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Washing Model 3 in below 32 degrees

Bobbo8

Member
Aug 20, 2018
156
108
Penfield, NY
I took the M3 to a self serve car wash when the temps were 20 degrees. The car was clean but since it was a self wash there was to blow drying. When I got home the doors where iced close since water got in the handles. No more self washing without blow drying available. Have to find a Touchless car wash in “freezing” temps.
 

Rockster

Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
3,010
4,613
McKinney, TX
Do you have a garage in which you could use a waterless wash product? I recently discovered waterless washing and washing them in the garage in a fraction of the time is so much more convenient than dragging a bucket and hose outside that unless they're quite filthy, I typically wash the cars without water these days, no matter the weather conditions.
 

ithorien

Member
Aug 23, 2018
8
2
Chicago
Even without a garage you're better off using waterless. Check out some on Amazon, I use Aero Cosmetics (own a garage) but have two really good friends who use it outside and they don't seem to complain and love the results.
 

RedSafari

Member
Mar 28, 2018
124
128
Toronto
Handles freeze even after a touch less wash because a little bit of water gets behind the handle. It’s easy to push on the handle and dislodge it.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
8,950
67,379
Maple Falls, WA
I took the M3 to a self serve car wash when the temps were 20 degrees. The car was clean but since it was a self wash there was to blow drying. When I got home the doors where iced close since water got in the handles. No more self washing without blow drying available. Have to find a Touchless car wash in “freezing” temps.

I made the mistake of visiting a self-serve type car wash in below freezing weather once. Yes, after driving through the freezing air it was all frozen shut. Imagine that, it was a VW, not a Tesla. I managed to bust out of it but then I couldn't even get the key in the lock to lock it up.
 

JasontheBeaver

Jason Barker
Jan 11, 2018
381
359
Beaverton, Oregon
Do you have a garage in which you could use a waterless wash product? I recently discovered waterless washing and washing them in the garage in a fraction of the time is so much more convenient than dragging a bucket and hose outside that unless they're quite filthy, I typically wash the cars without water these days, no matter the weather conditions.
THIS!
(I like Opti-Coat No Rinse)
 

tjkessler

Member
Mar 12, 2018
141
98
Campbell CA
You might consider throwing some super absorbent micro fiber towels in the trunk (blot don't wipe) to at least dry around the door handles if not the whole car. It takes less time than you would think. This would probably work if the cold isn't too extreme.
 

Glamisduner

Active Member
Aug 2, 2017
3,581
2,118
Escondido, CA
I have never tried the waterless wash. Something about rubbing dirt around on the paint doesn't sit well with me. Maybe for a quick detail but I don't see how this can be better than using a pressure washer to blast off and away the heavy particles before even starting to wash? I know people swear by it, and it makes sense in freezing situations, but is it actually better?

Change my mind!
 
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JasontheBeaver

Jason Barker
Jan 11, 2018
381
359
Beaverton, Oregon
I have never tried the waterless wash. Something about rubbing dirt around on the paint doesn't sit well with me. Maybe for a quick detail but I don't see how this can be better than using a pressure washer to blast off and away the heavy particles before even starting to wash? I know people swear by it, and it makes sense in freezing situations, but is it actually better?
Change my mind!
If your car is caked with mud or dirt then there's nothing better than a pressure washer.
However if you're maintaining the washing on your vehicle (say every other week or so depending on weather and driving conditions) then a rinse-less product makes sense.
When used properly, a rinse less method is just as safe as the old way. You wash panel by panel, pre-spraying the surface then wiping it carefully starting from the top down. You also can dry each panel as you go if you're doing it in direct sunlight. Rinse your wash mitt/sponge after each panel to remove the sediment.
 

Glamisduner

Active Member
Aug 2, 2017
3,581
2,118
Escondido, CA
If your car is caked with mud or dirt then there's nothing better than a pressure washer.
However if you're maintaining the washing on your vehicle (say every other week or so depending on weather and driving conditions) then a rinse-less product makes sense.
When used properly, a rinse less method is just as safe as the old way. You wash panel by panel, pre-spraying the surface then wiping it carefully starting from the top down. You also can dry each panel as you go if you're doing it in direct sunlight. Rinse your wash mitt/sponge after each panel to remove the sediment.
Mine can get pretty dirty in 2 weeks, unless it rains. I guess it's my 80 mile commute, and leaving late from the office near the ocean (lots of condensation) I might have to get some of this product for touch-ups. Is it really saving much water since you have to wash all the towels though? Will costco microfibers work well enough?

I was looking at this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Optimum-NR20...1547495153&sr=1-1&keywords=opti+coat+no+rinse
 

ithorien

Member
Aug 23, 2018
8
2
Chicago
I have never tried the waterless wash. Something about rubbing dirt around on the paint doesn't sit well with me. Maybe for a quick detail but I don't see how this can be better than using a pressure washer to blast off and away the heavy particles before even starting to wash? I know people swear by it, and it makes sense in freezing situations, but is it actually better?

Change my mind!

I can't give you long term since I've only had the car 2.5 months, but so far so good. I've put extremely MINOR clear coat scratches but in other ways, none so far from the waterless. Either way so far nothing that I couldn't quickly buff out by hand.
 
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JasontheBeaver

Jason Barker
Jan 11, 2018
381
359
Beaverton, Oregon
Mine can get pretty dirty in 2 weeks, unless it rains. I guess it's my 80 mile commute, and leaving late from the office near the ocean (lots of condensation) I might have to get some of this product for touch-ups. Is it really saving much water since you have to wash all the towels though? Will costco microfibers work well enough?

