As an experienced Tesla owner or someone considering buying one, you must know about maintaining your vehicle and keeping it looking and functioning at its best.
That includes preventing rust. Rust can be a massive problem if left unchecked, leading to costly repairs and replacements. Although not common in Tesla, it doesn’t mean they are immune to it.
So what are the causes of Tesla rust, and what can you do to prevent it from happening in the first place?
Yes, Teslas can rust. The rate at which they rust is lower than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Teslas are majorly constructed with aluminum and steel alloys, making them rust-resistant but not 100%. You see your vehicle rusting because of corrosion, exposure to harsh chemicals, lack of proper painting, salt type on the road, etc. So take extra precautions to avoid rust.
In this article, I’ll explain whether Tesla’s rust, what causes it, where it gets easily gets rusted, and how you can handle and prevent it. You’ll also know which models are prone to rust.
By the end, you’ll know how to prevent your Tesla from rusting and where not to place it to avoid it.
Also, if it already has rust, how to handle it to avoid further damage to your vehicle.
Do Teslas Rust?
The answer is yes; just like any other car, Tesla cars are not immune to rust.
Factors such as moisture, humidity, salt, and other environmental factors can cause corrosion. Over time, this can damage your vehicle and lead to severe issues requiring expensive repairs.
However, Teslas have a significantly lower risk of rust than classic cars due to their unique manufacturing process.
The good news is that Tesla has taken steps to reduce the likelihood of rusting occurring on their vehicles.
The body of Tesla cars is from aluminum, which is resistant to rust. That is one of the reasons why Teslas have a lower risk of rust than classic cars made from steel.
The other reason is that the batteries and electric drivetrains are less rust-resistant than classic cars’ internal combustion engines and exhaust systems.
However, this doesn’t mean that Teslas are entirely rust-proof. Rust can still occur on Teslas in certain areas, particularly in regions with high humidity or those with a lot of snow and ice.
Despite this, as a Tesla owner, you should still take precautions to ensure that your cars remain in top condition and prevent rusting from occurring.
Five Reasons Why Tesla Rust?
Although Teslas are known for their sleek and modern design, they are not entirely immune to rust.
Here are five reasons why your Tesla may experience rust:
Like any other car, Teslas can rust when exposed to moisture. Moisture can accumulate on the car’s surface, mainly if you do not clean or adequately dry the car.
Over time, this can lead to rusting.
Teslas are at a higher risk of rusting on salty roads during winter. Salt can accelerate the rusting process and seep into any existing scratches or cracks in the paintwork.
The moisture and salt on the roads while driving the car will accelerate the corrosion process.
Teslas manufacturers make them with various metals, and when you expose these metals to moisture, they can start corroding. This corrosion can weaken the metal and make it more prone to rust.
Also, some vehicle components, like bolts and fasteners, may be made of steel, and exposure to salt roads or moisture can result in rust.
Teslas involved in accidents or damaged somehow, probably by rock chips and scratches, are more susceptible to rust.
That is because any damage to the paintwork can expose the metal beneath to moisture and air, leading to rust.
Sometimes, improper vehicle repair can cause rust, increasing the chance of corrosion in the repaired area.
#5. Lack of Maintenance
Finally, poorly maintained Teslas are more likely to experience rust. Regular cleaning, waxing, and rust prevention treatments can go a long way in keeping your Tesla rust-free.
By understanding why Teslas may rust, you can take steps to prevent rusting and keep your car looking as good as new.
Four Places Your Tesla Can Easily Rust?
As with any vehicle, certain areas of your Tesla are more prone to rust than others.
Here are some of the four common places your Tesla can easily rust:
Exposure of your Tesla undercarriage to moisture and road salt can cause rust to develop over time.
Ensure you inspect the undercarriage regularly and apply a protective coating if necessary.
#2. Wheel Wells
The wheel wells of your Tesla are also susceptible to rust, primarily if debris and moisture collect in these areas.
Regularly clean out your wheel wells and keep them free from buildup.
#3. Door Panels
The doors on your Tesla can also rust, particularly around the edges and in areas where the paint may have chipped or scratched off.
Keep an eye on these areas and touch up any chips or scratches as soon as possible to prevent rust from developing.
The seams on your Tesla’s trunk can also be vulnerable to rust, mainly if you don’t seal the trunk correctly or if water collects in these areas.
Check the seams regularly and have them resealed if necessary.
Proactively addressing rust as soon as it appears can help ensure your Tesla stays in top condition for years.
How to Handle Rusts?
Rust can be a headache, especially regarding your precious Tesla. If you notice any signs of rust on your Tesla, it is essential to act fast before it spreads and causes more damage.
Here are some steps to help you handle rust on your Tesla:
#1. Identify the Rust
Before handling the rust, ensure you know exactly where it is and how extensive the damage is.
You can identify rust spots by looking for reddish, yellowish, or brownish discolorations on your car’s exterior.
#2. Remove the Rust
The next step is to remove the rust. You can use sandpaper or a wire brush to scrape off the rusted area.
Be sure to use gloves and a face mask to protect yourself from dust and particles.
#3. Apply a Rust Converter
After removing the rust, apply a rust converter to the area.
A rust converter will stop the rust from spreading and prevent it from returning. Follow the instructions on the converter and let it dry completely.
#4. Apply a Primer
Once the rust converter is dry, apply a primer to the area. The primer will create a base for the paint to adhere to. Allow the primer to dry for the recommended time.
#5. Apply Paint
Finally, apply paint to the area. Use the same color as your car, or have it professionally matched. Apply several thin coats and let each coat dry before applying the next.
Remember, handling rust is not a permanent fix. To prevent rust from returning, you must take preventative measures.
How to Prevent Tesla from Rust?
Now that you know the reasons behind your Tesla rusting and the areas where rust can commonly occur in Teslas, you can prevent this issue.
Here are ways to prevent your Tesla from rusting:
#1. Regular Cleaning and Waxing
That will help protect your car’s paint from harmful elements and oxidation that could lead to rust. So, wash your Tesla at least once every three weeks and apply wax to it every six months.
#2. Avoid Driving on Salted Roads
Salt can be corrosive to metals and quickly eat away at the metal on your Tesla’s undercarriage and wheel wells.
If you live in an area with salty roads during winter, try to avoid driving on these roads as much as possible.
Alternatively, consider installing rust-proofing materials on your Tesla’s undercarriage to prevent salt damage.
#3. Fix Paint Chips Immediately
Fix any paint chips as soon as possible to prevent rust from developing. You can use touch-up paint to cover up small chips or take your Tesla to a professional paint shop for more extensive repairs.
#4. Regular Inspection
It will help you spot early signs of rust before it becomes a big issue. Look for rust around the wheel wells, undercarriage, and windshield.
If you spot any signs of rust, take your Tesla to a professional repair shop to treat it immediately.
#5. Store in a Dry Garage
Doing this will help prevent rust. If you don’t have access to a garage, consider using a car cover to protect your Tesla from rain and moisture.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your Tesla stays rust-free and looks great for years.
Which Tesla Model Is Prone to Rust?
Although Teslas aren’t completely rust-free, one model is more prone to rust than others.
All Tesla models are prone to rust, just that one model is more liable to rust than the others.
The table below compares the different Tesla models and their probability of rusting.
|Tesla Model||Rust Probability|
|S||Low (many metal parts exposed.)|
|X||Low (in 2016, Tesla recalled over 15,000 for rust.)|
|Y||High (paint issues majorly cause rust.)|
|3||High (paint issues majorly cause rust.)|
Model Y and 3 will rust more because they use less aluminum than the other models. However, all Tesla models do not rust easily.
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.