According to a recent survey, over 80% of car owners who have applied PPF on their vehicles have reported a significant reduction in paint damage. So, do you actually need PPF for your Tesla?

You don’t really need PPF for a Tesla unless you live in an area where paint abrasion is likely to occur. However, if you drive on rural roads with lots of dust and gravel, you’ll need PPF to protect the car’s paint. 

This might sound like a contradiction, but there is more to it. In this article, I’ll take you through PPF’s benefits, application, and cost to give you a better understanding of whether you’ll need it on your car. Additionally, I will explore ceramic coating as a cheaper alternative to PPF. 

The Benefits of PPF on Your Tesla

Teslas are notorious for having skinny clear coats that wear off quickly, exposing the paint to the environment. Therefore, many Tesla owners wonder whether it’s worth investing in the added protection that PPF offers.

The benefits of PPF on your Tesla are:

  • It protects from light scratches & abrasions.
  • It protects the paint from harmful UV radiation. 
  • It prevents rust. 
  • It facilitates car washing. 
  • It maintains the car’s aesthetics. 

On a similar note, I wrote a related article called: “Should I Rust Proof My Tesla?” This will add some additional clarity to this topic. Check it out!

Tesla owners driving in rural areas will enjoy the benefits of PPF more than Tesla owners driving in urban areas. 

Loose rocks can wreak havoc on the paint near the wheels and the bumpers. Some Tesla owners driving on non-gravel roads also report paint abrasion. 

What Is Paint Protection Film?

Paint Protection Film, or PPF, is a thick transparent layer of polyurethane fitted on your car to protect the paint, hence the name clear bra. It’s about 3 to 11 mil (0.003 to 0.01 in) thick, giving your vehicle near-bulletproof protection.

In fact, it was initially used in military helicopters before Nascar opened it up to commercial use.

In all honesty, PPF doesn’t stop bullets. It does, however, protect your car’s paint from most hazards you’ll encounter when driving – rocks, tree sap, salt, bugs, bird droppings, UV radiation, you name it. 

PPF’s efficiency lies in its self-healing properties. It can’t prevent damage or scratches from happening, but if they do, they’ll quickly disappear over time.

PPF is a clear film applied to cars to protect from external harm and preserve original paint. It’s self-healing and protects from scratches, UV light, grime, and more. Tesla owners in rural areas will benefit more from PPF than urban areas.

Do You Need PPF Tesla Model 3?

You don’t need PPF for Tesla Model 3 unless you live in an area where paint abrasion is likely to occur. Tesla has started to roll out vehicles with PPF, but the film has only been added in-car sections where most owners complain of paint chipping.

By the way, I also wrote a related article called: “10 Best Tesla Touch Up Paint Colors Compared (With Pictures)“. Check it out when you’re done here!

Does Tesla Recommend PPF?

For those looking to obtain Tesla’s approval before proceeding with any modifications related to your car, this section is for you. Using only Tesla-recommended extras is wise: it guarantees car integration and preserves that precious warranty. 

Tesla hasn’t officially recommended PPF but it is willing to provide it in certain areas, particularly in areas prone to paint damage. The company has tested the installation of PPF on Model Y, showing the company acknowledges the benefits of PPF.

In certain regions, Tesla offers extras to customers to protect their cars from damage caused by the environment. For instance, in November 2019, Tesla provided new All-Weather Protection Kits to Tesla owners. 

The kit – which Tesla offered to Model 3 owners – included two mud flaps with installation hardware. The purpose of these flaps was to protect the cars from paint chips that occur in winter due to salt, gravel, and sand.

In 2021, Tesla went a step further by testing the installation of PPF on the Model Y in select markets. The Model Y is particularly susceptible to paint chips, making it the best Model for Tesla to test this feature on. 

The campaign to have PPF available as standard hasn’t rolled out in most regions worldwide. However, Tesla’s willingness to incorporate it shows that the company acknowledges the protective benefits PPF offers to cars. 

Another suggestion for other articles written; I also wrote a related article called: What Is A Clear Bra For Tesla? Have A Look. In this article, I advise the best options for you to choose from.

Whether you’re a Tesla owner who frequently drives on rural roads or simply wants to maintain the appearance of your car, PPF is worth considering.

