Forums

Car Washing issue......

Car Washing issue......

Help Mr. Wizzard.....Im experiencing a real world problem here.....LOL......I live in a highrise condo and have no ability to wash my own car, plus my garage area is so dark Id hate to see the final product if I even attempted to wash my windows while parked. Now before you all unload on me, I have researched and found a car wash that is a hand wash (no brushes) and they are very careful. The car does get rolled thru the process tho....following those tracks like most car washes have.

My question is this.....how do I take my car to the car wash and get it thru? when I pull in, I put the car in park and the brake sets itself. The car wash wants to set the car in neutral and allow the machine to roll it thru the wash process. I dont apparently have a neutral on an electric car, and really dont trust the attendants to start tweeking my settings to get the car into 'Tow' mode.

Would this just be easier to have them drive the car thru? That concerns me only for the fact that this car is REALLY REALLY FAST, and I picture some car wash attendant flying my car thru the wash and right into the rear of the car in front of me.

What ever should I do?? This is really freaking me out!! (incidentally, I did ask this question when I took delivery of my X last week......Three sales folks later and not one had any idea of how to deal with the car wash process.)

dbh | 05/10/2016

The car does have neutral. Drive it yourself and put it in neutral (using the stalk, push up slightly from drive).

wang5150 | 05/10/2016

You can put the car into Neutral and it should glide along. Set the stalk to N between the (PDNR) mode.

I prefer to use rinseless solution with 2 buckets and a few 80s tunes later, it's done.

lilbean | 05/10/2016

Try 3D waterless wash. You may love it!

raging.dragonfly | 05/10/2016

See if you can find what's known as a "touchless" car wash in your area, we have a few of them here in Portland, OR, and one specifically near us that we use. NOTHING mechanical EVER touches the car, and they don't use the track system at all. Also, you can leave the mechanical spoiler in the up position without any issues - it doesn't get damaged, and you get the area underneath it reasonably clean. You drive up, pay via machine, it tells you to go, you move slowly into the bay, and put it in park. The machines go up and over and around spraying things at your car then rinsing them off. (They offer several varieties and costs of packages; we always just go for basic to avoid too much high pressure water spray getting in where it doesn't belong.) Once it's done spraying & rinsing you, it tells you to move forward again, slowly; it blows you dry, and you leave. Elsewhere on the property, they also have bays where you can do all the work yourself, and also vacuuming stations with high speed power equipment so you can vacuum quickly and efficiently if you want.

carlk | 05/10/2016

I would never bring my beautiful car to a car wash. Even those so called touchless car wash could put swirls and scratches on the car, especially if you have a dark colored car, when they do towel dry. You might want to take a look at the no rinse wash solution and wash yourself with two bucket method. It's easy and most importantly the result beats anything you get from a car wash. If your garage is too dark may be you can do it in the parking lot at work, if you don't mind people's look. Another solution maybe to find out if there are mobile detailing service available. BTW they also use the no rinse solution to do the wash.

This is the product.

https://www.amazon.com/Optimum-NR2010Q-Rinse-Wash-Shine/dp/B00D8DR0AO/re...

Triggerplz | 05/10/2016

My MX in any car wash O HELL NAW

mhkeyemd | 05/10/2016

I use Chemicalguys Waterless car wash system. Awesome.. Spray and wipe with towel. All can be purchased at Chemicalguys.com.

KurtsX | 05/10/2016

Im good with washing my own car, its just that I have no well lit space to do it, as I park 4 levels underground, and live in densely populated city with no place to do the job on street level. So lets say I try this waterless stuff......I cant even imagine the damage Id cause wiping dry dirt off my paint job. Plus, Im going to have to find a place....maybe the local park? Im not liking this option at all.

So, lets go back to the "Where's Neutral" on my car.......Im heading down to check out this now....but cant imagine that three people at the Tesla Service Center didnt know the car had a neutral. I also did my search of the vehicle manual on line and I still dont see it.....but Ill try! Will keep you posted

Triggerplz | 05/10/2016

@kurtsX Good luck but do what ever it takes to avoid any car washes I don't even let the SC hand wash mine

mathwhiz | 05/10/2016

@KurtsX ... Per page 42 of the current Model X Owner's Manual:

lilbean | 05/10/2016

I got an awesome Stanley light to assist me in washing my car.

KurtsX | 05/10/2016

@mathwhiz......Thanks, I did find that but realized if you exit the car (what the car wash guys do as the car starts down the track) the car automatically goes into Park. The only way to let it move freely without anyone behind the wheel is to utilize the touch screen to engage the Tow Mode. That gets complicated when you have car wash guys that aren't necessarily skilled at driving a Tesla.

