Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • We just completed a significant update, but we still have some fixes and adjustments to make. Please see this thread for more details and to find out how to revert to the old design. Cheers!

First 2 weeks and 1000 miles - my thoughts!

Disneyfan1313

New Member
Oct 1, 2021
4
14
MCO
I managed to hit about 1000 miles in my first two weeks of M3LR ownership, so I thought I would share some of my experiences from test drive through now. For some context, I live in Orlando, Florida and my car before this was a 2013 Camry.

Test Drive: Not a great first impression unfortunately. I had made an appointment, showed up on time and everyone seemed very confused. I guess somehow it had assigned me to the (very busy) manager for my test drive. While he was very nice and knowledgeable he basically dropped me off at the car and walked away and clearly didn’t have time to talk. When I came back there was more confusion and they put me with someone who told me that he usually just porters cars to the chargers and hasn’t really talked to someone about buying one before. Sigh. Ok. Unfortunately he couldn’t answer any of my (even basic questions) - things like what are the differences in sound systems between the SR+ and the LR and even though he promised follow up I never heard from him again.

A few months later I decided to place my order when I saw delivery dates starting to extend out to November. Then by late August it was clear that I would get delivery by Mid September. I was assigned a sales advisor who for the first day was great about responding to emails and texts then completely dropped off the map. My buddy who purchased one in Orlando about a month prior had a similar situation with the exact same person and had to get a manager involved to get any answers to questions, etc. I almost would rather they work on commission because then at least I would know I would have someone trying to help me purchase this car. My credit union would only pay by check and that seems to be the last thing Tesla wants to accept. I kept getting conflicting information on how they wanted the check made out, the sales agreement kept getting rejected by the credit union since Tesla kept putting the wrong info on it, etc. I’ve never had an issue like this purchasing a car before.

Delivery date started off with an hour wait from our appointment time since they were “so behind” and then being told that we would have to wait longer if we wanted the car to have more than 45% power since they didn’t have a working supercharger. Then our sales guy was once again completely confused by the check, didn’t know what to do with it, had to go ask someone, etc. Is it that unusual to pay by certified bank check? Then the real fun started - I had read on this forum, Reddit, etc the importance of taking your time to do a full check before taking delivery. He wanted me to sign for delivery before even seeing the car - I politely explained I wanted to do a quick 15 minute check before signing off. He told me that wasn’t possible and I was required to sign for delivery before he could show me the car. I politely pushed back, he huffed, said fine and walked me out. He then held out the tablet again and said before I could check anything I needed to sign for delivery. I explained once again that everything I had read said to not do that because if there is an issue I’m now stuck with the car. He huffed once again - literally said “whatever” rolled his eyes and turned around and walked away without saying another word.

We spent a quick 15 minutes checking everything and found a couple of small things we wanted to ask about. We went back inside and our guy was no where to be found. One of the other advisors said he would help us, was super nice and got us out of there in 10 minutes and answered all of our questions! Why couldn’t that be the experience all the way through!

Car Thoughts!

Positives: extremely fun to drive and I didn’t notice any of the “fit and finish” or QC issues that I’ve seen mentioned on here. I love the tech (for the most part) and it’s actually more comfortable for long distances than I thought it would be based on my test drive.

Things I wish I had listened to from the forum:

Range anxiety when you can’t charge at home is a real thing! I’m very glad I can charge at work usually (although it’s expensive) but I also really wish I could charge exclusively at superchargers without worrying about the battery. It’s a tough transition to “think differently” with this - like there is a slow charger I could use for free about 2 miles away from my house - but then I would have to figure out how to get back and forth from it since it would need to be there 4-6 hours. It doesn’t change my opinion of the importance of going electric, it just makes it more difficult.

The lack of satellite radio! I really underestimated how big of a deal this is for me. I’ve had XM since it came out in every vehicle I’ve owned. I’m doing the Alexa car and streaming thing - but it’s just not the same. This and a lack of other Apple car play features might have been a deal breaker for me in hindsight.

How much more expensive insurance would be. Holy cow! I had read this but once I started pricing it I already had my loan set and was a bit locked in. I should have dug into this first.

Sentry mode if you park in an area where you will have lots of “events” will suck your batter more than I expected. I’m not sure I like having to choose between having sentry on and having range anxiety.

Nitpicky things!
The mapping isn’t good. Why on earth can’t we use Google maps? It really takes away from the overall integrated experience of the car. If you don’t want to let us choose our mapping software at least incorporate some features like alternate route choices, etc.

