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Tow Mode Woes

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by pdq, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. pdq

    pdq Member

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    Yesterday I took my car to the car wash, following the on-screen instructions to put it into Tow Mode so that the car would roll freely. Worked perfectly.

    As I reached the end of the wash, I went to take it out of tow mode, following the onscreen instruction to press the park button on the end of the control stalk, which I did. Nothing happened. I read the instructions again to make sure I was doing it properly and I was. I tried putting my foot on the brake and pressing the button. No joy. But, with the brake on, the roller in the chain track bounces my car up in the air, and the car wash line shuts down, as I panic and keeping doing what it says, foot on the brake, off the brake, multiple times in rapid succession - trying any combination I thought might work. By now I had people screaming to move my car and I told them I couldn't get it into gear.

    So they told me to turn the car to the right to clear the lane. Do you know how hard it is to turn the wheel with the car off and no power assist? And how embarrassing it is to have the most technologyly advanced car in the world and I can't get it into gear despite following the on-screen instructions exactly? Luckily I was able to get pushed out of the way.

    I then called Tesla support and told him of the problem. He asked if I were in the car and I said yes and he said to first put my foot on the brake. Then push the button on the control stalk, which I did. He then asked if a dialogue box had appeared about engaging the parking brake and I said yes, and he said to hold down the red bar until the box disappeared, which I did, but the car was still off.

    He then said to pump the brake pedal a few times, which started the car. I asked why the on-screen instructions didn't say to go through that sequence and his response was that he didn't know, they got a lot of calls on it. And then I asked the obvious -- why don't you change the software so that when you do what it says on the screen, i.e. push the button on the end of the stalk, it takes it out of Tow Mode as stated? No response to that.

    My adrenaline level was in overdrive by the time I left. Makes Autopilot seem perfect. That's been my car wash for over 15 years, and now I'm embarrassed to go back & will have to find another.
     
  2. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    That totally sucks.
     
  3. ModelX

    ModelX Member

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    So sorry to hear this!
     
  4. svp6

    svp6 Member

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    Why not in Neutral? Car rolls freely with that, just put it back in gear later.... There is no tow mode on most cars, so the automatic washers are actually recommending you put your car in neutral. Done that multiple times, no issues. And yes, I refuse to hand-wash my car:tongue:
     
  5. Soolim

    Soolim Member

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    I guess tow mode is required only when there is no driver in the car? No, I refuse to use automated car wash :tongue:. And, I am the only person allowed to wash my S by hand :wink:.
     
  6. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    My car had "issues" going IN to a car wash - see here Stuck in park in car wash

    I had the car in neutral. Tesla told me I should be using tow mode. Solution: I just hand wash where possible, and if not, I go to a "glide style wash" where you drive on to a wide belt, and the belt moves through the wash. As I live in a climate where it's not fun hand washing from November to April - it's a decent solution.
     
  7. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    And, I am the only person allowed to wash my S by hand :wink:.

    Same here! She's a virgin and she's gonna stay that way!
     
  8. jcoverton

    jcoverton Member

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    I used Optimum No-Rinse car wash for the first time this weekend. While I would not use it every time, I thought it did a great job. I could wash the car in the garage with very little mess. Great for cold winter days.
     
  9. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    What's the reason you wouldn't use it all the time? FWIW I use the old fashioned 2 bucket system.
     
  10. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Mild-mannered moderator note:

    Please keep ALL car-washing posts off this thread; it is too important to be sidetracked. Thank you.
     
  11. blanche

    blanche Member

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    Always insist on sitting in your car and keep it in Neutral. That works perfectly, and I don't want anyone else sitting in the drivers seat while the car goes through the wash. Absolutely no reason to fiddle with Tow Mode. I have an unlimited car wash pass and I go through there at least twice weekly. No damage to the paint that is visible to the naked eye.
     
  12. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I just tried to and I got an error message saying that was an invalid address.

    But, thanks for trying,

    pdq
     
  13. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I was in contact with Tesla and now understand what is going on and why some people get told to use Tow Mode versus putting the car in Neutral. As explained to me, Tow Mode is the way to go if you are not going to be sitting in the drivers seat, as it prevents the car from switching to Park. However, if you are going to remain in the car while going through the car wash, put it in Neutral.

    Mystery solved.
     
  14. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    "…He then asked if a dialogue box had appeared about engaging the parking brake and I said yes, and he said to hold down the red bar until the box disappeared,…"

    Hold down what red bar? I've never seen any red bar in my car, or is this something on the Touch Screen that you are supposed to hold your finger on for some seconds?
     
  15. pdq

    pdq Member

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    When you are in Tow Mode and you want to get out, it tells you to hit the Park button on the end of the control stalk. That causes a dialogue box to pop up on the screen with the red bar -- that's what you have to hold down. While 99.9% of Tesla controls are blindingly intuitive, this one is blindingly not.
     
  16. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Yes, here's how to disengage tow mode:

    1. Have fob in car.
    2. Press brake.
    3. Tap (don't hold) the park button on the stalk.
    4. You should then get the pop-up dialog with the red button. Press and HOLD this button until the box goes away. You will hear the brake motors apply the brake, but keep holding until the box goes away.
     

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