The Price to Install PPF

Cost makes many people avoid car extras that can benefit their cars. However, some additions can prove to be worth every dime. 

PPF is expensive to install. Coating your entire Tesla in PPF can cost you between $5,500 to $10,000, depending on the size of your vehicle, labor costs, and product quality. 

PPF is expensive due to the benefits it offers your car. Furthermore, you won’t need to reapply for PPF for another five to ten years. 

If you go for PPF, always go for the best brands available. Purchase clear coating with a lengthy warranty (10 years or more) and a thickness of at least 8 mm (0.008 in). Additionally, ensure that the PPF has self-healing properties. 

If you consider the costs of repairing paint chips and scratches, the cost of PPF might be worth paying.

How Long Does It Take To Add Paint Protection To Your Car?

PPF installation can take a while, especially if you opt to have PPF on your entire Tesla. 

HOHOFILM PPF Car Paint Protection Film Self Healing Automotive Vinyl Wrap Clear Gloss Vinyl Sheet Self-Adhesive,60" x20ft Roll
The installer starts by preparing the paint’s surface to remove any contaminants that may hinder the PPF’s adhesion to the surface. A soap and water mixture known as slip is then sprayed on the surface. Click on the image for more info on Amazon.

Slip facilitates stretching of the PPF on the car’s surface and prevents adhesion before the technician applies the film correctly. Once the technician positions the PPF correctly, they let the slip solution out, allowing the PPF to adhere to your Tesla. 

Those on a budget can opt not to have the entire Tesla coated in PPF. You’ll have the option of applying the material only on specific parts that are more susceptible to scratching or abrasion.

Parts that are highly susceptible to abrasion include the hood, bumpers, fenders, and mirrors. ONLY coating these parts can reduce the cost of PPF significantly. 

PPF Increase of your Tesla’s Resale Value

One might consider PPF worth the cost if it will increase your Tesla’s resale value. However, not all car extras and modifications can increase their value.

Having PPF on a car won’t significantly increase a Tesla’s resale value. Buyers and trade-in centers consider aesthetics when valuing your car, but having PPF won’t result in a significant bump in resale value. 

Resale value goes far beyond car aesthetics. Therefore, if your car looks good on the outside but its interior and mechanics are poorly maintained, you won’t get a good price for the vehicle. 

So don’t invest in full-body PPF thinking that you’ll recoup the costs during resale. Invest in PPF solely because you value maintaining your Tesla’s aesthetics. 

MonsterGadgets on YouTube uploaded a video titled ‘2021 Tesla PPF – is it worth the investment?’. In the video, he explains that installing PPF on your Tesla won’t increase the resale price. You might recoup a fraction of the money you spent installing PPF, but it’ll still amount to a loss. 

MonsterGadgets concludes by stating that he wouldn’t install PPF on his Tesla.

How Long Does PPF Protection Last?

PPF can last over 10 years.

Ceramic Coating As An Alternative to PPF

Ceramic coating is a chemical polymer applied to the car to prevent the degradation of the clear coat. Like PPF, it prevents the degradation of clear coat and improves the car’s aesthetics. 

Ceramic coating is a temporary alternative to PPF. It doesn’t last as long as PPF and doesn’t offer the same protection levels. The ceramic coating protects your car’s paint job for a limited period. 

Ceramic coating typically lasts between 3-5 years, depending on the quality of the film and the level of maintenance.

Car owners looking for protection from external paint damage usually use a ceramic coating. It prevents grime, dirt, and stains from sticking to the car’s exterior.

It also allows water and dirt to streak off the paint’s surface, producing some impressive results after a car wash. 

The ceramic coating offers some of the advantages of PPF at a reduced cost. You might be wondering then: Why not opt for ceramic coating for my Tesla?

The issue with ceramic coating is that its benefits lean more on aesthetics rather than protection. Furthermore, ceramic coating degrades with every wash and exposure to the elements. 

