Update 11/22: I got the car and, at least for now, I'm going to baby the hell out of this thing! More info coming soon.
And yes, I know there will be swirls. I know this makes me some sort of monster.
I know it's not the popular opinion and there is a good chance that I will “freak out” last minute and end up hand-washing it, but living in suburban Chicago means that a large portion of the year is just not suitable for washing a car the way it should be done AND having it continually look good. It's the price you pay for having a black car. I've had 4 black cars, each one having started with the best intentions – hand wash, two bucket method, no automatic washes. But, inevitably, when the allure of a “new car” wears off (or after getting my first door ding), I throw inhibition to the wind and end up re-starting my monthly unlimited pass at my local car wash. It's just so easy.
I have come to terms with the fact that I value a consistently clean car higher than the potential swirls that appear from the use of “improper” washing methods. That said, I haven't owned a Model 3 (soon to change in Nov '18) and each car's paint job is different enough that I may stray from my expected action.
From reading though forums and sites like Reddit, it seems that many people either agreed with me or (more popularly) vehemently disagree. That said, several have offered some pretty interesting solutions to the need for a quick wash in between detailing jobs. For instance, Wash Wax All was recommended by several users as being a great waterless option to keep a car clean and free of swirls – definitely something I'll be checking out.
So, in the meantime while I ruminate over my car wash woes, what is your stance? How do you keep your car clean?