Tesla car wash: How to wash Your Tesla Models safely

touchless car wash

All About the Tesla Car Wash

Tesla owners have several options for how to clean their cars, and each one has its own pros and cons. Automatic vehicle washes are the most convenient but pose the most risk. On the other hand, washing an automobile by hand is slower but safer and more thorough. With a touchless vehicle wash, you get the best of both worlds without the danger.

Although some may be more comfortable doing it themselves, others may find that using a fully automated vehicle wash is the best option for their Tesla Model. No matter which route you choose, you must take the utmost care with your electric car.

One of Tesla’s newest features is a mode called “Vehicle Wash Mode.” The feature was first available on all Model 3s and Model Ys, but it is now available on all new Model S and Model Xs as well. However, the older Model S and Model X can’t get it—sadly.

You can manually disable most vehicle wash features, and the added functionality isn’t that useful. If you want things to be simple, switch to car wash mode. In addition, it serves as a sort of checklist for everything involved in washing an automobile.

Can Teslas go Through a Car Wash?

Taking your Tesla or other fully electric vehicles through a car wash is completely safe. You can accomplish it with little worry. In fact, you don’t have to worry about damaging your expensive Tesla Model S when you use one of the many automated car wash systems, such as rollovers, tunnels, or jet wash systems.

However, question may arise of why can’t Tesla go Through a Car Wash. If you want an automated vehicle wash, that’s OK with Tesla. The issue isn’t that Teslas can’t be washed in a conventional vehicle wash. Instead, it’s because dust and grit get caught in the bristles, and when the brushes spin too fast, they may easily harm the paint.

Tesla Model X Car Wash Mode

Showing Tesla car wash mode
Image credit: Google

All windows are closed, the charging outlet is locked, and Sentry Mode, walk-away door locking, and parking sensor chimes are turned off in preparation for washing the Model X. activate Car Wash Mode by going to Settings > Services > Car Wash Mode. You can’t drive around while charging, and your car has to stay completely still.

Turning on Model X Car Wash Mode

To start the car wash mode, press the brake pedal and choose “Enable Free Roll.” You can also put the transmission in neutral. When the vehicle’s speed reaches more than 9 mph (15 km/h) or the driver presses the Exit button on the touchscreen, Car Wash Mode is disabled.

Car Wash Mode Tesla Model S and X

The newest Model S and X from Tesla are equipped with this capability; however, it isn’t automatically made accessible to owners of previous Model S or Model X vehicles. This feature isn’t of much value. Most of these vehicle wash-related functions may be disabled manually, but Car Wash Mode makes it much simpler, easier, and safer.

Turning the Model S Car Wash Mode on

The car wash mode is activated by pressing the brake pedal and the N on the gear knob simultaneously. Unfortunately, the neutral position of the transmission will only last for 15 minutes.

Tesla Car Wash Mode Model Y

Tesla Car Wash Mode Model Y
Image credit; Google

The Model Y’s Car Wash mode locks all doors and windows, disables Sentry Mode, the walk-away door lock, and the parking sensor chimes, and seals the charging port. Just activate Car Wash Mode by going to Settings > Services > Car Wash Mode.

How to Put a Tesla Model Y in Neutral for Wash

Follow these steps to achieve neutral:

  • Shift into Neutral by gently pressing the driving stalk up or down to the first position from Park.
  • To enter Neutral from Drive, temporarily raise the drive stalk to the topmost point.
  • Third, to enter Neutral from Reverse, quickly depress the drive stalk to the first position.

Turning the Car Wash Mode on

Holding the brake while hitting the N button on the gear lever is the standard procedure. Keep in mind that there is a 15-minute time limit on the neutral transmission setting.

Best Car Wash for Tesla Model 3

Use only touchless vehicle washes if you must use an automated car wash. No brushes or other moving components in these vehicle washes will scratch or damage your Model 3. Over time, the caustic chemicals used by certain touchless vehicle washes may damage the external trim.

Tesla Car Wash

The issue isn’t that Teslas can’t be washed in a conventional vehicle wash. Instead, it’s because dust and grit get caught in the bristles, and when the brushes spin too fast, they may harm the paint.

Hand washing and touchless vehicle washes are perfectly safe for your Tesla. In any case, you’ll need to follow the organization’s rules. This comprehensive guide will walk you through every step of cleaning your Tesla.

Tesla Car Wash Mode

Turn on Car Wash Mode by selecting it from the Vehicle Controls menu and then the Service menu. The vehicle will automatically do several tasks to make it ready for you.

Tesla Car Wash Model 3 and Y

Here is a brief rundown of how to wash tesla model 3 and Y

The windows are closed, the charging port is locked, and the windscreen wipers, Sentry Mode, walk-away door locking, and parking sensor chimes are all turned off in Model 3 and Y when you activate Car Wash Mode. Just activate Car Wash Mode by going to Settings > Services > Car Wash Mode. You can’t drive around while charging your car.

