TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Lesson Learned with rock chips

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Firewired, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. Firewired

    Firewired Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    I just wanted to share with everyone so that you could consider before you make the same mistake as I did, and hold off on getting my car filmed. I picked up my grey MS 12/23. One thing i have been surprised about in such a short period of time is how easily it is to get rock chips on the soft aluminum hood. Despite trying to be careful, for some reason it has seemed exceptionally easier than any other car I have owned. On the darker Teslas, rock chips are very apparent and show up as white specks. For the new grey in particular Tesla does not make touch up paint yet. I had to have a bottle of touch up formulated by a local body shop. Lesson learned, I think that unless I want the front to be a continued maintenance issue or end up look like a teenager with acne it really has to have film applied to the front hood and bumper.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    My experience has been that every aerodynamic car gets far more rock chips than a non-aerodynamic one. Full coverage paint armour was the best thing I've done for my Model S (other than driving it, of course).
     
  3. Alysashley79

    Alysashley79 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    646
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I agree with jerry. IF you can't do a full body wrap which i highly recommend (those quarter panels take a beating as well) at least full front including nose cone!
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    As I'm at 63k miles I can confirm this and also highly recommend full wrap if possible. My biggest regret is not wrapping the headlights, foglights, and some sort of windshield protection. Those three parts of my car are literally destroyed from being sand blasted on the highways and rock chips. Everything else looks fine due to the XPEL ultimate.
     
  5. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    I thought I was alone with rock chips on the hood, qtr panels. Every picture here shows pristine paint. Undoubtedly, full PPF is a MUST on this car. Tesla really needs to offer full PPF from the factory. It's really one of the more important options.
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Are they any manufacturers that offer full PPF? Would be nice if they didn't offer it though.
     
  7. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    I don't know. Probably not unless it's very high end. Tesla did offer a partial, on both the Roadster, and the Model S for a while.
     
  8. Jean-Claude

    Jean-Claude Local Vendor - Southeast

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA.
    We've seen Teslas the day they were delivered with damage from the road as well as 20k mile versions of Model S's without film. If someone only has the budget for one form of paint protection, clear bra would be it imho. Nothing protects like it and with the most recent advancements made in the topcoats, folks get a self healing effect along with great chemical resistance and minimal texture/orange peel. Model S's are definitely prone to some gnarly rock chips.

    With that said, some individuals do not mind rock chips and PPF is not a good fit for them in that case.
     
  9. ACDriveMotor

    ACDriveMotor Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2013
    Messages:
    815
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've wanted film but a full wrap, at least here in Seattle, is very expensive. I don't look forward to any eventual chips but I do have to put a price limit on vanity issues. The car performs the same with or without small chips and the resale price of a pristine '13 P85 seems to be infinitely more a strong function of mileage/features than paint correction. If it cost half as much as the $10K I've been quoted I'd seriously consider it.
     
  10. Jean-Claude

    Jean-Claude Local Vendor - Southeast

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2015
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA.
    You seriously have one of the finest PPF installation companies in the whole USA in your neck of the woods. Metropolitan Detail does fantastic work and they happen to be a forum sponsor and Tesla owners. $10k sounds like a full wrap. Why not have them just wrap the front? It should be much less and it will cover the areas most prone to damage.
     
  11. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    $10k souds like a lot for PPF. In a lot of areas of the country, you can get a really good paint job for that.
     
  12. Jhall118

    Jhall118 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I too live in Seattle. I really wanted to get a full wrap, but didn't for a few reasons:

    1) Protection isn't worth the price. I have seen testimonials (usually from detailers ) about how their wraps protected the car from getting keyed, or a bad rock chip. Even when this saves you from paying your deductible, they forget to mention that you are paying hundreds of dollars to redo the wrap afterwards. From a protection point of view, wrapping a car is the worst form of "insurance". It also doesn't add much value to the car.

    2) People don't care. Seriously. I have probably a dozen tiny rock chips, and one door ding in my Red Tesla. I could tell you where every single one of them is. The funny thing is, everyone complements my car, and nobody ever notices. I can do a lot of cooler mods (Lighted T, the new chrome strip, awesome rims, etc.) for much less money.

    3) My car is going to get dirty no matter what I do. It's Seattle.

    If after a few years it starts to get really bad, I can repaint my entire car professionally, or I could do a colored wrap for half the price! I don't fault anyone rich enough to throw 6k-10k on a wrap without a second thought, but I just can't justify it.
     
  13. Metropolitan Detail

    Metropolitan Detail Local Vendor - Northwest

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    metropolitandetail.com 425.233.6068 12700 Bel-Red

    Thanks Jean Claude for the mention. A full Xpel Ultimate wrap on a Model S runs $7500 with the pano roof option and we feel this is the very best way to preserve the paintwork on a new car, as it self heals light swirls and scratches, and of course protects from the inevitable rock chip damage. We have wrapped close to 100 Teslas complete from bumper to bumper, and can assure that our installations are fitted with the upmost precision making the film appear invisible. Also included in any film wrap is "free film wax for life", this means with the purchase of a hand wash service, we will wax all the film on the vehicle free of charge, and this keeps our film always looking it's best even years down the road.

