Put an End to Car Wash Embarrassment- Workarounds for Some Makes and Models Affected by Autonomous Braking Systems

There’s no denying the importance of car wash- it can help keep your car clean, and boost its value. It can also serve as a great opportunity for car owners to take some time off, relax, and pamper the car. Unfortunately, it can also come with some problems, and be a source of embarrassment as well. And the culprit is one of the industry’s best safety technology- the advanced safety and autonomous braking system.

Yes, autonomous braking systems can help secure driver and passenger safety on and off the road, but in a car wash, it can cause trouble, and put drivers on the spot! So what makes this safety technology a nightmare in many car washes around the country?

Autonomous braking system as safety requirement on the road

Thanks to calls for safe and efficient vehicles, most car manufacturers have invested in research and development in the hope of developing new technologies. One such technology is the autonomous braking system, a technology often seen in the luxury car segment. By 2017, this technology is also being adopted in other segments, in the hope of making more cars safer on the road. This technology is also seen in the 2017 Chevrolet Spark, and allows drivers to discover if there are cars in the next lane, and will automatically put on the brakes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA even gives out a Top Pick safety rating for makes and models that feature this technology. This is the reason why many car makers are eager to incorporate this technology in their cars, in the hope of boosting the car’s value and marketability. Unfortunately, it comes with an intended consequence when your car is at the car wash- the car won’t move.

Workarounds for various makes and models

If you are planning to get a car wash, and you’re concerned about the car’s safety, let the following experiences and workarounds to help you. Remember, car wash is supposed to be stress-free and fun, so know your options.

Volvo XC90

Volvo XC90 Brake IssuesWhen writer Jimmy Dinsmore checked in a car wash recently, he found his Volvo XC90 stopping on its tracks. At first, he thought that this was due to the Pedestrian Detection system, and soon found out that this was due to the manufacturer’s Pilot Assist Auto Hold Braking. This feature is helpful when you are moving through a steeped hill, and when preventing accidents. But in a car wash, this can be a cause of concern.

Although Volvo provides instructions on how to turn this off, the information is buried deep in the manual, and can be a problem if there are other cars waiting in the line. (General steps covering all Volvo vehicles are described below)

2017 Kia Cadenza

2017 Kia Cadenza

To turn off the system, you simply need to press the Auto Hold button that can be found near the car’s gear shift. As a Kia owner, it is important to know the location of the button and its purpose.

Acura TLX

Acura TLXIf you are driving an Acura TLX, simply press the ‘N’ button while the engine is running, with the foot on the brake. Within the next 5 seconds, press the Stop/Start button. Wait for the ‘Shift to Park’ text on the screen, and once displayed, you are given 15 minutes before the Acura shifts to park.

BMW 7 Series

Once you drive the car to the car wash, choose ‘N’ in the selector lever, and turn your car’s engine off.

Chrysler 200, 300
Dodge Charger
Ram 1500,2500
Jeep Grand Cherokee

You can find a manual over-ride for the RAM 1500, and the key can be found in a panel that can be found just above the parking brake release. During an emergency, you can open the panel, and just underneath this, you will find a manual release for the car’s parking position. Many vehicles that are equipped with push button start and eight-speed transmissions also come with a rotary shifter and automatic parking brake. The chief concern with using the rotary shifter is that you cannot keep the car in neutral, if the car is running.

Lexus CT200h, ES350,RC, NX, RX

These are vehicles that feature Collision Avoidance. What you can do is to turn off the Dynamic Cruise Control, and this can be done by pushing the end of the car’s cruise control stalk. This can be found on the right portion of your steering wheel. You should get a confirmation on the gauge.

Mercedes-Benz

If you want the Mercedes to stop the engine, just remove the Start/Stop button and insert the Smart Key.Turn on the ignition and depress the brake pedal, and keep it in that position. Now, pull the Start/Stop button, and insert the Smart Key. Next is to shift the car to Neutral, release its brake pedal and the electric parking brake. Now, switch off the car’s ignition, and do not remove the Smart Key in the car’s ignition lock.

Range Rover Evoque

Simply hold the car’s ‘Power’ button for at least 3 seconds, before turning the car off. Shift the Rover to neutral, and remove your foot from the brake pedal, and then pressing the ‘Power’ button once again for just one second. With the foot still on the brake pedal, simply press the emergency brake release.

Subaru Crosstrek, Impreza, WRX (automatic), Legacy, Outback and Forester

According to the manufacturer’s manual, you simply press and hold the switch for ‘Pre-Collision Braking System Off’ for 2 seconds, and this will stop the Pre- Collision Throttle Management. A light will be illuminated on the instrument panel, confirming the action.

Tesla Model S

We suggest the instructional video that is available on YouTube. This should help you run the Model S through your favorite car wash, without the usual embarrassment.

Toyota Prius, Prius V, Camry, Avalon, RAV 4, Highlander

The steps that will be described will work on those fitted with Collision Avoidance feature. If you drive one, turn off the car’s Dynamic Cruise Control, and this can be done by pressing the tip of the cruise control stalk, which you can find at the right portion of the steering wheel.

Volvo S60, V60, S80, XC60. XC90

Once the car is in the car wash, just turn off the ‘auto-hold’ function, by using the control found on the car’s center console. Now, tap ‘Settings’, ‘My Car’, ‘Electric Parking Brake’, and deselect ‘Auto Activate Parking Brake’. This will turn off the automatic function of the brake. Now, choose N in the selector, and switch off the car’s ignition by putting the start knob on ‘Stop’, and holding it for 4 seconds.