No detail before delivery

No detail before delivery

Has anyone asked to not have their car detailed for delivery? I'd like to get the car with all of the stickers on.

Not sure if that's an option, though...

Docrob | July 24, 2013


shamrockceo | July 24, 2013

I think he means the blue plastic coverings on all the metal, chrome, etc. All of which gets peeled off before delivery. I think OP wants to unwrap his Model S like a huge Christmas present.

gibbs | July 24, 2013

I want to unwrap it, at the place where I'm getting it wrapped. I'm getting it detailed with Opti-coat and XPEL ultimate. Apparently, this is the last car that I'm buying for a while. I want to make sure that it looks good for as long as possible.

herkimer | July 24, 2013

Mine was delivered spotlessly clean and charged, with the plastic covers on the seats, and the plastic cover on the touch screen. Even the key fobs were still in their plastic packaging with the product code sticker on. Every thing smelled unbearably new, one week and one day from the end of the factory floor.

... now that I think about it, the car came just like a new toy out of the box on Christmas! Only in this case it was even better, since the "box" was an enormous shiny white truck that arrived at my house with cool paintings on the sides, and filled with really cool cars.

When that shiny new Tesla Model S came out of the top floor of that truck, the little boy went "wow!" Coolest "gift wrapping" ever!

Whoosh! 4000 flawless miles later and still smiling! Wow!

gibbs | July 24, 2013

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that the car will be relatively spotless. Of course, I kinda live in the middle of nowhere, so I'm thinking that I'm probably going to get a flatbed delivery.

Aside, here's an article that represents my thinking:

Colasec | July 24, 2013

I asked for mine to be left alone (same reason.. I picked it up yesterday and today it's getting Opti-Coat Pro). It didn't have any of the exterior wrap and was very dirty and dusty. I don't know if it arrived at the SC without exterior wrap or if they removed it anyways upon transport delivery, but I do know that it sat outside (including in the rain, and then the bright sun!) for five days before they had an opening for me to take delivery.

I'm just trusting my detailer to restore her to brand-new condition.

gibbs | July 24, 2013

@colasec, thanks tons for the reply. Please keep me posted, if you can think about it.

I felt like a weirdo posting the question. I'm glad that I'm not the only guy that's crazy about paint.

Brian H | July 24, 2013

Because the car is made in CA, it must be covered in soft, pretty water-based paint.

MB3 | July 25, 2013

If I had mine to do over I would have said don't detail the car before delivery. The paint had minor swirls when I got it. They were pretty minor and buffed out easily enough but it was nonetheless disappointing.

AmpedRealtor | July 25, 2013

Brian H is right, Tesla uses water-based paint due to California's environmental regulations. Water based paint dries faster, but to a softer finish. Here is is some useful information excerpted from this thread:

Larry Chanin | April 17, 2012

I don't understand Larry's comment. Is there a problem with putting a Model S through the car wash? - Jason S
This discussion over at the Tesla Motors Club forum got me a little worried.
What's wrong with a car wash?
Admittedly the thread is about Roadsters, but I think there's reason to be concerned with all Tesla paint jobs. Here's the thread starters original remarks.
My owner's manual says to avoid automatic car washes as well as those coin-operated ones where you get a minute or two of high-powered spray for a few quarters. It says to hand-wash only.
And here's a response but an apparently knowledgeable forum member.
To answer why to not use a Car Wash is because of the water-based paint (WBP) that Tesla uses. WBP is one of the next big things in the automotive industry, the main reason is because they are Environmentally friendly compared to Acrylic paints. Most automotive companies around the world are using water based paint to reduce VOC emissions. Besides reducing VOC emissions, WBPs also reduce risk of fire, are easier to clean up (creating less hazardous residues) and result in reduced worker exposure to organic vapors.
Sounds great but WBPs have their drawbacks;
1. WBPs are softer than acrylic oil based paints. The quick forced dry process using higher curing temperatures causes the paint to dry fast, but not as hard. As a result, these paints scratch more easily.
2. WBPs also have difficulties with increased orange peel and production line runs and sags. The increased orange peel causes a reduction in overall smoothness and gloss.
3. WBPs are also more porous than conventional acrylic finishes. This accelerates a process known as drift. Drift is the process of waxes and sealants soaking into the pores of the finish. Because the finish of a painted surface looks similar to the surface of the moon, peaks and valleys etc., as sealants heat and cool, they soak into the finish. Drift occurs in every known finish, however the water borne paint allows this process to occur much more rapidly, in some cases, even as short as a two week period of time. As drift occurs, the paint is left susceptible to the outdoor elements. This leads the paint to loose gloss and be susceptible to water spots, acid rain, industrial fallout and many other forms of foreign particles.
Other manufacturers that use WB paint such as BMW, Lotus, Lamborghini and Ferrari have the same warnings about car washes and their owners really have perfected the best ways to keep a car clean. I didn't see a detailing/wash guide here, but here is one we compiled on our Lotus' forum In that it details the normal and rinse-less wash systems.
Here are some things not listed and some that really make a difference when dealing with WBP;
1. Do not use an automated car wash or or a sponge when washing as both create scratches. Sheep Skin mitts are highly recommended when hand washing. Micro Fiber is a close second but tend to hold some material like its Velcro-ed on (usually Plant Material)
2. When hand or machine polishing, it is recommended using a "diminishing abrasive" such as Meguiar's Body Shop Professional line to remove defects without damaging the delicate finish. Or for a more experienced tech the 3M line 3-step professional line works miracles.
3. Because water based paint is more porous than Acrylic based paint, it is essential to keep the paint "sealed" as well as waxed to prevent damage from environmental pollution. We recommend that only microfiber towels be used to remove sealant or wax as this will diminish any damage to the paint.
4. USE THE STRAIGHT LINE METHOD when Applying and Removing sealants/waxes/protectants by hand. Whatever circle motion you learned from Mr. Miyagi about waxing, throw it out the window, it only induces circular marring. Apply and remove the products in a straight line in the direction the air moves over the section. What this does is take that one little piece of debris that might fall on the car after drying and instead of creating multiple circular scratches that is visible in all light and angles it will be a straight line only visible in very limited types of light and angles. It's more of a professional technique that you only find in really informed detail shops.
Hope this helps,
So until I hear to the contrary from Tesla regarding the Model S, I think it would be prudent to be prepared to do a lot of hand washing of our babies. ;-)

