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Tesla Paint issues and coatings

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Yvan Lacroix, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Yvan Lacroix

    Yvan Lacroix Member

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    Hello, I am a detailer, and on some forums Tesla is getting bashed (without reason) for having paint problems. Yes the paint is not perfect from the factory, nor is any other car's for that matter. I have seen a number of Tesla's and while they all have a little issue here and there so do all the other cars I work on. If your detailer is telling you that your paint needs repair before application of a coating, they are correct, if they are telling you that the paint requires days of polishing, get a second opinion. For those of you wanting to get a coating on your Tesla's paint, you have a great idea, and yes it will need to be polished before application of the coating. The reason for the polishing is 2 fold, first to remove paint defects (a paint defect will not be filled by the coating , but will be sealed under the coating for all to see for a long time) second is to provide proper adhesion for the coating. If your looking specifically for Opti-coat, be careful of a deal that sounds too good to be true. Optimum makes 2 coatings called Opti-Coat, opti-coat 2.0(around $75 cost) which is a consumer version and Opti-coat Pro ($200 cost), which is much thicker, requires more skill to apply, but also can optionally have a life time warranty. The MSRP for an Opti-Coat pro application is $400, so if someone is offering to apply the product for significantly less they are more than likely using Opti-Coat 2.0.
     
  2. darthvdr

    darthvdr Member

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    I've heard of some companies charging $1500+ for this. In my humble opinion, it is definitely not worth it at that price.
     
  3. Yvan Lacroix

    Yvan Lacroix Member

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    $600-$1000 is reasonable for correction and coating, and if you have been driving the car for a while possibly a little more. Also detailers are perfectionists by nature, and we see things as flaws that "normal" people do not see. That said it's up to the detailer and the customer to come up with a level of paint correction that they can both live with in terms of looks and price.
     
  4. darthvdr

    darthvdr Member

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    I agree. I checked with a local detailer in my area and received a quote from someone in OC who gave me a price "range" of 1500-2200 and it's completely dependent on the exact amount of time it takes. Now, although I understand the "range", I do not understand the price premium. 2-4 days is what I was told. The company in Southern California is even more than this. The price premium in my opinion is outrageous.
     
  5. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    In the end, you're buying the SKILL of the detailer, not a commodity. Every detailer's definition of PERFECTION is quite different. There are those that will spend a few hours and use a one-step polish and that's their definition of "correction". Then there are those that may spend a couple of days, that's on an extreme case, just polishing a car. I liken polishing to the purchase of a diamond. When I went to buy a stone for my wife's wedding ring, I quickly learned how similar the life of a diamond is to the work I do on someone's finish. You can have two identical diamonds in clarity, cut, and weight, but one will be worth significantly more. Why? POLISH. The one that has a girdle that is polished to perfection, has the table polished to reveal the inside of the stone, etc. will demand more $$

    So, when polishing clearcoat, I view it as polishing a diamond. I don't want to remove too much material, but I want to bring out the brilliance of the paint. I only use a da polisher, no high speed rotary. This takes me longer, but the result means no buffer marks, no burning of the paint, but it'll take me about 30-40% more time. More time means more $$. But how much is it going to cost if you have to repaint a panel because someone tried to buff too fast and burned the edge of the paint? Or, they removed too much clearcoat, now how many more times can the paint be polished before you go through the clear coat? All these questions are calculated within every second of polishing in the mind of the technician. Should I chase after that one deep scratch when the whole panel is flawless? Another question that needs split second decision making. Choose the wrongly and you just cost the client a new paint job.

    So, detailers that are good, will demand a premium. This is with any service that requires a skill. Ultimately, the market will tell you if your price is reasonable and of value. If someone demands high $$ and is always busy, well, the market is telling that person that his/her service is of value to the consumer. This doesn't mean the highest priced shop is the best. You just have to find out what is the scope of work and come up with your own decision. If a shop is doing a job and his/her scope of work includes more areas addressed, then they should demand more $$ because they're giving you a better value.

    I hope that makes sense. So, in a nutshell, first ask yourself what you're looking for, then find a few suitable shop and let the shop educate you on THIER way of addressing your needs, and the needs of your car, then ask how much. It's how I do things personally. Sometimes I'm willing to pay the highest price because it's of value. Other times, I find getting what's middle-of-the-road is all I need. My first consideration of any service/product is never cost...it's how does this service/product solve my problem and save me time. Time lost is never gained and time is money.
     
  6. KenEE

    KenEE P1937 Reward Excellence!

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    $475 included paint correction, removing and coating wheels/etc., with Opticoat Pro. If you're in the Houston area and want Opticoat Pro from a great authorized installer, just PM me. Very happy with how the car looks and how easy it is to clean.
     
  7. Yvan Lacroix

    Yvan Lacroix Member

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    LA is a very strange market, lots of detailers, very few good ones, even fewer legit businesses. You can't go wrong with Superior Shine in LA, he is recognized the world over as one of the best, and his prices are very fair.
     
  8. birdsaresmarter

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    Clearly you know what I am talking about. I noticed him but he already blew me off a long time ago as "out of his service area".
     
  9. Cinematechs

    Cinematechs Member

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    Yvan, what's the difference between opti coat pro and gtechniq?
     
  10. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    Please let us know if we can be of service.

    We have many clients in LA and San Diego that drive to our studio.

    We even have a classic 1984 Porsche 944 as our loaner car for when we're working on a client's car.
     
