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Collision repair combined with 2017 facelift

Poll?! Great idea! Who thinks this is a good plan? ;-)

  • Good Plan

    Votes: 10 83.3%
  • Bad Plan

    Votes: 2 16.7%

  • Total voters


New Member
Jun 29, 2019
Seattle, WA, USA
Hi all, just joined TMC, so cut me some slack please ;-)
Being fed up with lacking range of my e-Golf and having lusted for a Model S for years, I finally bought a used pristine 2014 S85 (2015 model with AP1) a couple of months ago. After decades of accident-free driving I promptly had a collision. AP was not involved! Human error. ;-) It wasn't bad, but enough to wreck the front plastics, damage the rim and knock the alignment off center. Other than a paint scuff on the right front fender there's no damage to metal body parts. Now I'm researching TMC to see if I can combine the repair with a 2017 facelift to at least get something good out of it. TMC quickly turned out to be a gold mine of info on this. Thanks to Victor P85, Adrenaline Rush, TheCharlesChen and other members for your selfless, informative and encouraging posts on the OEM facelift, repair experiences, etc.!!

Since the repair will likely take some time I first wanted to see if I can keep driving Tessie, rather than having her sit at a body shop for months.
Bumper is taped back into place with packaging tape from a helpful business near the crash site. I might upgrade to a solid and more retro looking duct tape repair if the packaging tape shows any weakness.
Les Schwab was a quick way to check for suspension damage (none visible) and align the wheels. Tessie is drive-able, but the sometimes sticky steering indicates that something is bent. Since at least one parking sensor broke, failure messages pop up for parking assist, stability control and emergency braking. Radar, cameras, AP and everything else still works. Keeping trips to a minimum and slow for now.

Next step is to have Tesla generate a repair estimate. First talk with the Seattle Tesla Body Shop revealed that they can only repair with the originally installed parts - no OEM refresh from them. Suspension damage will require work either by them or by a Tesla-certified body shop. Luckily there are several close by. Once I have Tesla's estimate, and assuming (and hoping) that Tessie isn't totalled due to hidden frame/body damage/bending, I'll check if one of the T-certified shops would fix the suspension and install a 2017 bumper. To keep Progressive happy I would either pay for the few small necessary mods for the facelift or take car and new bumper separately and finish the bumper facelift myself.

Based on sobering posts about part order and repair duration I expect that this will take months rather than weeks. Hopefully the outcome will make up for the hassle. Will keep you guys posted. If anyone has relevant experience I'd love to hear about it and learn. Cheers!


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Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2018
Palm Desert, CA
I can feel your pain - you wanted this for a long time and then the ownership goes from a joy to a problem. I like the idea of taking advantage of the situation to refresh the front. I hope that structural issues don't surface, and that it doesn't take as long as you fear.

Mary Starfnbu

Aug 6, 2018
Bay Area
I, too, can feel your pain, as can nearly everyone who reads this, I expect. I hope when all is said and done, your car and your patience will be intact and updated. Please keep us posted.


New Member
Jun 29, 2019
Seattle, WA, USA
Hi everyone! Thanks for your comments, empathy and votes!
Wow, it took until now to get my car back from the shop!! Two and a half months! Insurance almost totaled the car but then decided to find the repairs that exceeded $20k. Ouch! I gladly paid the $500 deductible! I'm sparing you the glitches and hickups by both Tesla and the certified body shop. Instead here's what has worked out and might be of interest to others.

I had the shop fix only the mechanical and structural damage, but not the bumper, and they paid me the resulting $2k balance of the money the insurance paid them to fix the car. They were curious and actually installed a new bumper from another car just to see if it fits, which it did as expected.

I bought a used new-look bumper locally for $180. The certified shop helped me put together the list of parts needed to install it, including louvers, trim, grill, underpants, brackets, fasteners etc. To be safe I assumed that none of the brackets and fasteners of the old bumper could be reused. Total is $1500 and the local SC accepted my order without problems after merely warning me that these parts will not fit my car's VIN. I saw that used parts are expensive and not easy to find on eBay etc, so it was a big relief when Tesla accepted my order. If not all parts of my conservative list are needed I'll try to return them to Tesla. I will post the list of parts once I know which ones are actually needed.

I also validated with the shop and parts catalog that all 6 parking sensors from my AP1 car will fit the brackets and holes on the new bumper. If your car has no sensors you'll need to buy 6 plugs or sensors that you leave disconnected.

A friend's body shop quoted me $600 to prep and paint the new bumper and install it along with all the new parts. That's a good price. We'll see if they nickel and dime me later. ;)
I will give them instructions for the Homelink transmitter relocation and will decide later what to do about the grille cutout for the AP1 radar. If the radar fits behind the new grille I may first test drive the AP1 without cutout, letting the radar 'shine' through the grille. If it doesn't work or doesn't fit I'll cut it out or let the shop do it. Shouldn't become an issue either way.

I'm also contemplating whether to modify the logo trim to the old curved hood, or buy a 3D printed part. I'll reach out to #TheCharlesChen who wrote in another thread that he can print them.
I would love to hear if any other logo trim solutions have come out by now. Anyone?!

I should get all the bits from Tesla in a couple of weeks and will post an update when it's all done... or if I should run into surprises.

My out of pocket for the facelift after the $2000 remaining insurance money looks to be around $500 when all is done, which I'm happy with. I could have broken even by retaining the old louvres, but did not like the idea of cutting the bumper and a make-shift attachment. It probably would have been just fine. I might recoup some money by selling old louvers and other parts.
So you're looking at $2000 to $2500 depending on your decision about louvers and on what you pay for paint and install if you have those done.

Fingers crossed for the home stretch! Cheers!
  • Informative
Reactions: pilotSteve


New Member
Jun 29, 2019
Seattle, WA, USA
Great to see you are able to make some lemonade out of the experience! $20 K, wow. You must have had frame / suspension damage?

Yeah! The car was hit on the right front wheel and bumper. It now has a completely new steering rack, knuckle set for both sides since Tesla rolled the part number and only sells the new ones in pairs, rim, quarter panel, front support frame, bumper, paint and labor.
I'm glad it wasn't totalled since I love the car (duh!) and got it for a good deal that would be hard to find again.

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