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3 Year/36,000 report, my experience w/ Tesla

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by rjcbox, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    I've been nearly silent on this forum for the past 3 years, after reading the TMC every night for several years prior. Mainly because I've just been enjoying the car so damn much....

    I've read hundreds (?thousands) of posts, obsessed about the details of driving electric, and when I was finally in a good position to get a Model S, I waited, and waited for about a whole year. Why? Because of fear from the forum posts of people complaining about something wrong with their Tesla. By no means would I ever discourage valid complaints, and many were valid indeed. But I believe the problems posted are from a very small minority. After taking a step back to put everything into perspective, I wanted to express the following thoughts for anyone on the fence:

    - while many individual complaints of forum posters are indeed valid, I believe the vast majority of Tesla owners are just enjoying their cars everyday, and posting much less, if at all

    - some negative posts are short sellers or people who don't understand the technology. EVs may not be for everyone

    - you will also see many "first-world" problems posted. My favorite is why there isn't more than 3 Home-link garage openers

    - "range-anxiety" fades with time to the point where it becomes completely normal to just plug in at home & never visit a gas station. My son has spent most of his life seeing that this is actually how a car gets fueled (in your garage) lol

    - road trips take 10% longer, but are 1000% more enjoyable

    - I missed a year of driving a Tesla, due to fear of the unknown, switching to EV. It was an unfounded fear in the end

    - Consumer Reports listed Tesla about the same reliability as BMW and Mercedes. This is amazing considering how long B/M has been in business and CU testing Tesla just a couple years into production. Also considering Tesla already has ~2 Billion miles of Model S/X driving (before Model 3 launch), and considering ~80,000 Model 3's are now on the road, the amount of problems posted here and elsewhere is extremely low (but may seem higher only due to selection-bias)

    - in 3 years/36,000 miles, I've had essentially zero issues with the car. I took it for ONE yearly service during this time (should have taken it for 2 per advised schedule), but no harm. I also took it to service to tighten screws in the armrest and fix a loose-wire sound when rolling up the window

    - you'll use brake pads much much less, and tires a little more

    - your cost to fuel will be about 50% of gas

    - Autopilot reduces significantly the stress of driving. You will feel much more refreshed after a long drive. AP is advertised for highway driving and I love it for that. You know where else I love it? Stop & go traffic. One of my most hated aspects of driving is touching the gas & brake pedal 200 times while in a traffic jam. I could care less now. Accident a couple miles ahead and all traffic stopped? No prob, AP activated and then I play I-spy w/ the kids. Until you experience it, you don't know what you're missing

    - a common analogy I use when someone asks about switching from gas to EV, is comparable to switching from an old flip-phone or blackberry to and iphone. Or from a desktop computer to a new ipad. You're NEVER going back to the old technology

    - ICE engines had a good run for 100+ years, great reliable engines evolved. But will never complete in efficiency, upgrade-ability, adaptability to AI-driven, software-run/assisted driving

    - Navigation app (Google maps by Tesla) is ok, getting better - but I often use Waze on the smartphone simultaneously

    - kids love the drawing pad touchscreen/rainbow road/cowbells/Mars rover/Santa&raindeer/Easter eggs; looking forward to Atari old-school games Easter egg coming soon

    - before and after a 40 MPH T-bone accident where somebody pulled right in front of me as if I wasn't there, I feel Tesla is the safest car on the road in the world. I mean come on, they broke the NHTSA machine in crush-testing lol. And couldn't flip the Model X suv in rollover testing lol - engineered by rocket-scientists to protect your family

    - don't stress if something appears off after a new software update. I remember in 2015 when the delivery-specialist said let's set the autowipers to auto and you probably won't have to worry about them much. I can count on my hands the amount of times over the first 2 years that I had to manually touch the wiper control. Then after one update, it was different. I just had to laugh it off. The amount of innovation here is incredible. But sometimes that means taking 10 steps forward and 1 backwards. I absolutely love to watch the progress

