How To Wash Tesla Model Y? (A Complete Guide)

Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 03:03 am

Regular maintenance keeps your car in shape. Therefore, you should always wash your Tesla. You can take your Tesla to the car wash or wash it yourself. 

However, if you want to wash your Tesla at home, it is best to use the hand washing technique so there won’t be scratches on your Tesla. 

First, prewash the Tesla with clean water to loosen stuck dirt. Next, fill a bucket with car wash soap solution. Then, dip your microfiber cleaning cloth into the soapy water first, wash the car and dip it into the bucket to rinse. Once your car is clean, dry it thoroughly with a microfiber towel.

Teslas are very high maintenance, and if not washed, they can get some nasty scratches, reducing their beauty and resale value. So, keep reading to know the best way to clean your Tesla.

How Do You Machine-Wash a Model Y Tesla?

How to Wash Tesla Model Y

The machine uses laser-guided technology to remove mud, grime, dust, and dirt from the Tesla without making physical contact with it. 

The machine first rubs soap on every part of the car to clean it, and then the car goes through the wash bay, where a high-pressure spot-free rinse removes the soap. 

Finally, the machine applies foaming polish to improve the vehicle’s finish. 

If you take your Tesla Model Y to an automatic car wash that uses a conveyor belt, you’ll need to put it on neutral. 

To place it on neutral, you’ll have to keep pushing the gear stalk up and down and holding for a second with your foot on the gas pedal.

But, with car wash mode, it’s more straightforward than that. All you have to do is initiate car wash mode. Then, the car wash mode will lock the charge ports and close all the windows.

It will also disable windshield wipers, parking sensor chimes, sentry mode, and walk-away door locking.

If you want to enable car wash mode, the vehicle must not be in motion or charging.

If you use an automatic car wash to clean the vehicle, you have to enable a free roll; it will keep the Tesla Model Y Neutral and turn on the free roll for the wash period.

Also, with free roll enabled, the Model Y Tesla will not apply the parking brake if you get out of the driver’s seat. 

After the wash, you can disable car wash mode. To do that, tap the exit button or put your Tesla into drive and go above 10 miles per hour.

To turn on the free roll, shift the gear into neutral, press the brake pedal, and touch enable free roll. If you don’t do that before your machine washes your Tesla model Y, it may cause damage.

Can a Model Y Tesla Go Through a Car Wash?

A Tesla Model Y can go through a car wash, but the user manual says that if you’re washing your Tesla in an automatic car wash, only use touchless car washes. 

The touchless car washes are better for your Tesla because they don’t have any parts that can touch and probably scratch the surface of the Tesla.

Additionally, you have to be careful when washing in a car wash. The acidic solutions that car washes use can cause discoloration to the decorative exterior trim if you use them continually.

 Also, do not expose your Tesla Model Y to damaging soaps and chemicals, especially those with a pH above 13. Always check the labels, and ask the staff at the car wash.

Furthermore, always lock your vehicle properly if you’re cleaning in an automatic car wash. Don’t engage any controls that will accidentally open the trunks or the doors.

Tesla says the warranty does not cover any damage resulting from improper washing or during washing. So, if there is any damage, you’ll have to cover the cost of repairs.

Also, always turn off the wipers before you wash your Model Y so you don’t expose the wiper to any damage. Chemical-based prewash products or wheel cleaners can damage the wheel finish.

Additionally, if you’re washing your Tesla Model Y at the car wash or home, don’t spray the water or any other liquid at a high velocity, especially towards the charging port. 

Finally, always put your Tesla Model Y in car wash mode before you go into the automatic car wash. With the car wash mode, your wash experience will not have any hassles. 

Car wash mode closes windows and doors. It also disables the sentry mode, windshield wipers, walk-away door locks, and parking sensor chimes. Also, the feature locks the charge ports.

Should You Hand-Wash Tesla Model Y?

 Tesla Model Y manual says to hand wash your Model Y with lukewarm water containing a mild high-quality car shampoo and a clean, soft cloth.

When cleaning the Tesla, rinse it thoroughly with clean water so the soap will not dry up on the car’s surface.

Hand washing your Tesla is better as it will reduce the likelihood of getting scratches on your Tesla. However, you must be careful even if you have been hand-washing cars. 

So, you can use the following techniques to hand wash your Tesla.

  • Prewash Tesla Model Y with clean lukewarm water to loosen up the dirt before cleaning.
  • Use the two-bucket method if you’re hand washing the vehicle. 
  • First, fill one bucket with lukewarm water and soap. Then, collect the dirty water in the other and rinse your microfiber cleaning cloth.
  • Dip the washcloth into the soap and water solution, clean the car gently but thoroughly, then use the empty bucket to wring out the water from the cloth or to rinse the cloth.
  • Once your car is clean, use a microfiber cloth to dry the water from your cloth. Microfiber cloths because they are non-abrasive and absorb large quantities of water.
  • To be very thorough, you can divide the car into sections during the washing and drying to ensure you don’t miss any spots.

Depending on your schedule and preferences, you can machine wash your car or hand wash it. But you should know that both options have their advantages.

Here are some of the advantages of each method:

Machine Washing Hand Washing
It won’t leave scratches on your car paintSuperior care and attention
It is fastYou can reach all the crevices
The water can be recycledIt is very inexpensive

What Do You Need to Wash a Model Y Tesla?

To wash a Model Y Tesla, you need soft microfiber towels, clean cold or lukewarm water, and mild car shampoo. You can also get foam and a power washer, but these are optional.

Using a rough abrasive cloth to wash your Tesla can leave scratches on the car’s body. 

So, it’s best to use a microfiber cloth; microfiber is soft and non-abrasive so it won’t leave any scratches on the car.

Also, you need to pay attention to the cleaner, soap, or car shampoo used for cleaning your Tesla. Always check the soap, whether cleaning the Tesla or taking it to the car wash.

Tesla says that some car shampoos and cleaners contain harmful chemicals that can damage or cause discoloration to the plastic trim pieces,  camera lenses, and lamps.

Some car shampoos or cleaning formulas contain highly acidic materials that can cause damage to external components. 

Other cleaning solutions and wash soaps contain toxic products like hydroxide or highly alkaline materials. 

Always exercise caution because the warranty on the car will not cover any damage to the car that results from damage caused by the use of harmful cleaning agents. 

How Often Should You Wash a Model Y Tesla?

Washing a Tesla Model Y once every two weeks would be best. Keeping the car clean will increase the car’s resale value, and you can also enjoy a clean, spotless car.

If you leave dirt, grime, droppings, and dust on your car for too long before washing, getting the dirt off the car’s surface, even with a thorough wash, will be challenging.

Of course, the exact intervals between washes should depend on how dirty the car is or if it’s dirty.

For example, if your car doesn’t pick up dirt, fog, bird droppings, etc., you can wash it once a month.

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