Automated car wash

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by rosencrantz, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. rosencrantz

    rosencrantz Member

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    I normally hand wash my vehicles. However, I’m now considering taking the “shortcut” and trying out the automatic car wash for my 2018 Prius near me. I’ve tried doing some searching, but, it’s not clear (at least to me)..... can I simply put the car in neutral? Do I need to shut off any of the radar safety systems prior to entry? The wash I’m considering *I think* is the tracked type. I’ve seen signs posted on some automatic car washes that say “NO Prius”. Is it generally acceptable to run the gen4 Prius - with all its safety systems - through an auto wash? Thanks for any advice!
     
  2. rosencrantz

    rosencrantz Member

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    Well with a bit more searching, I may have stumbled across the answer.... someone notes that placing the Prius in neutral disables the collision safety system. That makes sense and would certainly be easier
     
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  3. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    That’s the ticket.
     
  4. robsnyder20

    robsnyder20 Active Member

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    I have ran mine several times thru those types of car washes before. I do have the safety tech in mine and never disabled anything in particular. Can't beat the price and time savings but I am sure others will say do it yourself is best.
     
  5. StarmanUK

    StarmanUK Junior Member

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    The one near me which I like its an tracked one were you are pulled thought and yes I simply put the car in neutral and then go hands off :)
     
  6. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I vaguely remember reading talk about making sure the a/c OFF because in Neutral, the battery won't charge. Have a look back at previous threads (I can wash mine on my front lawn, so haven't tried it).
     
  7. MrMischief

    MrMischief Active Member

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    When you put the car in neutral the engine cannot start to charge the battery. So if you enter a tracked type of car wash with a low battery you risk the battery running so low it does not have the energy to start the engine when you exit. If you turn the car off, to save the battery, it automatically goes into park which isn't going to be good when the track system tries to drag your car through the wash. I think those are the reasons some car washes have a "No Prius" sign, although really any hybrid is going to have the same struggle. I have not yet taken my car through a tracked wash but I'd just be sure the battery is near a full charge when I pull in. I am not afraid of the tracked wash near my house, but the couple of times I went to use it they were closed.
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    ^ Yeah I think the operative expression is "tracked car wash". If possible, find a car wash were the car rolls in and stops, while the car wash apparatus does all the moving.

    Or fugedaboutit: stick with handwashing, better in a lot of ways.
     
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  9. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I haven't been in an automated wash in several years, but I think you're in neutral for what, five minutes? As long as the headlights are off and as alanclarkeau mentioned the air conditioning, I don't see any real issue. After just five minutes in neutral there still should be enough power to start the engine regardless of the battery level going in.

    Even if you did run the battery down I would hope that the system is smart enough to know that it's in neutral and that you aren't moving (other than the very slow movement through the car wash), and so when the battery gets low the system would shut itself off, leaving plenty of reserve to start the engine. It would then let you start the car as long as you don't shift into neutral again so that ICE can come on and start charging.
     
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  10. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    That's a thought - with AUTO headlights, they could well come on when going out of the daylight. Depending on the country - in Australia, you can't turn the DRLs off, unless you turn the parking/side lights on - but that then turns on the tail and number-plate lights.
     
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  11. TinyTim

    TinyTim Active Member

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    I take my car through the car wash all the time. Just put it in neutral. I would suggest going from drive to neutral vs. park to neutral. Remember you have to hold it on "N" for a couple of seconds for the transmission to go into neutral. It takes a little getting used to at the car wash.
     
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  12. StevefromOhio

    StevefromOhio Member

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    I recommend not putting your car through a car wash. The dirt and other stuff that is bad for your paint is on the brushes from the last several cars. Sand, dirt and even gravel can get lodged in the brushes. My dad has a 2017 Lincoln MKZ hybrid and he ran it through a car wash the first week and got a huge scratch across his hood. $600 to repair. The body shop owner, who restores classic cars, says that he never uses a car wash. Says it is bad for the paint.

    The supposed wax that many car washes use is really bad. My dad's car after washing had a sandpaper feel to the paint instead of that smooth feeling. Talked to the owner of the car wash and he said it is the nature of the chemicals that they use.

    I recommend CQ quartz ceramic coating. Makes washing your car a lot easier. I use just plain water and a micro fiber mitt after rinsing first with the hose. In the winter time, I take it to a wand wash. Do not use their soap brush.....full of junk too. With the ceramic coating, dirt just does not have a chance to stick to the car. Washes off with just the spray on rinse. No water marks too!

    PS....the ceramic coating is not dangerous or illegal......as so many on this site seem to parrot all the time!
     
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  13. James1964

    James1964 Member

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    Long term in neutral, or even rather short term as in a conveyor car wash is to be avoided according to the more expert people (like @bisco). You can use the stationary kind where the washing apparatus moves around the car. Just leave her in READY mode.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I second that - it's amazing. The car doesn't look dirty, it seems to repel most dirt.

    I'm not a particularly regular washer - but when I do, it washes so easily. Had it on 3 of my last 4 cars - the one I didn't - I had it planned, but when I had had it only 3 weeks, bats/flying foxes left excrement all over the bonnet/hood - and a few patches up to 2½ round had the clear-coat removed by morning.

    Next 2 cars, I had the paint protection applied immediately after delivery.
     
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