October 17 2014: Paint Follow-Up

The world is a cruel place. Wear armor.

Had scheduled a follow-up with the Sunnyvale Service Center to look at the paint. They offered to have their in-house guy do the correction, even provide before-and-after clear coat thickness readings which I thought was a nice touch. Obviously they don't want to set a precedent in warrantying work done by outside parties so it's understandable.

While I can appreciate it, there's a reason why I originally went with a third-party to do this sort of work - the paint didn't come pristine from the factory (should be the gold standard) and when I was taking delivery the paint work certainly did not live up to what I'd hope for. That's why third-party specialists exist.

To be fair, no factory sends cars off the line with immaculate paint (not even Ferraris and Lamborghinis from what I understand) and most owners don't care much about these sorts of issues anyway or aware of how sensitive clear coats are to blemishes. It's really not practical for any car company to makes deliveries with a Concours-level finish when the general market doesn't demand it. However, I went through extra effort to ensure the paint had minimal damage to ensure long-term preservation of the original factory clear. I had even requested that Tesla not wash the car prior to delivery, which they graciously honored.

Perhaps their in-house guy would be an exception and would do a perfect job, but I have a better idea - I'll just wrap the rest of the car after being corrected a second time by a specialist whose results I already trust. I'm inevitably going to hand the car back to a Service Center or valet service. Friends and co-workers will eventually get into the car and they'll all potentially unknowingly add their scuff marks. I need better long-term protection.

This was reinforced when I was using a wash bay later on and while drying with an air blower, the hose popped off the blower handle and smacked the passenger side door leaving a slight scuff mark. That's my imprint. Strike one against the owner.

I'm quite more paranoid about these issues than your average owner as in the recent years I've become a bit of a detailing snob, doing some of my own correction work on my previous car with both a random orbital and a rotary while investing in various boutique polishes, pads, sealants, etc.. It results in a very meticulous, time-consuming process and makes you swirl-sensitive because you're acutely aware of what a clean finish looks like.

This is what paint finish looked like only last week:

Note: swirls on the tail lights couldn't be corrected because they were on the inside of the lens.

Ultimately Tesla wasn't willing to pay to have an outside specialist to do the work, so I decided to bite the bullet and take it back to Auto Concierge to have the rest of the car wrapped in XPEL. This is what I should've done in the first place.

Problem solved. Done.