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Light patch on paint just showed up today!

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
My model 3 is one month old today, and I just noticed something that I’m sure I would’ve noticed before, had it been there. On the driver’s side C-pillar, there’s a small patch of lighter colored paint, that I initially thought was a smudge from someone touching the car (I’ve noticed that random people sometimes touch my car while it’s parked, leaving tell-tale fingerprints — especially on the door handles), but when I used detailer spray and a microfiber cloth, the discoloration remained. The surface is smooth as glass, and I can’t feel any difference between it and the surrounding area, so it’s not a scratch. Anyone seen anything like this before??? :eek:

I’ve only washed my car once, so far, using Chemical Guys extreme body soap. I clay barred it with a meguiars California gold kit, and then applied Car Guys liquid wax. This was a week ago. The results were awesome, so I’m freaking out now. Don’t want this to get worse, or have more of these spots show up! :(

F98D6923-520E-40DD-A2F4-748DA50E766F.jpeg


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kev1n

Active Member
Nov 17, 2016
1,334
922
SF Bay Area
its probably from factory. friend's blue model 3 has something very similar on his trunk, less noticeable but wider in diameter, about 5 inch
 

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
its probably from factory. friend's blue model 3 has something very similar on his trunk, less noticeable but wider in diameter, about 5 inch
Thanks for reporting that. Sorry for your friend, but glad I may not be alone.

Can’t believe I missed this before, unless it’s something that took awhile to develop. Maybe the paint is still curing? I’ll see what the service center says. Hope they’ll fix it, but nervous about repainting, after seeing this thread:

Another poor visit with Tesla Service.

What did your friend do?
 

itskv

Member
Jun 18, 2017
76
43
San Francisco, CA
Have you shown it to Tesla yet?

When did you notice it? Any speculation on what caused it?

I have not yet shown it yet. I plan to soon...

I noticed it the next day I picked it up. The delivery center is very dark with a single spot light over the car, so it’s hard to notice in that type of lighting. When the sun hits the paint, you can see the spots very clearly.

I’ve done DIY paint work before and this defect is usually from “under spray” where there is not enough metallic coating, causing that “clouded” area. I’ve spoken with some detailers (some of which worked in body shops) and they’ve mentioned the same thing and/or miss sprayed. I assume the paint process is all robotic at Tesla, so maybe something happened with the paint delivery to the sprayers.
 

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fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
I have not yet shown it yet. I plan to soon...

I noticed it the next day I picked it up. The delivery center is very dark with a single spot light over the car, so it’s hard to notice in that type of lighting. When the sun hits the paint, you can see the spots very clearly.

I’ve done DIY paint work before and this defect is usually from “under spray” where there is not enough metallic coating, causing that “clouded” area. I’ve spoken with some detailers (some of which worked in body shops) and they’ve mentioned the same thing and/or miss sprayed. I assume the paint process is all robotic at Tesla, so maybe something happened with the paint delivery to the sprayers.
Please let us know what Tesla says and does about this. I’ll do the same.
 

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
Just heard back from my SC. They said they will send my car to “our body shop for paint” when I bring it in for a few other issues that are awaiting parts.

I’ve been so impressed with the service center, so far. Just from emailing them photos, they’ve already ordered me a new windshield (scratched at delivery), door weatherstripping, and now, this. I’m so used to being frustrated by ICE dealerships, this is a breath of fresh air! Just hope they can sustain this level of service, once there are millions of model 3s on the road.

Fingers crossed that the local body shop is good at matching paint...
 

itskv

Member
Jun 18, 2017
76
43
San Francisco, CA
Just heard back from my SC. They said they will send my car to “our body shop for paint” when I bring it in for a few other issues that are awaiting parts.

I’ve been so impressed with the service center, so far. Just from emailing them photos, they’ve already ordered me a new windshield (scratched at delivery), door weatherstripping, and now, this. I’m so used to being frustrated by ICE dealerships, this is a breath of fresh air! Just hope they can sustain this level of service, once there are millions of model 3s on the road.

Fingers crossed that the local body shop is good at matching paint...

Do you have any updates?

I just dropped my car off to the SC for paint and also other work, and I was told it can take minimum 2 weeks to get the car into a authorized shop, Chilton Autobody here in the bay area. He mentioned depending on how busy, they may use Tesla's Fremont Body Shop.. Not sure if thats true or not, hopefully the work is quality...

I was given a non-Tesla loaner/rental for the time being but hoping they can get me into another Tesla as one becomes available.
 

slotti

Member
Apr 21, 2018
39
33
91307
brought mine in on Monday morning, they are repainting both fenders due to paint noses. Got a S75 as a loaner. Mine will be done this Friday. 5 days total. Van Nuys (Los Angeles) service center.
 

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
Do you have any updates?

I just dropped my car off to the SC for paint and also other work, and I was told it can take minimum 2 weeks to get the car into a authorized shop, Chilton Autobody here in the bay area. He mentioned depending on how busy, they may use Tesla's Fremont Body Shop.. Not sure if thats true or not, hopefully the work is quality...

I was given a non-Tesla loaner/rental for the time being but hoping they can get me into another Tesla as one becomes available.
I have an appointment to take the car in next Tuesday. I’ll post an update when I learn more. Was told I may or may not get a Tesla loaner, depending on availability. Definitely nervous about the paint matching.
 

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
Then there is this post from earlier today.

Bird poo & paint = bad mix
Interesting. Mine was definitely not from bird poo, but it might be worth a shot (the hair dryer), since it will be repainted, anyway, if it doesn’t work.

I’ve noticed that in bright sunlight, I can’t see this patch at all. Only seems to be visible in dimmer lighting, around dawn/dusk, or under garage lights.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,522
2,570
Northern California
My guess, without seeing any of these white patches in person, is that it is in clear coat and might have been caused by moisture being trapped in the paint at the factory. If so the hair dryer could work to bake the moisture out.

If the hair dryer does not work then hopefully it's just carefully sanding that spot of clear away and then respraying and blending clear coat around it. It will probably need to be buffed out a bit after to blend everything together but color matching would not be an issue then.
 

fseir

Member
May 1, 2016
663
510
Honolulu
My guess, without seeing any of these white patches in person, is that it is in clear coat and might have been caused by moisture being trapped in the paint at the factory. If so the hair dryer could work to bake the moisture out.

If the hair dryer does not work then hopefully it's just carefully sanding that spot of clear away and then respraying and blending clear coat around it. It will probably need to be buffed out a bit after to blend everything together but color matching would not be an issue then.
That would be a preferable solution, especially if they add clear coat and don’t just sand the existing clear coat down.
 

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