Although Tesla is a great brand with tremendous safety ratings, cool tech features, and gorgeous paint color options, their paintworks are of relatively poor quality. Small pebbles and sand from the road can ruin the delicate finish, so you’ll have to find a way to correct the paint on your Tesla.
This article will guide you through the complete Tesla paint correction process, from washing the car to correction, polishing, and sealing. Read on for helpful tips and tricks that will ensure you get the best results possible.
- Tesla Paint Correction Kit
- Tesla Paint Repair
- Decontaminate the Car
- Paint Correct and Polish Your Tesla
- Tesla Paint Correction Cost
Tesla Paint Correction Kit
Vehicle owners are typically faced with two options for paint correction for their Tesla. They can pay a professional detailer, or they can do it themselves.
While the latter option can save you some money, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of the kit that you use. You should opt for an effective professional-grade kit. You’ll be able to do the job properly fast without damaging your car.
The following items from Amazon.com are typically included in a professional-grade Tesla paint correction kit:
- Pressure washer. I recommend the Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer. It’s pretty powerful and highly versatile, so you can use it for various tasks, not just paint correction.
- Clay bar. Go with the IPELY Auto Detailing Magic Clay Bar. It’s a great clay bar that’s safe to use on any painted surface.
- Clay lube. I recommend the Mothers California Gold Clay Kit. It’s designed to keep the clay bar lubricated and free from debris, ensuring that you get the best results possible.
- Iron remover. You’ll need Adam’s Iron Remover Spray. It’s a great product that will help remove any iron deposits from the paint surface.
- Tar remover. Go with the Stoner Car Care Tar & Sap Remover. It’s a highly effective tar remover that will make short work of any adhesive or tar deposits on your car’s paint.
- Tape. I recommend the 3M Vinyl Tape. It’ll protect your car’s headlights, trim, and door jambs from any scratches or paint damage that may occur during the correction process.
- Polishing pads and towels. I recommend Meguiar’s Soft Buff Foam Finishing Disc. It’s a great quality polishing pad that will help you achieve superior results when polishing your Tesla.
- Electric car polisher. I recommend the 12V Makita Polisher. It has a great battery life, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power in the middle of a correction session.
- Paint cleanser. Go with the Lithium Double Tap Car Wash Shampoo. It’s a highly effective cleanser that eliminates stubborn dirt, debris, or contaminants.
- Paint sealant. I recommend Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0. It’s a great quality polish cleanser that removes any swirls or scratches from the paint’s surface, leaving your car looking polished and shiny.
Tesla Paint Repair
Once you have the necessary items from the paint correction kit, you’re ready to start the actual paint correction process. In general, the paint correction process is a two-step procedure that involves decontaminating the car and then performing the actual correction. I’ll describe each of these steps below:
Decontaminate the Car
Before you start correcting the paint, you’ll need to make sure it’s free of contaminants and grime.
This is important because if there are any contaminants or dirt on the surface, it will be impossible to correct the paint properly. Here’s what you should do before starting the paint correction process:
1. Wash Your Car
Washing your car is a crucial step in the paint correction process to get great results. Some people skip this step, thinking that they can correct their Tesla’s paint while the car is dirty. But that is not the case!
The reason why is that when there are contaminants on the car’s surface, they prevent you from adequately fixing and polishing the finish. So before you start correcting the paint, make sure it’s clean.
2. Remove Tar/Adhesive Using the Tar Remover
After washing your car, you’ll need to remove any tar, sealant, or adhesive on the surface. To do this, you’ll want to use a tar remover.
Just spray it onto your Tesla’s paint in areas with tar or adhesive, let it soak for around 30 seconds, then wipe away with a clean microfiber towel.
3. Remove Iron Using the Iron Remover
Now that you’ve removed any tar, sealant, or adhesive from your Tesla’s paint, it’s time to remove iron particles from the surface.
The microscopes particles have been collecting on the finish throughout the lifetime of your car and can cause defects in the clear coat if they’re left on too long.
