So, you’re ready to start your Tesla Model 3 customization journey? Before spending your hard-earned money, I think it’s a good idea to learn about some mistakes that could damage your beautiful car or decrease its resale value.
Most people choose Tesla vehicles because they’re the top option in the electric car market, and they can modify the EV on a budget.
However, customizing your Model 3 with cheap mods and/or without being educated about the process will have a negative impact on the car’s efficiency.
I’m sure you agree. Otherwise, why would you end up on this page? Thanks for stopping by, and here is what we’ll be talking about in this Tesla article.
Tesla Model 3 Customization Topics
How can you improve your car’s appearance? What does it take to customize your interior? Can you get that perfect stance?
Vinyl wraps, body kits, carbon fiber, aftermarket wheels, and Model 3 lowering options.
I’ll cover all that, and the most common mistakes I’ve come across online or talking to other Tesla owners at car meets. It should help you make the right choices. So, let’s get into it.
Customizing the exterior of your Tesla Model 3 is exciting. That’s where most people start. However, it can also be disappointing if not done properly. Let’s explore some popular ways to enhance the looks of your vehicle and how to avoid making costly mistakes.
Once you’re done here, check out my Best Tesla Model 3 Mods round-up.
With the lack of color options offered by the manufacturer, I assume you’ve thought about having your Model 3 painted. A high-quality paint job can give your car a head-turning look, but the result can also be quite the opposite.
Do your research and choose a reputable paint shop with positive feedback. Look at online reviews and ask other Tesla owners for recommendations.
Stay away from shops that offer cheap deals, even if you’re on a tight budget. They probably use low-quality products, and the paint will fade or peel in a few years.
Vinyl wraps are an affordable alternative to paint jobs. They come in different colors as well as gloss and matte finishes. You can apply a wrap partially or to the entire car, switching the color of your Model 3 without committing to a permanent change.
While DIY wrapping at home is possible, it’s not a piece of cake. I would recommend getting the vinyl wrap done by pros who also have experience with Tesla vehicles.
Unless you’ve done wrapping before, go with professionals. If the vinyl wrap is not done properly, bubbles and wrinkles will appear soon.
A variety of front lips, side skirts, trunk spoilers, and rear diffusers for the Tesla Model 3 are now available on the market. You can buy and install those as individual mods or a complete body kit, depending on how much you want to spend.
Adding a front lip or a rear spoiler won’t impact the range and performance of your Tesla, but it won’t break the bank either. Most are imported from China, which doesn’t make them poor-quality products, but some websites promote them as premiums.
In order to improve performance, you need a full-body kit, but not from eBay or AliExpress. The only thing those plastic body kits will give you is a headache.
High-quality Model 3 body kits are manufactured by well-known brands in the car tuning scene. Made from carbon fiber, these will improve the aerodynamics of your ride and will often include a hood/trunk to reduce weight.
Check the prices on different websites when shopping for individual mods. If you want a full-body kit, first make sure it won’t void your Tesla warranty, and then have it installed at a reputable shop.
LED lighting upgrades are a popular choice for Tesla Model 3 owners. You can find everything from headlights and taillights to turn signals and trunk LED stripes.
Those mods are sold individually or as a bundle and can be very effective when personalizing the looks of your vehicle. However, as with most aftermarket products for any Tesla Model, there are a lot of poor-quality items.
Saving money here might look like a good idea, but choosing the wrong bulbs can lead to poor visibility and safety issues. Many lighting mods are illegal in the US.
As mentioned in previous customization articles, Tesla left a lot of room for improvement inside their cars. Of course, that led to a huge variety of aftermarket accessories. You can spend a lot personalizing your interior and make many costly mistakes.
Carbon fiber is the most common material used for Tesla interior enhancement and is available in matte, forged, or gloss finish. Dashboard, center console, armrest, door inserts, steering wheel, you can add subtle carbon fiber accents all over the place.
I discuss the topic in-depth in my Best Tesla Carbon Fiber Mods article, but here is the most important. Real carbon fiber is a lot more expensive than imitations, but it’s worth it. The fake stuff looks cheap and fades quickly.
Don’t be tempted by the low cost of imitations. Yes, you can buy more items, but you won’t enjoy the look and will probably buy real carbon fiber after that. Bet on quality, not quantity.
Car guys have been customizing the upholstery of their vehicles for decades. To be honest, the seats are what I like the least about my Tesla Model 3. There is nothing stylish about them.
The popular Tesla seat covers you see everywhere won’t do much about it; these are just for protection. There are also some cheap so-called custom interiors offered on shady websites. Those will do nothing but ruin your ride.
Getting custom upholstery is one of the most expensive upgrades you can do on any car model. Reputable shops will charge you a big buck for it, so keep that in mind if you come across a “great deal” online. Here are some examples of custom interiors done right.
If you don’t have a five-figure budget for custom upholstery, you’re better with your factory Model 3 seats. Spend your money on something else.
