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9 Months after I rejected a M3P, my first weekend with MIC SR+...

JS77

Member
Nov 24, 2019
141
86
England
So I collected my MIC SR+ from Bham NEC on Friday and spent my first weekend with our new M3 so wanted to document some takeaways as I always found the personal experience useful when I was debating the purchase.

First, some background... I have previously ordered a M3 Performance (roughly 9 months ago) which I ended up rejecting at delivery due to a myriad of reasons. That entire ordeal was documented here if anyone cares to read! Needless to say, the entire episode really put me off Tesla for a good 6 months, but the recent M3 refresh coupled with the better build quality reports of the MIC version had me back in the fold and I placed an order in early May.

I've split my thoughts into 3 sections: The Good, The Meh and The "WTF?" :) There's also an overall summary (TLDR) at the end where I've also included some finder details on why I went for the SR+ when my previous order was a P etc

The Good

+ Collection experience

My nearest collection centre is Birmingham, but recently, Tesla provides an option to collect from either Tesla in Small Heath or Bham NEC. I opted for the latter as I'm superstitious and didn't want a repeat of my last experience! I have to say, this experience was far more in line with the early Model 3 collection videos... lots of Tesla staff, eager to meet and greet with hundreds of brand new M3s all lined up in a marquee. It felt far more "special" than when I "collected" 9 months ago at Bham Small Heath where the car was just parked between 2 customer trade-ins and there was 1 employee tending to several customers.

Extra bonus, the M3P that Tesla UK has designed for UK Police was on display in the waiting area, along with the M3 chassis (ie, a Model 3 without the body) so that was a nice touch and something to get you excited while waiting for your car.

+ Panel Gaps and Paintwork
Night and day difference on the paintwork compared to my previous rejected order... I went for Black again, but this time the paint coverage was consistent and just appeared better in every way. Anyone who read my previous experience will know there were entire sections of my previous order that weren't even painted (under the Frunk hood, in between the doors etc)

Panel gaps were also much, much better. I would still argue they are not up to the standard of Audi/BMW etc, but they were all consistent and everything lined up (again, unlike my previous order).

+ Joy of Driving
it's just a pleasure to drive! It's hard to explain, but it has a calming quality which I just don't get from other cars - maybe it's the one-pedal driving, maybe it's no engine rumble/vibration, but it's just a lovely calm place to be. In terms of driving dynamics, it's no better/worse than my Audi, yet it's a completely different type of drive.

+ It's Fast
This might be the SR+ bit it's no slouch. Yes, you're not going to get the initial kick of a LR/P from a standing start, but setting off normally to about 25mph and then flooring it still gives you that intense roller coaster thrill! It's plenty fast enough for instant overtaking and impressing your passengers 😄 (please drive responsibly!)

+ Floor Mats!
A little thing, but it seems all the MIC SR+ cars come equipped with Floor mats, so that's a nice bonus!


The "Meh"

~ The one issue...

The one thing that I didn't even notice but one of the employees pointed out, was the rubber seal that runs all the way around the rear glass panel was "pinched" on the left-hand side so when you looked into the panel gap between the boot lid and the glass panel, you can see the boot arm. I was advised this is a common issue on the MIC cars and looking at a few of the others, they also had the same "pinched" seal. 2 of the employees advised it doesn't affect anything as any rainwater that runs into that gap makes it way out through the water drains (which is true, because when you open the boot lid, you can follow any water droplets running around and dripping off the end) - still, it begs the question, why did Tesla include a seal if it doesn't "make a difference"

The "solution" offered was to book a service call and have the entire back panel removed, the seal realigned, and then the glass panel re-affixed. This sounds (to me anyway) a massive job for something the staff all felt was "normal" and was the only time during the collection process where I felt like I'd made a mistake re-ordering. :confused:

~ Tesla Customer Service
After reporting the seal issue to one of the Tesla staff, I was passed from one member of the team to another (4 in all) and it all felt so disorganised. The last team member advised he was going to log a service call "right now" and that I would receive a call from the service manager to book the car in. This is something I was completely wanting to avoid (seriously, who wants to pick up a brand new car and then immediately take it into a service garage to have the entire back glass roof removed?!) The Service appointment showed up immediately on my App as "Pending" so I assumed it would all be in hand. However, once I had signed for the car, I received a message saying "Good News, your car has been serviced and is ready for collection"... sigh.

