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Lets talk mud flaps, spot welded nuts and loose bolts (also why every Model Y owner needs mud flaps)

Chrushev

Member
Nov 30, 2020
35
22
CA
Quick summary for those that dont know about the rear door damage caused by the front wheel kickback.

Everything that your front wheels drive over have this kind of trajectory:
This means little tiny rocks are damaging your paint:
A really bad example (from a post here on TMC), all the white spots are chipped off paint:
I live in Southern California, Ive had my Model Y for a bit over a year (June 2020), we've had rain less than 5 times in the entire time Ive owned the car, our roads see so much traffic that all of the debris, rocks, sand is pushed off the road. Where I live roads are excellent (seems like they repave instead of trying to cover cracks). That is all to say that under my driving conditions I dont have any visible/audible rocks/sand etc... yet my experience in a year is about the same as the blue Model Y (I do have ceramic coat too, so that wont save you). Its equal on both sides. Luckily its light enough to where some buffing compound and a rotary buffing tool got most of it out (with a bit of Dr Colorchip).

The issue is bad enough that Tesla started to offer a PPF kit for that area ($50 but seems to be out stock most of the time), and in some regions they even install it at factory before shipping. - Model Y Paint Protection Film

So then, what is the solution? I see this as a 2 step thing. You can do the PPF, either at any reputable shop, shouldnt be expensive, Tesla's price + labor. You can get Tesla's kit and DIY it, or get a kit from some other 3rd party, RPM Tesla, Abstract Ocean etc...

But while this will protect the door paint (hopefully), it wont protect the plastic right under the door. That thing is actually pretty rough (if you run your hand along it). So for that you would get mud flaps. Tesla offers a set for the front only. Or you can go 3rd party and usually for the same price as Tesla's get a set for all 4 wheels. Do your own research but Tesla's mud flaps are skinny and long, they wont clear some speed bumps and after using them for a few months you will notice that they wont be straight down anymore. In my opinion not great. But do your own research.

Mud flaps should protect the plastic and the door, but for extra safety you can also do PPF on that spot. (I am doing both). Mud flaps will stop most things, and if anything makes through the PPF hopefully will absorb.

Now, lets talk about the rear mud flaps. This is not something you need to worry about with Tesla's mud flaps, since they only give you the two front ones so you wont be installing anything on the back. Of course you can just do the front install on 3rd party ones as well and not worry about the back, this also means you dont need to worry about it.

But if you do back mud flaps install, a lot of the 3rd party ones utilize a 10mm bolt behind the rear wheel to attach one of the 3 points (front mud flaps only use the plastic clips and back use 2 plastic clips plus the bolt).

The issue is that some Teslas (from what I understand early ones) have an issue with that bolt. The nut that the bolt screws into is (was?) spot welded poorly. In a lot of cases in an attempt to get this bolt loose or tighten the weld breaks and now you have a spinny bolt you cant remove. In my case the weld was actually broken AT factory when they tightened it, it was tight but spun without unscrewing (Rear Left). I removed surrounding clips and used a flat head screwdriver to apply pressure against the nut in order to prevent it from spinning while using 10mm ratchet to remove the bolt. No problem. Here is what they look like (bolt and the broken off nut):


Now what? Well, two ways to go from here.

One - Attach it: disassemble the whole back to get to the metal frame and spot weld it back. OR if you dont have a means to weld you could use something like a 2 part epoxy that is labeled for Metal. This doesnt need to be an insane bond, and in all honesty 2 part epoxy after curing will probably be stronger than the factory weld as it will snap off with slightest bump, you just need the weld to be strong enough to tighten the screw back in.

Two - Use a clip. This is the route I went, from my perspective the weld was broken before my car left the factory, so all that screw/nut were doing was a compression hold against each other, something a clip does just as well. Additionally the mud flap "hug" around gives more structure to that piece of the car as it now supports it from the bottom. AND most importantly its not clear to me if Tesla started with clips and then went to bolts, or started with bolts then went with clips for that location (I am leaning for the latter since I have one of the first ones and it has bolts). But if its the latter that means most Y's out there have a clip in that spot anyways. There are bolts next to that spot (and more clips).

The clip goes perfectly into that spot, the slot where weld was is round, so its perfect. Here is comparison Tesla's clip and 3rd party clip, in this case Abstract Ocean (where I got the mud flaps and PPF from). They are longer and hold on just as well as a bolt.


So, what is the conclusion. Lets do it as a TLDR:

TLDR: Get mud flaps or rear door PPF or both (see pics above why). Dont be afraid of the bolt on the mud flaps. Chances are it will unscrew just fine. And if not, dont hacksaw it, use flathead screwdriver to apply pressure and undo it. Then use a clip in it's place. My mud flaps came with 2 extra clips just for these spots (probably because newer models have clips there anyways?).


PS - I guess there is the other option, to not give a heck and just drive the car. We are lucky that the body is aluminum and wont rust.
 

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ucsdsig

Member
Sep 10, 2016
297
241
Los Angeles
Thanks for the comprehensive write up. Should be helpful for new owners. Tesla should just install the rear door PPF straight from the factory and not make it geographic specific. I myself got a set of mudflaps off Amazon (most brands appear to be basically the same product). Thankfully I had no issues removing the rear bolts when installing the rear mudflaps.

Also had PPF installed along the entire side rocker panel (along with the front of the car).
 

