Help me prepare for delivery

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Sri

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Sep 12, 2016
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Northern VA
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#1
New Tesla customer in Northern VA eagerly awaiting to pick up a RWD M3 on 09/30. The scheduling happened very quickly, Can some of the veterans here help me with a couple of things:

1. Is there a check list of things I should look for when taking delivery? If there are issues what's the process to get them fixed

2. Should I get any ceramic coating, Paint protection film, etc. I am not crazy about the idea of spending more. But want to keep the car looking good as well. Is there an economical approach, say less than $1000, for doing this? I am pretty much clueless about these things.

Thanks for any help I can get.
 
Last edited:

COM3

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Castle Rock, CO
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#2
Joined
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Johnstown, PA
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#4
I'm looking at ceramic coatings as well and paint protection film, I think I might go with limited film and definitely a ceramic coating for the entire car. I'd like to keep my Model 3 looking good for many years as I plan on keeping it 10+ years; I still have my Toyota Tacoma 20 years and it's going strong.

I should warn you though, don't believe delivery dates from Tesla, they are a fiction. Mine was supposed to be delivered 12 hours from now and was abruptly cancelled this evening indefinitely without explanation or even a notice. I had to call them myself to find it out that I was canceled just before they closed for the evening. I wouldn't make any plans that cost a lot of money until you literally can see the actual car in front of you, don't even give them any money until that happens (i.e. your down payment or final payment) as many people are getting burned by this.
 

Sri

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#5
Yes. Good advice. Thanks. I am excited to get it sooner but in really no hurry. I am partly picking up now to help Tesla with quarterly numbers. But I'll take your advice and just use a personal check for down payment. If it get postponed, no biggie
 
Joined
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#6
I was planning on my delivery day, whenever Tesla gets around to it, was to goto a morning appointment, check out the car, offer a personal check and if they won't take it then log on with my laptop to pay online or walk over to my bank and get a cashier's check. I will not be paying the night before with no guarantee of delivery.

Thankfully the only thing that happened to me was a missed day and rescheduling of my work to make the confirmed delivery date, others have sent tens of thousands of dollars and now have no car and no money, while some even sold their ICE car and now have no transportation at all. Better to be wary and careful, but excited at the same time. I'll be taking lots of pictures and videos on that day because I'm sure I'll be excited and accept a car with all kinds of flaws but after the honeymoon is over I want the proof that the car was defective on delivery so that Tesla will fix the car and not try to get out of their promises. Great car, but don't blindly trust anyone with your money.
 

PNWmisty

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Aug 19, 2017
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Anacortes, WA
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#8
New Tesla customer in Northern VA eagerly awaiting to pick up a RWD M3 on 09/30. The scheduling happened very quickly, Can some of the veterans here help me with a couple of things:

1. Is there a check list of things I should look for when taking delivery? If there are issues what's the process to get them fixed

2. Should I get any ceramic coating, Paint protection film, etc. I am not crazy about the idea of spending more. But want to keep the car looking good as well. Is there an economical approach, say less than $1000, for doing this? I am pretty much clueless about these things.

Thanks for any help I can get.
1) Tesla knows they can't build a reputation as a premier EV maker if they cheat their customers. If you find any flaws upon delivery, just make sure they get notated within 3 days (Tesla doesn't want to be repairing door dings you got at the supermarket). Tesla staff may be overworked and things might be chaotic right now but you can trust Tesla with your money. They want happy customers. If you are reasonable, they will be reasonable.

2) Yes, the economic approach is to periodically wash the car and apply high-quality automotive wax to protect the clearcoat/paint. The paint/clearcoat layers are there as the final layers to protect the zinc undercoating and the metal. It also gives the car it's color so they are not all the same. There is no real need to spend a lot of money on further protection. Tesla uses high-quality polyurethanes that have better resistance to environmental conditions than any protection film that can be applied. Granted, additional layers offers more protection but what is going to protect those expensive additional layers? Because they will start looking beat up more quickly than the factory finish. Should you buy a second paint protection layer to protect your "investment" in the very expensive first paint protection layer? Where do you stop? There is no end to the madness.

The best "investment" here is no investment. Just wash and wax it periodically and invest the money you saved. If you keep the car long enough, and you are unhappy with the appearance down the road, you can use the money you invested to get a brand new paint job at a quality painting shop.
 

Dale Gardner

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Jul 1, 2017
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Detroit, Michigan
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#9
If you keep the car long enough, and you are unhappy with the appearance down the road, you can use the money you invested to get a brand new paint job at a quality painting shop.
How would that be a good investment? Spend a bunch of money on a completely new paint job for an older vehicle? I would just have any bad dings/scratches fixed with touch-up paint and polished, maybe have the car detailed if you really want. I've had older cars and never repainted them. The body components and mechanicals were worn down more than the paint anyway, and new paint would have cost maybe 30% the worth of the car. Plus, the older vehicle is not as safe, nor has as many comfort/convenience/technology/safety features as a newer car. I'd rather just save the money and put it toward the next car (perhaps a new Tesla :p).
 
