Can I take an electric car through a car wash?

A 2019 survey found that one in five (18 percent) of drivers believe that electric cars cannot be driven through a car wash. A year earlier, a similar survey found that 42 percent of Brits weren’t sure.

It looks like the penny is dropping, but just in case there are any lingering doubts, IT IS OK to take an electric car through a car wash.

Last year, Hyundai addressed what it called the top 10 concerns and myths about electric cars. In at number five was the misconception that you can’t take an electric vehicle through the car wash or drive in a lightning storm.

In response, Hyundai said: “Of course we’ve all been told that you don’t mix electricity with water, but when it comes to EVs, it’s perfectly safe to use a car wash and there’s no extra risk of driving in a lightning storm.”

It’s worth remembering that electric cars are must meet the same strict regulations as conventional vehicles, with a tough testing regime that includes the ability to withstand water ingress. All cars are subjected to flood levels of rain, so it will have no trouble standing up to a car wash.

How to take an electric car through a car wash

If you’ve taken a petrol or diesel car through a car wash, you’ll be familiar with the process. The good news is that the procedure is the same for electric cars. Just make sure you have sufficient charge to avoid an embarrassing mistake.

First, make sure you read the instructions that’ll be printed next to the car wash. It goes without saying that you should ensure all doors, windows and sunroofs are shut before entering the car wash.

The door mirrors should be folded in, while the aerial should be retracted or removed. Do not use a car wash if your car has any loose fitting or insecure bodywork.

Once in the car wash, engage the handbrake, turn off the vehicle and make sure you have disabled the automatic wipers.

Should you take an electric car through a car wash?

At Motoring Electric, we wouldn’t recommend using an automatic car wash. The brushes can be harmful to paintwork and you’ll almost certainly collect a few light scratches and swirl marks.

Our advice would be to invest in a pressure washer and do the cleaning yourself. Not only will you do a better job, you’ll also be able to spot any damage or stone chips in the process. As a bonus, you’ll be out in the fresh air. Better for you and better for your electric car.

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