I raised this with the Tesla employees before driving away and they assured me I would get a call the same day... but of course, I didn't. So, nothing new with the customer service side things... it's all very haphazard.

On the point about the seal, I'm curious if others have had this issue and if they opted to get it fixed? I'm weighing up whether the removal of the back glass panel is likely to cause more issues than leaving things as they are.

~ SR+ Sound System
I was worried about the sound system in the SR+ after only ever previously having experienced the LR/P variants with the superior audio setup. I would describe the SR+ sound system as "adequate". It's not bad by any means, but you can tell it's "compromised" for lack of a better phrase. Do I wish it was better?- YES! Is it worth the extra £8k if you don't need a LR or P? - NO! So, overall, it's fine.. even very good on certain tracks (funnily enough it sounded better on music that has deep bass).

~ Autopilot
In my very brief experience using Autopilot... it's great on Motorways, so-so on A/B Roads and downright bad on streets (Yes, I know it's not designed to be used on the streets, but c'mon, every M3 owner has tried!). So I guess, it's working as intended (ie. Motorways) but what I find curious about it is why it doesn't (a) avoid parked cars rather than veering into them - I mean, it can see them via camera and detect them via sensors, but the car will still aim straight for them! and (b) why doesn't slow down for tighter corners? Again, it has the map data from Google, it's aware of its own speed, so why can't it calculate it should slow down ~5mph to take a corner? I guess those are the goodies they're saving for FSD...

~ Collection SoC
A day before my collection, I received a call from Tesla to confirm my appointment (never got this call on my previous order) - they also confirmed that the Car would have a minimum of 40% charge. However, upon collection, it was sitting at 24%... enough to get me home with 2% remaining or to a supercharger with 10% remaining... either way, it felt a little "anxiety-inducing" for a first drive home in a new electric car! I was told rather bluntly there were no chargers on sight and that I actually had more charge than most (Yeah, right...).

On the plus, I made it to the supercharger with 31 miles remaining and it took 30 mins to charge to a range of 207 miles (This was not a 100% charge, I didn't switch to look at the battery % but from memory, it was around 84%). Charging speed never went over 90kW, and began to taper off to 49kW as it approached 200miles. There were quite a few other M3s charging, but I wasn't sharing a stall with anyone. Overall, in line with expectations.


The "WTF?"

- Loud humming/buzzing

Before I'd even driven the car out of the collection centre, I noticed a loud humming/buzzing coming from the dash (from behind the screen, but further back) - Because I had already set the Tesla Supercharger as my destination, Tesla staff advised the car was pre-conditioning the battery. Makes sense so thought nothing of it. However, even after charging at the supercharger, it made this very noticeable whine/humming for about a mile, before it stopped (It wasn't the fans, as I turned them off to make sure)

I've also noticed it makes this noise after a short drive and you park up - reading online, a lot of people state it's normal and most likely the heat pump doing its thing? Would be useful to get others insight/feedback on this? It does eventually stop, so I think it's likely normal, but you never know with Tesla...

- Brake "Clunk" incident
Again, in typical Tesla fashion, on my first driving showing off the car to my wife, as we came to a stop, a massive "clunk" was heard underneath us as the car braked. Then, for the next couple of stops, every time I let off the accelerator, the brake would make a very loud clunk and the car would jerk a bit as it began to brake - it was almost as if the brake pedal was sticking. We came to a complete stop at the lights and it rectified itself and hasn't happened since (although I've really only taken very short journeys since).

- UMC Tripping fuse board
I made a separate post about this, but the UMC (3 pin charger) keeps tripping our fuse board - have confirmed it working at my neighbours and need to try some of the tips other owners have kindly provided to rule out any issues. However, one other question I have is that when the UMC was charging from my neighbours 3-pin, the UMC would make a "clicking" sound every minute or so... is this normal? (Just another WTF for me...)

- Boot lid memory height
I've set the automated boot lid height to its maximum a few times and held down the button to commit to memory, but it just seems to stop quite a few inches short every time. Not sure if that's the maximum the automated arm can open to, or if I need to log a service call, but it's a very minor WTF niggle.