Joined
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Johnstown, PA
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#10
How would that be a good investment? Spend a bunch of money on a completely new paint job for an older vehicle? I would just have any bad dings/scratches fixed with touch-up paint and polished, maybe have the car detailed if you really want. I've had older cars and never repainted them. The body components and mechanicals were worn down more than the paint anyway, and new paint would have cost maybe 30% the worth of the car. Plus, the older vehicle is not as safe, nor has as many comfort/convenience/technology/safety features as a newer car. I'd rather just save the money and put it toward the next car (perhaps a new Tesla :p).
I don't know, these vehicles are supposed to last a long time and I typically keep my vehicles 10+ years so I wonder in that circumstance up-front protection might be warranted compared to "disposable" ICE cars. I really don't know and am looking at all options, would appreciate advice from folks that keep their cars long term. I know my 20 year old Toyota Tocama is kinda beat up and I don't plan to re-paint it other than to prevent rusting, but I'm buying a car now which is a different ballgame. I know a lot of people just own vehicles for a few years then move onto the next model, but I'm not one of them. My decision to buy my particular Model 3 was that it was expected to last and has free supercharging (I plan to charge at home, but I drive long distances all the time).
 

PNWmisty

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#11
How would that be a good investment? Spend a bunch of money on a completely new paint job for an older vehicle?
I didn't say painting the car would be a good investment. I recommended investing the money saved by not buying paint protection film. I also said, if the owner was unhappy down the road, they would have the available funds to remedy it, if desired.

I would just have any bad dings/scratches fixed with touch-up paint and polished, maybe have the car detailed if you really want. I've had older cars and never repainted them. The body components and mechanicals were worn down more than the paint anyway, and new paint would have cost maybe 30% the worth of the car. Plus, the older vehicle is not as safe, nor has as many comfort/convenience/technology/safety features as a newer car. I'd rather just save the money and put it toward the next car (perhaps a new Tesla :p).
You are making my point for me! Paint protection film is not a good value because it duplicates the purpose of paint in the first place.
 

Sri

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Northern VA
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#12
Just an update. Got that car on sep 30th. Although the delivery center was crowded, the delivery went without any fuzz and pretty fast. I probably have spent 30-40 minutes there including the orientation. I haven't really driven the car much apart from the drive home and a couple of test rides for friends. But I am in love already.
 

twm01

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Tampa, FL
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#13
If you are thinking about signing up for teslafi - I would recommend it now at delivery so you don't miss out on any data. You can use member's ids to get 4 weeks rather than 2 (mine is the same as my id here)

Many people would recommend a wrap for the center console as the piano block attracts fingerprints and scratches... and speaking of scratches, be careful with the dash :)
 

Quicksilver

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#14
Just an update. Got that car on sep 30th. Although the delivery center was crowded, the delivery went without any fuzz and pretty fast. I probably have spent 30-40 minutes there including the orientation. I haven't really driven the car much apart from the drive home and a couple of test rides for friends. But I am in love already.
Congrats on your new Model 3? What did you named the car?

As for the advice on paint protection, etc... If you are concerned about spending more money, you really do not need to do anything except regularly washing it and maybe put a coat of wax on it (or use other products - Opticoat, etc...). I plan to keep my car for a long time so I had a budget to work with - which was $1k - that I spent on PPF'ing the hood, headlights, front bumper, and side mirrors. My car is garaged 95% of the time and I wash it about once every two weeks depending on the weather.

Enjoy your new ride! :D
 

Sri

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Northern VA
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#15
@twm01, Now I am going to sound stupid. What's Teslafi? Is that Tesla's premium data service? The delivery person told me it's free for one year. I wouldn't be surprised if he was wrong. He seemed a bit uncertain about the bonuses.
 

Sri

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Northern VA
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#16
Congrats on your new Model 3? What did you named the car?

As for the advice on paint protection, etc... If you are concerned about spending more money, you really do not need to do anything except regularly washing it and maybe put a coat of wax on it (or use other products - Opticoat, etc...). I plan to keep my car for a long time so I had a budget to work with - which was $1k - that I spent on PPF'ing the hood, headlights, front bumper, and side mirrors. My car is garaged 95% of the time and I wash it about once every two weeks depending on the weather.

Enjoy your new ride! :D
I
Haven't named it yet. My son is working on something which incorporates his name :). I have never consider something like paint protection before. But I like the looks of M3 so much, I am probably going to do at least opticoat. The one shop I talked to quoted a much higher rate for PPF. Guess I'll have to shop around. Yes. I plan to keep it for a long time too. One of the reasons for choosing Tesla.
 

dragonsurge

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Aug 23, 2018
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Chester, NH USA
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#17
@twm01, Now I am going to sound stupid. What's Teslafi? Is that Tesla's premium data service? The delivery person told me it's free for one year. I wouldn't be surprised if he was wrong. He seemed a bit uncertain about the bonuses.
I didn't know either... looks like it's a data logger that integrates with Tesla's API to gather and present details stats. Sounds interesting: https://about.teslafi.com/ and a thread regarding how people use it: https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/why-do-you-use-teslafi.113512/
 

twm01

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#18
@dragonsurge has it exactly right - it is a 3rd-party service that 'pings' your Tesla using an API to get various information that it then stores and presents to you in various ways. I signed up after my first 1000 miles or so, but wished I had done it at delivery. I am still in my trial period, but like the details it gives me that I can't get from my car.

I am debating signing up once my trial expires ($5/month or $50/year, IIRC), but it does give me a lot of data...

I would recommend giving it a try (free for 2 weeks, or 4 weeks with a current user id) and see what you think.
 

Sri

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Northern VA
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#19
Looks very interesting. But currently I am strapped for time. So I should probably avoid this information overload. But probably sometime in the future.