Washing and Detailing Your MS!

Washing and Detailing Your MS!

I gave my MS it's first full wash and detail the other day. Overall, nothing really different than washing any other type of car, however, I did notice that a great deal areas of the car trap excess water.
Thus, for a proper detail, I suggest having some type of compressed air, or maybe a leaf-blower, to force out trapped water around the door seals, hatch seals, frunk seals, side mirror seals, tail-light seals, and especially around the front light seals. Also a clean wet high-quality shami or sham-wow, to collect the water as it runs out the seals. Finally a good quality clean microfiber cloth, and some commercial detailing spray (I use Mothers), to remove any water spots, etc. I also use a high-quality cleaner / polish / wax for any minor scratches, etc.

Being the wheels are also painted, they can be treated the same way.

Being a life-long Southern California resident, knowing how to wash and detail your ride can be a very rewarding experience. Otherwise, I suggest hiring a professional detailing service, if you really want to maintain the paint, and quality look of your MS!

Otherwise, if you trust your local car-wash... well, as the saying goes... Caveat emptor.

mike_f | 10 février 2013

This does not relate to keeping your MS clean and tidy, but an observation (and very disappointing one) that I made while washing mine. While i was cleaning the lower portion of the car near the rear wheel well, I noticed a few "chips" on the paint. At first I thought, oh well it was going to happen eventually. However, then I noticed that the chips were in fact under the layer of body armor that I had paid $1k! Apparently, in the rush to get the car out of the factory, the body armor was applied on top of pre-existing dings in the paint without taking the time to repair them first. Disappointing. Now I wonder what other defects were overlooked in the rush to push cars out the door.

nickjhowe | 10 février 2013

@mferranzo - TM will repair this if you let them know.

prash.saka | 10 février 2013

@DouglasR ... that doesn't help much :)

rterry | 26 février 2013

This question is for you detail guys that did not get the paint armour. What product are you using on your plastic nose cone to keep it protected and looking new. I am using carnauba wax on the paint.

Shesmyne2 | 28 février 2013

All good info-we take ours to self-wash places. Costs about $3. It was suggested to us by our DS that we NOT take it to your 'normal' (ie Duckys, Autopride) places for numerous reasons none of which need explanation. We were also told to NOT use car mitts & to only use chamois cloths. First time we washed her we used soft terry cloths but that did indeed leave a few fine scratches.
Chamois is about $20 depending on the size you get but I won't use anything else.When using power type washers or blowers it was also recommended to us to stay @ LEAST 12" away from the vehicle.
We had a little 'incident' and had to buff out some paint on a wheel well edge & we got TR3 which is an excellent product. Took the paint off from our 'incident' no scratching and great shine.

docdac | 2 mars 2013

I used a 'touch less' high pressure automatic car wash once and had one minor problem. I inspected the car after the wash and found a little plastic hinged cover at the edge of the panoroof (above the passenger door) had 'flipped open'! I am not sure if the water pressure did this or the air pressure from the dryer. I think this hinged cover (there are 4 of them) might be a cover for a luggage rack attachment, or perhaps access to mounting hardware for the glass roof. I just closed the plastic cover and no harm done, but the part felt rather flimsy and I would be concerned about it breaking upon future car washes!

RacerX | 2 mars 2013

We have both mike's car wash and Mr. Clean Car Wash in Ohio. Anyone use these places for their Model S.
(Parents unable to do personal hand car washing)


reitmanr | 2 mars 2013

Any problems with microfiber Clothes? I think I saw them used at the service ctr. Started using Eco Clean hand car wash on El Camino Real. I think they are used by Tesla. Their clean kit includes some patented cleaning solution and microfiber clothes. Bought a bunch of cloths at Costco. Your experience is most welcome.

jeroens | 2 mars 2013

Not for the wash job, use wash mitts for that (cheep or microfiber), no sponge...

Definitely use microfiber cloths for drying, paint prep (cleaning) and waxing. But make sure you have good quality ones, nice and thick not those cheap household crap....

They need to look plush like this:

keep the cheap ones for trims and such.

jeroens | 2 mars 2013

You should wax your car once in the spring and once in the fall. This way you paint will last

Bad advise. Most waxes (or sealants) don't last that long. Simply look if water drops keep forming on the paint and if water runs smoothly of the car. If not, then it is time to clean/prep and wax...

Mark Z | 2 mars 2013

If you have been successfully washing your Model S at a touchless wash, drive away if they install guide pipes. Here is a photo.

After 4,400 miles, 21" wheel damage occurred today when driving into the touchless car wash that was used successfully before. I do not remember the guide pipes on each side in the past, but I sure noticed them today and was extra careful to center Model S in the wash. Not careful enough and while the tire appears flawless, the scrape to the outer edge of the driver's side rim dug into the metal. It happened very quickly and I felt it immediately when slowly driving in.

If you are using a touchless car wash that does not have the guide pipes and you have only been concerned about the mirrors, watch if they install the pipes to help them avoid damage to their equipment. While it may protect their wash, it will damage the 21" wheel if you scrape your wheel against the pipe.

Brian H | 2 mars 2013
Papafox | 2 mars 2013

Brian H.
Thanks for posting the Junkman video link. I realize now that even though I've been washing cars for over thirty years I've been creating swirls and other nasty things because the standard one bucket approach is so problematic. Thanks goodness I have learned better before my MS arrived. My foamgun is on the way!

jeroens | 3 mars 2013

@Brian H.

Did not find it, but that someone would be wrong.Mitt is what all pro's use. You do need to make sure you keep it clean (2 bucket methode). A sponge is something you should avoid. Mitts are good :)

drp | 3 mars 2013

Mark Z

Damn!! I am sorry for you rims. That's my biggest fear! Looks pretty deep, like a curb strike. Did you complain?