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Do you need exterior treatments like ceramic coatings? Newbie asks.

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by docdeb27, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. docdeb27

    docdeb27 M3 LR AWD Pearl White Prem Int.

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    SO I keep reading about clear coats, ceramic coatings etc for the paint job. Is Tesla's exterior poor quality? I have never had a car require me to spend hundreds or thousands to protect a new paint job. What is this about? Sorry for the simple level question. am a 60+ y/o female, not high tech poster like so many of you.
     
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  2. brobinson

    brobinson Member

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    Its absolutely not a necessity.

    Its just like putting a screen protector on your phone. Some people will do it to ensure that their purchase stays pristine as long as possible. Others will not do it because its a car, and basically every car on the road will get some chips and dings over the course of its life. Ceramic coating isn't going to prevent chips or scratches, though. It just makes your car stay clean longer.

    Tesla paint is probably a bit on the soft side. Most of those imperfections, like swirling or light scratches, could be taken care of with a routine trip to the detailer and careful washing.

    I personally feel like the cost of XPEL outweighs the benefit. Theres no way that a $1000-$5000 investment now is going to get returned when I sell the car.
     
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  3. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    I've been researching this quite a lot myself.

    For starters, a lot of it comes down to how much effort you want to put into maintaining the appearance of your vehicle.

    Are you the kind of person who has no problem, or even enjoys spending an hour washing your car every few weeks and maybe a couple of hours doing a full wax on the car every 4-6 months?

    If so, then you should be fine with the car just the way it is. Apply a high quality wax or sealer to the car and re-apply regularly.

    If you are the kind of person who wants your car to look great, wants less effort in keeping up the appearance, and is fine with being very careful about how you wash the car (no cheap automatic car washes with brushes) then you might want to spend the $$ on a ceramic coating. Consumer grade ceramic/nano coat is good for a couple of years and will require less effort to keep the car looking good than traditional waxes and sealants.

    High end ceramic is good for 3-5 years.

    Now if you are the kind of person who can't be bothered with washing your car very often, and when you do you are going to have someone else do it for you or run it through a gas station automatic.... you shouldn't go with a ceramic coat. Ceramic coat can scratch if washed improperly.

    You'd be better off just paying someone to detail your car every 6-12 months and re-apply a quality wax or sealant to it.

    The worst thing you can do is simply ignore the finish of the car and not do anything beyond washing it once every few months. This is the fastest way to get lots of swirl marks in the clear coat as well as watch the clear coat eventually fail and the paint itself starts to suffer.

    This doesn't just go for Tesla this goes for any car.

    You can find LOTS of cars that are only 5-6 years old that look like hell.... a sure sign that the owners simply doesn't care enough to keep up the car's finish... the clear coat has finally failed, and now the paint itself is starting to peel, fade, crack or discolor.
     
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  4. docdeb27

    docdeb27 M3 LR AWD Pearl White Prem Int.

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    Thanks. Beginning to get worried about all the problems posted and now all these apparently "necessary" additions. The whole point of the model 3 was that you DID NOT have to be rich to own one.
     
  5. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    You don't have to be rich to own a Toyota Camry either, but if you ignore the paint and clearcoat on it then it's going to look like hell after 3-4 years.

    You'll have rock chips all over the front, the clearcoat, if neglected will be swirled and scuffed up and show signs of UV discoloration.

    This is not a problem unique to Tesla, this is a problem unique to "new car" + "I want it to still look new in a few years".

    Plenty of people just don't give a crap. You can tell who gives a crap and who doesn't by just looking at how their 5/6/7 year old car looks.

    It doesn't take that much effort to keep up the paint and clearcoat on any car. Even just washing the car once every couple of weeks and using a spray wax will do wonders for it.
     
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  6. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    There's no necessity other than desire. I like protecting my Tesla's with paint protection film. It's nice peace of mind. It makes washing them easier and prolongs the life of the paint. On my Model S it even saved me from repainting the car when someone scraped the car in a parking garage.

    I've had nice cars that I've loved before, but not until the Teslas did I consider something like paint protection film. I can't explain why.
     
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  7. eSpiritIV

    eSpiritIV Member

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    You dont NEED it, if you take care of your car and wash it correctly and wax it etc.

    Its a new craze, kinda like when every tire shop started selling Nitrogen instead of plain old air.