Gtechniq - EXOv4 & Crystal Serum Light Bundle - Ceramic Coating to Protect Your Paint, Add Gloss, Resist Swirls, Repel Dirt and Contaminants, Ultra-Durable, High Gloss, Slick Feeling (50 milliliters)
Its application may be cheaper than the PPF application, but ceramic coating might cost you more in the long run. Click on the image for more info on Amazon.
PPFCeramic coating
It offers protection from dirt, grime, UV rays, and rust.It offers protection from dirt, grime, UV rays, and rust.
It offers long-term protection against paint abrasion.It offers temporary protection against paint abrasion.
It has self-healing properties. It has no self-healing properties.
It is expensive to install. It is cheap to install.
It doesn’t increase resale value.It doesn’t increase resale value.
It can last for over 10 years. It lasts a maximum of five years. 
This table offers a comparison between PPF and ceramic coating.

If you really care about your Tesla Model X’s aesthetics, pair PPF with ceramic coating. 

It will force you to dig deeper into your pocket, but in the end, you’ll get the protection of the PPF and the shine provided by ceramic coating. Your Tesla will surely stand out from the rest. 

If you’re unsure Which Color Tesla To Get, check out this article that I wrote. I revealed the most popular choices.

Ceramic Coating: A Cheaper Alternative to PPF

Here are some additional benefits of Ceramic Coating:

  • Provides a high gloss finish and enhances the appearance of your car. PPF may not be as high-gloss. Tastes depend.
  • It also protects the paint from minor scratches, swirl marks, and mineral deposits – it’s just cheaper.
  • Makes your car easier to clean and maintain.
  • Increases the durability of your Tesla’s paint.
  • Can be applied to the entire vehicle or just high-impact areas like the front bumper and full hood.
  • Often comes with a 1-year warranty.

When it comes to choosing the right brand of ceramic coating, there are many different options available. Some of the top brands in the industry include Ceramic Pro, XPEL Ultimate Plus, and Tesla’s own Paint Protection Film packages.

Each brand offers different films and technologies, so it’s important to research and compare them to find the best solution for your needs and budget.

The Application Process for PPF on Your Tesla

There are a few different types of PPF available, each with its own unique properties and benefits. The most common types of PPF are XPEL Ultimate Plus, and 3M Pro Series. Each of these films offers different levels of protection, durability, and self-healing properties.

It’s important to do research on different films and choose the one that best suits your personal preference and environmental factors.

Before applying PPF to your Tesla, it’s important to understand the tools and materials required for the process.

These include:

  • a squeegee
  • a heat gun
  • a blade
  • a cleaning solution.

It’s important to find a professional detail shop that has experience in installing PPF on Tesla’s paint.

The installation process for PPF can vary depending on the type of film you choose and the areas of the car that you want to protect. However, here is a general overview of the steps involved:

  • Clean the surfaces of the car to be protected. This includes removing dirt, dust, and other contaminants.
  • Measure and cut the PPF film to the correct size for the area you want to protect.
  • Apply the film to the surface of the car, using the squeegee to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.
  • Use the heat gun to activate the adhesive on the film and ensure a secure bond.
  • Trim away any excess film and apply the Signature Edge Seal Technology to the edges of the film to protect it from lifting or peeling.

If you install PPF at home and fail to do a satisfactory job, don’t attempt to remove the PPF. Chances are that you’ll remove the PPF along with some paint. If you mess up, leave the rest to the professionals.

PPF can be removed, but it’s best to have it done professionally as it requires specific solvents and techniques to avoid damaging the paint.

Maintenance and Care for Your PPF

Now that your car is protected from rock chips, road debris, and environmental damage, it’s important to keep up with its maintenance and care to ensure that it stays in pristine condition. Here’s what you need to know:

Cleaning and Maintenance of PPF:

PPF should be cleaned regularly, just like the rest of your car. However, be sure to avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive sponges, or high-pressure washers. These can damage the protective film and leave swirl marks on the painted surface.

The best option for cleaning PPF is to use a gentle car shampoo and a microfiber cloth or a foam sponge. This will remove dirt and grime without harming the film.

PPF is also resistant to bug acid and mineral deposits, so it will not require special cleaning solutions.

It is important to clean the PPF as soon as possible after encountering environmental factors such as acid rain, bird droppings, or tree sap to prevent the film from staining.

Repairing Damage to Your PPF:

If your PPF is damaged, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible to prevent permanent paint damage.

