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Tesla Paint Depth vs. Other Cars

DupaCannon

Member
Feb 25, 2021
30
23
Cleveland
I picked up my Model Y yesterday, and as part of the inspection process I took my paint depth gauge since I have heard the stories of paint issues.

In general the Model Y read low compared to the other cars that I tested. These readings are from my own Deep Blue Metallic car, but I took multiple readings on red, black and white examples and saw exactly the same types of readings in the same areas of the cars.

Min and Max readings in mils:

Acura MDX: 5.02 - 6.68
Acura NSX: 6.49 - 7.27
Merc E-Class: 5.05 - 7.67
Tesla Model Y: 4.03 - 5.92

In general, the Teslas I tested had the lowest readings on the rear three-quarter panels, and the highest readings on the hood (generally as you'd expect based on gravity).

The take away for me is that I'd be very careful doing more than light paint correction on one of these without a paint depth gauge. This may be one car where it really benefits to go with a pro detailer for polishing.

Not an exhaustive test, but food for thought...
 

Pianewman

Active Member
Oct 28, 2020
1,380
941
Fort Worth
We need to give Elon a break here. Remember in the fuel crisis of the 70s, airliners were quick to remove exterior paint, as a weight saving effort?

If Teslas had paint thickness comparable to the other cars you referenced, the fuel efficiency would go down.

:p:p:D:D

(Probably why recommended tire pressures are high...42psi for the 19" Gemini ContiProContact...ROCK HARD for low rolling efficiency)
 

gundarx

Member
Feb 5, 2020
256
415
Renton, WA
I picked up my Model Y yesterday, and as part of the inspection process I took my paint depth gauge since I have heard the stories of paint issues.

In general the Model Y read low compared to the other cars that I tested. These readings are from my own Deep Blue Metallic car, but I took multiple readings on red, black and white examples and saw exactly the same types of readings in the same areas of the cars.

Min and Max readings in mils:

Acura MDX: 5.02 - 6.68
Acura NSX: 6.49 - 7.27
Merc E-Class: 5.05 - 7.67
Tesla Model Y: 4.03 - 5.92

In general, the Teslas I tested had the lowest readings on the rear three-quarter panels, and the highest readings on the hood (generally as you'd expect based on gravity).

The take away for me is that I'd be very careful doing more than light paint correction on one of these without a paint depth gauge. This may be one car where it really benefits to go with a pro detailer for polishing.

Not an exhaustive test, but food for thought...

yes, be careful with aggressive polisher passes using a correcting compound, and especially on edges which can burn through the paint easy

your numbers are fine compared to my original paint.. under the sun it was showing very thin paint and not uniform; paid for good paint shop to repaint it and most of car:

l4QcWwd.jpg


for comparison my 2018 Model 3:
lHz6gU7.jpg
 

DupaCannon

Member
Feb 25, 2021
30
23
Cleveland
yes, be careful with aggressive polisher passes using a correcting compound, and especially on edges which can burn through the paint easy

your numbers are fine compared to my original paint.. under the sun it was showing very thin paint and not uniform; paid for good paint shop to repaint it and most of car:

for comparison my 2018 Model 3:

Wow! Your first car was really down to the wire! I’ve seen / had bad paint jobs from BMW and Porsche, so big automakers are not immune, but it’s the regularity in Tesla paint imperfections that’s disappointing.

I’m sure it’s one of these things that Tesla will get right over time. It certainly seems like they’re improving.

In the meantime I’ll be doing a single-step light correction and calling it a day ;)
 
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