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Finally Got my new Model Y LR - How it all went!

I'm posting this to share what happened on this trip, to help other newbies prepare for their new Tesla's, and because I have some questions.

Circumstances dictated that I pick up the car on my way from Rochester, NY to Boston. So, we drove from Rochester to Oneida (at a just opened distribution facility) about 2 hours away and right on the path of our trip. Sweet. The folks were very nice and it was located on the top floor of the parking garage of a gambling casino. Pretty amusing, and they let us leave my wife's car there at no cost, so we'll pick it up on our way back.

They explained as much as they could, and made sure to answer every question I had. There was absolutely no rush on their part to get me out. That part of it was a GOOD experience. I'd also done as much homework ahead of time as I could, watching all the introductory videos and reading some of the online manual.

I THOUGHT I was all prepared. Turns out I really wasn't, never having taken it on more than 2 test drives.

Stuff I learned and experienced:
  1. When using cruise control and setting the distance from vehicles to the max of 7 car lengths, it really didn't feel like that far away, and sometimes my car took me too close, making me feel like that really wasn't working correctly. Error on my part??
  2. When using TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control) and signaling to change lanes, DO NOT RELEASE THE TURN SIGNAL UNTIL YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN THE NEW LANE!! If released too soon, the car sems to get confused and jerks back & forth a bit (scaring the crap out of my wife), forcing me to take manual control, which also resulted in cruise control dropping out and the car slowing way down until I got my foot on the gas pedal. I must have looked somewhat out of control to other drivers. I finally mastered it, but it WAS a bit alarming until I did.
  3. Micro-Adjusting speed from the steering wheel is a joy and beautifully implemented.
  4. The software controls, menus, etc,. are incredibly well thought out and designed. Excellent engineering. I'm a former IT guy, so I feel qualified to pass judgement. :)
  5. The rear-view mirror is a HUGE disappointment. It is tiny, dark, and hard to see what's behind you when there's anything other than a darker sky behind it in the front windshield. I'll be installing a Wolff mirror projecting from a camera mounted INSIDE the rear hatch soon as I get home.
  6. The navigation software routed us to a supercharger that was about an hour off our route! Plus, it happened to be rush hour, and it was on very crowded roads, slowing us down even more. I was really getting worried about running out of juice. Not only that, but when we finally got to the plaza, my wife yelled out not to go in because there was a MacDonald's in it and that's all SHE saw. Being an obedient husband, I drove on by and then immediately realized she was wrong. I'll leave out all the expletives. This was on the Boston Turnpike at rush hour, which is about as bad as traffic can get. The charge was getting low, about 10%, I couldn't remember how to bring up the charger locations on the map, and there were no upcoming exits, so I was getting very nervous.

    Finally, and I'm not proud of this at all, I pulled over and BACKED UP 1-1/2 MILES, on the shoulder, to get back to the super charger location. Once I figured out how to position the 2 white lines in the best way to keep me centered on the shoulder, it ALMOST became like a video game. But it was very scary, truckers really disapproved and honked a lot, and I felt like a complete idiot. After finding the Superchargers, I made sure to TOP UP to at least 90%. Eventually, I started speaking to my wife again.
So, this morning I got up early and went through the manual, and learned all the things I should have known on the drive. I'm better prepared now, but a tad gun-shy. HOWEVER, I AM STILL LOVING THE CAR!

One remaining question: When on TACC, it felt like trucks were passing me way too close, even though I was centered in my lane. If a vehicle DOES get dangerously close, will TAAC move away from it, sound an alarm, turn itself off, or any combination of those 3 things?

Here's hoping this thread can help other new owners like myself!

- Richard

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10% is easily ~25 miles of driving range. Your experience reminds of the time I was following the Tesla Navigation system's directions on the NJ Turnpike headed north. I was confident that the exit ramp to the next service area where the Supercharger was located was on the left. Except I was in the Cars Only divided part of the northern section of the NJ Turnpike, so the exit ramp I needed to take was on the right. I abruptly cut across 4 lanes of traffic to make the exit.

