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supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
I wanted to get a consensus from other owners who have black cars. This is something that has been slowly getting worse and worse for a while now, but it finally came to a head today.

If you check out my previous post history, my Model S has required a couple visits to the service center to take care of little issues here and there. I recently came to the realization that there is nothing else pending on my list. I now deem the car to be in the condition I should have received it in from the factory 10 months ago. I'm not mad, its been a fun time, service center is great, yada yada yada, you all know that.

The car was recently detailed at the service center and ended up looking like a million bucks when it was done. The guys did a fantastic job. Not that I don't take care hand-washing it, but they have the equipment to do it right. This is probably the first time it's been detailed this well, it usually just gets washed by myself or the service center. So I go home and admire the car in the sunlight and I started to notice just how bad the hood looked when it was clean (I'd always chalked the blemishes up to dirt, bugs, my poor washing ability, etc.). But I have chips everywhere and most of them go right down to the aluminium. They are too deep for touch-up paint, so I make a few phone calls and I found the number of a body shop locally that has done complete re-paints to Model S' to give them unique colors. Apparently they do such a good job, they are the place to go if you have a Tesla.

They take a look at the hood and are shocked it's only seen 10 months of life. I ask them if they will put a better clear-coat on if they repaint it so it won't look like this again in another 10 months and they tell me that they put the same BASF30 clear-coat that Tesla and Mercedes do, and it's not supposed to look like mine does, ever. They go on to say the only time they see a clear coat not hold up this bad is when it's not given proper time to cure. And guess what, I just so happened to be on the receiving end of the new production line rush last fall.

So, all that to say this, I'm a wear and tear guy, things are meant to get used. I have 29,000 miles right now and the car, as far as the actual driving part, it has done so faithfully every time I needed it to. I get it, that it's not supposed to look new forever. I know there have been discussions on the paint being particularly soft, and I have the micro-swirls to prove it everywhere. However, I can see the bare metal on mine. I personally don't like saying this and to my knowledge have never said this, but this is a $100K car and in this particular instance (mind you I've put up with a lot), I don't think a car in this price-range should have paint chipping like this after less than a year. I wanted to get some other feedback on the paint holding up under similar duration and color for other owners.

Thanks ahead of time.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,030
24,889
Texas
I covered all the painted areas with Suntek and it still looks good enough to show. Aerodynamic cars (at least all the ones I've had) are more susceptible to chips than "square" cars.
 

William13

Active Member
Mar 19, 2011
1,003
89
South Bend
I agree that it's the aerodynamics and tailgating causing the chips. If you are talking about a haze or other issue maybe the curing time. Curing time would be the entire car, not just the front end?
 

Liz G

P03056
Apr 16, 2012
807
13
Wentzville, MO
Paint armor is my friend.

I've had my whole car wrapped and, because I don't like all the nicks in the paint armor, I've been getting the hood and front re-done once a year. The paint armor protects the paint so my car looks great when I get the paint armor replaced.
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
I agree that it's the aerodynamics and tailgating causing the chips. If you are talking about a haze or other issue maybe the curing time. Curing time would be the entire car, not just the front end?

The rest of the car looks fine most places if you don't consider the micro swirls. Interesting about the aerodynamics, I figured that would allow air to flow better over the surface. But could I expect the same effect from a Prius? Because last time I checked, a Prius hood doesn't look like this and that's .02 away in drag efficient.
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,030
24,889
Texas
The rest of the car looks fine most places if you don't consider the micro swirls. Interesting about the aerodynamics, I figured that would allow air to flow better over the surface. But could I expect the same effect from a Prius? Because last time I checked, a Prius hood doesn't look like this and that's .02 away in drag efficient.
FWIW, my Prius had many rock chips, as did the DS-21.
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
I covered all the painted areas with Suntek and it still looks good enough to show. Aerodynamic cars (at least all the ones I've had) are more susceptible to chips than "square" cars.

Yes, in hind sight, I should have just gone ahead with something, but the service center recommended against it at delivery. Going forward, I need to have the front repainted so it looks nice for clear bra and/or opticoat though.
 

eye.surgeon

Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
1,368
2,350
California
a black car with 30k miles is going to have many paint flaws-- I don't care if it's a honda civic or a Rolls Royce, and I've had both in my lifetime.
 
Last edited:

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
FWIW, my Prius had many rock chips, as did the DS-21.

It might be that, but i have a 25 year old supra who's paint is pristine. And none of my other Toyota's have seen this type of damage in so short of time.

Very interesting to consider the aerodynamics would cause this. Now I want to take a tour through the car max parking lot and check out insights and Prius.

- - - Updated - - -

a black car with 30k miles is going to have many paint flaws-- I don't care if it's a honda civic or a Rolls Royce, and I've had both in my lifetime. The only bigger urban legend than soft paint is the so-called production line rush that never happened. Have them paint it, check it in another 30k miles, it will look the same. If it really bothers you, never buy a black car again, seriously, they should have a OCD test prior to allowing the sale of a black car. My wife has had black range rovers for the last 10 years, they drive me crazy.