Hobbsave

Member
May 14, 2021
15
19
Florida
My concern with those of Amazon/RPM (they all look the same) is that they won't provide the intended coverage for the rear panel.
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
888
702
North East Arkansas
My concern is that the side of the cheap knockoff mud flaps that faces the wheel has cavities in the plastic that look like they are DESIGNED to collect dirt and mud! I like the factory Tesla mud flaps because they are not designed like that... I wish Tesla made some rear mud flaps. I will be taking some aftermarket rear mud flaps, taking some thin foam board cut to match the shape of the mud flap, and either plasti-dip or wrap the foam board to color match it to the mud flap before attaching. The plastic mud flap will provide structure while the foam board fills in the cavity. I will be taking pictures as I go and post them up when I am done :)

Keith
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
255
146
Austin, TX
I tried a couple of mudflaps. The mudflaps on the rear right were scoopy but longer. The rear left where more 3D. The girls in the house preferred the 3D flaps that looked good from any angle, the boys the longer/lower ones. Guess which one we went with :)

That said we also lifted the car about 2".

PXL_20210808_145351445.jpg
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Grandpa Gebis

Member
May 25, 2021
30
13
Midwest
I tried a couple of mudflaps. The mudflaps on the rear right were scoopy but longer. The rear left where more 3D. The girls in the house preferred the 3D flaps that looked good from any angle, the boys the longer/lower ones. Guess which one we went with :)

That said we also lifted the car about 2".
What brand are the longer ones?
 

Cousin Eddie

Member
Aug 17, 2019
55
54
NorCal
Basenor... That's the set I didn't keep and if someone is Austin based happy give them away ... Missing some of the round black clips/plugs. Will help install but not worth shipping for m
I tried a couple of mudflaps. The mudflaps on the rear right were scoopy but longer. The rear left where more 3D. The girls in the house preferred the 3D flaps that looked good from any angle, the boys the longer/lower ones. Guess which one we went with :)

That said we also lifted the car about 2".

View attachment 695061View attachment 695063View attachment 695065
Looks great. What is the brand of the 3D ones?
 

tshields

Vendor
Jun 15, 2020
388
126
MIAMI, FL
The TeslaShields design team has been working on constructing the best fitting, sleekest possible mudflaps/splash guards with the best protection on the market! Our mud flaps require no drilling and are sturdy enough to keep rocks/ ice at bay, while being flexible enough to withstand friction from (running over curbs), for example. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
 

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ucsdsig

Member
Sep 10, 2016
297
241
Los Angeles
The TeslaShields design team has been working on constructing the best fitting, sleekest possible mudflaps/splash guards with the best protection on the market! Our mud flaps require no drilling and are sturdy enough to keep rocks/ ice at bay, while being flexible enough to withstand friction from (running over curbs), for example. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Can you explain how your product is different/better than the numerous versions on Amazon (and vendors like RPM Tesla or Abstract Ocean)? The design looks almost identical. Thanks.
 
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Chrushev

Member
Nov 30, 2020
35
22
CA
Quick update from the original post. I have now had 2 weeks of driving with my flaps (Abstract Ocean scoopy ones). Definitely see them stopping stuff. They arent collecting anything but I do see occasional sand splatter on the inside of the scoop (falls off on its own after driving a bit), and my typical commute was 280 watt/mile pre mud flaps and is still 280 watt/mile after their install (front and back). So they dont seem to be affecting range at all even with the "scoop" x 4.
 
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Reactions: ucsdsig

tshields

Vendor
Jun 15, 2020
388
126
MIAMI, FL
Can you explain how your product is different/better than the numerous versions on Amazon (and vendors like RPM Tesla or Abstract Ocean)? The design looks almost identical. Thanks.
First of all, ours is a bit longer and offers more coverage. 2nd we use a sturdier type of plastic. 3rd guaranteed to last the lifetime of your car and free replacements for the life of your car. Finally, its 20% less than abstract ocean, rpm Tesla, and Tesmanian
 

1plavs

3/29, VIN 188***, LR, White, Inductions, black int
Mar 29, 2021
494
153
MKE
Can you explain how your product is different/better than the numerous versions on Amazon (and vendors like RPM Tesla or Abstract Ocean)? The design looks almost identical. Thanks.
I have them and can tell you the difference is the rear flaps can be installed without needing to do anything with the rear bolt.
The only issue that I have is after trying two different mud flap manufacturers (RPM and Tesla Shields) the mud flap on the right side will not sit flush to the the fender especially towards the top . I tried everything from silicone to 3M double sided tape with no help. I’m wondering if I should try some kind of clip?
AAC4279D-755C-43CA-B111-DCA0C2733A4C.jpeg
 

tshields

Vendor
Jun 15, 2020
388
126
MIAMI, FL
I have them and can tell you the difference is the rear flaps can be installed without needing to do anything with the rear bolt.
The only issue that I have is after trying two different mud flap manufacturers (RPM and Tesla Shields) the mud flap on the right side will not sit flush to the the fender especially towards the top . I tried everything from silicone to 3M double sided tape with no help. I’m wondering if I should try some kind of clip?
View attachment 697492
If this is ours, send me your order number and I will send you a brand new set ASAP! (Good thing we have a lifetime guarantee).
 
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dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
255
146
Austin, TX
The TeslaShields design team has been working on constructing the best fitting, sleekest possible mudflaps/splash guards with the best protection on the market! Our mud flaps require no drilling and are sturdy enough to keep rocks/ ice at bay, while being flexible enough to withstand friction from (running over curbs), for example. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Can you show pictures from the side and front angle? That is where most flaps fail to look good.
 

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