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Chrome Add Thread for 2021 M3

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,937
1,914
Houston
We keep calling it chrome, but is it really? As far as I can tell, it's polished aluminum. But I'm not a pro.

It's a hopeless battle. As you have probably seen, I have corrected people many times on this form that it is no way no how chrome. You'd have to be completely incompetent and blind to look at that trim and then a piece of real chrome and say they are the same finish. I mean, does it look like a mirror??

It doesn't help that employees of Tesla misquote it as being chrome because these easily misguided people go around spewing that they confirmed it's chrome from Tesla themselves. About 1 in 100 Tesla employees have any clue what they are talking about with anything related to Tesla cars.

For the record, it's anodized aluminum trim. This type of finish is incredibly common with different car brands now. And when the finish gets damaged, like chrome, it can not be buffed or polished to correct it. It has to be replaced or wrapped or painted.

It would be good if someone could set up a swap-a-trim for the Model 3 so people that like one or the other could get what they want.
 

Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,278
1,587
Left Coast
It's a hopeless battle. As you have probably seen, I have corrected people many times on this form that it is no way no how chrome. You'd have to be completely incompetent and blind to look at that trim and then a piece of real chrome and say they are the same finish. I mean, does it look like a mirror??

It doesn't help that employees of Tesla misquote it as being chrome because these easily misguided people go around spewing that they confirmed it's chrome from Tesla themselves. About 1 in 100 Tesla employees have any clue what they are talking about with anything related to Tesla cars.

For the record, it's anodized aluminum trim. This type of finish is incredibly common with different car brands now. And when the finish gets damaged, like chrome, it can not be buffed or polished to correct it. It has to be replaced or wrapped or painted.

It would be good if someone could set up a swap-a-trim for the Model 3 so people that like one or the other could get what they want.
Sandy Munro calls it "chrome" too which confuses the hell out of me - there's been more than one occasion where he says some really perplexing stuff. Given his immense experience and knowledge, though, I end up questioning my own sanity.
 
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Let's Drive

Member
Apr 1, 2019
60
92
MD
Sandy Munro calls it "chrome" too which confuses the hell out of me - there's been more than one occasion where he says some really perplexing stuff. Given his immense experience and knowledge, though, I end up questioning my own sanity.
My take is that it's a misnomer (like many other things automotive), that's generally referring to the metallic appearance and reflective finish aesthetic, as opposed to the literal material type. I'm largely indifferent, since I typically know what the person means and is aiming to remove, but I've heard it when referring to polished aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel (when talking about metals), or colored chrome details (on everything from wraps to nail polishes), so it varies.

If the discussion gets into "what is x actually made of", like you did, then someone elaborates, but rarely in a casual discussion like most threads, here. To me, it's similar to calling wheels "rims", stepping on the "gas", and putting down "horsepower"...not the most accurate, but we get by.
 
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TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,937
1,914
Houston
My take is that it's a misnomer (like many other things automotive), that's generally referring to the metallic appearance and reflective finish aesthetic, as opposed to the literal material type. I'm largely indifferent, since I typically know what the person means and is aiming to remove, but I've heard it when referring to polished aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel (when talking about metals), or colored chrome details (on everything from wraps to nail polishes), so it varies.

If the discussion gets into "what is x actually made of", like you did, then someone elaborates, but rarely in a casual discussion like most threads, here. To me, it's similar to calling wheels "rims", stepping on the "gas", and putting down "horsepower"...not the most accurate, but we get by.

The problem is maintenance. You clean chrome with chrome cleaners. You don't want to use chrome cleaners on non-chrome surfaces. Plus, chrome is not likely to be damaged by harsh detergents. The anodized aluminum has proven to be susceptible to staining from certain detergents, so you need to be more careful with it than chrome.

Bottom line, unlike you claim, it matters and it's not just semantics. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.
 

Dolemite

is my name
Sep 19, 2019
1,278
1,587
Left Coast
My take is that it's a misnomer (like many other things automotive), that's generally referring to the metallic appearance and reflective finish aesthetic, as opposed to the literal material type. I'm largely indifferent, since I typically know what the person means and is aiming to remove, but I've heard it when referring to polished aluminum, titanium, and stainless steel (when talking about metals), or colored chrome details (on everything from wraps to nail polishes), so it varies.

If the discussion gets into "what is x actually made of", like you did, then someone elaborates, but rarely in a casual discussion like most threads, here. To me, it's similar to calling wheels "rims", stepping on the "gas", and putting down "horsepower"...not the most accurate, but we get by.
I'd considered that possibility, but he's mentioned several times how chrome is harmful to the environment within that context and that it's a good thing Tesla decided to drop it from the 3/Y. So I dunno. Grain of salt and all that.
 

