Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

8 Years with a Tesla Model 3 (at 15k/yr, at least)

TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
554
428
Ottawa, Canada
I'm not surprised. EVs (and even PHEVs) are far more reliable and durable than ICE-only vehicles. I still have my 2012 Volt with 135,000km now almost exclusively city driving (about 85k miles). 75% of those have been on battery power. My car was one of the first 10,000 Volts produced; if I recall correctly, fewer than 7500 were made in 2011 model year when it was US-only and late-release, and my 2012 VIN is in the 1400 range (delivered Sept 2011).

I've had the car for just over 9 years now. Being a PHEV with 35 miles of battery range on average (more like 20 in an Eastern Canada winter day), I pretty much go through the whole battery 5 days a week, and sometime two charge cycles in a day. That's over 2000 charge cycles, and the battery is still fine. (Granted, GM had a huge buffer on the 1st-gen Volts). If a battery made with 10-year-old tech can withstand over 2000 cycles, I have no reason to believe that modern batteries would be a weak point in new EVs.

If it wasn't for the fact that COVID-19 has drastically reduced my need to use a car, I'd have already bought a model 3. I'll likely wait until spring now, since it looks like im working from home until at least then. Assuming similar driving patterns, the M3 would accumulate at most 25% of the charge cycles that the Volt has over the same time. We use enough salt on the roads here that I'm convinced that an eventual M3 would rust out before the battery gave up. That's what's starting to happen with the Volt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shrspeedblade

shrspeedblade

Rideshare Monkey
Sep 29, 2015
1,137
4,373
CA, United States
I'm not surprised. EVs (and even PHEVs) are far more reliable and durable than ICE-only vehicles. I still have my 2012 Volt with 135,000km now almost exclusively city driving (about 85k miles). 75% of those have been on battery power. My car was one of the first 10,000 Volts produced; if I recall correctly, fewer than 7500 were made in 2011 model year when it was US-only and late-release, and my 2012 VIN is in the 1400 range (delivered Sept 2011).

I've had the car for just over 9 years now. Being a PHEV with 35 miles of battery range on average (more like 20 in an Eastern Canada winter day), I pretty much go through the whole battery 5 days a week, and sometime two charge cycles in a day. That's over 2000 charge cycles, and the battery is still fine. (Granted, GM had a huge buffer on the 1st-gen Volts). If a battery made with 10-year-old tech can withstand over 2000 cycles, I have no reason to believe that modern batteries would be a weak point in new EVs.

If it wasn't for the fact that COVID-19 has drastically reduced my need to use a car, I'd have already bought a model 3. I'll likely wait until spring now, since it looks like im working from home until at least then. Assuming similar driving patterns, the M3 would accumulate at most 25% of the charge cycles that the Volt has over the same time. We use enough salt on the roads here that I'm convinced that an eventual M3 would rust out before the battery gave up. That's what's starting to happen with the Volt.

I had a 2nd gen 2016 Volt prior to getting my Model 3, with a similar positive ownership experience to yours. When asked to compare them I say, “The Volt was a good car, the Model 3 is a great one.”
 

Shelby16

Member
Sep 1, 2020
49
16
Utah
Awesome write up! I am the exact car, 18 model 3 LR RWD and have almost 29,000, but everything has been great so far and I am happy to hear I could be heading in that same direction for reliability, etc. over the years with this car.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shrspeedblade

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,160
1,961
SWFL | Vegas
Thanks for the write up, I put 33k miles on a year, and I have 8k miles on my car since I just got it 3 months ago. Happy to see good stories of ownership, hoping I can get 200-300k miles out of this car without major issues
That's what I'm aiming for - 200K+ miles. I drive ~20K per year.
 

M109Rider

Active Member
Apr 8, 2018
1,623
1,986
Kitchener, Ontario
When charging to 100%, I regularly get down to around 50% before finding my way to a charger again. For performance reasons, I'd rather operate in the range of 50% to 100% than in the range of 40% to 90%.

Also I try to limit my day-to-day charging to the free (to me) station at my office, which means I try to get from Friday afternoon through Monday morning on a single charge, which is why I always try to charge to 100% of Fridays. With my driving habits, I'm only getting a range of about 210 miles max, and the car just isn't much fun to drive below a 20% SoC.