Reflectionsdetailing | July 25, 2013

I would request no prep to the car before delivery, but its still going to need a professionals hand once you get it. There will be marring in the paint that needs to be polished out.


gibbs | July 25, 2013

Thanks for all of the information. Judging by all of the responses, I kind of have the right idea:

Request no prep, and leave the exterior wrap on
Have the car delivered to the detailer
Put on a layer of opti-coat
Get XPEL Ultimate installed
Have the opti-coat person do some touch ups
Finally get my hands on my car

The guy that's doing the XPEL install said that doing the back hatch was going to be a pain. I'm just hoping that a pebble doesn't randomly ricochet and hit me in the back area.

tobi_ger | July 25, 2013

Here's a time warp video of a professional tinting on a MS rear window (there's a 2nd part as well):

tobi_ger | July 25, 2013

Just search on YouTube for "Tesla tint" and you'll get plenty. :)

gibbs | July 25, 2013

I wasn't talking about tinting...although, I'm going to try to get that done during the wrapping period.

Anyway, this is what I'm talking about doing to my car:

tobi_ger | July 25, 2013

Oops, I mixed it up, sorry.
Nice video, lot of work, but looks great!

gibbs | July 25, 2013

A lot of work, but they have something crazy like a 10 year guarantee. Check out some of their other videos about self healing and staining.

I think it's worth the money.

Reflectionsdetailing | July 25, 2013

After you get the film on, go back and get the Opti coat pro put on top of the film, it really helps release bugs and crap. It also doesn't effect the behavior of the film.


Brian H | July 25, 2013

Just re-color it with a vinyl wrap, and replace in a few years. >:)

Colasec | July 26, 2013


That sounds like a great plan. If I could justify the cost, that's exactly what I would have done (paint correction/polishing, OC Pro, Xpel, then OC Pro again). My car spent 10 hours at the detailer on the day after delivery and looks fantastic. I am thrilled with both the polish level and quality and the gloss that the OC has added. I'm still very nervous about it being scratched or getting rock dings, but with no PPF there's not much I can do.

Reflectionsdetailing | July 27, 2013

^^^ You had richard lin do the did your homework!


Colasec | July 28, 2013

@GREG Yep. Nothing but the best (of what I can afford) for my new Model S. :)

gibbs | July 28, 2013

Amazing! Makes me even more excited to get my car.

Since they raised the price of the rims, I'm getting the 19" and buying the XPEL Ultimate. Opticoat was always in the budget.

@GREG said that you did your homework. Thanks for letting me copy, @Colasec ;)

trevorsvader | July 29, 2013

I live in the Santa Cruz area, and will have delivery on August 22. I, too, want to minimize swirls, and have been looking at Opticoat.

Anyone in the Santa Cruz area that had this done?

Also, any feedback on the process, and can I actually request no prep to the car in the way of detailing prior to delivery?

Colasec | July 29, 2013

@gibbs Sure, congrats. :) It'll look amazing (and will continue to look good for years to come!)