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Most efficient way to keep Model S looking great?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by ddruz, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. ddruz

    ddruz Member

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    North Shore Oahu, HI
    Not ever having owned a classy car before, I'd appreciate any tips from knowledgeable folks about the most efficient way to keep Model S looking great from a total cost of ownership and time spent perspective. I'm relatively naive about taking care of a nice looking car and don't have time or the knowledge to do my own detailing, as I'm sure is the case with many people. So I'm wondering about what the best plan is.

    Is it most efficient to have a space age polish applied professionally upon delivery followed by regular exterior washes and periodic reapplication of the polish?

    Or does a paint armor film of the entire car keep the paint and finish underneath pristine and the car looking best? If you have paint armor do you need to polish or wax the car or do simple exterior washes do the trick? If so is it cheaper and more time efficient in the long run to armor the whole car?

    Bottom line: What's the most cost / time effective way to keep Model S looking the best most of the time for the most years?
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    In my younger years, I used to get quite anal about keeping my cars in better than showroom condition, but I've backed away from that significantly over the years. Once you have kids, a dog, etc. you learn to loosen up (or go insane).

    I still like to keep my cars nice, and enjoy hand washing and interior cleaning on summer Saturdays. I will hand wax usually spring and fall. With Canadian winters, there is little hope of keeping the car nice, especially if it is your daily driver. All I do is go to a decent touchless car wash which makes the car look passable for a day or too.
     
  3. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

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    just don't go to those machine car wash places. lots of chemicals to ruin the finish.

    def wash by hand, whenever you get the opportunity.

    in between full hand-washes, you can use this:

    Griots Garage 11285 Spray-On Car Wash Kit : Amazon.com : Automotive

    someone on the forum mentioned this product, and i ordered. got it the other day, but i have yet to try it out. i'll report back though. seems like a very time-efficient and safe method to clean the car. no water involved, just spray on and wipe off...
     
  4. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    if you want the easiest way, then wrap the whole car and you will never have to wax it. But the initial expense may be as much as a grand or 2. Also allegedly makes it easier to wash.

    I second the recommendation to avoid brush machine washes. IF you are cleaning yourself I like Optimum No Rinse. It is also quite green.

    Cheers.
     
  5. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Lower your expectations!

    Seriously I don't plan on washing my car more than a couple times a year. Except windows and mirrors I do them inside and out about every month.
     
  6. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    No salted roads, eh? :)

    In the winter we have to wash about once every 2-3 weeks minimum just to keep that nasty crap off the cars. More often as you go north.
     
  7. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    since ddruz is on Oahu, I don't think that salt will be a significant concern.

    Cheers.
     
  8. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Mist from the ocean? :)
     
  9. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    Perhaps, although I live pretty close to the Ocean and visit the beach pretty frequently here in CA without noting anything like what happens with salted roads back in PA for instance. Never lived in HI though, so perhaps someone can school me if ocean spray really does a number on cars.

    Excellent point.

    Cheers.
     
  10. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

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    we are planning to wrap the whole car. today's wraps hold up well and protect paint from rock dings and scratches. if you don't wrap entire panels, the edge collects dirt and doesn't look as nice. A full wrap goes around the edges of the panels, making it essentially invisible. the most expensive wrap I've heard of was $7K and involved a polymer that is "self healing" as in when it warms up in the sun, it can absorb substantial scratches. it sounds like $2-3K is more typical.
     
  11. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    The most important thing for long term paint health is to wash as frequently as possible to prevent anything 'setting' on the surface of the paint.
    I try to wash my car by hand at a minimum every 2 weeks, but I would only polish it yearly. If I am desperate I will use a touchless car wash or just hose the car down between hand washing. 15 years on the paintwork looks pretty good save for stone chips :cursing:
    Buy yourself a random orbital polisher to make the annual polish less of a chore and polish another car other than your Model S the first time you use it as practice. Always thoroughly wash the polishing pads between use and if you have to use any cut back polish reserve a pad for that and buy another for the wax.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    No kidding! I keep a bucket of washer fluid and a squeegee handy just to wipe the salt spray off the side and back windows so I can see out between full washes! Salt spray on windows is terrible in bright sunlight.
     
  13. bbmertz

    bbmertz Model S: P4909

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    I'm a bit paranoid about bring the MS to a carwash given the potential for swirl marks, not to mention the challenges of trying to force the car to stay in neutral, so I will probably use a local detailer that visits our neighborhood at least once a month. I also use the Tesla indoor car cover to protect my car every night, particularly since we have three indoor cats that apparently enjoy walking across the black hood to make as many paw-prints as possible...
     
  14. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    I would say the most important thing is parking it under cover out of the weather.
     
  15. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    0. If it has dirt on it
    1. Rinse with water
    2. Gently rub with a clean cotton/microfiber towel, just a bit of mild car wash soap
    3. Rinse with water again
    4. Dry with a clean cotton/microfiber towel
    5. If the water stops beading even in the slightest take it to a detailer you trust or go here and learn the ways of the zaino http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=TIPS&Store_Code=Z
     
  16. Jkam

    Jkam Member

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    To take it a bit further, how do you take care of microfiber towels once they get dirty?

    Can you put them in the clothes washer with detergent like clothes or is there a better way to clean the microfiber towels that clean your car?
     
  17. Princeton96

    Princeton96 Member

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    I washed mine for the first time last weekend and was pleased with how it turned out. I hand washed it using the two bucket method and two micro-fiber cloths. I alternated each time I went back to the rinse bucket, to make sure all the grit was out of each cloth. I then used a clay bar to get the surface really smooth, although I don't think it actually needed it. I was curious about the clay bar process, more than anything. Finally a hand wax and tire cleaner. I used Maguiar's products, which were readily available at Target and not overly expensive. The car came out looking like a mirror.

    Going forward, I plan to just hand wash every couple weeks and wax every couple months. Clay bar twice a year and polish once a year.
     
  18. JakeP

    JakeP S P4996 / X P6028

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    I use this with regular detergent, it works very well. Wash the microfiber separately, dry on high setting, no dryer sheets or fabric softener.

    http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/micro+fiber+and+foam+pad+cleaner+35+ounces.do

    Also, these towels are ridiculously soft and very good at grabbing and lifting dirt, in conjunction with the Griots Spray & Wash or Speed Shine. I use them with the Optimum No Rinse two-bucket method as well.

    http://www.griotsgarage.com/product/micro+fiber+speed+shine+cloths+set+of+3.do?sortby=ourPicks
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    A bit more than that...
     
  20. ModelS1079

    ModelS1079 Member

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    No salt in Boston. All good. I am sure a "bucket of washer fluid and a squeegee... to wipe the salt spray" will work just fine :wink:
    IMG_3610.jpg
     

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