You’re leasing the car, which I suspect is the main reason you charge to 100% frequently.
If you owned, it would be a different story I suspect.
Charging to 100% that often will have an impact on the battery. Who knows how much, but it will degrade more than someone who doesn’t charge to 100% 2-3 times a week.
That’s as per Tesla’s own testing.

I wouldn’t want your used car.... :)
 

Cigar Man

Intriguing Human
Jul 23, 2020
113
86
McAllen, Texas
No.

I will say this though, it makes more financial sense than people I see doing it who probably don't get 30 mpg. The cost effectiveness of the efficiency of an EV drivetrain and lower maintenance is quite real.

Great report - thanx.

I am a ride-share driver too, currently piloting a Prius, but with a Model Y on order. I did buy the Prius (used) for ride share, but while the Tesla driven for ride share, I got it mostly to make an environmental statement - and the sheer fun of it!

I was most interested in your comments about the interior - I have been a but concerned about passenger wear and tear.
 

LisaW

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Nov 8, 2019
25
19
92115
I love your writing: “The car has not been perfect, merely superb.”

merely superb! I have the same car 2019 fewer miles. Mine is also MERELY SUPERB.
Thanks for your insight and post.
LW

8 YEARS WITH A TESLA MODEL 3


OK, so actually it’s only been 27 months and 120,158 miles, but since most sane people drive about 15,000 miles a year, I hope to give some perspective on the years/miles ahead if they own a Model 3 or some insights if they are curious about owning one. To be honest, it’s very easy to forget what the “old normal” was like as one gets used to the “new normal”. For example, I’m old enough to easily remember a world where cell phones were nonexistent or at least a bulky luxury; and now, I at least have to sit there and think about it for a bit to remember what life was like was out them. I remember just over a month after bringing the “Dauntless” home driving by a gas station and thinking to myself, “Wow, I didn’t realize gas was up over four bucks a gallon again!” Then I grinned, both inwardly and outwardly. I was utterly removed from the price of gas. It’s a good feeling.


It is very easy for even those of us who drive one (a lot!) that ten years ago this car would have been called an impossibility by most in multiple ways. Let me put it this way: if a someone ten years ago said they were going to come out with a car that had eye opening acceleration, got 130 miles per gallon, an incredibly low center of gravity and polar moment of inertia for superb handling, practically zero maintenance, sleek styling not designed to deter buyers, a roomy interior with lots of cargo space, the ability to drive itself in monotonous driving situations, a user friendly infotainment system, and the company would send someone every night to fill you up again with the lowest emissions fuel possible with current technology they would be (and have been) labeled a nutcase. But if it existed, you’d buy it. You’d be crazy not to. But that’s my new reality...my new...normal.


So how did I get so many miles built up so quickly? I was already driving a lot, but early in the summer of 2019 my current job ended and I faced the decision to look for something else or just keep driving in the Wine Country of Northern California full time. I decided on the latter, I was really enjoying driving the car every day and it was a welcome detox after leaving a less than desirable work environment. So most of my trips, both pickup and dropoff, are far longer than the average rideshare driver including a lot of airport runs. That means that the norm for my car has been an above average number of what would be called “severe use” miles: stop and go, poor pavement, no pavement at all, tearing up twisty back roads, San Francisco hills, etc. are all a daily occurrence. Sprinkle in a couple of long road trips and voila’ you’re at 120k!


My lifetime energy consumption is 236 wh/mi. Slightly better than the factory rating. My car is a a 2018 RWD Model 3 LR with the 18 inch wheels. I had the aero covers on for the first year and a half then took them off and have seen no drop in efficiency. I’m actually surprised my numbers are that good considering the amount of *ahem* spirited driving I engage in. I see my max battery capacity fluctuate far more due to Tesla making software tweaks on updates than actual degradation, but I’m going to say it’s probably in the 7% range at 120k, with a boatload of supercharging over that last two years. Most of that I actually saw in the second 60k as I was supercharging and going up to 90% a lot more. The most important thing I can’t stress enough on these things is this: it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. I drive by my grandpa’s old mantra of, “It costs as much to keep the top half full as the bottom half!” but in EV terms. With about 300 miles of range it’s absurdly easy (and better in multiple ways!) not to flirt with the lower end of the battery pack. I’ve had a lot of days I drove over 500 miles and have never been below 10%, and I’m clearly an outlier for driving miles. On road trips my biggest problem is still I usually can’t go eat as fast as the car charges. And if you can, my advice would be to watch videos, play games, or surf the web in the car. You know, those things you call leisure activities when you do them at home.