Not sure, short of riding thru the car wash, what an easy solution might be. Thanks for all the help tho.....Im not giving up yet.

mathwhiz | 05/10/2016

You should find a nice touchless car wash in the area.

Pryoritiesinc | 05/10/2016

@ lilbean what is a Stanley light?

lilbean | 05/10/2016
Pryoritiesinc | 05/10/2016

Nice, you start a detailing business on the side let me know! :)

lilbean | 05/10/2016

@pryoritiesinc, Sounds fun. I'll wash your car if you are in LA. :)

Pryoritiesinc | 05/10/2016

In PHX, AZ but plenty of supercharges from here to LA for a QUALITY car wash!

lilbean | 05/10/2016

Yes! Hawthorne supercharger spots are covered. :)

Triggerplz | 05/10/2016

A Stanley light Is Stanley standing by the MX holding a flashlight :-)

rossRallen | 05/10/2016

There's an old thread in this forum with a lot of recommendations for manual washing. I'd recommend you review that.

Optimum No Rinse car wash (with wax) from Amazon.com and some very plush and absorbent microfiber towels from ForMyTesla.com is what I use. End-to-end in 45 minutes! Looks fantastic with a deep shine. I'll never take my X to an automatic car wash.

Maybe @lilbean can tell us how she gets the brake dust off the inside of the wheels.

lilbean | 05/10/2016

I spray Opti Power Clean on a paper towel and stick my hand in and wipe it down. I should post a video. :)

Madatgascar | 06/10/2016

Go to TeslaTap on your car's web browser and they have instructions that you can put on your car's touch screen that tell car wash attendants how to keep the car in neutral for this kind of car wash. I made it a favorite and pull it up every time I have to use one of these car washes. You might also want to raise the ride height. Just make sure it is a hand wash - no rotating bristles!

rhartson | 06/10/2016

in the exact same boat...I found a tunnel/drive thru wash that has you stay in the car, so problem solved. Im unimpressed with the arguments against carwashes-I have a Mercedes as well, and if I take to the dealer for a free was they use their mechanical wash. Why would they put 100K plus vehicles in there if it was damaging? Paint marks/swirls are virtually inevitable, and a quality wash will minimize this possibility. If you have the time/facilities to hand wash great, but not all of us can. I'm not interested in having a detail service come and hand wash it for a small fortune. Touchless washes are useless IMHO-leave too much crap on the car. The arguments against auto washes are amusing as well, if the paint is so damn fragile then we were all bamboozled...my Titanium paint looks fine-nuff said.

lilbean | 06/10/2016

Yes, paint marks and swirls are inevitable when improper technique is used. The majority of people use improper technique, even hand wash places. Some people don't mind the fine scratches. Good for them. I used to be one of those people, just happy to have a "clean" car. After getting the Tesla paint corrected in Opticoated, I can definitely see the difference between a car that was not. I learned how to maintain the flawless finish from my detail guy and washing it myself has been more convenient, saves me time, saves me money and I actually enjoy it. As a bonus, zero swirl marks after 7 months and counting. Just wanted to share that there are alternatives to car washes. The thought of doing it yourself seems daunting. I'm only 5'1" and have suffered shoulder injuries and I'm still happy to wash my car. :)

lilbean | 06/10/2016

"and" Opticoated, not "in"

Madatgascar | 06/10/2016

@lilbean - my wife is 4'-11" - she has a tough time with those hard to reach places.

lilbean | 06/10/2016

@tbouquet, It's possible for me thanks to this beauty I got at lowes:
https://www.amazon.com/Werner-AP-20-225-lbs-Load-Capacity-Platform/dp/B0...

rossRallen | 06/10/2016

6'4" and reaching across the top to hand wash, even at Extra Low is a challenge. But never a swirl or a automatic car wash.

BTW - a splat of bird poop on the hood for no more than two hours left a mark and rough spot in the Titanium Metallic clear coat. Multiple waxings got it to disappear. The water-based clearcoat, required by CA Air Quality Control Boards, must not be as durable as the solvent-based ones. So, I carry a bottle of diluted ONR wash/wax and a microfiber towel with me in my onboard kit to get rid of stuff like that. I cannot bring myself to cover the car in plastic.

KurtsX | 07/10/2016

I may be old school, but I would never think of washing a car with a dry or damp cloth only......that seems it would do far more surface damage than a car wash with brushes. Rinsing the primary dirt first, then perhaps wiping it down would be Ok, but these water-less washing techniques just dont seem like viable options to me.

