My Model 3 new delivery paint issues - video

garsh

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#1
I've mentioned elsewhere in this forum that the paint on my new Model 3 is pretty rough. I've made a short video where I walk around the car and point out some of the more glaring paint issues. Apologies in advance for the potato-like quality of my phone's camera.

So far, I've only driven the car from the delivery center to my garage. It has 14 miles on it. I washed the car with Dawn detergent to remove any wax. I then proceeded to clay-bar the whole car. The good news is, the clay didn't appear to pick up a whole lot. I was worried of other reports that rail-transported vehicles tend to have a lot of contaminants.

If anybody who's familiar with car detailing can explain some of these spots, I'd be grateful. Some appear to be light to moderate scratching. The door edges especially seemed to exhibit this. Then there are a bunch of roughly fist-sized, "cloudy" areas. My guess is that someone attempted a quick polish in those areas? I'd appreciate any advice and opinions that you may have about my plans to attempt correcting these issues myself.

 

Bryan@Peachstate Detail

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#2
Pretty common condition of a new Model 3 from the 40 or so I've detailed and coated.

The circular areas are sanding marks from where the factory knocked down dirt nibs in the clear. Most of the time they don't polish those out, a few areas they did and those are other hazy areas.

Hopefully the white areas on the rear bumper cover body line are not all deep scratches. If they are, I'd have them respray the rear bumper cover.
 

garsh

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#3
Hopefully the white areas on the rear bumper cover body line are not all deep scratches.
They don't appear to be. It feels like something on top of the clear coat. I just didn't want to try rubbing too hard with a fingernail. Assuming I'm correct, any suggestions? Do I just need to push harder with a fingernail, and then polish afterwards to fix any scratches I may have added?
 

Bryan@Peachstate Detail

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#4
They don't appear to be. It feels like something on top of the clear coat. I just didn't want to try rubbing too hard with a fingernail. Assuming I'm correct, any suggestions? Do I just need to push harder with a fingernail, and then polish afterwards to fix any scratches I may have added?
Maybe its adhesive from the white plastic wrap, if so then 3M adhesive remover. If its polish residue, it should polish off.
 

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#5
When we picked up Niko - there was a football sized dull looking area on the hood. They used a polisher on that one spot and it was gone in 2 seconds, but they told me it was from the plastic wrap that had been on the car for shipping.

EDIT - I commented before watching your video, wow, sorry to see that, I truly don't know how lucky I am with the paint we have. You've got some work, but polishing shouldn't take more than a couple of hours after you get your tools. You'll definitely then know more about what you have. The bumper and door edges look like they are going to need some paint for sure though with those scratches.

For polishing, I noted in another thread, just hit up YouTube university as I call it and watch a few videos, it's not hard, you just want to be careful and not burn through the clear coat, just take a very tiny bit off. Autogeek had a lot of good videos among other sites as well.
 
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cfcubed

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#6
I've mentioned elsewhere in this forum that the paint on my new Model 3 is pretty rough. I've made a short video where I walk around the car and point out some of the more glaring paint issues.
Curious why you'd create a new thread with the video rather than just posting it to your original thread about this?
Now there'll be two threads about this. Anyway...

If anybody who's familiar with car detailing can explain some of these spots, I'd be grateful. Some appear to be light to moderate scratching. The door edges especially seemed to exhibit this. Then there are a bunch of roughly fist-sized, "cloudy" areas. My guess is that someone attempted a quick polish in those areas? I'd appreciate any advice and opinions that you may have about my plans to attempt correcting these issues myself.
My 2c, as given in "Simple DIYs to avoid or delay SC visit", is to just buy Polishing compound and follow the directions on the can, manually. No need to spend more $$$ until/unless the simple, safe methods are proven not to suffice.

Like I said I had 4 or 5 golf ball -> fist size cloudy/dull areas on my 3, only noticeable in certain light/certain angles, that I assume were hasty DC/SC compounded areas. Silly they didn't spend the extra 10-15 mins polishing/buffing them out. Anyway, I did later using a clean, damp rag + $6 Turtle polishing compound prior to [washing off polish compound and then] waxing. Suggest though it takes a bit more time doing this by hand/manually esp. if you're not experienced with it and especially if any edges or ridges are involved.
 

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#7
Dust nibs are common. I had one on my Model X which Fabian knocked down as bet he could along with some swirl marks from polishing or sanding the BIW at the factory. A good paint correction job can do wonders.

If you think this is only a Tesla issue I would advise anyone to visit any car dealer and look just as closely at their cars as you do with yours and you'll see plenty of flaws. The average customer doesn't even see the flaws, we've just been a bit too picky I think
 

garsh

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If you think this is only a Tesla issue I would advise anyone to visit any car dealer and look just as closely at their cars as you do with yours and you'll see plenty of flaws. The average customer doesn't even see the flaws, we've just been a bit too picky I think
I will readily admit that I never looked this closely at a car's paint before. :)

This is almost 3x as much as I've ever spent on a car previously. I'm hoping to keep this car for 15+ years. So, before putting PPF on it, I want to attempt to correct these paint issues. I don't see anything major - no nubs, and most of the scratches appear to be clearcoat-only. I don't feel like any of these issues is severe enough to require having Tesla fix them. So, I'm planning to just fix them all myself.
 

cfcubed

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#10
I don't recall making another thread about the paint issues.
Oops, sorry. Your posts to "Advice for first-time DIY Paint Correction?" e.g. about what you planned to buy/do to correct paint issues confused me, thought they were about correcting your paint issues(?). Like you were collecting/tracking steps to correct in that thread.