So how does the car look/how has it held up? The interior is certainly the best of any car I’ve owned at 120k miles. I absolutely love Tesla’s synthetic leather now and I’m a sports car guy who usually has preferred cloth. It’s pretty grippy (important for back country hooning), still shows almost no wear, and is incredibly easy to clean. I have thousands of Uber/Lyft trips with the car and have easily had over 10,000 people in and out of it. Not to mention the daily disinfecting I do now which I was worried about how it would affect the material but hasn’t seemed to at all! Some of the hard plastic surfaces have some scuffing now but it’s not easily visible after using a good interior cleaner. I have Tasmanian all weather floor mats now which work great and I can save the OEM ones for better weather. A weak spot is the lower leading edge of the back doors can get abraded pretty easily. You don’t see it with the door closed, but it’s clearly noticeable with them open. I’m embarrassed to say that even though this is the priciest car I’ve ever owned- due to the pressures of life its paint has gotten the least affection! I hand wash it probably every two weeks with a wash and wax soap and hand dry it. That’s about it. I’ve only hand waxed it twice, which is low for me, but it has held up quite well. Tesla’s paint quality issues in my opinion are, like so many other things with the company people with suspect motives like to nit pick, completely overblown.


What’s broken? A suspension bushing got noisy at 55k (warranty), glove box popped open occasionally (warranty), seat belt sensor replaced (warranty), and more recently ANOTHER rear belt sensor grr ($150) and my charging door was sometimes obstinate and got replaced ($175). I can only speak to my own experiences, but the Tesla mobile service Rangers and Tesla San Rafael service center has been fantastic. I’m on my third set of tires that I get at a local Costco and the brake pads will probably last 500k. The car has not been perfect, merely superb.


Overall, the car is so close to being what it was when I drove it home those 27 months ago that I don’t really think about it that much. Mostly, it’s better. Autopilot is clearly improved. I can’t tell if it is truly faster or has more range but I’m still happy as a clam with both! I scoffed when I first heard about Caraoke and then had to eat a big helping of crow once I got it! There are so many factors that for me are so superb: acceleration and efficiency, low maintenance EV drivetrain, autopilot, handling and practicality- that any one of them would be reason for me to own the car. The fact that it is all in one package can for me after 120,000 miles be summarized in one phrase: simply superior technology.


If you want a referral code for 1000 miles of free supercharging, I’ll say what I do to my passengers, “Use a friend or family members’.” But if you’ve found this article helpful and need one, please use mine posted in my personal details.
 

Anne C

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
4
3
Mahone Bay, NS
Something that happens frequently with early LR RWD owners is underestimating their capacity loss, since Tesla moved the goalposts with an update.

If they're basing the 7% off of a 310mi rated range (as they probably had at delivery), that means about 288mi @ 100%. But, the reality is that calculation is now using 325mi as the top end, indicating roughly 11.4% capacity loss. And because of "number things" (insert large wand-wave), this is probably closer to 13.5% in reality.

Which is not to say that's bad! That's right about where I'd expect a Model 3 of this mileage to be at, since they're appearing to be slightly worse than Model S/X in terms of degradation. A true only-7% loss at 120,000mi would be an extreme outlier and not relevant to base much off of. And let's keep in mind, this car had a lot of Supercharging apparently!



I don't get the purpose of claims like this, especially in the context of otherwise a mostly happy report? It has little to do with what range anxiety actually is.

Crossing the US is "easy" because of the Supercharger network, yes. But I don't think this is what people are mostly worried about? There are so many routes not possible with any current Tesla model, and many people that don't live within 30 minutes of a Supercharger (and even within 30 minutes, that 30 minutes may be a detour, adding something like 1h30 to your sudden trip if you need that particular charger). Interstates are mostly well covered - other routes, not so much. I want to go to the parks and the scenic routes, dangit! :)

Sorry, that probably sounded abrasive. Not my strong point. But it really doesn't seem like the thing people are actually worried about. For a long time, Teslas have been the choice for coast-to-coast in the US (Canada only recently, and I have no idea about other countries)
I agree. I live in Nova Scotia, where there is only one supercharger. I have a 2019 Model 3 RWD BR and I would love to be able to do the scenic routes and back roads, but am limited to only my own area. When will there be more superchargers on the back roads here and across Canada and the US??
 

