Nikola Pro DIY Chrome Delete for Model 3
Tesla, for whatever reason, decided shiny chrome window trim and badging was appropriate for the Model 3. In my humble opinion, this choice doesn’t seem to belong on the sporty and high-tech nature of this car.
I suppose Tesla themselves eventually felt the same way, as they blacked out everything from the factory for 2021+ Model 3s. This gives off a much sleeker and sportier appearance. All Model Ys are blacked out as well.
So to avoid looking like you are whipping your granny’s old Caddy from back in the day, we can address this relatively easily with a “chrome-delete” kit.
Nothing is being physically deleted off the car, it's simply vinyl wrap for the chrome spots. There’s multiple ways to go about this and one we are here to talk about is the DIY kit from Nikola Pro.
Nikola Pro Chrome Delete Kit
This kit includes professional grade 3M vinyl that is pre-cut to go on top of all that glorious chrome. DIY is pretty straight forward even for someone who doesn’t have prior experience in this type of work.
Nikola Pro provides easy to follow step-by-step YouTube videos for this. Don’t get me wrong, this will take you some time to apply, so set aside an afternoon and be patient with it.
In the kit, you will find two full vinyl wraps and a heat gun to ensure easy installation and some margin for error.
You can choose glossy or matte kits. I personally went with matte black for a stealthy look.
Full kit means full coverage, so that’s emblems, mirrors, side markers, and door handles too. I enjoy that the emblem vinyls slightly outlines the underlying chrome, this adds a touch of class and makes for an easier application.
I decided to order their door handle kit separately, which outlines the outer edge of the chrome for continuity with the emblems. The full kit's door handle vinyls wraps around the entire handle, making it difficult to apply properly.
This kit will get you 98% of the way there for that blacked out look. The remaining 2% falls short from the nature of pre-cut vinyl. There will be visible breaks if you look close enough, there’s just no way around this.
More notably on the edges and ends is where things aren’t that pretty. Of course, YMMV with your experience in applying vinyl and doing delicate tasks with your hands…
The lengthy window trim sections are relatively easy and smooth to install, the side mirrors are where things can get tricky. There’s about 10 separate pre-cut pieces of vinyl just for one side of the mirror. The amount of space you have to work with is limited. It’s actually quite genius Nikola Pro figured out how to cut all these pieces into a DIY friendly install.
Unfortunately the side markers made me tap out. I went through both sets provided in the kit and couldn’t get it to adhere properly. I do have the option to contact Nikola Pro to purchase individual replacement pieces, but it just didn’t bother me enough to do all of that.
I have numerously taken this car with the chrome delete kit through a variety of car washes. The vinyl is holding up very well, no issues here.
If you’re the perfectionist and detail-oriented type, skip this DIY kit and hand the job over to a professional wrap shop. The line breaks and choppy edges will bug you out. Given the fact this kit will run you $139 vs $500+ from a reputable shop, it finds a home in the marketplace for people who doesn't mind a little DIY action.
Snapped a picture of my car next to a clean E30 BMW with chrome window trim. The chrome actually suits that car, not the Model 3.