Tesla on the car washing bit. Can't remember why, I will have to take another look.
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,753
    Location:
    Texas
    The Owners Guide doesn't say anything about that. It does say to keep pressure washers at least 12" away from the car and not to point them directly at the windows or seals. You also aren't supposed to point them at any one spot for too long. It also says to rinse salt away from the underside of the vehicle. So as long as no parts of the car wash actually touch the car, I don't see where they are saying it's a problem.
     
  15. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    599
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Oh okay, maybe I read it wrong. That is good to hear :)

    My wife also had this concern, I am glad its not an issue.
     
  16. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    Messages:
    1,339
    Location:
    USA
    I thought you put the MS in jack mode and in neutral to wash the car.
     
  17. sfisher

    sfisher Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Los Altos, CA
    I have been very confused and concerned about this, and my car is starting to be quite filthy! Are there step-by-step instructions on exactly how to do this without risking damage to the car? And also are there any car washes near Mountain View, CA that are suitable for the Model S?
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,753
    Location:
    Texas
    I bypassed the problem by getting every bit of paint covered. I will still have to wash and wax but any damage will be to the film and not the paint.
     
  19. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,551
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    Yep. I found one of those.

    Hmm? The fully automatic touchless car wash (yes, I'm obeying the warranty requirement) which I went to does spray the entire bottom (with three little rods which look a lot like perforated garden hoses, located at front, middle, and back). They didn't appear to be very powerful. It didn't appear to do any damage.

    Washing the underside is vitally important in salt-on-the-road areas. It's basically the only section of the car which you really *have* to wash, in order to get the salt off. And it's nearly impossible to wash by hand.
     
  20. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,561
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I agree, but I read *somewhere* back before my car was delivered that it was not a good idea because of the motor, inverter and battery under there.
     

Share This Page