Anne C

New Member
Jul 18, 2019
4
3
Mahone Bay, NS
I agree. I live in Nova Scotia, where there is only one supercharger. I have a 2019 Model 3 RWD BR and I would love to be able to do the scenic routes and back roads, but am limited to only my own area. When will there be more superchargers on the back roads here and across Canada and the US??
 

sjesser

Member
Aug 19, 2019
6
4
San Diego
What a great post!

I have a Mid-Range (264 mile range) RWD with 40K miles that I purchased in Feb. 2019. Pretty sure they discontinued my model a month or two after purchasing it. Mods include chrome delete, wireless charging pad & matte black wrap on center console and wood trim. I know there are fans of the wood trim but if you *don't like it you should seriously consider wrapping it in the color of your choice. Really changes the interior landscape of the car.

Zero regrets. I've had it serviced twice at Kearny Mesa Tesla in San Diego. Once was for a warranty item. I'm not really a mechanics kinda guy but I think it was bushings? Last service was simply to replace the cabin air filter. I know. Don't say it. I could have done it myself but whatever. It was refreshing to see that your service experiences have been similar to mine.

Tires. Ah yes. Tires. LOL I'm on my 3rd set of rear tires but this is *entirely due to my, shall we say, style of driving? 'Nuff said. I have settled into Continental ProContact RX / 235/40R19's. I actually prefer these to the stock Michelins. They are a bit squarer with a more aggressive tread configuration and they feel "grippier" to me. Oh yeah. They're also cheaper; $800 for 4 new tires installed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shrspeedblade

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
10,274
86,900
Maple Falls, WA
Something that happens frequently with early LR RWD owners is underestimating their capacity loss, since Tesla moved the goalposts with an update.

If they're basing the 7% off of a 310mi rated range (as they probably had at delivery), that means about 288mi @ 100%. But, the reality is that calculation is now using 325mi as the top end, indicating roughly 11.4% capacity loss. And because of "number things" (insert large wand-wave), this is probably closer to 13.5% in reality.

I think it makes sense to compare your range loss to the range the manufacturer claimed you would get when you bought the car. The software update that provided more range was free of charge! It makes no sense to compare it to that because that's not what you were expecting!
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: shrspeedblade

sslider02

Member
Sep 20, 2020
5
4
Fort Collins, CO
Unless you have a drive that requires every last mile, I'd say just charge to 90%.
More than likely you won't even notice the difference, and why negatively affect it for the next person to no purpose?

Something I forgot to add that is an example I use for the charging/long trip question that I use a lot, and I say this with utter conviction:

There has not been a single moment in my ownership where I could not have driven to Key West from California immediately if required to.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. Not one. Let that sink in, I drive nearly 5000 miles a month, too. Range anxiety is now an artificial fear manufactured by those with a financial or political interest to maintain the status quo.
Your opinion on range anxiety differs from my opinion. While I love my 3P as my fun car, never in a million years will i drive it across country, because my objective is to get from point A to point B as fast as possible. I am not retired, so i value my time, and driving fast is fun for me. If I drove from Key West to Los Angeles (2900 Miles), my 2013 G37 with 20 Gal tank at 24 MPG at 85 on cruise = 456 miles (19 gals) between 10 minute stop for fuel and bathroom. To extend range more in my G37, I have carried a 5 gallon container with fuel. SO 2900 miles/456 miles = 7 stops at 10 minutes each = 70 MINUTES IN STOPS. With my 3P (with a 300 mile range at 50 MPH on cruise), I am finding a range of 200 miles at 85 MPH on cruise. So that means i can drive LESS than 2 hours (170 miles) before stopping, because all the superchargers are spaced out at least every 60 to 80 miles on the open road. SO, 2900 miles / 170 miles = 17 Stops AT A MINIMUM for AT LEAST 45 minutes, perhaps 1 hour + if supercharger is old and splits energy with your neighbor. SO BEST SCENARIO IS 12.75 HOURS IN STOPS, WORST CASE WILL BE 17 HOURS OR MORE IN STOPS. To me, this is unacceptable, and is the quintessential definition of range anxiety -- being able to only drive 170 Miles OR LESS on the open road. Last month I drove from Fort Collins to Yellowstone NP in a rental car (i have 4 cars but rented a Camaro for $120 for 72 hours, and i drove 1300 miles at an average speed of 94 MPH.) NO WAY could anyone do this drive in a 3, maybe an S, but everyone would be scared driving around Yellowstone if they access from East or North entrances. I am in the freight sector, and sometimes I will carry 500 or 700 Lbs of product 1000 Miles, and I must make delivery within 12 hours. NO WAY could any Tesla do that, as driving + 20 or + 30 over the limit decreases the range much more than a modern gas powered vehicle, and I imagine at 100 MPH on cruise, the range would be appx 140 or 150 miles. (My last Z06 was a 2011, and it would be 25 MPGs at 85 on cruise control, and 26 MPG at 65 on cruise control -- very little difference as speed increased, compared to my 3P).
 