You’ll need to use a chemical iron remover to remove iron particles. Just spray it onto your Tesla’s paint in the areas that have the most iron contamination, let it soak for 10 minutes or so, then rinse with water and wipe away with a clean microfiber towel.
4. Tape the Headlights, Side Camera, Trim & Door Jambs
Tape off the headlights, side camera, trim, and door jambs of your Tesla before you start correcting the paint. The areas can get damaged if water or chemical cleaners come into contact during the correction process.
Note: You must tape over the rubber seals as well. If you don’t, you may end up with a chemical solution on the rubber, which can cause irreparable damage.
5. Remove the Tesla Badge
To make it easier to tape off your car, you’ll want to remove any badges on the hood and trunk of your vehicle. This means that you’ll need to heat the badge at either end with a hairdryer or heat gun and then carefully pull it away from the surface using a plastic skin wedge or fishing line.
After removing the badge, remove any adhesive residue that may be left on the car’s surface with your adhesive remover.
6. Clay Your Car
Claying your car before correcting the paint is essential to make it easier to remove any remaining contamination on the paint’s surface.
This is necessary because if you don’t clay your car, it’s tough to see where the defects in the paint are. Here’s a great demo of how to clay your car:
Paint Correct and Polish Your Tesla
Now that your Tesla is decontaminated and dust-free, it’s time to start the actual paint correction process. A complete paint correction process usually involves three steps: polishing, refining, and finishing/protecting. The following subsections will describe each step in detail.
7. Polish Your Tesla
Applying a light polish to the surface is the first step in correcting your Tesla’s paint. It will remove any defects such as swirls and oxidation, which can ruin your clear coat if left untreated.
Here’s how to polish your car using a polisher:
- Apply a thin layer of polish onto your car’s surface.
- Spread it evenly from the top down using a soft foam applicator pad wrapped around the appropriate-sized backing plate.
- use the polisher to work the polish into the surface in a circular pattern.
- Do 3 to 5 passes.
- Shut off the polisher and remove excess polish from your car’s surface with a clean microfiber towel.
- Remove residue with nail polish remover/acetone.
Here’s an excellent tutorial you should watch before paint correcting and polishing your car:
8. Refine Your Tesla’s Paint
Now that you’ve polished the paint, it’s time to refine it by removing any swirl marks or holograms left behind. To do this, you’ll need to switch to a more refined polish and apply it the same way you spread your first layer of polish.
Key Takeaway: It’s essential to completely remove any residue from your car before applying a different polish because it’ll affect the performance of subsequent products. If necessary, finish up with some paint cleaner or an all-in-one product.
9. Finish Your Tesla’s Paint Surface
The final step in the painting process is to apply a wax or paint sealant to finish your car to protect it from dirt and other contaminants in the future.
The easiest way to make sure that you don’t leave behind any swirl marks or holograms (which can be visible if your Tesla is black or blue) is to apply wax or sealant with a special finishing pad sized perfectly for your machine.
After you’ve finished applying your wax or sealant, allow it to dry for about 30 minutes before buffing off any excess product so that it doesn’t attract dirt. Some products require that you wait longer for them to cure completely.
Always read the instructions of your specific product to find out how long you should wait before removing it.
Tesla Paint Correction Cost
The cost of a complete paint correction process at a professional service center can range from $999 to $5,000. In general, partial paint correction costs around $999 to $1,699, while full paint correction runs at approximately $5,000.
|Package||Front (Partial)||Front (Full)||Front (Full) & High Impact Areas||Entire Vehicle|
|Areas Covered||Headlights Front fenders (partial) Hood (partial) Front bumpers Mirrors||Headlights Front fenders (full) Hood (full) Front bumpers Mirrors||Headlights Front fenders (full) Rear fenders Hood (full) Front bumpers Mirrors Rocker panels||Headlights Fog lights Front fenders (full) Rear fenders Hood (full) Front bumpers Mirrors Rocker panels Doors Roof|
Note: If you choose to correct your Tesla’s paint on your own (which can be difficult for inexperienced users), you’ll need to purchase the necessary kits. You can find the relevant products and their respective Amazon links under the Tesla paint correction kit section above.
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