Summary / TLDR

So, after my previous bad experience, am I glad I purchased it? Well, overall, yes - it's a beautiful looking car and a real pleasure to drive. I opted for Black with the Sport Wheels and it looks stunning, but I am nervous about all the scratches black is going to pick up so now I'm scared to leave it parked anywhere! 🤪

I knew I wanted my next car to be an EV and even after considering every other option (eTron, Polestar, EQC etc) there was just always something about Tesla that drew me back. The other EVs still try to mimic the look and feel of a conventional ICE car, which is not what I want - I want to feel like I'm driving the future, and that's exactly what Tesla feels like.

However, there is a downside to "driving the future" and that is that Tesla, despite all the recent improvements and refreshes, is still very early in its manufacturing/QA/Servicing infrastructure; As good as the M3 is, I would still personally consider it a "beta" product. I've only driven it for a weekend, on short journeys, but I'm left with an impression it's temperamental and something could happen at any moment! I'm going to put this down to anxiety caused by previous experience and also the few WTF niggles I've experienced in very early ownership. I'm sure this feeling will dissipate over time, but for the moment, I feel excitement, joy and trepidation in equal amounts. Something to keep in mind if you're an anxious person like I am!

In regard to the MIC differences, I would agree that they feel much better put together than the Fremont variants. Panel gaps were pretty non-existent and the paint coverage and quality in particular was night and day different. Big improvement!

So, why did I get the SR+ instead of ordering the P again (or even the LR)? Well, to be honest, after making the decision to give Tesla another chance, I didn't want to do it with their dearest version. I simply felt more comfortable buying the SR+ where I can learn to "live with a Model 3/EV" at a lower entry price where 95% of the time, the drive, interior, exterior etc was identical to the more expensive models. I don't actually need AWD, or a 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, and I still work mostly from home so the LR was also more range than I needed. I'm actually *really* glad I opted for the SR+ plus I have the benefit of the LFP battery which maintains power at a low SoC so technically I'm faster than a P model if we're both at 10% charge 😅😇

If you're on the fence still, I hope my feedback helps you with your decision either way. The SR+ is more than capable enough so don't overlook it when deciding! The real test for me will be once I can plan some longer trips and also just using the car more in daily life (shopping trips etc) - it has only been 2-3 days so I'll update my thoughts in a few weeks.

✌️
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,433
2,398
Bath, UK
By all accounts MIC cars seem to be consistently well built. In all of the photos I've seen the fit and finish looks, at least from the photos, to be good. It's possible the satin black trim hides these sins a bit better than the chrome, but I don't think that's the case. The gaps between the doors, and between the door glass and the B-pillars has looked consistent to me too.

Regards the seal.. probably a stupid question but I presume you're aware that the rear windscreen seal is now cut by design on both sides so it doesn't rub on the power struts? I guess that's obvious enough that you don't mean that though.
 

Peter 224

Member
May 9, 2021
252
188
Salisbury
Sounds as if you are off to a good start! 😄

The "humming" under the front is the heat pump doing its thing: the car suffers from after journey incontinence in that it drops far more water than any car I've had before. Again, a characteristic of heat pumps.

I have a MiC LR - AWD and the overall paint quality is stunning, every bit as good as SHMBO's Mercedes, although a few panel gaps are a bit wider than they need to be they are even..

The rear screen rubber issue: not on mine and as Durzel says, it clears the power struts.

The "brake clunk": mine does this if the car has sat for a while, I think it is the electric handbrake sticking the pads to he disc.

Charging: I have SyncEV 7kw charge point, no issues charging what so ever. Charging from a mains socket you may need an EV specific RCD that is intended to filter out noise from the charging system.

Does it deliver its promises? Yes... Over 1100 miles, driving it like a normal sports saloon, I've averaged about 245wh/mile, i.e. 0.245kwh/mile, so a range of about 300 miles, which is reasonable. I have tried driving it economically and get below 200wh/mile, but it is tedious.
 

JS77

Member
Nov 24, 2019
141
86
England
Regards the seal.. probably a stupid question but I presume you're aware that the rear windscreen seal is now cut by design on both sides so it doesn't rub on the power struts? I guess that's obvious enough that you don't mean that though.

I've posted the difference between the 2 sides to demonstrate the issue - hopefully, this helps explain better!

IMG_9098.jpg
IMG_9099.jpg
 

OddJob83

Member
Feb 26, 2021
79
61
London
Thats normal for the new refresh M3 auto boot lift I have it on my LR if the rubber was like the other side it will rub as they only use one automatic strut which is larger then the other side.
 
