Car washes?

Car washes?

Apologies if this has been covered here, but I didn't see a search function.

I have an MS P100D and am wondering about going through typical drive through car washes? We have ones near me "washman" that are pretty good, use all the time for my truck, but they aren't brushless and figured the contact from the brushes and everything else in there would make the car go crazy.

A) are those perfectly safe for my car and B) anyway to keep the car from going nuts going through one assuming they are safe?


Bighorn | 01. November 2019

The paint/clear coat won’t like it.

garyjtate | 01. November 2019

Model S go through the wash here once a week. I wipe down afterword using Chemical Guy Detailer spray.
Set car suspension to very high. Fold mirrors.
Two years now no problem.

EVRider | 02. November 2019

No search function, but you can learn how to search the forum here:

There have been many threads about car washes, and almost as many opinions. My opinion is you don’t have to treat your Tesla any differently from other cars you’ve owned, except knowing how to keep the car in neutral when going through the carwash.

Uncle Paul | 02. November 2019

No car is perfectly safe in an automatic car wash. They rip off antenna, mirrors, spoilers all the time with regular cars.

Be cautious, and take a look at what your car will be going through during the wash/dry cycle.

Some cause more tiny scratches than others,

I have taken my X through many car washes, but there is always the risk of doing so.

Black/dark cars tend to show tiny scratches the most...white/silver not so much.

Be absolutely careful not to lift your butt from the seat while going through. This will cause your car to totally stop in the tunnel. This often happens when a owner looks over his shoulder into the back seat for something. The pressure is taken off the seat sensor and the car goes into park, thinking you have left the vehicle.

Tesla specifically advises against these car washes. Any damage will be between you and the car wash operator.

Bighorn | 02. November 2019

I'd also worry a bit about rim damage from the track that pulls you through. | 02. November 2019

Tesla's clearcoat/paint is similar in hardness and quality to other luxury brands, so it's not going to fair any worse than those cars and may fair better than cheaper cars, but all are fairly close now in hardness.

Still, there are so many different car wash systems. The ones I avoid (in any car) are those that have brushes and those that have mechanical pads or strips that hang down. All it takes is a prior car to leave some minor sand in the strips and have it scratch your car. Minor scratches are more obvious on cars with dark colors.

I'd try to find a touchless car wash, although I've been doing my own washes for a couple of years now.

Bighorn | 02. November 2019

I wasn’t implying anything about Tesla’s finish. I’ve warned people off automatic car washes for decades. Touchless is fine.

Shesmyne2 | 02. November 2019

This weekend was the very 1st time I took Trinity to a car wash
I bought a package deal for hand washes only.
Until this weekend I have only done the 2 bucket wash with distilled water & ONR. She’s 14 months old .

Still Grinning ;-)

avesraggiana | 03. November 2019

Don't do it.

lilbean | 03. November 2019

When someone tells me their car has no scratches, I see plenty of them.

raffidesigns | 03. November 2019

You have many options at your disposal.

A. Hand wash
B. Find a touch-less car war
C. Wash your car like everyone else.

As long as the Autopilot sensors/camera’s are not affected. | 03. November 2019

@BH - Totaly agree. Sorry, I wasn't answering your post. I was being a bit preemptive on paint in general as it usually comes up sooner or later.

Betsy | 03. November 2019

I take Michelle through the brushless car wash all the time. One reminder....remember to turn off the automatic windshield wipers!! She's very disturbed if you forget.

A-Wimoweh | 04. November 2019

Be careful this time of year with the car washes, especially if your car sits outside overnight. Water can get blown into nooks and crannies in the mirrors, windows, and door handles, and if it freezes overnight, cause you problems in the morning. I like using the two bucket method with Optimum No Rinse this time of year because you don't have to spray your car with water, and helps prevent things from freezing in position.