TFKarl

Member
Aug 14, 2020
6
3
Moscow, Idaho
8 YEARS WITH A TESLA MODEL 3


OK, so actually it’s only been 27 months and 120,158 miles, but since most sane people drive about 15,000 miles a year, I hope to give some perspective on the years/miles ahead if they own a Model 3 or some insights if they are curious about owning one. To be honest, it’s very easy to forget what the “old normal” was like as one gets used to the “new normal”. For example, I’m old enough to easily remember a world where cell phones were nonexistent or at least a bulky luxury; and now, I at least have to sit there and think about it for a bit to remember what life was like was out them. I remember just over a month after bringing the “Dauntless” home driving by a gas station and thinking to myself, “Wow, I didn’t realize gas was up over four bucks a gallon again!” Then I grinned, both inwardly and outwardly. I was utterly removed from the price of gas. It’s a good feeling.


It is very easy for even those of us who drive one (a lot!) that ten years ago this car would have been called an impossibility by most in multiple ways. Let me put it this way: if a someone ten years ago said they were going to come out with a car that had eye opening acceleration, got 130 miles per gallon, an incredibly low center of gravity and polar moment of inertia for superb handling, practically zero maintenance, sleek styling not designed to deter buyers, a roomy interior with lots of cargo space, the ability to drive itself in monotonous driving situations, a user friendly infotainment system, and the company would send someone every night to fill you up again with the lowest emissions fuel possible with current technology they would be (and have been) labeled a nutcase. But if it existed, you’d buy it. You’d be crazy not to. But that’s my new reality...my new...normal.


So how did I get so many miles built up so quickly? I was already driving a lot, but early in the summer of 2019 my current job ended and I faced the decision to look for something else or just keep driving in the Wine Country of Northern California full time. I decided on the latter, I was really enjoying driving the car every day and it was a welcome detox after leaving a less than desirable work environment. So most of my trips, both pickup and dropoff, are far longer than the average rideshare driver including a lot of airport runs. That means that the norm for my car has been an above average number of what would be called “severe use” miles: stop and go, poor pavement, no pavement at all, tearing up twisty back roads, San Francisco hills, etc. are all a daily occurrence. Sprinkle in a couple of long road trips and voila’ you’re at 120k!


My lifetime energy consumption is 236 wh/mi. Slightly better than the factory rating. My car is a a 2018 RWD Model 3 LR with the 18 inch wheels. I had the aero covers on for the first year and a half then took them off and have seen no drop in efficiency. I’m actually surprised my numbers are that good considering the amount of *ahem* spirited driving I engage in. I see my max battery capacity fluctuate far more due to Tesla making software tweaks on updates than actual degradation, but I’m going to say it’s probably in the 7% range at 120k, with a boatload of supercharging over that last two years. Most of that I actually saw in the second 60k as I was supercharging and going up to 90% a lot more. The most important thing I can’t stress enough on these things is this: it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. I drive by my grandpa’s old mantra of, “It costs as much to keep the top half full as the bottom half!” but in EV terms. With about 300 miles of range it’s absurdly easy (and better in multiple ways!) not to flirt with the lower end of the battery pack. I’ve had a lot of days I drove over 500 miles and have never been below 10%, and I’m clearly an outlier for driving miles. On road trips my biggest problem is still I usually can’t go eat as fast as the car charges. And if you can, my advice would be to watch videos, play games, or surf the web in the car. You know, those things you call leisure activities when you do them at home.


