Watch As Tesla Paint Gets Put To The Test


Does Tesla paint suck?

There’s definitely a whole lot of negativity surrounding just about every aspect of Tesla vehicles. Conversely, most Tesla owners absolutely love their cars, along with just about everything the company is about. Not to mention automotive reviewers are all over the map with regards to their opinion about Tesla’s cars. It’s gotten incredibly difficult to sift through what’s true and what’s made up when it comes to reports all over the internet about Tesla vehicles’ panel gaps, broken parts, cheap paint, etc.

Our friend DAErik is at it again. Sometimes it’s silly antics, other times more in-depth information, and always loads of creativity, but most importantly his video shares are unique and informative. This time, Erik wants to prove whether or not Tesla paint sucks. It’s quite clear that he loves his Tesla and he believes that the paint is up to snuff, but Erik aims to get a better idea of how the paint compares to that of other models.

Erik uses a paint thickness tester to check multiple Tesla vehicles. Then, he ventures out to other car manufacturers to see how the numbers compare. In the end, we know this test doesn’t tell the whole story and there are many other factors related to a paint’s chemical makeup and durability. However, it’s compelling nonetheless. Erik puts all the numbers in a nice chart so that we can see the results. Watch the video to learn about his findings.

Video Description via DAErik on YouTube:

How Does Tesla Paint Compare To Other Car Manufacturers?

car paint thickness tester on Amazon:

Categories: Tesla, Videos


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26 Comments on "Watch As Tesla Paint Gets Put To The Test"

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If the jeep was repainted, the white Model X was repainted too.

Did anyone notice the crooked top door trim on the Model X at 2:50? haha!

Elon's mini submarine

Yes, I did.

Did anyone notice the huge panel gap between the hood and quarter panel on the black Model S at 2:33? For his next video, DAErik should buy a device to measure the panel gaps on Teslas vs. other cars, both luxury and econoboxes. LOL!

Yes, start with a Bolt, which is actually a pretty tight car, for low production… Leaf is a bit looser, but not bad.

So David, did you invent a new username “Elon’s mini submarine” to further your serial anti-Tesla trolling?

Try to stick with facts and discussion, no need for false accusations.

I am sticking with the fact that your many posts on InsideEVs often constitute serial anti-Tesla trolling.

How is my post anti Tesla? I asked if anyone noticed the trim misalignment? Thats not FUD, Trolling, or any other insulting thing you can lob at me… That is clearly a quality issue on a car in a video… I would say the same thing if I saw that poor quality on any car…

I’m sure the Usual Suspect calling himself “David Green” can easily recruit one, or several, of his fellow Tesla bashers from the Desperately Seeking FUDsters forum to follow him over here. Heaven knows there are enough of them. Altho perhaps that shouldn’t be “Heaven”; they seem to come from the opposite direction…

oooh. ouch.

Elon's mini submarine

The reason why the paint was thinner on the white 4Runner is because Toyota does not apply a top layer of clear coat on any of its cars that are painted white.

Tesla paint is softer than the paint used by other manufacturers, because California prohibits the use of high VOC chemicals/paint-ingredients that other car manufacturers regularly use in the paint that is applied onto their cars in factories outside California.

I think just about all the manufacturers are using low VOC paints these days, and In the last 4 years GM has spent about .6B + per factory replacing the paint shops and employing state of the art processes, and drying techniques to save energy and waste materials. Just one other way GM has been environmentally cleaning up their operations. Tesla needs a new paint shop too, as theirs uses older technology and is slow in comparison to a modern plant. For example the GM Ft Wayne pickup plant paint shop has capacity to paint 1500 pickups a day in just 2 shifts, and uses 40% less energy then the old paint shop.

I thought a lot of the paint equipment has been replaced in the last couple years:

Yes, but a $10.2M paint shop upgrade at Fremont is not the same as what GM has done where they built entirely new paint shops (including the building) costing 50X more each then what Tesla did. GM is going modern, and now have added new Paint and Body shops on all of their main plants. This is real investing… Those modern lines, and shops can be reset for BEV’s fast…

Your info is outdated. Tesla ordered two brand new, state of the art, paint shops from Eisenmann a couple years ago. One for car bodies, the other for trim pieces. Eisenmann only installed one in Fremont so far. I don’t know the status of the other.

I’d be more interested in why any model 3 paint color other than black is a $1000 option? What makes Tesla paint so much more expensive?? I presume since it costs much more it must be much higher quality?

If they could have made paint itself an option, they would have. Paint color choice is an all-profit option since there is no significant cost difference between most of the colors. They need to tack on every option they can to make the M3 profitable.

That is not a true cost, it is more of a batch building thing, every time the paint shop changes color, there is a shut down time and reset. Paint is Tesla’s bottleneck these days, and so they would rather paint in as big of batches as possible.

You don’t want to hear how much it is for Daytona Gray paint on an Audi RS7.


Isn’t black solid paint while other colors are metal/pearl? Most cars charge a premium for those paints.

Yes but the point is most don’t charge $1000 for metallic.

Let me start by stating that I own a model 3, and I love it. This test is fine and all, but it’s only covering the thickness of the paint and doesn’t speak to the toughness or the quality of the paint job, and as they stated the don’t cover the bumper. The very top area of the front bumper on the 3 appears to be really thin, almost transparent. My friend just took delivery of his Model 3 and he had multiple issues with his paint, ranging from specs of dirt in the paint, dripping in the wheel arches, to tiny air bubbles on the hood. Tesla need to step up their game in the paint department, as I feel it’s a real weakness of theirs. I really wish they would ship cars with ceramic coating too, it’s awesome and makes so much difference.

It seems that less paint is more precise and efficient.

Modern paint shops put on just enough color to cover the primer, and then clear coat for the finish…

I went with ceramic nano-coating on my Model 3. So far I love it/recommend it. It so easy to clean, like your car is always waxed.

I appreciate the effort here, but I would agree: greater sample size needed, alternate types of testing needed (why not a scratch test with increasing levels of pressure), and testing of new vehicles compared to new vehicles (to eliminate the repainting bias). I really want to believe Tesla‘s paint is the same as others but my Model S shows minor damage faster than any of the diverse array of cars I or members of my family have owned.