Check the tire pressure (in the A.M. when the tires are cold.) I find it difficult to get the tire gauge chuck of my analog tire pressure gauge with flexible extension to connect to the valve stem of the Tesla Gemini wheels due to the Gemini wheel covers. I purchased a very easy to use digital tire gauge on Amazon. (See Amazon for ETENWOLF Digital Tire Gauge (about $10. Each ETENWOLF tire pressure gauge comes with an individual calibration sheet.) You can even use the ETENWOLF gauge with only one hand.

Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with the generic blue colored winter premix washer fluid (available most places that sell automobile supplies.) Tesla does not fill the reservoir, only puts in enough fluid to keep the Add Washer Fluid low fluid level warning message from coming on. The reservoir holds ~1.3 gallons of washer fluid when full.

Make sure that you received the Tesla SAE J1772 charging adapter with the vehicle. This small accessory enables you to charge at any Level 1/2 public charging station that has the standard J1772 charging connector. (Additional J1772 adapters are available from the Tesla online store at Tesla.com for $50.) Check in the large rear hatch storage bin underneath the load floor for the J1772 adapter (comes in a small box.)
 
10% is easily ~25 miles of driving range. Your experience reminds of the time I was following the Tesla Navigation system's directions on the NJ Turnpike headed north. I was confident that the exit ramp to the next service area where the Supercharger was located was on the left. Except I was in the Cars Only divided part of the northern section of the NJ Turnpike, so the exit ramp I needed to take was on the right. I abruptly cut across 4 lanes of traffic to make the exit.

Check the tire pressure (in the A.M. when the tires are cold.) I find it difficult to get the tire gauge chuck of my analog tire pressure gauge with flexible extension to connect to the valve stem of the Tesla Gemini wheels due to the Gemini wheel covers. I purchased a very easy to use digital tire gauge on Amazon. (See Amazon for ETENWOLF Digital Tire Gauge (about $10. Each ETENWOLF tire pressure gauge comes with an individual calibration sheet.) You can even use the ETENWOLF gauge with only one hand.

Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with the generic blue colored winter premix washer fluid (available most places that sell automobile supplies.) Tesla does not fill the reservoir, only puts in enough fluid to keep the Add Washer Fluid low fluid level warning message from coming on. The reservoir holds ~1.3 gallons of washer fluid when full.

Make sure that you received the Tesla SAE J1772 charging adapter with the vehicle. This small accessory enables you to charge at any Level 1/2 public charging station that has the standard J1772 charging connector. (Additional J1772 adapters are available from the Tesla online store at Tesla.com for $50.) Check in the large rear hatch storage bin underneath the load floor for the J1772 adapter (comes in a small box.)
Great info to add to this thread (and for me!). THANKS
 
10% is easily ~25 miles of driving range. Your experience reminds of the time I was following the Tesla Navigation system's directions on the NJ Turnpike headed north. I was confident that the exit ramp to the next service area where the Supercharger was located was on the left. Except I was in the Cars Only divided part of the northern section of the NJ Turnpike, so the exit ramp I needed to take was on the right. I abruptly cut across 4 lanes of traffic to make the exit.

Check the tire pressure (in the A.M. when the tires are cold.) I find it difficult to get the tire gauge chuck of my analog tire pressure gauge with flexible extension to connect to the valve stem of the Tesla Gemini wheels due to the Gemini wheel covers. I purchased a very easy to use digital tire gauge on Amazon. (See Amazon for ETENWOLF Digital Tire Gauge (about $10. Each ETENWOLF tire pressure gauge comes with an individual calibration sheet.) You can even use the ETENWOLF gauge with only one hand.

Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with the generic blue colored winter premix washer fluid (available most places that sell automobile supplies.) Tesla does not fill the reservoir, only puts in enough fluid to keep the Add Washer Fluid low fluid level warning message from coming on. The reservoir holds ~1.3 gallons of washer fluid when full.