    - regen-braking (& nearly 1-pedal driving takes a little practice), but once you get used to it, it's awesome

    - the car buying process is exactly what I'm looking for. My first Tesla ordered was one night on the couch, took about 15 minutes. The 2nd order was placed one morning after breakfast and my daughter helped me configure (it'll be her hand-me-down car in 6 years). I'd be happy to never deal w/ snake-oil ICE salesman again. In general, the price you see is the price you pay. Sort of like an Apple store. Tesla sales reps are there to help/answer questions, they get zero or rarely very little incentive by selling you a car

    - I will never drive ICE (internal combustion engine) again if I can help it

    Please feel free to ask questions
     
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  2. Skateboardgolf

    Joined:
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    Durham, NC
    You need to post more often - I thoroughly enjoyed your well-written review.
     
    • Like x 3
  3. ianofury

    ianofury New Member

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    Great summary, thanks for sharing. I’m only 9 months in with a Model X but couldn’t agree more.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. iamblinkin

    iamblinkin Member

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    SoCal
    Thank you so much for this! Great summary, great further confirmation that I've made the right decision with this vehicle.

    Other than the nebulous wait times and 3 month wide delivery windows and confusing changes to order option prices, the car purchasing experience is amazing. I ordered my model 3 on my iPhone and paid for the deposit with Apple pay/my finger print. It took 2 seconds. Felt kinda like the future. Really looking forward to hearing more long term experiences and getting to share my own!
     
    • Like x 2
  5. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    Thank you very much. I wish I could be so eloquent and brief.
    I've driven six Tesla cars extensively from a 2012 S85, to X90D, S75, P85DL+, S90D and most recently a Model 3 LR. All but the P85DL+ were rented, but a couple fo those rentals i drove more than 7,000 miles. After all that i cannot help but agree with everything you said, except for the 'more cowbell' part because the games are not my thing. I'm glad they are there because lots of people like them.

    One observation I'd add. The people who do not enjoy a Tesla seem to me to invariably also not be very avid users of technology. If one cannot use a smartphone how to understand a Tesla?

    Now I wait impatiently for my P3D+ to be delivered.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. Holo

    Holo Member

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    Massachusetts
    Great review and thoughtfully written! I had many of the same concerns as you and I also waited and watched for about a year before taking the plunge. I'm sooooo glad I did. I love my model S.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Vintre

    Vintre Member

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    Jun 13, 2018
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    Location:
    Waterdown
    Great review. Thank you for taking the time to post.

    I am in my 3rd month of ownership of our M3 and love it.

    Here in Ontario, Canada, if we charge at night ( 7pm - 7 am ) it is costing me about 10% of the price of gas. 20% if charging during peak hours. Yes, we pay a lot more for gas than in the US.

    For a full charge, empty to full, its about $5 CDN overnight. $10 CDN during peak hours.

    Really a great car.

    Vin
     
    • Like x 2
  8. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    -tires wear was very even within 1/32 measurement among all tires over the past 3 years for my 70D (AWD), and only rotated once
     
    • Like x 1
  9. nasatech

    nasatech Vendor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2016
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    214
    Location:
    Oslo
    I agree with you on the waiting part, but not that big of a problem at the moment. Both The Netherlands and USA has over 1000 one thousand inventory cars and Norway has over 500. Lot of other countries has a lot of inventory as well, so the time window should be small :)

    The options are another story and I can imagine how confusing it must be for the non-Tesla nerds when they change around and removes/includes different options.
     
  10. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    Two years and zero visits to service. Mobile service dropped bye once to replace a remote I screwed up. Not the remotes fault.
     
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  11. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    - After 36,000 miles, tires are down to 4/32 all around, so I would give 18" Michelin Primacy an ~40,000mile lifespan, on an AWD Model S 70D, with occasional spirited driving/launches and always full-regen-braking
     
    • Like x 1
  12. wbhokie

    wbhokie Member

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    Location:
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    Excellent write-up. I've had a 90D for 2 years now and I'd say my review of it would be very similar to yours. I haven't been in any accidents and I haven't yet needed to use a supercharger, so I can't comment on those things. All of my complaints would be nit-picky.

