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  • Writer's pictureAutowash


With an ever-increasing degree of car complexity in today's vehicles the simple act of cleaning isn't as simple as it used to be. Today's vehicles, brimming with electronic advancements, new high-tech sensors, and automation, aren't immune to the age-old problem of getting dirty. However, they do require some specific cleaning to maintain their full suite of functions, namely clearing of sensors that control self-driving, lane departure warnings, collision warnings, and more. Once covered in grime, these sensors no longer perform as intended and can be disabled until cleaned.

The Rivian RS1 is equipped with car wash mode

📷: Rivian

But now that you've decided to wash, the process triggers all your automated systems and features! It would be inconvenient to have to manually disable each of these features, like rain-sensing wipers, or retracting door handles, every time you stopped at Autowash. Enter CAR WASH MODE! Manufacturers like Tesla, BMW, and Rivian have recognized that the complex systems they've integrated into their cars need a simple way to temporarily disable them for cleaning


Car Wash Mode is a godsend for the owner of any advanced vehicle driver. It simplifies the car washing process by disabling rain-sensing wipers, deactivating parking sensors, and ensuring all windows are securely closed. For vehicles adorned with pop-out door handles or proximity-based locking mechanisms, Car Wash Mode thoughtfully pauses these features.

Tesla car wash mode is easy to activate

📷: Tesla Motors Club


The real magic of Car Wash Mode lies in its simplicity. It replaces the need to manually disable each system through various controls and doesn't require you to remember every single thing that could be interfered with during a wash. It’s not just about convenience; it's about peace of mind, ensuring you don't miss any crucial step before heading into the car wash.

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As is typically the case, leading the pack are Tesla, Rivian, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, due largely in part to the number of sophisticated systems each manufacturer has baked into their latest models. Each brand brings its unique flavor to this feature:

  • Tesla's Car Wash Mode: An all-encompassing system that even locks the charge port for a worry-free wash.

  • Rivian's Approach: Available in the R1T and R1S, it's all about seamless integration with the vehicle's user interface.

  • Mercedes-Benz’s GLS-Class: Adds a luxurious touch by recalibrating the surround-view camera and integrating voice-recognition features.

  • BMW’s Innovation: Primarily focused on using the surround-view camera system to assist with car wash entry and alignment.

As advanced features become more prevalent across the automotive landscape, car wash mode, and equivalent convenience settings are destined to become commonplace for all drivers seeking to keep things clean with minimal hassle. One thing is for sure, as we venture further into the era of smart vehicles, features like Car Wash Mode symbolize the thoughtful integration of technology and daily life.



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