Any dire problems with using a known good quality automatic car wash, rotating brushes and all? I ran my previous Audi thru the local one for years with no issues or damage.
Some people worry about the paint. I’ve had no issue so far. However, make sure you know how to find neutral. I actually had to back out of a car wash once, because I was to rattled to remember.
If you care about your paint in the long term, don't do it. Hand wash only.
If you want your car to look like a typical 5 year old car at the 5 year mark, take it through the automatic car wash.
I've taken it through a touchless car wash, the ones with brushes scare me.
Practice switching into N and make sure you turn your wipers off and fold your mirrors in. Haven't had any problems with Quick Quack which is a chain in my area. Does a great job, even cleans the wheels and shines the tires. I don't like touchless because they tend to leave a lot of stuff behind when the car is actually dirty.
I use touchless car washes only ... to get basic road grime off.
The ones with brushes seem a bit dangerous to me.
I've used the touch type car washes for years, but I have not put my Model 3 through one. I'm not going to, either. I've used touchless, but the results are never adequate. So now I'm a hand wash guy..... good thing I retired, or I'd probably never have turned into one.
I'm even more extreme than that. I don't even use my hands when I was mine now. Just foam cannon, pressure washer and then leaf blower. All said, it only takes me about 30 minutes now. It's actually one of my favorite Sunday evening rituals now.
its a car, not a picasso
Do whatever you would do with your previous cars.
Mine is in fact a Picasso. A gorgeous, torquey Picasso. No one washes my Picasso but me. Only me. With gorgeous sudsy foam gun suds, and.....I better stop. Getting excited here.
Car washes are said to use harsh chemicals in their soaps, so have fun with that.
i am glad you respect your picasso
for me its just a car
(a very FAST car)
touchless car wash, yeah
I can’t keep my hands off mine. Definitely touched.
Usually its a foam cannon followed by an ONR hand wash for me. That said, on a recent trip the car got incredibly filthy from bugs, rain, dirt, etc. so for the first time I took my car through a car wash with brushes. Bugs got removed, car got clean, no damage done that I’ve found. And yes, set up the wipers, mirrors, and know how to get to neutral.
I dont even put it in Neutral, its more hassle than its worth. If you have creep off you can just leave it in drive.
@marlon, and you have fully filtering the air intake on that leaf blower right? Shooting out debris at your car at high speed isn't the best thing prolly. :)
@derotam, there's no debris to shoot out. I use it specifically for drying my car.
Yup, I use my electric blower to dry the car also, better than driving the car fast on the highway as far as debris goes.
Never let my 12 year old ICE car touch a car wash will brushes. That car cost $22K. So no. Won't be doing that to a $58K car anytime soon.
I don't know about Tesla specifically or other new paints in general, but conventional wisdom was to NOT wash a new car with anything but a bit of mild soap & water for 3-4 months, to allow the paint to completely cure.
I have not used an automated car wash in over 30 years. My cars thank me for it.
Hand wash as needed.
Hand wax twice a year.
I suspect the paint cured pretty well when I spent about six days in the 100+ degree SW USA sunshine during my recent road trip. AC worked great, by the way.
I go about once a week, I have hella swirl marks in the light on my black paint job. No touchless washes in my area.
@marlon - Similar set-up here, except my pressure washer has an extra tail :)
I use a touchless car wash myself. I don't know if it's related or not but I've noticed some swirling on the chrome trim above all four of the windows. It's very faint but I can see it. Anyone else see or have this same swirl?
No swirls on my chrome but I hand wash
I use a local Rain Forest carwash currently. I don't recommend Hi Pressure car wash do to the fact water under that pressure tends to get places it's not designed to be, like in the sensors. The Rain Forest car wash don't use the stiff bristles, but does have cloth drapes for the top parts and soft cloth drums to clean the front and sides. I also don't recommend the car washes that have stiff drum bristles, those over time left marks in paint on older ICE car I had.
Once a week (Weather permitting) I also do a hand wash with the following steps:
1) Rinse loose dirt with hose hand nozzle set to jet.
2) Wash with Turtle Wash and Wax ICE Car Wash. Any car wash soap would work here
3) Rinse off completely
4) Spray on Meguiar's Hybrid Ceramic Wax to all painted areas
5) Rinse off to activate the Ceramic finish
6) Dry completely.
Monthly I will do a Polish and Wax using Turtle Wax Black Polish and Wax formula.
Car still shines pretty except on front hood after a few closing of the Frunk due to finger prints when closing the Frunk. If I could ever figure out a way to prevent the fingerprints on the Hood I would be golden.
@Techy James I keep a small microfiber cloth in my driver's side map holder and use it to close the frunk & trunk. Finger prints there use to drive me crazy!
@geedub1023, thanks for suggestion.
I had wash with a one bucket method and ONR. Microfiber cloths, which I only dunk once, and get a new one when all eight quandrants (front and back) are dirty. Spray wax every few months.
Today's car wash's are a lot better than just a few years ago. After doing some research on the equipment and chemicals they use today they are very safe. I use to hand wash mine all the time but unless you just enjoy that kind of thing and have a lot of time on your hands, a good reputable car wash is just fine.