Enabling Free Roll prevents Tesla models from using the parking brake if you leave the driver’s seat and maintain the vehicle in Neutral and Free Roll when utilizing an automated car wash. Put the car in neutral or press the brake pedal to start the free roll.

Above nine mph (15 km/h), or when you tap Exit on the control panel, it will turn off Car Wash Mode. You might damage the charging port or wipers if you don’t put your Model 3 or Y into Car Wash Mode. The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover vehicles damaged by vehicle washes.

Touchless Car Wash Tesla

Much as at a traditional automated vehicle wash, touchless car washes need you to choose a cleaning method and pay for a machine. A tunnel or bay is where you’ll find this vehicle wash.

The Tesla owner will drive in and park in the in-bay option to use the touchless vehicle wash. The car washing machinery will then go around the vehicle and clean it. With the tunnel alternative, a conveyor belt would transport the Tesla through the tunnel where the cleaning machinery would be located.

An automatic touchless car wash uses neither spinning brushes nor cloth strips to clean your automobile. In addition to tunnel washes, brushless automated vehicle washes are another popular choice.

  • Car wash with a gentle touch.
  • The typical self-service vehicle wash.

Cleaning of the Exterior of Model 3 and Y

Avoid paint damage by removing corrosive items, including bird poop, dead insects, tree resin, road salt, tar patches, and industrial waste. In some instances, distilled alcohol might help remove tar and stubborn grease stains.

Wash them with water and soap as soon as you remove the stains to remove the rubbing alcohol. Keep your Tesla Model 3 looking brand new and pristine even if it isn’t due for a full wash since you can do it yourself.

Guidelines while cleaning the exterior


  1. Avoid washing in the hot sun.
  2. Windshield treatment fluids shouldn’t be used. It may generate a grinding noise because it disrupts the friction between the wipers.
  3. Never use hot water, detergents, or items that are excessively alkaline or caustic, particularly those that include hydroxide, while cleaning.
  4. Using a pressure washer, have at least 12 inches (30 cm) of space between the nozzle and Model 3’s surface. Never point a water hose straight at a parking sensor (if equipped).
  5. Don’t point the nozzle in one specific direction, and try to soak everything.
  6. Water hoses should not be pointed toward electronic modules, exposed wiring, or at the seals of windows, doors, or hoods.
  7. Your car’s undercarriage, wheel wells, and brakes should be rinsed free of road salt to prevent corrosion that might invalidate your warranty. After washing the car, take it for a quick spin and repeatedly use the brakes to dry them.
  8. Washing mitts and other similar clothes with tight napping or rough surfaces should be avoided. For optimal results, use a high-grade microfiber cleaning cloth.
  9. Only use touchless vehicle washes at automated car washes. The Model 3 and Y are not touched by the brushes or other components of these vehicle washes. Over time, the caustic chemicals used by certain touchless vehicle washes may damage the external trim. Soaps and chemicals over a pH 13 should be avoided. Tesla doesn’t replace or repair parts or items ruined by improper washing.
  10. Always lock your automobile while using an automated car wash. Furthermore, when washing the car, don’t push any buttons on the touchscreen that may cause the doors or trunk to open. The guarantee does not cover accidental damage.
  11. The wipers on your Model 3 and Y may be damaged if you wash the car while they’re still on.
  12. Wheel cleaners and pre-wash products containing chemicals should not be used. These may harm wheel finishes.
  13. Be cautious to keep the Model 3 and Y charging ports away from any high-velocity liquid spray, like from a pressure washer. If you don’t follow these directions, you might hurt yourself or damage your car or the charging equipment.

Interior Cleanup of Model 3 and Y

Maintaining the interior’s excellent looks and prolonging its lifespan requires a consistent inspection and cleaning schedule. Clean up any stains as soon as they occur. Wipe down the interior surfaces and seats using a microfiber cloth wet with warm water and a mild non-detergent cleaner. Dry immediately with a clean, soft, lint-free cloth to prevent splotches.

Guidelines for Internal Cleansing


  1. Chemicals such as alcohol and alcohol-based gel products such as hand sanitizer, bleach, citrus, naphtha, and silicone-based items and additives might harm inside components.
  2. Touchscreens are vulnerable to harm from elements that generate static electricity.


  • A damaged airbag or seatbelt requires prompt attention from Tesla.
  • Never put anything, including fabric, water, or cleaning solutions, into a seat belt mechanism.
  • Cleaning with harsh chemicals has health risks and may cause skin and eye irritation. Make sure you follow the chemical cleaner’s manufacturer’s guidelines.

Cleaning Windows Throughout the Interior

Glass and mirrors may break easily if scraped or cleaned with an abrasive product. The heated components in the back window and the mirror’s reflecting surface may be harmed in this way.