The AC is not great for Florida. I might just be used to analogue controls but I want an easy way to max out my ac instantly besides multiple touch screen presses. Manual vents seem to work better for aiming even though the screen controls seem flashy, etc.

I really like the cruise control, but autopilot seems to make driving more stressful to me. It feels like a novelty in its current form, I’m sure FSD feels much more natural with lane changes, etc.

The lack of a handle above the doors has been pointed out by every single person I’ve given a ride to!

The bad-
The automatic wipers are pretty much useless. How this passed any type of approval is nuts. Every other car manages to make this work. If you live in a climate with a lot of variable rain, be prepared to go back to adjusting your wipers manually.

I guess I missed this during my research - but no spare tire and no run flats? I have the spare kit on order but having to spend $400 for something every other car I’ve owned has had seems kinda nuts.

Personal preference issues -
I didn’t realize how stressful having a “nice”
car would be. I’m not a “car guy” - I don’t want to spend time detailing it, worrying about where I’m parking, etc. I like that when I get into my Camry that I don’t care if it gets dented. Driving the Tesla has me on edge the entire time. I hope that changes over time.

Hope this makes sense and wasn’t too much of a text wall! To be honest, I do have a little bit of buyers remorse - mostly related to the stress of having a “nice car” and having to worry about it all the time. I likely would have returned it based on that alone if they still had a return policy. That being said, it is a great car - but it is a different experience and you should really make sure you are ready for that experience before buying.
 
Upvote 0

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,562
13,494
Riverside Co. CA
As a note, the "sentry mode events" are not what is "sucking your battery". Simply being in sentry mode prevents the car from going to sleep, which is what causes the extra battery drain. How many "events" it has is immaterial, the very act of having sentry mode being on is the cause of that additional drain.

I also happen to be in the camp that tells people "dont buy this car, or any EV unless you are doing it for other reasons than convenience" if they dont have home charging. People do it, but I certainly dont recommend it... especially since people who cant charge at home are also the same people who likely are going to want to use sentry mode, which drains 1-2 miles of range an hour, so if someone is parked for 10 hours, thats 10-20 miles of range lost just sitting there.

A lot of people also assume some variation of "The car has 353 miles range, I only drive 30 miles a day, I can charge every 7-8 days and have a buffer left over, so not having home charging is fine" and it will never work like that.

You dont have to "spend time detailing it" any more than you would for any other non beat up car. My model 3 P went about 6 months between even getting rinsed off recently, let alone washed. Thats only a thing for you because you are coming from a less expensive car. Nothing says this car needs to be detailed, parked, etc any different than any other vehicle. Its not a appreciating porsche, or a mazerati or something.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tm1v2 and orion2001

Disneyfan1313

New Member
Oct 1, 2021
4
14
MCO
As a note, the "sentry mode events" are not what is "sucking your battery". Simply being in sentry mode prevents the car from going to sleep, which is what causes the extra battery drain. How many "events" it has is immaterial, the very act of having sentry mode being on is the cause of that additional drain.

I also happen to be in the camp that tells people "dont buy this car, or any EV unless you are doing it for other reasons than convenience" if they dont have home charging. People do it, but I certainly dont recommend it... especially since people who cant charge at home are also the same people who likely are going to want to use sentry mode, which drains 1-2 miles of range an hour, so if someone is parked for 10 hours, thats 10-20 miles of range lost just sitting there.

A lot of people also assume some variation of "The car has 353 miles range, I only drive 30 miles a day, I can charge every 7-8 days and have a buffer left over, so not having home charging is fine" and it will never work like that.

You dont have to "spend time detailing it" any more than you would for any other non beat up car. My model 3 P went about 6 months between even getting rinsed off recently, let alone washed. Thats only a thing for you because you are coming from a less expensive car. Nothing says this car needs to be detailed, parked, etc any different than any other vehicle. Its not a appreciating porsche, or a mazerati or something.
Thanks so much for the clarifying the sentry mode piece. For some reason I thought I read that the amount of events matters, but good to know it doesn’t.

You hit the mail on the head with the “thinking I could charge once a week” piece. That is literally almost the exact way I figured it out.. and yeah - not so much. I’m sure I will develop more of a routine with this as time goes on.

Thanks also for the advice about not needing to keep it perfect. Everyone around me seems to be very obsessed about keeping them dent free and perfect and it’s hard not to take some of that pressure on!
 
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience. The experience is different for each of us and I'm hopeful that you will find many of the negatives to not be negatives after you get more used to them.