    As far as resale goes, a fully wrapped car is certainly easier to sell, and the new owner can be assured that the condition will certainly be a lot better than a unwrapped car. If you were selling a 3 year old Honda Civic, the price difference between a normal condition and excellent condition might only be a couple of thousand dollars, but on a $100K+ car you can bet the difference will be a lot more. Not to mention that driving a car rock chip and swirl mark free makes for a much more pleasurable experience, especially since Teslas seem to be a magnet for thumbs up :love: from enthusiasts alike.
     
  14. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2,817
    Let's not get carried away. The film makes a difference in the resale, but its a small fraction of the initial cost. It's a very poor ROI, if one only looks at the resale value. I would even probably argue that unless the owner plans on keeping the car for quite a while, it really isn't worth it at that ($7.5k price).
     
  15. morbot

    morbot Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Seattle
    To be fair, nothing about cars is a good investment really :)

    My old ICE is 11 years old, back when I got it I had a 3M wrap applied (hood & front only). Not sure how many people were doing PPF back then, but I only ever recall 3M coming up for material. Anyway, it did it's job over the years and the hood and front took a beating. I had the film removed last year because it was pretty beat up, the paint still looks good. I even had an incident where I rubbed against the garage entry because I turned too early backing out... the wrap took the hit, not the paint.

    As I look to sell the car, I know the exterior condition will come into play. Most people cannot believe it when I tell them how old the car is. I baby'd it for the first few years, but other than that I treated it fairly normally.

    Will I get back the money I put into the wrap all those years ago? No. Did it prevent me from paying for paint repairs? Undoubtedly. Will I be able to get a little higher resale value compared to a car that got nick'd & ding'd up? I sure hope so.
    But resale aside: I got 10 years of "peace of mind" knowing I had a level of protection and I had 11 years of a very nice looking car. And that is worth a lot too.
     
  16. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Messages:
    2,754
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
    I went the CQuartz route as I really didn't want a car wrapped in plastic (just me being weird). The finish looks fantastic. But it of course does nothing for chips. I wish I had gotten it done. But right now, the dollars are not there. I got a quote of 2,500 for full front, mirrors, bottoms of doors, below the crease and the rear bumper/tailgate. That's the same cost for my full, wheels off, polish, CQ coating and interior detail when first delivered. 10K is WAY out of my league for a full wrap and hope that I could do better some day. I have been lucky in that I live No CA, where we don't have winters, so the few nicks I have are probably only noticeable by me. But it kills me just the same. I am doing my best to accept that it is simply part of owning a car that is exposed to the elements.

    But what REALLY PO'd me was the rock chip I got smack in the middle of the windscreen three months in. Star pattern and all. But I found a great glass guy who reduced it by about 90% and thankfully, it is right in line with the mirror, so I don't see it while driving.

    A lesson in letting go!
     
  17. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Messages:
    786
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I know there have been recent improvements in wraps. But, I plan on having my car for at least 10 years, and here in Florida with the sun, I have NEVER seen a white car (our color) that has a wrap or covering that does not look like crap after several years. Sorry, and I would like to be proven wrong, but again have never seen one that over time here in the sun does not discolor or become visible. I drive my car to work every day, and it is out in the sun at work. It is garaged every night, and I take excellent care of it. So, I made the decision to go with Dr. Colorchip for the occasional chip touch-ups. It does a great job. But it is a car, and I drive it, so I have to realilze that small rock chips will happen.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,752
    Location:
    Texas
    It may not add much value, but it sure makes the car look nicer longer. And just replacing a portion of the wrap is a lot less expensive than painting.

    I like to show my car, and showing a car with rock chips just doesn't cut it.

    [/QUOTE]3) My car is going to get dirty no matter what I do. It's Seattle. [/QUOTE]

    But it sure makes it easier to clean.

    [/QUOTE]If after a few years it starts to get really bad, I can repaint my entire car professionally, or I could do a colored wrap for half the price! I don't fault anyone rich enough to throw 6k-10k on a wrap without a second thought, but I just can't justify it.[/QUOTE]

    Having been involved in a few professional car painting projects (fortunately not my dime), most of them have been disappointing. To do it right you have to take everything off of the car, dip the body to throughly clean it, paint it, and then put everything back so that it works. I don't want to even begin to imagine how much this would cost for a Model S. Anything less than that is going to look like the car's been painted to any critical observer (and if it's a poor paint job, to any casual observer).
     
  19. sickfox

    sickfox Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Messages:
    386
    Location:
    San Francisco
    100% agree!

     
  20. Firewired

    Firewired Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    To be fair. I was't meaning to create any controversy, just trying to share my experience so some might think about film more seriously than I did initially. I can't believe the 10k price in Washington, that's impressive! Going to an reputable dealer here in San Antonio I got the full hood with the seams folded over, front bumper and front quarter panels for approximately $1500. Being in Texas with all the pickups with indiscrete door opening, I am probably going to go back and at least get protection on the side as well.
     

Share This Page