Model 3 owners choosing not to add paint protection

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#1
I would like to hear from Model 3 owners that have chosen NOT to add paint protection film or ceramic coating. I guess I am old school and have never seen the need for this extra protection. Are Teslas so different that this has become a necessity? I have read a lot concerning the "soft paint" controversy. Hard to determine fact from fiction.
Anyway, if you have a Tesla and have not added PPF or coating. do you have regrets?
 

BigBri

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#4
I've opted not to. I put most of my free cashflow into the car and just couldn't justify any more money on it.

I MAY consider a ceramic down the line but so far I've fixed the 2 rockchips I've got very simply and I avoid being THAT picky with the car. I'm not taking a flashlight to the clear coat to see how it looks as I'm sure I'd just get pissed off lol. Car looks great with my weekly wash and I'm confident enough to remove any scratches that catch my eye.
 

LUXMAN

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#5
I decided not to do it. I have had the car almost 4 months now. I have one rock chip.
Do I regret not doing the PPF? No.
I have never had a car this expensive, granted, but I have never done this to any of my cars and with regular care they have held up extremely well.
I don't live on a gravel road and am crazy aware of semis and lawn care trailers on the road so I avoid most things.
In the end, it is a car that I will drive and love for a long time.
It also has a scrape on a rocker where some road debris hit it :(. This would not have been avoided with the Front end wrap I was considering. So things happen no matter what you do. But I just felt the cost/reward didn't justify it for me.
Plus I wonder really how well these things will hold up. Will they take the paint off in a couple years if there is bubble or some other reason to replace it? Maybe they are better than they use to be and lots of people love them but I couldn't pull the trigger on it.
 
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Lovesword

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#6
I'm not having anything done. I was going to write more but @LUXMAN has perfectly covered my exact scenario (this is my most expensive car to date, I've never done any protection before, I feel it's a dice roll either way so ... uh..yahtzee?).

My previous car looked just fine after 6 years of ownership. If this one doesn't, it's either my fault, fate or OMGTESLASOFTPAINTSUX!!1! Though I'm guessing the public perception that the later is true is greatly overblown.
 

garsh

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#7
@SoFlaModel3 hasn't applied any coating to his. I'm sure he'd like to chime in. :)

Basically, Ceramic Coating and PPF seem to be pretty new technology. I had never had either done to my cars in the past. But since the Model 3 will be my most expensive car purchase, I'm seriously considering getting PPF put on it. The front of my Leaf is completely pock-marked after six years of ownership, and I'd like to protect my 3 from the same fate.
 

Defjukie

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#9
I did a DIY application of CQuartz Pro. Cost was $50. Small price to pay for a little extra piece of mind (I realize it's probably nowhere near as good as a "pro" ceramic install).

I did it because I tend to not wash my cars as often as I should. The ceramic makes it so I can give it a quick blast with the pressure washer and get most of the bugs/dirt off.
 

PNWmisty

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#10
Rest easy, the paint is the "protection" for the body panels. I've never been on a new car forum in which additional "protection" wasn't a popular sounding (but not really necessary) option. I keep my cars a long time and I've never protected the paint on any of them with anything other than quality auto "wax". I've tried the fancy synthetics but have decided I like the traditional carnauba waxes.

Even the best paint protection films and ceramic coatings will become worn with age, nothing lasts forever and, if it's a daily driver, that's expected. I wouldn't spend a lot of money or effort to slow down something that's not going to matter a whole lot in the end anyway (unless you're keeping the car as a collectable and only taking it on Sunday drives). My 19-year-old Volvo still looks really good and it's nearing the end of it's useful life, at least to us. It's never had anything but wax (and none in the last 6 years) and the paint is no better than that on our Model 3 (both have water-based polyurethanes). Someone will probably nurse the mechanicals along until it breathes its last breath but the lack of paint protection hasn't hurt it's used market value even a little.

I say, spend the money on things that matter, increase your highway following distances and enjoy!
 

