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Model 3 Automated Car Wash. Possible damage done?

Took my Model 3 to a car wash that uses rollers to propel the car. I thought i had the car in neutral but apparently it was in drive. With my foot on the break, the drive at zero mph went into lock mode. I felt one set of rollers bump the car up and then go on. The attendant I believe, stopped the rollers and had me put the car in reverse until i backed up another set of rollers and then go into neutral. The car then proceeded as desired.

I am not sure what happened. I am almost certain i had the car in neutral and then it behaved like it was in park, but maybe it was in LOCK MODE while in neutral??? Is that possible?

Could this have damaged the car? Yikes?
 
Automatic car wash systems are not compatible with Teslas. Sorry you had that experience. I wash my care in two ways. 1) Wait for a good solid rain (downpour if possible) and them wipe it dry with microfiber clothes. 2) I have a spray bottle of blue stuff no water car cleaner—sorry, can't remember the name) that I spray on small areas and wipe with microfiber until I've finished the entire car. Both methods work well. Good luck.
 
Automatic car wash systems are not compatible with Teslas. Sorry you had that experience. I wash my care in two ways. 1) Wait for a good solid rain (downpour if possible) and them wipe it dry with microfiber clothes. 2) I have a spray bottle of blue stuff no water car cleaner—sorry, can't remember the name) that I spray on small areas and wipe with microfiber until I've finished the entire car. Both methods work well. Good luck.
This sounds terrible
 

hcdavis3

HCD3
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Mar 3, 2019
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Automatic car wash systems are not compatible with Teslas. Sorry you had that experience. I wash my care in two ways. 1) Wait for a good solid rain (downpour if possible) and them wipe it dry with microfiber clothes. 2) I have a spray bottle of blue stuff no water car cleaner—sorry, can't remember the name) that I spray on small areas and wipe with microfiber until I've finished the entire car. Both methods work well. Good luck.
Agreed Puck. Unfortunately I have to use the car wash during the winter. I have had no difficulties thus far and putting it in neutral is not a problem. Good news I have a great detail guy who I use once a month and paint swirls are gone when he’s done. I just want to get the salt off my car. I’m partially disabled and can’t do a proper wash myself.
 
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Automatic car wash systems are not compatible with Teslas. Sorry you had that experience. I wash my care in two ways. 1) Wait for a good solid rain (downpour if possible) and them wipe it dry with microfiber clothes. 2) I have a spray bottle of blue stuff no water car cleaner—sorry, can't remember the name) that I spray on small areas and wipe with microfiber until I've finished the entire car. Both methods work well. Good luck.

You're probably thinking of optimum no rinse as the blue stuff which works as a waterless wash. Great for winter washing.
 
I'm assuming you use "hold" mode for braking? therefore your brakes were on when the roller tried to move your car? If that's the case, then you more than likely did absolutely nothing bad to the car other than possibly scuff a wheel a bit as the tire came back down.

Its standard procedure in car washes to have people press their brake and have the roller pass under the tire when they need to reset things. I've done that several times (long before I got my Tesla) and we had a car wash nearby that would frequently have a problem that required the rollers be reset.

I take my M3 through the car wash regularly (maybe twice a month), and hand wash it the remaining times (typically another twice a month). I've seen no paint issues on any of my cars after YEARS of automatic car washes (granted, I only go to ones that look very well maintained, and use soft materials). My 11 year old Pontiac G8 paint still looks like new after HUNDREDS of auto washes. Clay bar and wax every 6 months, and all my cars still shine like new. Granted, if I was going for a show-car look, I wouldn't do an auto-wash, obviously. But for a very well maintained daily driver, it works great.

Just remember to keep your seatbelt on at all times during the wash, and keep your butt planted firmly in the seat. Violate these, and the car might auto-brake on you and put it in park.
 
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Just remember to keep your seatbelt on at all times during the wash, and keep your butt planted firmly in the seat. Violate these, and the car might auto-brake on you and put it in park.

I think this is the main reason folks have problems. I’ve also gone through automatic car washes too many times to count. I use neutral with zero issues.
But you’re right, if you take off the seat belt, or shift your butt to reach for something, the brake will go on.
 
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Agreed Puck. Unfortunately I have to use the car wash during the winter. I have had no difficulties thus far and putting it in neutral is not a problem. Good news I have a great detail guy who I use once a month and paint swirls are gone when he’s done. I just want to get the salt off my car. I’m partially disabled and can’t do a proper wash myself.

I, too, have trouble leaning over and doing any serious scrubbing. Even the inside vacuuming is a challenge so I know what you mean. Hey, Be Well & Stay Safe.
 
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I avoid car washes where you are being rolled through. Too much risk of damage. We do have a touchless car wash nearby where you just drive in and sit while the car gets sprayed with water, then soap, then rinse, then hot air. Nothing ever touches the car so I’m comfortable with it.

Otherwise I hand wash with a power washer and then blow dry with hot air. If we use microfiber towels we make sure the towels are soaking wet first and rinse them very frequently to avoid running a dirty towel across the car.
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Automatic car wash systems are not compatible with Teslas.

Sure they are - at least the track system is. Any competent car wash will know to put the vehicle in Tow Mode so it can free wheel down the track.

I do it all the time at our local hand car wash, with both the 3 & X. The wash is done by hand, but they use a roller system.

Here’s a photo of the drying area after exiting the tunnel. Mine is the white 3; it’s hard to see but there were 4 Teslas getting dried at the same time. No issues.

FC933E5C-909D-46D8-A9E9-5B066492E1AB.jpeg
 
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dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Growing old sucks, growing old broke really sucks.
Love the dog.
Maybe we should have a post of dog names, so we can get
it right, sorry Im playing the Beatles white in reverse. Need a beer.

Good idea! Say hello to Buster.

I assure you, Paul -- and Buster -- are both very much alive.

IMG_6522.jpeg
 

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