The Tesla happens to be mine and I since we just launched doing ceramic coatings I wanted to see how it would do on a new car and what was the process from start to finish with brand new paint. For context, in the title, someone asked me in a parking lot recently, "...if your car is electric can it still be washed without you getting electrocuted?" Don't laugh, I've also been asked if I carry a giant extension cord or if its true that you can sleep while the car drives itself. Often it comes from people who haven't seen one and since they are so different to an internal combustion engine they have a lot of questions. For the purists that are out there pointing and chanting 'shame!" that I have an electric car don't fret, I love the sound and the smells and the feeling of an internal combustion engine. I have an air cooled Porsche and a few other ICE vehicles and I love everything about them. Our business is about cars after all, from the classic to the exotic to the electric and all things in between.
By the way - neither Chino or I were electrocuted so I think I can answer a definitive 'no' to the title.
I expected that putting the ceramic coating on the Tesla paint would be fairly straightforward, after all its brand new and hasn't even had wax applied to it yet. I thought that it would be a simple process of washing it and applying the coating...then I spent some time with Chino our detailer. As always he knows his stuff and Chino reminded me that Tesla have great cars - but they don't have great quality control when it comes to paint. He's not wrong and there have been quite a few issues of fit and finish with some models like the 3 and the Y. If there is enough interest I may do a video review of the Y and its technology, idiosyncrasies and features.
Chino laid out the plan for the next two days and it starts with a deep wash to get rid of any contaminants and then drying it thoroughly and completely spot free. He is one of those detail guys that covers any part of the car that won't be getting the coating (like plastic trim parts) with tape to make sure there is no overlap. The prep work and the cleanliness is key as the ceramic application is the easiest part. I did a few time-lapse videos and attached them to give you some idea of a few days compressed down to a few minutes.
Some people say its like watching paint dry but the time-lapse of soapy water coming off the car is mesmerizing to me. Step one in the process was washing the car - next came the long and laborious job of cutting and buffing the paintwork to make the surface flawless. It really is all about the prep work on something like applying a coating, its got to be dust free and the paint stripped of any wax or contaminants before the coating can be applied.
After all the buffing and cutting and polishing applying the coating is almost a let down, as its a very simple process. The coating is wiped on, allowed to come to a haze and then buffed off. After that the surface has to be kept dry for at least 24 hours to let the coating cure and harden.
From a visual perspective the car has a deeper and darker color after the ceramic coating. The paint imperfections are gone, buffed away to a perfectly uniform finish. Beyond that, water beads endlessly and dirt doesn't seem to stick to the surface. The dirt washes off easily and the coating should be good for many years. Take a look at a previous post on paints and paint protection for more on what the coating does. Better still - have your car done here, winter is coming.
I do get a tingling feeling when I touch the paint - but that could just be me.
I'm going to be posting to our YouTube channel over the next few weeks with the content you are looking for and one that gives you a much better insight into what we do here. Lets take that spirit of ingenuity and create something different. I'm looking forward to your comments and showing you yet another side of RSP Motorsports.
In earlier blog posts I talked about some of the changes that are being made to the exterior of the property and the epoxy floor that we are putting into the shop and storage area. The pictures speak for themselves.
The exterior parking lot has been completed and helps display our commitment to the local business community and the community we are located in.
We take pride in how we represent ourselves and always want to ensure that we give back in some way. Although challenging during the times of the pandemic, we are doing our part to keep small businesses alive. One of the main points included in that is giving back to our customers. We want you to be secure that the pride we put into our workplace is the same care and respect that we put into your vehicles.
Accessible parking at the front entrance - as a side note we will be featuring the Tesla in an upcoming ceramic coating article
Our front entrance. many of the shrubs and plants have been removed to make the office space brighter and give a better view of our logo.
A wider shot of the front entrance and customer parking area
The picture above is the rear of our building where we have additional parking for customer vehicles. In the far view of the picture you can see the post for the electronic security gate. We are installing two of those on the premises to add additional safety and security to our building access for customer vehicles and our fleet of courtesy vehicles. We are also having a key drop off being built at the front for those customers that want to drop off their car after hours.
The interior of shop floor is being prepped for the epoxy flooring. We have completed the storage area and we are thrilled with the results. Renato has been looking for a floor that passes the 'white sock test' and the this is it. We are also having an RSP Logo embedded into the floor - another example of the pride we have in what we do.
The uncompleted section is in the foreground and you can see the difference that the floor makes to the overall look. The surface has a light non slip pebbling added to it.
Epoxy floor coating in the storage area - just in time for the fall storage season
A final picture in front of a room that most of the public hasn't seen. We have a series of exciting projects that will be coming out of this custom built workspace that will be highlighted later this year. What I can say is that what we will be working on displays that spirit of ingenuity that this blog post is about