Make sure that you received the Tesla SAE J1772 charging adapter with the vehicle. This small accessory enables you to charge at any Level 1/2 public charging station that has the standard J1772 charging connector. (Additional J1772 adapters are available from the Tesla online store at Tesla.com for $50.) Check in the large rear hatch storage bin underneath the load floor for the J1772 adapter (comes in a small box.)
Never drive in the car lanes on the New Jersey Turnpike. If you were ever unlucky enough to get a flat tire or any other reason to pull over you'll understand what I'm talking about.
 
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You weren't on just TACC if you were using lane keeping (or lane centering) - that's a function of Autopilot.

10% is fine; range anxiety in new EV drivers is a real thing. But you'll get used to this quickly and will stop panicking (and yelling at your wife) when you miss a charger.

Agree with the other poster - the 1 through 7 on the TACC is not car lengths. It is actually time based (like 1/2 seconds or 1/3 seconds or something) - so you will see it be less distance at lower speeds and higher distance at higher speeds. I know when I first got my Model S in 2017, I set it on 6 because I just couldn't get myself to trust the car at first. Before selling that car, I was down to 4 and I use 4 now in my Model Y.

The Nav won't route you to a charger an hour off the route unless there is no other way to make it. Sounds like you were in a charging desert or started with low SoC and had to be routed there to continue your trip. Generally don't sit there and charge all the way to 90% unless it is required to get to the next charger. You'll learn that too - it is what most all newbies do though so you are in good company. You want splash and dash on trips - just enough to safely get you to the next charger. Typically try to get to a charger at around 15% and leave the charger at 60% or less if that gives you enough to reach the next one safely. Staying on the fast end of the charging curve means you spend a lot less total time charging. Our last trip we had one stop that we only wanted to be 5 minutes - but it ended up being 8 minutes as that's how long it took to walk to the restroom, pee, and get back to the car.

Oh, and enjoy your new car!
 
Finally, and I'm not proud of this at all, I pulled over and BACKED UP 1-1/2 MILES, on the shoulder, to get back to the super charger location. Once I figured out how to position the 2 white lines in the best way to keep me centered on the shoulder, it ALMOST became like a video game. But it was very scary, truckers really disapproved and honked a lot, and I felt like a complete idiot.
No need to endanger others so you can get to a charger. You simply need to plan you trip.
 
So you drove your brand spanking new car for the very first time and immediately went on Autopilot? Instead of just …. actually driving it? Like you know, driving a car like your entire life driving cars. Nothing wrong with that by hey, you are brave. Considering most of your negatives were about the car driving you
 
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So you drove your brand spanking new car for the very first time and immediately went on Autopilot? Instead of just …. actually driving it? Like you know, driving a car like your entire life driving cars. Nothing wrong with that by hey, you are brave. Considering most of your negatives were about the car driving you
"the car driving you", Well put.

But I've been using cruise control on highways like forever, so after it calibrated, I started out with CC and then had to try TACC. What can I say, I love tech and sure learned fast!
No need to endanger others so you can get to a charger. You simply need to plan you trip.
I thought I had, and trusted the nav system when it routed me to this station as part of the trip, not realizing how off base it was. I will look much more carefully at the routes and stops from now on!
 
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You weren't on just TACC if you were using lane keeping (or lane centering) - that's a function of Autopilot.

10% is fine; range anxiety in new EV drivers is a real thing. But you'll get used to this quickly and will stop panicking (and yelling at your wife) when you miss a charger.

Agree with the other poster - the 1 through 7 on the TACC is not car lengths. It is actually time based (like 1/2 seconds or 1/3 seconds or something) - so you will see it be less distance at lower speeds and higher distance at higher speeds. I know when I first got my Model S in 2017, I set it on 6 because I just couldn't get myself to trust the car at first. Before selling that car, I was down to 4 and I use 4 now in my Model Y.

