Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #21 is available now. We covered the recent wide release of FSD Beta and shared our experiences. We also discussed the best times to charge and Tesla's official CCS adapter. You can watch it on YouTube.

PPF saved the hood of my new 2022 Plaid

I recently took delivery of my blacked out MX Plaid in mid-April. I was trading in a 2017 X that I had treated with a ceramic coating - and LOVED the coating as it made her shine and she was so easy to wash. That car looked brand new for 4.5 years.

So this time around, I make the plan with my detailer to get the same ceramic coating done right out of the gate (Modesta). My detailer recommends that I do the front third of the car with PPF, and then apply the ceramic coating to the entire car, including wheels and glass. I tell him "eh - I just want the coating like last time, wheels and glass included, and also the front door windows tinted (like I did last time)". We make a plan.

So the car comes in, and there are some fit and finish issues, both involving exterior glass. It would need to go to the service center and would delay my detailing appointment. I talk to my detailer and he tells me "if I were you, I would protect the car first before you bring it to the service center". I decide OK, I trust him, and worst case scenario I go back a second time to the detailer and get the replaced glass repainted with ceramic (detailer is not exactly around the corner - more like 2 hours away depending on traffic). He again tells me if he were me he would do the front third of the car in PPF. I pause, exhale, and because I am jacked that my car is here, in a sudden impulse, I told him "OK throw it all in and send me a quote". Quote comes in, and it is a fair price. Expensive no doubt - but fair.

I drop off the car at the detailer and it takes a week (with my son following me there both times for drop off and pickup). Pick her up and my jaw drops. They did such an amazing job and the car is absolutely gorgeous. I am pretty stoked. They did such an amazing job - you cant even tell there was PPF on the front third, and you cant tell the difference from PPF areas and non-PPF areas.

This times out nicely as I pick it up and drop it off at the service center. It stays at the service center for a whopping 12 days. During several of these days the temps get into the 80s and mid 90s. When I pick it up, it becomes clearly evident that it was left outside for most of the stay. She was covered in pollen and there was a huge bird *sugar* on the hood and another on the door. I froze. I couldn't believe it. I will end this part of the story here. I was very upset at the entire service experience - I will leave it at that.

Took her home, gave her a foam bath, and I was able to get her as perfect as the day she left the detailer - except the hood. This was a huge bird crap, and the sun baked it into the hood. It left a very visible etching splotch on the black hood that was even worse when viewed in certain light angles. I could not get it out using normal wash routines.

I admit I panicked. I started emailing my detailer but he was away a few days. The anxiety built. Having never used PPF, my assumption was that it was removable and replaceable and that the entire idea was to prevent the acid in the poop from etching the paint. If it etched the paint, it was likely permanent. I tried to stay calm.

After a few days of anxiously awaiting a response from my detailer, I actually read the warranty card for the PPF. It talked about self healing. I refused to believe this type of etching would self heal. But it also said to pour hot water over 120 degrees on the affected area to remove scratches and stains. So what did I have to lose at this point? I filled 2 glasses of instant hot water and poured it on the stain on the hood. In literally 10 minutes 80% of the stain was gone. If I did not see it with my own eyes, I would not believe it. It is barely noticeable now by any sane person. Sometimes I cant even find it without trying.

TL; DR:

1. PPF saved my car's finish.
2. My detailer is my hero.
3. If you are on the fence, and can afford it, strongly consider PPF for the front end and ceramic coating for entire vehicle (especially black vehicles).
4. Don't take your new car to the service center for fit and finish items if you can live with it.
 
I have a similar bird dropping on my hood without PPF. It's amazing how easy these stain but I believe it is only on the clearcoat. I even tried goo gone and to no avail. My last resort is to use 5000 grit sandpaper and sand it out and polish it but been too chicken to try it lol. I leave it for now. Like you, I don't even notice it unless it is the exact sunlight and angle. Half the time I wash my car I don't even notice it.
 

stopcrazypp

Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
12,669
8,566
Yeah, unfortunately baked in bird droppings can etch paint due to acid content, depending on the bird's diet. That's why in unprotected cars, it's critical to wash it out ASAP and not just leave it there baking for days or weeks. Otherwise afterwards, the only "fix" is to sand down the clear coat near the affected area so that it is the same depth or close, which obviously is only possible if it has not etched all the way through.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

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