Fear not. Automatic car washes will not damage your battery, electrical components or electric motor.

Washing electric cars in various automatic car washes, such as rollovers, tunnels and jet wash systems, is completely safe: this equipment will not damage the electric system, electric motor or the batteries. These systems are sealed to prevent water intrusion.

Top tips on how to prep/wash an electric car in an automatic car wash:

  • There are no big differences compared to washing diesel or gasoline cars, but to ensure the highest possible standard of cleaning and give you complete peace of mind, we advise that you follow a series of recommendations.
  • In the wash tunnel, the ignition should be on and the car should be in neutral, making sure it has enough battery power and that any automatic functions such as windscreen wipers are disabled.
  • As with any other car, the mirrors should be folded in, and the antenna and any other protruding elements should be removed. You should also check that the windows and doors are properly closed.

Today, car wash and car care experts have confirmed that it is completely safe to wash electric cars in rollovers, tunnels and jet wash areas, assuring that this equipment will not cause damage to the electric system or the batteries.

This is the message from ISTOBAL, the Spanish leader in car wash and car care solutions for the automotive industry, in response to any doubts about what these cars needs in terms of maintenance and care.  

ISTOBAL experts pointed out that electric and hybrid vehicles are not so different to clean compared to diesel or gasoline cars. In this regard, they advise following a series of general recommendations when using automatic and jet wash equipment in order to ensure the highest possible standards and maximum guarantees during the car wash process. 

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Cleaning electric cars in car wash tunnels 

 
In car wash tunnels, the ignition should be on and the car should be in neutral with the emergency brake disabled so that the drag train can pull on it in the car wash tunnel. Electric, hybrid and automatic cars should be in position "N" (neutral) to stop the wheels locking and allow the car to move through the car wash tunnel.  
 
It is also advisable to disable all the automatic functions such as the front and rear windscreen wipers, folding in the side view mirrors, removing the antenna and any other protruding elements such as roof racks or other accessories, and finally checking that the windows and doors are properly closed. 
 
Drivers of electric cars are advised to make sure they have sufficient battery before entering the tunnel so that the electric motor can be used during the wash.  

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Rollovers and jet wash areas 


In rollovers and jet wash areas, ISTOBAL recommends washing the car with the engine switched off and the emergency brake engaged.  
 
With both cleaning options, it is also vital to ensure that there are no issues with the vehicle that are likely to be affected during the wash, as well as to remove any external elements that are not fixed to the vehicle. The windows, sunroof and doors and should also be fully closed. In rollovers, the side view mirrors must also be folded in and the antenna removed.  
 
Other recommendations when using the jet wash include: making sure the cleaning product does not dry on the surface of the vehicle as this can dull the shine of metallic parts, selecting the appropriate wash gun for each stage, and spraying the vehicle from top to bottom, maintaining a minimum distance of 1 foot between the end of the hose and the vehicle.  
 
In terms of choosing the right wash programs for tunnels, rollovers and jet wash areas, ISTOBAL recommends carrying out a pre-wash on the car with products designed to effectively remove even the most stubborn dirt, as well as using wax to protect the paintwork. 

Closing

We at InsideEVs suggest the hand-washing method if possible, but rest assured that your battery and electrical components will be okay in an automatic car wash or if using a jet wash (pressure sprayer) type of setup.

Source: ISTOBAL