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Tesla's water based paint

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by howardc64, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. howardc64

    howardc64 Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Went to a local detailer today to inquire about paint correction (for swirls) and sealant. Below is what I learned. This location wrapped 43 Teslas last year and hundreds of cheaper detail efforts on Teslas so seems rather experienced.

    - I asked why my 13 year old Volvo shows no scratch at all compared to this brand new Tesla. They said new cars use water based paint where as my 13 year old Volvo didn't. I guess the implication is water based paint is not as durable as oil?

    - They said paint on the Porsche is really soft too. Some other Euro manufacturers have harder paint but also harder to work on to do paint corrections. I guess its a detailers view :)

    - They suggested I use 22PLE (last about 2 years) rather than Opti-Coat (suppose to be permanent) for sealant. The reason they noted is our rainy pacific northwest weather makes it all but impossible to prevent scratches (unless its wrapped? he seem to hint that is a more permanent solution). The car will need to be polished for scratches and sealed again in 2 years time so the opti-coat would all need to come off again.

    Anyhow, just sharing what I learned from a detailer today. Perhaps people who knows much more about paints can chime in.
    • Informative x 1
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Silicon Valley
    #2 TEG, Jan 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
    • Informative x 1
  3. JaredBanyard

    JaredBanyard Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Bloomingdale, NJ
    Yup, I've been convinced to take my new S60 that I pickup Saturday, and take it straight into the body shop to get the eco-paint buffed out, XPEL wrap the front half of the car, and opti-coat the remaining. Also getting tinting at the same time.
  4. JPP

    JPP Active Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    SF Bay area, CA
    Please search these forums and also use to search the TM site. Way too much info on the issue and the remedies. Lots of choices of wraps, coatings, protectants, etc, etc. FWIW, I did OptiCoat Pro and am more than pleased.
  5. Electric Machete

    Jul 5, 2012
    Weston, FL
    I did opti-coat on my black Model S and it came out beautifully. I don't have any more swirl marks. I'm also much more careful when washing the car. I have a bunch of microfiber towels and they only enter the bucket once to get wet. After they are on the car they go into a pile for the washing machine. I also have two waffle microfiber towels for drying. My black paint is holding up nicely for now.
  6. cwerdna

    cwerdna Active Member

    Jul 11, 2012
    SF Bay Area, CA
    I can't speak to Tesla and but I can say that poor paint quality issues have been going on for ages. I personally hit it w/my 02 Nissan Maxima that I bought at the end of 01.

    See posts below:
    Paint quality problems with Maxima - Maxima Forums
    Paint Quality of new Max is this true? - Maxima Forums
    Xpel product ? - Maxima Forums

    It seems like might vary depending on the color and possibly even aerodynamics of the car and shape of the front end. I don't recall ever getting many on my 04 Nissan 350Z that I had for almost 8 years despite no clear bra on it. Its hood was aluminum though, unlike my Maxima.
  7. MoeMistry

    MoeMistry Local Vendor - SoCal

    Jul 31, 2013
    Southern California
    An important note to also point out is many consumers were never AWARE of paint defects like they are now. Processes like paint correction, nano coating, self-healing clear films didn't even exist as an option back then. To clarify, just because paint is water based, does not make it inferior. There is new technology, ceramic coatings, that make paints more durable than ever. We are in a place, I think, that because of the change in regulations, paint manufacturers will be coming up with newer paint technologies in the pipeline.

    As for Tesla paint, it's soft, but the more important issue at hand is how does one care for it. If you take it to a car wash with rollers, or even a hand wash with dirty mitts and towels, you will swirl and scratch the with any paint. However, use a quality lambswool wash mitt, quality soap, quality microfiber towel (not cheap ones from Costco), and you'll be surprised how well you can maintain the paint on your Tesla. Technique is important as well.

    Every Tesla we've wrapped and applied nano coating to, the client ends up purchasing our wash kit and cr spotless to maintain it themselves. In about 30-40 minutes, you can do all the work, enjoy some relaxing time washing your car, and keep it looking great.

    In the end, a little knowledge on proper washing technique, quality products, and a couple of hours a month, and your MS won't have any of the issues that are concerning most owners. Hope this helps you guys/gals and feel free to ask any questions. Here to help :)
  8. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Beaverton, OR
    Howard, great to meet you yesterday at Centralia. :)

    Remember no coating lasts forever, and gloss is not the end game. A durable, measurable additive coating is. You want to add something of substance on top of the car's original clear coat. So as you wash and wear your car, you're wearing on the new protective coating and not your car's base coat.

    A good professional detailer will measure your car's paint thickness before they start, to find out where your paint is thick, and where it's thinnest (to watch out for). They'll also find if/where your car has been repainted (from possible scratches/accidents from the previous owner), because the paint would be noticeably thicker in those areas.

    That being said... I had my black Model S one week from the factory, but knew I wanted to get windows tinted, wrapped on the front end, paint corrected, and sealed. Apex Auto Salon down here in Beaverton, did the tint (included windshield) and wrap for $1500. 503 Motoring, also in Beaverton, does equally good work, and offers even more wrap protected areas. The owners of these two companies are standup guys. Our local Tesla owners are happy with their work. Don't quote me on this, but I think they'd wrap your whole car for significantly less than what you're finding in the Seattle area. You may want to call both, and see.

    Back to paint correction. Checkout how the detailer I chose, takes his craft seriously...

    Two guys worked on my car for 10 hours and the result has been nothing short of amazing.

    Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes, and feel free to PM me with any questions.

    Until our next Supercharge meet-up, ;)

  9. Great post, and I completely agree.

  10. Dick Hankins

    Dick Hankins New Member

    May 9, 2016
    I guess I would like to see an option to prevent the paint problem as opposed to fixing it. If the problem is know why not fix it?
    • Like x 1
  11. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

    Sep 17, 2015
    fix the laws in CA?

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