Automatic Car Wash: How to put the 2004 Prius in neutral:

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Ken Cooper, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. whatshisname

    whatshisname New Member

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    Hmmmmmm. Where do you live, tmorrowus? Whenever I wash my car in the driveway I'm compelled immediately to wipe it down usually with a chamois. If I allowed air drying the entire car would be covered with mineral spots (deposits) that simply will not come off. The mineral deposits were always a problem , but they became even worse when the voters approved the addition of fluoride to our drinking water. You see the dentsts were worried that our cars and lawns and everything else we wash might get cavities. :p Whatshisname
     
  2. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well i live in an area where i can wash my car in the driveway and that is exactly what i do. and if i couldnt i would never trust my car to any automatic carwash system.
     
  3. genalex

    genalex Member

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    re: rear wipers:

    My take has always been that the need for them increases as the back becomes faster--e.g.: my daughter's integra fastback hatch loads up with snow in nj (and md) so it's a good thing to have.
    We don't have our prius yet, but the photos make it appear a must in this climate.

    (Just for the sake of completeness, station wagons and suvs with square backs need 'em too for the opposite reason: their poor aerodynamics produces a trailing vacuum that sucks road dirt up behind them, coating the rear window with mud.)
     
  4. plusaf

    plusaf plusaf

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    not flimsy.. it's pretty rugged-feeling, i'd say...
    it's just that it doesn't reach the center parts of the rear window that you look through. poor design, there.

    there are other posts around PC.com here about it. one person got a different wiper arm that worked better for him. my temptation would be to put an extra-long blade and blade-holder onto the arm.

    i've done that with several prior cars, and the results were very good. usually you can add a few inches without the blade smacking the trim around the windshield. for the rear window, i think another foot or so of length would really help!
    :D
     
  5. HTMLSpinnr

    HTMLSpinnr Super Moderator
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    The reason for puttin git in neutral w/o having the car ready is that you don't get HV battery drain. When the car is "READY", but in Neutral, the car can't charge the battery, and you risk draining it if left that way for too long. By using IG-ON and Neutral instead, you're better off in that reagard since the HV battery isn't energized.

    However, you can start the car from this state after putting it into P, and applying the brake before pressing Power.
     
    Mike 06 Gen II likes this.
  6. wetntacky

    wetntacky New Member

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    I prefer washing the car myself. Where I live, I cannot use a hose. I simply fill 2 buckets of warm water, 1 with the soap solution. I make 2 quick passes over the car in 10 min then dry with a Chammois.

    When other people wash your car, they don't care about it as much as you do. Your body and paint appearance will be much nicer and I guarrantee that over time, you will not have all those little scratches and dings you wonder how they got there.

    I purchased a Certified used 2003 Prius with 13K miles and I was amazed by the shape it was in! It had only 3 very minor scratches in real stupid places on the trunk lid and spoiler and rear bumper. The first thing I did the day after I drove it off the lot was do a complete polish and wax with commercial grade products. I had to go back to dealer that afternoon and Sales manager asked me what happened to this car? It had a shine and reflection that made all of cars on the lot pale in comparison.

    The only time I get it done commercially is in the Winter when the temps are below freezing at real nice touch free wash system where you sit in the car as its washed.

    http://www.stevehardin.com/DSC03801.jpg

    Edited by Danny to change IMG to link due to size
     
  7. Mary Lou

    Mary Lou Junior Member

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    Re: Automatic Car Wash: How to put the 2004 Prius in neutra

    [font=Comic Sans MS:9bb87900d9]Because my last car was a convertible, I always went to the touchless carwash just water and suds touch the car and it is hand dried after it's washed.
    I went in there for the first time with my Prius. I asked the manager if he ever washed a Prius. He said no what is it. So I showed him. he was so excited to look at it and hear about it. He drove it up to where the cars are vacumed (with me in the car of course) and could not put it in neutral with the car turned off. I didn't know how to do this either, But now I will try to follow the directions in this forum to see if it will work. This car wash insists the car be in neutral with the car not running because of accidents that have happened in the past. This time, he let me ride in the car after it was vacumed, and went through. The Prius was running, but in neutral. Of course my car got so much attention after i drove it out of there for it to be hand dried.
    The manager came out to see it again and took my ticket and said that I wouldn't have to pay this time. He then proceeded to ask me a million questions about the car. :D I'm just surprised that he had never washed one before. Tomorrow I try to put it in neutral with the car off.
    Mary Lou [/font:9bb87900d9]
     
  8. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    impossible to put a Prius in neutral with it off
     
  9. victor

    victor New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Batavier\";p=\"8335)</div>
    I totally agree :) But try that to explain that to our government. They often do things that seem to be very environmentally friendly, but don't help that much. Ah well. I don't have a drive way, so I *have* to wash my car in a car wash or DIY quarter thingy. :)[/b][/quote]

    Its the same in Germany. When I was first here I wased my car on the road. I got quite a few strange looks before someone told me it was illegal.
     
