Tesla & Carwash: 7 Common Questions (Answered)

One major way to prolong the health of your Tesla is to understand its maintenance routine, specifically the cleaning part of the process.

There are certain steps to take and methods to avoid while washing your Tesla EV.

Jump on this article as we answer common questions about Teslas and car washes.

Can I Take My Tesla Through Any Car Wash?

Tesla recommends that if you have to wash in an automatic car wash, use the touchless car washing method.

This method is simply the use of laser-guided technology to remove dirt, grime, dust, and mud to revamp the exterior of your car without touching it.

All you simply have to do is to drive into the facility and let the machine do its job.

How Does This Touchless Car Wash Work? 

The first step is that the machine takes the car through the soapy part. It rubs the soap thoroughly on the body to clean every form of dirt.

After it completes this process, it takes the car through the wash bay. Here, the machine will use a high-pressure spot-free rinse to clean away the soap.

The last step is to apply the triple foaming polish to boost the finish of the vehicle.

Advantages of the Touchless Car Wash Method 

There are some major benefits to the use of this method. They include:

It Protects Your Car’s Paint

This method of washing is quite superior to most methods because it is basically a touchless system. There are no abrasive or sharp brushes that can damage the exterior of a car.

You can be sure to meet your paint the same way you left it.

It Is Cheap

To get this detailed wash with quality and branded products costs about $10 to $30. 

It Is Fast

Since a machine does the cleaning, the time taken is significantly faster than the manual wash. The machines are designed for speed and efficiency and you get the desired results in just 20 minutes.

It Recycles Water

The water used to wash the cars can be reused. It is a conservative way of saving water as one process can take up to 40 gallons.

How Does Tesla’s Car Wash Mode Work?

Again, one of the many perks of Tesla is its car wash mode. The company introduced this feature in 2021 to get your car set for its washing routine.

It is a feature that aids the owner in not forgetting any step that could damage the vehicle in the car wash. It performs some necessary functions like:

  • Close all the windows
  • Lock all the charge ports
  • Disable the wipers 
  • Disable the sentry mode
  • Disable all the parking chimes
  • Close the trunk 
  • Show climate status

How Do You Turn on This Car Wash Mode? 

Follow these steps to activate the car wash mode:

  • Tap on the Car Controls on the touchscreen
  • Then click on the service button 
  • Tap on the car wash mode

Once this is done, the vehicle will automatically close all openings and even the trunk if it’s automatic.

In addition, it has a free roll button that keeps the vehicle in neutral during the entire washing process. The basic job of this mode is to prevent the car from applying the parking brake if you exit the door.

The simple way to turn on this feature is to press down the brake and tap the free roll button. Once it comes on, it will show with a blue sign.

You should leave this mode just for the period of being in the car wash, as it is strictly designed for that purpose.

How Do You Take a Tesla Out Of Carwash Mode?

There are two simple ways to turn off this feature.

The first option is to tap on the “Exit Car Wash” and it will disable this feature. The second way is when the vehicle exceeds 10 mph when the mode is active. Once you drive past that limit, it will disengage.

Is It Better to Handwash a Tesla?

Hand washing of your Tesla is currently the safest method of cleaning. However, it can be tiring to manually wash your vehicle.

If you cannot go through the process, the next best thing is to use the touchless method explained above.

Hand washing is simply the manual use of soap, a bucket of water and a microfiber cloth or wash mitt to clean the vehicle.

This process reduces the risk of scratches that are common with other methods, plus it lowers the risk of contamination because you are more thorough with the process.

Nevertheless, avoid the use of a high-pressure washer to clean your vehicle as it can damage some sensors on it.

Tips On How to Handwash Your Tesla 

Below are useful tips to clean your Tesla effectively

Use the Two-bucket Method

It simply means using two buckets to wash. One for the soap and the other for rinsing. This method helps to prevent the spreading of dirt across the body of the car.

Use Quality Washing Agents

Do not use dish soap or detergents to wash your vehicle because they may contain harsh substances that can corrode your paint.

Preferably, look for a specific car wash soap like the Honeydew Snow Foam Extreme Suds Cleansing Wash Shampoo.

Pre-wash the Car

Before you get started, it is best to wash the car with snow foam as this helps to get rid of tough debris.

Proceed to Wash

Apply and coat the car with layers of suds and rub all areas with the microfiber cloth. You can repeat this process twice and then finally rinse with water.

Related: Do Teslas Need To Be Inspected? (Rules Per State)

Can Water Get Into the Electronic Parts?

It is safe to take your car through a cleaning process.

We understand the worry of owners that water might get into the electrical components which can result in shocks or fires.

However, it is not the case as EVs are sealed in such a way that it is difficult for water to get into the delicate electrical parts of the cars.

The cars are thoroughly tested by the manufacturers and this process is called the soak test, in which cars are soaked in water just to identify any problems so that they can be rectified.

Here are demographic stats on car wash users.

What If Teslas Goes to a Carwash Without Being In Carwash Mode?

A lot of things can go wrong when you do not enable your cash water mode.

Asides from the leaks that could get into your car, some other parts of the car could open or get damaged.

For instance, the wipers could get tangled or caught in the wash strips, leading to damage. The brush could also open the charge port door while washing. All this can simply be avoided when you enable the car wash mode.

Related: Are Tesla More Fun To Drive? (Than Similar Cars)

Summarized Tips on When and How to Wash Your Tesla

Here’s a summary of tips for washing your Tesla:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight when washing your vehicle.
  2. Do not use hot water, detergent or any element that contains hydroxide.
  3. If using a pressure washer, stay at least 30cm away from the vehicle.
  4. Avoid aiming water at the cameras or sensors of the vehicle.
  5. Do not aim the hose directly at the windows, door, or any seals.
  6. After washing, dry your brakes by washing the car and pressing the pedal several times.
  7. Rinse away road sand and mud from underneath the vehicle, so that you won’t affect your warranty.
  8. Avoid any soap with a PH above 13. One way to confirm is to check the label of the product or simply ask the seller.
  9. Do not use windshield treatment fluids.
  10. Last, be weary of some touchless car washes as some of them use caustic solutions that may cause discoloration across the body of the car.

Related: Is Stealing A Tesla Hard Or Easy?

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