I was at the SC when my car came in on the car carrier and it was Filthy....had dust, dirt and road scum....there is absolutely no way they could have dry washed that car in preparation for delivery without rinsing it first. I have a neighbor with an S that does his own washing using water-less, so Im going for a training session.....but I still have my doubts.

lilbean | 07/10/2016

@kurtsx, I'm old school too and had the exact same feelings that you have. I thought there was no way that waterless would be a good idea. My detailed showed me how and now I'm a believer. I know it sounds crazy. I couldn't believe I was paying a guy to do this to my car. Car washing techniques have come a long way. I was open to learning something new and I trusted him since he did countless Teslas. You would be so impressed. The key is not to go too long between washes. For a filthy car, it is best to do the two bucket method.

lilbean | 07/10/2016

This is the best you tube video I found on waterless wash. Many of the others do it wrong. This guy knows how to do it without a single scratch and he demonstrates the proper techniques.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDevg-0x0jI

MXBlack | 07/10/2016

Would you mind sharing how a DIY waterless process work? I'm sure many of us would be very appreciated. Thanks.

MXBlack | 07/10/2016

Just saw the youtube video you shared, thanks.

lilbean | 07/10/2016

Basically, the waterless solution lifts the dirt off the surface after you spray it on. Then you lift it off with a microfiber cloth but you never use the same part of the cloth because that dirt on the cloth will scratch your car. I don't even trust waterless wash places. I've observed some of them and they do it wrong. Some don't really care or know how to do it right. Wiping should only be done in one direction. I wish I could show you guys in person. It's amazing. You have to see it to believe it.

elguapo | 07/10/2016

Agree with others. Stay away from any kind of car wash and do it yourself or pay someone you KNOW is qualified to do it by hand.

MXBlack | 07/10/2016

I just got the Hydro Foam Cannon from Costco this week (you can watch the video from their site). Seems like a great way to let this heavy foam sits for 5 minutes and "melt" away all of the dirt before washing it off with a microfiber wash mitt. I'm going to give it a try next week. I'm already getting some swirl marks on my car due to not having enough foam when washing.

lilbean | 07/10/2016

Oh, sorry to hear about the swirls. I've found that washing it before it gets too dirty helps avoid the swirls. Also, always wipe in one direction only. When I wash my car, it doesn't look like it needs a wash. I wash it every 7-10 days.

MXBlack | 07/10/2016

I've been washing mine every week but unfortunately it rained here in San Diego last week after a 6 month drought so there was a lot of dirt accumulated on the car. Thanks for the wiping in one direction tip.

lilbean | 07/10/2016

@dtv425, You're welcome.

Howrayg | 08/10/2016

I agree with @raging.dragonfly. I have found a "touchless" car wash in my area. When it tells me to move forward, I advance the car until it says stop. Then I go to the touchscreen and turn the power off. This prevents any of the door sensors to go haywire. The robots go around the car for about 3-4 minutes. When done, I advance slowly through the drying area and leave the carwash. There are droplets remaining and I use a special towel I bought from my detailer, and dry the car off. The finished product is fabulous, no swirl or scratch marks.

To me, my time is valuable, and the entire process takes about 10 minutes. I think this is the way to go.

Triggerplz | 08/10/2016

O HELL NAW

darlin | 08/10/2016

RTFM

lilbean | 08/10/2016

Lol

elguapo | 09/10/2016

@Howrayg Agree to disagree. My time is super valuable too, but so is my X!!!!

Still working on best way to wash X myself. Don't love two bucket method any more.

lilbean | 09/10/2016

@elguapo, Wish I could show you how I wash it. The two bucket method is hard work for me compared to my waterless method. I love washing it. I'd wash yours for you if you lived near me.

elguapo | 09/10/2016

@lilbean Aww, thanks. So you only use the waterless method now? What's he product again?

lilbean | 09/10/2016

Yes. I use 3D waterless wash with Opticoat plush edgeless microfiber towels. I wash it every 7 days when it still looks clean but has light dust/dirt on it. The idea of waterless freaked me out but my Opticoat installed showed me how to do it. The key is not to wait until it gets too dirty.

elguapo | 09/10/2016

Cool. I will look for some online videos.

lilbean | 09/10/2016

Microfiber tip: Fold the 16" X 16" cloth in fourths and use only a clean, brand new part of the cloth with each wipe. Folding this way gives you 8 clean sides. When you see dirt on the cloth, do not wipe with that dirty part. That grime will scratch the car. I use a minimum off four cloths. I have used as many as 9 for one wash.

Pages