Wash/Wax/Polish/Interior cleaning

Wash/Wax/Polish/Interior cleaning

Is there anything inherently different with the M3's paint that would change how I typically wash/wax the car? I like to hand wash as needed, and wax 2-3 times per year (Turtle Wax), also applying Rain-X to the side & back windows at that time, and ArmorAll on interior surfaces. Any strong preferences for different products/washing regimens? Also, is black generally easier or harder to keep clean?

jordanrichard | 14 agosto 2017

While there is no difference, personally I have stayed away from ArmorAll. However that is a different subject.

Many people do seem to think there is a difference between a Tesla and any other car when it comes to cleaning/waxing. There isn't. It's still paint, glass, plastic, carpeting etc.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 14 agosto 2017

ArmorAll works wonders as a bug spray. Critters just... STOP.

eeb9 | 14 agosto 2017


Unless there's something they've not told us yet, paint is pain and glass is glass and carpet is carpet. Don't know about their seat material, so I can't comment on that.

But for the rest, regular (or irregular) care should give the same results on a Tesla as for any other car.

Though it might be worth a bit of digging to see if the coatings on the glass roof need any special care. Can existing S/X owners with glass roofs speak to that?

eeb9 | 14 agosto 2017

@ReD - yeah, ArmorAll is truly nasty stuff!

jordanrichard | 14 agosto 2017

eeb9, I haven't done anything special with my pano roof. I simply use glass cleaner. BTW, one of the BIG benefits of having a glass roof is that there is less paint to wax......:-)

eeb9 | 14 agosto 2017

Cool - thanks!

gar1116 | 14 agosto 2017

What about black interior vs white? Can white hold up to everyday use? I'm usually alone in the car, so the drivers seat get's the brunt of food trying to flee my mouth. Tesla seat cover?

Ehninger1212 | 14 agosto 2017

I have done a lot of detail work for all different types of vehicles competing in shows, also prepping for magazine photo shoots and such. I use the same basic steps for every wash no matter color or quality of paint. (Porsche and Kia use the same paints) Everything must be CLEAN prior to use, wash in a laundry machine or equivalent. Never use a regular towel. Use microfiber towel. Always wash out of the sun. Always use a separate wash bucket for wheels and tires. Do not allow the water to dry on the vehicle (use a clean chamois). Always use a clay bar before waxing with a lot of instant retailer for lubricant. We also never wax a fresh paint job until after at least 6months but Tesla probably has a baking process for faster curing times. (Wax is not the same as a polishing compound). We do buff and polish them. Tesla probably uses water based paints being in California. They tend to be thinner. Be careful using a buffer on them.

For interiors I prefer griots line of products.

Nothing on the wheels except a good cleaning.

Tires get cleaned with A-1 tire and wheel cleaner. Then coated with turtle wax rub on tire shine, this provides a nice new tire look that's not to greasy.. (On certain vehicles we actually use shoe polish)

Ehninger1212 | 14 agosto 2017

Also to the OP, I have noticed that a non metallic black can be one of the hardest paints to perfect the shine on, because it shows so many imperfections. Also when it is perfected it usually wins shows.

Does anyone know of Tesla vehicles tend to have orange peel? I see it a lot on lower end, and foreign vehicles. Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, ect...

eeb9 | 14 agosto 2017

Great info - thanks!

garyjtate | 14 agosto 2017

Car Wash? Thoughts? | 15 agosto 2017

I'm a 3-year model S owner.

When I purchased my car, there was a lot of info on the forum about how the paint was "soft" because it had to meet certain California pain standards. (Low VOC) So the thinking was that the paint would be more susceptible to bird droppings, etc.

I evaluated a number of after-market coatings (these are amply covered in the Model S forum), and selected one: Opticoat Pro.

I also read a lot about the swirl marks left by automatic car washes, so I chose to have my car hand washed at Eco Green Auto Clean (in Redwood City, CA).

I'm not sure any of these are really necessary. But I have no complaints about my choices.