Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tesla Heathrow Service Center Detailers Experience

Hi everyone,
So I collected my Tesla model 3 just over a week ago, took it straight to a detailers for PPF and the detailer found multiple etch marks from bird droppings and two deep scratches amongst many other paint defects that my untrained eyes failed to spot in the rain on collection day. I took it back to Tesla for fixing who advised their 3rd party paint correctors had assessed the car and would proceed to a “full machine polish”. I’m not entirely sure what this is but the detailer I took it to for PPF says it’s quite heavy handed polishing? He says if it’s not done properly it can cause a whole host of new problems.
For a brand new car I’m horrified that the car is needing to have so much paint work addressed and I haven’t even driven it yet. Very nervous about who this 3rd party paint corrector/detailer is and whether they are any good. Does anyone have experience of Tesla Heathrow service center and their 3rd party detailers/ paint correctors? Would you suggest it’s ok to let them go ahead with whatever this full machine polish is- can they be trusted not to ruin the car further? Should I just settle with the paint defects as they stand rather than put the car through so much paint work?
 

init6

Active Member
Oct 16, 2020
1,777
1,112
Scotland
A machine polish can vary from full correction of relatively deep scratches to a light polishing to remove very fine marks. Think of it like sandpaper you can use very fine grit or very coarse grit depending on what you are trying to do. Also if you start off with coarse grit, you need to move up to finer grits to get a shiny finish, Machine polishing as a term just means they are using a machine to do the polishing. You couldn't reasonably polish huge sections of a car by hand. For etching in the clear coat I'd expect to have to do some polishing to remove it. Your detailer would likely do the same.

What you need to look out for is 'buffer trail' sometime known as holograms. These are caused when they have not polished the surface to a fine enough degree and can be seen when the sun (or a really bright light) hits the surface. Here's a simple page on the causes of them and what they look like.

 
  • Like
Reactions: s88ats and Mm2021

freekie

Member
Sep 10, 2019
264
111
UK
I had quite a lot of paintwork repair and respraying through Heathrow in 2019. I was happy with it in the end but didn’t take it to a detailer so no professional opinion on it. Good luck. You will love the car once the delivery issues are sorted. Speaking from an initial painful experience!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mm2021
I had quite a lot of paintwork repair and respraying through Heathrow in 2019. I was happy with it in the end but didn’t take it to a detailer so no professional opinion on it. Good luck. You will love the car once the delivery issues are sorted. Speaking from an initial painful experience!
Me too. I wouldn't trust Heathrow. They will take it to a non approved body shop next door who did so much damage to my car that a pin head spot has now caused a 1/2 car respray. Its now with Tesla Dartford and in total about 1 1/2 months off the road. Just let your detailer sort it!
 
Some things to watch for but hopefully not encounter (solution in brackets):

1. Holograms/buffer trails in sunshine at certain angles (long trails, rotary > dual-action polish)
2. Chalky white residue (machine polisher, non-taped > cocktail/skewer, APC/degreaser, light brush, PW)
3. Overspray, light dusty and felt with fingers on nearby panels (clay, polish or machine-polish, frequent pad swap)
4. Pigtails/hazing from random-orbit sander with excess residue or dual-action polishers (repeat polish/sand)
5. Fish-eyes, solvent pops, runs, pitting, pock-marks for sunken chip fill
 

Washout

Member
Sep 24, 2021
123
87
UK
If anyone wants to do a deep dive into detailing and paint correction then there's a good UK forum called Detailing World - not sure on the linking rules here, so google will help find it. There are a few Teslas that have been given some care and attention in the The Studio and Showroom sections there, which show what can be achieved with the correct kit and training. Beware though as OCD may = Obsessive Car Detailing if you're not careful ;)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: init6
can they be trusted not to ruin the car further? Should I just settle with the paint defects as they stand rather than put the car through so much paint work?
I was very disappointed with the swirling and scratching of my M3 on pickup. Tesla did offer to machine polish it for free but in the end I just didn't trust them and cancelled the service appointment. They might have done a good job but given how soft the clear-coat is on Tesla (as tested by carefully washing then wiping with a microfibre and checking under bright sunlight) I decided it was never going to stay looking good without getting it ceramic coated. I went to a recommended detailer for a full level 1 polish, correction and coating.
Absolutely no regrets. I was feeling slightly disappointed every time I looked at the car. Now it's finally everything I was expecting in the first place. - Just wish I'd known it would be needed up front and factored it into my budget.
 

Garysingh

New Member
Oct 11, 2021
4
0
Uk
Don’t know about Heathrow but same at Gatwick picked up my M3 LR 2021 MIC from Gatwick in September 2021 and when I went to collect it btw traveled over 150 miles and had to be there for 10am was sitting in the showroom even though had all the txt and emails. I had meetings I had to get back for and so they released the car without much checks and found it has chips it’s in Bham at the min hopefully will get sorted but they re spraying the bonnet no idea about front but hopefully they will sort it while they doing bonnet will update as soon as I get this back but for ppf Reep Midlands or Reep south or Reep north do a great job and Tesla Owners get discount especially if you mention Gary myself from Leicester
 
Take it to a detailer for a polish. My car had really bad swirls upon collection after Tesla washed it with a bucket of iron filings.
It went back to Tesla for a promised machine polish. What actually happened was the car went round the corner for a wax to hide the swirls. Just accept Tesla don't do paint correction and get it done at a detailer.
I was quoted 250 for a polish.
And I wouldn't get a ceramic coating, the new sealants are really good for a fraction of the price.
 
Take it to a detailer for a polish. My car had really bad swirls upon collection after Tesla washed it with a bucket of iron filings.
It went back to Tesla for a promised machine polish. What actually happened was the car went round the corner for a wax to hide the swirls. Just accept Tesla don't do paint correction and get it done at a detailer.
I was quoted 250 for a polish.
And I wouldn't get a ceramic coating, the new sealants are really good for a fraction of the price.
This just confirms that I was right to cancel my Tesla appointment and pay for a professional detailer to fix the paintwork. (Think they used a Brillo pad to wash mine before pickup.)
I love the ceramic coating. Every wash it comes up like I spent an hour waxing it with no effort at all.
Only regret is I left some bird poop on it for a week when I had covid recently. if I look very closely I can see it's left a mark but probably no-one else would notice.
 

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