EV Myth: You can't take an EV through an automated car wash.

June 28, 2022

Myth: You can't take your EV through an auto­mat­ed car wash.

Myth Bust­ed: EVs can go through a car wash the same as a gas car. Just put the car in neu­tral and you're good to go!

Many peo­ple believe that an elec­tric car isn't able to go through an auto­mat­ed car wash. How­ev­er, not only is it com­plete­ly safe to do so, you sim­ply shift it to a neu­tral posi­tion, the same as a gas car! This blog post will clear up some con­fu­sion about shift­ing to neu­tral in an EV and using auto­mat­ed car washes.

EVs don't need a trans­mis­sion because the pow­er to the wheels is reg­u­lat­ed by the cur­rent flow­ing through the bat­tery. Gas cars, on the oth­er hand, need a trans­mis­sion to reg­u­late the pow­er to the wheels, hence the dif­fer­ent gears, such as neu­tral. Since EVs do not have a trans­mis­sion, many think that you can't put the car in neu­tral. While EVs may not have a neu­tral gear in the tra­di­tion­al sense, they do still have a neu­tral posi­tion. This can be used to tow your car, or to send your vehi­cle through an auto­mat­ed car wash. Want to know more about the dif­fer­ence between neu­tral in gas and elec­tric vehi­cles? Read this blog post writ­ten by EVCARTIPS.

With­out a trans­mis­sion, elec­tric vehi­cles only have one gear, so it may not be as obvi­ous how to switch to a neu­tral posi­tion in an EV. This can be con­fus­ing at an auto­mat­ed car wash because you need your car be in a neu­tral posi­tion. The process of putting your car in neu­tral will vary depend­ing on your EV. For instance, in the Nis­san Leaf you can shift to neu­tral using the con­troller. You just need to put your car in park, place your foot on the brake, pull the con­troller all the way to the left and hold for a few sec­onds, and it will shift into neu­tral. On the oth­er hand, for a Tes­la Mod­el 3 or Mod­el Y you can shift to neu­tral by push­ing the gear stalk either down or up and hold­ing for a second. 

You should be able to find infor­ma­tion on how to shift to neu­tral in your car's user man­u­al. There are also many dis­cus­sion forums online for EV users that can help iden­ti­fy how to put your spe­cif­ic mod­el into neu­tral. Next time your EV needs a good clean, don't hes­i­tate to shift your car to neu­tral and enjoy the auto­mat­ed car wash.

Source 1: Bruce, Dar­ren. This Is Why Elec­tric Cars Don't Have Neutral. EV Car Tips. 2022. https://evcartips.com/this-is-why-electric-cars-dont-have-neutral/

Source 2: Mey­er, Erwin. How To Put Tes­la in Neu­tral — All Mod­els Explained. EV Speedy. n/d. https://www.evspeedy.com/put-tesla-in-neutral/


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