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browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
527
469
Notts
Does it deliver its promises? Yes... Over 1100 miles, driving it like a normal sports saloon, I've averaged about 245wh/mile, i.e. 0.245kwh/mile, so a range of about 300 miles, which is reasonable. I have tried driving it economically and get below 200wh/mile, but it is tedious.
That's almost exactly what I'm getting on mine.
 

Peter 224

Member
May 9, 2021
252
188
Salisbury
OK, I see what you mean.
My car is exactly the same, on the N/S the seal has been shaped to clear the power strut.
This photo, with the boot open, shows this clearly.

IMG_0165.jpeg


The scalloping starts at the top and the rubber curves back to the left once it is clear of the strut.
I do not think it will have any impact on weather protection.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,433
2,398
Bath, UK
Thats normal for the new refresh M3 auto boot lift I have it on my LR if the rubber was like the other side it will rub as they only use one automatic strut which is larger then the other side.
Was going to say.. it looks a bit janky but that's a consequence of only having one powered strut. The other one is much thinner.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Active Member
Mar 16, 2018
1,252
793
UK
Do you have the larger mudflaps at the front with only a few cm clearance? If so, the clunk/noise under braking is probably them hitting the ground. I had it on mine and ended up cutting a couple of cm off the bottom which cured the problem but still left more protection than the smaller version. Its madness they even thought these were a good idea, I just couldn't be bothered to take the car in to have them removed.
 

JS77

Member
Nov 24, 2019
141
86
England
OK, I see what you mean.
My car is exactly the same, on the N/S the seal has been shaped to clear the power strut.
This photo, with the boot open, shows this clearly.

The scalloping starts at the top and the rubber curves back to the left once it is clear of the strut.
I do not think it will have any impact on weather protection.

Ahh, that's reassuring! Very strange that the Tesla employee told me it's a "known issue" with the MIC models and advised I book it in with the service centre! ... but then again, I'm sure most of them make it up on the spot... the other 2-3 cars I checked at collection were all the same too.
 

JS77

Member
Nov 24, 2019
141
86
England
Do you have the larger mudflaps at the front with only a few cm clearance? If so, the clunk/noise under braking is probably them hitting the ground. I had it on mine and ended up cutting a couple of cm off the bottom which cured the problem but still left more protection than the smaller version. Its madness they even thought these were a good idea, I just couldn't be bothered to take the car in to have them removed.
I do have the mudflaps, but this was definitely related to the brake - it almost felt like when ABS is activated and you can feel it through the pedal... only it was a heavy clunk and a jerk forward by the car, as if it's fighting between putting the brakes on or moving forward.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,957
2,877
Shropshire
Ahh, that's reassuring! Very strange that the Tesla employee told me it's a "known issue" with the MIC models and advised I book it in with the service centre! ... but then again, I'm sure most of them make it up on the spot... the other 2-3 cars I checked at collection were all the same too.
Some Tesla employees are a known issue as well.
 

JS77

Member
Nov 24, 2019
141
86
England
So, a couple more questions for the more seasoned owners...

1. When I turn the wheel at low speeds (parking for example) I can hear (for lack of a better phrase) a "hydraulics" sound - is this normal?

2. When you pull up and put the car into Park, is there any way to let the car know you're just "waiting" so it doesn't keep the headlights/climate/audio etc on? (Other than just manually turning everything off?)
 
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Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
2,051
1,665
Norfolk
So, a couple more questions for the more seasoned owners...

1. When I turn the wheel at low speeds (parking for example) I can hear (for lack of a better phrase) a "hydraulics" sound - is this normal?

2. When you pull up and put the car into Park, is there any way to let the car know you're just "waiting" so it doesn't keep the headlights/climate/audio etc on? (Other than just manually turning everything off?)
I just open the driver’s door and lift my bum off the seat. The car thinks I’ve got out and shuts it all off. I sit back down and shut the door.
 

doats1

Member
Sep 11, 2020
137
88
London
I just open the driver’s door and lift my bum off the seat. The car thinks I’ve got out and shuts it all off. I sit back down and shut the door.
Surely you'd have to close the door first then sit back down? Otherwise you're just 'entering the car' again.

