Body rust warranty: 12 years, unlimited miles

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Madison, Wisconsin
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I have to accept that Tesla does not have a testing facility in Northern Minnesota.
I have to accept the fact that water freezes and can immobilize things surprised the SoCal boys too. You might just need some lock deicer to get the door handles open some times.
I have to accept the fact that building a vehicle for Wisconsin Winters may not yet be numbered amongst their acquired skills just yet.
I intend to drive my Caliber in the snow.
 

PNWmisty

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I have to accept that Tesla does not have a testing facility in Northern Minnesota.
Tesla does winter testing in the summer in the mountains of New Zealand. In the winter they test in Northern Minnesota (one of the coldest climates in the Continental US).

However, accelerated corrosion testing is best done in a mild or warm climate as cold weather, especially that below freezing, actually slows down oxidation. Accelerated corrosion testing is done with sprays of chloride solutions and in warmer conditions (to accelerate any corrosion).

I have to accept the fact that water freezes and can immobilize things surprised the SoCal boys too. You might just need some lock deicer to get the door handles open some times.
As a snow skier, I can attest that even cars made in Michigan regularly succumb to frozen windows, doors and locks that won't operate. Lock de-icer has been a thing for many decades, long before Tesla existed. In my experience, cars made in Michigan require more work to de-ice than cars made in the milder climate of Germany. BTW, Tesla is located in Fremont/San Francisco Bay Area. That's not "SoCal" - it's Northern California. And yes, the area is surrounded by numerous mountain ranges that get plenty of winter weather. Even the lowlands get frosty mornings. My point is, it's very different from S. California.

I have to accept the fact that building a vehicle for Wisconsin Winters may not yet be numbered amongst their acquired skills just yet.
I intend to drive my Caliber in the snow.
Well, the winter has just began where I live but, so far, I'm highly impressed with the Model 3's snow handling. And the pre-heat feature is excellent. No more de-icing and thawing out frozen seals, I just use the app on my phone to turn on the heater from the comfort of my living room before I depart. I think you'll find the AWD Dodge Caliber handles snow just fine. The problem is encountering ice at higher speeds, particularly if the car is loaded (you know, full of passengers). The Model 3 is a much safer car in the deadly slippery stuff. Not only is it less likely to lose control on a glazed surface, but the resulting carnage will also be much less due to it's far superior safety engineering.
 

D. J.

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Boulder County, CO
Saw that rusty bolt under the trunk closure/headlight bracket when I put my EcoHitch on.

What did you end up doing to treat it? A rust "conversion" paint?

-=- D. J.
 

PNWmisty

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Hello everybody,

Received my much desired and long awaited Model 3 about a mont ago. During a small fix, we noticed rust (galvanic reaction?) in the trunk. Have a look a the pictures and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
I checked both of our Model 3's today. Three of the four studs had a little light surface rust on the threaded stud.

Here's my analysis of what's going on:

That is a steel stud in what is basically a gutter for rainwater. The plastic caps that thread onto the stud have a round plastic "seat" that compressed against the body surrounding the stud. If you are curious about what this means, it is easy to use a Crescent wrench to unthread the plastic ten-sided "bolt" head from the stud. You need a crescent wrench that can open a little more than an inch.

After threading these caps off the studs I blew into each one with a sharp breath. Three out of four of them were wet inside. These were the three that were on the studs with light surface rust. The fourth cap was dry inside and that was the cap on the stud without rust. What's happening is not galvanic corrosion, it's regular rust caused by moisture leaking under the plastic cap (which act as the stops for the trunk lid). Once it seeps inside, it can't get out.

I solved the issue by using a utility knife to cut an index mark in the lowest edge of the plastic ten-sided "bolt" head when it was well tightened. I then removed it and used the knife to cut a small "V" shaped relief in the same location as the index mark. Then I re-installed and tightened until the index mark was at the bottom again. In this position, water will naturally shed around the round plastic shroud (which is what the plastic cap seats against. Any water that seeps in can drain out through this "V" notch.

The only tools needed are a utility knife and a crescent wrench. Takes about 2 minutes per side.
 

Mike

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@PNWmisty thanks for bringing some closure to this issue.

I followed your technique and agree with your analysis.

Last July, I had coated the areas under the black plastic tail-lamp assembly with my Rust Check spray and anticipated dealing with a "galvanic reaction" situation next spring.

I've posted some shots of my adventure:

Prior to taking any tools to my plastic trim, I always take precautions. In this case, my yellow Frog tape was acting as my safety margin. Prior to unscrewing the 10 sided plastic "bolt", I marked the low point where I would make my notch in the base of the "bolt" (as shown with the black marker lines).

dsc08737-jpg.19332


Once I removed the drivers side unit, this is what I saw:

dsc08738-jpg.19333


With six months of Rust Check spray to work its way around the base of the stud, it is clear that the issue is "trapped water".

