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Tesla’s Cybertruck prototype was impossible to ignore. This electric pickup featured a futuristic, angular design. Dramatically, Tesla chose to leave its stainless steel exterior unpainted. Fans asked why more cars aren’t offered with the same cool, bare metal look. But early Cybertruck buyers are finding the reason may be that paint actually does a lot to protect the metal body of your car.

One Cybertruck owner snapped a photo of the “Cleaning” page of the Owner’s Manual in the truck’s infotainment system and uploaded it to Twitter. Tesla’s warning shocked some folks. Here’s what it said:

“To prevent damage to the exterior, immediately remove corrosive substances (such as grease, oil, bird droppings, tree resin, dead insects, tar spots, road salt, industrial fallout, etc.). Do not wait until Cybertruck is due for complete wash. If necessary, use denatured alcohol to remove tar spots and stubborn grease stains, then immediately wash the area with water and a mild, non-detergent soap to remove the alcohol.”

Tesla Cybertruck owner’s manual

Tesla’s refusal to refer to its vehicle as “the Cybertruck,” and instead opting for just “Cybertruck,” is only the second most concerning aspect of this manual excerpt.

Stainless steel exposed to certain substances can corrode–and the Cybertruck is no different. So if you go for a drive in the summer and bugs splatter across the solid stainless “grille” of your Cybertruck, you’ll want to scrape them off immediately. And if you park your Cybertruck outdoors, you may need to scrub the tree sap and bird poop off daily during all summer.

In the winter, your Cybertruck will be exposed to road salt during every drive. And Tesla specifies that you’ll have to wash that off immediately too. Tar and grease from the road could be a year round problem. And Tesla adds that you may need a bottle of denatured alcohol to get those last two removed.

Overhead view of a Tesla Cybertruck parked in the desert.
Tesla Cybertruck | Tesla

The wording of this Owner’s Manual makes it sound like protecting your Cybertruck from corrosion will be a full time job. Does Tesla really expect you to remove all of the listed substances immediately? Does that mean you need to check and clean your Cybertruck when you arrive at work, then again when you arrive home?

Tesla even says that your best efforts may not be enough, warning: “It is normal for the stainless steel exterior to mature over time, resulting in minor changes to the reflective properties and color of the metal.”

I have so many questions. But first, here is the original post.

How fast will the Cybertruck truly corrode? Should you even bother getting a Cybertruck if you plan to park it outside? Are we going to see owners having their Cybertrucks painted because caring for the stainless steel is too much of a pain? Or will we see used Cybertrucks painted because the corrosion is such an eye sore?

We may have to wait for early Cybertruck owners to answer these questions based on their experience. But the Cybertruck is looking less appealing for camping or most any outdoor activity. And it gets worse.

The stainless steel body panels have no translucent “clear coat” paint. And while the Cybertruck’s steel panels are especially strong, there’s nothing to protect them from scratches. So if you take the truck off-roading and drag a tree branch down the side, you’re not scratching paint. You’re scratching the metal itself.

You may be able to buff scratches out of the paint of a normal truck. But with the Cybertruck that repair will require “refinishing” the steel. And I can’t imagine that will be cheap.

Cybertruck delicate.

Next, learn how Tesla employees were using vehicle cameras to spy on customers’ “intimate” lives, or see what makes the Cybertruck so difficult to manufacture in the video below: