Last updated on September 12th, 2023 at 03:04 am
Tesla’s paint jobs lose their glossy feel pretty quickly compared to other vehicle manufacturers, and this is because they use “eco-friendly” paint that is thinner than average.
A quick polish and paint will eliminate dull sheen and paint discoloration caused by contaminants. You can revamp the glossy nature of your car by polishing it at any time.
You can polish your Tesla by using a clay bar to eliminate solid contaminants and using an electric or manual polisher paired with a suitable polishing liquid to polish your car. You will need to apply a good layer of car wax or paint protection after polishing.
You can polish your Tesla, but it will require some skill. I’ll guide you through polishing your car to prevent over-polishing and Holographic burns.
How Do You Polish a Tesla?
There are no set-in-stone ways to polish cars because each vehicle has different ways of paint application, e.g., the number of layers and paint thickness.
These factors affect how the paint job will react to polishing, so you must find a method that works best for you and provides a perfect finish.
It isn’t hard to spot a Tesla that requires some polish and paint detailing, especially those with darker colors where scratches and discoloration are obvious.
It would help if you used a soft polishing pad to perform any detailing and paint correction on your Tesla because they come with a thin layer of soft paint from the factory.
Things like haze, paint orange peels, and scratches are clear signs your car needs new paintwork.
Here are the materials you need to polish your Tesla properly.
- Polishing liquids
- Handheld polishing machine
- Polishing pad
- Microfiber cloth
- Clay bar
Getting your polishing liquids from well-known and reliable companies like Angelwax, Sonax, and Carpro.
Carpro, Sonax, and buff & Shine sell high-quality cutting, polishing, and finishing pads made from microfiber and wool hybrid.
After you have acquired all the required materials, you should first wash the car before polishing your Tesla.
#1. Wash The Tesla
Before starting any polishing work, you should wash your Tesla with soft car shampoo and a non-abrasive sponge.
Cleaning your car will remove sand and other pollutants that will affect the quality of your final polish.
You should thoroughly wash your car, especially in areas with many pollutants and lousy air quality.
Heavy pollutants like this can settle on your Tesla and won’t come off until you give the car a good wash.
Avoid washing when there’s a lot of abrasive dirt on your car’s surface. Instead, use a power hose to prewash before you start washing with soap.
#2. Clay Bar Treatment
A clay bar is a type of synthetic mud used to capture dirt and heavy contaminants stuck on the surface of your car paint.
Car detailers use Clay bars to remove contaminants like heavy metal deposits from car exhausts and other things that won’t wash off with soap and water.
Cut the clay bar into sizes you are comfortable with, spray a generous helping of clay bar lubricant on the car surface, and rub the clay vigorously.
While doing this, you will notice dirt will stick to the surface of the clay bar. When the dirt becomes too much, you can fold the clay bar on itself to expose a clean surface ready for use.
#3. Cutting Pad Sanding
After treating your Tesla paint job with the clay bar, you can use the polish machine with a cutting Pad.
Cutting pads are more abrasive than polishing pads and are suitable for cars with sufficient paint coating or deep scratches on your paintwork.
You can fix the cutting pad on the polishing machine and gently move it over your car surface in precise left and proper motions.
You can switch to a polishing pad when you have shaved off enough scratches and discoloration on the top layer.
P.S if your Tesla uses a soft paint with thin layers, fine abrasive compound polish like the V32 should be used when cutting pad work on your Telsa.
Also, note that cutting work is only needed if the scratches are deep enough that regular polishing abrasive will not be adequate.
Polishing is the most critical step and is one you should pay a lot of attention to.
Polishing prepares the surface of your Tesla for waxing and determines how glossy your finished work will be.
To begin polishing, you should replace your cutting Pad on the polishing machine with a suitable fine polishing pad, apply polishing fluid, and begin polishing.
Polishing fluids like 3D one and turtle wax hybrid solutions pro are suitable fluids you can use.
