Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Not getting paint protection film for your Model 3?

Railhawk52

Member
Apr 30, 2016
83
98
Raleigh, NC
I’m really on the fence on getting paint protection for my Model 3. On the one hand I want the car to stay nice and look good. I’m worried about that front no-grill area being a rock magnet. On the other hand, it’s a depreciating asset that I don’t want to sink any more money into than I have to, and clear wraps and even partials are expensive. It’s not like if I don’t get a clear wrap, I don’t still have my Model 3 to drive and enjoy.

Curious to see what others out there are planning to do/have already done with their Model 3s.

Anyone who didn’t do paint protection and is happy about their choice? How does that no-grill area hold up on the highways withought paint protection?
 

kotykb

Member
Mar 10, 2018
26
9
Venice, California
I'm also kicking it around, I plan on maybe owning the car for 2-3 years, its a daily driver. I have a build allocation for the upcoming Porsche GT4, that will have a clear bra since its a bit more special. When it comes to resale, if you get a color such as white, chips aren't as noticeable and it common chips won't take a hit off the value. If I was buying a preowned Model 3 I would prefer a clear bra but most owner buying one used won't care
 
  • Like
Reactions: akshaykumar

Cricket88

Member
Jan 26, 2017
351
455
Los Angeles
I was originally going to clear bra the front end of our 3 like I did on our S, but after thinking about it and accepting the panel and hood gaps as “within Tesla spec”, I decided to just drive it as-is.

If I still like it as much as I do now in a few years, I’ll get bodywork/paint done and it will probably look even better than new!

I didn’t even bother getting Blackvues either
 

doubleohwhat

Member
Sep 1, 2016
704
599
Alabama
I know it's the first thing a lot of people get done and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Each to their own. However, I've never wrapped any of my cars (Model S, BMWs) and I've never regretted it. So I don't plan on wrapping my 3 either.

That said, I do plan on wrapping the center console just to prevent it from getting a ton of scratches. If Tesla ever releases a different option for the console (matte black for example), I'll just swap out the parts. Someone could make a good bit of money selling a replacement kit for the console. I'd be fine with the coated plastic that was in my S. Anything but gloss black.
 

canyondrive

Member
May 23, 2015
45
-295
Northern California
Just like our previous S, our 3 has soft paint and Tesla still continues to have poor paint quality. I'm too cheap to spend ~2k on front clip PPF, but the front bumper is so prone to rock/bugs due to its aerodynamic design. It's been 4weeks since we started to drive and I noticed a few rock chips on front bumper, as well as some on the headlight. No damage on hood/fender, but a few on windshield which is unavoidable I guess.

I decided to spend a couple of hours at a time to cover front bumper PPF DIY-style at least. I applied RPM's headlight film on my own and they weren't spotless but acceptable. I also did some practice runs on small sections on front bumper where bugs hit the most. I plan to spend 100-150 on front bumper just on films. My local tint shop quoted me $500 for front bumper only. I know it's pro but I can't spend that much money.
 

TheLocNar

Member
Mar 10, 2018
941
855
Chicago
I’ll at least get the full front done as I plan on keeping this car for at least as long as the battery warranty.

Here’s a vid of a 3 getting fully wrapped.

 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
I'm getting PPF for the full front of my Model 3. This car will be my baby and I plan to own it for a long time. The car costs over $50k, IMO, it would be silly not to protect the soft paint from chips.

To me, it's silly to wrap and dull the paint. It reminds me of my grandparent's car when the seats had plastic wrap on them in the 70's. No thanks!

As to the soft paint issue, as I've said many times before, cite a reputable source for Tesla's paint being softer than other car manufacturers or I'll never believe it. But it's sure been a profitable allegation we often hear from the car wrap industry. It's also made about many high end automobiles, which just happens be their clientele. In fact, in the link I post above about 22ple, the OP says "With my relatively soft Lexus paint," Sound familiar?

I've driven mine with 22ple for 4 years on highways here with snow and ice where we use a lot of gravel for traction in the winter that becomes like shrapnel when thrown by a semi. I have a couple of chips after 4 years, and two small chips filled in the windshield, but nothing more than my wife's BMW or other vehicles I have owned and never wrapped. My car still shines like new and it takes a real close look to see any chips. I plan to keep it for years to come and add a Model 3 soon which I will coat with 22ple on arrival.

But to each their own.
 
Last edited:

outie

Active Member
May 22, 2016
2,732
2,341
SoCal
If you are on the fence it means you don't really need it. You are just looking for justifications to convince yourself to wrap it. Like you said it's the same car whether it's wrapped or not. I personally don't baby my cars so wrap is out of the question. For some, it's a must. When I sell or trade in the car no one cares about the perfect paint under the wrap.
 

canyondrive

Member
May 23, 2015
45
-295
Northern California
If a complete wrap costs $500 then most everyone spends 50k on a car will get it. But to me PPF is too expensive. Locally costs 2000 on front. I understand it's very labor intensive (watch PPF on YouTube) and films aren't cheap either, but I keep comparing to films on phones...

The real question on this thread is: can you stomach four digits on films on your car while the films can't save you from real collisions? Also I probably don't get better appraisal later on.

