I have seen several notes on putting the Prius in neutral during an automatic car wash, but I would like to hear some comments from Prius-owners on whether or not they use automatic car washers, as well as their experiences. Thank you.
I have a 2001 Prius that I take through a local automatic car wash frequently in the winter and occasionally in the summer. I sit in the car while the car wash does it's thing (the kids love it). I put Pikachu in neutral and keep my hands off the wheel like the sign says. I take the radio antenna off before entering.
The only problem I encountered is the front licence plate got bent up a few times until the dealer advertising frame around it cracked off. Now it doesn't do that anymore, but I no longer have a frame around the licence plate. I'm guessing one of the brushes kept getting caught in the frame.
There is no "procedure"...it's really not complicated, and I don't understand why people think it is. Just put the shifter straight to the left (neither up nor down), and let go. Confirm on the dashboard that the "N" has a box around it (has been selected).
And that's all there is to it. In the car wash, shift to "N", let go of the shifter, then let up on the brake, stay in the car, and let the machinery carry your Prius through.
That's too easy. Everybody knows that one. You didn't read the question fully! How do you get the car in neutral with the power OFF.
In neutral with the power on, if somebody hits the shift lever, the car will pop into gear and potentially run away. I want it in neutral with the power train off.