TLLMRRJ

Active Member
Dec 19, 2019
1,937
1,914
Houston
I'd considered that possibility, but he's mentioned several times how chrome is harmful to the environment within that context and that it's a good thing Tesla decided to drop it from the 3/Y. So I dunno. Grain of salt and all that.

They didn't drop a lot of chrome, did they? The trim is anodized aluminum. The T emblems are chrome, but they kept those didn't they? A couple of other things are chrome, but the bulk is anodized aluminum. Repeat after me, a-n-o-d-i-z-e-d a-l-u-m-i-n-u-m !
 

Let's Drive

Member
Apr 1, 2019
60
92
MD
The problem is maintenance. You clean chrome with chrome cleaners. You don't want to use chrome cleaners on non-chrome surfaces. Plus, chrome is not likely to be damaged by harsh detergents. The anodized aluminum has proven to be susceptible to staining from certain detergents, so you need to be more careful with it than chrome.

Bottom line, unlike you claim, it matters and it's not just semantics. Ignorance is not bliss in this case.
To be clear, I never claimed it doesn't matter- I specifically gave a nod to that detail in my second paragraph. What I did express, is that given context, I understand what many people mean when they say "chrome", especially when the topic is focused on a color change. By extension, the term is overused, and so mistakes like Sandy's can happen.

Feel free to keep up with the effort, but the debate you're fishing for isn't with me.
I'd considered that possibility, but he's mentioned several times how chrome is harmful to the environment within that context and that it's a good thing Tesla decided to drop it from the 3/Y. So I dunno. Grain of salt and all that.
I see what you mean, and he's probably well-intentioned on the environment part, but probably just got it wrong with this specific car, so agreed, some salt is warranted.
 

drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
290
304
North Texas
Old guy here (58). Embrace the chrome… except the frunk emblem – cleaner without IMO. I like the black trim too though it looks better on certain colors that others, but am happy with with the classic blue + silver combo. Not sure I'd add more chrome embellishments, fine as is.

Wheels are TSW Nurburgring Mirror Cut/Gunmetal, 18x8, +35mm, 19 lbs per corner (Aeros for winter). Would love to have spacers for the rear and perhaps a slight drop one day.

View attachment 630869 View attachment 630870

The bright trim just around the windows, on the door handles and the gorgeous wheels really make the car pop. I daresay it looks very nice on the red.
Why you would want ugly black on a gorgeous blue or red car is beyond me.

IMHO, chrome or no chrome should be an option. We've progressed past Dagmars and Cruiserlane Ventiports. and all the rest of the excesses of the 60s and 70s, but A little bright accent on such lovely cars is so welcome.
 

cdswm3

SR+
Jul 2, 2020
229
146
Canada
It's a hopeless battle. As you have probably seen, I have corrected people many times on this form that it is no way no how chrome. You'd have to be completely incompetent and blind to look at that trim and then a piece of real chrome and say they are the same finish. I mean, does it look like a mirror??

It doesn't help that employees of Tesla misquote it as being chrome because these easily misguided people go around spewing that they confirmed it's chrome from Tesla themselves. About 1 in 100 Tesla employees have any clue what they are talking about with anything related to Tesla cars.

For the record, it's anodized aluminum trim. This type of finish is incredibly common with different car brands now. And when the finish gets damaged, like chrome, it can not be buffed or polished to correct it. It has to be replaced or wrapped or painted.

It would be good if someone could set up a swap-a-trim for the Model 3 so people that like one or the other could get what they want.

Same issue as the "Leather seats"
 

drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
290
304
North Texas
For the sake of this discussion, can we just stipulate that the seat covers did not originate as the outer covering of an animal, and the shiny trim on the Tesla is not actually made from the 24th element in the periodic table?
 
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Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,322
4,014
Canada
There's always room for a little more chrome...or aluminum. :) Hmmm, whats next. Running boards????.. :) :) . Just kidding. :) Although.....

51214929744_479c17ab11_c.jpg


50711223276_d82b9dae48_c.jpg
 

drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
290
304
North Texas
Anyone know where I can find a chrome add kit for a refreshed M3? Looking for the window trim in chrome.
I have asked several vendors about this. All give me some song and dance about not having the right material.
I'm wondering if you could buy a chrome delete kit and have it chromed, plated, or powder coated to get
rid of that horrid black on a Red or Blue Tesla.
The black really snaps on a white Tesla, but I just don't see the black on a red or blue car.
VENDORS!!! ARE YOU HEARING THIS??? THERE'S MONEY ON THE TABLE!!!
 
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