Anyway, if you're planing to polish large sections of a car, rather than just a handful of small cloudy/dull areas + small/light scratches, I guess a powered polisher is called for. I own one but still go manual for the little stuff.

Good luck.
 

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#11
I will readily admit that I never looked this closely at a car's paint before. :)

This is almost 3x as much as I've ever spent on a car previously. I'm hoping to keep this car for 15+ years. So, before putting PPF on it, I want to attempt to correct these paint issues. I don't see anything major - no nubs, and most of the scratches appear to be clearcoat-only. I don't feel like any of these issues is severe enough to require having Tesla fix them. So, I'm planning to just fix them all myself.
Spending this much and being picky is certainly something I understand however keep in mind these cars are being painted by robots and not finished by hand. Porsche and Lambo can do that when you're spending big $$ but they're also not making 300K cars a year. Even with my Model X, which was 6 figures and WAY more than I've ever spent on a car, wasn't perfect but I expected that. A good paint correction and then some PPF or ceramic will go a long way to keeping your new car looking good for years to come.

Money well spent in my opinion.
 

garsh

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#12
Porsche and Lambo can do that when you're spending big $$
Porsche paint may be OK (I haven't researched it), but I know I've seen at least one video that showed a Lamborghini with a pretty flawed factory paint job. So this is par for the course when it comes to supercars. ;)
 

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#13
Mine is blue like yours. I took it to a detail guy for ceramic & partial PPF. He has lots of experience with exotics & other Teslas, and he said it took him 3x longer to do paint corrections on my blue than any other car he's done. He kept the car for the better part of 3 weeks to do it (which nearly killed me). I feel you. I gather the blue 3's in the steepest part of the production ramp got it the worst.
 

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#14
Porsche paint may be OK (I haven't researched it), but I know I've seen at least one video that showed a Lamborghini with a pretty flawed factory paint job. So this is par for the course when it comes to supercars. ;)
You should have seen the Ferrari at my detailers shop. Brand new (50 miles on it), swirls everywhere, and even a spot that felt like Braille. It was bad.
 
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#15
Hi Garsh!

I am writing to share my experience; not to complain as I am being taken care of.

My MC Red 3 is absolutely full (numerous on every body panel) of dust nubs, suspected "fish eyes," foreign contaminants under the clear coat and possibly some under the base coat. When the light catches them, I can see these from 10 feet away. However, I have no scratches at all other than a small one inside the a door jamb that can be easily repaired without cosmetic impact. My service center did a fantastic job cleaning and polishing the car prior to delivery so it was absolutely clean, clear and free from any swirl marks, hazing, adhesive residue etc.; just the paint defects from the factory. I have seen these defects to varying degrees on every Model 3 I have looked at closely.

Disappointing to say the least. I have a 2017 Mazda 3 GT Hatchback (manual trans) in "machine grey metallic" that cost just under 1/2 the price of my Tesla Model 3. I have been over every square centimeter of that car waxing it a couple times. The paint is absolutely flawless; not a single dust nub, contaminant, scratch or any defect in paint, panel gaps, etc... The Mazda is absolutely perfect (except for a couple small chips due to 32K miles) and I was hoping the same for my Tesla.

I took my Model 3 to our local Tesla certified body shop to get an opinion (only 1 mile away from my office). He confirmed these paint issues are very common on the Model 3 and indicated that mine was a bit "extreme." I next took it to the service center (also close to my office) and they promptly scheduled an appointment with the same body shop I had visited (first available is unfortunately 4 weeks out). It will remain to see how successful they will be buffing out these defects and if any re-painting will be required, but it is on Tesla's dime and I am setting the intention that it will be dramatically improved and acceptable. Service center was supportive and didn't provide any push back to this. The rest of my car seems great and, if anything, my drive train seems quieter than a friend's dual motor Model 3 that was delivered a week earlier than mine.

At any rate, I would encourage you to find out who the third party Tesla approved body shop is in your area and take it there for an opinion. You may be reassured that DIY is best, or you may decide to get help. Next stop may then be the Service Center as Tesla should make the paint more perfect than this for you and your efforts should be on the extras like ceramic coating, waxing and such. Oh, and also on driving the car! Just a thought.

Best of luck to you!!!
Eric
 

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#16
I'm not going over my Model 3 to check for paint issues nearly as closely as you are, but I can say that the scratches I could easily see they did fix at the service center. IMO it wouldn't hurt to have them do some of the work and get out what they can instead of you trying to do it all yourself. good luck with everything going the DIY route, I wish i had the skills to even attempt the same thing you are!