Inconsistent panel gap of Tesla is not a big deal

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The obsession regarding the panel gaps is making Tesla fans crazy. But do the panel gaps of your Tesla really matter? Even if it matters, what specifically can you do about it?

Well, we are here to find out everything you need to know regarding the Panel gaps of all Tesla Models.

Elon Musk has already mentioned that with the progression, this issue will be fixed. It is almost the end of the year. How far and fair did Tesla come with the panel gap issues?

Tesla Panel Gaps

What are Panel gaps?

In a simple sentence, panel gaps are those blank spaces between the panels of a car.

If you have a car, you surely are familiar with panel gaps, and if you do not have one, you must have noticed such gaps.

Without these blank spaces, the frame of a car would come as a single piece, which is pretty much unimaginable.

panel gaps

Why Panel gap inspection is important?

Well, most popular car brands tend to come with uniform panel gaps. But when it comes to Tesla, inconsistencies are more prevalent.

That is when people tend to ask why inspecting the panel gaps of a car is important.

Well, here are some of the primary reasons why inspections of panel gaps are important when buying a car-

  • First of all, the incongruity that you see on the panel gaps is going to enhance with the progression of time.
  • Any incongruity of panel gaps on the front end of the car can really force you to make expensive repairs in the longer run.
  • The engine compartment can show signs of vulnerabilities if water and fluid can get through these panel gaps.

For the first-hand experience, panel gaps of your Tesla might not seem like an issue. But in the longer run, who knows what is waiting for you to face?

Do Panel Gaps matter in Tesla?

If it was not a matter, you would not have come here to read this article. Of course, the panel gaps of every Tesla matter, but they are avoidable as well.

Since the startup to this position, Tesla surely has shown us something that was once completely unimaginable. 

But to gain sustainability and retain the reputation, quality is what matters most.

So, should you buy a Tesla that has an inconsistent Panel Gap? Well, as long as you are getting what you expect to get from Tesla, you should obviously get one.

Elon Musk’s statement about the Panel gap

In one Conversation, Elon has mentioned that right now the panel Gap is surely an issue.

At the same time, he also mentioned that Panel Gaps will get better with the enlargement of castings.

Probably the precision of the workforce is what caused Tesla to face such issues.

How to inspect the panel gaps of your Tesla?

Typically, a naked eye should be okay to measure the panel gaps of a Tesla.

Giving a good look at the linings should give you a perception of the gaps between the panels.

At the same time, you may also find a tool like Sandy Munro did in one of his videos to measure the gaps of your Tesla.

Model 3 seems to expose more noticeable gaps than the rest of the models.

All the following sections are going to talk about the panel gaps you might notice on different Tesla models.

Read more: Tesla Model 3/Model Y center console wrap

Tesla Model 3 panel gaps


Panel gap

Driving side


Passenger side




Although Tesla does not specify any information regarding the panel gaps, the panel gaps of Model 3 are more visible than all other models.

The Model 3 seems to show 3mm inconsistencies between the compartments.

On the driving side of Model 3, the panel gap is around 5mm, whereas on the passenger side the panel gap of model 3 is around 2mm.

That means you are getting 2mm incongruity between these two panels.

Tesla Model S panel gaps


Panel gaps

Driving side


Passenger side




We have not measured the panel gaps of Model S but the gaps are not uniform for sure.

The passenger side seems to be +1mm off than the driving side.

The panel gap on the driving side of the Tesla Model S is nearly 4mm, whereas the passenger side might have a gap of around 5mm. 

That means you are getting 1mm of panel gap inconsistency with this model as well.

But this time, the panel gap issue is more fixed than the previous Model 3.

Tesla Model X panel gaps


Panel gap

Driving side


Passenger side




The recent Model X seems to have better congruity with the Panel Gaps.

On both the passenger and driving end of Model X, it seems like balance is well maintained. Even if there is any inconsistency between the two ends, the inconsistency would not be much higher than 0.5mm.

For the naked eye, it feels the inconsistency is pretty much tolerable.

Tesla Model Y panel gaps


Panel  Gap

Driving side


Passenger side



+-0.5 (at max)

Like the Model 3 and Model S, Model Y does not seem to face too many complaints with the Panel gap issues.

Like the Model X, precision is well maintained here as well.

The driving side of the Tesla Model Y tends to come with a panel gap of around 5mm.

On the other hand, the passenger side also seems to have the same panel gaping.

Therefore, the cosmetics of Model Y is ought to please you to a better degree. 

Tesla car

Why does Tesla have problems with panel gaps?

Tesla needs to handle a large number of customers every single day that demands to have a larger and more effective workforce on what Tesla is still working.

To meet the demand, all the workers seem to be in hurry to deliver the item at the appropriate time.

Therefore, Tesla seems to face a lot of issues with the quality, cosmetics, and panel gaps with most of the lineups.

Read more: Screen protector for Tesla model 3

Will tesla fix panel gaps?

Yes, Tesla is working on fixing the issues. And it is believable that the problem will be mitigated if not completely solved in the longer run.

If you look at the recent lineups of Tesla, you would notice that these models are better shaped with the construction.

From the panel gaps to cosmetics to quality, all are improving with these models. 

Therefore, it is believable that such problems will be resolved within a few years from now with the expansion of the workforce of Tesla.

Can you fix panel gap issues?

Yes, it is possible to fix panel gap issues both from Tesla and some other mechanical shops that do such business.

But before you go for such fixing, it is reasonable to keep in mind that such repairing can create some further complications as well. 

At the same time, some panel gap fixing may require you to spend a good amount as the cost.

Unless it is necessary, we, therefore, do not recommend one to go for such repairing. 

It is indeed true that the build quality of Tesla is not up to the mark. But Tesla is now far better than earlier. It is believable that all these issues will be highly resolved within a short period of time from now on.

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