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Please Stop Me from spending $$$$ on the Exterior

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by mejojo, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. mejojo

    mejojo Member

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    I have never spent lots of money on the outside of any of my cars, including my $45k 1990 Lexus LS400, which was actually a more expensive car then, than a Tesla is now.

    As I look forward to delivery of my S85, I feel myself being seduced by wraps and nano coatings, etc. amid warnings of deficient paint.

    It would appear that EVERYONE is spending thousands on the exterior, but I know that can't be the case.

    If you have forgone the treatments, just how terrible is it? Or are you doing just fine?
     
  2. jerry33

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

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    Paint armour (Suntek in my case) is less than sales tax. It's saved my car's paint multiple times. Highly recommended. I'm pretty sure a quality repaint of just the hood wold cost more than the covering the entire car.
     
  3. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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  4. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    You don't have to have anything put on the exterior...it basically comes down to your level of care and preventative measures.

    I can tell you, at our shop, almost every Tesla we do has clear bra, tint, and nano coating. Some may require paint correction, but lately, the cars are coming out pretty nice and fewer imperfections from the factory.

    The logic most my clients give me..."I plan on keeping this car for longer than I've kept my other cars, and I own it, not lease it". Now that they are AWARE of both the soft tesla paint and products like clear bra and nano coating, it then becomes the prudent measure to take if you don't want rock chips, paint scuffs, swirls, etc. To be honest, it takes the worry out of the equation and makes the ownership experience much nicer.

    Think of it as insurance...you may not get huge rock chips, someone may never hit their door or shopping cart, or you may have great washing techniques that you won't swirl or scratch up the paint. But, that time that it does happen, it's great to know you did take the preventative measure and saved the original paint
     
  5. mejojo

    mejojo Member

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    I kept my LS400 for 19 years and never once was concerned that I didn't put a clear bra on (mostly because I wasn't aware of such a thing?).

    My '12 Chevy Volt's hood is just fine.

    Are we looking at the Tesla finish being really that weak? Or are people kind obsessing over trying to hold on to some sort of perfection because the car cost that much?
     
  6. birdsaresmarter

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    As Moe said you don't have to do anything. IMO it's not a matter of deficient paint. It's more of an aesthetics issue and how much it matters to you.

    Yes, Tesla paint has the reputation of being relatively "soft" as compared to some others but the art and science behind engineering paint is a tricky business too and they may have reasons for this. Bottom line is that no car paint is going to hold up against very much physical impact whether it's from rocks or other flying debris, careless or malicious acts, etc. Then there's various chemical assaults.

    Bottom line is it is up to how much degradation of the appearance you can tolerate.

    There is one thing I know with absolute certainty and that is if you will drive the car every day, especially on freeways and busy highways, it will not take long before blemishes will begin to pile up. Whether or not that matters is completely up to you.

    If it matters a LOT, get an appointment set asap to get it at least wrapped and maybe coated. If it matters a little, get high risk zones wrapped. Some people feel that little dings and chips are normal on cars and they just like a shiny car appearance that beads moisture and helps protect against some of the contamination. If that's you, just get it coated.

    Do not fool yourself into thinking that if you are careful and you leave enough following distance that you will not get chips. That is completely impossible. Even driving at low speeds on highways, cars next to you kick up little rocks and debris that you never see. Your own tires will kick up debris especially when you make turns and your tires send the debris out and then the force of the wind pushes it against the side of the car. Cars passing by kick debris back in your direction.

    Many years ago before the days of paint protection film, the only other car I really cared about got eggs thrown on it which ruins paint instantly. Others on this forum have also experienced that malicious act on their Model S. Don't think you have to provoke somebody for this to happen. Jealousy and politics is a nasty business. Some have had paint fall off trucks in front of them they cannot avoid. Coating would help but only film will really save the day in those situations.

    So again, it's all up to how much these potential threats matter to you or if you just consider this to be normal wear and tear on cars.
     
  7. GoBlue88

    GoBlue88 Member

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    My '10 Lexus IS 350 has a hood that looks like the surface of the moon. So many rock chips out of it that it is embarrassing parking it next to my Tesla. So I'm not even sure that paint that isn't "Tesla soft" would be any stronger, really.

    I have the nano coating on my Tesla (CQuartz Finest) and it makes washing the car a snap. Will likely be doing a full hood/mirror/front bumper/front fender wrap within the next year just to cut down on rock chips.
     
  8. Lump

    Lump Active Member

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    Your going to spend all kinds of money on things you never thought you would, stop fighting with yourself :smile:

    The window tint battle is just as fun.
     
  9. gpetti

    gpetti Active Member

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    I have no idea whether the paint is weak or not, my decision to do a full wrap was: most money I've ever spent on a car, first car in a decade that I'm not leasing, love the look of the car in its pristine state and have constant attention from public (car is an ambassador), and I want to really drive the car as my everyday car without worrying about nicks and dings. I've already seen the benefit from a minor scuff on the wheel well of my doing and a couple of parking lot door dings. The only argument I have against wrapping is that when you do get visible damage to the wrap, replacing a piece would be about $500 so I won't do that unless there are a lot of marks. Thus some marks are visible. In particular I have one mark where the wrap got bunched up a bit making it look like a white bubble. I've applied touch up paint to make this less noticeable but occasionally I wonder if this is much different than not having wrap and getting paint touch ups periodically. I guess there are some other benefits to this increased durability and overall I still don't rgret the investment.
     