Minor scratches in the film can often self-heal, but deeper scratches or rock chips will need to be repaired by a professional.

Many Tesla dealerships and professional detail shops offer paint correction and PPF repair services.

If you’re looking for a reliable and reputable company for PPF installation, consider Xpel or Immaculate Reflections. These are some of the industry leaders in the PPF market.

Remember, PPF is a layer of protection for your Tesla’s paint, but it’s not bulletproof. It’s always best to avoid driving too close to gravel or other debris.

PPF Warranty:

PPF is typically covered by a 1-year warranty, but it’s always best to check with the manufacturer or installer for their specific warranty terms.

If you’re buying a new Tesla and want the best protection for the paint, you can also opt for ceramic pro, it’s a great alternative, and it’s also a permanent solution.

Personal Preference to Protect Your Tesla:

The decision of whether to apply car paint protection to the full hood, full front, rocker panels, mirror caps, full fenders, or just high-impact areas such as the front bumper and rear bumper is a matter of personal preference.

The entire car can be covered with PPF, or just high-impact areas, it’s all up to you, you can also mix and match different films.

The best solution is to consult with a professional detail shop and figure out which brand and type of PPF are best for your Tesla, whether it’s the XPEL Ultimate Plus, XPEL Stealth, or Tesla’s Paint Protection Film packages.

Does PPF Void Tesla Warranty?

The installation of Paint Protection Film (PPF) on a Tesla vehicle typically does not void the manufacturer’s warranty.

However, it’s crucial to review the specific terms and conditions of the warranty provided by Tesla to ensure that adding PPF does not impact the coverage. While PPF is generally considered a non-invasive modification that does not affect the mechanical or electrical components of the vehicle, it’s always recommended to check with Tesla or an authorized service center to confirm the warranty implications before proceeding with any modifications.

Following the proper installation procedures and using high-quality PPF from reputable manufacturers can also help minimize any potential warranty concerns.

Does Tesla need PPF?

While Tesla vehicles come with a factory paint job that is generally of high quality, many Tesla owners opt to add Paint Protection Film (PPF) for an additional layer of protection.

Tesla owners who prioritize maintaining the pristine condition of their vehicle’s paint may find PPF to be a worthwhile investment, especially if they frequently drive in areas with harsh weather conditions or on roads with debris.

Ultimately, the decision to use PPF is subjective and depends on the owner’s individual preferences and priorities.

How to Protect Tesla Paint:

There are several ways to protect the paint on a Tesla and keep it looking its best.

Regular washing and detailing are essential to remove dirt, grime, and contaminants that can harm the paint surface.

Using high-quality car wash products and microfiber towels can help prevent scratches during the cleaning process.

Additionally, applying a protective coating such as ceramic coating or wax can create a barrier that safeguards the paint from UV rays, oxidation, and chemical damage.

It’s also advisable to avoid parking in direct sunlight for extended periods, as prolonged exposure to the sun can fade the paint.

Lastly, consider adding Paint Protection Film (PPF) to areas prone to rock chips and other physical damage for an extra layer of protection.

Is PPF Applied To Tesla Window?

Paint Protection Film (PPF) is not typically applied to Tesla windows. PPF is primarily designed to protect the painted surfaces of a vehicle, such as the body panels and bumpers, from scratches, rock chips, and other forms of damage. It is not intended for use on glass surfaces.

However, there are other types of protective films available specifically for windows, such as window tinting films or clear window protection films.

Window tinting films can provide privacy, UV protection, and reduce glare, while clear window protection films can help prevent scratches and damage to the window surface. These films are distinct from PPF and serve different purposes.

If you are interested in adding a protective film to your Tesla’s windows, it is recommended to consult with a professional installer who can provide guidance on the appropriate type of film for your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can You Install PPF at Home?

You can install PPF at home by using a store-bought kit, but I recommend leaving it to the professionals. It takes a lot of practice to install PPF correctly.

How Much Does PPF From Tesla Cost?

PPF from Tesla for the Model Y costs $50. The company provides PPF for the rear fenders as part of its weather protection kit. However, for custom coverage, you’ll likely have to pay much more.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.