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How to wash an electric car. What mistakes to avoid.

Guide: How To Take An Electric Car Through A Car Wash

Today we’re going to discuss how to wash an electric car. Whether you’re taking an electric vehicle through a car wash, use a car washing station, or if you’re interested in the electric car wash process at home, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to wash an EV vehicle from top to bottom using the right wash methods.

To wash an electric car properly, follow the same process as a normal vehicle. Park the vehicle in a cool shaded area and rinse the vehicle down. Apply soap using a microfiber sponge or scrubbing mitt and rinse thoroughly. Wash starting from the top and work your way towards the bottom. Can you wash an electrical vehicle in a car wash. The answer is yes as long as you follow the proper precautions.

Here’s everything you need to know about washing an EV so you don’t damage the electrical system.

My preferred cleaning and detailing products:

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Key Takeaways:

  • Electric vehicles can be taken through car washes.
  • Manufacturers made sure that systems are sealed to prevent damage. 
  • The wash process is the same as a traditional vehicle.
  • Washing at home is a safer method and prevents damage from scratches
  • Car makers developed EV vehicles to be safe in rain and prevent water from entering

Is it Safe to Take an Electric Car through a Car Wash Tunnel?

ev car wash

Many owners of EVs often wonder whether it is entirely safe to take an electric car through a car wash tunnel. For the most part, it is completely safe to move your EV through a car wash tunnel. Most electric cars are designed to withstand typical water exposure, such as rain or a car wash.

Understanding the Impact on Electrical Components

Concerns often center around the impact of the wash on the electrical components fixed to your car. The electric motor and other electrical components are sealed and should withstand the typical water pressure used during the wash. Car manufacturers design these parts of the car to withstand the elements, ensuring you can wash your car without damage to the electric components.

Rollovers and Jet Wash Areas: A Potential Threat?

At certain car wash stations, rollovers and jet wash areas might pose a potential risk. This is due to the high-pressure water jets used in these installations. However, this mostly depends on how you’re using the jet wash systems or if the rollovers are not properly calibrated and not on the fact that the vehicle is an electric one.

Electric Motor Safety in a Car Wash

The safety of the electric motor in a car wash is a concern for many. Rest assured, the electric motor is designed to withstand the water pressure typical of car washes. In fact, the motor’s water-resistant properties extend to other cleaning methods, such as using a jet wash at home.

How to Prep Your Electric Vehicle (EV) for a Car Wash

Pre-Wash Measures: Securing Windows and Doors

Before you take your electric car through a car wash, it’s important to secure windows and doors. By doing this, you avoid unwanted water leakage inside your vehicle, which could potentially impact the intricate electrical system.

Always prep your car before doing any repairs or cleaning your vehicle

Retracting the Antenna and Adjusting Windshield Wipers

Depending on the type of automatic car wash you’re using, it’s crucial to retract the antenna and adjust the windshield wipers to prevent any accidental damage. These components are often sensitive and could be knocked out of alignment in the car wash tunnel.

Protecting Electronic Parts and the Charging Port

Another crucial step in prepping your EV for a wash is protecting the electronic parts and the charging port. While these components are generally water-resistant, it’s best to prevent any potential issues by ensuring they are securely closed and covered.

Automatic Car Wash Vs. Hand Wash: How To Wash An Electric Car?

how to wash an electric car

Brief Overview of Various Automatic Car Washes

Various automatic car washes include rollover washes, touchless washes, and tunnel washes. Each has its benefits and potential downsides for EVs. For instance, although automatic washes can offer convenience and thorough cleaning, they could pose risks if components, like windscreen wipers or mirrors, aren’t properly secured.

Your vehicle needs to be able to move int he car wash. That way the drag train can pull your vehicle through the car wash.

Make sure before you enter any car washes you:

  • Shift the gear to neutral
  • Lower your antenna and any other protruding car parts.
  • Make sure all the doors and windows are closed
  • Ensure folding side mirrors are tucked in
  • Emergency brake disabled.

The Safety of EVs in an Automated Car Wash

The safety of taking an electric vehicle through an automatic car wash is often a concern. Overall, it’s safe to take an EV through an automatic car wash, provided you’ve taken all necessary preparations. These precautions also apply to petrol and diesel cars, so they’re not an abnormal part of the washing process.

Why Some Owners Prefer to Hand Wash their Electric Cars

Some owners prefer to hand wash their EVs for more control over the process. When washing your electric car by hand, you can opt for car-specific products and tools, such as a wash mitt and car wash soap that won’t damage the car surface. It’s also easier to avoid areas with sensitive electrical components when washing the car by hand.

Pro tip: Always make sure your sun roof is closed before you wash your car or move through the car wash.

Washing at home also prevents scratches, you’re much less likely to damage the electric components, and goes without saying you are in complete control of what gets wet versus what doesn’t. 

Can Every Type of Electric Vehicle go through a Car Wash?

Considerations for Different Types of EVs

Different types of EVs may carry different considerations when going through a car wash. While most passenger EVs should safely traverse an automatic car wash, specialized EVs such as electric commercial vehicles or modified electric vehicles with exposed batteries or other electrical parts may require a more careful approach.

Factors to Consider for Larger Electric Vehicles

Larger electric vehicles may face unique challenges in car washes, as their size and shape could interfere with the operation of automatic car wash systems. For these vehicles, a hand wash may be the better, safer option.

Mirror should be folded to make sure you don’t bump into them and make sure your doors are properly closed. Some models of vehicles have had reports that a even just a slight opening by the door can cause all sorts of issues. Make sure your doors are completely seals. 

The process between a plug-in hybrid and washing a petrol vehicle are pretty much the same. Whether it’s EV, conventional gas, petrol, or hybrid vehicles, the wash process is pretty much identically the same. 

How to Clean Your Car if it Cannot Go Through Regular Wash

If your EV can’t go through a regular car wash, consider washing it by hand at home using a jet wash. Alternatively, professional detailers offer hand washing services that ensure your electric vehicle is cleaned without exposing it to potential damage.

How to Properly Wash an Electric Car at Home

How to wash an electric car hand wash

Using a High Pressure Jet Wash System

When choosing to wash at home, using a high pressure jet wash system can be highly effective. However, remember to use a jet wash system carefully, aiming for the bodywork and avoiding sensitive areas like charging ports, mirrors, and windows.

Tips for Effective Hand Washing

If you prefer hand washing, be sure to use non-abrasive cleaning tools like a wash mitt and pH-neutral car wash soap to avoid damaging the car surface. You should also work from top to bottom to prevent dirty water from dripping on already clean areas.

Ensuring that your Car is Completely Clean

Finally, to make sure your EV is completely clean, don’t rush through the process. Pay attention to dirt-prone areas such as wheel wells and under-body parts. Don’t mix your wash and rinse buckets, and always complete the process with a thorough rinse to remove all the soap.

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