To wrap or not to wrap.

To wrap or not to wrap.

I've tried and tried to talk myself into it jumping all in on the paint protection film bandwagon. Tried to scare myself with images of gravel peppering my front end.
I just can't get there........I'm out!
Not judging others, I can see why ya'll are getting it. For me I just can't hang with the cost vs benefit equation.

Having said all that you've all got me drooling over the look of ceramic coatings. Now that along with Tinting, and chrome delete....... I'm rolling with that!

Am I the only one crazy enough to put this $60k car out onto the rocky roads half naked with no protection?
Please don't report me for paint chip neglect.

chuck | July 26, 2018

Don't want paint chips? Simple: don't tailgate.

SteveWin1 | July 27, 2018

I'm with you mariner. At first I wanted to do a full wrap. At $4-5K, that seems like way too much. A bottle of touch-up paint is pretty cheap. I'm still on the fence about whether to do a "full frontal" wrap, which is only $1-2K. Ceramic coating sounds good, but I might just do regular wax instead.

dd.micsol | July 27, 2018

I'll be repainting it every 4-5 yrs. So just a good finish/wax/sealant and drive on.

matt80206 | July 27, 2018

Full wraps in Denver are 1600-2k not sure why yours are so expensive

chowfuntime22 | July 27, 2018

Your bumper will take the full brunt of any rock chips, insects, etc. It was only $400 in NY to get that wrapped. Most people say that do as a minimum. It will also keep your front looking shiny year round which is the biggest thing for me.

mcmack15 | July 27, 2018

I can see both sides of the wrapping. It is very it better to just save the money and paint the areas down the road as they get chipped and unsightly?

Before owning our model S I partially wrapped a sports car; the last sports car I fully wrapped (and was very happy); and with the model S I got cheap and only wrapped the front bumper, and had one of the ceramic coatings put on the rest of the car to save money. Turned out I was very dissatisfied with the ceramic coating (required hand washing only; finish marred too easily for my liking and I ended up with swirl marks when I properly tried to clean up very small dirt spot----with the coating installer telling me this happens). So, within a few months I had the ceramic taken off the front of the car and replaced with Xpel (I was still too cheap to do the entire car).

This brings me to today. Just got my car back from the body shop----some idiot pulled into my front bumper attempting to switch lanes while we were stopped in traffic------where the front bumper was replaced. In addition, the front side fenders also had the Xpel taken off so they could properly blend the paint. Yesterday I asked the Xpel place for a quote to do the various parts of the car. Again, I am still being on the cheap side. Instead of biting the bullet and getting the entire car covered, I am not getting the doors covered ($450 per door), nor the back of the mirrors; nor the pillars on the sides of the windshield; nor the rear bumper ($625).

Getting the front bumper and front side fenders done again; getting the rocker panels under the doors done; getting the rear quarter panels and trunk done (getting the trunk done just in case there is any color fading, etc., it will still match the rear quarter panels).

So why am I spending the crazy money? I am getting older and this will probably be my last new car, so I am splurging and hope to keep it looking good for as long as possible. If I was younger, raising a family, trying pay a mortgage and save for children's college, such a lavish expense wouldn't even be on the radar (probably the Tesla wouldn't either). Notably, from past experience with the sports cars I do believe the Xpel helps protect the car from the small dings, etc. Additionally, I am going this route at this stage of my life because (1) I am lazy when it comes to hand washing and detailing cars---strong believer in that we should just drive the darn things---I hate spending time doing that washing and detailing, and (2) there is a laser touchless car wash place nearby where I can take the car so I don't have to worry about the car wash marring the Xpel. The Xpel helps the car to look great between washes---even here in New England in the winter with all the road salt, etc.

Bottom line-----we certainly think of many ways to spend crazy money-----e.g., buying Teslas-----and then even more money on the cars. How did I ever go for over 50 years of owning cars and being very happy with putting Turtle wax on some of them once a year, and running them thru a car wash as needed?

mcmack15 | July 27, 2018

PS.............whenever my wife's model 3 arrives, we will be wrapping that as well..............for her I will spring for the entire car to be wrapped. And again, if we were younger, this expense wouldn't even be on the table for consideration.

leal.wai | July 27, 2018

Just buy the wrap precut and install it yourself if your cost conscious. Definitely worth the cost savings vs doing it professionally.

