Keeping the Tesla clean during long, nasty northern winters!

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Robert Pickel

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#1
As I get closer to one day actually taking delivery of my Model 3, I'm beginning to wonder about maintenance. How do other "northerners" care for their Teslas during these long and dirty winters? Does anyone take it to a car wash? (Can a Tesla safely even go through a car wash?)

Also, coatings? What sort of "clear coats" are members using? Opti Coat Pro + gets a lot of promo on Tesla sites. Is it worth the cost? Any recommendations about where is the best place to get it done?

Thanks!
 

Badback

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#2
Yes, a Tesla can safely go through a car wash, it's no different than driving through a rain storm. I would however suggest a touch-less car wash as the ones with the brushes and rag strips can trap abrasive particles from the last car and put scratches in the paint. Opti-coat etc. might mitigate this problem somewhat. Hand washing is best, of course winter gets in the way.

Best to just drive it into the living room and wash it in front of the fireplace.
 
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Topher

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#3
"...never drive it. Just rub it with a diaper..."

Thank you kindly.
 

MelindaV

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#5
one day this last week our office had a conversation about washing cars (mostly came from a client we may be designing a carwash for).
There was definitely a wide range of opinions on washing ones car. One person with a year old metallic taupe colored honda said she hasn't yet washed her car and it still looks relatively clean, some will only go thru any/cheapest car wash, some only the $20 carwashes. I said I only hand wash my cars which was met by the one potentially designing a carwash with that being wasteful and polluting the streams with soap. He did not care to listen to the actual type of soap or amount of water I use.

So long story short, choose a color that holds off the look of being dirty. Not black or another dark color and not white... If they hadn't eliminated the Titanium, it would be the perfect color to look clean when it's not.
 

BigBri

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#6
I'll be getting opticoat on mine probably just as some insurance. Want it looking great for many years! I do go through a touchless car wash often but it's less about keeping it clean and more getting the salt and sand off the car. Ontario uses awful salt that'll rust the car so I always try to get thru and blast it off.
 

JBsC6

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#11
Once a week I wash and wax my corvette in the winter at some local car spray wash location. After washing and foaming the car there for a few dollars I take the eagle one wax as you dry product and wipe down the car.

I turn my houses outside water off in the winter so I don't break the pipes ..I have 106k miles on my then purchased new black corvette and the cars exterior still looks brand new.

I will never own another black car though as it's ridiculous plus the corvette can't go through car washes on the tracks...the tires are too wide and the cars too low...so I do it at the spray boot he's during the four winter months here in NJ..

Come mid April I turn the home water back on as it's above 32 degrees.

I never put film on the car as it would make s,all paint corrections with an orbital polisher impossible.

I usually hit the car twice a year with a 45 minute oribital polisher from griots garage and Adams products to maximimize the shine. Www.detailerdomain.com has all the products and orbital polishers you ll ever need...

I think 200 dollars lasted me at least 5 years.
 

TrevP

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#13
Trevor, somewhere you mentioned that you have budgeted for Opti-coat and Xpel. 1) do you have experience with them, and 2) what are the rough costs for both products? Thanks.
I don't have actual prices at this point, I'm going on mentioned costs of around $1000 for opticoat and $1500 for Xpel on the frontal area. Thanks for the reminder, I'm going to actually place some calls to see if those are accurate.

A local shop did tell me they did a full Model X wrap and the cost was $4300 CAD
 
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TrevP

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#14
Heard back from a local business here that has a very good reputation. They're offering Clear-FX ceramic coating which is just like OptiCoat for $900 CAD for the whole car which is on par with my estimate.


They're supposed to get back to me with an approximate cost for paint protection film. I'll report back soon.
 

Tony_YYZ

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#15
Heard back from a local business here that has a very good reputation. They're offering Clear-FX ceramic coating which is just like OptiCoat for $900 CAD for the whole car which is on par with my estimate.


They're supposed to get back to me with an approximate cost for paint protection film. I'll report back soon.
Great, thanks! I think Make It Shine also does Cquartz Finest for ~$1,000
http://makeitshine.ca/blog/services/new-car-protection-packages

They have a lot of great reviews and are located in Vaughan.
 

BellevueEd

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#16
Heard back from a local business here that has a very good reputation. They're offering Clear-FX ceramic coating which is just like OptiCoat for $900 CAD for the whole car which is on par with my estimate.


They're supposed to get back to me with an approximate cost for paint protection film. I'll report back soon.
Trevor, thanks for the quick response. Price seems reasonable to me, and I do have a local shop which does the work.
 

teslaliving

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#17
I have after market paint protection (OptiCoat Pro) I had applied about 5 days after delivery on my car. That was the best investment I made in aftermarket stuff for the car for sure.

Here in New England in the winter, I rarely wash my car. When I do I go through a local automated car wash that you drive into (no guide rails to kill the rims) and you sit and it sprays water/soap at you. I do the cheapest version. Goal is to get some of the salt/grime off but not look fantastic.

Be careful on the days you go or those pop out door handles wont. I found that out the hard way (duh) on a very cold day. Car was disgusting and it was sunny out so I got it washed. But afterwards when I got home and got out I found the handles were frozen shut and couldnt get back into the car. (note you cant roll down windows remotely on the S, but you could do the sun roof).

In the summer, I handwash with very little water and a no-rinse method. Very happy with those results. Gory details here:
http://teslaliving.net/2014/05/21/washing-the-model-s/
 

HvyMtlChaos

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#18
I researched authorized shops in my area for authorized installers and found one w/ good reviews (Sun and Shade), called them and got rough estimates (had to go off model S 60 since Model 3 wasn't even out yet).

Paint protection film (3M):
  • Standard front hood, front fender, mirrors - $329
  • Full hood, full front fenders, and mirrors - $1029
  • Front bumper only - $629
  • Rocker panels - $399
  • Trunk lip - $59-$139
Opticoat:
  • Optimum gloss, 1 layer, 3 year warranty, reapply every 3 years - $299
  • Opti pro, 1 layer, 5 year warranty, no reapply - $799
  • Opti pro plus, 2 layer, 7 year warranty, no reapply - $1199
They also recommended the PPF first, then opticoat on top. Ideally I'd like to do the full hood & front bumper for PPF and pro plus for opticoat, but may not have all that in my budget ($2837).
 

JWardell

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#19
It looks to me that OptiCoat and ClearFX are just polymer waxes, something you can do yourself for $50, and don't offer protection from physical rock chips. Correct?

I have always had real film protection installed on front surfaces of my cars. Those have improved significantly in appearance over the years. I just recommend going with an installer that promises to wrap around edges of panels.
 

HvyMtlChaos

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#20
I don't know about ClearFX, but opti-coat is a ceramic coating and I don't think you can apply it yourself. It doesn't provide much/any rock chip protection, but does protect from chemicals, dirt, light scratches, etc and is hydrophobic.
So that's why my idea was ppf on the front like you said, but opti-coat on the whole car including on top of the ppf.