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4 years with Model S

Woodwinds

Member
Jul 7, 2018
24
74
Texas
Purchased Model S 60 (RWD) in December 2016 (ordered in October and waited anxiously for 3 months!).

Now has 95K miles. Has lifetime supercharging and connectivity. Recently upgraded to a 75. While it was a 60, battery degradation on 90% charge went from 188 miles to maybe 178. Now as a 75, full charge is 227, and 80% (my normal charge limit) is 182. I’ve done quite a few supercharging sessions, but normal charging is at work and some at home.

Overall, it’s been a fun car. Several road trips from DFW Texas, including Florida, Missouri, west Texas, and many weekend trips to Houston, San Antonio, and OKC. Of my regrets, I truly wish the car were quieter. Wind and Tire noise are far too much, especially on concrete roads at highway speed. I’d also like a smoother ride (I have coil springs). I’m not into “road feel” or sporty handling. I originally had enhanced autopilot, and that was sufficient. So far FSD hasn’t been worth it (even at the fire sale 2K upgrade price). I do like lane keeping and traffic-aware cruise on road trips. Overall I preferred the original split-screen UI that gave me the ability to customize to my liking, but the newer traffic visualizations (including traffic lights) are amazing to watch.

I’ve experienced most of the expected failures for a car of this vintage, specifically eyebrow light failure and yellow border on touchscreen. Haven’t experienced issues from earlier days such as door handles and 12v battery failure.

I’ve seen value over the years from this forum, so as “payback”, a diary of my experiences follows. Given that the cars nowadays are vastly different, as the stock brokers say, prior experiences are not indicative of future results.

12/16
  • Delivery was smooth, near the end of the "swag era". I think I scored an umbrella, glass water bottles, and maybe a few other things (ballcaps?).
  • Delivery was inside the building in the special presentation area.
  • On the way home, got some error message about needing service, so brought back. Service replaced some electronic component due to infant mortality. No problems with that since.

7/17
  • First scheduled service. In the olden days, they recommended scheduled service, and offered a pre-paid plan which I had purchased.
  • Besides the planned service, I had some niggles from delivery fixed: USB port not working, misaligned headlights, liftgate trim rattle, floormats without Velcro.

8/17
  • Chargeport didn’t want to unlatch. This happened on a roadtrip to Missouri. Was resolved with mobile service.

12/17
  • 2nd scheduled service

4/18
  • 3rd scheduled service

5/18
  • New tires at NTB at 40K miles (waited too long!). Sumitomo Tour Plus – not the greatest tire, wish for more quiet operation.
  • Alignment.

10/18
  • 4th scheduled service
  • Replaced both headlight assemblies due to parking light (eyebrow light) fade. So far hasn’t recurred.
  • Replaced touchscreen due to yellow border. Issue recurred later.

3/19
  • Purchased FSD during the $2000 fire sale.

x/19
  • Somewhere around this time would have been the 5th scheduled service, but it was no longer recommended, so my appointment was unilaterally cancelled. However, no mention was made of a way to refund my remaining 4 services. Very difficult to discuss with anyone. Finally found the form to request the refund. This was even worse for my wife. For her X we bought both the service package and the extended warrantee. They ignored my service refund request emails (perhaps got confused with my car), and finally refunded the extended warrantee instead of the service package. Took several months to resolve. Good grief.

6/19
  • Airbag recall

9/19
  • Failed software update. $97 (perhaps first sign of eMMC failure that Tesla has yet to acknowledge on my car)

2/20
  • Yellow border on touchscreen again. UV treatment seems to have worked, although there was and still is a tiny bit remaining. I wish it had baked longer, but it’s small enough not to fuss about.

9/20
  • Touchscreen occasionally reboots. They did some kind of memory refresh or maybe reflash $99. I don’t think this is the permanent resolution. I can recreate the issue if I’m in and out of the car for maybe 10 times with really short drives between.
  • Received FSD computer
  • Paid the $2K to upgrade from 60 to 75
  • Experienced FIA (forum-induced anxiety) and had them check the original 12v battery. They say still fine, and it has been.

9/20
  • New Tires again at 90K. This time Discount Tire Pirelli Cinturato Strada Sport. Seem quieter.