Mathew98 | July 27, 2018

I covered the bumper and full hood myself. DIY cost is less than $400. Look for clear wraps from Amazon and video from YouTube.

leal.wai | July 27, 2018

Did the front bumper, partial hood and front fenders, side mirrors, side rockers, and trunk bumper guard myself. Cost me under $600. Could have done a little bit of a better job with a little more experience, but I'm satisfied with it knowing that the car is mostly protected.

Thinking of buying a DIY ceramic coat and doing that myself over the whole car and wraps.

leal.wai | July 27, 2018

3M Scotchgard pro wrap btw. Expel was available for like $250 more.

dmilla16 | July 27, 2018

my current car's paint is very much like Obsidian Metallic Black, i've had it for 3 years and there's hardly any damage on it. Granted the 3 going to be $20k more than my current car so maybe i'd like to take more care of it, but i'm not overly concerned with chips, especially since Tesla offers the touch up paint kits.

eejoby | July 27, 2018

I’m glad I went with xpel full font package. This is what happened on my driveway when my palm tree decided to shed a branch one of the few times my car was parked outside.

sroh | July 27, 2018

I'm very impressed with those of you doing DIY for wraps. I'm an average DIYer, but I don't think I could pull that off.

DIY ceramic coating, on the other hand, is easy and definitely worth the cost and time, especially if you don't like to wax your car regularly. It does an amazing job repelling water, dust and pollen.

TexasBob | July 27, 2018

@marinergreg - I am with you. Went back and forth on this as well. Ended up having a two coat Liquid Armor application for $450. Makes cleaning much easier and gives the paint and incredible look. (Only 6 weeks old so time will tell how it holds up, but good enough so far to convince us to shell out another $500 for the second car.) I already have a small gravel nick in the front. It's a car. Stuff happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

leal.wai | July 27, 2018

Nothing much to be impressed about. You just have to have the expectation that it's not going to be perfect. For me, protection against dings was the top priority at a reasonable cost. I honestly didn't even clean those areas of my car as comprehensively as recommended since my car wasn't even a week old. Most of the dirt just washed right off.
For the bumper pieces and hood, it's definitely a two-man job to make sure you keep all the wrap moist, off the ground, and not stuck to itself. Smaller pieces can be done easily by one person. Most air bubbles will disappear on their own as the car heats up in the sun, the rest can be punctured out with a high-gauge insulin needle. There's no way to tell my car was wrapped unless you're actually looking for the imperfections.

Kathy Applebaum | July 27, 2018

I wrapped mine but told my husband not to wrap his and get ceramic instead.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I wrapped mine. But my commute is very different than his. I drive on highways frequented by gravel trucks. Rock chips are a thing in my life (as are cracked windshields). His biggest commute problem is bugs. Lots and lots and lots of bugs, because he drives on a causeway over flooded rice fields.

There's no one right answer for everyone. Think about your typical driving and what your issues have been with previous cars. Then choose the best solution for that problem, which may even be just wash and wax as needed.

lilbean | July 27, 2018

If it's within your budget, wrap it. While I was waiting for my car at Sticker City, someone brought their scratched up X in. Two doors were scratched. I watched the installer peel off the film and voila, flawless paint underneath.

gcklo | July 27, 2018

Anybody knows a good any good wrap and coating place in San Jose ,CA area?

jppoetsol | July 27, 2018

@matt80206 Where do you recommend this type of work be done in Denver?

I am in Albuquerque, but will have to pick my car up in Denver, since it is illegal for Tesla to sell them here.

M1ne | July 27, 2018

chowfuntime22, where did you get your front wrapped for only $400 in NY?

Need some places recommended

Mathew98 | July 27, 2018

DIY. Look for clear wrap from Amazon.