    My biggest complaint after 2 years is that my USB library doesn't support playlists. They need just a tad of improvement on the media player.

    I used to not use the NAV at all, but it has improved a lot, and I believe it will get better. I'm still using AP1 and it works great for my bumper to bumper commuting. My wife has a Model X with AP2, and I couldn't stand it early on (The Autopilot) but it has improved a lot since she got the the car. I did not have any fit-and-finish issues but she had several that she had to correct.

    My routine trips to service for small things have been minor, and really when people ask about the downsides of owning a Tesla, I pretty much just say the price of the car and the time it takes for repairs if it breaks (based on other people's experiences and not mine) But I enjoy so many other things about the car so much (No gas stops, no oil changes, 1 pedal driving, blissful torque) that I ignore the small things and just submit them as feedback or tweet at Elon hoping they make a future software update!

    Again, great post rjcbox! I think sometimes we get so caught up in posting about "issues" we have and asking questions that we forget to take time to just stop and say what we like.
     
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  13. Gavyne

    Gavyne Member

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    Awesome experience, good read. Thank you.
     
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  14. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    In regards to "battery degredation" topic:

    -Reading hundreds of posts on the same topic over the years, the consensus seems to be these mostly aren't real losses. The car calculates range based on measuring State-Of-Charge and translates this into miles of range left. When cars are routinely cycled as daily-drivers, range-used may only fluctuate 10 or 20% (ex you charge to 90% when you leave each morning and plug back in at night w/ 70% SOC. For some reason this causes the computer to slightly miscalculate the true battery's potential. Some have suggested that a couple deep discharges, followed by full charges will "rebalance" the pack. N=1 here, but when all was said and done (and balanced), my Model S 70D probably really only lost 4-5 miles of range, or <2%, over 3 years and 36,000 miles. This extremely low range loss over time & mileage is consistent with what many others have reported
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    That is good to know. I plan on keeping my M3 for a long time. Battery degradation is the only reason I would want to get rid of it.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    On the bright side, you would have missed out on AP if you bought it in 2014 like me (or before Sept 2014 at least). But I wouldn't trade that summer of 2014 with my new Tesla for AP -- especially since I barely use it in my 3. But you are right, for stop and go traffic, it's great. I would have upgraded to get it if stop and go was my commute. But I waited for it on the 3 and I take the 3 on the rare days I'm in that type of traffic, then it's a drag since I have no browser to play with while the car drives me and if I touch my phone it's a huge fine. Oh well!

    Great review - organized, well written and informative -- and I agreed all along with the points being made. Please post more often.
     
    • Like x 1
  17. Mobius484

    Mobius484 Member

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    Enjoyed your story. Very similar to mine. 12/16 S90D 40,000 miles. Our primary family car, lots of road trips with three kids and town driving. Most expensive car I’ve ever bought, best money I’ve ever spent...LOVE my Tesla!!
     
    • Like x 3
  18. rjcbox

    rjcbox Member

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    Here's some better science vs my N=1:

    Tesla battery data shows path to over 500,000 miles on a single pack
     
  19. jpit

    jpit New Member

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    Jan 28, 2017
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    Location:
    Hammond, LA
    Great article and expresses my own enthusiasm for my Tesla Model S 75. Such a nice ride I am eager to find a reason to go. I've just passed 33,000 miles, and I'm alarmed at the rate of wear on the tires. I don't have a measurement, but I'll be lucky to make it to 40,000 before replacement is necessary. They are Goodyear 245/45R19 98W. Still, I would favor "quiet" over "longer tread wear" when selecting a new tire. Any opinions on tires?
     
    • Like x 1
  20. Epwr

    Epwr Member

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    why is this thread in a model 3 forum?
     

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