Can a Tesla Go Through a Car Wash? – Tesla Car Wash Mode

Written by

Bruce Sonnier


Marcus Dutton

can a tesla go through a car wash

Tesla vehicles are unlike any other cars in the market. Beyond its unique in-vehicle features, Tesla cars are completely battery-powered, which appeals to those who are conscious of their carbon emissions.

However, this electric feature poses an obvious question for new users: can a tesla go through a car wash? Yes, you can take a Tesla through a carwash with a touchless method.


Can You Take Your Tesla Into a Car Wash


One of the most critical things in owning a vehicle is ensuring the cleaning aspect is taken care of. Tesla cars are not exempted – if you own a tesla, get a car wash. However, unlike traditional cars, they require special care and attention.

Tesla can go through an automatic car wash, but the chosen method must be touchless to ensure scratches.

Before you put a Tesla in a car wash, ensure that the vehicle is set into the Tesla car wash mode. Enabling this feature secures the easily damaged parts of the vehicle, such as the charging port and the interior, from getting wet.

However, this feature is only available to model Y, newer versions of model X and model S, and model 3. If you own a model that does not have a car wash mode feature, you can still manually disable the features that car wash mode turns off.

Best Ways to Wash a Telsa

There are different ways for tesla cleaning.

Method 1: Hand Wash


Whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you, handwashing is the best way to wash Tesla cars, as it has the least amount of risk in damaging or denting your vehicle. However, it’s also the most time-consuming.

In hand washing, ensure the cleaners used on your car don’t contain certain highly alkaline chemicals such as hydroxide. These may damage or cause discoloration on the delicate external parts of the vehicle.

The two-bucket method is the most common method to safely watch your Telsa car by hand.

Method 2: Waterless car wash


Waterless car washes use products applied to the car’s surface and are wiped off with a cloth. It is another excellent way to clean your tesla and save water; suppose one of the reasons you own a Tesla is because you’re keenly aware of your environmental impact.

Additionally, if the dirt doesn’t warrant a full car wash, then this method is recommended.

The downside is if your Tesla is heavily caked in mud or just really dirty. At that point, it may require a complete hand wash or a Tesla automatic car wash.

Method 3: Touchless car wash


If you’re going the automatic car wash route, the manufacturer recommends only using touchless car washes.

This method does not use brushes or bristles that may potentially dent or damage your vehicle like in a typical automatic car wash. However, the detergent used can be very potent, thus risking damaging your car surface.

Additionally, if your automatic car wash has a conveyor belt, ensure that your tesla has the Enable Free Roll feature activated. This allows your car to roll freely for the duration of the wash.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why can’t Tesla go through a car wash?

It can. However, the three types of car washes mentioned above are the most recommended ways to do it, with hand washing as the best method of car wash for Tesla.

Does Tesla offer free car wash?

In the past, they offered free car washes whenever you got your tesla car serviced. However, according to a Reddit post in 2019, they’ve stopped providing the service.

Can you take a Tesla Model 3 through a car wash?

Yes. Tesla Model 3 cars have car wash mode and can undergo the abovementioned methods. Only the older X and S models should be treated differently, as they do not have this feature.

Should I hand wash my Tesla?

Yes, as mentioned above, the best way to lessen the risk of damaging or denting your Tesla is by washing it by hand.

Why is car wash mode not available in my Tesla?

The older versions of Model S and Model X, particularly the ones before 2021, do not have car wash mode. Check to see what year your car’s model is.


So, can a tesla go through a car wash? Yes, with certain considerations, including the cleaners used on your Tesla’s exterior, the amount of dirt the car has accumulated, and the type of automatic car wash you go through.

The most convenient and time-saving method is to put your Tesla through an automatic touchless car wash. However, opt for the hand washing method if you don’t want the risk of damaging your car. Lastly, if the dirt and grime on your vehicle do not warrant a complete wash, it’s best to opt for a waterless car wash.

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