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Paint chips on hood after 2,000 miles?

idealdreams

Member
May 10, 2019
82
94
USA
I've had my LR AWD Model 3 for about 6 weeks now and have put just under 2,000 miles on it. As I was washing my car tonight, I noticed several very small paint chips on the hood in various locations and I can't figure out how they're getting there.

My Model 3 is black and the paint chips appear as very small, white specks in various locations on the hood. They don't come off at all with car soap, tar remover, etc., but I can't feel any depth to the affected areas when I gently glide a finger nail over them.

I have never followed a vehicle close enough for these to be rock chips and I don't drive on barren roads where rocks/debris are prominent.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and if there's anything I can change to stop more chips from appearing? This is my 5th vehicle but never have I seen paint on a car that is this fragile.
 

golfpilot

Member
Oct 14, 2016
437
416
Modesto, CA
I have a white one with 29k miles. front is covered in little chips. Right after cleaning you can see them. Drive to the store (down a country road) and they blend right in with the bugs until I clean it again. If it really bugs you, get a ceramic coating.
 

idealdreams

Member
May 10, 2019
82
94
USA
It does really bug me. There are 5-10 small paint chips on the hood alone after 2,000 miles. I haven't even had the car for two full months. How is the paint that fragile compared to other vehicles?

I can spot the tiniest paint imperfection on any car of any color when I'm going through my wash process and have never seen this many paint chips in such a short amount of distance driven on any of my previous vehicles under circumstances where debris/rocks aren't even coming at the car!

I drove my last car for 3 years/30,000 miles and noted 3-4 rock chips at the end of my ownership and there are more on this car with less than 10% of the miles!!

Spending money on a ceramic coating to prevent a problem that shouldn't even happen in the first place is really unacceptable. I don't understand how others are so complaisant with Tesla on this. How are the other auto manufacturers making $50,000 vehicles making their paint so much tougher than Tesla?

I'm afraid to even look at my Model 3 wrong in fear that the paint may become frightened, chip off, and flee back to California.

Am I in the minority here? Am I overreacting? After 3 Cadillacs and an Audi, I do have some higher expectations on paint quality in a brand new "luxury" car, and Tesla is falling very short very fast.
 
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Reactions: P85_DA

N.Y.R.

Member
Mar 30, 2019
413
293
Calgary
I have a white one with 29k miles. front is covered in little chips. Right after cleaning you can see them. Drive to the store (down a country road) and they blend right in with the bugs until I clean it again. If it really bugs you, get a ceramic coating.
Ceramic coating does nothing for rock chips. You need PPF if you want to stop rock chips, Ceramic just makes the car easier to clean.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
5,961
11,295
Springfield, VA
Vehicles in front of and around you are always kicking up small rocks and debris even if you aren’t following closely. Trucks car kick up rocks for hundreds of feet.

Your best bet is to have paint protection film installed while you still have paint left. Tesla’s paint is pretty soft due to the strict emissions regulations in California.
 
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Mysta

Former Vendor
Feb 4, 2019
233
159
Greenville, SC
I've always noticed chips in my cars and it always bugged me for a few months, this time I just did ppf on the front and rocker panels, working out great.
 

ricohman

Member
Dec 31, 2018
470
403
Saskatchewan
Vehicles in front of and around you are always kicking up small rocks and debris even if you aren’t following closely. Trucks car kick up rocks for hundreds of feet.

Your best bet is to have paint protection film installed while you still have paint left. Tesla’s paint is pretty soft due to the strict emissions regulations in California.

Do you know for certain that Tesla is using water based clear coat?
Because not even California requires this.
 

Ragnarkov

Deep Blue Metalic SR+ w/ Sports Rims
Jun 23, 2019
42
32
Vancouver
There have been studies showing the thickness of Tesla's paint is no thinner (and sometimes thicker) than other luxury brands (like MB, BMW etc... even compared to brands like porche). Go to BMW forums... they are ripe with people complaining of the exact same issue.

Car companies are gonna find ways to save money. Period. What better way than to shave a few micromilimeters off the paint coat. Nobody can tell the difference, and in the long run it'll save money.

It's an issue across a WIDE variety of cars. Hence why stuff like PPF is getting so big.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: TMThree

Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,015
536
LOS ANGELES
It does really bug me. There are 5-10 small paint chips on the hood alone after 2,000 miles. I haven't even had the car for two full months. How is the paint that fragile compared to other vehicles?

I can spot the tiniest paint imperfection on any car of any color when I'm going through my wash process and have never seen this many paint chips in such a short amount of distance driven on any of my previous vehicles under circumstances where debris/rocks aren't even coming at the car!

I drove my last car for 3 years/30,000 miles and noted 3-4 rock chips at the end of my ownership and there are more on this car with less than 10% of the miles!!

Spending money on a ceramic coating to prevent a problem that shouldn't even happen in the first place is really unacceptable. I don't understand how others are so complaisant with Tesla on this. How are the other auto manufacturers making $50,000 vehicles making their paint so much tougher than Tesla?

I'm afraid to even look at my Model 3 wrong in fear that the paint may become frightened, chip off, and flee back to California.

Am I in the minority here? Am I overreacting? After 3 Cadillacs and an Audi, I do have some higher expectations on paint quality in a brand new "luxury" car, and Tesla is falling very short very fast.
Oh man that stinks. I would have for my car to get tore up already with less than 130k miles on it.
 

