Raise your virtual hand if you’ve heard bad things about paint jobs on a Tesla. While these EVs have advanced technology and several user-friendly features, the truth is – the paint is relatively soft. This is the main reason why Tesla owners seek protective solutions like PPF aka paint protection film or Tesla ceramic coatings.
Applying a ceramic coating to a Tesla Model 3, Model Y, Model X, and Model S is a fantastic way to reduce scratching, protect the paint job from exposure to the elements, and extend the life span of your Tesla paint. The key to the longevity of any coating is proper aftercare.
That’s what we’ll discuss in the blog below. In today’s CeramicPro.com blog, we’ll introduce the ultimate guide to taking care of Tesla ceramic coatings. We will explain what type of coating is best for Tesla clear coats, what products you should use to wash and detail the coated surface, and a few tips on protecting the coating.
Let’s get started.
Does Tesla Offer Ceramic Coating?
Unfortunately – no, they don’t. Tesla incorporates a minimalistic buying program. You can build your Tesla online – or at a local Tesla showroom and pick it up when it’s ready. They currently don’t have a desire or capacity to offer ceramic coatings directly from their service centers.
We also know that Tesla paintwork is not the strongest. It’s due to this reality that many consumers actively search for Tesla paint protection solutions on forums – like Tesla owners clubs. Whether it’s a vinyl wrap, nano-coating, or PPF – it’s best to find some type of protective solution with self-cleaning attributes sooner than later.
How Much Does It Cost to Ceramic Coat a Tesla?
Professional detailing or auto salons apply ceramic coatings. They are sold mainly in packages based on years of protection. The pricing can range from a few hundred dollars for a 6-month to a lifetime warranty. However, the installation of ceramic coatings is just the tip of the last cost iceberg.
A ceramic coating protects the substrate where it’s applied. It also amplifies the condition of the paint, plastics, chrome, or other materials. Before applying the layer, a professional detailer will correct or ‘fix’ any imperfections on the vehicle. For the car’s exterior, this is called paint correction – or polishing.
EDITORS TIP: We wrote a fantastic blog talking about paint correction for Tesla models – so click the link to read up on that topic.
So – when you’re pricing out a ceramic coating installation for a Tesla, there are a few items you need to factor.
First – What’s the Condition of the Paint?
If you have a brand-new Tesla directly from the factory, you likely will only need a single-stage paint correction. This will remove any oils, grease, or high spots (orange peel) from the painted surface. If the Tesla is more than a year old – it’ll likely need a two-stage paint correction to remove swirl marks, micro-scratching, and other defects.
Second – How Long Will You Keep the Vehicle?
If you plan on trading in your Tesla in three years, it doesn’t make sense to have the top-of-the-line package installed on your car. However, if you plan to keep the vehicle for more than five years, invest a few hundred dollars extra for that Ceramic Pro Gold package.
Additionally, if you’re thinking about added protection against rock chips and road debris, you should consider a self-healing PPF or full front paint protection film. This will help block UV rays, but is better for protecting the surface from corrosion, oxidation and road debris. You can install on the entire vehicle, but that is when the price can eclipse $5,000.
You can get them in gloss or matte finish. Plus, some premium brands like KAVACA PPF offer ceramic coated films. Ceramic Pro PPF comes with a 10 year warranty or longer.
When you consider these two elements, you’ll have a better idea of how much the coating job will cost. As we said before, the pricing can range – but the general cost ranges from $300 to $2,000.
How Do You Wash a Ceramic Pro Coated Tesla?
When you invest in a professional solution, you’ll want to protect it. The same thing applies to ceramic coatings. The first thing to remember is that you should always follow the aftercare recommendations of the coating manufacturer. Each coating is unique – and some need a bit more time to cure.
Here is what Ceramic Pro recommends for ALL coating packages.
#1 – Wait Two Weeks Before Washing the Vehicle
There are two ways that a coating will stick to a surface – and it all goes back to Jr High School science. A mechanical bond involves two agents designed to stick together. A chemical bond consists of the sharing of electrons to connect the two materials.
Most ceramic coatings on the DIY level are mechanical bonds – meaning the chemicals in the spray or coating are designed to bond on top of the substrate – like clear coatings, glass, plastic, or textiles. Professional applied Ceramic Pro coatings utilize nanotechnology to electrically bond to the substrate.
