Any suggestions on how to repair this melted interior? (2018 RWD LR 85k miles)

The material has started to melt at certain spots that have frequent contact. I’ve had the car for five years and would like to keep it for another five ideally. Any suggestions would be welcome!


I think you may be caustic. Probably want to get that checked out.


Some people's sweat ph level is higher or lower than normal and can corrode things. I know someone who's skin/sweat/oils would tarnish metal and break down leather. Maybe this Tesla owner does have this type of issue.


My mom’s ex husband’s skin eats through titanium. He can’t have dental implants and has to have special glasses frames that his skin still eats through. He has to get them replaced every couple years because they’re almost eaten through in that amount of time.


That's when they realised the ex husband was a Xenomorph.


Well it was about that time I realized this husband was about eight stories tall and was a crustacean from the plethazoic era


I said "what do you want from us, monster?!" And do you know what he said?


“I need about tree fiddy”


If I had a dime for every time I used that excuse for leveling a city…..


Maybe a robot leaking battery acid?




“She” is mentally handicapped.




Probably just Baptist


They’re the same picture


what a terrible thing to say


She has mental issues and people like you who are too afraid to say anything is how we end up with kids sacrificed because god told the parent to rid them of their evil.


bro people also just say that shit as a joke. even if it was serious its just a belief issue not a mental health issue. let people live their lives. touch grass


If he's serious that "she" was almost convinced a child was evil and had a destructive aura because of some wear on a chair, that's a problem.


Belief issues lead to [a mother executing her children and ex](https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/04/01/lori-vallow-daybell-idaho-mom-murder-trial-begins/11563454002/). If someone believes a child has 'destructive aura', I'd be concerned for what they might do about it.


lmfao. honestly touch grass


I think killing kids for religious reasons is no bueno. Excusing it doesn't sound reasonable.


It's great how many excuses we can come up for bad quality for Tesla. Where's every other manufacturer doesn't have the issue even if you skin is acid


This is not true… I have seen this deterioration in other car manufacturers. (Lexus’s) It’s true it’s usually cause by excessive oils in the skin or hair or by routinely applying a cream or hair product. The issue has more to due with the type “leather” (which is fake and of vegan origin) being used. Most like the cream is applied just before getting in (after shower) and leaving the car (after driving) which is why the elbow rest and door hold are the most damaged (be interesting to see the steering wheel assuming they use FSD correctly This damage is caused by car companies trying to reduce the carbon foot print and people maintaining their appearance. (nothing wrong with that) This a similar problem that cars have with mice chewing on wires in cars from the mid 90’s onward The insulation is plant based as opposed to mostly plastic.


Salt content is probably more critical here. You would be suppressed at what chloride ion can do even under neutral conditions. I'm a chemist and we had a recent issue at work that was related to stanlesssteel corrosion caused by unexpectedly high chloride content.


And something like cystic fibrosis can make you have salty skin


Wow, learned something today!


It’s got to be hair products….


Interesting. When I was in the military, there were times when I'd accidentally put on someone else's hat. Within an hour, my forehead would break out in a rash like crazy. I wonder if it's something similar.


Yeah but just now after 5 years of owning it?


How is this possible?


I think certain lotions and sunscreens deteriorate the material used on the seats.


Happens to real leather too, a friend wrecked a Porsche seat that way. Super expensive.


Yep my parents Porsche in Vegas lots of sunscreen Also destroyed a seat Also stupid expensive


And hair product too. Happened on my driver headrest


Overtime even just normal oils from a human can have a similar effect and sun exposure can speed up the process. I bet OP never cleaned any of the vegan leather seats or handles


“Vegan leather” aka plastic/vinyl 🙄


I bought a used Volvo that had seats like this. They were doctored up to look decent at the time of the sale but deteriorated rapidly after that. I just lived with it as the repair cost wasn’t worth it.


Or just work clothes/lab coat with strong acid or strong base residue leftover which melted or damaged the plastic.


