Do you have to hand wash a Tesla?


Do you have to hand wash a Tesla?

Some people consider washing a car to be a chore, for others it’s a hobby. Washing your car regularly is important for keeping it in good condition and taking care of it. If you own a Tesla, knowing how to correctly wash your car is crucial.

You don’t have to hand wash a Tesla, but if you want your car paint to last longer, then it’s best if you hand wash it. If you do wash your electric vehicle (EV) through an automatic car wash, ensure that it’s a touch-less car wash.

Automatic car washes are great, but they can cause dents on your car paint after a few washes. This is because they feature brushes and blowers that are harsh on the paint and sensors. So, if your Tesla is still new, you should stay away from the automatic car wash as much as possible.

Apart from scratching off paint, washing your Tesla in an automatic drive-through car wash can also break off or damage parts of your EV, such as side mirrors and windshield wipers. And if you slide off or skip the track, you may end up damaging the rim of your car. 

Table of Contents

Why you should hand wash your Tesla

Handwashing your Tesla is the safest way to clean your luxurious EV. Since there are different ways of handwashing your car, you should avoid using a high-pressure washer as it may damage your sensors. Instead, use soap, a bucket of water, and a microfiber cloth or soft wash mitt.

Unlike other car washing methods, handwashing your car reduces scratches that are common with other methods. On top of that, it helps to get rid of heavy contamination, which other methods are not effective at. If you hand wash, you will end up with a cleaner car with no scratches after cleaning.

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How to hand wash your Tesla

The procedure of hand cleaning your Tesla involves pre-washing the car with snow foam and rinsing it afterwards. This is vital as it helps you get rid of tough grime and debris. Next, coat the car with a layer of suds and rub with a soft cloth or soft wash mitts. Then rinse the car with clean water.

What are the setbacks of handwashing a Tesla?

Even though handwashing is the best method for cleaning your Tesla EV, it also has some downsides. The first challenge is that it can be costly as it requires a lot of water. Secondly, you will spend more time cleaning than other methods. What’s more, it’s difficult to hand wash the car in a small space.

If you live in cold areas, you will find this method almost impossible to do. This is because the water may freeze even before you’re done cleaning. Finally, handwashing a car needs lots of equipment, and can feel like a rather inconvenient task.

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What are the advantages of washing your car through an automatic car wash?

Automatic car washes are very convenient and fast as you only have to drive your car through them. They are also cheaper than handwashing, as the conveyor and brushes do everything for you and you won’t have to buy extra supplies. Many people prefer them for their ease and convenience.

What are the disadvantages of washing your car through an automatic car wash? 

Despite being cheap and fast, automatic car washes might force you to have your car repainted after a while. This is because they can cause a lot of scratching from the rough brushes and harsh chemicals used. This method is also not very effective as it doesn’t eliminate heavy contamination.

Car washing FAQ

Why do I have to wait for at least a month to wash my Tesla after applying paint?

Many people make the mistake of washing their cars a few days after a paint job. It’s advisable to allow the paint to harden for at least a month before you can wash it. So, if you recently got your Tesla repainted, you should wait at least a month to wash it.

Why do I have to put my Tesla in neutral while driving through a car wash?

Since most drive-in car washes feature a conveyor that drags you through, all-wheel should be able to freely rotate. That’s why you’re required to deactivate your automatic handbrake, release the manual handbrake, and put the transmission in neutral.

Apart from hand washing, what are the other types of washing a car?

If you don’t want to hand wash your car, there are other methods that you can try. These include touchless wash, waterless wash, automatic wash, rinseless wash, and brushless wash. When it comes to Tesla, stick to hand washing or touchless wash. These methods are less likely to hurt your car.

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Why it is easy to scratch your car in an automatic car wash?

It’s easy to scratch your car or chip off paint in an automatic car wash because the bristles on the brushes may be contaminated with abrasive grime from former vehicles. Moreover, the coarse cleaning chemicals can strip wax and coatings on your car, which might cause cracking or color fading.

So, before you take your Tesla to an automatic car wash, you should be ready to give your car a paint job. Automatic car washing is fast and cheap, but it’s costly if you want to maintain your car for a longer period.

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Can I wash my Tesla using a pressure washer?

Technically, you can. However, you will have to be careful to avoid using it on the sensors. In the Tesla Model 3 manual, the manufacturer states clearly that a high-pressure washer should not be applied to the sensor. Additionally, you should not use any abrasive objects that can scratch or damage the surface.

Bottom line

If you want to maintain the beautiful look of your Tesla Model X, Y, S, or 3, you will have to handwash your car. Hand washing a Tesla is not too expensive, and it will ensure that your paint and sensors are not messed with like in an automatic car wash.

Despite an automatic car wash being fast and cheap, it can make your Tesla’s paint chip off and demand regular maintenance. On the contrary, handwashing your car won’t cause any issues in the long run. So, make the right choice to maintain the look and performance of your EV.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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