The Nav won't route you to a charger an hour off the route unless there is no other way to make it. Sounds like you were in a charging desert or started with low SoC and had to be routed there to continue your trip. Generally don't sit there and charge all the way to 90% unless it is required to get to the next charger. You'll learn that too - it is what most all newbies do though so you are in good company. You want splash and dash on trips - just enough to safely get you to the next charger. Typically try to get to a charger at around 15% and leave the charger at 60% or less if that gives you enough to reach the next one safely. Staying on the fast end of the charging curve means you spend a lot less total time charging. Our last trip we had one stop that we only wanted to be 5 minutes - but it ended up being 8 minutes as that's how long it took to walk to the restroom, pee, and get back to the car.

Oh, and enjoy your new car!
Thanks for the advice! "You want splash and dash' - sounds like a cologne ad :) .

So, there's cruise control, Autopilot, and TACC? I'm going to have to study up more to fully understand it all.

That's very interesting about how the car length meter indicator works. This makes me much more comfortable with it now, thanks y'all!

Much appreciated.
 
I'm posting this to share what happened on this trip, to help other newbies prepare for their new Tesla's, and because I have some questions.

Circumstances dictated that I pick up the car on my way from Rochester, NY to Boston. So, we drove from Rochester to Oneida (at a just opened distribution facility) about 2 hours away and right on the path of our trip. Sweet. The folks were very nice and it was located on the top floor of the parking garage of a gambling casino. Pretty amusing, and they let us leave my wife's car there at no cost, so we'll pick it up on our way back.

They explained as much as they could, and made sure to answer every question I had. There was absolutely no rush on their part to get me out. That part of it was a GOOD experience. I'd also done as much homework ahead of time as I could, watching all the introductory videos and reading some of the online manual.

I THOUGHT I was all prepared. Turns out I really wasn't, never having taken it on more than 2 test drives.

Stuff I learned and experienced:
  1. When using cruise control and setting the distance from vehicles to the max of 7 car lengths, it really didn't feel like that far away, and sometimes my car took me too close, making me feel like that really wasn't working correctly. Error on my part??
  2. When using TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control) and signaling to change lanes, DO NOT RELEASE THE TURN SIGNAL UNTIL YOU ARE ACTUALLY IN THE NEW LANE!! If released too soon, the car sems to get confused and jerks back & forth a bit (scaring the crap out of my wife), forcing me to take manual control, which also resulted in cruise control dropping out and the car slowing way down until I got my foot on the gas pedal. I must have looked somewhat out of control to other drivers. I finally mastered it, but it WAS a bit alarming until I did.
  3. Micro-Adjusting speed from the steering wheel is a joy and beautifully implemented.
  4. The software controls, menus, etc,. are incredibly well thought out and designed. Excellent engineering. I'm a former IT guy, so I feel qualified to pass judgement. :)
  5. The rear-view mirror is a HUGE disappointment. It is tiny, dark, and hard to see what's behind you when there's anything other than a darker sky behind it in the front windshield. I'll be installing a Wolff mirror projecting from a camera mounted INSIDE the rear hatch soon as I get home.
  6. The navigation software routed us to a supercharger that was about an hour off our route! Plus, it happened to be rush hour, and it was on very crowded roads, slowing us down even more. I was really getting worried about running out of juice. Not only that, but when we finally got to the plaza, my wife yelled out not to go in because there was a MacDonald's in it and that's all SHE saw. Being an obedient husband, I drove on by and then immediately realized she was wrong. I'll leave out all the expletives. This was on the Boston Turnpike at rush hour, which is about as bad as traffic can get. The charge was getting low, about 10%, I couldn't remember how to bring up the charger locations on the map, and there were no upcoming exits, so I was getting very nervous.