Two things I wanted to mention. First, I love your username - our family are HUGE Disnerds :) Second, for the AC thing, keep in mind that you can use voice commands to control the air temperature. I use voice commands for a LOT, so I rarely have to actually touch the screen. I did video on it, but I'm not into self-promotion, so if you want the link, please send me a DM. There are a LOT of resources out there on the internet and Youtube for voice commands.

Other than that, I hope your enjoyment of the car grows over time.
 

ss71

Member
Aug 5, 2021
103
73
Wisconsin
Everything leading up to you driving away in the car is terrible and Tesla needs to assure that what you experienced does not happen.

I think over time most of the other things you noted will either become more enjoyable or less annoying. I came from a 2007 Acura which was precious when I first got it but after a couple of years, much less so. I regularly park somewhat away from people both for car protection and I get a few more steps in which is a good thing too.

I have had my Model 3 for 5 weeks today. Last week we were on vacation and I had a recent model Camry as a rental. I was shocked at how much I had gotten used to all sorts of things about the Tesla and that being back in a "normal" car was frankly annoying. Keys? Terrible. Having to start the car? Terrible. The incredibly lumpy and random dash layout was tough on the eyes and the infotainment screen felt like it was two decades old. Acceleration was pitiful Yes, I even hit the wiper stalk twice when trying to shift to Drive or Reverse. The point I'm making is that I suspect in a few weeks, you will shudder at the concept of driving anything else.
 
Always enjoy reading new owner's perspectives, I mean, I'm only ~3-1/2 months into my ownership, but I've sorted out several things that initially made me very apprehensive.

FWIW, we're up in the St. Augustine area, and we come down to Orlando a decent amount, both to hit up Universal Studios (2-3 times a year) and we generally fly out of MCO (vs. JAX).

I'm going to leave out the delivery part - I mean, it certainly sounded a little off putting, so give that time to fade away, I've noticed people tend to be more negative towards the car who had a poor purchase/wait/delivery.

I ordered online, had all my paperwork done and uploaded in the next 24 hours, and had the car in my hands in 9 days. Zero direct interaction with anybody, everything fully automated, no issues - we loved the experience - and even though the pickup day was rainy, it was a pretty terrific Father's Day adventure :)

Like you, we also got a really good car, I mean, while I'm a "Car Guy", and have had show cars and whatnot, I still am not what I'd call overly fussy, like 1-10, where 1 is you're OK with the car not even being painted and 10 is using a micrometer on every seam, I'm somewhere in the 6-6.5 range. :D

I'll just echo @jjrandorin's comment: for me, and that includes when I make recommendations to people about EVs, it's very, highly contingent on having home charging, and at least of the 30a or more variety.

I'd say __maybe__ if you had good, available daily L2 at work (where you went 5 days a week), and/or a super convenient SuC, then maybe none-to-15a home charging might work out.

I've seen the insurance thing, ours stayed the same, we pay, with very stout coverage, ~$907/year for a '21 Wangler 4xe and a '21 Tesla M3P.

I guess location, use (our cars are in very low use), security/where they're parked, other insurance services/stacked discounts, all makes a huge difference.

Nav seems fine, it certainly works great in the context of Supercharging, where you can select a location, get a report of available chargers, and the car will also go into a preconditioning to optimize charge time when you stop.

As I mentioned, I'm in Northeast Florida, and I find the AC works outstandingly well. We picked ours up in mid-July, so were still at the peak of the heat. We have the white interior which is terrific (worked great the few times I've parked outside for a long period), and being able to pre-cool is just awesome. If I'm dealing with a super hot car, I'll vent for 2-3 minutes, then fire up the AC, then after a few minutes close the windows, and just 10 minutes in advance and the car is super cool, including all the surfaces.

I also have not really had any issues with the wipers, even with our typhoon level popup storms, in fact, I find the Tesla is a superb foul weather vehicle (our Wrangler stays topless :D). I have the wipers set for auto, and use the stalk to occasionally do a manual trigger (also for cleaning).

XM, I hear you, seems like a simple thing to integration, and I'm a huge fan of Car Play, had it in my last two cars, and the last two (including the current) wife/family vehicles - I miss a simple car based UI to access my existing playlists, my podcast content - sure, you can BT the audio from the phone, but then you're fiddling around with an extra device.

Even if they didn't do a full CP implementation, add Apple Music as a service, just like Spotify or the video services, that's the way many 3rd party products offer integration.

I think some of these things you'll get used to, find ways to better use the existing systems, and keep in mind, Tesla is alway - albeit, slower than most of us would prefer - improving the vehicle. There's a MAJOR new version of the car OS due out, that should improve several things.


My model 3 P went about 6 months between even getting rinsed off recently, let alone washed.

