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Horror Story of Vinyl Wrap Removal on a Tesla Model Y and Lessons We Learned that You Should Know

Black Tesla Model Y in Napa California after a matte vinyl wrap removal
Black Tesla Model Y after Vinyl Wrap Removal

At a recent job at Robust Auto Detailing, we removed full vinyl wrap from a black Tesla Model Y here in Napa, California, and what would have taken us 5-6 hours became a job that took three days to complete while tripling the initial estimate for vinyl removal. As a rule of thumb, cheap craftsmanship on a car always costs way more in the long run.

Ask for no glue or activator on the edges

The biggest issue with the recent vinyl removal was that the installer had used activator glue on all the edges and curves of the car. This glue created a permanent seam but left hard residue on every edge and curve of the Tesla Model Y. This not only ended up taking far longer to remove but also caused the paint on the bumper to completely rip off and ended up costing the customer a repaint along with the extra cost of vinyl removal itself. 

Vinyl wrap will not protect against rock chips

Vinyl wraps are purely cosmetic and do not protect rock chips. Over a few weeks, your car will start taking rock chip damage and these rock chips will cut through the vinyl wrap and not only take away from the cosmetics of the vehicle but also show glaring rock chips on your car.

Vinyl wraps are best for 1-2 years

Vinyl wraps are ideal for minimally driven cars such as show cars and garage queens. The strength of Vinyl wraps is that it allows color changes and cosmetic makeovers which can be excellent for marketing and selling vehicles. However, for daily drivers, vinyl wrap is more of a liability than a form of long-term protection for the car. Ideally, it is recommended to remove and replace vinyl wrap every two years. 

Vinyl wraps will erode and discolor over time

There are several incidences in which we've noticed that after a couple of years, vinyl wrap, especially if the car is parked outdoors or in the driveway, will have complete color deterioration, oxidation, and corrosion left on the car's surface. This can be negated by keeping the car parked indoors and putting minimal miles on the speedometer. 

Use a reputable installer with factory training

Whenever you'd like to have a coating, film, or wrap installed on your car, it's best to check their experience and knowledge of the type of service they are offering. Reputable installers will also tell you the limitations of service and offer realistic expectations on the treatment your car receives. At Robust Auto Detailing, we not only have years of experience but are also factory certified in various films and coatings. In the pictures above, you can see how a poorly installed vinyl wrap with glued edges(notice the white residue) can cause permanent damage and repainting of the entire panel.

Use colored PPF over vinyl if possible

Vinyl wraps are an older technology that is situational for most customers. Nowadays using a colored or cosmetic paint protection film is the smartest and best option to protect your car. A full cosmetic PPF wrap will cost two to three times the cost of a full vinyl wrap but the wraps offer self-healing and rock chip protection giving you the best cosmetics and mechanical protection in the market. 

At Robust Auto Detailing, we offer custom-cut paint protection films, cosmetic self-healing paint protection films, and ceramic and graphene coatings giving you complete protection for your car for years to come. Book us now, give us a call at (707) 681-5944 or email us at to get a free quote on your film, coating, and wrap needs.  

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