Spot on. The automotive interior’s toughest test to pass is putting a combination of Bug Spray, Sunscreen, and Lotion on the material. Pretty much nothing scores better than a 2 out of 5. Sometimes a 3 but it’s rare


Can confirm it is 100% not lotion or hair products. I use hair products everyday. Headrest is prefect. Items I touch are slowly melting especially the steering wheel. No lotion for me. No hand sanitizer. Just normal soap. It’s also happening on my armrest where my forearm rests.


Tanning oil? Sulfuric acid topical cream?


Acid skin.


wtf.... are you the human torch? Either get a seat cover or buy a new seat. Can't really repair that. Maybe go to an upholstery shop and ask them.


Yep, buy a passenger side seat and swap out a skin.


For clarity OP, he means your skin. Take your skin off and put on a different one because your current one dissolves things that touch it


Yeah, that's not going to work. The airbag has special sewing so it can pop out the side of the cover. If you swapped covers, the airbag will not deploy properly.


This looks like a passanger seat to me.


The Human Torch was denied a bank loan


The arsonist has oddly shaped feet!


One hell of a fart.


Please share the details of your lotion/sun screen/whatever you are putting on your hands and body.


I don’t wear much sunscreen or lotion at all, 27M. Lived in the Florida Panhandle when this started to happen


Do you work in a factory or somewhere you might get oils on you? Something that gets on your hair and skin is doing this, and the high heat of Florida isn't helping. There is a possibility it is just your natural skin oils tho.


I fly helicopters with a flame retardant flight suit so I’m thinking that could potentially have something to do with it


That could very well have something to do with it but Is somewhat unlikely. Do you do anything with the fuel or the synthetic oil.


That could very well have something to do with it but Is somewhat unlikely. Do you do anything with the fuel or the synthetic oil.


Hahah I drive a half hour to work in a flight suit and no melting, so I’d wager that’s not it.


What do you do for work? I worked with paints and solvents for a summer and my interior looks just like this.


Do you go the beach alot? Possible salt water over the years


Never thought I would ask a stranger this - what body wash/soap do you use? Or maybe this has nothing to do with it.


Tint your windows. The sun does a metric ton of damage and 99% uv protection will help prevent that from happening again once it is repaired.


That’s not sun damage


It looks like a reflection of light off a large window that cooked spots in the interior to me.


They wear gel paint stripper and acetone


Keeps the mosquitos away


Any chance you are using mosquito repellant? The DEET in it will melt plastic. Hair treatments (like conditioners or sprays) absolutely can damage vinyl.


Immediately what it looked like to me, especially with the door arm rest. Deet will dissolve a ton of petroleum based products.


You are right. DEET is not safe around many plastics. OTOH, repellents based on Picaradin are safe for plastics and synthetics.


Nah maybe only once or twice a year


Well this can’t be normal… my 2018 LR RWD interior looks brand new.


Same. I just have a few folds in the seat from the way I sit but absolutely nothing this bad.




I’m 2020 but at 140k miles so hard to see many people getting as much use as mine. Interior has zero blemishes like OP’s


Mines 2018 w 211k and looks nothing like this


I believe that. These pictures look like it’s been sitting in the sun for 30 years slowly melting away lmfao


I think has a lot more to do with what rubs off your skin onto the fake leather


Crazy how it has such a harsh effect on it though. Like damn, straight melting off!


You aren’t the Human Torch.


God i guess the steering wheel is nothing but steel left 🤣🤣


2018 would have real leather on the wheel


And real wood trim 🙃✔️ but curious if he also ripped leather


Same thing happened to my model 3 2021 , already had to get a new steering wheel and headrest . Covered under warranty


Mine has the same issue and was rejected by warranty. :/


2018 isn't going to be under warranty anymore. Just for battery.


dude do you work at a nuclear power plant, you mutant?