    Finally, and I'm not proud of this at all, I pulled over and BACKED UP 1-1/2 MILES, on the shoulder, to get back to the super charger location. Once I figured out how to position the 2 white lines in the best way to keep me centered on the shoulder, it ALMOST became like a video game. But it was very scary, truckers really disapproved and honked a lot, and I felt like a complete idiot. After finding the Superchargers, I made sure to TOP UP to at least 90%. Eventually, I started speaking to my wife again.
So, this morning I got up early and went through the manual, and learned all the things I should have known on the drive. I'm better prepared now, but a tad gun-shy. HOWEVER, I AM STILL LOVING THE CAR!

One remaining question: When on TACC, it felt like trucks were passing me way too close, even though I was centered in my lane. If a vehicle DOES get dangerously close, will TAAC move away from it, sound an alarm, turn itself off, or any combination of those 3 things?

Here's hoping this thread can help other new owners like myself!

- Richard
Still wondering:

When on TACC, it felt like trucks were passing me way too close, even though I was centered in my lane. If a vehicle DOES get dangerously close, will TAAC move away from it, sound an alarm, turn itself off, or any combination of those 3 things?

TIA,
Richard
 
There is no "dumb cruise control", only TACC. A lot of people wish for dumb cruise control because of "phantom braking" (the car sometimes slowing down or even an abrupt stop for no apparent reason).

I've had my Model 3 for almost 3 years and have probably used the automated driving features less than you. 😄 It's so fun to drive manually, and I don't really trust the car to drive itself.

@Jerry Ham's comments are spot-on. Range anxiety disappears with experience. 90% at a SuperCharger is *WAY* high. Unless the car tells you to, keeping the battery mostly in the lower half on road trips is the way to do it.

The Model Y's rear visibility is abysmal, as you've discovered. The Model 3 is better.

I hope your trip went well. Congrats on owning the world's best selling car!
 
There is no "dumb cruise control", only TACC. A lot of people wish for dumb cruise control because of "phantom braking" (the car sometimes slowing down or even an abrupt stop for no apparent reason).

I've had my Model 3 for almost 3 years and have probably used the automated driving features less than you. 😄 It's so fun to drive manually, and I don't really trust the car to drive itself.

@Jerry Ham's comments are spot-on. Range anxiety disappears with experience. 90% at a SuperCharger is *WAY* high. Unless the car tells you to, keeping the battery mostly in the lower half on road trips is the way to do it.

The Model Y's rear visibility is abysmal, as you've discovered. The Model 3 is better.

I hope your trip went well. Congrats on owning the world's best selling car!
Thank you! We have the drive back this afternoon, which is pretty boring. But the sound system is great, I love just pressing the right SW button and telling it what artist to play. It's also intreating to see the list of songs that follow. On the way in, one choice ran down the rabbit hole list to Perry Como!

I always use cruise control because like many drivers I observe, I unconsciously speed up or slow down for various reasons. Then I end up playing games with various cars to get back to my preferred, mostly legal, speeds. CC makes things much easier and more consistent for ME.

And now that I think I understand how to plan it better, it should be less stressful.

One question, I assume the charge recommendations are for battery health and longevity, is that correct?
 
Wow, you are brave! Nice post, by the way.

I have 23,000 miles on my Model X, and still do not use Autopilot (lane keeping) in heavy traffic.

When I first got the X I tried Autopilot and FSD (for a month, back when I got her they did not include a 90 day FSD trial), and rapidly found I did not like the feeling of giving up control of the car. So, I took it out to Highway 441, west of where I live, and drove to an area where traffic is not too heavy to try it out and get the feel of how it works.

I use TACC and Autopilot on road trips on the Interstate highways and sometimes in stop and go traffic in urban congestion, but find it unnerving in 75 -80 mph heavy traffic situations, and rapidly have got tired of scaring my wife half to death. And if I am driving out in open country and come up on a cluster of trucks I need to pass, I drop it out of autopilot, and sometimes TACC, until I pass all the trucks. I agree, it does seem too close, and in these situations I like to be in control. This is just me, everyone has, or will develop, their own feel for it.