Ken Voss

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#11
I applied XPEL PPF to the front bumper, lights, fenders, hood and mirrors and Cquartz Professional ceramic on top of a Stage 1+ paint correction when the car was 2 weeks old , and here is my rational, the first is unique to Model 3, the others just personal preference:

1- The flat front bumper, the low hood and the large painted mirrors are a bug and road pebble magnets, I plan to keep this car for a long time and the PPF gives me a level of protection against chips

2- I like my cars to look good and the paint correction that was included with the Ceramic application makes my multi coat red paint pop, looks an order of magnitude better than it did when I picked it up brand new. You could apply ceramic yourself to make it easy to clean but this will not make it look any better than wax without the paint correction.

3- I hand wash my car every week and I want this task to be as easy as possible. With the Ceramic applied nothing sticks to the paint, while I do use a 2 bucket method most of the time I really don't need to, just pressure from a hose removes 99% of the dirt, bugs etc. Applying ceramic to the wheels is like magic, never any brake dust and never any scrubbing, just hose pressure and the wheels look like brand new

You might notice that my rational was NOT financial, I have seen people argue that there is an ROI in this because your paint will look better when it is time to sell and therefore you will be able to get more for it. In my opinion this is an incorrect assumption, yes you may get a few hundred dollars more in 5 years from now but it will cost you a few thousand dollars today. Do this for chip insurance, to make your car look better as long as you own it and to save you time when washing, but not because it is a "Good Investment", it definitely is not that.
 

SoFlaModel3

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#12
I went past my budget on the car so PPF wasn’t a consideration.

The one thing I’ve never seen is what does PPF look like after say 3 years. If it looks horrible than you have to weigh the cost of PPF against a respect on the bumper.

I never ran the math on that though since it wasn’t in the cards.
 

Sandy

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#13
I went past my budget on the car so PPF wasn’t a consideration.

The one thing I’ve never seen is what does PPF look like after say 3 years. If it looks horrible than you have to weigh the cost of PPF against a respect on the bumper.

I never ran the math on that though since it wasn’t in the cards.
To the OP: I've washed and waxed all my life. There was really no other alternative back then. I just spent the last 2 days detailing our '14 Escape and touched up about 20 small paint chips on the front end, mostly on the bumper. Same thing every summer. At a minimum I really regret no getting PPF on the bumper and leading edge of the hood on the Escape. It's due to that I made the decision to do PPF on the entire front end including headlights, foglights and mirrors. The ceramic on top of the film just improves it's performance and helps prevent swirls and scratches. I will always get at least the front end from now on.

I think PPF is like anything else. The better care you take of it the better it will last. Good PPF is hydrophobic but coating it with a vinyl ceramic will really add to that. Stay away from harsh soaps, non touch free car washes, power washing edges etc. I've never done it before but I believe the products have improved considerably (and so has the marketing....) but my 3 is in right now getting done. I get it back tomorrow and will post some pics.
 
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flyeaglesfly

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#14
Adding to some of these comments, I think it comes down entirely to (1) how do you feel about minor paint chips from rocks? and (2) washing your car.

I did not get any film because I couldn't justify the cost for myself, and I'm hopeful that the $50 paint repair kit on tesla.com will be sufficient to keep me happy., so that takes care of #1. I'm much more worried about rock chips on the windows than the paint, as I hear window repairs are hard to come by right now.

On the car cleaning side of things, I actually use mostly the same products as @SoFlaModel3 describes in https://teslaownersonline.com/threads/how-i-wash-my-car-in-the-garage-and-get-great-results.6727/. It's easy and looks awesome. My wife thinks it looks better today after a few rounds with those than it did the day we picked up. It's not as easy as having the ceramic from what I understand, but I do get it done in less than 30 minutes each wash and it stays clean enough with the Opti-seal (I plan to do this once a year or so) that I'm not too bummed if I missing a cleaning for whatever reason.

In my opinion, if you would be traumatized by a small rock chip that no one but you even notices, and have the spare cash for the first and any subsequent film applications, then films are worth it... otherwise just deal with the rock chips like any other car would and repair them if they get bad enough.
 

Reef Club

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#15
1) hand polish imperfections
2) clay bar
3) Rubbing alcohol (diluted) sprayed and wiped off to get any oils out
4) Menzerna Power Lock plus Sealant
5) Collinite 845 Insulator Wax
6) PPF for side view mirrors and door handles from RPMTesla
7) Screen protector 5H Ultra-Tough from Abstract Ocean
8) Black Brushed Metal Console Wrap from Kenriko

My 11 year old Lexus looks brand new with a Sealant/Wax combo.
 

