Tesla Model 3 Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model 3: Paint Defect Rectification

Tesla Model 3 2017-2024 Service Manual / Body / Paint / Paint Defect Rectification

Note: This procedure was designed to be performed on flat or near-flat metal body panels with original factory paintwork. Any deviation from these circumstances can alter cutting times, tool speeds, and the ideal amount of pressure to be applied to the body panel. If uncertain about a defect, follow up with a paint correction expert.

Caution:

If performing paint correction on body lines, make the following adjustments:

  • Sand paint inclusions only by hand.
  • Apply less pressure to the body panel when cutting/polishing.
  • Reduce cutting time from 15 seconds to 5 seconds at a time.
  • Reduce buffer speed by 40-50%.
  • Avoid excessive heat build-up.
  • Do not let the compounds dissipate.

Determine Defect Risk Level

Inspect the defect(s) and determine whether they are low or high risk.
  • If the defect(s) are low risk, continue to the next step.
  • If the defect(s) are high risk, escalate the repair to a body shop.
Low Risk Defect Characteristics
  • Less than 1.5 mm diameter on flat or near-flat body panels
  • Less than 1.0 mm diameter on or near character lines
  • High or low spots
  • Basic surface paint inclusions
  • Holograms
  • Swirls
  • Solvent pop
  • Overspray
  • Light to medium depth scratches

Low risk basic surface paint inclusions
Low risk basic surface paint inclusions

Low risk basic surface paint inclusions
Low risk basic surface paint inclusions

  • High Risk Defect Characteristics
  • Larger than 2.0 mm diameter on flat or near-flat body panels
  • Larger than 1.0 mm diameter on or near character lines
  • Off color inclusions
  • High or low spots larger than 2.0 mm

High risk off color paint inclusion
High risk off color paint inclusion

High risk defect on character line
High risk defect on character line

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     Remove Dirt Inclusion

    Apply isopropyl alcohol to the general area of the defect, and then wipe the area with a clean microfiber towel. While wearing a nitrile glove, run hand over the area around the dirt inclu

     Polish

    Remove the cutting pad from the buffer, and then install a polishing pad on the buffer. Apply 4 evenly spaced 20 mm diameter dollops of polishing compound on the polishing pad. Set the buffer speed

     Closures

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     Power Socket 12V - Center Console (Remove and Replace)

    Remove Disconnect 12V power. See 12V Power (Disconnect and Connect). Remove the center console decor trim. See Decor Trim - Center Console (Remove and Replace). Remove the screws and release the tabs that attach LH and RH bright strips to the center console, and then remove the strips from

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