Over the last several years, the aftermarket for Tesla vehicles has blossomed into a rainbow of high-performance automotive upgrades. One of those vehicles, once considered finesse-only, is now being used for grip events worldwide with motorsport entries in HRT and REV. While it may seem strange for a car based on such a staid/practical design to be so popular in the grip event community, one look at how great they look with a set of ceramic coatings will give you your answer.
Ceramic coatings are meant to be unique, but it's almost always a disappointment when you first install them. The reason for this is simple. You haven't prepared your Tesla properly. Several important factors can make or break the lifespan of your new coatings. Even if you have done some TLC to your Tesla before your layers arrive, you may not be fully prepared for ceramic coatings.
If you're thinking about getting your Tesla ceramic coated, you've probably seen some beautiful shots not only of the coating itself but also of Tesla Model S owners with their newly ceramic coated cars. Preparing your Tesla for ceramic coatings is a hot topic and something that you must get right. Below given are some important things that you must consider to prepare your Tesla for ceramic coating.
Creating the Perfect Prep Area
One of the most important steps when applying any coating, not just ceramic coatings, is preparing the work area. It's essential to have a clean, well-lit area that is free from dust and debris.
A good rule of thumb is to set up an area twice as large as the vehicle itself, and this will provide you with enough room to maneuver around the car and walk behind you as you move along the car. If this isn't possible due to space constraints, try working on one side at a time.
The ideal location will have a concrete floor that can be easily swept or mopped clean. If you are doing this in your garage or driveway, sweep it out first and make sure there are no leaves, twigs, or other debris. Also, make sure there is plenty of lighting to see what you are doing at all times.
If you live in a dusty area, cover the vehicle before starting the project. This will help prevent any particles from settling on it while it sits there unprotected.
Even if you think your workspace is clean enough, we recommend wiping down every surface with an alcohol solution first to be safe. You can use an automotive clay bar for this step as well, but
Wash your Tesla with a two-bucket method to remove dirt and grime.
Washing your Tesla is a significant step in preparing for ceramic coatings, but more importantly, it is imperative for maintaining the paintwork long-term. There are many different washing methods, but the two bucket method is one of the safest and most effective methods that will get your Tesla squeaky clean and ready to be clayed and polished. The two-bucket method uses two buckets - one bucket has only soap solution, and the other has water. This will help prevent any dirt or grime from reintroducing to your paintwork after washing it away.
You may have heard of the two-bucket method for washing cars; it's a time-honored technique for safely removing dirt and grime from vehicle exteriors. It consists of two buckets filled with water and car wash soap. You dip the mitt into one bucket, then swirl it around in the other before putting it on the car — this ensures that you don't put grit back onto the finish (since there's nothing in your mitt). Then rinse off your mitt in the first bucket regularly while washing. There are excellent videos on YouTube demonstrating this method. It takes a bit longer than other methods but is worth the effort of scratch prevention.
Clay Bar Detailing
It's no secret that Tesla paint is exceptionally soft, making it prone to swirling and scratching quickly, especially in light colors. Even the most careful car washes can cause swirls and light scratches that look terrible by the end of the day.
You need to wash your car using a clay bar by hand, and this will remove any dirt and grime built upon the car's surface over time without causing any damage to the paintwork.
The problem with washing cars using soap and water is that it leaves behind swirl marks which can be pretty deep. These swirls can cause scratches that are difficult to get rid of, and they can even lead to rust if they are left untreated for too long. So, you must use a specifically designed product for washing your Tesla, such as the Clay Bar Detailing Kit, which contains all the tools you need for cleaning and polishing your Tesla Model S or X.
The easiest way to tell whether or not you have any swirl marks is by looking at the surface of your car from an angle of about 45 degrees or so above it. The most common way to clay your vehicle is with a clay bar mitt or clay bar. The traditional method involves using a clay lubricant with the clay bar to remove contaminants from your paint.
Compound and Polish
A proper compound and polish before adding a ceramic coating will significantly improve the results you get from your ceramic coating. A good paint correction will also increase how long your coating lasts. The more damages that are corrected before applying the layer, the less time your coating has to deal with those defects.
This is a common mistake that many people make when they apply a ceramic coating or wax themselves. They do not realize just how much work is involved in preparing the vehicle before applying protection products. A good polish will remove swirl marks, scratches, and any other defects in the paint. This includes 90% of all factory defects such as orange peel and water spots which were never sanded out correctly when the car was painted at the factory.
While you can apply a ceramic coating to your Tesla without prep, I highly recommend compounding and polishing before applying the ceramic coating. Compounding and polishing will remove light surface scratches, swirl marks, and etching from acid rain or water spots.
If you decide against compounding/polishing your car before coating, your Tesla will still look great, but it will not be as flawless as it could be. It is up to you whether or not you want to take care of these imperfections before applying the coating.
Inspect Body Panels and Touch Up Paint if Needed
Why is it essential to inspect your vehicle before applying any ceramic coating? This is the most crucial step in the process. Ceramic coatings are permanent, and if you use them to a surface with imperfections, those imperfections will be there forever.
First, we recommend that you inspect every inch of your car, looking for paintwork defects such as swirls, scratches, dents, chips, etc. The next step is to get estimates from body shops on how much it will cost to correct those areas. If you choose not to fix them, at least you know you won't have any regrets later on because you wanted a perfect finish.
Take a walk around your Tesla and look for any damage or dents on the body panels. That includes scratches, chips, swirls, fading, or discoloration in the paint. For these kinds of issues, you'll want to touch up the paint with a matching color before applying ceramic coating so that it can be applied evenly across the vehicle. Even if you don't notice any damage at first glance, be sure to look over your Tesla under direct sunlight and with a flashlight as well. The light from the sun will often bring out tiny swirls and defects that might not be visible under normal lighting conditions.
Don't rush through your preparation process.
Applying a ceramic coating to your car is a big investment, so it makes sense that you want to ensure your Tesla has all of the necessary preparation done before applying one. This ensures that your ceramic coating will last as long as possible.
Tesla's vehicles are a great canvas for ceramic coatings. With their smooth surfaces and modern designs, they're able to show off the benefits of a quality coating. However, they also require a level of preparation work that's not needed on some other makes. Try not to rush the preparation process and pay attention to all minor details.
Looking For Milwaukee Ceramic Coating Experts For Your Tesla?
Milwaukee has become a booming city for the automotive industry. With so many auto shops and detailers in the area, it can be challenging to find excellent service and quality work. If you wonder who provides the best ceramic coating near me, there is no need to look further than Detail Doctors! We are best known as Milwaukee ceramic coating experts and Wisconsin Ceramic Coating experts. We have been professionally detailing for many years. Detail Doctors is fully insured and a licensed dealer for Ceramic coatings. If you're interested in protecting your vehicle with a ceramic coating, contact us today!