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Washing The Tesla Model Y

Jimt29

2020 Tesla Model Y LR AWD, MSM/Black
Aug 13, 2015
296
236
Warwick, RI
In the 2 years that I have had the car I only hand wash or brushless wash it. Today I came across this tidbit on line:
"Tesla warns you against taking your car to a regular automated car wash that uses brushes and bristles to clean your vehicle. However, if you're taking your Tesla through a drive-thru car wash, make sure you use only touchless car washes."
Anybody use a car wash system that uses brushes?
 
I have a few times. Car was too dirty for a brushless wash. I never found an issue. The material and paint is cheap so it scratches versus a normal car. Not a fan of that from Tesla. I'm within 15-20 minutes of both brush and brushless car washes. The brushless is good just to get stuff off, but it does not clean the car. I can wipe dirt off the car with my hand after a brushless wash.

I normally use brushless 1-2 a month and then a brush wash once every couple months. No issues with scratches, etc.
 
Around here with our drought they don't like you washing your car in the driveway. The car wash places all recycle their water. There is a subscription car wash with brushes near me that I used with my Ford CMAX for years which I just sold. I see lots of Tesla's driving through it. Somebody told me the paint hardens eventually. Is that true?
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,501
6,011
Maryland
Around here with our drought they don't like you washing your car in the driveway. The car wash places all recycle their water. There is a subscription car wash with brushes near me that I used with my Ford CMAX for years which I just sold. I see lots of Tesla's driving through it. Somebody told me the paint hardens eventually. Is that true?
Rinseless car wash products such as Optimum No Rinse (ONR) Wash & Shine were created so you can wash your vehicle even when water restrictions apply. You can wash your vehicle (including all of the glass) using just one bucket and 2 gallons of water. You use just 2 cap fulls of the ONR product, either microfiber cloths or a sponge (I prefer the sponge.) If you keep up with using the ONR method every week or so then you can go an entire season without using the car wash.
 
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Rinseless car wash products such as Optimum No Rinse (ONR) Wash & Shine were created so you can wash your vehicle even when water restrictions apply. You can wash your vehicle (including all of the glass) using just one bucket and 2 gallons of water. You use just 2 cap fulls of the ONR product, either microfiber cloths or a sponge (I prefer the sponge.) If you keep up with using the ONR method every week or so then you can go an entire season without using the car wash.
I do the ONR method 0 bucket method (you use multiple microfiber cloths), and probably use 1/3 of a gallon total to wash a car.
 
I do the ONR method 0 bucket method (you use multiple microfiber cloths), and probably use 1/3 of a gallon total to wash a car.

I do remember a time when I had a 1979 Volkswagen Scirocco and over the years I replaced the seats with Recaros, put in a bigger engine, 5 speed transmission, second gas tank, Blaupunkt radio, ... I should have just bought another car.

Even though I am retired now, I just don't love my car enough to spend that much time on it. I am thinking about ceramic coating which might make things a lot easier though. Taking a leaf blower to it is a tolerable substitute.
 
In the 2 years that I have had the car I only hand wash or brushless wash it. Today I came across this tidbit on line:
"Tesla warns you against taking your car to a regular automated car wash that uses brushes and bristles to clean your vehicle. However, if you're taking your Tesla through a drive-thru car wash, make sure you use only touchless car washes."
Anybody use a car wash system that uses brushes?
3 months with brushes (unlimited washes 2-3x per month). zero issues.

Wipe down after using microfiber towel. Car looks great no issues. After a spring wax car will look new.
 
For those who live in the city there are usually coin-operated self serve wash stations you can use. Or if you are really constrained look for the touchless automated wash.

For the touchless automated wash systems they use harsher soaps and chemicals since there isn't anything to physically get the dirt off your car. Keep that in mind and that sometimes the black trim can "rainbow". I wouldn't use these systems if you invested in a ceramic coat as the harsh chemicals will literally eat away at the $1000+ ceramic coat you paid for.

If you are using a coin-operated self serve wash station, especially with ceramic coat, just get a spray bottle or portable spray cannon with your favorite car shampoo and spray the car down with it before rinsing off. I usually spray and let it sit for 3-5 minutes.
 
Rinseless car wash products such as Optimum No Rinse (ONR) Wash & Shine were created so you can wash your vehicle even when water restrictions apply. You can wash your vehicle (including all of the glass) using just one bucket and 2 gallons of water. You use just 2 cap fulls of the ONR product, either microfiber cloths or a sponge (I prefer the sponge.) If you keep up with using the ONR method every week or so then you can go an entire season without using the car wash.
This is interesting. So I guess the ONR builds up a protective coat of some sort? Is this how you can go an entire season without a car wash? Or are you still handwashing weekly regardless?
 
No, he is saying if you weekly (or every other week), do the ONR hand wash, it gets enough of the dirt that you only have to do a full car wash occasionally (or hand wash using a pressure sprayer, foam cannon, etc). Basically, ONR doesn't get all of the dirt out of every nook and cranny like a pressure washer can, so a lot of people do ONR as a maintenance wash. I like ONR washes enough that yeah, only maybe once a season will I do a "full" "lots of water" type of wash.
 

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