I did look into alternatives such as 3M spray (no way). In the end, I decided to try DIY PPF since big portion of cost comes from labor. If I can save 60%, I'll try to do on my own. I'm also starting to understand which areas are more likely to be chipped on 3. Model S was sightly different. More damages to the hood.

If i didn't mention it people probably don't notice my poor DIY job. I don't plan on bringing our cars to cars and coffee.
 

JoeCoolMan24

Member
Apr 3, 2016
153
163
Northwest Indiana
I have a friend who works at a dealership, and he told me can get me some sort of protective coat on the outside and on the seats at cost. I think he said it's normally like $700-$1000, but if I pay cost, it's like $150. Soo.....yeah, I'll be taking advantage of that.
 

juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
1,916
4,380
SC
Is crazy to me that people spend 4-5k on PFP on a $60k car.

When you trade in your car later to the dealership they are not going to give a dollar more than a car with normal tear and wear. A private buyer might give a little more money but not much.

I like my cars to look nice and I plan on having my bumper protected and maybe the hood partially other than i don't care.

The shape of the bumper and hood seems pretty simple and smooth. I may try to install 3M PFP myself. I did it on my EVO and is not that hard.
 

RyanS

Ka-chow
Sep 9, 2017
287
419
Elk Grove, Republic of California
I agree 100%. I would put 4-5k for wheels and suspension upgrade instead. I saw some people spending $10k or more for a full wrap. Crazy.
Since I plan on driving my M3 as a daily commute car (100miles per day), I am planning on DIY front bumper wrap. It should cost less than $400. I have done similar for my BMW and Model S and it wasn’t that difficult. Weekend job.
2018 Tesla Model 3 3M Scotchgard Pro Series Clear Bra Paint Protection Film Deluxe Kit
 

Boourns

Active Member
Mar 9, 2016
1,549
1,956
Dallas
I had been planning on doing it. But after researching a little more and calling around, I am going to forego it. I don't think it will ultimately hurt the resale value of the car, so it would really be for my own satisfaction. To not see a line across the hood (which would honestly bother me more than a couple of small chips), I'd need a full front wrap, which is quoted as $1400 to $2000+ in my area. I decided that's not worth it. It's just a car, and I can get over it not being perfect in 2 years.
 

Jason Bourne

Member
Mar 29, 2016
412
298
Philly
I considered getting PPF but the cost was too much. Instead, I'm getting a ceramic coating which I view as hardening up the soft Tesla paint to try to give it a bit more protection. It'll also help keep it clean and shiny.
My appointment for CQuartz application is at the end of this month.
 

juanmedina

Active Member
Mar 31, 2016
1,916
4,380
SC
I had been planning on doing it. But after researching a little more and calling around, I am going to forego it. I don't think it will ultimately hurt the resale value of the car, so it would really be for my own satisfaction. To not see a line across the hood (which would honestly bother me more than a couple of small chips), I'd need a full front wrap, which is quoted as $1400 to $2000+ in my area. I decided that's not worth it. It's just a car, and I can get over it not being perfect in 2 years.

It depends on the color of the car. 3M pro is really clear and almost invisible. There was silver Ferrari F430 at cars and coffee and was wondering if it had any PFP because it look perfect and after looking at it for a while I realized that it only had partial protection on the hood...but it took a while to see the line.

You can get bulk film for the entire hood and it will only cost around $180 bucks...
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,619
8,793
Palmdale, CA
To me, it's silly to wrap and dull the paint. It reminds me of my grandparent's car when the seats had plastic wrap on them in the 70's. No thanks!

Today’s wraps don’t dull the paint at all if you get a good one. I ended using a suntek film, and it actually seems to make the paint look shinier if anything. It really made our MSM S’s paint “pop” when we had it done.

When you trade in your car later to the dealership they are not going to give a dollar more than a car with normal tear and wear. A private buyer might give a little more money but not much.

Eh, it isn’t about resale value - you will never get the $$ back. It is about your personal tolerance for chips, scratches and swirls. I probably wouldn’t wrap a silver or white car, but since I picked blue, it will show all those imperfections way more. So now I no longer have to be uber careful while washing my car now to avoid swirl marks. And when I got a few door scratches recently in my work parking lot, I was immediately relieved the marks were only in the film. We even occasionally take the cars through (gasp!) automated car washes with no ill effects.
 

Sportstick

Member
Aug 8, 2017
355
609
Snowbird USA!
I considered getting PPF but the cost was too much. Instead, I'm getting a ceramic coating which I view as hardening up the soft Tesla paint to try to give it a bit more protection. It'll also help keep it clean and shiny.
My appointment for CQuartz application is at the end of this month.

CQuartz, Opticoat, etc. have no effect on the underlying paint's adhesion to the sheetmetal. They are surface coatings with different degrees of bonding to the exposed paint for environmental protection (dirt/birds, etc.) and shine. They have no effect and no resistance regarding stone chips. Two of my current cars had Xpel film applied and then the entire vehicle was Opticoated. There is no loss of shine due to the film. It is essentially invisible, unless you search for an edge. The front fascia, headlamps, foglamps, and half hood/fenders were $1,100 each and the film has clearly prevented stone damage.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top