For planning a road trip consider using the app A Better Route Planner. I use it to get a feel for where the chargers are located, but use the Tesla Navigation system for the actual driving. You can set the SOC you want to arrive at a charger, and your destination SOC in ABRP, but not on the Tesla Nav. Just use the Tesla recommended SOC to get to the next charger, and until you get comfortable, leave it charge until you will arrive at the next SC with 15 or 20% SOC. But be careful about your SOC at your destination, more about that below.

If you are traveling to visit family or friends in very rural areas, it would be helpful to have the Tesla Mobile Connector, and a variety of NEMA Plug Adapters in your Frunk, and perhaps a heavy gauge extension cord. I have this:


I visited a friend in a very rural part of Alabama recently, and they were located about 50 miles from the closest SC. This is the part of AL between Montgomery and Meridian, MS. Being able to charge on their NEMA 6-50 he had for his welder saved a lot of driving to the SC in Montgomery (the closet one) because we did a lot of driving during the 6 days I was staying at their house. But just in case the welder outlet had a problem, I arrived with 50% SOC, not what the app said to charge to at my last charging stop in Montgomery. His NEMA 6-50 worked fine, and the rest of my time at their house I was able to charge the car up each night with no issues.

On another trip, the first out of town trip I ever took in an EV, I arrived at friends house at 8% SOC. The Nav said I could do that, so I did it, and gave no thought to where the closest SC was located, which I later discovered was about a 30 minute drive from his house. Lucky for me I had the Mobile Connector, and adapters, in the Frunk and was able to charge from his NEMA 14-30 dryer outlet.

Most people that have discussed the Tesla Mobile Connector on this web site say they never need it so it all depends on where you go and who you visit if this would be important for you.

You asked about battery health. Most people recommend charging to 80% for daily driving, I charge to 70. Most days, my car is only down to 50 or 60. If I am going to the airport in Miami, or some place close by within the range where I do not need to supercharge, I charge to 80 to 90. If going on a road trip, I charge to 90 the night before, then while I am getting ready the next morning, I let the car charge to whatever it can (up to 100%) before it is time to leave. You will get a feel of what you need to charge to, but for most people for daily driving starting the day with anywhere from 60 to 80% works well. Don't stress on it, enjoy the car. You will read some people have battery failures, the vast majority don't have any problems. At 23,000 miles, after 17 months my battery on my MX degradation is 6.1%.

Hope this is helpful.
 
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One question, I assume the charge recommendations are for battery health and longevity, is that correct?

Really just for more efficient travel times. Charging at a SuperCharger is not linear... the higher your state of charge, the slower it charges.

You can probably charge from 0-50% three or four times in the same amount of time it takes to charge from 50-100% once.

As far as battery health and longevity, slower charging is better... like home charging. Also keeping a lower state of charge (50% or lower).

This doesn't mean "never charge above 50%". It just means if you really want to "baby" the battery, try to keep your daily state of charge lower. Maybe charge high for road trips or heavy driving days, but if your daily driving can handle it - set your charge limit to 50%.
 
I thought I had, and trusted the nav system when it routed me to this station as part of the trip, not realizing how off base it was. I will look much more carefully at the routes and stops from now on!
There are plenty of superchargers along that route, should have been an easy trip with no need to go out of your way. I'm sure this being your first trip you weren't adequately prepared and nerves played a part.

Not that you should need them but check out A Better Route Planner (ABRP) and sign up for Plugshare. They're both free and can help you plan your trips in advance to minimize any surprises. Plugshare will show you off network chargers you may want if you're going to more remote locations - good tool to have available.

Congrat's on your new ride!
 
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Most people that have discussed the Tesla Mobile Connector on this web site say they never need it so it all depends on where you go and who you visit if this would be important for you.

Agreed. I travel all over the west and always carry my mobile connector and a CCS adapter, haven't use either in over 5 years other than to test the CCS adapter.
 
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