So how does the car look/how has it held up? The interior is certainly the best of any car I’ve owned at 120k miles. I absolutely love Tesla’s synthetic leather now and I’m a sports car guy who usually has preferred cloth. It’s pretty grippy (important for back country hooning), still shows almost no wear, and is incredibly easy to clean. I have thousands of Uber/Lyft trips with the car and have easily had over 10,000 people in and out of it. Not to mention the daily disinfecting I do now which I was worried about how it would affect the material but hasn’t seemed to at all! Some of the hard plastic surfaces have some scuffing now but it’s not easily visible after using a good interior cleaner. I have Tasmanian all weather floor mats now which work great and I can save the OEM ones for better weather. A weak spot is the lower leading edge of the back doors can get abraded pretty easily. You don’t see it with the door closed, but it’s clearly noticeable with them open. I’m embarrassed to say that even though this is the priciest car I’ve ever owned- due to the pressures of life its paint has gotten the least affection! I hand wash it probably every two weeks with a wash and wax soap and hand dry it. That’s about it. I’ve only hand waxed it twice, which is low for me, but it has held up quite well. Tesla’s paint quality issues in my opinion are, like so many other things with the company people with suspect motives like to nit pick, completely overblown.


What’s broken? A suspension bushing got noisy at 55k (warranty), glove box popped open occasionally (warranty), seat belt sensor replaced (warranty), and more recently ANOTHER rear belt sensor grr ($150) and my charging door was sometimes obstinate and got replaced ($175). I can only speak to my own experiences, but the Tesla mobile service Rangers and Tesla San Rafael service center has been fantastic. I’m on my third set of tires that I get at a local Costco and the brake pads will probably last 500k. The car has not been perfect, merely superb.


Overall, the car is so close to being what it was when I drove it home those 27 months ago that I don’t really think about it that much. Mostly, it’s better. Autopilot is clearly improved. I can’t tell if it is truly faster or has more range but I’m still happy as a clam with both! I scoffed when I first heard about Caraoke and then had to eat a big helping of crow once I got it! There are so many factors that for me are so superb: acceleration and efficiency, low maintenance EV drivetrain, autopilot, handling and practicality- that any one of them would be reason for me to own the car. The fact that it is all in one package can for me after 120,000 miles be summarized in one phrase: simply superior technology.


If you want a referral code for 1000 miles of free supercharging, I’ll say what I do to my passengers, “Use a friend or family members’.” But if you’ve found this article helpful and need one, please use mine posted in my personal details.
8 YEARS WITH A TESLA MODEL 3


OK, so actually it’s only been 27 months and 120,158 miles, but since most sane people drive about 15,000 miles a year, I hope to give some perspective on the years/miles ahead if they own a Model 3 or some insights if they are curious about owning one. To be honest, it’s very easy to forget what the “old normal” was like as one gets used to the “new normal”. For example, I’m old enough to easily remember a world where cell phones were nonexistent or at least a bulky luxury; and now, I at least have to sit there and think about it for a bit to remember what life was like was out them. I remember just over a month after bringing the “Dauntless” home driving by a gas station and thinking to myself, “Wow, I didn’t realize gas was up over four bucks a gallon again!” Then I grinned, both inwardly and outwardly. I was utterly removed from the price of gas. It’s a good feeling.


It is very easy for even those of us who drive one (a lot!) that ten years ago this car would have been called an impossibility by most in multiple ways. Let me put it this way: if a someone ten years ago said they were going to come out with a car that had eye opening acceleration, got 130 miles per gallon, an incredibly low center of gravity and polar moment of inertia for superb handling, practically zero maintenance, sleek styling not designed to deter buyers, a roomy interior with lots of cargo space, the ability to drive itself in monotonous driving situations, a user friendly infotainment system, and the company would send someone every night to fill you up again with the lowest emissions fuel possible with current technology they would be (and have been) labeled a nutcase. But if it existed, you’d buy it. You’d be crazy not to. But that’s my new reality...my new...normal.