I was looking at this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Optimum-NR20...1547495153&sr=1-1&keywords=opti+coat+no+rinse
I think the benefit is more of convenience than saving water, unless you live in a water-restricted area during the summer that doesn't allow home car washing.
That One step No Rinse (ONR) product you listed is very good, I just prefer their high-end products like Opti-Coat No Rinse.
Costco microfiber towels are fine. For washing I prefer a microfiber mitt, available almost anywhere car care products are sold.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
8,950
67,379
Maple Falls, WA
I can't give you long term since I've only had the car 2.5 months, but so far so good. I've put extremely MINOR clear coat scratches but in other ways, none so far from the waterless. Either way so far nothing that I couldn't quickly buff out by hand.

True, that clear coat is pretty hard.

The road to my regular ski area recently switched to a new kind of traction sand. It's hard and black and fractures into thin plates that actually stick to the waxed paint. There's a bunch of tar in there too. I'm not sure how the tar is able to stick at temperatures between 25 and 40 F but it does. The grit is a mess to get off, just gave it it's 4th good cleaning this season and I was impressed with the way it shined right up with just super minor micro-fine scratches to the clear coat on the lower body panels. They will polish right out in the spring since they are so fine/shallow.

I was worried the clearcoat might be soft since we took delivery of the P3D after the weather turned cool so it didn't have warm weather to cure in but it's some of the hardest clear coat I've seen.
 

Bobbo8

Member
Aug 20, 2018
156
108
Penfield, NY
Do you have a garage in which you could use a waterless wash product? I recently discovered waterless washing and washing them in the garage in a fraction of the time is so much more convenient than dragging a bucket and hose outside that unless they're quite filthy, I typically wash the cars without water these days, no matter the weather conditions.
I have the no rinse ONR and use it. But it was cold (20 degrees) and I tried the easy way out plus the road salt issues I thought the self serve car wash would be a treat for the M3 and myself. A lot of lessons learned.
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
875
580
Alaska
In Alaska. I use an electric pressure washer in my garage when my cars get nasty in durring the spring break up and then use the use “no rinse wash and shine” low water wash. Just do the No Rinse most of the time though.
 
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Bobbo8

Member
Aug 20, 2018
156
108
Penfield, NY
I have never tried the waterless wash. Something about rubbing dirt around on the paint doesn't sit well with me. Maybe for a quick detail but I don't see how this can be better than using a pressure washer to blast off and away the heavy particles before even starting to wash? I know people swear by it, and it makes sense in freezing situations, but is it actually better?

Change my mind!
I also had questions about “no rinse” car soap and moving dirt around but I got some good advice from this site. I now use the 2 bucket system and first wash the lower quarter panels in sections where most of the heavy dirt is. I start with a bucket with the Non Rinse in water and a second bucket to rinse the dirt off my washing towel each time I clean a section. After washing the lower panels I empty the 2 buckets and replace the ingredients and then do the complete car . This reduces the chance of “moving dirt around” on the M3..
 

coleAK

Member
Oct 23, 2018
875
580
Alaska
I also had questions about “no rinse” car soap and moving dirt around but I got some good advice from this site. I now use the 2 bucket system and first wash the lower quarter panels in sections where most of the heavy dirt is. I start with a bucket with the Non Rinse in water and a second bucket to rinse the dirt off my washing towel each time I clean a section. After washing the lower panels I empty the 2 buckets and replace the ingredients and then do the complete car . This reduces the chance of “moving dirt around” on the M3..
I second this. I pretty much do the same thing except if it’s really dirty blastnit with the pressure washer first then follow the same process.
 

PwrOutage

Member
Jun 3, 2013
39
18
NW Chicago
I was incredibly stupid today. On the way home I couldn't stand seeing my car coated in salt anymore not to mention not being able to see out the windows. Well took it to my usual touch-less and parked it in the garage at home figuring it would look like a popsicle but a clean one... Well side mirrors are slow to move but working and door handle is frozen shut.(need a blow dryer). Got it on the charger now hoping that will warm it up a bit. Stupid me, I forgot this car is fragile with gaps everywhere for the ice to expand and mess with. Sh*t.
 

minsup23

Member
Feb 22, 2016
96
28
Chicago, IL
I was incredibly stupid today. On the way home I couldn't stand seeing my car coated in salt anymore not to mention not being able to see out the windows. Well took it to my usual touch-less and parked it in the garage at home figuring it would look like a popsicle but a clean one... Well side mirrors are slow to move but working and door handle is frozen shut.(need a blow dryer). Got it on the charger now hoping that will warm it up a bit. Stupid me, I forgot this car is fragile with gaps everywhere for the ice to expand and mess with. Sh*t.

I did the same. I hope there are no long term problems
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,424
11,323
San Diego
I'd recommend parking the car pointing downhill while washing, if you are using water to wash the car in near freezing/subfreezing conditions, and you park the car outside. Otherwise you may end up with a nice heavy ice cube in the rear diffuser. This is really more of an issue if you have a driveway that is uphill to the house...because then you can end up with a LOT of water pooled on the rear diffuser (depends on the angle...). Park pointing downhill while washing and it all flows out.

If you wash elsewhere and then drive home it might be fine - the water might slosh out. But not at the recent midwest temps. But probably a bad idea to be washing the car in those temperatures. :)
 

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