Only part time


I’ve never seen anything like this. I have a 2018 out here in California, it’s outside in the middle of summer and I have nothing like this.


buy a replacement. CONSOLE, ARMREST, ASY. 1582886-00-B https://ingenext.ca/products/tesla-model-3-console-armrest-1582886-00-b


Here is the answer that is buried in the comments. I up voted you to try to bring it up to the top. Also another cheaper route is looking for a junk yard car that has been wrecked and takes its pieces you need. In the other pictures you can see he needs a headrest and the interior of the entire door also.


Wow, might be better off replacing. And getting yourself tested.


Uhhh that's odd


Do you get a lot of compliments saying you are hot?


#FLAME ON! Just replace the seat cover it’s a few hundred.


Can you post a photo of the back of your head? Just curious


Everyone’s being a dick but I had issues with my interior as well. Specifically the door handle area which is where I would lean my leg while driving and that deteriorated to your level around 45k miles. I didn’t have issues in the other spots. I think about the only thing you can do is try not resting in those spots which is not helpful advice unfortunately


No more Taco Bell for you. I'd find an upholstery shop. You can get the seat covers from Tesla. 1ST ROW SEAT CUSHION TRIM - LEFT HAND DRIVE - LEFT HAND - PUR BLACK 1112638-91-E 1ST ROW SEAT CUSHION TRIM - RIGHT HAND - BLACK 1920674-01-A There are several part numbers in the catalog. I'd go to [epc.tesla.com](https://epc.tesla.com) and enter your exact VIN to get the correct part number. The other option is a junkyard seat from a wrecked car.


Wow, what happened there? The only way to recover would be to re-upholster it. Not sure whether this or a new seat will cost you less.


How hot does it get around your area?


Lived in the Florida Panhandle when this first started happening so mid 90’s


What the fuck are you spraying on your skin? I've had women leave makeup in my car but nothing that you can't just wipe off.


Maybe say out loud, “flame off!” That might do the trick. 🤷🏼


If the pleather is exposed to sunscreen or moisturizer once, and then it is absorbed and baked-in a hot car, the breakdown of plastic material begins, and never stops. This has nothing to do with UV, and more of like-chemicals causing a breakdown of molecules in the plastics/vinyl. I am a heavy SPF user and can atest to seeing a breakdown of plastic/vinyl steering wheels and door handles that become forever tacky. Varnished hard wood indoor bartops in restaurants having gummy / sticky finishes (over time) that will never come clean and non-sticky, no matter what cleanser is used. The only way to stop the sticky tacky finish is to sand, clean and refinish it. Oops.


This is crazy! What hair gel or shampoo do you use to cause that.


Soul Glo checking in


What kind of fixes are you expecting? The only true solution is to reupholster.


This type of damage is actually impressive. At this point I wouldn't look to repair. Get seat covers. Repairing doesn't resolve the issue and it might happen again. Cheaper seat covers is the way to go. Then you can at least get more in a few years. Then when you are ready to sell or give the car to someone as a gift repair the seats. But in the meantime leave them damage and cover it up.






Could be a chemical reaction from a cleaner used multiple times breaking down the vinyl. Needs to be replaced before chip pieces go all over.


If that's on a seat. Those people need to have their junk checked. Eating though stuff like acid


I would search online the local pull and pay locations to see if they have any compatible cars you could swap those parts out with.


Damn, what did you do hold a magnifying glass to it?


Interesting. I live in Arizona same car 100K miles. interior still looks brand new (I do clean the car regularly and all windows are tinted). Can’t tell from photo if that’s a head rest or, more likely, seat, but the placement of the “melt” seems to be towards the side/edge, not towards the middle where you rest your head or sit which is where the bulk of contact would be. Do you have any idea what caused it or when you noticed it? Looks like someone may have placed a VERY HOT item against it. Tesla service center should be able to help you buy/replace a new headrest or seat bottom…but Just buying seat covers is the most economical answer.


quote Vegan Leather. unquote


Bro you have to stop thinking too much, that head rest can't take it anymore.


Lol at everyone blaming OP and not Tesla’s shitty quality.


Hilarious that you are getting downvoted 😂 They are known for their shitty quality. That’s is exactly why I transitioned from wanting a Tesla to sticking with my Volvo.