Here’s how to use a polishing fluid;
- Apply the polishing fluid to the polishing pad and on the surface of the car.
- Turn on the machine and set it to spin at around 1000-1700 RPM to get a fine finish and reduce the chance of burn-in.
- Avoid polishing in circular motions,
- and separate your car bodywork into cells that you can polish accurately.
- After polishing to your desired sheen, use a good microfiber towel to wipe any residue off the car’s surface.
#5. Paint protection/Finishing
Polishing is technically removing the top layers of your car paint protection and leaving a layer free from scratches and deformities.
Unfortunately, this means a new layer of protection is needed.
Wax and apply paint sealant or ceramic coating on your Tesla to protect your paint job from further degradation.
You can apply an over-the-counter wax finish and paint sealant easily. Chemical Guys, Jetseal is a suitable paint sealant you can apply easily.
Is Tesla Polishing the Same as Paint Correction?
Polishing and paint correction are two different processes that are always mixed up by people, even though they are different.
Polishing is the act of sanding your car paint protection film to remove irregularities and visible scratches and also to improve its glossiness.
Gloss is the measure of the amount/angle light reflects off the surface of your car. Polishing removes scratches and improves glossiness.
Paint Correction is the correction and removal of deformities that are strong enough to affect the paint layer of your car, even as far as the priming layer and metalwork.
Although they share similarities, polishing and paint correction share several differences.
Here are the differences between polishing and paint correction.
- Used to improve the glossiness of paint jobs
- Done all over the surface of the car
- Does not go beyond the first layer of the car paint protection
- Used to fix things like scratches, haze, and holographic defects
#2. Paint Correction
- Reduces contaminants and oxidation
- Paint correction is done on a specific area
- and goes into the paint layer under the paint protection and sometimes as far as the primer and metalwork.
- Used on cases of paint discoloration, corrosion, accidents, and cracked paint.
In essence, Tesla Polishing and paint correction are different; whether you need one or both depends on the severity of your paint job defects.
How Much Does it Cost to Polish a Tesla?
Taking your Tesla to your dealership for polishing and Finishing can run you upwards of $4000.
Although if you are skilled enough, you can purchase polishing equipment and materials and polish your Tesla yourself, although it is not advisable.
The amount of money you will spend depends on the type of hardware, Polishing liquid, and polishing pad you opt for.
|Standard Equipment||Cost||Cheaper Alternative||Cost|
|Standard 3-step polish||$59.99||3 in one polisher||$18.75|
|Orbital polisher||$129.99||Rotary polisher||$79.99|
|scratch and swirl remover||$20.00||3 in one diminishing abrasive||$23.20|
|Polishing finish and wax||$22.00/$49.97||Multipurpose polish finish||$21.99|
Is Tesla Polishing Worth It?
Yes, polishing your Tesla is worth it, especially since Teslas do not come from the factory looking glossy and shiny.
Polishing your car doesn’t just make it shiny and good-looking; you also get other benefits such as;
- Better paint protection
- Protects your car from corrosion
- It gives your car a glossy look
- Increase its resale value
Although polishing has many benefits, you should refrain from polishing your Tesla multiple times a year and polish your vehicle at most twice a year.
Which Material is Best For Polishing Tesla?
The best materials you can use to polish your Tesla are an orbital polisher paired with microfiber polishing pads and high-quality polishing fluids.
Here are some best materials you can use to polish your Tesla:
- V34 optical grade hybrid compound
- V36 optical grade cutting polish
- V38 optical final finish polish
- Turtle Wax Hybrid solutions pro
- TORQX Orbital polisher
Make sure you buy the best materials and machines that will allow you to polish your Tesla well. Poor quality materials will negatively affect your finished work.
Hey, I’m Michael Davis, a 35-year-old with a degree and a love for cars and tech. Since I was a kid, cars have been my thing—so much that I even thought they ran on magic beans! Fast forward, and I’ve built Vehicle Army, your one-stop-shop for easy-to-understand car facts.