How to Fix Curb Rash on Tesla Model 3 in 7 Easy Steps

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 05/14/22 •  8 min read

Nothing can hurt a car enthusiast more than the sound of his car hitting a curb. 

That instant scare of a bad rash on the rim… It kills you!

Surprisingly, this is a pretty common occurrence for Model 3 owners (where you looking at, people! 🙄)

But that’s how driving works. Shit happens on the road, and curb rash is just one issue a driver has to deal with every once in a while.

But you need not worry. 

Here I am with a proven guide for Model 3 owners that’ll teach you how to repair curb rash to the point that you yourself won’t be able to tell where it occurred.

Sounds compelling? Let’s dive into the details.

The Cost of Fixing Curb Rash on Tesla Model 3

The cost of fixing curb rash on your Model 3 rim depends on the method you choose. The cheapest route will be the DIY route where you can get it done under $40–$50.

Below is the list of all the appropriate methods and the cost of each:

1. The Most Expensive: Buying a New Rim

It’s doable, but not advisable. Why? For starters, it’ll cost you a couple hundred bucks. Maybe a thousand! Then include the cost of remounting and rebalancing… 

I don’t think curb rash is that big of a deal. Buying a new rim just for this reason doesn’t make any sense.

2. The Intermediate Option: Getting Your Wheel Repaired From a Professional

If the curb rash is bad and not repairable through our third option, go this route. Sure it’ll cost you anywhere from $150 to $300, but you’ll be sure that your problem is solved.

This method will require you to go to a body shop where the mechanic will grind the damage and repaint the wheel.

3. The Best One: DIY

This is my favorite, probably because I love to do DIY projects. And the best part, they cost you less bucks than any other method. You’ll just have to get $30–$50 worth of supplies.

Everything You Need to Fix Curb Rash Yourself: The DIY Guide

Let’s get right down to business. I researched on YouTube to see if I could find an elaborate guide to make this process easier.

The following are the two instructive videos that I found most helpful and straightforward:

Credit to The Tech of Tech YouTube Channel

Time Stamps:

Credit to The Megawatts YouTube Channel

Time Stamps

Required Supplies

  1. Soapy water
  2. A rag
  3. Gloves
  4. Sanding sponge or sanding paper (decide the grit based on the degree of damage)
  5. Dupli-Color touch-up paint (most recommended by the Tesla community for this job)

The DIY Process for Those Who Prefer Reading Over Watching

Step 1: Clean the Surface

For this step, I’d recommend using soapy water and a rag. Just spray the affected area and wipe it out. Repeat the process until you are sure there is no dust, debris, or dirt on the wheel.

Step 2: Use Sandpaper to Even Out the Damaged Area

The second step requires you to put on your gloves, grab that sandpaper or sand sponge, whatever you like better, and start sanding the damage down. Don’t stop until the affected area has been completely evened out.

Step 3: Wipe Down the Sanded Area

When you’re done sanding, it’s time to again grab the spray bottle and rag. Clean the sanded area until no metal dust or any kind of dust remains on the wheel. 

If after the cleaning you sense that more sanding is required, don’t hesitate. If the area is not properly evened out, the damage won’t be properly repaired.

You can repeat this step a number of times if required.

Step 4: Cover Off the Surrounding Area of Damage

You can use a cloth, plastic sheet, garbage bag, or paper for this purpose. The point is to just cover up the surrounding space so that paint doesn’t end up at any unnecessary space.

Step 5: Apply Touch-Up Paint

Time to apply the paint. Use the Dupli-Color touch-up paint as many Model 3 owners have tried it and got very satisfactory results.

Make sure to shake the bottle well before use. Apply the first coat, wait for 40 to 50 minutes, and then apply the second coat. Two coats should be enough.

Step 6: Apply Clear Coat

The Dupli-Color touch-up paint is a two-in-one solution. If you open the top half, you’ll get the paint. If you open the bottom half, you’ll get a clear coat.

Apply the clear coat carefully, wait for at least 30 minutes, and then you’re ready to remove the garbage bag, sheet, or whatever you used to cover the surroundings.

There you are with your final results (do share them in the comment section below).

Step 7: Congratulate Yourself

You deserve a pat on the back for completing this task successfully!

How to Prevent Curb Rash From Happening

Hitting a curb once in a while is inevitable.

A curb rash can happen while taking a sharp turn, parallel parking, or overspeeding… I could go on, but you got the gist!

How you can prevent it, though, is pretty straightforward. Here are some expert suggestions:

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

I can say drive safely, but life isn’t that straightforward, right? But still, if you are aware of your surroundings and know when the chances of you hitting a curb are high, there is a very minimal chance that you end up getting a curb rash.

Here is an example: Suppose you’re parallel parking somewhere. You can either just rely on the side mirrors and back camera or you can get out of the car, take a quick look if there are any curbs around, keep the situation in mind, and carefully park your car.

Try this and you’ll rarely get any curb rash.

More Practical Solution: Use Rim Protectors

Installing wheel rim protectors is one of the best ways to protect your vehicle’s rims from curb rash. Rim protectors are an excellent tool for protecting your wheels while also enhancing the overall appearance of your vehicle.

These products are simple to install and need little time to complete as a DIY effort. They come in a variety of colors to complement the style of your vehicle and can appear as more of a decorative accent than a straightforward protection precaution.

With them on, you won’t have to worry about small hits to curbs around. Yes, in case of accidents or significant collisions, they won’t sustain.

Below is a brief review of one of the best rim protectors available in the market that you can purchase to make your life a lot easier.

Rimblades Rimsavers Wheel Protector Bands

how to fix curb rash on tesla model 3
So many colors to choose from!

Despite their fashionable appearance, these wheel bands are also intended to protect your vehicle against curb rash. They protect the ends of the wheel rims so that your wheels aren’t harmed when you strike a curb, pothole, or another obstructing object.

However, the bands will not provide much protection in the event of an accident or other form of major damage.

Can they withstand day-to-day abrasion in the long run?

ShiftingLanes decided to put Rimblades through their paces by cutting through them:

As you can see, these aren’t your typical bands. They’re tenacious.

Curbs will have little chance of damaging the wheels if a random guy with a Swiss army knife couldn’t.

Spend a few bucks now so that you don’t have to spend a lot of bucks later.

>> You can read the in-depth review of this product here

Final Thoughts: How to Fix Curb Rash on Tesla Model 3

As stated earlier in the article, getting a curb rash is inevitable. But fortunately, fixing it is absolutely a breeze.

You can buy a new wheel or have it repaired by a professional, but I don’t recommend it. Going the DIY approach is the most sensible option here.

If you carefully follow the instructions I presented, your wheel will appear brand-new in no time. A few dollars worth of supplies will suffice.

In the end, I’d encourage you to take proactive measures. Invest in some nice rim protectors so that you never have to deal with this problem again.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

Keep Reading