So how did I get so many miles built up so quickly? I was already driving a lot, but early in the summer of 2019 my current job ended and I faced the decision to look for something else or just keep driving in the Wine Country of Northern California full time. I decided on the latter, I was really enjoying driving the car every day and it was a welcome detox after leaving a less than desirable work environment. So most of my trips, both pickup and dropoff, are far longer than the average rideshare driver including a lot of airport runs. That means that the norm for my car has been an above average number of what would be called “severe use” miles: stop and go, poor pavement, no pavement at all, tearing up twisty back roads, San Francisco hills, etc. are all a daily occurrence. Sprinkle in a couple of long road trips and voila’ you’re at 120k!


My lifetime energy consumption is 236 wh/mi. Slightly better than the factory rating. My car is a a 2018 RWD Model 3 LR with the 18 inch wheels. I had the aero covers on for the first year and a half then took them off and have seen no drop in efficiency. I’m actually surprised my numbers are that good considering the amount of *ahem* spirited driving I engage in. I see my max battery capacity fluctuate far more due to Tesla making software tweaks on updates than actual degradation, but I’m going to say it’s probably in the 7% range at 120k, with a boatload of supercharging over that last two years. Most of that I actually saw in the second 60k as I was supercharging and going up to 90% a lot more. The most important thing I can’t stress enough on these things is this: it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. I drive by my grandpa’s old mantra of, “It costs as much to keep the top half full as the bottom half!” but in EV terms. With about 300 miles of range it’s absurdly easy (and better in multiple ways!) not to flirt with the lower end of the battery pack. I’ve had a lot of days I drove over 500 miles and have never been below 10%, and I’m clearly an outlier for driving miles. On road trips my biggest problem is still I usually can’t go eat as fast as the car charges. And if you can, my advice would be to watch videos, play games, or surf the web in the car. You know, those things you call leisure activities when you do them at home.


So how does the car look/how has it held up? The interior is certainly the best of any car I’ve owned at 120k miles. I absolutely love Tesla’s synthetic leather now and I’m a sports car guy who usually has preferred cloth. It’s pretty grippy (important for back country hooning), still shows almost no wear, and is incredibly easy to clean. I have thousands of Uber/Lyft trips with the car and have easily had over 10,000 people in and out of it. Not to mention the daily disinfecting I do now which I was worried about how it would affect the material but hasn’t seemed to at all! Some of the hard plastic surfaces have some scuffing now but it’s not easily visible after using a good interior cleaner. I have Tasmanian all weather floor mats now which work great and I can save the OEM ones for better weather. A weak spot is the lower leading edge of the back doors can get abraded pretty easily. You don’t see it with the door closed, but it’s clearly noticeable with them open. I’m embarrassed to say that even though this is the priciest car I’ve ever owned- due to the pressures of life its paint has gotten the least affection! I hand wash it probably every two weeks with a wash and wax soap and hand dry it. That’s about it. I’ve only hand waxed it twice, which is low for me, but it has held up quite well. Tesla’s paint quality issues in my opinion are, like so many other things with the company people with suspect motives like to nit pick, completely overblown.


What’s broken? A suspension bushing got noisy at 55k (warranty), glove box popped open occasionally (warranty), seat belt sensor replaced (warranty), and more recently ANOTHER rear belt sensor grr ($150) and my charging door was sometimes obstinate and got replaced ($175). I can only speak to my own experiences, but the Tesla mobile service Rangers and Tesla San Rafael service center has been fantastic. I’m on my third set of tires that I get at a local Costco and the brake pads will probably last 500k. The car has not been perfect, merely superb.


Overall, the car is so close to being what it was when I drove it home those 27 months ago that I don’t really think about it that much. Mostly, it’s better. Autopilot is clearly improved. I can’t tell if it is truly faster or has more range but I’m still happy as a clam with both! I scoffed when I first heard about Caraoke and then had to eat a big helping of crow once I got it! There are so many factors that for me are so superb: acceleration and efficiency, low maintenance EV drivetrain, autopilot, handling and practicality- that any one of them would be reason for me to own the car. The fact that it is all in one package can for me after 120,000 miles be summarized in one phrase: simply superior technology.


If you want a referral code for 1000 miles of free supercharging, I’ll say what I do to my passengers, “Use a friend or family members’.” But if you’ve found this article helpful and need one, please use mine posted in my personal details.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top