    Belive it or not, my glass installer for my bathroom shower also is using "ceramic coating" as a $100 upcharge which is suppose to keep the glass clean and bead up the water. Its the same idea, The upcharge will be when they ask you if you want "paint correction" and you pay them a few thousand more.

    Now Paint Protection Film is another animal. It helps against dings and rock chips
     
  8. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    The top local installer in my area quoted me a price of $650 for "consumer" level ceramic coating and $1200 for professional grade coating that is guaranteed for 9 years.

    Both of those include all of the prep work, paint correction, etc., in order to make sure the ceramic coating is perfect.

    Still debating if I will do it. I've never been shy about washing & waxing my own cars but I can see that ceramic does offer some real benefits that might be worth paying for.
     
  9. Toadmanor

    Toadmanor Member

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    OK, should a brand new Tesla be waxed right away or should an owner wait a period of time before waxing?
     
  10. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    These cars paint is fully cured by the time you get it.
     
  11. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    Tesla car paint is like everyone else's IMO.
    BUT, I care more about chips, scratches and swirls on my Tesla than any previous car I've owned. I park farther away in parking lots than I EVER did before I bought a Tesla.
     
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  12. 2much3time

    2much3time Member

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    Ceramic coating is just the new waxing. It just lasts much longer.

    Color correction is just getting rid of swirl marks and surface scratches that any new car would have to make the paint completely smooth which makes it ultra shiny.

    Ceramic coatings are HUGE margin for these shops. You can buy a bottle on Amazon for $50 and have enough for a few coats.

    Color correction can be done with a light abrasive and is similar to using a liquid wax.

    Neither is hard to do by yourself.
     
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  13. docdeb27

    docdeb27 M3 LR AWD Pearl White Prem Int.

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    Does the paint protection film scratch or chip?
     
  14. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

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    Not easily. It’s excellent at chip protection and then latest offerings “self heal” scratches with heat from direct sun.
     
  15. Don TLR

    Don TLR Member

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    Aren't there already 50 threads on this? Does the OP think m3 paint is specific to m3.. Just curious..
     
  16. docdeb27

    docdeb27 M3 LR AWD Pearl White Prem Int.

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    No but I have never seen such focus on paint protection and the "need" for all the extras. I've had cars for over 40 years and with typical wash/wax care have never had to add costly options like these and my cars looked pretty darn good after 7-8 years. Just wondering if this car would meet that.
     
  17. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    Based on videos I have seen it is not easy or simple to properly apply the higher end ceramics yourself... especially if you aren't ready to do your paint correction properly, have lamps for heat curing of the ceramic and so on.

    I would agree that the lower grade consumer sealants that might have to be re-applied every year or two look like they aren't too tough for a DIYer to do but I'm not sure how the results compare to the pro stuff.

    I do agree that these are high margin products, but so is just getting your car detailed. The detailer will use $20-$30 worth of products detailing your car, spend several hours on it and charge you $200-$300 for the trouble of doing something you could have done yourself if you really wanted to.
     
  18. Shizzrock

    Shizzrock Member

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    I think some of the perception is just a result of the demographics of the buyers. For many this is a 70k second car. Also, it's one of the most technologically advanced cars out there so it tends to draw a tech savvy buyer. It's reasonable that with extra disposable income one would want to invest in the same cutting edge technologies to protect their investment as well. These are generalizations but I believe I'm not far off. Just watch what happens when you post "get some bigger brakes so your car stops quicker"
     
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  19. Shizzrock

    Shizzrock Member

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    I sort of disagree about the margin on a regular detail. Besides the overhead of the shop itself and all the equipment, most of which is consumable, detailing a car to a high quality level is a LOT of work. Sometimes after detailing my car myself (if you could even call it that), I imagine if I was paid $200 for each time I did this, and I concluded it would be a tough job.
     
  20. voip-ninja

    voip-ninja Give me some sugar baby

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    You realize that when you have a shop do a ceramic seal on your car that they are going way beyond a normal exterior detail for the prep, right? When they are done they will have sanded your clear coat, polished it to an extreme shine and it will probably look better than it ever has.... whether the car is new or older.

    I imagine if you wanted that done even with no application of a high grade ceramic you would still be looking at a couple hundred bucks minimum and those guys are guaranteed to do a better job on that kind of thing then the typical shadetree home detailer.
     

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