Exterior Cleaning

Protect the paint by immediately removing corrosive material (eg bird droppings, resin, dead insects, tar stains, road salt and industrial precipitation, etc.). Do not wait for Model 3 to wash. Remove any tar stains and stubborn grease stains with denatured alcohol, and immediately remove the alcohol residue by washing the area with water and mild soap without solvent.

Keep the exterior cameras free of dirt, condensation or blockages. These materials can cause blurry images or stop the autopilot and safety functions from working (see Cleaning a Camera).

Use the following procedure for external washing of Model 3:

Rinse thoroughly

Rinse dirt and sand off the car with a hose before washing it. Rinse areas where mud and dirt easily accumulate (eg at wheel guards and panel joints). Rinse the undercarriage, wheel guards and brakes thoroughly to remove road salt residues during the winter months.


Wash Model 3 by hand with a clean, soft cloth and cold or lukewarm water with a mild, high-quality car shampoo.

Rinse with clean water

Rinse the car with clean water when you have finished washing it to remove soap residue from the surfaces.

Dry thoroughly and clean the outside of the windows

Wipe the car thoroughly with washcloth after it has been washed and rinsed. If necessary, dry the brakes by running a short turn and activating the brakes several times.

Clean windows and mirrors with a special car window cleaner. Avoid scraping or using detergent that contains abrasives on glass or mirror surfaces.

Car wash condition

When you drive the Model 3 to a Bilvask, car wash mode will close all windows, lock all doors and disable wipers, sentry mode and door locking when leaving the car, and parking sensor sounds. To activate the function, press the Control buttons > Service > Car wash mode. Your vehicle must be parked and must not be actively charged.

If you use an automatic car wash, the Activate free rolling function keeps your vehicle in neutral and activates free rolling during the car wash, preventing the Model 3 from activating the parking brake if you leave the driver’s seat. Activate the function by depressing the brake pedal and pressing Activate free rolling ; or shift to neutral.

Car wash mode is deactivated if the vehicle speed exceeds 16 km / h or by pressing Exit on the touch screen.

Cleaning a camera

To ensure a clear image, the camera lens must be kept clean and free of blocking objects. Remove any accumulation of dirt by spraying water on the camera lens with a spray bottle or high pressure cleaner.

Polishing, polishing and repair of the body

If you want to preserve the cosmetic appearance of the body, you can occasionally treat the car’s lacquered surfaces with an approved polish containing:

  • A very mild abrasive that can remove surface dirt without removing or damaging the paint.
  • Materials for filling in scratches so that they become less visible.
  • Wax, which adds a layer of varnish that protects against environmental influences.

Check the paint regularly for damage. Small notches and scratches can be treated with a special lacquer pen (can be purchased from Tesla). Use the paint pen after washing, but before using polish or wax.