Actually I think they’re more known for being astroturfed to hell by people saying they have bad quality. Many reliable publications have found their [reliability and quality to be excellent](https://insideevs.com/news/667690/tesla-model-3-reliability-adac-index-2022/), maybe with the exception of early paint jobs.


Um… that’s because this is clearly not normal and clearly has something to do with a weird interaction with something OP is using. The sun isn’t specifically targeting every place that OPs skin makes contact 😂


Right? The absolute hoops people are jumping through to blame OP for this! It’s just nuts. Most of us are grown ass people who have had a variety of vehicles over the years, and have never experienced anything remotely like this. Tesla doesn’t get a pass for using a shitty material that fails under completely normal and expected use.


How the heck?!? That’s insane


Do you happen to work at a nuclear plant?


If you don't want to go the Replacement Parts route, check and see if you have any local automotive upholstery shops, as they can usually replace/repair specific patches




People you need to keep those seats free of oils and sweat. I just used chemical free baby wipes that were basically just water on a wipe and kept my seats mint


Do you live on the Sun?!


Replace the parts brother. Quick eBay search.


My headrest did that twice during warranty but rest of car is fine


What the fuck? Are you an abnormally large bear-man driving around naked while sweating profusely?


6’0” half-Italian, and yeah approximately 30% of the time


Those are some sweaty meatballs


Replace now, or cover with car seat covers and replace later


I've had the car the same amount of time and everything looks pretty much new, 115k miles. Whatever products you use on your hair is not compatible with the fake leather. It gets on your hands too. Only solution is to replace all those parts and find something else to use in your hair.


Are you the Swamp Thing, serious question


Get seat covers from Teslarati


You must be too hot!


the problem is that you’re some kind of superhero and have acid sweat as a superpower. Try switching it out for flying. That’s a much more fun super power to have I think.


Buy new seat/armrest from eBay/salvaged and put covers on so this doesn't happen again. The amount of work it would take to make that damage look even reasonably decent wouldn't pencil, and the finished product would likely be unsatisfactory.


Stop cumming in your Tesla


I’ve seen this in other “vegan leather” cars. I’m not a fan. Why not just use real cow hide? Hundreds of millions of cows get killed every year for beef. Why not use the rest of the cow? Vegan leather is a very “woke” thing from a billionaire guy who isn’t very woke.


Initially they used vegan leather to bring cost down and make cleaning easy. It was never about woke leather


Plastic why polish a turd it’s plastic


2018 M3 LR RWD 70k miles here, the interior looks brand new.


I live in FL too (Miami) and this has nothing to do with the heat lol. This is either a manufacturing fault, or straight up you sweat acid lmao.


Hell no. They need to use real leather….


The chance of Tesla switching back to real leather is 0%.


Damn 3 downvotes for real leather. But why?


I’m 110% for real leather. Real leather in my Volvos were the bomb. Aeration would be nice, too.


That would be a HUGE issue for the vegan / ETA crowd. Nothing like quality leather though


The crowd of people who like leather is a lot bigger than the vegan crowd; pleather is almost always a cost cutting and consistency thing. That said I'm not opposed to cheaper cars, but I think the idea this was done for moral reasons is just marketing


It was 100% done for cost cutting and manufacturing efficiency, which is why there’s a 0% chance of them switching to real leather.


Unlike all the bros placing blame on you; this seems like a defect in the manufacturing process. Check your warranty should be covered. This happens so often with teslas the joke is what lotion do you use to the point the bros actually believe it’s peoples grooming habits and not the car. If the warranty isn’t still in effect; get a seat cover. Not worth the cost of replacement.


Could be this case https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasticizer


Honestly I’d just get a leather interior put in aftermarket. Surprisingly inexpensive, like 2k for something top of the line installed. I think they call it katskin or something. I personally hate the fake leather feeling in mine so I’ve been eyeing it up for my flawless white interior.


Do you vape?


