How to Fix Tesla Panel Gaps (Read This First!)

If the lines on your Tesla aren’t quite what you expected, you may have considered how to fix Tesla panel gaps.

Well, it’s not as simple as you might think, but, it can be done. So, let’s chat about it.

Key Takeaways:

While most tires on fossil fuel vehicles last an average of 50k-60k miles (about 4 years), tires on electric vehicles don’t last nearly as long and you may need to change them as soon as 15-20K miles.
As a general rule, you should start shopping for new tires one the tread pattern has about 4/32″ of an inch remaining.
While many tires are warranted between 45k-60k miles, electric vehicles like Teslas wear out much faster, meaning replacement can come as soon as 15k miles.
tesla panel gaps

A Tesla is a modern marvel, with a wide range of features that make it distinct from any other vehicle on the roads these days.

However, frustrating issues like the infamous Tesla panel gaps continue to irritate owners and enthusiasts alike. Here’s everything you need to know about Tesla panel gaps.

It’s generally better not to fix the panel gaps in your Tesla. Oftentimes, attempting repairs on this issue can cause other cosmetic issues such as scuffed paint and shifting of other panel gaps.

If you need to have them repaired, contact Tesla to see if your car is out of spec.

All in all, panel gaps in your Tesla aren’t something you need to worry about, and even if the cosmetic issue bothers you, it’s generally not advisable to try to fix it yourself.

The rest of this article will cover the entirety of the Tesla panel gap debate and everything you need to know about panel repairs.

Why Do Teslas Have Panel Gaps?

The Tesla has long been held in high esteem among all vehicles and remains one of the most popular electric vehicles of all time.

With that being said, noticeable and extremely annoying panel gaps in the front, rear, and sides of the car continue to plague the Tesla community.

Panel gaps, in this context, refer to visible discrepancies between the size of gaps on different body panels of the Tesla.

These panel gaps are, quite simply, caused by the poor build quality.

Ever since Tesla’s demand for vehicles skyrocketed back in 2018, they have been struggling to mass produce enough cars to meet demand.

These issues haven’t prompted mass recalls, though, since the issue is purely cosmetic and doesn’t pose any safety hazard or risk to the internal components.

What to Do about Tesla Panel Gaps?

The most important takeaway of the Tesla panel gap issue is that it will not affect your safety.

Yes, the discrepancy between the left and right body panels might be extremely frustrating, but if the thousands of disgruntled Tesla buyers are to be believed, having them fixed might make the issue worse.

The difficulty in repairing the panel gaps is that the machine’s precision in implementing the panel parts cannot be easily replicated, and many frustrated Tesla owners have reported issues with their repair attempts.

One such buyer brought his Tesla back shortly after purchase and discovered that, while the problematic panel by the door trim was addressed, everything else turned out much worse.

The paint was scuffed on the corner of the door and on the inside panel, and the user reported a noticeable increase in wind noise after the repairs.

Gaps in the trunk were addressed, but the repairs ended up causing other panels to be misaligned, creating more issues than the buyer started with.

In another case study, a Tesla sales advisor openly suggested to the buyer that they shouldn’t seek to have their panels fixed since aligning one set of panels seems to cause misalignment elsewhere.

The advisor reported that when one set of panels gets fixed, other gaps become more noticeable because other panels have been shifted.

Will Tesla Repair Panel Gaps?

Tesla will repair panel gaps if you report any issues within the first 100 miles that aren’t within specification standards.

Unfortunately, when it comes to panel gaps, Tesla’s repair facilities will often just ignore the issue since the panel gaps aren’t technically out of specification standards.

Beware even if the repair shop agrees to fix it since many Reddit users have reported horror stories of one misaligned panel being fixed only for two more gaps to take its place.

Recently, Tesla advisors have been operating by the 24-hour rule, which states that if you notice any panel gaps within the first 24 hours, you can schedule an appointment in the app and have Tesla take care of the issue for you.

If you’re ordering home delivery, you also have the option of rejecting delivery and rejecting Tesla’s attempts to make you accept a service appointment.

Even if you accept the delivery at home, you can still reject it as long as you haven’t driven the car yet.

As mentioned, most Tesla deliveries will accept service requests of any kind within 24 hours or 100 miles if you report it through the app.

With the knowledge of how prevalent panel gaps are and how ineffective repair attempts can be, it might be best to try to get Tesla to issue a replacement vehicle.

Can You Repair Panel Gaps Yourself?

Most of the time, repairing panel gaps isn’t something you should be doing yourself.

First of all, factory errors that cause Tesla panel gaps can cause misalignment elsewhere even if you manage to fix the original panel gap. One thing you can try for a quick fix is adjusting the rubber knobs that are under the trunk lid if you have an alignment issue on the rear bumper.

Adjust these rubber stops to correct misalignment on the left and right rear bumpers.

Just be careful not to turn the knobs too far out, since this can lead to a misalignment with the quarter panel in the rear.

You shouldn’t need to do more than two full turns to make an adjustment.

Final Thoughts

Tesla panel gaps have been annoying customers for years, and it’s unfortunate that Tesla hasn’t taken the time to fix this factory issue in production yet.

When it comes down to it, it’s usually not a good idea to try to repair panel gaps unless they are impairing your driving or appear to be causing other issues.

Tesla will accept service repair requests if the panel gaps are not within spec, but unfortunately, since most of these issues are purely cosmetic, the repair service isn’t always obligated to try to fix it.

Even if they do, some users have reported that the fixes don’t appear to do anything, or that the repairs have caused other issues like misalignment of other panels or scuffed paint in their vehicles that are worse than the original issue.