Here is the "bolt" that goes on that stud:

dsc08739-jpg.19339



For comparison sake, the passenger side unit, with no rust showing:

dsc08740-jpg.19334


Here is a shot of the notch I made in line with the black magic marker line that was in the first picture (drivers side shown, passenger side typical):

dsc08741-jpg.19338


Prior to re-assembly I added some drops of this onto the stud and the female threads on the "bolt":

dsc08742-jpg.19335


Both "bolts" screwed back down until tight, with alignment marks dictating where to stop (passenger side shown, drivers side typical).:

dsc08744-jpg.19337


Thanks again for the tip, now I don't have to lay awake nights wondering how I was going to deal with an engineering oversight ;)
 

Mike

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Man, how many more unknowned areas rusting as we speak?
I feel my (in this case, well placed) OCD rising to new levels.
Got to go... the garage is calling me, guess what for:screamcat:
I hear you.

I calm myself with the $14k rebate that is payment for being at the bleeding edge of all of this.

Still waiting for my PPF roll end to arrive to deal with stone chips forming at the front edge of my drivers rear door, under the body crease.

While detailing that zone last night (to prep for doing the Mr Color Chip thing with), I see that because there are no mud flaps on these cars, the lower aft edge of the front wheel well (by the sill/rocker) and said sill/rocker is full of stone chips already.
 

Mesprit87

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Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, Québec
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Still waiting for my PPF roll end to arrive to deal with stone chips forming at the front edge of my drivers rear door, under the body crease.
I was planning to wait a bit for the doors but I agree with you that area and its angle is prone to chipping. To help, my aft door front edge is proud, I've wrapped the edge with a strip of PPF for now. After doing the hood and bits and pieces around the car, the doors should be pretty easy to do. I find the sleek door handle design is also a magnet for paint scratches around it so I'll probably wrap the whole door.
 

Mesprit87

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I'm not going to post another picture of of rusted post (no pun intended) but @PNWmisty got it right about the water. The thing I noted is that the bodywork at that location is such that the cap doesn't sit at the top, it creates a gap for the water to get in. I added a layer of thick film where the cap is sitting (if you haven't guessed it by now, I have a thing for filmo_O), did the cut out at the base and mounted the cap with corrosion inhibiting compound. You can see the angle I'm talking about in this one. (So I posted the post finally...)

Another sad discovery, the PPF just won't cut it for the lower part of the car. Have a look at the pictures, that's after the initial 800 km.
In front of the rear wheel, and front of back door.

I will need to install what I used to, thicker 3M stuff. And that's what I did on the front lip of the front wings... Some will say it's ugly. Believe me it's uglier when there is no more paint, ask me how I know.

So I'm now in a rush to protect the lower doors, they have some abrasion already showing and I'm still pondering if I'm going to use the thick stuff or just the PPF. This film is great and installs more easily than the thicker one but the one I've installed on the rear bumper in the back of the wheels is already dull and obviously won't last.

My village in the "mountains " is called like that because there is 35 lakes on the territory, that means limited salt is allowed to be used. It also means unlimited abrasives :rolleyes: so sand and rocks (like 1/4 to 3/8) are used profusely. This is very effective at :
Keeping good traction
Having good grainy surface when everything melts and ice can form in the spring
Making nice music as you drive (ding,ding,ding)
AND destroying your car!
 

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Mike

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I'm not going to post another picture of of rusted post (no pun intended) but @PNWmisty got it right about the water. The thing I noted is that the bodywork at that location is such that the cap doesn't sit at the top, it creates a gap for the water to get in. I added a layer of thick film where the cap is sitting (if you haven't guessed it by now, I have a thing for filmo_O), did the cut out at the base and mounted the cap with corrosion inhibiting compound. View attachment 19679 You can see the angle I'm talking about in this one. (So I posted the post finally...)
View attachment 19680
Another sad discovery, the PPF just won't cut it for the lower part of the car. Have a look at the pictures, that's after the initial 800 km.
View attachment 19681 In front of the rear wheel, and front of back door.

I will need to install what I used to, thicker 3M stuff. And that's what I did on the front lip of the front wings... Some will say it's ugly. Believe me it's uglier when there is no more paint, ask me how I know.

So I'm now in a rush to protect the lower doors, they have some abrasion already showing and I'm still pondering if I'm going to use the thick stuff or just the PPF. This film is great and installs more easily than the thicker one but the one I've installed on the rear bumper in the back of the wheels is already dull and obviously won't last.

My village in the "mountains " is called like that because there is 35 lakes on the territory, that means limited salt is allowed to be used. It also means unlimited abrasives :rolleyes: so sand and rocks (like 1/4 to 3/8) are used profusely. This is very effective at :
Keeping good traction
Having good grainy surface when everything melts and ice can form in the spring
Making nice music as you drive (ding,ding,ding)
AND destroying your car!
I hate to say it, but I think an OEM "mud flap" option will ultimately have to be promulgated.

