Should I Rust-Proof My Tesla? Rustproofing No-No’s

It has become increasingly popular for new Tesla owners to add additional layers of paint protection like ceramic coatings or paint protection films. Lately, some owners felt the need even to go as far as rust-proofing their Teslas. So, is it necessary to rust-proof a Tesla?

If you consider the minimal amount of rust that Teslas get, the costs involved, and the type of protection it actually gives, it shouldn’t be necessary to rust-proof a Tesla. You should rather use a more efficient and less expensive way of paint protection.

As always, there is more to the question than this simple answer. So check out the rest of this post to get the full picture.

Rust-Proofing Your Tesla Against Corrosion

There’s an equation for every car’s kryptonite: 4Fe + 3O2 + 6H2O → 4Fe(OH)3. Corrosion or rust occurs when metal is exposed to the lethal combination of oxygen and water.

Like a bug, once your car catches it, it’s contagious and can spread around faster than wildfire, causing cosmetic and functional problems. 

Tesla has had some issues with corrosion in the past on several of its models. Elon Musk might be able to buy Twitter, but he hasn’t figured out a way to pay off Mother Nature yet and stop her from causing wear and tear on your vehicle.

However, undercoating or rust-proofing your Tesla is probably not worth the trouble or the cost. 

Should-I-Rust-Proof-My-Tesla - Blue Tesla Rust

Rustproofing Your Tesla is Not Worth It 

While it may be offered at your local dealership or body shop, rust-proofing is considered an “after-market” add-on to your vehicle, meaning it is not a service provided directly by any car company itself. There are ways to “DIY” undercoat your car, but that’s a surefire way to ruin your paint job if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. 

If you want the job done by a professional, tesla rust proofing is offered at prices around $1,000. This is a highly inflated price when you consider the cons outweigh the pros. 

Fun Fact

For all you chemistry geeks out there, the precise chemical formula for rust is actually unknown. Most commonly, Fe2O3 x H2O is used, but the exact amount of water varies in every case.

The presence of other substances, such as un-reactive metals, acids, or rust itself, can accelerate the formation of the corrosive chemical compound. 

Rust Proofing Affects Your Warranty

Tesla’s Body & Paint Repair Limited Warranty does not cover rust that occurs due to: 

  • Normal wear and tear on the vehicle 
  • Negligent care of the car, or 
  • Failure to make necessary repairs in a timely manner 

Nonetheless, there have been several voluntary recalls made to different models due to extensive corrosion or rusting at the fault of Tesla. 

You might be thinking, “isn’t this another reason to rust-proof my Tesla?” Actually, no. Cars that have third-party modifications like undercoating are no longer covered under warranty. 

If you have a Tesla that has been recalled in recent years but have rust-proofed your car, your coverage under the contract is now void. The cost of repairs is now coming out of your pocket, not Elon’s. (And we’re just guessing here, but most likely, he can spare the expense way more than you can). 

Tesla’s warranty for body parts and paint repair covers the following for different periods: 

Sheet MetalLifetime
Drive Unit (Excluding Tesla Roadster)4 years/50,000 miles (80,467 km)
Vehicle Battery4 years/50,000 miles (80,467 km)
Wall Connector4 years
Touchscreen/Media Unit4 years/50,000miles (80,467 km)

Tesla Model Rust Recalls

Several models have been recalled by Tesla in the past due to rust issues. The following have been noted in the last 6 years: 

  • 2018: Model S: Rust on steering assist motor bolts 
  • 2020: Model S/X: Rust on steering assist motor bolts 

Did You Know

In 2013, James Bond’s underwater submarine car from the 1976 film The Spy Who Loved Me was sold for a calm $1 million (did you detect my giant eye roll?) Surprisingly, the previous owners were a couple from Long Island, NY, who came into ownership of the car after purchasing a storage unit at a blind auction for just $100 (no eye roll here). 

Side note, if James Bond didn’t need to rust-proof his underwater submarine missile-firing babe magnet, you definitely don’t need to rust-proof your Tesla, fancy pants.

The “Iron”-y of Rust-Proofing (Ba Da Ching!)

Undercoating your Tesla to protect against erosion is actually 100% contradictory.

Rather than protecting the exterior of your car against the combination of oxygen and moisture in the air, rust-proofing will actually seal that deadly duo right into your vehicle, hastening any deterioration of the body. 


Believe it or not, rust is an expensive and common problem for drivers in the U.S. in the past 5 years, 22 million drivers reported rust problems caused by salt and other deicing compounds. 

According to AAA

How To Prevent Rust And Corrosion on Your Tesla

There are many other practical ways to stop rust from damaging your Tesla that are more cost-effective and long-lasting. Maintaining the following will help keep corrosion at bay: 

  • Wash your car regularly. This might seem overly simple, but taking your car out for a bath prevents those additional substances mentioned earlier from enhancing the rusting process. This is especially important if you live in an area where salt is frequently used for deicing the roads. 
  • Make paint or chip repairs. If you notice your exterior paint job beginning to give up the ghost, you’ll want to take care of that as soon as possible. Chipping paint leaves metal parts of the car further exposed to the elements, making it easier for rust to form. 