You monster.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,562
13,494
Riverside Co. CA
@MaskedRacerX ... my "funny" was in relation to the obviously funny comment at the end of your post. I really like the rest of your post, but we are not able to mark two reactions, so.... lol

@Disneyfan1313

I made a post in the model Y section recently, explaining the "WHY" around my quote that "people expect that they can charge once every 7-8 days, and it doesnt work like that".

I am going to copy / paste it here, even though it was in another thread, as I think it will help explain why that is. The more people who can educate others on the WHY around this, the better. Its something that has the potential to really sour a new owners experience, if they went into it thinking "I dont need to get home charging because I only have to go "fill up" once a week, just like I did with my gas car, thats not an issue".

below is the copy / paste of my post in another thread. The numbers are from model Y but its the same considerations / math etc.

==================================================

This is one of the biggest mistakes potential tesla owners make, in my personal opinion. I personally am not a huge fan of owning one of these cars without either home or work charging (as in, charging where you live, or spend 8 hours working at).

People without home or work charging tend to think some variation of " Oh, I am buying a car with 300 miles range, I only drive 20 miles a day, so I should be able to charge every 10 days or so and have some spare left over" and it absolutely, positively does...no...work at all like that.

Lets use a model Y that has "326 Miles EPA range". EPA range bolded for a reason.

No one is going to drive from 100-0. Its recommended to charge on a regular basis to no more than 90%, and most people are not going to go much below 20% on an EV.

90% of 326 is 293.4 (lets call it 294)
20% of 326 is 65.2 (lets call it 66)

So, right off the bat, a "326 EPA range" model Y has an actual effective range of 294-66, or 228 miles of range.

This does not take into account that the EPA range can only be achieved if one drives like the EPA tests (just like a gas vehicle). On average, if a commute above is 20 real world miles, that commute will take between 20 and 35 miles off the range meter, depending on weather, speed driven, etc.

None of this takes into account energy used while not driving, like sentry mode, or taking lunch in your car and watching netflix or disney plus, etc etc

So the above fictional person, who has a 20 mile commute but no home charging, and who expects "Oh my tesla goes 326 miles, my commute is only 20 miles a day, so 10 days of usage should be 200 miles, so this will be a piece of cake", is in for a rude awaking.

What will actually happen for this person is their 20 mile commute will likely use 30 miles of range on average, and they dont have "326 milees" they have 228 miles, or 7 days ish before their car is at 20% or lower.

Its also VERY common for someone who doesnt have home charging to also want to use sentry mode (because if they had a garage they likely could plug in at home), so there goes another 12-20 miles a night of usage they were not expecting. Call that, conservatively, 15 miles a night, and now the car is using 30 miles driving + 15 miles a night, or 45 miles a day, for a "I need to refill the battery" time of 5 days, when they were expecting on a conservative basis to do it every 10 days and have plenty left over.

Change the math for whatever your actual commute is. If you were expecting 7 days, its probably more like 3.

When I see people ask in the model 3 subform "should I buy this car if I dont have home charging" I usually say "only if you have some reason other than convenience for buying the car".

Home charging (or work) changes all of that, because it simply doesnt matter how much power you use then, because you dont go anywhere to "fill up". That 20 miles a day driven uses 30 miles a day, but so what, its not even noticed.

I am just laying out the "real world" usage for "not charging at home", and how many miles people use. This is not a "tesla" issue, really, its an "EPA range" issue and the fact that people look at the miles and forget that they are not going from 100-0.
 

Zacster

Member
Sep 11, 2017
303
158
NYC
My home charging is a 15amp 120v outlet, and even that is enough for my usage since I'm retired. But the thing I noticed is that the plug gets hot and I don't really like that so we've been using the nearby supercharger more lately and just let the car run down much lower than we used to. And after a trip we always supercharged because it would take days to fill it again since we only would do it overnight because of the electric discount.

My last supercharge was a whopping $7.82 probably more than at home but still, not a lot. Oh, I have the solar company measuring my roof next week and they promised install and up and running by end of year. From that point it will be practically free since the system will provide 98% as they've so far configured it and that estimate included charging at home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MaskedRacerX

Disneyfan1313

New Member
Oct 1, 2021
4
14
MCO
Thanks everyone again for all of your feedback and help. I've driven quite a bit more and my thoughts have morphed a bit now that I have gotten more comfortable with the car.

- I still feel like I have to treat it like a fragile baby. I really don't know what to do to get past this - the car just "feels" fragile and it is tough for me to not worry about it constantly.