I had no idea black would be so bad. Now I've lived with the swirls so they don't bother me much. It's the metal showing that bothers me. The plan is a repaint and then follow-up with clear bra so that it didn't look this way again in 30k. But have other owners noticed flecks that deep?
 

vitaliy

Member
Jun 17, 2015
295
75
Tysons, VA
I see 3 solutions for Tesla:
1. Make customers wait 2 weeks longer which requires large parking lots and customers will get upset
2. Make many cars like other manufacturers, but same issues as #1 plus leftovers and higher upfront costs
3. Use high temperature dryers longer along with higher quality paint & clear coat which is cheaper than #1 and #2, but requires larger dryers plus paint and coat will cost more
Which one will you pick?

I would say neither. Tesla is still a startup (for a car company) and their profit margins should be as high as possible. At least for now.
Making cars is hard, but they are doing it better every day. Go Tesla, go
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
I see 3 solutions for Tesla:
1. Make customers wait 2 weeks longer which requires large parking lots and customers will get upset
2. Make many cars like other manufacturers, but same issues as #1 plus leftovers and higher upfront costs
3. Use high temperature dryers longer along with higher quality paint & clear coat which is cheaper than #1 and #2, but requires larger dryers plus paint and coat will cost more
Which one will you pick?

I would say neither. Tesla is still a startup (for a car company) and their profit margins should be as high as possible. At least for now.
Making cars is hard, but they are doing it better every day. Go Tesla, go

Uhhh, id rather get a good paint job with proper curing time. So what if the cost goes up. They are smart, they'll adjust to keep the margins or they won't. And from an owner perspective, I'm apparently paying for it now out of pocket anyway. It's just now I have the inconvenience added where before I would had just had to pay a few bucks more. Paint is not some new technology for Tesla to pioneer just like neither is leaky sunroofs. Wouldn't hurt to set more realistic expectations for customers and take a breath.

Still a fan of Tesla, don't think I'm not. But it takes people to raise these issues or else they will never get addressed.

- - - Updated - - -

That was a different, pre-EPA era. They could paint with freaking lead and asbestos and agent orange if they wanted to.

Sign me up! Sounds like a job for Ron Paul.

- - - Updated - - -

I see 3 solutions for Tesla:
1. Make customers wait 2 weeks longer which requires large parking lots and customers will get upset
2. Make many cars like other manufacturers, but same issues as #1 plus leftovers and higher upfront costs
3. Use high temperature dryers longer along with higher quality paint & clear coat which is cheaper than #1 and #2, but requires larger dryers plus paint and coat will cost more
Which one will you pick?

I would say neither. Tesla is still a startup (for a car company) and their profit margins should be as high as possible. At least for now.
Making cars is hard, but they are doing it better every day. Go Tesla, go

Option 3 is the one I would take. For the afore reasons I mentioned and also then they could say that they are using state of the art paint processes.
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
The claim that was made during the factory tour in late December 2014 was that the paint jobs were the best possible short of a $300,000 car, and consisted of 17 coats or layers. I thought he might be exaggerating with regard to the number of layers, but then learned that the stock silver rims have 3 coats themselves (primer, silver, and clear), so who knows. Maybe a coat has multiple layers.

In any case, we know that painting has improved these last 3 years, and the new paint facilities should give us even better processes (and palette). However, curing is curing and short of adding time and inventory aging costs, it does stand to reason that these paint jobs should maybe be babied for the first month (since after all, these are made to order and not subject to sitting on a lot or ship for weeks). I did ask about this, but since paint correction had to be done anyway due to a botched/rushed detail at the factory, I only waited a week or two. So far, so good, but it's tempting to get some XPel for the front.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,418
14,432
West Vancouver, British Columbia
FWIW, my Prius had many rock chips, as did the DS-21.
Before our S my wife had a dark grey Prius and believe me after just 30K miles the hood had many stone chips and a lot of wear marks. Black paint is the worst for showing wear and tear. We got the optional black roof (no longer available) on our silver S and I had the roof and hood fully wrapped (we also got the Tesla factory Paint Armor).
 

supratachophobia

Active Member
Sep 24, 2014
3,858
2,758
Columbus, Ohio
More evidence supporting a front and hood wrap - at the very least.

Exactly, just wish I had done it sooner. That's going to be the first thing to go on after the re-paint cures. I will say that the front bumper (albeit plastic) does seem to be wearing normally. And the fenders only have one or two places like the hood does. I would say I can see the bare metal in at least two dozen places with the grouping being heavier towards the bottom obviously.
 

SeminoleFSU

Voluntaryist
Apr 5, 2013
1,475
440
Atlanta, GA
My car was in horrible shape, and since I took delivery/possession of the car in the dark (due to them being late getting it ready) I missed a lot of problems with the paint during my walk-thru. I ended up having a full paint correction done and almost a full suntek wrap... cost me a TON of money, and was probably my single biggest disappointment with the car and how Tesla handled the issue (refused to help with any of these problems) didn't make things any better. Here's a write up from the guy who did the work to fix the problems. He did a fantastic job, and I would highly recommend him to anyone considering this type of work in GA.
Tesla Model S: Professional Car Detailing, Paint Correction and Clear Bra Installation | Ask a Pro Blog
 

caps04

Member
Aug 14, 2014
282
113
NJ USA
I have a March 2015 built MC Red car. The folks at the delivery center also advised against getting wraps and I get their point. However, 4 months in and ~7k miles, the front of the car is covered in small chips with the aluminum showing and I've only taken one road trip. If I had to do it again, I would have gotten at least the hood and fenders wrapped.

Ordered the correction/touch up paint and will try to get by for a year or so and then get everything repainted and wrapped when it gets too bad.
 

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