Tesla Car Wash Mode

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You must activate car wash mode if you wash your Tesla at home or in an automatic car wash. 

So as you can avoid damaging your Tesla while getting it washed, we’ve explained in more detail what this mode does, how to use it, and why it’s important.

Table of Contents

    What Is The Tesla Car Wash Mode?

    First off, let’s discuss precisely what Tesla car wash mode is. 

    Tesla car wash mode is available on all Tesla models: the Model S, Model Y, Model X, and Model 3 after the 2021.24.4 software update. 

    You can use the mode to protect your car from damage while washing it at home or your local car wash.

    What Does The Tesla Car Wash Mode Do?

    The Tesla car wash mode works by locking and closing essential features of your car before entering the car wash to prevent damage. 

    Before you would need to do this manually one by one, which makes it easy to forget certain parts.

    You can expect a Tesla car wash mode to do the following when turned on – 

    • Lock charging ports. 
    • Close any windows. 
    • Disable window wipers. 
    • Turn off sentry mode.
    • Fold mirrors.
    • Screen clean mode.
    • Disable walk-away door locking. 
    • Close the trunk.
    • Turn off the parking sensor.

    This is all displayed in a convenient checklist on your Tesla’s touch screen: when marked green, it’s closed. A red light means you must double-check the feature to ensure if it’s closed/locked.

    How To Turn On The Tesla Car Wash Mode 

    Turning on car wash mode before entering a car wash is important to avoid water entering your Tesla and damaging it. 

    Below, we’ve listed the steps to put your Tesla in car wash mode.

    1. Put your Tesla in parking mode, car wash mode also won’t work if your Tesla is in charge. 
    2. Next, on the Tesla screen, press controls, then select the car wash mode. 
    3. Features are now disabled on the Tesla. Double check everything is green. 
    4. Do note that the Tesla Model 3 cars before 2020 will not close the trunk automatically. Therefore, you need to do this manually.

    How To Turn Off Tesla Car Wash Mode 

    You can turn off the car wash mode manually by pressing the exit car wash mode on the Tesla screen or driving over 9 mph, then the car will automatically take itself out of the mode.

    Enabling Free Roll Mode On Tesla Car Wash Mode 

    What Is Free Roll Mode?

    Turning free roll mode on from the Tesla car wash mode is necessary when going through a car wash.

    Enabling free roll sets the car into neutral, allowing the car’s wheels to move through the car wash freely.

    How Do I Turn On & Off Free Roll Mode?

    You can activate and turn off free roll mode with these three easy steps below. 

    1. To show the free roll mode option, press the brake on your Tesla, then switch the car into drive mode.
    2. The free roll button will appear, select it, and when it turns blue, that means it’s activated.
    3. You can turn off free roll mode by selecting the exit button when leaving the car wash.

    What Happens If You Don’t Use Car Wash Mode When Washing Your Tesla

    It might be bad news if you accidentally wash your Tesla without activating car wash mode. 

    You could leak water into the car through the windows or, worse, the charging ports, damaging your Tesla and its capability to charge. 

    Also, if there is any damage to your Tesla during washing without the car wash mode being on, it is not covered under warranty. So you will have to fork out the money for the repair or potentially buy a new Tesla depending on the damage (ouch).

    Tips For Taking Your Tesla To The Car Wash

    Apart from using car wash mode, there are other tips and things to avoid when washing your Tesla so you can keep it in good condition. 

    • Use a touch-free car wash – Tesla recommends avoiding automatic car washes. This is because they use brushes since they can damage the car’s paint. Pressure washing is also a no-go.
    • Activate tow mode if needed – If you’re in a touch-free car wash and they ask you to come out, the neutral mode may turn off when you exit the car. In this case, go to the service menu in the vehicle, select towing mode, then transport mode.
    • Don’t wash your Tesla too often – Tesla recommends only washing your Tesla once or twice a month: too many washes mean the paint wears down faster.
    • Hand wash when possible – The best way to keep your Tesla safe when car washing is by doing it yourself. You can take extra care around sensors and avoid damaging the car.

    Is Car Wash Mode Useful?

    Of course, you can always manually close everything on your Tesla. But, it can be easy to forget small things like disabling the window wipers. That’s why car wash mode makes everything easy since it’s all in one place.

    Car wash mode protects your car from any damage during a car wash.

    But still, you should take care when washing your Tesla since there are other ways damage could occur if you’re not careful.

    FAQs About Tesla Car Wash Mode

    Why is car wash mode grayed out on my Tesla?

    If the Tesla car wash mode is grayed out, it likely means that you’re not in the park or your Tesla is charging. The mode is automatically disabled by the car in these cases.

    Our Verdict

    Tesla car wash mode is a valuable addition to Tesla models, it ensures your car’s features are protected when you enter a car wash, preventing any water from getting into the car.

    Always activate the car wash mode when going through car washes. If not, any damage that occurs will not be under your Tesla warranty.

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