  10. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    I'll continue to wash my prius in my driveway or in the winter the self service spary booth, after my last car getting scrathed in the automatice car wash I'll never take in those car washes again!

    If it's against the law to wash your car in your own driveway maybe they'll put me in jail at camp cupcake with martha Stewart LOL
     
  11. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    if you can't wash your car on the street to get rid of the dirt and grime you got on your car from the street, maybe it should be illegal for the town, municipality, local or state gov. for not keepin the streets and roads washed and that it should be required to keep the street clean so your car will not get dirty in the first place.
     
  12. roger

    roger New Member

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    That's the most ridiculous thing I have heard. How can washing your car hurt the environment?
    Am I missing something here?
     
  13. Speedracer

    Speedracer New Member

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    Re: Automatic Car Wash: How to put the 2004 Prius in neutra

    I wash my car at local DIY car wash... Becasue I dont want spend 20 bucks for car wash and brash scratch... Also I dont own house or I cant wash my car at my Condo driveway.... :roll:
    When I was living in U.S and living in snow belt state.... I was the crazy guy who wash a car middle for winter... :mrgreen: :roll: Around 30s :roll:
    Wow thats because your washing on the road or in general?
     
  14. canuckican

    canuckican New Member

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    Re: Automatic Car Wash: How to put the 2004 Prius in neutra

    I like to go through the touchless washes where you drive yourself onto a conveyor belt after punching in a purchase code (no sense in explaining to someone else how to drive the Prius). I have always just put the car in neutral from READY mode without going into IG-ON mode. As I read through all the posts, I couldn't understand why anyone would go to all the trouble. Fortunately, htmlspinnr explained it (finally) and very clearly. Having said that, the kind of washes I'm talking about last no more than two or three minutes, and as I've sat in them, radio on and car in neutral, I've never seen the battery charge go down by much. Maybe one bar, maybe none?

    So the admonition about draining the battery is completely valid, but I think, overkill if you're only going to be in neutral for three minutes.

    My observation anyway.
     
  15. mlucky1

    mlucky1 New Member

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    I made the mistake yesterday of taking my new Prius through an automatic car wash -- the kind where you sit in your car and go through this soapy tunnel -- which is why I'm here reading these posts. I quickly discovered that I didn't know how to make the car stay in neutral so the machinery could pull it through the wash/rinse/dry cycle at a leisurely pace. I had the window open to push the start button when the car suddenly took a little leap forward, water came spraying in the window and by the time I finally got the window closed, the car had driven itself out the other end, bypassing everything except 'wash', leaving it and me covered with soapy water. When I finally mopped myself and the seats up, I decided there had to be a better way. Thanks for the tips.
     
  16. priusham

    priusham New Member

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    WOW!!! mlucky1 heh heh... how ironic your first wash was UNlucky.

    Here's five big fat Prius points for the new owner and five more for the interior car wash! :mrgreen:
     
  17. NuShrike

    NuShrike Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mlucky1\";p=\"102104)</div>
    Hold the joystick at 'N' for a second or two. The owner's manual really helps a lot here.
     
  18. jeepien

    jeepien Member

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    Putting in in Neutral is a good point, but Rule #1 for a car wash is "Close the Windows".

    This is not unique to the Prius, by the way. Even conventional cars should have the windows closed in carwashes.

    Why you would be anywhere NEAR the start button, or why you would have to open the window to press it is simply beyond me.

    When they say to put it in Neutral, simply put it in Neutral. This will be indicated by a square around the letter N on the speedometer. Then take your hands off the wheel.

    You can NOT turn off the power at any point, because that will instantly put the car in Park.
     
  19. DanMan32

    DanMan32 Senior Member

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    Hmm, wasn't going to post, since I knew I said this before, but probably in a different thread or site.

    You can put the car in neutral while in Ig-On mode. It is best to be in Ig-On instead of READY because the car cannot charge the HV battery while in Neutral. If you leave the AC on, and the wash takes a while, battery drains to failsafe levels, car turns off, goes to park.
    In Ig-On, the HV battery is not engaged, and therefore cannot drain, thus the car won't be shut down and put in park.
     
  20. jeepien

    jeepien Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DanMan32\";p=\"102147)</div>
    That's quite true, but wow, you must have some long car washes where you live.

    If I've been driving around so I have the typical five or six blue bars showing, and then sit in Park with the A/C on, it takes a good fifteen minutes to drain down to where the engine would start. And even that is not a "dangerous" level, just the one at which charging begins.

    I've kept an eye on it in the car wash as I roll through in Neutral/READY, but it's never dropped more than one bar on the ride through.

    But your point is well-taken:

    NEUTRAL = BAD
     
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