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Real world experience with chrome delete

pnwadventures

@bpr1de on Instagram
Mar 3, 2021
318
437
Pacific Northwest
I hate the chrome, but I hate even more the thought of vinyl peeling away from (touchless) car wash or harsh weather conditions. I’m a frequent “adventure” driver - blizzard conditions in winter, unpaved FS roads in summer - and that is both tough on the exterior and increases my wash frequency. Is chrome delete just a bad idea for me?

If so, what about replacing instead of wrapping? Are the non-chrome trim pieces from the newer models fit-compatible with the older ones?
 
I think the durability will largely be determined on the quality and precision of your install. I put some on last year prior to winter and it hasn't had any issues. I do avoid spraying it directly with high pressure during washing though. I believe I read somewhere that you can pay Tesla to swap the black trim on the car - or buy the parts yourself and swap it out. It is fairly expensive though (IIRC it was $1800 not including door handles). Of all the vinyl parts, doing the door handles was definitely the easiest so you could always wrap those and get the rest replaced. Either way you go, I agree 100% that the chrome looks awful and black is a huge improvement.
 

pnwadventures

@bpr1de on Instagram
Mar 3, 2021
318
437
Pacific Northwest
I believe I read somewhere that you can pay Tesla to swap the black trim on the car - or buy the parts yourself and swap it out. It is fairly expensive though (IIRC it was $1800 not including door handles). Of all the vinyl parts, doing the door handles was definitely the easiest so you could always wrap those and get the rest replaced.
Ah, that would be good to know! I’m less irritated by the door handles, but not sure how a partial delete would look. If Tesla would actually do a swap, I’d seriously consider it.
 
Had my chrome delete done about 15 months ago and it still looks like new. I only wash by hand so no machine brushes ripping into it. I too prefer matte dark over shiny chrome. I had mine done the same color as the 2020 3P wheels, a kind of dark metallic gray rather than black. Door handles done white as body color. You can see in my profile pic. All badges done same color as wheels too.
 
I've had my chrome delete for 17 months now - professionally installed for $600, 3M vinyl. As long as you aren't directly pressure washing it or picking at it, you should be fine. I do drive thru touchless washes weekly and high pressure washes once or twice a month. There's more chance of you or a passenger messing it up than road debris or washes.

The area that's most prone to peel is on the mirror lowers because of the odd shape (2D wrap on 3D surface).

I've also head $1,800 to have Tesla fit the new factory black trim on an older car. The triangular glass behind each rear door is part of that trim piece so this is also replaced for new, double paneled glass. If your car is tinted, you'll have to tint this new glass to match. If your car isn't tinted, the glass colors will not match.

If I had to do it all over again, I would try one of the precut DIY kits you can find discussed all over the forums ONCE. If that didn't work, I'd pay $600 for a pro to do it. I can't justify paying $1,800 for new parts - I don't think the OEM solution is 3x better looking.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,443
23,367
Riverside Co. CA
I think the durability will largely be determined on the quality and precision of your install. I put some on last year prior to winter and it hasn't had any issues. I do avoid spraying it directly with high pressure during washing though. I believe I read somewhere that you can pay Tesla to swap the black trim on the car - or buy the parts yourself and swap it out. It is fairly expensive though (IIRC it was $1800 not including door handles). Of all the vinyl parts, doing the door handles was definitely the easiest so you could always wrap those and get the rest replaced. Either way you go, I agree 100% that the chrome looks awful and black is a huge improvement.

I had a pro shop do my chrome delete within about 2 weeks of picking the car up in dec of 2018, and it still looks like they just put it on there. Like most of this stuff (wrap, tint), like you said, the installers skill with installing is likely the biggest thing.

The shop I went to. my model 3 performance (purchased in 2018 with a MSRP of over 70k at that time, not counting rebates) was absolutely the cheapest car at the shop, and the shop had like 10+ cars there being worked on (lambo's, porsche', maserati, ferarri, etc).
 
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Plastic trim is what I went with.
 

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Ah, that would be good to know! I’m less irritated by the door handles, but not sure how a partial delete would look. If Tesla would actually do a swap, I’d seriously consider it.

the only thing you have to get changed is the window trim and mirror trim. The handles you can put vynil on - looks good and lasts forever. And you can buy plasticcovers for the sidemirrors.

That said, apparently to remove the rear window trim you have to remove the tiny window in the back - stupid design.
 
LOL. Everybody is doing chrome deletes. And my wife keeps adding chrome to her model 3. I'm afraid to stand still for too long for fear she'll wrap me in chrome.

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My wife can do whatever she wants to her own car, I ordered the plasti-dip kit to black out all the emblems/badging on my M3P that’s already going to have the doors/trim blacked out from the 2021 changes. I also have black wheels on order.
 
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re the decals, I'd be concerned how they'd hold up in the Texas heat. I normally garage, but I could see after a hot afternoon in August that stuff would be bubbling off and flapping in the wind. Seems like the areas where they fold over to cover edges would be the most-vulnerable. It is good to read others' experiences, maybe they're worth a look (if I ever get a Tesla :) )

I also would consider a partial delete. I think things like door handles or emblems is fine, but it gets a bit much when they're outlining every edge with the stuff!
 
I just met a guy in Austin with the tesbros chrome delete kit for 2 years on his model 3... still looks like new, also looked like he did a careful install.

On my car almost 3 years ago I did a DIY vinyl cutout from an open source template on the handles only and it's still looking 99% ok despite extreme heat, dust/mud, drive through car washes and ~45k miles. The 1% not ok is a result of my less than perfect installation. Acceptable wear for the $11 spent on a small sheet of 3M vinyl.
 
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