Tesla swirl marks and light scratches are unfortunately easy to come by on a Tesla due to it’s soft, thin paint. Surprisingly, the most common reasons this happens is due to improper washing. Let’s talk about it.
Improper Washing and Drying Techniques
When washing a car, it’s important to use a gentle wash solution and a clean microfiber mitt to prevent scratches. If the wash solution and cloth aren’t gentle enough, or if the wash technique involves excessive friction, it can cause small scratches in the clear coat of the paint. The biggest reason for getting swirl marks is by cleaning in circles. Instead, go back and forth in straight lines, flipping your mitt over and rinsing often.
The same can happen when using a dirty or abrasive drying towel. While cleaning and drying, if your microfiber or mitt picks up dirt, and it’s not rinsed off properly, you can use that dirt to continue scratching your car as you run over it. To go even further, remove all tags on your wash mitts and microfibers to keep those from touching your paint.
Additionally, using automatic car washes with stiff brushes can cause swirl marks – Not just from the bristles themselves, but from the dirt the brushes have picked up and is now being spread across your car. Another factor in reducing your paint quality is if you or your auto car wash use low-quality or harsh detergents. Those can strip away the clear coat overtime, leading to fading, discoloration, and making it much easier for scratches to occur.
To reduce the risk of scratching your car with debris picked up in the cleaning process, check out this video below on how the 2-bucket method is best for hand washing.
Other Causes of Paint Damage
Here are several other factors to watch out for that can damage the paint on a Tesla:
- Weather: Extreme temperatures, UV rays, and rain can all have an impact on a car’s paint over time, causing fading, chipping, or discoloration.
- Road debris: Dirt, rocks, and other road debris can strike a car’s paint, leaving chips and scratches.
- Poor maintenance: Neglecting to wash or wax a car regularly can allow contaminants to build up on the paint, which can cause damage over time. At least one good wash per month is necessary.
- Contact with chemicals: Exposure to chemicals such as brake fluid, road tar, bug guts, or bird droppings can cause damage to a car’s paint if it sits overtime. Leaving it on for a while, will cause it to etch into the clear coat.
The video below explains 4 ways you can wash your Tesla.
PPF & Ceramic Coating to the Rescue
To help preserve the paint on your Tesla, it’s important to regularly wash the vehicle, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, and minimize contact with road debris. PPF is an excellent solution for protecting your paint from rock chips and exposure to the elements. Plus, PPF self-heals micro scratches such as swirls, so your paint stays nice and shiny! Ceramic coating has great hydrophobic properties to keep your paint clean and make washing easier. This can be layered over PPF as explained in the video below.
At TESBROS, we specialize in creating DIY PPF and color vinyl kits. Here are our DIY PPF front kits for the Model 3 and Y. You can sign up for course here to get started in learning how you can protect your Tesla for years to come.
Safe Car Cleaning Products
We love our PH-neutral, non-toxic, odorless car wash solutions featured below. They are safe around your kids, pets, and the environment, and harmless to use in enclosed spaces. They are great for your Tesla paint, vinyl, ceramic coating and PPF. All of our microfibers are soft, durable, and tagless. Shop all car care products here.