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How Do You Wash an Electric Car?

How Do You Wash an Electric Car?

As with any car, electric vehicles (EVs) need to be washed and maintained to keep them in top condition. 

Washing an EV may seem complicated, but it's a breeze with the right knowledge and tools.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about washing your EV, including how to prepare your car for automatic car washes, handwashing best practices, and why some EV owners may still avoid automatic car washes.

Whether you're a seasoned EV owner or a newbie, read on to learn how to keep your car looking and running its best.

Taking care of your EV in this way is one of the many strategies that can help keep your electric car maintenance costs down over time.

Cleaning EVs in Car Wash Tunnels

Taking your vehicle through a car wash tunnel can be a convenient and safe way to get it cleaned.

However, it's important to keep in mind that EVs have different needs than traditional diesel cars.

While car wash tunnels can be a quick and efficient way to clean your car, you need to be careful to avoid damaging the car's electric components.

Can I Take My EV Through A Car Wash?

The short answer is yes. EVs can be taken through various automatic car washes, including tunnels, jet wash systems, and rollovers.

However, many car washes use high-pressure water and harsh chemicals that can damage the car surface and also electric components, such as the battery or charging port.

Therefore, it's important to look for car washes that use soft brushes, gentle chemicals, and low-pressure water.

Some car washes even have specific settings for EVs, which can help to further reduce the risk of damage.

Before taking your vehicle through a car wash, you should also take some time to prepare it for its cleaning.

How to Prep Your EV Before Taking It Through An Automated Car Wash

Before you start, it's important to prepare the vehicle to ensure it's protected and ready for a good wash. Here are some steps you can take to prep your EV:

  • Check Your Owner's Manual: The first thing you should do is check the owner's manual to learn if there are any specific recommendations for washing your EV. This will give you a better idea of what to expect and how to properly prepare your car.

  • Secure Loose Items: Make sure you secure floor mats, phone holders, or any other accessories in the car that could get dislodged or snagged during a wash. 

  • Close All Windows and Doors: Make sure all doors and windows are tightly closed to prevent water from entering the car. If water does get inside, it can damage the electrical components, including electric motors and batteries.

  • Protect the Charging Port: If your EV has a charging port, you'll want to protect it before entering the car wash tunnel. Some car washes provide a protective cover you can use, but if not, you can use a plastic bag or cover the charge port with tape to prevent water from entering.

  • Turn Off the Car: Before entering the car wash tunnel, turn the car off and remove the key FOB. This will prevent the car from accidentally turning on during the wash. Disabling all the automatic functions, including the windshield wipers and folding side mirrors is also a good idea.

By following these steps, you can prepare your EV for an automated car wash tunnel and help to prevent any damage to the car's electric components.

How Do I Wash An EV At the Car Wash?

When washing at a car wash, you'll want to follow these steps:

  • Choose the Right Place: Make sure the venue is safe for EVs. Things to look out for include soft brushes, gentle chemicals, and low-pressure water.

  • Turn off Your Car: Before entering the car wash, turn off the car and remove the key FOB. Make sure that the car is in neutral and the emergency brake is disabled.

  • Pick the Right Wash: Choose a wash that is appropriate for your car's level of dirtiness. If your car is very dirty, maybe run a pre-wash or undercarriage wash.

  • Follow the Instructions: Follow the instructions given by the car wash, and make sure to keep your hands and feet inside your EV at all times.

  • Inspect the Car: Once the wash is complete, make a review of your EV to make sure all the dirt and grime were removed.

How Do You Wash An EV By Yourself?

If you prefer to wash your car yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:

If You Use Using a Jet Wash

A jet wash can be a quick and efficient way to clean your vehicle. However, it's important to use the jet wash correctly to avoid damaging the electric components of your car. Here are some steps to follow when using a jet wash:

  1. Choose the Right Jet Washer: Use a jet washer that's specifically designed for washing cars and has adjustable pressure settings. Avoid using high-pressure settings, as they can damage the car's paint and electric components.