12/20
  • Bought the touchup paint kit from Tesla. I do wish I’d purchased PPF on at least the hood. Probably have 10 tiny chips. The paint fixes seeing the visible white from the primer, but doesn’t completely fix the divots without me spending way more time. Not worth the time to me.

1/21
  • Scheduled appointment for the 4 year maintenance, including brake fluid check, cabin air filter, and AC desiccant. Also will have an alignment. Also reported “blank screen” issue, where I get into the car and the touchscreen stays blank (no auto reboot, but manual reboot after 10 minutes resolved it). I was expecting that I’d get diagnosed for the eMMC replacement warrantee extension program, but free (goodwill) remote diagnosis says 2 things at $9.75 each:
Correction: Repair Plan Confirmation
Correction: Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) - Media Control Unit (Reflash)​


Using the chat feature within the app is satisfactory for simple things like this, but irritating as all get out for complex questions where verbal synchronous dialog is immensely faster. Did take me a while to figure out that I had to make the keyboard “floating” in order to expose the text input area in the app chat. That’s a UI mistake in my opinion.


So there you have it. 4 years with my Model S. Too cold and rainy and virusey to go outside today, so thought I’d write an essay! Maybe TMC connect will return someday so I can go?
 

random155

Member
Mar 18, 2019
876
450
NJ
Thanks for the write up, very informative. I'm having the same issue with my 2014 S85 regarding the rebooting screen if I get out and then back in within a short time period.... for example going to an ATM. I really wish they would offer some type of "sale" for the MCU2 upgrade. I'd love to get it but with AP1 $2500 is just too hard to let go.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,399
11,918
California
Nice write up - we bought the same car at the same time and had very similar experiences. I’m at 115k now. Was expecting to be closer to 150k but COVID has dropped my annual mileage to practically nothing.
 

jpk195

Member
Sep 15, 2018
63
25
Boston Ma
Thanks for writing this up. Question re upgrading to 60 to 75 - what’s the process there? Is that an in-app purchase? I’ve been looking at preowned 75/75d. Any thoughts on going this route instead? I’m guessing there’s no “uncork” option there, right?
 

agtdDelirium

Member
Jun 15, 2017
136
373
Colorado
I as well own a late 2016 MS but a 90D. Unfortunately, reading through your essay reminds one of the steady declines in anything remotely resembling customer service for Tesla.

I as well got a few pieces of swag upon ordering at a "showroom." At the first service appointment, I felt like a valued customer. I ordered snow tires/wheels from Tesla the first winter, and to my surprise, mobile service delivered and installed them in my garage 300 miles away from the nearest service center. The last service took a month to schedule and several weeks of back and forth messaging, and still, there was confusion when the service occurred. The human aspect of Tesla is missing, and it is to the detriment of the company.

I'm still committed to Tesla and my MS for the long term. I made the splurge to update the MCU, and I'm glad I did, as it makes the car feel new again. The car still drives as well as the day I bought it. I have a Cybertruck reservation. I would love for my wife to replace her aging Toyota someday with a Model Y. The failing human aspect of the company is the only thing that may put a damper on those purchases. But countering that is the knowledge that Tesla has singlehandedly changed the automotive industry for the better, despite their fumbles. And it doesn't hurt that a modest stock investment in the company a few years ago has now, in essence, paid for all those vehicles (although I'm still not sure how I feel about the craziness of all that).
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,029
494
Springfield, VA
Using the chat feature within the app is satisfactory for simple things like this, but irritating as all get out for complex questions where verbal synchronous dialog is immensely faster. Did take me a while to figure out that I had to make the keyboard “floating” in order to expose the text input area in the app chat. That’s a UI mistake in my opinion.

That's a good tip. I have never used an app with such terrible input. I type "blind" and then go back to check. If I make a mistake, it's a guessing game to fix it since I can't see what I'm erasing. The floating keyboard mostly fixes that, though it is difficult to type on out of the way.

I've had my daughterboard replaced already and I still get a fair number of crashes and times where I enter or exit the car and the main screen goes black and then reboots.
 

BlackM3

Member
Nov 2, 2017
158
165
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA
Of my regrets, I truly wish the car were quieter. Wind and Tire noise are far too much, especially on concrete roads at highway speed. I’d also like a smoother ride (I have coil springs). I’m not into “road feel” or sporty handling.

