This article is meant for anyone who has already preordered a Tesla Model S, 3, X, Y & is expecting delivery in the next few weeks. We all know the feeling of being excited about something new especially when it’s a big purchase & many things can skip over your mind.
It’s actually quite common for the Tesla Service Centers to not mention the 24 hour Paint Inspection Warranty. If you were not informed by Tesla Motors, upon delivery you have 24 hours to look over any paint defects & bring it to their attention before it’s deemed “natural causes” quite silly if you ask me but this is their policy. Continue reading this article to see what we have found.
A week before delivery, call the service center & specifically ask them not to wash your vehicle, generally their pretty good at washing the vehicles compared to other dealerships but none the less it only takes a new employee, or someone just not having a good day, especially on glossy black vehicles they can really do some damage. Dealership employees being paid minimum wage are definitely not going to wash like us. When inspecting the paint be meticulous start at one panel and break it up into 4-5 parts. This helps with finding defects & insures you don’t miss anything; some common ones we have seen are going to be listed below
Dirt in the clear coat (resembles a zit it sticks out, some are the same color as the paint but we have even seen twigs on so it could actually be the color of the debris.
Uneven paint spraying (this one is kind of tricky) it will look like uneven coats some areas will be darker or lighter it will look slightly wavy, this particular defect is hard to identify but we have bright lights to examine 360 degrees. In the past we had a Tesla in for a full body Paint Protection Film (PPF), this client was very particular so we were even pickier that way she knew she could relax. We ended up seeing light coats of paint on the air ducts of her Model 3 right below the turn signals ( instead of red it was orangish due to light coats). We even noted on her vehicle that the tip of the passenger fender where it meets the front bumper was still white if you looked up from the wheel well. Sometimes even the door jambs are sprayed lightly.
Sanded Clear coat scratches, this one is also kind of tricky we have seen this a few times, the factory would paint the base coat, and sand some areas (usually they sand out dirt in the clear coat hence why they did it in the first place) than clear coat over it so it’s impossible to fix. One of our returning clients came to us for a free consolation and we were able to catch that exact situation saving them about 1K if they wanted it fixed at a local body shop.
Uneven panel gaps, are common amongst many online forums but seems like this is still very largely missed by many owners. Sometimes bringing your vehicle to an expert is worth it, I mean we offer a free consultation, if you do proceed to work with us for paint protection that’s great, but we won’t go home upset either. If your panels are off more than 1/8th of an inch that’s considered a gap to us, we don’t technically know Tesla Motors policy for gaps but it wouldn’t hurt to bring them up. Common places to check are the following
Headlight gap, not the bumper sagging itself but headlights should be flush against the panels if you feel your finger hitting the headlight from the underside of it than your headlight is out to far.
Taillight gap (between the two pieces) in the middle usually their off a bit, also glide your hand over the edges of the taillights your fingers shouldn’t hit any edges where it meets the body panels if it does then you have a panel gap, this is super common.
A pillar arch (the pillar above the side windows) this gap seems to always be off towards the rear passenger door & the Trunk hatch
Specific to the Model Y CHECK THE PLASTIC TRIM, we have even seen one recently where the bottom trim didn’t line up straight with the plastic fender trim.
Places to check for Water leaks
Turn signals/ Rear taillights/ Window seals are notorious for leaks (stop by a self-served car wash and go to town! Spray it down top to bottom you’ll begin to hopefully not see moisture in those areas but if you do hey you caught it!
To sum it up, these are all the areas we have found that are really commonly over looked at, hope this article has helped you gain more confidence & clarity when you go through your own personal checklist! They defiantly have some things to figure out but nonetheless congratulations on the new ride, happy you have worked hard & you treated yourself. IF you have any particular questions feel free to call us, we’ll be happy to answer as best we can & offer solid recommendations. IF you are also looking for a Shop that specializes in Ceramic Coatings & Paint Protection Film & Window Tint. Look no further than The Auto Barber.
Sincerely Hikari Brandan AKA TechnoKing (iykyk)