  2. Prepare Your Car: Before using the jet wash, remove any loose items from your car, such as floor mats, and close all windows and doors to prevent water from entering the car. If your EV has a charging port, protect it by using a protective cover or covering it with tape to prevent water from getting inside.

  3. Rinse First: Start by rinsing the car with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris.

  4. Use Soap: Apply car wash soap to the car's surface using a sponge or mitt. If you can, use soap that is specifically designed for EVs.

  5. Give it a Good Wash: Use the jet wash to rinse off the soap, starting from the top and working your way down. Use the adjustable pressure settings to find the pressure that's strong enough to effectively wash off the soap, but gentle enough to avoid damaging the car's paint and electric components.

  6. Rinse it Again: After washing the car once, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

  7. Dry it Well: Use a clean towel or chamois to thoroughly dry the car. Start by drying the roof and work your way down to the sides and the bottom of the car. Make sure to dry all of the nooks and crannies, including the wheels and the charging port.

Handwashing EVs

Handwashing your EV can be a great way to ensure that it is properly cleaned and maintained, without risking any damage to the car's electric components. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Choose the Right Time and Place: Wash your car in a shady area or during a cooler time of day to prevent the soap from drying too quickly on the car's surface. 

  2. Gather Your Supplies: You will need a bucket, car-wash soap specifically designed for EVs, a microfiber wash mitt or sponge, and a clean towel or chamois for drying.

  3. Rinse: Start by rinsing the car with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris.

  4. Add Soap: Apply car-wash soap to your EV's surface using a sponge or mitt. If you can, use soap that is specifically designed for EVs.

  5. Wash it Well: Use the microfiber wash mitt or sponge to gently wash the car, starting from the top and working your way down. Rinse the wash mitt or sponge frequently in the bucket to prevent dirt and debris from scratching the car's surface.

  6. Rinse it Again: After washing the car, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove any soapy residue.

  7. Dry it Well: Use a clean towel or chamois to dry the car thoroughly. Start by drying the roof and work your way down to the sides and the bottom of the car. Make sure to dry all of the nooks and crannies, including the wheels and the charging port.

Why Avoid Car Washes?

Despite the convenience of car washes, some drivers still prefer to wash their cars by hand.

This is because they believe that hand washing is the safest way to wash a car, as it gives them full control over the water pressure and the cleaning solutions.

Also, some drivers may worry about the potential damage that car washes can cause to the car's paint and electric components.

FAQs

  • How is Washing an EV Different from Washing a Regular Car?

    Washing an EV is not that different from washing a traditional internal combustion engine car. The biggest point to remember is you must be careful to avoid damaging the vehicle's electric components, such as the charging port.

  • Which car washes are bad for EVs?

    Car washes that use high-pressure water and harsh chemicals can be bad for EVs, as they can damage the electric components of the car.

  • Is it OK to take a Tesla through a car wash?

    Yes, it is OK to take a Tesla through a car wash, but you'll want to make sure that the car wash is safe for EVs.

  • When can you take your EV through a car wash?

    You can take your EV through a car wash as long as the car wash is safe for your vehicle. Car washes that use soft brushes, gentle chemicals, and low-pressure water are safe for EVs.

  • Do automatic car washes scratch or damage EVs?

    EV-friendly car washers do not scratch or damage EVs. However, automatic car washes can scratch the car's paint if the brushes are dirty or worn out.

  • How do Tesla owners wash their cars?

    Tesla owners can wash their cars by hand or take them through a car wash. However, they'll want to make sure that the car wash is safe for EVs.

  • Can you wash under the hood of an EV?

    You should not wash under the hood of an EV, as water can damage the electric components of the car. If you need to clean under the hood, use a damp cloth instead.

 

Lectron is Leading the Charge

Lectron is on a mission to make electric vehicle charging fast, easy, and affordable for all EV drivers. We offer a wide selection of convenient and easy-to-use EV charging stations, chargersand adapters. Lectron is pioneering ways of eliminating range anxiety and compatibility issues for both Tesla and J1772 EV drivers by making it easier and more reliable than ever to charge EVs at home and on the road.

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