GDN

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#16
Wraps and shop applied coatings were all beyond my budget as well. I did use a quality ceramic coating, $120 on Amazon. Do I believe it can do all they advertise, not really, but I do see it as my "wax" protection if nothing else. The water beads very well and it washes so easy. You can use a wax on top of it, or just renew it as needed. The Collinite 845 that @Reef Club mentions is highly touted as one of the best waxes you can find. I will see if I keep up with the coating every year or so, or maybe apply the Collinite on top. Most any wax will wear away more quickly and need application more often. The coatings are advertised as being harder, so maybe they will stay a little longer, but I'm proof they won't prevent a rock chip as I got one the second week after applying the coating.

It is a car, invest as much or as little as your budget allows. Baby it a little, enjoy it and keep it insured. I'm not a fan of having just part of a car repainted, but you can have likely have part of the car or the whole care repainted at least once, if not twice for what some of the wraps and vinyl's cost.
 
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Petra

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#17
Here's my take on this... Ceramic coatings are great for protecting against non-abrasion damage (so, environmental damage from pollen, tree sap, bird droppings, bug hits, etc.) and minimizing wash-induced damage by preventing junk from adhering to the paint. They're expensive, a pain to prep/apply, are are best suited for people who don't do anything more than wash their cars. Detailing is one of my hobbies (when I have time) so I'm highly unlikely to use a ceramic coating... I'd probably get bored and end up stripping the coating off (clay bar can strip ceramic coatings, polishing & compounding strips coatings, etc.). Quality polymer sealants can provide similar protection, but they just won't last nearly as long as a ceramic coating can.

As for PPF, I've been debating applying PPF to the front fascia/mirrors/hood of our yet-to-be-delivered Model 3... On the one hand, PPF will prevent the paint from getting sandblasted out here and will protect it from rock hits. On the other hand, PPF is expensive and acts as a sacrificial barrier that will age and take damage. I can correct paint, but there isn't much that can be done about PPF damage other than replacing it and, factoring in the length of time I intend to keep the car and the cost of PPF replacement, it may ultimately be more expensive to go the PPF route than just respray the fascia and hood at some point (assuming I care enough to even do that).

The cries of "soft paint!!!!!!1111one" bother me somewhat. Maybe it's just my Model S, but I wouldn't describe it as being overly soft or anything... maybe around medium-ish? Soft paint corrects super quickly and with minimally abrasive products/techniques. A good example of this would be our spare car, an Accord, which can be corrected in 1 stage with a light cut polish (like M205) on a standard white polishing pad--seriously, everything comes out... it's kinda crazy. The Model S requires a lot more work. M205 on a polishing pad doesn't really do much, I've found that stepping up to a non-super aggressive compound (like D300) on a microfiber cutting pad will take care of the majority of the paint defects (etching from bug hits, light scratching, etc.), and I can finish out with polish on a medium-light cut pad.
 

John

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#18
You can't really criticize people for spending money on stuff they like. Or what their standards are for keeping their car looking like they bought it.

One person's $3000 is another person's $30.

One person's "my day just got ruined by a rock chip" is another person's "Oh, well. It's not too bad. I'll have to touch that up at some point."

Plus, this is an enthusiast forum, so both of these are likely to be a bit distorted from the average.

My advice is that the most important thing to do is to clean your car every week, and to do it with the proper basic inexpensive tools. This regardless of what else you add to your car. You will spend the same amount of time and effort cleaning your car each week either way.

From beyond 10 or 20 feet, all clean cars look pretty similar.

I recently took these two pictures of my car, one from about 20 feet, one from up close. Same car, same day.

From farther away, you don't see scattered surface effects as much as the base shine.





Two thoughts:
1. Welcome to Berkeley, douchebag.
2. There's only one thing worse than a $60K car with a rock chip. And that's a $60K car with $3K film with a rock chip.
 

John

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#20
@John - I'm embarrassed for you, that car needs a bath, of course I only see the close up pic !
Evidently my car and I were both getting coffee at the same time.

It got a bath shortly after that.

My point was that I had to get close to see it. Car still looked sassy AF from a distance.