M34ME | July 27, 2018

@Mathew98 I looked on Amazon.... not sure what product you are referring too. Can you be more specific? Did you buy bulk or pre-cut? what brand? thanks.

lilbean | July 27, 2018

I tried the DIY way. Complete disaster.

pierpont | July 28, 2018

I'm paying one of the best detailers in Atlanta to fully wrap it with PPF film, glossy. you could also do a matte stealth finish. $4500

along with a window tint, chrome delete, and powder coating the wheels, i'm putting in like $6,000. also wrapping that wood trim and stupid glossy surface on the inside.

pierpont | July 28, 2018

Exclusive Maker is the name of the detailer. Also paid Indetail Auto Salon to paint correct and polish the car before the wrap, as well as ceramic coat the film after wrapping. i'll add pictures.

dd.micsol | July 28, 2018

complete waste of money if you don't use the same color as your car. The police will force you to keep it in accordenance with the vin filed with the DOT

mos6507 | July 28, 2018

[The police will force you to keep it in accordenance with the vin filed with the DOT]

Are you the same person who keeps pushing this idea? Come on. If that were the case, nobody would get a wrap. Give it a rest.

theblindtree | July 28, 2018

I decided on a full color change wrap (pearl grey) and ceramic coating. It's the color I wanted originally, but I weighed the option of purchasing upfront against a little extra protection. Granted, it won't be as protected as getting PPF, but as long as it preserves the coat underneath and lasts a few years, I'll be more than happy. Looking forward to the ceramic coating as well.

TSLAev | July 28, 2018

mcmack15, would you mind sharing what you paid for the partial wrap (sounded like everything but the doors, right)?

mcmack15 | July 28, 2018

TSLAev, I dropped the car off minutes ago..........for $2,195 I am getting the front bumper covered ($625), the front side panels ($675), the side rockers below the doors ($520), and the rear quarter panels ($375).

My headlights and hood are already covered--they were done last year along with the front bumper and side panels before I was hit -----I believe the headlights cost $110, and the hood cost $625 back then.

Total cost for all of the above equals $2,930.

What is not getting covered................

At the last minute today I changed my mind and decided not to get the rear trunk covered (I just didn't want them playing around with the badging (the 'T' symbol and 'models s' lettering-----which they would either 'cut' around or remove and then re-stick with 3M tape), and it was going to cost $620.

They quoted me $1,900 for the doors----and $625 for the rear bumper----I passed on both. I never got quotes for the back of the side mirrors or the pillars that run up on both sides of the windshield. Note that due to the curve of the back of the mirrors, only some 75% or so gets covered (none of the plastic coverings cover 100%). Guessing the mirrors and pillars would cost some $300 to $450 in total.

Hope that helps you out.

Rnakkana | July 28, 2018

I feel waste of money if you are spending more than $500

Mathew98 | July 30, 2018

@M34ME - Look for something like this item. Perhaps try a small piece on the side fender and check your skills.

If you had tint windows previously then using the same tools and techniques would be just fine.

Mathew98 | July 30, 2018

This is how it looks with a two tone wrap.

TSLAev | July 30, 2018

Thanks mcmack15, the a la carte pricing is very helpful in deciding what makes sense for me. I'll probably do at least the front bumper, hood, headlights and rear view mirrors.

code4ok | July 30, 2018

I just had mine done with the 3M product. I also considered the Expel product, but the the 3M product had a slightly better warranty. The person I used to apply mine I used back in 2003 for another vehicle I had and he comes to your place to do the install, therefore no shop overhead and many years of experience. I had the full hood, front bumper, headlights, side mirrors, door handles, rocker panels, front fenders, partial rear bumper below the trunk and the center console. He also cut out a few pieces so I can put the HOV stickers on the film then place the film with the stickers on the vehicle for easy removal when the time comes. I paid $1400 He is in Riverside, CA, but travels.

jordanunc82 | June 19, 2019

It honestly depends on what you want to do. Do you want a new color every to make your Tesla stand out or not. However, if you are looking for just protection, wraps are not that good and I would definitely get a clear bra, ceramic coating, waxing, etc... Also, I was able to find this website,,that goes into more detail about choosing to wrap or not. The website also covers other services you might consider doing to your Tesla like chrome delete, window tints, etc...

jordanunc82 | June 19, 2019

It honestly depends on what you want to do. Do you want a new color every to make your Tesla stand out or not. However, if you are looking for just protection, wraps are not that good and I would definitely get a clear bra, ceramic coating, waxing, etc... Also, I was able to find this website, ,that goes into more detail about choosing to wrap or not. The website also covers other services you might consider doing to your Tesla like chrome delete, window tints, etc...

jim | June 19, 2019

@jordanunc82: Noticed you are posting this exact same comment with a link promoting Telsa Trends in other threads. You might want to reconsider spamming the forums to promote a business. It hasn't worked out so well for other people that have tried it.