Thinking about doing without the paint armor.

Thinking about doing without the paint armor.

Our reservation is for red multi-coat, and originally paint armor seemed like a good idea. But after hearing some discussion on the forums, here's the thinking:

1) I've never had paint armor - it sounds as if, the way Tesla does it (not covering the whole hood), it might actually detract from the looks of the car at the outset. Of course, no one knows how it will look with the red, but some with darker colors have commented on this.

2) Adding to that is the tendency some have remarked on for gunk to gather under the seams.

3) It sounds like paint armor changes how the underlying paint looks, and that could be noticeable, comparing to the areas where there is no armor.

4) Yeah, I will be spending almost three times what I have ever spent on a car, or am ever likely to spend again, unless it's another Tesla. But still, in the end, it's a car. Over its life, it will get dinged up. I'm not the kind of person who gets bent out of shape about that. It's just life.

5) In summary, it feels like it may somewhat decrease the attractiveness of the car at the outset, in order to better protect it for the long haul. The $1000 price for that doesn't seem worth it.

Thoughts? I figure it's not too late to change my configuration... red and all.

gasnomo | March 25, 2013

I'd pass on Tesla's offering, and go aftermarket. I purchased Tesla's and am replacing it because its not a full wrap job and there are lines that are visible.

ir | March 25, 2013

Go after market without half-covered parts. Or just go without if you're happy with the paint wear on your previous cars.

I find I worry less about dings & chips but more about sealing, washing, scratching, water spots, etc... and general spoiling of the paint armor instead.

LMB | March 25, 2013

What's the price range on after-market paint armor? Roughly?

ir | March 25, 2013

LMB, full bumper to bumper costs 7-8k but you can go a la carte for example:
Hood ~ $800
Bumper ~ $800
Mirror ~ $175 each
Door ~ $400 each

It adds up fast. Depends on how paranoid you are (just rocks? doors dings?) and how OCD you are about wrapped parts looking like unwrapped parts.

shop | March 25, 2013

Don't go with half wrap. Doesn't look good.

jackhub | March 25, 2013

Tesla advised me to skip it on white or silver.

inverts | March 25, 2013

I got the blue without armor. See no need for it. The MS is an AWESOME car, but after all, it's just a car. Period, the end. I don't know if you have seen the TV series "Life", if so, you may recall Detective Crews mantra "I am not attached to this car, I am not attached to this car". So true!
The MS is also above and beyond the most expensive car I've ever bought (>3x), and never thought I would ever spend that much on something so silly, except on a 100 mi/gal car, and that's how it got me. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying every quarter mile, smiling silly.

Amped | March 25, 2013

Also going without.
It's powder coat paint, very durable.

HzSoGood | March 25, 2013

No wrap, White 60S comes Saturday.... well at-least it got us to clean out the garage (3+yrs overdue). Let the grinning begin.

LMB | March 26, 2013

Thanks, everyone! Decision made. And maybe it will get out the door a day earlier by skipping the paint armor station... ;)

Pbfoot | April 12, 2013

I have the factory paint armor on my MS, delivery was end of December 2012. I've had one area just behind the left rear wheel well start collecting dirt underneath an edge, so had a local tinting shop cut off a sliver of it which worked out well. Today I just noticed that the armor is peeling off the edge of my side mirror where it wraps around the outside back lip. Starting to feel a bit disappointed in the Tesla-installed paint armor, and thinking that getting aftermarket may be the better way to go.

ir | April 13, 2013

BTW... what happened on this thread is why I got full body paint armor:

Here is hoping that it would have protected the car from that encounter.

David M. | April 13, 2013

If (when) you get chips and scratches, how confident are you that anybody will be able to match the multi-coat red paint? I've had paint armor on 3 cars previously. It usually costs about $750. Tesla charges more, but in my opinion, Tesla did a much better job. Tesla covered more surfaces, and Tesla's paint armor is barely noticeable. I'm glad I got it on my Dark Green Metallic Model S.

After about 4 or 5 years (of harsh weather), the paint armor will begin to be less transparent. If you plan to keep the car long term, after 4 or 5 years you may want to consider having the paint armor removed and a new coating reapplied. I would rather do that than have to repaint the car.

TikiMan | April 13, 2013

I have had my MS since Nov 2012, and am already seeing some fairly serious rock dings to my front paint-armor (never-mind my windshield). BTW... I live in Southern California, and drive on roads that never see snow.

If you drive your MS a lot of highway miles, I would highly suggest getting some type of paint armor, unless you don't care about paint chips, etc. to your front.