You could also go to Controls > Safety & Security > Power Off
 
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bo3bdar

Member
Feb 21, 2021
137
178
Silicon Valley
However, there is a downside to "driving the future" and that is that Tesla, despite all the recent improvements and refreshes, is still very early in its manufacturing/QA/Servicing infrastructure; As good as the M3 is, I would still personally consider it a "beta" product. I've only driven it for a weekend, on short journeys, but I'm left with an impression it's temperamental and something could happen at any moment! I'm going to put this down to anxiety caused by previous experience and also the few WTF niggles I've experienced in very early ownership. I'm sure this feeling will dissipate over time, but for the moment, I feel excitement, joy and trepidation in equal amounts. Something to keep in mind if you're an anxious person like I am!

That right there is the best description of driving a Tesla that I've read. Really resonates with me.

If I think of the entire car as Beta, that makes everything make sense. Thanks for this keen observation. The software in particular is really janky now after the christmas update, and it's been bumming me out that they wrecked my car with a crap update. It helps if I think of the entire thing as a work in progress.

Before they pushed out the christmas turd, I had full confidence in the car, nothing too weird. Since then, I have the same feeling of potential doom at any moment. Head unit can crash at will, anytime. Driving or not. Parking break makes a slightly weird noise, and I worry it's failing or the software has gone bonkers. Any OTA updates now give me anxiety that they will brick the car and just say "too bad."

Mind you- none of that has actually happened*, the car drives great, it's super fun and interesting, and I have no genuine reason to worry about it. It's far more reliable than my 20 year old Boxster.

*except the MCU crashes. That thing crashes at every update, black screen when opening the car. Crashes when I look the user manual. Crashes when I look at normal web pages. I would pay $1000 to get the pre-christmas update back on my car.
 

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,392
1,117
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
That right there is the best description of driving a Tesla that I've read. Really resonates with me.

If I think of the entire car as Beta, that makes everything make sense. Thanks for this keen observation. The software in particular is really janky now after the christmas update, and it's been bumming me out that they wrecked my car with a crap update. It helps if I think of the entire thing as a work in progress.

Before they pushed out the christmas turd, I had full confidence in the car, nothing too weird. Since then, I have the same feeling of potential doom at any moment. Head unit can crash at will, anytime. Driving or not. Parking break makes a slightly weird noise, and I worry it's failing or the software has gone bonkers. Any OTA updates now give me anxiety that they will brick the car and just say "too bad."

Mind you- none of that has actually happened*, the car drives great, it's super fun and interesting, and I have no genuine reason to worry about it. It's far more reliable than my 20 year old Boxster.

*except the MCU crashes. That thing crashes at every update, black screen when opening the car. Crashes when I look the user manual. Crashes when I look at normal web pages. I would pay $1000 to get the pre-christmas update back on my car.
Whilst mine has become a lot less reliable as well (touch screen often stops working when I get in the car) and Bluetooth has become even more unreliable, that sounds like too many crashes…
Maybe a service request?
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,957
2,877
Shropshire
Before they pushed out the christmas turd, I had full confidence in the car, nothing too weird. Since then, I have the same feeling of potential doom at any moment. Head unit can crash at will, anytime. Driving or not. Parking break makes a slightly weird noise, and I worry it's failing or the software has gone bonkers. Any OTA updates now give me anxiety that they will brick the car and just say "too bad."
FYI my parking brake failed and would not fully release on one side. car had to be trailered to a service centre. Did not notice any noise or other issues before hand but just saying that is a thing and its a PiTA when it happens. Holding the parking brake button down for a few seconds performs some kind of reset on it. didnt work for me but just saying.
Not familiar with these head unit crashes though. Never seen that.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,433
2,398
Bath, UK
Whilst mine has become a lot less reliable as well (touch screen often stops working when I get in the car) and Bluetooth has become even more unreliable, that sounds like too many crashes…
Maybe a service request?
Was going to say the same. I don’t think I’ve had one black screen wakeup myself. I don’t think it’s crashed and rebooted on me once either.

That sounds like something fundamentally wrong with the computer.
 
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Bantam

Member
Jul 29, 2020
120
111
Leeds/Bradford Area
After a long sleep I sometimes have a slight freeze on PIN to drive, its not a blank screen as it displays the PIN Pad just wont acknowledge me frantically tapping the PIN for a couple of seconds (which seems like ages). As others have suggested defo sounds like a computer issue.
 
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