The best way to explain this is – DIY coatings stick on top of the surface. In contrast, professional-grade coatings penetrate the minor imperfections found on all surfaces, fill those valleys, harden, then provide an ultra-flat and robust surface.
Pro coatings provide an extra layer of protection vs DIY products. They can help reduce light scratches, but are mainly intended to protect a used or new car from environmental factors.
It takes a few weeks for the pro-grade coating to cure fully. As such, it’s best to wait two weeks before washing the vehicle.
#2 – Use a Dedicated Ceramic Coating Aftercare Soap
You’ll find more than 100 different manufacturers and types of car wash soap on the market today. However, for a ceramic coating, you need to use a soap engineered to clean and provide some added protection to the coating itself. These are ceramic aftercare soaps, or those with no wax, are pH neutral and have a tiny amount of SiO2 – that adds a minor film to the coated surface.
Ceramic Pro Americas recommends Americana Global Ceramic Aftercare Soap for all coating packages. It’s a highly-dilutable soap – meaning you only use 2oz of soap per wash bucket. It’s a pH-neutral automotive shampoo that breaks down contaminants or natural toxins like bird droppings, bug splatter, tree sap, and other agents that stick to a ceramic coating.
You’ll use ceramic aftercare soap by washing via the two-bucket method. Here is a video that explains this process. You can also use a foam gun or foam cannon – plus a wash bucket to wash your Tesla. Plus, if you have a clear bra or partial PPF – you can use this soap – or Americana Global Vinyl & PPF soap for your maintenance washes.
If you have a Ceramic Pro coating – or any other nano-ceramic coating – you can purchase Americana Global Ceramic Aftercare Soap by clicking this link.
#3 – Consider a Rinseless Wash
Not everyone has the luxury or ability to wash a car at their home. Many US states (especially California and Nevada, where Tesla ownership is high) have water restrictions that prohibit or restrict outdoor car washing. We offer an eco-friendly and easier way to wash your Tesla for those individuals. It’s using a rinseless wash.
This is a hybrid car soap formula – that is highly concentrated and makes washing a ceramic coated car simple. The dilution ratio is 1:256 – meaning you use 1 oz of the concentrated liquid car soap per 2 gallons of water – in a typical wash bucket. To wash the vehicle, mix the soap and water, use a dedicated microfiber wash towel or mitt, wash the car from top to bottom – one panel at a time, then dry the vehicle with a high-quality drying towel (made of microfiber or terry weave).
It’s that simple.
Here is a video by Ceramic Pro’s Adam Cote explaining how we use Americana Global’s Rinseless Wash to maintain ceramic coatings on Tesla’s and other vehicles.
#4 – Use a Ceramic Coating Safe Detail Spray
Sometimes you don’t need a full car wash – to make your car shine and pop. Many Tesla owners will use a detail spray for these situations, which serves to both wash and protect the surface. The problem with many of these products is they contain wax or silicone – which acts as a boost. This can lead to issues with ceramic coatings – as the wax will stick – causing the vehicle to reduce hydrophobic properties – and collect dirt and debris quicker.
The solution is to use an outdoor safe detail spray with SiO2 that will infuse the coating and improve hydrophobicity. Ceramic Pro recommends Americana Global Detail Spray – which can be used outside or in your garage. It’s the perfect in-between product for removing dust and light debris. It also works great on vinyl and paint protection film.
You can buy Americana Global directly from CeramicPro.com by clicking this link.
The Final Verdict – How to Best Maintain Your Tesla’s Ceramic Coating
To get the best bang for your ceramic coating buck, you’ll need to use the right products and techniques to maintain the coating on your Tesla. Many of the Ceramic Pro Auto Spas and Shops offer maintenance wash services – which are pretty affordable and can save you time. However, it’s hard to beat Americana Global’s unique formulation if you don’t mind a little bit of elbow grease and want to use the best car soap for ceramic coatings.
If you’re on the fence about installing a ceramic coating to your Tesla, click the link below to get a free quote from a certified Ceramic Pro shop near you. It’s more affordable than you’d think.