  10. plaeuschler

    plaeuschler Member

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    For me it was a bit of a trade off... getting the paint treated means the worries about chips will be a bit less.
    But on the other hand: what happens if you get a real scratch: just polishing it away won't be that easy because there is an additional special layer on the paint. Also, after 10 years it is quite normal to have a few chips, and since the Tesla body is completely aluminium, there is not too much to worry about corrosion. So for me, it was not worth to spend $$ on paint treatment.
     
  11. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    I had a 1990 LS400, bought new that lasted 16 year and 345,000 miles. Never had anything put on the exterior. It definitely looked like a used car by the end of its life.

    However, I had both my seven year old LS460L and Model S done with Opticoat Pro about 18 months ago. We just had our local Opticoat people - Orinda Auto Detail (not the one who put the Opticoat on originally, they weren't doing Opticoat Pro back then) give the cars a nice hand washing ($35 each) after both cars had been out in elements for a month and really filthy and both cars came out looking great. My wife was very impressed - like driving a brand new car. Happy we did the Opticoat Pro. I don't know if such a thing existed back in the early 90's, otherwise I would have done the LS400 then. We also have clear bras on both cars. One thing I would change would be to have an aftermarket clear bra on the Model S, cheaper and better than the Tesla bra.
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    I'd say a little of each. I use sales tax as a kind of go/no-go gauge. If it's more than sales tax, it's probably not worth doing. Because the car is expensive, there are more things that can be done for sales tax or less. Spending $5K on a $35K car isn't likely to be done. Spending $5K on an $80K car isn't that much comparatively.
     
  13. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    I ordered my car with the factory paint armor option and without any intention of doing a full wrap even after perusing many threads on this forum. However after a few days ownership, I was not happy with the 1/3 hood coverage and so decided to have it changed to a full hood wrap. Then, since I found the estimates for additional work tolerable, and based on the ding/chip patterns on my previous cars, I added all fenders and doors but nothing more. One other benefit - it makes hand washing so much easier.
     
  14. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    I think paint armor is a plus/minus. I got Xpel done after purchase. Whole front end and front doors, kick plate areas rear wheel well and rear hatch area. Was 1000$ with 5 window tint. I got hit by something big on the right front bumper not long ago. Put a gash in the armor. Would be 150$ to replace the armor versus me doing a bit of touch up paint otherwise. I think it is a bit like the plastic covers on couches. Doesn't look as good while it's on but will definitely protect it for the future. Well. Certainly not as bad a couch covers but you get the idea...

    I think the consensus is that the factory paint armor is definitely not worth it.
     
  15. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    A year and a half, 21,000 miles, and at least six rock chips on the hood (I don't have a wrap). I'll be getting a detail in the fall and asking for a touch up of those spots (and ensuring they use the right technique). Does it drive me crazy? Yes. Does it drive me crazy enough to pay for a wrap? No. YMMV.
     
  16. birdsaresmarter

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    And then...Sh!t like this happens that makes you think it's all just futile. Driving home last night stopped at traffic light. Cars in front, cars behind. Then, felt an odd little sensation like "clunk/bump". Wasn't moving, what the heck could that be. Look behind, what the....yeah the guy behind me rolled into the back of the car. Turned out he was leaning over to give girlfriend a kiss and foot slipped off the brake.

    There is a little bolt pattern now from his license plate frame impact. I cannot tell if the factory PPF took all or most of the damage or if the soft bumper now has the little pattern that looks like I have half parking sensors package. I haven't had the fortitude to go look at it in the daylight yet today.

    I work so hard every day to stay out of harm's way, let the crazy driver go by to get in front vs. behind me. I spend hours washing it myself by hand. After surviving the daily demolition derby that is L.A., people crowding up, riding your bumper, cutting you off, this is how I get it.

    So as much as we can try to protect ...we cannot protect against everything.
     
  17. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Tesla be glad to give you a $$ discount for NO PAINT. It'll be just like an old aluminum Porsche but without the hammer wrinkles. Easy to maintain but keep your shades on during the day!
    --
     
  18. JKerensky

    JKerensky Member

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    I'm trying to imagine if that would look cool, or horrifically bad. I have to imagine it ending up looking like really poorly brushed aluminum pretty quickly.
     
  19. sperrysburg

    sperrysburg Member

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    After reading many threads about wraps I have not yet heard of anyone thinking about postponing wrapping for the first three to five years and then getting a full color change wrap later. Since I haven't seen anyone discuss this there must be some problem with this logic. However, I don't personally see it now. If one were to do this, they would save the initial cost of the wrap and enjoy a fresh paint job for years (probably still worth getting a coating). After a sufficient time has passed and chips and whatnot have taken its toll on the original paint, then the car can be wrapped with a color change wrap and it would be like driving around a new car. I would think that even when minor chips occur during the first few years, the owner would not worry about it as much since they know in the future it will covered. I know that the cost of a color change wrap is more expensive but you get the benefit of twice having a perfect exterior. I would also guess that as wraps become more common the cost may actually go down than what they are now.
     
  20. Damiano

    Damiano Member

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    Given the defective frunk issue (creases form near front regardless of how carefully you close it), you may want avoid the Xpel. Some of those who have looked at getting the frunk crease repaired report that the XPel gets in the repair and costs extra to redo.
     

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