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Water spots on the Roadster's paint

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by benji4, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    It's been raining a lot here, and I stupidly allowed rain water to accumulate on the top of my Obsidian Black Roadster and let it sit there for a few days in the garage. It looked pretty innocent -- little beads of water all over the hood and rear deck, and since the Roadster is a very flat car the water really won't run off unless you wipe it off.

    The weather finally improved yesterday so I took the car to a detail shop to have it cleaned... anyway, the beads of water turned out not to be so innocent and there are now water spots etched all over the hood and rear deck. Who knows what was in that water, obviously something that is not friendly to paint. Buffing, polishing, and re-coating the whole hood and rear deck will be the only way to get the spots out, and not something that I want to repeat too often I don't think. Lesson learned: dry your Roadster off when it gets wet! With lighter colors, however, you probably wouldn't even notice it. So if you have a white Roadster, you can ignore this advice.
     
  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Could be acid rain. Much coal burning nearby? You should see what the air in Beijing does to stuff.
     
  3. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    This thread might be of help - essentially try using a paint clay after rewashing the car. Might not work for your case, but it's a decent first step before having to go the professional buff route (which takes off some of the clear coat).
     
  4. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Benji, rather than drying it, you should probably wash it first...if there is pollution grit in the rain (and there usually is), just wiping it dry might scratch your paint...if you give it a quick wash, you'll be far less likely to damage your paint.

    I know this sounds like like a pain, but if you use a waterless wash, it really only takes about 15 minutes to give it a quick (adequate) wipe down & buff...
     
  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Car cover?
     
  6. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Yes, I do have one but I didn't know if I should put it on a wet car... I'm pretty sure that what happened is that pollen got mixed with rain water and formed some kind of toxic mix. Pollen was very heavy right during the few days when it happened. I've never seen anything like this happen before actually and I mostly have owned black or other dark colored cars. Most cars do have much more of a slope on both the front and rear than the Roadster, so normally I suppose water would just run off. There are no problems with the sides and bottom of the car, just the hood and rear deck. Really is just some kind of fluke I guess though, I'll post and update once I can get it figured out and try to gets some pics as well.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  8. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    Thanks for those links, I'm pretty sure that's what it must have been as there were no spots at all before the pollen hit, and now the car is just covered with them. The pollen was especially bad this year, and it does worse things to people than it does to cars actually (well, maybe not in this case). I can deal with dogs and cats jumping on the car, but this seems like one of the worst things that could happen to a car's paint, almost like someone dumping acid on the car or something. Looking foward to seeing if anything can be done about it.
     
  9. tetsuos

    tetsuos HK #488 (2.5)

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    I had the same thing happen to my jet black roadster in Hong Kong. I used some bug and tar remover on the spots and was able to get most of them out. This ultra fragile paint thing is bothering me to no end, so my next task is to order a custom vinyl wrap to solve this problem and restore uniformity to my car's finish.
     
  10. mwg

    mwg Member

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  11. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    New Roadsters have a "Paint Armor" option. This is a 3M Film that they put on the lower portions of the body. Apparently, you can get your whole car covered, but it gets real expensive.
     
  12. AndrewBissell

    AndrewBissell Member

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    I'm actually pretty upset by the poor paint finish. It looks great to start but it's very soft. It scratches at any cause.

    The excuse given by Tesla is that all paint on cars is like that now. I don't see that.

    Also the expensive paint armour doesn't protect all the areas that suffer damage. Specifically on my car there are areas inside the door frame that aren't paint armoured where grit thrown up from the road has gone through to the primer. I was led to believe the paint armour would be all over the car so I am disappointed.
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    A whole thread on that:
    Mud on the Door Sills
     
  14. AndrewBissell

    AndrewBissell Member

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    Mud <> grit. Does the thread cover damage to the paint because the paint armour is insufficient?
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yes, the thread talks about rock damage too.
     
  16. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Paint was very weak on my Corvette too. GM blamed all the environmental restrictions on using solvents. I'm excited that they're planning on powder coating Model S. That will result in a MUCH more durable paint job.

    Andrew, can you point out where you're seeing problems? On my 2.5 it looks like there's paint armor covering that entire area below the doors.
     
  17. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    I spoke to the detail shop that glass coated and washes my Roadster today about the water spots. I just had the car washed 2 there two days ago which is what made me notice that the spots did not disappear. They said they also noticed the spots and that polishing the car on my next visit as opposed to just washing will remove the spots. Also, they said no need to come in right away, just do it in two weeks next time I go. The detailer had previous glass coated the car with a product like this:

    Tesla Motors Club - Enthusiasts & Owners Forum

    They made the same points that people have mentioned on this thread: surprising soft and poor quality paint job on the Roadster, easy to scratch, etc. In fact, even the day I took delivery of the new car it was already somewhat scratched up which is kind of shocking for a car in the price range of a Roadster.

    What about just repainting the car at some point with higher quality paint?
     
  18. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    If I remember right, part of the softness is because the paint has to flex more to stay compliant with the more-flexible-than-steel carbon fiber. It's a compromise between soft paint and possible swirlies and hard paint and flex cracks everywhere. It's also why the color choices were a bit limited at first - the paint manufacturer didn't have formulations for all the colors that worked with the CF.

    I found the Pika Rain site for the (currently, only) U.S. distributor - a small HI shop - and it's a pretty bad site with no online order, but I will note that their pre-application instructions are lacking. I hope the detailer did better - specifically, for first application, I would make sure to strip down to the paint using Dawn (a good dish washing soap) and claying the paint if needed, and using a super-fine machine polish, but polish extra-lightly by hand. I haven't used an electric polisher on the Roadster, and I don't think I would.

    I've been pretty happy with Zaino, my paint sill looks pretty new after 2 years. I'm intrigued by the Pika Rain, though...
     
  19. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    "Pika Pika" means to shine, or to sparkle in Japanese by the way... what my detailer is telling me is that the water spots did not go all the way through to the paint because of the glass coating. It seems hopeful... we'll see in a couple of weeks when I take the car back in for polishing.

    Pika Pika Rain comes in tiny bottles since it turns to glass fairly quickly when exposed to air. Glass coating is very popular in Japan these days, and everybody is doing it to their cars. One of the nice things about it is that you never have to wax your car again, and washing also becomes much simpler since dirt does not stick very well to the glass coating. I think that this perhaps made me a bit too relaxed about letting the toxic mix of Japanese pollen and water stay on the car too long thinking that it also would just come right off. I'm just hoping that the detailer is correct that polishing will get it off.
     
  20. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    One spot that was a problem on my car is the sharp point on the body when you open the door. It is the intersection of the line at the bottom of the door with the curve coming down from the B pillar. That point takes a direct hit by the pebbles thrown up by the front tires. As initially delivered, there was no 3M film on that point. Tesla added a couple of small pieces for me; I think those may be included as part of the 3M film package now. But it still doesn't cover the edge of that pointed area. I've got white specs of undercoating showing there.
     

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