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Service center damaged car with lift?

MrFusion

Member
Feb 4, 2018
175
107
Salt Lake City
Yesterday I had my car at the service center and they did some alignment work. Today while cleaning off the car I noticed that there is damage in the same spot on both sides of the car. The damage is on the lower black trim piece right around little removable panel (see pictures). It looks like there is scraping and possibly pressure damage in the same area on both sides.

I also noticed that the rear passenger door now has some distinct "ripples" in the metal near the bottom of the door and the rear driver-side door has a small "bump" in the metal near the bottom.

Has anybody seen damage like this before? I'm wondering if they somehow lifted it improperly and it damaged the plastic and also caused the metal at the bottom of the doors to be affected.

Since it's in the same spot on both sides I'm thinking either something scraped it (maybe when driving it onto the lift) or they placed something in that area to lift the car up even higher once it is on the rack. I know there is some secondary step where once the car is lifted there is another lifting process that is done for the alignment, but I'm not sure how that is accomplished.

I wipe the car down pretty much anytime I drive it and I'm positive these things were not present on the car prior to going to the service center.

Passenger side:
IMG-4434.jpg


Driver side:
IMG-4436.jpg


Rear passenger door (hard to see in the photo but look near the bottom front of the door in lower right area of this photo):
IMG-4438.jpg
 

Watts 4 Me

Member
May 6, 2016
335
335
H-town
Only if you can prove it was not like that before you took it in. To me it looks like a long scratch. Like you did it going down a driveway without realizing. But only you can answer that.
 

hydro 481

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
1,200
854
USA
Service center damaged my aftermarket wheels lowering my car on the lift. They at least had the decency to tell me and compensate me for the wheel.
 

MrFusion

Member
Feb 4, 2018
175
107
Salt Lake City
Only if you can prove it was not like that before you took it in. To me it looks like a long scratch. Like you did it going down a driveway without realizing. But only you can answer that.

I just looked at it again. You can see in the picture there are white scuffs on the plastic just in front of and behind the area directly to the side of where the damage is, but there’s a gap in the white scuff where the damage is. This is the same on both sides. The interesting thing is that I noticed those same scuff marks with a gap in between towards the rear of the car... but on the rear the gap in the scuff lines up directly with the rear jacking point. Very strange. Seems like maybe they lined up the front of the lift in the wrong spot but I also am not sure what produced the scuff marks or the long scratches where the damage is. The only driveway I’ve driven the car on is my own and it is a standard driveway with no steep grade change or anything. I will test it tomorrow and stop the car halfway on the street and halfway on the driveway to see how close the bottom of the car is. I don’t think the Model 3 is sitting lower than my previous cars which I had no issues with though.
 

MrFusion

Member
Feb 4, 2018
175
107
Salt Lake City
I don't think they place your car on a lift for alignment because the wheels need to be on contact with a surface.

I was actually in the car during the alignment and I remember the main lift going up in the air (with the tires on it), but then once in the air the tech raised the car just slightly higher and then lowered it back down. It felt like some kind of secondary lift was used. I just watched some videos of the alignment racks online and see that they have “service” jacks built in with arms that extend out from the center of the main lift. This seems like exactly what could have caused the damage I see if the arms were placed in the wrong spot.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,463
8,622
Visalia, CA
...It felt like some kind of secondary lift was used...

Thanks for the info. It's good to know. So there's a runway for the wheels to get its contact on and also there are jacks under to lift the car up as needed:


The question is then which locations did they use to lift the car up?

The video seems to show that its favorite spots are at the wheel area such as lower ball joints, control arms... although traditional lifting points are also an option.

As others pointing out that your pictures show long scratches that might not explain the up and down action of the hydraulic jack. If it is caused by Tesla, it should be a localized and focused imprint, not a sliding scraping marks.
 

MrFusion

Member
Feb 4, 2018
175
107
Salt Lake City
Thanks for the info. It's good to know. So there's a runway for the wheels to get its contact on and also there are jacks under to lift the car up as needed:


The question is then which locations did they use to lift the car up?

The video seems to show that its favorite spots are at the wheel area such as lower ball joints, control arms... although traditional lifting points are also an option.

As others pointing out that your pictures show long scratches that might not explain the up and down action of the hydraulic jack. If it is caused by Tesla, it should be a localized and focused imprint, not a sliding scraping marks.

Right... it's kind of a mystery because it seems like the white scuff marks on the plastic (towards the side of the car more than underneath) are to the side of whatever was placed under the car, since there's a gap in the white scuffs in line with the rear jack points. The damage is towards the front of the car but not near the front jack points. It's hard to imagine that they don't know the right points to jack up the car though.

I'm also not sure how scraping could cause the flexing of the door metal.

I looked at it some more today and the car sits pretty high, there's no way I scraped the area 1-2 feet behind the front wheels on a regular driveway incline or even a speed bump, etc.

It's also odd to me that it seems to be centered on those little plastic covers. Could just be coincidence.
 

MrFusion

Member
Feb 4, 2018
175
107
Salt Lake City
Just wanted to follow up on this... mobile service came today and replaced the long black plastic trim pieces on the bottom of both sides of the car... no questions asked. So, great service by Tesla and I’m a happy camper. If it happens again at least I’ll know it was my fault and I’ll be sure to take pictures of those pieces right before it goes into the service center next time, just in case.
 

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