thefuturenow
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:55 pm

Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:14 pm

If it were up to me and not my sense, I would have my i3 professionally covered all-around in a 3M or Xpel wrap. However, the cost of this makes absolutely no sense in relation to the lease cost. I wouldn't be opposed to attempting to wrap it myself and saving 90% of the cost as it seems like it could be a relatively easy car to wrap, if anyone recommends this. However, an easy DIY solution that could protect the i3 from environmental hazards and door dings would make driving that much more enjoyable. I am OCD and even small marks on my new, gorgeous i3 could drive me crazy so I'm working out my plan of attack prior to delivery. I was thinking a paint sealant that's almost like an extra layer of clear coat as well as molding that is tastefully-placed around the car that would prevent door dings and even some parking lot mishaps, but I can't find a good way to go beyond that other than the wrap.

How are you guys protecting the paint? I'd prefer to protect my paint as well as possible at the onset.
i3 REX fully-loaded Giga owner| Tesla Model 3 Reservation Holder
(But could buy the revamped BMW i3 instead...)
EV enthusiast

imolazhp
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:08 am

The i3 is plastic, you can't ding plastic. You can marr and chip the paint though. I avoid this by parking as far away from anyone as possible, plus the extra walking is good for the body.

stumbledotcom
Posts: 453
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:35 pm
Location: San Francisco
Contact: Website

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:02 am

I've driven my i3 for 2+ years now. The factory-standard paint remains in excellent condition. None of the parking lot dings or chips that are typical with metal body vehicles. In my experience, the only ones who benefit from the assorted paint sealant schemes are the people selling them. Save your money.

imolazhp
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:40 am

stumbledotcom wrote:I've driven my i3 for 2+ years now. The factory-standard paint remains in excellent condition. None of the parking lot dings or chips that are typical with metal body vehicles. In my experience, the only ones who benefit from the assorted paint sealant schemes are the people selling them. Save your money.
I agree completely, just buy a good wax (I prefer Meguiars) and wax the car at least once per year, I try to do mine twice per year.

thefuturenow
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:09 pm

stumbledotcom wrote:I've driven my i3 for 2+ years now. The factory-standard paint remains in excellent condition. None of the parking lot dings or chips that are typical with metal body vehicles. In my experience, the only ones who benefit from the assorted paint sealant schemes are the people selling them. Save your money.
That is fantastic to hear, and if the i3 is significantly more resistant than steel vehicles it only makes me love it more.

I am still concerned about scratches. Does anyone here have experience with it being keyed? :lol: Getting myself paranoid reading up on other forums how attractive BMWs are to key by miscreants who are part of the lowest form of human scum that mar others' possessions to ruin their day, or month.. But I also am curious in general exactly how much more resistant the thermoplastic is, if any owners have a spare thermoplastic panel lying around and care to test it.
i3 REX fully-loaded Giga owner| Tesla Model 3 Reservation Holder
(But could buy the revamped BMW i3 instead...)
EV enthusiast

imolazhp
Posts: 244
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:18 am

I don't have any experience with keying or other damage, but just incase you did not know, the TM3 is going to be a steel car. I have a reservation for one too but I'm not completely sold, steel seems like a step backwards, or it seems like it would be a step backwards from the aluminum frame, CFRP body and plastic body panel i3. I might just keep my i3.

/off topic

alohart
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:06 am

imolazhp wrote:I don't have any experience with keying or other damage, but just incase you did not know, the TM3 is going to be a steel car. I have a reservation for one too but I'm not completely sold, steel seems like a step backwards, or it seems like it would be a step backwards from the aluminum frame, CFRP body and plastic body panel i3. I might just keep my i3.

/off topic
I agree completely! We own an all-aluminum Honda Insight and an i3 with its even more advanced, lighter, but more expensive CFRP/aluminum/thermoplastic construction. I hope to never own a steel car again. When I heard that the Model 3's construction would include steel, I decided not to place a pre-order.

I understand why Tesla had to substitute steel for aluminum: cost. Musk promised a $35,000 Model 3 which apparently isn't possible with the Model S/X's all-aluminum construction. Steel will make the Model 3 heavier and prone to rust, especially with any damage to its paint. Maybe when battery cell prices decrease far enough, Tesla will be able to build an affordable all-aluminum or CFRP/aluminum/thermoplastic EV.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

thefuturenow
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:55 pm

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:24 pm

imolazhp wrote:I don't have any experience with keying or other damage, but just incase you did not know, the TM3 is going to be a steel car. I have a reservation for one too but I'm not completely sold, steel seems like a step backwards, or it seems like it would be a step backwards from the aluminum frame, CFRP body and plastic body panel i3. I might just keep my i3.

/off topic
That's actually one of my reasons for potentially sticking with BMW if they have a revamped i3 model out when it comes time to turn in my i3. Practically the entire i3 is an innovation. I would hope the competition also ventures out of sticking to steel for the frame. It really is a shame Tesla couldn't find a way to build the Model 3 out of aluminum or even carbon fiber. Perhaps Tesla and BMW could share a CFRP plant. :lol:
i3 REX fully-loaded Giga owner| Tesla Model 3 Reservation Holder
(But could buy the revamped BMW i3 instead...)
EV enthusiast

jadnashuanh
Posts: 5072
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 2:07 pm
Location: Nashua, NH USA

Re: Complete Paint Protection (DIY)

Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:06 pm

thefuturenow wrote:
imolazhp wrote:I don't have any experience with keying or other damage, but just incase you did not know, the TM3 is going to be a steel car. I have a reservation for one too but I'm not completely sold, steel seems like a step backwards, or it seems like it would be a step backwards from the aluminum frame, CFRP body and plastic body panel i3. I might just keep my i3.

/off topic
That's actually one of my reasons for potentially sticking with BMW if they have a revamped i3 model out when it comes time to turn in my i3. Practically the entire i3 is an innovation. I would hope the competition also ventures out of sticking to steel for the frame. It really is a shame Tesla couldn't find a way to build the Model 3 out of aluminum or even carbon fiber. Perhaps Tesla and BMW could share a CFRP plant. :lol:
BMW invested billions perfecting the CFRP production methods. All other vehicles currently built using that type of product uses a different, very time-consuming, and expensive method to do it. A startup like Tesla just doesn't have the ability to invest in that tech. Aluminum frames also take a lot of expertise. Steel is relatively easy and cheap. FWIW, in the R&T issue just received, Mr. Lutz said Tesla is losing about $15K/car sold right now. If they weren't selling credits to other manufacturers they'd have had to shutter the business long ago (my belief). The method used to build the i3 and i8 are not practical for more than about 50K units per year, which is probably why the new 7-series, while it uses CFRP in it, is built in a different way.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”