  11. Yvan Lacroix

    Yvan Lacroix Member

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    Opti-Coat pro is the only coating that has a lifetime warranty, the others on the market advertise a durability of 12-36 months. I have been using Opti-Coat Pro(formally known as Opti-Guard) since 2006, and have been able to follow some of the vehicles that I applied it on in 2007, and the coating is still working like it did on day one. There is some debate in the detailing community as to the pertinence of calling some products coatings or long term sealents. Dollar for Dollar Opti-Coat Pro is the best investment as far as coatings go. The next on the list is C QUartz Finest, great gloss and protection, but a 2 year life cycle, and higher cost per application($600 minimum plus correction). There are many other "coatings" on the market(G Teching, SS6, 22PLE, Modesta, and there seems to be a new one every week) many produced by the same company, and private labeled. In many cases more marketing then substance. Opti-Coat Pro and C Quartz Finest are at the top of the list both in real world and for detailers as well with reason.
     
  12. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    #12 Larry Chanin, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
    Hi Yvan,

    Here is the WARRANTY TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

    In the case of the Model S it doesn't appear that the lifetime warrany will apply. The warranty terms state:

    My understanding is for new cars GTECHNIQ offers a 5 year warranty with annual inspections.

    Larry
     
  13. Mike Murphy

    Mike Murphy New Member

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    Although it's true that Opti-Coat did change their warranty recently, the coating has not changed and has proven to be the longest lasting coating on the market. I have it on all my vehicles and know of vehicles that have it on for more than 5 years with no loss of the characteristics of the coating. It is pretty much impervious to bird droppings and bug splatters come off with a minimal amount of effort. Most of the time they're removed with just a hard spray of water and regular washing.

    I will add that if it or any other coating is applied incorrectly without proper prep work it will severely affect the longevity of the product.
     
  14. KenEE

    KenEE P1937 Reward Excellence!

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    I can attest to this! I had to take a trip through the boonies and had the front of my S covered with bugs. Then I had to go on travel and didn't get around to cleaning them for two weeks. But it was raining the weekend I got some Meguairs Bug Pads and when I went to clean them they were all gone! Rain and highway speeds were enough to blast all the bugs off due to the Opticoat Pro. I can only hope the coating lasts a long time.
     
  15. Mike Murphy

    Mike Murphy New Member

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    If it was prepped and applied correctly by a competent detailer that is experienced in Opti Coat Pro than it should last for years. One thing I failed to mention is that it's the only coating I apply that releases contamination so well that decent touchless washes work very well between hand washes. The chemicals used have no effect on the coating where others prematurely fail under the same conditions.
     
  16. birdsaresmarter

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    Hmmm. Well it definitely releases "grime chunks" well but in my experience it does not resist staining and spider-webbing or swirling. If you only knew how careful I am at washing cars. I am sure paint is generally protected from UV and the OG is acting as the sacrificial barrier but doesn't mean it's going to look so great all the time. From a distance, sure. I'd say on a light colored car no problem but my test on a darker colored car has left me underwhelmed, especially with the amount of water spots that end up on it after a rain. I think my expecations are just too high for ability to maintain the appearance. I also think in areas where weather is much harsher, there is salt on roads or a lot if ice and so forth it probably takes on a whole new purpose vs. inland southern CA. This is just one consumer's opinion. I spent months in advance researching coatings and decided thte "long term" OG was for me. Again, pretty underwhelmed.
     
  17. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi Mike,

    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for your remarks.

    May I ask if you are speaking as a consumer or a professional detailer?

    In either case can you please elaborate on your remark that Opti-Coat Pro "has proven to be the longest lasting coating on the market".

    These warranties of course require that the products be applied by professional detailers certified by the manufacturers.

    Larry
     
  18. blc1017

    blc1017 Member

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    I would like to ask the detailers on this thread whether they have seen a difference in the paint depending on the color. I know detailers who have worked now on dozens of Tesla's who would say that the black cars are the worst with respect to the ease in which they can work with the paint. Any similar observations?
     
  19. DrDave

    DrDave Member

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    Clearcoat is the same over all colors. The difference is what can be seen visually on black vs white.
     
  20. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

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    So far, we've worked on white, metallic blue, metallic red, metallic gray, and black

    The paint is definitely soft on Teslas, but that's not a bad thing. It doesn't mean quality is bad, or it's poor craftsmanship. It just means it needs a little extra attention when you care for it.

    We just completed a black MS, and there were significant enough imperfections in the paint that we decided to do paint correction. Incidentally, we've had to perform paint correction on every one that's come to our studio. But that's because standards and expectations are high with us and our clients.

    Bottom line with any coating, it's not bullet proof. It's meant to minimize and help prevent imperfections, but it's not a substitute for proper care. You still have to do a proper detail semi-annually, more if daily driver, you'll still have to wash the car properly every 1-2 weeks, and you still need to have good technique when maintaining.

    Your best bet is to simply have the car untouched when you take delivery. Take it home or to a professional and have them do a proper initial detail and either give you proper products to maintain, or you get on a program with the detailer to have him/her take care of routine washes.

    In the end, enjoy the car, it's an amazing piece of machinery. If something isn't to your standards, find a qualified person to fix it, and enjoy the car. Life's too short to worry about swirls and scratches ;)

    If you really want to not worry about swirls, scratches, soft paint, etc. just wrap the whole thing in XPEL Ultimate and call it a day :)
     

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