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Before I screw up my Model 3 in the car wash...

rxlawdude

Active Member
Jul 10, 2015
2,356
1,626
Orange County, CA
I totally understand and respect your point. After all, it is just a car and that $5,000 could be invested or put to use on something other than paint protection. Some Tesla owners may decide to apply at most an $8.00 bottle of Turtle Wax Seal and Shine for paint protection and that is a perfectly legitimate choice.

For me personally, there are several reasons why I went with PPF:
1) I plan on owning this car for 8-10 years and it will be parked outside unsheltered from the elements that entire time.
2) I live in an area where door dings in parking lots happen very frequently.
3) The design of the Model 3 makes it a bug and debris collecting magnet. Chances are high that the front bumper and rocker panels will get wrecked eventually if unprotected. Yes, I could live with it, but prefer not to.
4) I am a car, detailing guy. I love glossy, scratch and swirl free paint. With PPF, I will never have to do a 2 or 3 step paint correction and polish ever again.
5) Yes, PPF is expensive and you could get your car repainted instead. But PPF will protect your car and self heal over and over again. If you get your car repainted, the paint could get damaged again after the new paint job.
6) I have had a couple minor fender repairs. The PPF absorbed the impact and the paint underneath was not damaged at all. I had to replace the PPF, but it was relatively cheap to do a single fender and I was in an out of the shop in just over an hour. That is much more convenient than having to leave the car at the body shop for several days to have the fender repainted.
1. A perfectly rational reason to favor PPF in your situation.
2. I know Valley drivers all too well!
5. That's (PPF) sort of like buying an extended warranty, I guess. Money sunk vs money invested.
6. That is another good reason for PPF.

Oh yeah: GO BRUINS!!!
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,763
1,737
Houston
1) I plan on owning this car for 8-10 years and it will be parked outside unsheltered from the elements that entire time.
I'd be amazed if you get that long of life out of your PPF before it needs to be replaced, if the car is outside day and night. You don't want to take too long to replace PPF because removing it becomes a massive job if you do.
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,030
888
Encino, CA
I'd be amazed if you get that long of life out of your PPF before it needs to be replaced, if the car is outside day and night. You don't want to take too long to replace PPF because removing it becomes a massive job if you do.
I understand that concern. Xpel PPF comes with a 10-year warranty that is transferrable to a new owner in the event I sell the car before the warranty expires.
 

scooter62

Member
Dec 7, 2019
166
117
Tampa
I understand that concern. Xpel PPF comes with a 10-year warranty that is transferrable to a new owner in the event I sell the car before the warranty expires.
My XPEL installer has in writing he will replace the PPF for free in 5 years. I pay for the old to be removed.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,763
1,737
Houston
My XPEL installer has in writing he will replace the PPF for free in 5 years. I pay for the old to be removed.

That's a pretty amazing deal. But it makes you wonder how he can do that. Did he overcharge you for the first job to cover the second one, or is he running a charity business, or does he plan to not be around in 5 years?
 

MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
242
458
Florida
Just gave it my first wash with ONR. Looks perfect. Took me 45 minutes but being my first time, I think I can get it down to 30. Now I need to put a coat of wax on it. Thanks all, for the suggestions.

Mike
 
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MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
242
458
Florida
Finished the wax and having gone over every inch of the car, I noticed two things. First, when I've applied the same wax on my other cars, they are always "slick as snot": the dry bugging cloth would slide down the hood no problem. The Tesla paint is definitely "different". It's still slicker than with no wax but in some sections, it's a tiny bit gritty: like you'd expect if you held a paint can too far from the surface. Second, in the right light, you can barely see some "clouds" in the paint like it isn't evenly applied. You've probably seen the same type of thing before: when you spray paint one light coat and it isn't quite thick enough and you can tell it needs a second coat.

I don't see either as a hindrance to the appearance because you really have to examine it in the right light such as bright but shade and have to look closely. It's Tesla paint so I guess "it is what it is". Still love the car!

Mike
 

TBrownTX

Member
Dec 25, 2020
553
614
Dallas, TX
Finished the wax and having gone over every inch of the car, I noticed two things. First, when I've applied the same wax on my other cars, they are always "slick as snot": the dry bugging cloth would slide down the hood no problem. The Tesla paint is definitely "different". It's still slicker than with no wax but in some sections, it's a tiny bit gritty: like you'd expect if you held a paint can too far from the surface. Second, in the right light, you can barely see some "clouds" in the paint like it isn't evenly applied. You've probably seen the same type of thing before: when you spray paint one light coat and it isn't quite thick enough and you can tell it needs a second coat.

I don't see either as a hindrance to the appearance because you really have to examine it in the right light such as bright but shade and have to look closely. It's Tesla paint so I guess "it is what it is". Still love the car!

Mike

Did you claybar the car first?

Tim
 

joebruin77

Active Member
Dec 23, 2018
1,030
888
Encino, CA
Just gave it my first wash with ONR. Looks perfect. Took me 45 minutes but being my first time, I think I can get it down to 30. Now I need to put a coat of wax on it. Thanks all, for the suggestions.

Mike
Now that you have a coat of wax on it, there is a version of ONR with wax in it (the green solution) that you can use for maintenance washes. And/or you can use a spray wax or sealant as a drying aid for every rinseless wash to maintain your “just waxed” look.
 
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MikeyC

Member
Aug 19, 2019
242
458
Florida
Did you claybar the car first?

Tim

No. Was about all I could do to wash it and wax it in one day. Not getting any younger as they say. :) Just wanted to get some protection on it. Plus I was afraid to "take off" any paint given how thin it looks. I've never used a clay bar so maybe down the road I'd take it to someone and have them remove the wax, do that, and reapply. I've seen "Model 3 paint correction" but I'm not into that just yet.

Mike
 
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TBrownTX

Member
Dec 25, 2020
553
614
Dallas, TX
No. Was about all I could do to wash it and wax it in one day. Not getting any younger as they say. :) Just wanted to get some protection on it. Plus I was afraid to "take off" any paint given how thin it looks. I've never used a clay bar so maybe down the road I'd take it to someone and have them remove the wax, do that, and reapply. I've seen "Model 3 paint correction" but I'm not into that just yet.

Mike

All good, truth be told I did not clay bar mine first, either! I did want a quick coat of protection though.

You are right, you can always do it later and then re-apply, should you be so inclined. I used to clay my show car twice a year and reapply wax. Not going though all that for a “daily driver”, even one as nice as a Tesla.

It’s rail dust and other contaminants that are probably giving it that gritty feel, versus any real difference in the paint.

Tim
 

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