Tomas | April 13, 2013

I didn't get it. It looks like today sh#t. There is big line across the middle of the hood.
I don't get it. What's the point of protecting the paint when solution looks worse than the paint.

Kauai | April 13, 2013

I got the Tesla paint protection film on an early Signature Model S. I have since replaced coverage on the hood for three reasons: 1. seam on the hood becomes a very visible line after a few wash wax cycles, 2. I had numerous chips on parts of the hood not covered by the Tesla package, e.g. very front edge of the hood as well as the area closer to the window, 3. the stock kit was poorly applied with some looses edges that picked up goop and looked dirty.

Knowing what I know now, I would definitely recommend after market protection. You can get all the edges and full body panels wrapped. You can go as partial or complete as you want. For those in the Bay Area I had the paint corrected by Jeff at Immaculate-Reflections in Antioch before getting film at Premier in Fremont. The paint correction really makes the paint pop! It removes all the swirls and hair line scratches that make paint seem duller even if they are not obvious.

Another option to harden the IMO somewhat soft paint from Tesla is to have a coating like Opti-Guard applied to the clear coat. Not as tough as paint film, but harder than the factory clear.

clarkfleenor | April 16, 2013

I live in Florida where we have something called love bugs that are a real problem to the paint on the front of a car. I put on aftermarket clearshield on the front bumper and rear view mirrors, and Xpel on the full hood. I didn't like the line on the hood with the Tesla paint protection. The Xpel looks great, it doesn't have the orange peel look of the 3M product, which for me is ok on the bumper. So far I am happy with this. Cost $1,400. My MS is dark blue.

ange1889 | November 3, 2014

@clarkfleenor .. I just got my MS and I live in Orlando Fl.. could you please share where did you take your MS for coating? My MS is Dark Blue ,. and I drive 80% of the time on highways.. Thank you!!

fairscottl | December 22, 2014

Thanks for the great info. It is very helpful in the decision making process. My S-85 with Autopilot in Red with Black top arrives the day after Christmas. Four more days. I'm foaming at the mouth.

I think I will look into an aftermarket product especially for the hood and front bumper due to the infamous seasonal love bugs here in Florida which copulate and commit suicide on the front of cars.

Thanks again.

fairscottl | December 22, 2014

Could you please share where you had your clearshield and Xpel done?
Thanks Scott

jeffpoel | December 22, 2014

I have the navy blue paint. You have to keep in mind that this low Voc paint is very soft. I had to have my entire car repainted after driving on a road that had been sanded for ice in the winter. I chose to have the body shop that painted the car put film on the front of the car and on the mirrors and on the rear doors up to the windows because that is where the paint got blasted off the car. Of course you can see slight lines where the film comes to an end. However it is not noticeable if you were more than a few feet from the car. It looks fine and seems to be doing the job as we are halfway through the winter and I have no dings so far. If you care about your paint job I would highly recommend getting the film. It is worth every penny as it cost $15,000 to repaint the car. The body shop in Oakland California had the car for 3 months so I had to do without the Tesla for that long.

jim | December 22, 2014

Take a look at some pictures I just posted. Granted they are from a distance but that is the car with and without the Opti-coat. It looks even better with it from my eyes up close.

I drove straight from Tesla and got it done here in Huntington Beach, California:

I bought the most expensive one as it seemed cheap compared to a re-spray.

For anyone in the area, Alex at Rhino was really great and they even dropped me off as the car had to stay overnight. Their Yelp reviews are good and he even answers the one bad one and offers the guy a refund/re-do, which is always a good sign. Mistakes happen, just take care of them.

It has to go back in 3 weeks, so I can't wash the car until then.

They did my tint also, the car's really "pimpin" as the kids I work with say.

Unfortunately I am the most non-pimpin person on the planet!

BoldSharpe | December 22, 2014

@jim - The car looks lovely! My wife is still salty we couldn't order ours in green. :)

What did you end up paying for Opti-Coat?

What factors played in your decision to Opti-Coat over a film option?

mantin | December 22, 2014

I had my green opti coated by Mitch in Van Nuys, who is mobile, and came to my house. $400 for opti coat pro, plus any buffing needed to remove the swirls etc that can come with the car or show up upon washing. 818-339-4909. Highly recommend and what an improvement - doesn't attract dust; deepens the depth of the color; improves the shine - just all around great. Also, I drive to SF and SD regularly and after 13,500 miles, no dings or any other surface damage. Highly recommend.