Never in my life


I’d replace the whole thing with real leather. Vinyl blows


Everyone here says it’s oils and etc. It’s not. I live in Florida as well, it happened to my vehicle too. It’s the combination of heat and constant contact. The interior for this vehicle is absolute crap. OP, what I did was bought a new headrest for like $60 and for the console I swapped out my console but you can buy the lid for around $150, then I put a cover on it. Some of these interiors are inferiorly made. My previous car had leather and I had it for 6 years and it never wasted away like this.


If it’s simply from heat then why are tons of people from Florida and Arizona and Southern California reporting that their interiors are fine? It doesn’t add up.


What sweaty ass human was sitting there.


It's vegan...just rub a steak on it.


Do you find that dogs like to lick your skin more than other peoples? You may have too much salt in your sweat which can be a serious medical issue or just that you are dehydrated. This could cause such damage.


Actually yes very much so!


Get... a better car 🫡


I feel like thr car caught on fire and you're trolling, but if this really is the extent of the damage then it's really not too bad. new head rest & new arm rest should be easy to install, and that handle shouldn't be too difficult to swap out either. I'd definitely recommend purchasing the parts directly through Tesla, maybe even consider paying them for the labor as well if you're not super nechanically inclined. For all the shit, they really are pretty fair with the labor rates, if I had to put a number on it, I'd guess they charge 1.5 hours labor for all this and the parts are cheapest through them as well in my experience, unless you can find suitable used parts elsewhere.


Has nothing to do with BMW, even though I would prefer them. A ford has a nicer interior than a Tesla. They do not handle well. I could go on an on but even the cheapest Hyundai interior is better than that.


You must be one greasy human


You should see an endocrinologist, if you are causing a car to melt something is not right. I have never seen this happen even on entry level cars.


Happens ALL the time to the headrests. You even own a Tesla?


This is from oil, hair products, or a cleaner that’s too strong. In the future wipe down surfaces after passengers with something like this https://www.target.com/p/armor-all-50ct-cleaning-wipes-automotive-interior-cleaner/-/A-13507475


Climate change? Lol


Need to find a good interior car guy. Won’t be cheap…


Can you teach me the Rasengan?


You can’t fool me, Johnny Storm…


Me after chipotle


Definitely something with your sweat or skincare/hair care products you use since those are all skin contact points. If it was an issue with the material you would see the issue throughout the car.


That Jheri Curl is some really caustic stuff!


Do you have cabin heat protection on by chance? I wonder if the Florida heat has contributed to this


Stop wearing acetone as a lotion.


She’s totaled buddy.


Tint your windows


Needed to leave cabin heat protection on. Lol jk I don’t know anyone that uses that.


Lets see your kitchen next


Brother, what are you.






Wear a lot of deet bug spray?


The only way to truly fix this is strip it and start fresh brand new interior


Wtf are you doing in your car man


Wrong brand of soul glow, and tosses do rag on seat. Get plastic covers or switch to aqua net


Yea, don't buy Tesla


Its from hand sanitizer.


Pay $8 for Twitter Blue.


Throw the whole car out.


I have seen this deterioration in other car manufacturers. (Lexus’s) It’s true it’s usually cause by excessive oils in the skin or hair or by routinely applying a cream or hair product. The issue has more to due with the type “leather” (which is fake and of vegan origin) being used. Most likely the cream is applied just before getting in (after shower) and leaving the car (after driving) which is why the elbow rest and door hold are the most damaged (be interesting to see the steering wheel assuming they use FSD correctly (No offense OP) This damage is caused by car companies trying to reduce the carbon foot print and people maintaining their appearance. (nothing wrong with that) This a similar problem that cars have with mice chewing on wires in cars from the mid 90’s onward The insulation is plant based as opposed to mostly plastic.


Great quality control lol


It's the sun/heat and cheap ass material. Tesla and BMW must buy from the same place because I have a BMW center console that looks very similar. Gets hot as hell where I live


That’s what that vegan leather shit gets ya. I have a car that’s 20 years old and the leather inside is in pretty damn good condition still