Thanks for the great writeup. The issues you stated above are the same 2 issues I have with my 2018 Model 3, I'm surprised the same issues exist on 2016 Model S. I assume the smooth ride is mostly solved with air suspension, but if I want a quieter cabin at 80mph what year Model S should I get? Was cabin quieter after Nov2017 for HW2.5 refresh, or April 2018 for MCU2, or April 2019 for Raven refresh? Thanks again.
 

beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,029
494
Springfield, VA
I'd set aside some money to install sound damping material in the car, whether you buy a 3 or an S. It's doable yourself, or a shop can do it. Any car can be improved on. Not sure if there is a line in the sand regarding noise, but there are other benefits to a newer car.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,399
11,918
California
Thanks for writing this up. Question re upgrading to 60 to 75 - what’s the process there? Is that an in-app purchase? I’ve been looking at preowned 75/75d. Any thoughts on going this route instead? I’m guessing there’s no “uncork” option there, right?

Used to be purchasable online, now you have to have a service center do it. The “part number” for the unlock is:

BATTERY UPGRADE, 60kWh to 75 kWh, MS(1091845-06-A)

Some 60Ds can also be “uncorked” after they are unlocked to a 75D.
 

Woodwinds

Member
Jul 7, 2018
24
74
Texas
Thanks for the great writeup. The issues you stated above are the same 2 issues I have with my 2018 Model 3, I'm surprised the same issues exist on 2016 Model S. I assume the smooth ride is mostly solved with air suspension, but if I want a quieter cabin at 80mph what year Model S should I get? Was cabin quieter after Nov2017 for HW2.5 refresh, or April 2018 for MCU2, or April 2019 for Raven refresh? Thanks again
My wife has a 2018 Model X with air suspension. It seems somewhat smoother, but not 70's Caddy boat smooth:) Certainly not quieter. It would be interesting to drive my car, then an 18 with air, and then a Raven in quick succession over the same road. I vaguely recall someone posting db readings on a couple of cars using an iPhone app. Don't know about a scientific "smoothness sensor" though.
 

Woodwinds

Member
Jul 7, 2018
24
74
Texas
I'd set aside some money to install sound damping material in the car, whether you buy a 3 or an S. It's doable yourself, or a shop can do it. Any car can be improved on. Not sure if there is a line in the sand regarding noise, but there are other benefits to a newer car.
I have wondered about the damping material. And PPF too. I've seen several threads on both. Laziness/cheapness are currently trouncing my damping/PPF ideas. I do wonder about a reasonable price in the DFW area though. To be worth it, the improvement would need to be quite noticeable.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,226
10,756
California
Thanks for the write up, very informative. I'm having the same issue with my 2014 S85 regarding the rebooting screen if I get out and then back in within a short time period.... for example going to an ATM. I really wish they would offer some type of "sale" for the MCU2 upgrade. I'd love to get it but with AP1 $2500 is just too hard to let go.
Try deleting old navigation addresses and reset the trip counters. This will clear up a lot of memory and should take care of the rebooting issue.
(BTW, I think the MCU2 upgrade is well worth it. Everyone who has had it done seems to be very happy with the results. I plan to get it soon.)
 

Woodwinds

Member
Jul 7, 2018
24
74
Texas
I'm having the same issue with my 2014 S85 regarding the rebooting screen if I get out and then back in within a short time period.... for example going to an ATM. I really wish they would offer some type of "sale" for the MCU2 upgrade. I'd love to get it but with AP1 $2500 is just too hard to let go
Someday I'll probably do the $2500 for MCU2. Forum comments seem to indicate that the vast majority of people are happy with the faster response time. Now that the radio is upgradeable too, I'm more inclined to do it. I don't think I'll miss AM much, although I haven't found KRLD on TuneIn. AM reception seems worse than when I originally got the car, but hard to be sure. I keep my cars well past the point of economic viability, always thinking "even though my car is 15 years old, the value of the jalopy is the value of a new car because that's what I'd get if I crash my car". Yes, there are a few flaws in that logic, but my inner cheapness is showing.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,226
10,756
California
Someday I'll probably do the $2500 for MCU2. Forum comments seem to indicate that the vast majority of people are happy with the faster response time. Now that the radio is upgradeable too, I'm more inclined to do it. I don't think I'll miss AM much, although I haven't found KRLD on TuneIn. AM reception seems worse than when I originally got the car, but hard to be sure. I keep my cars well past the point of economic viability, always thinking "even though my car is 15 years old, the value of the jalopy is the value of a new car because that's what I'd get if I crash my car". Yes, there are a few flaws in that logic, but my inner cheapness is showing.
I too tend to keep my cars "forever". (My second car is a 20 year old Land Rover with 200,000 miles that still, amazingly runs well. Hoping that it keeps running until the Cybertruck is available.)
I'm really happy that Tesla is offering the MCU2 upgrade. For me, this new brain will give my car a new lease on life.
 