Airbags Cleaning

showing air bags of white Tesla
Image credit: Google

Any item that might potentially rupture an airbag cover should not be allowed inside for cleaning purposes. Because of this, the proper operation may be compromised.

Cleaning Plastics and the Dashboard

The tops of the dashboard should not be polished. Polished surfaces reflect light and may impair your visibility in traffic.

Clean the Vehicle Completely with Water

Use a hose to remove the grit and grime accumulated on the vehicle before washing it. When you wash your automobile with a hose, dirt, and debris may get trapped in the panel seams or wheel wells and turn into mud. Pay close attention to these spots so that you can remove all of the collected filth.

Do It By Hand

Wash your tesla by hand using a gentle, clean cloth, moderate or cold water, and quality auto shampoo. Before letting it dry, remove any traces of the soap by rinsing it with clean water.

Dry Completely, and Wash the Exterior Glass.

Use a wipe to get the job done thoroughly. If this is impossible, you should drive a short distance and frequently use the brakes to dry the brake pads. Your Tesla can roll freely in neutral whenever you are not pressing the brake pedal.

With a glass cleaner designed specifically for vehicles, clean all the windows and mirrors inside and outside your car. On surfaces made of glass or mirrors, you should never scrape them or use cleaning products that are too abrasive.

Camera Cleaning

cleaning car's back camera
Image credit: Google

Ensure the camera lens is spotless and unobstructed by any debris to get a good picture. The lens may be cleaned using a pressure washer or a spray bottle to apply a fine mist of water over the surface.


  • Do not clean with harsh chemicals or abrasive materials. The lens’s coating might be scratched if you do that.
  • Do not try to clean an exposed lens by rubbing it with your hands or a towel to remove dirt or debris. When this debris is brushed on the lens surface during cleaning, it might cause scratches.

Cleaning Ceats

Always use a soft cloth soaked with warm water and non-detergent soap to wipe out interior surfaces contaminated by spills or chemical residues. After that, dry it off with a clean, soft towel that won’t leave lint behind.

Regularly clean the seats to maintain performance and a like-new look, even stain-resistant seating surfaces. Stay away from strong chemicals, such as those found in certain cosmetics. Never use products that include bleach or alcohol. As necessary, vacuum the fabric seats to remove any loosened dirt.


Non-Tesla replacement seat coverings may reduce the sensitivity of a seat’s occupancy sensors, and such covers may also damage or harm the seats themselves.

Carpets Cleaning

Carpets should not be soaked through. Use a gentle fabric cleaner on filthy areas.

Door Seals Cleaning

Clean the door seals by wiping them down with a moist towel to eliminate dust and dirt. Door seals that have accumulated excessive dirt may scratch or chip adjacent painted surfaces. It’s not a good idea to use alcohol wipes or any other chemical agents that might damage the coating on the door seals.

Cleaning Chrome and Metal Surfaces

Surface finishes on chrome and metal are fragile and may be scratched using polish, abrasive cleansers, alcohol-based gel solutions (like hand sanitizer), and rough cloths.

Seat Belts Cleaning

The belts must be extended to clean. Avoid using any cleaning products that contain chemicals. Hang the belts up to dry naturally while they’re stretched, ideally somewhere out of the sun.

Cleaning the Touchscreen

Use a gentle, lint-free monitor/display cleaning cloth to wipe the touchscreen. Avoid rubbing alcohol and glass cleaners. Avoid moist wipes and newly cleaned, dry microfiber. Screen Clean Mode cleans the touchscreen without buttons or settings.

Cleaning the Doors Seal

Damage to the paint is possible due to the accumulation of debris on the door seals and subsequent contact with other surfaces. Any dirt or grime on the door seals should be cleaned with a damp cloth. To keep the door seal coating in good condition, you should not use alcohol wipes or any other cleaning products containing chemicals.

Tesla Car Wash Mode Not Available

Above 9 mph (15 km/h) or when you tap Exit, the control panel will turn off Car Wash Mode. The Model 3 and Y might be harmed if the Vehicle’s Wash Mode isn’t activated. The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover damages caused by vehicle washes.

Best Ways to Wash a Tesla?

Here are some precautions you may take to protect your Tesla from scratches.

  • Thoroughly wash it out. Use the hose to remove dirt and grime from the car before washing it.
  • Do the washing by hand. Wash Model Y and 3 by hand with a soft cloth and lukewarm water mixed with a moderate, high-quality auto shampoo.
  • Put it through a quick clean with fresh water.
  • Clean the outside glass and make sure it is completely dry.
  • Use the two-bucket technique.
  • Use the washcloth in straight lines rather than in circles.
  • Do not scrub vigorously or with too much effort.
  • If you’ve just washed your automobile, you should definitely dry it off.
  • Always clean the vehicle clean from the top down.


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