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Why detail? Why not use a regular car wash?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by John Vig, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. John Vig

    John Vig Member

    May 29, 2014
    Colts Neck, NJ, USA
    Some discussion forum participants talk about detailing and OptiCoating. Why not use a regular car wash? What are the pros and cons?

    I'm a new Tesla owner; took possession last week. I used regular car washes, for 10 years, for my previous car, a Lexus LS, I'm not aware of any problems that the car washes caused.

    Why is a Tesla more delicate than a Lexus, or..., is it?
  2. DonL

    DonL Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    La Jolla, CA
    I had never used detailing on my previous cars, including a Lexus LS, but on this jewel I decided to try going "all in." I had my multi-coat red Model S treated by a detailer with CQuartz Finest (CQuartz Nanotech Ceramic Automotive Paint Coating) and it really changed the appearance--the color seemed deeper and richer. On the advice of the detailer (what else would you expect him to say) I continued getting him to detail my car every couple of weeks. Car washes and even most "detailers" will leave swirl marks in the paint that I never noticed in my previous cars but this thing is so beautiful that I sure notice blemishes on it.

    The paint on the Model S is, indeed, softer than that on the Lexus because it's painted in Fremont under stringent CA regulations which don't allow the use of several chemicals that are used in paints on cars built in more forgiving localities. I guess that this contributes to the tendency to get swirl marks but any car paint will get them at a car wash.

    After 13 months my Model S still looks as beautiful as when it was new, and I'm blown away every time I see it freshly detailed by a professional. It's worth it to me.
  3. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

    Aug 19, 2013
    Victoria BC Canada
    Since I stretched just to get the car there's no question that there won't be any opti-coating. However I will never take this car through a regular car wash -- hand and wand wash only. I just don't want to be on the sad example end of the learning curve. I'll probably have it detailed next year though, get the first year's grime (and 17,000km trek dirt) off by someone who knows what they're doing.
  4. gnelson

    gnelson Member

    May 26, 2013
    Las Vegas, NV
    I understand that OptiCoat will cause a further financial stretch. You are wise to hand wash until you can get OptiCoat. You will minimize swirls. Maybe you can get Opticoat later. It will help protect the soft paint. It makes washing the car so much easier.
  5. hsctiger93

    hsctiger93 Member

    Feb 4, 2014
    Richmond, VA
    I took delivery a little more than a week ago and asked my DS about sealant. He said the arguments about the paint being "soft" are inaccurate. In his opinion the paint was fine as-is. However, he then said that spending the money on a sealant as an extra layer of protection would "not be a waste of money."
  6. David99

    David99 Active Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    Brea, Orange County
    "Hand wash" is a marketing gag. It's naive thinking a person that can't find find a better job than standing in the sun all day washing cars for minimum wage would care about some rich person's car.
    • Like x 1
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    I bought my car to drive and use daily, but do like to keep it looking nice. In the summer months, I actually enjoy spending a Saturday hand washing and, once or twice a year, waxing. In the winter, I have no qualms about taking it through a car wash. I've used both the "soft cloth" and "touchless" kinds. One problem I did have (nothing to do with Tesla) was having my rims "scuffed" on the rails that guide the car through. There is a new car wash near me that uses a giant conveyor belt meaning there is nothing to damage your tires. I like that or the ones where you drive in and stop, then the mechanism moves around the car.
  8. ThosEM

    ThosEM Space Weatherman

    Dec 13, 2013
    Annapolis, MD
    I'm with you on this! But maybe only one wax job per year...:)

  9. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    South Surrey, BC
    After doing some research, I bought this kit when I first got my car a few months ago:

    22PLE Pro Car Kit -!

    I was really impressed with how easy it was to put on - much easier than waxing - and the glass-like finish is amazing. I just put a second coat on yesterday even though it was still beading from the first coat.

    I wouldn't buy the kit again. All you need is the Pro bottle and the largest size is the best deal:

    VX1 Pro Glass Coating 50ML

    I wash the car with a bucket of turtle wax car wash soap and microfibre cloths, then dry it. It takes no time at all and with the coating it washes and dries easier. I've never washed a car as much as I've washed this one, but I find it enjoyable.
  10. aliouf

    aliouf New Member

    Sep 15, 2017
  11. ShockOnT

    ShockOnT ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️

    Jun 26, 2016
    My pressure washer at home doesn't seem to be strong enough. Never gets the sticky dirt off the lower parts of the car.

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