agtdDelirium

Member
Jun 15, 2017
136
373
Colorado
The problem with wind noise is the decision Tesla made with all their models to not have a full-frame around the window. The majority of wind noise comes from the lack of a good seal right next to your ear at the top of the window. No soundproofing will remove that. Road noise likely can be reduced with sound-deadening materials in strategic areas.
 
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beatle

Active Member
Aug 31, 2019
1,029
494
Springfield, VA
I have wondered about the damping material. And PPF too. I've seen several threads on both. Laziness/cheapness are currently trouncing my damping/PPF ideas. I do wonder about a reasonable price in the DFW area though. To be worth it, the improvement would need to be quite noticeable.

I'm guessing you're talking about adding PPF (paint protective film) for paint protection and not noise, since it would have no effect on noise.

If noise is really important, buy the quietest tires you can, as they can make a big difference in sound. I went from MXM4s to A/S 3+ tires and tire noise jumped up, even on the new tread. I think it has quieted down a bit as they have worn in, though that could also be that I've just gotten used to the difference.
 

quickstrike12

Member
Jun 13, 2018
603
449
Fort Worth Texas
Someday I'll probably do the $2500 for MCU2. Forum comments seem to indicate that the vast majority of people are happy with the faster response time. Now that the radio is upgradeable too, I'm more inclined to do it. I don't think I'll miss AM much, although I haven't found KRLD on TuneIn. AM reception seems worse than when I originally got the car, but hard to be sure. I keep my cars well past the point of economic viability, always thinking "even though my car is 15 years old, the value of the jalopy is the value of a new car because that's what I'd get if I crash my car". Yes, there are a few flaws in that logic, but my inner cheapness is showing.
I am in the DFW area also. I use 820 and 570 on tuneIN. I hope we could get 1080 at some point also tho. Don’t miss my radio at all tho. I thought I would but honestly I have just forgotten about it and adapted. Now I wonder why I even cared initially.
 

Skipdd

Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2015
636
520
Silver Spring, MD
Someday I'll probably do the $2500 for MCU2. Forum comments seem to indicate that the vast majority of people are happy with the faster response time. Now that the radio is upgradeable too, I'm more inclined to do it. I don't think I'll miss AM much, although I haven't found KRLD on TuneIn. AM reception seems worse than when I originally got the car, but hard to be sure. I keep my cars well past the point of economic viability, always thinking "even though my car is 15 years old, the value of the jalopy is the value of a new car because that's what I'd get if I crash my car". Yes, there are a few flaws in that logic, but my inner cheapness is showing.

Thanks for sharing. I purchased the MCU upgrade. I had the yellow border, and was having screen glitches, reboots taking 5 mins, and just decided the benefits out weighed the costs. Huge improvement in daily experience. Had a brief period where audio quality was poor, but that resolved with a later software release. Noticed your comment about “...radio is upgradable too..” I missed that - is that an aftermarket fix? I think I remember a post by someone doing this themselves - not something I could do. I’m also not (yet) ready to plunk down $$$ for an aftermarket stereo upgrade which would also likely take care of it. Would you mind sharing info on the radio upgrade? Thanks.
 

ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,399
11,918
California
Thanks for sharing. I purchased the MCU upgrade. I had the yellow border, and was having screen glitches, reboots taking 5 mins, and just decided the benefits out weighed the costs. Huge improvement in daily experience. Had a brief period where audio quality was poor, but that resolved with a later software release. Noticed your comment about “...radio is upgradable too..” I missed that - is that an aftermarket fix? I think I remember a post by someone doing this themselves - not something I could do. I’m also not (yet) ready to plunk down $$$ for an aftermarket stereo upgrade which would also likely take care of it. Would you mind sharing info on the radio upgrade? Thanks.
Tesla relented a month or so ago and now offers a radio upgrade for $500 more.

Infotainment Upgrade
 

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