Rottenapplr

Active Member
Apr 6, 2019
1,015
536
LOS ANGELES
There have been studies showing the thickness of Tesla's paint is no thinner (and sometimes thicker) than other luxury brands (like MB, BMW etc... even compared to brands like porche). Go to BMW forums... they are ripe with people complaining of the exact same issue.

Car companies are gonna find ways to save money. Period. What better way than to shave a few micromilimeters off the paint coat. Nobody can tell the difference, and in the long run it'll save money.

It's an issue across a WIDE variety of cars. Hence why stuff like PPF is getting so big.
I can second that. Every car I’ve owned people on the forums complain about the soft pain from Nissan to VW to BMW.
 
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Reactions: TMThree

cybergates

Member
Feb 14, 2017
550
240
So Cal
I have opticoat coat pro on my 44k model S now 2.5 years old and it still looks brand new - I know its not PPF but ceramic coating does seem to help prevent minor issues and seems cost effective.
 

Johnii__82

Member
May 12, 2019
184
236
Finland
I've had my LR AWD Model 3 for about 6 weeks now and have put just under 2,000 miles on it. As I was washing my car tonight, I noticed several very small paint chips on the hood in various locations and I can't figure out how they're getting there.

My Model 3 is black and the paint chips appear as very small, white specks in various locations on the hood. They don't come off at all with car soap, tar remover, etc., but I can't feel any depth to the affected areas when I gently glide a finger nail over them.

I have never followed a vehicle close enough for these to be rock chips and I don't drive on barren roads where rocks/debris are prominent.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and if there's anything I can change to stop more chips from appearing? This is my 5th vehicle but never have I seen paint on a car that is this fragile.

It seems we may have very bad batch of model 3 painting. Does it look my my after 1300 miles ?
>>

Tesla Model 3 after 1300 miles - Google Drive


Link for tmc post.

>>
Model 3 paint wearing off

Also check our complaint >> scroll down comment and click "read more"

Consumer advocacy service

We have created global facebook already to identify how many people are having problems on their Model 3 painting.

Tesla Model 3 owners worldwide with paint issues
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,762
3,497
Maine
It does really bug me. There are 5-10 small paint chips on the hood alone after 2,000 miles. I haven't even had the car for two full months. How is the paint that fragile compared to other vehicles?

I can spot the tiniest paint imperfection on any car of any color when I'm going through my wash process and have never seen this many paint chips in such a short amount of distance driven on any of my previous vehicles under circumstances where debris/rocks aren't even coming at the car!

I drove my last car for 3 years/30,000 miles and noted 3-4 rock chips at the end of my ownership and there are more on this car with less than 10% of the miles!!

Spending money on a ceramic coating to prevent a problem that shouldn't even happen in the first place is really unacceptable. I don't understand how others are so complaisant with Tesla on this. How are the other auto manufacturers making $50,000 vehicles making their paint so much tougher than Tesla?

I'm afraid to even look at my Model 3 wrong in fear that the paint may become frightened, chip off, and flee back to California.

Am I in the minority here? Am I overreacting? After 3 Cadillacs and an Audi, I do have some higher expectations on paint quality in a brand new "luxury" car, and Tesla is falling very short very fast.
The front has a big nose without a big hole for a radiator inlet. Lots of potential chip-creating stones go into that black void and don't hit the paint on the nose of your car, but hit your radiator or the fan. Also, the hood has a fairly steep rake, exposing the car to potentially more chip-creating rocks. The windshield is likely to get more stone hits as well. It's the design. I expected it, and planned to get it PPF'd.
 

Johnii__82

Member
May 12, 2019
184
236
Finland
M
I've had my LR AWD Model 3 for about 6 weeks now and have put just under 2,000 miles on it. As I was washing my car tonight, I noticed several very small paint chips on the hood in various locations and I can't figure out how they're getting there.

My Model 3 is black and the paint chips appear as very small, white specks in various locations on the hood. They don't come off at all with car soap, tar remover, etc., but I can't feel any depth to the affected areas when I gently glide a finger nail over them.

I have never followed a vehicle close enough for these to be rock chips and I don't drive on barren roads where rocks/debris are prominent.

Does anyone know what might be causing this and if there's anything I can change to stop more chips from appearing? This is my 5th vehicle but never have I seen paint on a car that is this fragile.

Maybe because tesla saves money on coatings...

:(

More about pencil hardness test.

Coating Scratch Hardness - IGL Coatings Blog
Screenshot_20190703-171039__01.jpg
 

ricohman

Member
Dec 31, 2018
470
403
Saskatchewan

Colozeus

Member
Jun 6, 2019
22
13
Dallas
I'm not taking any chances with mine. I getting full PPF this weekend, but i also want to go full matte. I'll agree to some extent that a new car should probably not chip so easily, but i will say this. My previous ride was a 2014 audi s4 in phantom black pearl. After 5 years it had a few chips over the hood and front fenders most likely due to being driven through a few snow storms and sandy/salty roads. Audi's definitely have a thick coat from what i could tell since the paint chips were fairly deep. But it still chipped. I always regretted not getting ppf for my now gone audi. ymmv.

My theory is that there is something wrong with the paint mixing process that results in bad batches of cars, or cars with extra soft/poorly cured paint? Just speculating.
 

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