On a somewhat related note, would you like to find out What Is a Clear Bra for Tesla? I wrote a detailed article with the best options to choose from. Check it out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is Rust Harmful to Cars?

Rust is harmful in many ways. It can compromise the structure of your car, cause leaks, and even eat away at the engine. For more information about rust damage, check out this video here:

Do Newer Cars Rust? 

Rust is not a significant concern for cars manufactured within the last 10 years. Cars today come with preventative measures against rust, including galvanized steel and zinc coatings.

How To Rust Proof Your Car

In order to ensure the longevity and durability of your vehicle, it is essential to implement proper rust-proofing techniques. Rust can gradually deteriorate the metal components of a car, leading to structural weaknesses and diminished performance.

One effective method to prevent rust formation is the application of rust-proofing products. These substances create a protective barrier on the car’s exterior, shielding it from moisture and corrosive elements. However, as mentioned above, this is not an effective process for Teslas. Often, the “protective barrier” actually traps moisture and other corrosive elements, rather than protecting the car from them.

Regularly cleaning the vehicle, especially in areas prone to accumulating dirt and debris, is also crucial in preventing rust.

Additionally, inspecting the car’s undercarriage and promptly addressing any signs of rust or damage is vital.

By following these practices, car owners can significantly minimize the risk of rust formation and ensure their vehicle remains in optimal condition for an extended period of time. To summarize, understanding how to rust-proof your car and implementing preventive measures is essential for maintaining its overall integrity and performance.

Can You Rust Proof A Tesla

The simple answer is yes, you can apply rust-proofing products to a Tesla. However, in the realm of automotive engineering, there has been an ongoing debate surrounding the necessity of rust-proofing a Tesla.

Tesla, an American electric vehicle manufacturer, prides itself on its advanced engineering and utilization of corrosion-resistant materials. However, some car enthusiasts argue that despite these qualities, rust-proofing could still be beneficial for Tesla owners, especially those residing in areas with harsh weather conditions. The exact phrase “can you rust-proof a Tesla?” encapsulates this ongoing discussion.

Does Tesla Rust-Proofing Really Work?

While Tesla cars are not completely rust-proof, they do come with corrosion-resistant materials and advanced engineering that helps them hold up well against rust.

However, in harsh weather conditions or areas with road salt, some car enthusiasts argue that additional rust-proofing could be beneficial. The debate around this topic continues, so it’s worth considering the local climate and driving conditions when deciding whether to rust-proof your Tesla.

How Do Tesla Cars Handle Rust in Different Weather Conditions?

Tesla cars are not immune to rust, but they are designed to withstand rust better than traditional vehicles due to their corrosion-resistant materials.

In areas with milder weather conditions, Tesla’s built-in protection may be sufficient. However, in regions with heavy snow, salt, or humidity, considering extra rust protection measures could be wise.

Can I Apply Rust-Proofing Products to My Tesla Model 3?

Yes, you can apply rust-proofing products to your Tesla Model 3. However, it’s important to remember that Tesla cars already come with some level of rust protection due to their construction and materials. Applying additional rust-proofing products might not be necessary for everyone but could provide peace of mind, especially if you live in a corrosive environment.

Does Tesla Offer a Rust Warranty?

Tesla’s warranty covers various aspects of their vehicles, but the Body & Paint Repair Limited Warranty does not cover rust resulting from normal wear and tear, neglect, or failure to make timely repairs.

This means that if rust issues arise due to factors not covered by the warranty, the cost of repairs may fall on the owner.

How Can I Prevent Rust on My Tesla Model Y?

To prevent rust on your Tesla Model Y, consider regular washing to remove dirt, debris, and corrosive substances like road salt. Promptly addressing any chips or scratches in the paint can also prevent rust from forming on exposed metal surfaces.

Additionally, if you live in an area prone to rust-inducing conditions, you might explore rust-proofing options, though they should be approached with caution.

Are Tesla Cars Prone to Rust Issues?

While Tesla cars are not completely immune to rust, they are designed to resist corrosion better than traditional vehicles. However, in some cases, there have been voluntary recalls for certain models due to rust concerns.

Keeping an eye on manufacturer notices and taking preventive measures can help mitigate potential rust issues.

How Does Rust-Proof Undercoating Impact My Tesla’s Protection?

Rust-proof undercoating might not be the best solution for your Tesla. While undercoating is intended to protect against rust, it can sometimes trap moisture and corrosive substances against the metal, accelerating rust rather than preventing it. Tesla’s existing corrosion-resistant design might make undercoating unnecessary for most owners.

How Does Tesla Address Rust Recalls?

Tesla has issued recalls for certain models in the past due to rust-related concerns. This shows that while Teslas are designed to resist rust, unforeseen issues can still arise. Staying informed about recalls and promptly addressing any manufacturer-noticed rust problems can help maintain your Tesla’s condition.

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.