Putting Prius in Neutral at Car Wash

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jsquareg, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. jsquareg

    jsquareg New Member

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    I have searched the forum but have not found an answer that I am sure I understand. The car is a 2009 Pkg 2.

    Several local car washes close to me have drive on conveyor tracks and I can't figure out how to drive the car onto the conveyor, turn it off and then get in out of Park and into Neutral so the conveyor can move it through the wash. The car washes all insist the engine be off but if I turn the power off the car goes into Park. How can I get it into Park.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Just tell them the engine IS off....you needn't tell them it's in "READY"!!!
     
  3. KMO

    KMO Member

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    Put it into "ON" mode (amber light on the power button). From OFF, press the POWER button twice without your foot on the brake. In this mode, you can change to neutral.

    Check your manual for details.
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    However, don't leave the car IG-ON very long, since that places a big drain on the 12V auxiliary battery.
     
  5. jsquareg

    jsquareg New Member

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    Thank you very much, Patrick. That sounds simple enough. However, I looked in the manual for the answer but couldn't find it. Do you have a page number?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. liverbomb88

    liverbomb88 Push the Button!

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    If you value the look of your paint and your wheels, I would strongly suggest avoiding automatic conveyor car washes with those spinning scrubbers. You will end up swirling your paint and possibly scratching your rims. Wash you new car yourself at home with something like Optimum No Rinse and quality microfiber towels, or take the car to a completely touchless auto wash. Don't let anyone dry your car with dirty rags. Take your own clean MF towels and blot dry.
     
  7. okiebutnotfrommuskogee

    okiebutnotfrommuskogee Senior Member

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    liverbomb88 has good advice.
     
  8. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    However impractical it is for those who live in winter areas, or those who live in apartments or condos.

    I would suggest a hand wand type car/truck wash, but a "touchless" automatic type is also fine. Unless you're like -most- people. Who just want a drive thru wash and don't really care about "perfect" paint. It's just a car or appliance to them. That's fine if that's how you feel. If you're picky then the advice in this thread is appropriate.

    You may also want to consider removing the antenna rod before you enter the wash. It just unscrews.
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Not sure what KMO had in mind, and in any event your manual is probably different from mine. However, Prius has four possible states:
    • IG-OFF where the car is powered down
    • ACC-ON where the MFD is on but instrument panel lights are off. Use this state when you want to play the stereo.
    • IG-ON where the MFD is on and instrument panel lights are on. Use this mode to lower the power windows, put the gearshift into N, etc. However this state places heavy drain on the 12V battery, so minimize the amount of time that the car is left in this state.
    • READY where you can drive the car.
    To cycle between the first three states, press the POWER button repeatedly, without depressing the brake pedal.
     
  10. liverbomb88

    liverbomb88 Push the Button!

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    Agreed, those who do not care about the appearance of their paint should wash it however they want, as conveniently as possible. No sense complicating life with things that don't matter.

    BTW, ONR can be used easily by those who live in apts/condos, and even in colder climates. Those are some of the reasons to use a no-rinse product. :D


     
  11. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

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    It's easier than all that. No need to turn the car off at all. Drive up and align the wheels as normal and push the lever over toward the L (neutral) and HOLD it there for a couple of seconds. Then you're in neutral. Ride through, shift to D as usual, and you're done.
     
  12. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    Forgive me if this has been addressed before, but all I found was this thread regarding having to be in Neutral for some car washes.

    I was able to ride through a car wash where it rolled you through in neutral, while washing your car. 3/4 of the way through, my battery went red, and started screaming at me that it won't charge in neutral! :eek: Thankfully I made it out w/o it dying, and put it in drive for it to charge.

    But is there any way to eliminate this? It does not last long AT ALL when you put it in neutral to go through a car wash. So if I took it to a place where I actually got out, how do I know my car isn't going to die completely while in the wash? (since most are longer than the small one I went through myself) This has to be a common problem with the Prius, since it doesn't charge in Neutral??

    TIA, and sorry if this has been addressed somewhere else. If so, please point me to that thread. I come here a lot when looking for issues/troubleshooting with my Prius, but don't usually have to post. :)
     
  13. LIPriusFreak

    LIPriusFreak Can I haz JDM?

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    i would assume the engine would eventually kick on, no?
     
  14. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    Nope. Won't charge in Neutral. :( A high pitched alarm (constant) goes on inside the car, and the dash lights up, with the screen telling you to take it out of Neutral so it can charge. I actually thought of putting it in Drive the last part, and just using the brake to help it along (trying to feel where the rollers are under my tires). But if you have to get out, there's no way to know if it dies while being guided through the car wash.
     
  15. quillsinister

    quillsinister New Member

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    You're most likely not going to be in a car wash long enough to drain your battery unless you were already down to two or three bars when you went in. I work on a naval base where I sometimes get that low fighting my way through the morning gate traffic, but it takes a half hour or so to drain to that level with lights and radio on. I've never spent long enough in a car wash (long or short) to even get the warning you're talking about.
     
  16. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    I don't know why it went down so fast, but it was nearly dead in a matter of 1 minute! Not sure why it drained so fast, but it was pretty shocking.

    Now that I think about it, it's been awhile since I did that kind of car wash.. it may have been this last summer, and I live in the Phoenix area. I didn't know until then that it doesn't charge in Neutral, so I probably had my A/C going too. I'll have to try it again, but make sure to shut everything off first.

    Soon after I got my car, I also thought I had more gas than it was telling me (because of the bladder). So I ran it thinking I had 2-3 more gallons than I really had. That weekend, I ran out of gas on the way to the store. I had just passed an intersection with a gas station, so I shut my radio, air, everything off, and turned around. By the time I pulled into the gas station, it was nearly dead! That's what the car wash in neutral reminded me of.. that's how fast it dropped to the danger (dying) zone. Otherwise, never had problems with it.
     
  17. Bodgerx

    Bodgerx Junior Member

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    +1
     
  18. kornkob

    kornkob New Member

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    In Wisconsin in January, unless you want to wait till spring to clean the salt off your car, the only rational choice is to find a touchless car wash. : )
     
  19. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    Nope, don't care at all! :) As it is, my car has been dinged(dented actually) by other car doors, as well as 2-3 different people hitting & scraping against my back bumper in parking lots, and leaving. Not really concerned about car washes doing anything worse. :p
     
  20. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    I usually use the touchless ones, but every so often I take it through the full service ones to get the inside vacuumed out & cleaned.
     
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