Nothing crazy, but something akin to what I had (from the factory) on my '08 Prius.
 

Mesprit87

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Just protected my doors up to the crease with thick PPF . Let me just say, don't wait too long before you do. With just 1300km, both doors where covered with specks of rocks bouncing off these surfaces. The dark color doesn't help but lighter colors will get similar erosion. Really wish I had this car during summer, torn between driving it and going all the way in protection...
 

Mike

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Just protected my doors up to the crease with thick PPF . Let me just say, don't wait too long before you do. With just 1300km, both doors where covered with specks of rocks bouncing off these surfaces. The dark color doesn't help but lighter colors will get similar erosion. Really wish I had this car during summer, torn between driving it and going all the way in protection...
Thanks for the heads up.

My rocker areas are COVERED with mini chips.

I just finished a Dr ColorChip treatment on one chip that was about 3mm wide by 10 mm long.

Just ordered PPF to cover the rockers from wheel well to wheel well.

I'm going to lay the three inch wide product so the bottom edge is just shy of the long, thin black plastic trim peice that runs between the two wheel openings.

The paint is too soft for this area of the car.
 

Mike

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Which area is this on the car ?

View attachment 20302

Maybe a picture with showing more would help.
I don't have access to my laptop right now, so I'll try my best to help:

The following screen shot is from this post: https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/im-rust-proofing-my-model-3.7282/post-112656

screenshot_2019-01-09-20-33-31-png.20303


The piece I am talking about is depicted in the above screen shot.

It is the metal that runs below the bottom of the doors.

The long black plastic trim part has been removed in the above screen shot.

Hope this helps.
 

Mesprit87

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I'm going to lay the three inch wide product so the bottom edge is just shy of the long, thin black plastic trim peice that runs between the two wheel openings.
If you have a chance, wrap it so the bottom edge ends up under the plastic trim, it will help prevent peeling and isolate the paint from the plastic so less friction wear. Don't forget the doors themselves, use the thickest material available, my thin ppf already looks whitish.:(
Which area is this on the car ?


View attachment 20302

Maybe a picture with showing more would help.
It's just aft the rear door, between the door and the wheel.
 

Mike

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use the thickest material available, my thin ppf already looks whitish.
I think even the thicker stuff may become an annual replacement ritual in this area.

Or one could use a clear rubberized spray-on product I came across a few years ago (I think Eastwood makes it(?)).
 

Mike

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@Mesprit87, I had the car up on the hoist yesterday and covered my rockers between the wheel wells with PPF.

If you have a chance, wrap it so the bottom edge ends up under the plastic trim, it will help prevent peeling and isolate the paint from the plastic so less friction wear.
No luck with mine. The bottom edge of the painted surface is so irregular, I couldn't make the wrap under the edge work. The space between the plastic trim and the frame is wide enough that I don't think I have to worry about a friction issue.

Don't forget the doors themselves, use the thickest material available, my thin ppf already looks whitish
I didn't have material for these areas (yet). On my car, they are still pristine (with the exception of the one leading edge of the lower drivers side door, and it is already covered with PPF). I'm going to hold off on those areas until further notice.

Observations:
  • That rocker area is literally sand blasted already and I am only half way through my first winter with this car. Yikes.
  • And to add to the fun and games, while up on the hoist and able to inspect the vehicle from that angle, the whole rear fender area, aft of the rear doors and in front of the rear wheel wells, is also sand blasted. At least in this area the primer is intact where its been chipped.
  • I removed the front end under chassis trim to inspect the front steering/suspension system. No mechanical issues noted, but looking way up through all the plumbing (at the firewall, passenger side) up to the base of the windscreen, there is a mastic beaded edge (body colored) that has peeled in two areas and has rust flash showing.....so I soaked that area with Rust Check (sorry, no photos, brain was occupied with job at hand).
 

Mesprit87

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I removed the front end under chassis trim to inspect the front steering/suspension system. No mechanical issues noted, but looking way up through all the plumbing (at the firewall, passenger side) up to the base of the windscreen, there is a mastic beaded edge (body colored) that has peeled in two areas and has rust flash showing.....so I soaked that area with Rust Check (sorry, no photos, brain was occupied with job at hand).
If we need to start doubting all the sealed joints on this car we're not out of the woods, hope what you found was an isolated case.
My car being red every little chip shows, it looks like I drive in a more abrasive environment then you but believe me the doors are next in line for sandblasting.
 

3LR

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Read the thread as I have had some concerns about the Model 3 and corrosion. Started doing my research and one of the first things I checked was the Tesla website. Come to find that there are very varying warranty texts on the site depending on which country is selected. A few things you might find interesting that I found on the Norwegian page.
Limited Rust Warranty for Model 3
This limited rust warranty for Model 3 gives coverage for body panel rusting (holes from inside out) due to material or manufacturing defects for 12 years, regardless of mileage.

Exception:
Vehicles that are rust-treated, such as anti-rust and undercarriage treatment.