Automated Car Washes - How will this work?

Dan D

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#1
I spent a decent amount of time searching the forum threads for this topic but couldn't find the exact question and answer. If I missed it, I apologize in advance...

While I do plan to wash my Model 3 by hand most of the time, I do frequent a fairly high-end automated car wash that is local to where I work. I've had great results over the years with many cars and never had an issue. This place - you get out of the car, the tech drives it the rest of the way to the entrance of the system, then he/she gets out and the car rolls (in neutral) the rest of the way through on the conveyor system. At the end, it softly rolls off and another technician hops in, pulls it forward and it gets a final hand wipe-down/dry.

I've had my Model 3 for a week and it's rained everyday. I want to run the car down to this place now that the sun is finally out. But knowing what I do about this car so far, I don't see how this will work. I want to know before I show up there and let someone else get into it that won't know what to do either. Will leaving it in DRIVE work as long as it doesn't HOLD? What will happen when the person gets out with it in DRIVE? Can it be abandoned in NEUTRAL?

Thanks!

http://allstoncarwash.com/?scid=330...sh.com&rl_track_landing_pages=1&rl_retarget=1
 

TrevP

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#2
First, it's perfectly safe to run the car though a car wash however I'd really receommend you find a touchless car wash, you don't want your paint to the scratched by those spinning brushes!
There's no fear of electrocution or anything and if you do let an attendant handle the car please ensure you show them how to put it into gear and also the PROPER way to open the door (using the button) !!

One more thing... car washes with automated conveyor belts have bumpers that guide the wheels so don't be surprised if you end up with scuffed wheels or aero covers. Tesla's rims are very pronounced and get damaged easily. I HIGHLY recommend you find a touchless car wash as nothing touches the car, the wash system moves, not the car.
 

JasonF

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#4
Don't leave the car in Drive, it will leave stuff like traction control and emergency braking active. It would suck if the M3 thinks it sees something and halts suddenly, and ends up with the car behind on the track crashing into it. Also, I believe the M3 will apply the parking brake immediately when the driver gets out? I'm not certain if that happens in Neutral.

Personally, I would insist on driving it into the wash and to the drying area myself. They might be relieved for that when they realize they aren't really sure how to drive the car. The people at the hand car wash I occasionally go to were! I offered to drive it for them when I saw the look of horror on the guy's face when he realized he didn't know how to drive it.
 

FRC

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#5
I spent a decent amount of time searching the forum threads for this topic but couldn't find the exact question and answer. If I missed it, I apologize in advance...

While I do plan to wash my Model 3 by hand most of the time, I do frequent a fairly high-end automated car wash that is local to where I work. I've had great results over the years with many cars and never had an issue. This place - you get out of the car, the tech drives it the rest of the way to the entrance of the system, then he/she gets out and the car rolls (in neutral) the rest of the way through on the conveyor system. At the end, it softly rolls off and another technician hops in, pulls it forward and it gets a final hand wipe-down/dry.

I've had my Model 3 for a week and it's rained everyday. I want to run the car down to this place now that the sun is finally out. But knowing what I do about this car so far, I don't see how this will work. I want to know before I show up there and let someone else get into it that won't know what to do either. Will leaving it in DRIVE work as long as it doesn't HOLD? What will happen when the person gets out with it in DRIVE? Can it be abandoned in NEUTRAL?

Thanks!

http://allstoncarwash.com/?scid=330...sh.com&rl_track_landing_pages=1&rl_retarget=1
The car will automatically shift to park when you open your door to exit. You can leave your phone in the covered charger dock when you exit, but the tech will still need to know how to shift to neutral(I wouldn't let it go through in drive, hold or not). This shift can be a bit touchy under time constraint, so I'd take it to an Automated drive myself thru facility first to make sure you're comfortable with what's required.
 

FRC

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#6
Also, don't forget to turn your wipers off auto to the full off position!!!
 

BigBri

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#7
I'd find a normal touchless wash if I was you. Too many variables in how using your usual wash could go wrong. While it's a simple car when used to it for those that've never touched a 3 it's mega strange.
 

JML

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#8
If the car is in neutral, as soon as the driver's door is opened, it will shift to park. You would probably have to use tow mode to let it roll freely with nobody in the car.

I used a conveyor car wash, but one where the driver stays in the car. I put it in neutral and turned off the wipers, and it was fine.

The only problem was the car wash didn't clean the car just where I wanted it to. It was time to tape on my front plate, so I wanted to put it on a clean bumper. Due to the pointed nose, everything on the front below the hood was left dirty. The brown road grime made the otherwise clean car look like it had a chocolate milk mustache.

My thought on washing is that an automatic car wash occasionally is better than a hand wash never. Modern automatic car washes use soft sponges instead of rough brushes, so they don't scratch as much. The problem is that dirt trapped on the surface of the sponges will scratch. My plan is to use the $70-100 I spent per oil change on my old car to get the Tesla detailed once or twice a year.