Some say they are happy with the standard audio system that comes with the rear-wheel drive Tesla Model 3. In a recent Torque News article, Jeremy Johnson even refers to it as a cinema on wheels.
If you’re an audiophile like myself, you could agree with his statement. But if it was made for the premium system that comes in Long Range and Performance models.
Anyway, audio upgrade options are available for almost any Tesla model—additional speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, etc. Yet again, most of it is no good.
To avoid disappointments, choose audio upgrades that are designed for Model 3. Compatibility and fitment are as important as sound quality.
Wheels & Tires
A set of nice rims is the one thing that can have the biggest impact on your car’s appearance. Combining it with a good suspension setup makes your Tesla Model 3 look and feel like a completely different vehicle. More on that later. Now, let’s talk wheels.
With so many different designs coming from a variety of manufacturers, finding new wheels for your Tesla seems easy. But there are some factors to consider. Bolt pattern, center bore, offset, etc., are crucial for your Model 3 rims fitment.
Choosing wheels made of durable material is as important, especially if you have to navigate through potholes. High-quality Model 3 rims will enhance performance and even positively impact the range of your Tesla.
To fully enjoy your new Tesla wheels, ensure proper fitment, go for lightweight material, and get an alignment after you install the rims.
Sometimes, you can buy high-quality wheels with great style and perfect fitment, but they still don’t look as you imagined. It happens a lot, and the reason is called offset. That’s the distance between the wheel centerline and the mounting point.
Spacers are the solution when you want to play with the offset in order to make your wheel sit a bit more inward or outward. To get familiar with the different spacer types and how to choose the right ones, check out my Model 3 wheel spacers guide.
To avoid fitment issues and extra expenses, get wheel spacers designed for Tesla Model 3. Figure out the exact thickness you need, and have them installed by a pro.
A set of new tires will always impact your overall driving experience. Top-quality rubber improves ride quality, handling, and braking power. I think you got the point. Don’t buy cheap tires for your Tesla Model 3; you’ll regret it.
But it’s not all about the quality. You need to match the tire model with the wheel specs. Not just the diameter but also the width, speed, and load ratings. To learn more on how to select the right tires, read this guide.
Be sure the new tire you have your eyes on matches your wheel specification. Never save money on tires (except on promos). Good rubber keeps you safe on the road.
This is where you can take your Tesla Model 3 stance and corner tackling to the next level. Just approach suspension upgrades with caution. Uninformed decisions may cost you both money and problems with your vehicle.
Lowering springs are for those looking to lower the ride height and get rid of the fender gap of their Tesla Model 3. Relatively inexpensive and easy to install, this customization option is the most popular among Tesla owners.
In general, if you go with one of the few manufacturers producing suspension upgrades for ages, you have nothing to worry about. I cover each one in my Tesla Model 3 lowering spring recommendations to help you with your choice.
Don’t try to save money here. Good lowering springs are not much more expensive and won’t cause any headaches.
Coilovers are a more advanced suspension modification. A good kit will bring a long list of benefits for your vehicle. You can adjust the ride height and quality or change how your car behaves if you want to hit the track.
Matt Barnes says the combination of coilovers and rear camber arms upgrade provided the adjustability and flexibility he wanted. That’s his Performance M3.
Keep in mind that when installing coilovers, you’ll have to change other suspension components, which can cause more issues when compared to lowering springs. Spending on a high-quality kit is crucial, and these are not cheap.
If appearance is your priority, you don’t need coilovers. If you want a better performance for your Tesla without any problems, prepare a high budget.
Offering improved handling without sacrificing ride comfort, adjustable shocks can be a good compromise between lowering springs and coilover kits. You can set the shocks according to your daily driving needs or combine them with sway bars for track usage.
To simplify, a nice set of adjustable shocks can fundamentally improve the performance of your vehicle. Your car will communicate better with the road regardless of the model: rear or all-wheel drive.
While there are many products marketed as such, there are not too many adjustable shocks designed for Tesla cars. If that’s what you want, choose wisely.
Model 3 Customization FAQ
I’ve covered a lot, but from my experience of writing automotive customization content for a decade, there are always more questions. So, let me answer a few more.
What can you customize on a Tesla Model 3?
Being the most popular electric car, everything on the Model 3 is customizable.
From a vinyl wrap and glass tinting to chrome delete and carbon fiber, plenty of mods are available for the exterior. If you don’t want to spend on new rims, get some cool wheel covers. Powder coating is a good option when combined with painted brake calipers.
Real gloss carbon fiber is the most stylish replacement for your interior wood trim, but vinyl wrapping will work too. There are also a variety of custom steering wheels and ambient light kits. I think the article covered it all in terms of performance.
Does Tesla offer customization?
Yes, as mentioned on Tesla’s website, you can get an over-the-air upgrade. However, these are strictly technology-focused features, aiming to improve functionality rather than looks and performance.