- While not having XM was a "deal breaker" in the beginning. I have hardly used my XM radio Amazon Alexa work around at all. I've started to enjoy what is built in and don't really feel the need to supplement it.

- Driving really is fun. It is a great experience from the moment you get in until the moment you get out.

- Range anxiety has gone down but is still there. I've adjusted my thoughts about how frequently I will have to charge when I am out, where I can charge, etc.

-I've started just keeping sentry mode off more unless I feel like I am in an unsafe area. That is helping with my battery usage a bit but does defeat the point of this feature.

- Tweaking AC settings and getting used to the nuances has helped me get more comfortable with it. Although I do still miss the analogue dial and turn it all the way up to full blast on a hot day.

-Automatic wipers still suck. I find myself just turning them on and off manually via the touchscreen which isn't ideal.

-Much more comfortable with Autopilot, but really only when the roads are pretty empty. It is nice for my drive home from work at 2am!

Overall I am much happier with the car and glad that I didn't have the option to return due to buyers remorse!
 

dmurphy

Active Member
Supporting Member
Dec 7, 2018
3,926
5,551
New Jersey - Morris County
Thanks everyone again for all of your feedback and help. I've driven quite a bit more and my thoughts have morphed a bit now that I have gotten more comfortable with the car.

- I still feel like I have to treat it like a fragile baby. I really don't know what to do to get past this - the car just "feels" fragile and it is tough for me to not worry about it constantly.

- While not having XM was a "deal breaker" in the beginning. I have hardly used my XM radio Amazon Alexa work around at all. I've started to enjoy what is built in and don't really feel the need to supplement it.

- Driving really is fun. It is a great experience from the moment you get in until the moment you get out.

- Range anxiety has gone down but is still there. I've adjusted my thoughts about how frequently I will have to charge when I am out, where I can charge, etc.

-I've started just keeping sentry mode off more unless I feel like I am in an unsafe area. That is helping with my battery usage a bit but does defeat the point of this feature.

- Tweaking AC settings and getting used to the nuances has helped me get more comfortable with it. Although I do still miss the analogue dial and turn it all the way up to full blast on a hot day.

-Automatic wipers still suck. I find myself just turning them on and off manually via the touchscreen which isn't ideal.

-Much more comfortable with Autopilot, but really only when the roads are pretty empty. It is nice for my drive home from work at 2am!

Overall I am much happier with the car and glad that I didn't have the option to return due to buyers remorse!

Glad to hear you’re “settling in” with the car! It takes some getting used to, but things like CarPlay will be a distant memory.

Sorry you had a poor delivery experience - it’s the polar opposite of the ones we’ve had. I’m convinced it’s really dependent on the individual delivery center; the one I used (Paramus NJ) was spectacular. Unfortunately the roof collapsed in Hurricane Ida so they’re still closed. Hopefully reopening soon.

Now; as for owning the car in FL…. If you start getting used to preconditioning the car before leaving (ie going into the app and setting a temperature) … you’ll never miss that analog AC dial. The way I look at it; in the “old world” — I needed to crank the AC or heat to get the car so I wouldn’t be miserable. With the Tesla, one click in the app a few minutes before I get in, and the car gets to living room temperature … so I don’t need to crank up the AC or heat. It’s perfectly comfortable. Probably one of my favorite features!

You’ll get more used to Autopilot as you go. It’s a game changer once you have a level of comfort and trust for it. That does take a while though!

Best of luck with the car; and keep in mind that the day you bought it is the LEAST functional it’ll ever be. Software updates keep making it better every day!
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin
For Auto Pilot, it's funny I actually had the opposite experience, I started using it all the time, figuring if I'm in stop and go traffic every day, it would save me headaches, but I stopped using it when I noticed a slow down but the car didn't until it was close and locked up all 4 brakes to stop in time. I've never trusted AP in situations where we might slow down since, and rarely use it now. Maybe on a highway where I want to sit in 1 lane, but that's probably it.

And yes, so far, the biggest downside of the car for me is the service centers. No one there really seems to care, the wait times are insane, and Tesla is just pumping out more vehicles every quarter. I'm very hesitant about their infrastructure going forward, if I have a problem I don't want to wait a month just to get an appointment, then another month to get the parts.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,212
1,529
Syracuse, NY
I managed to hit about 1000 miles in my first two weeks of M3LR ownership, so I thought I would share some of my experiences from test drive through now. For some context, I live in Orlando, Florida and my car before this was a 2013 Camry.

Test Drive: Not a great first impression unfortunately. I had made an appointment, showed up on time and everyone seemed very confused. I guess somehow it had assigned me to the (very busy) manager for my test drive. While he was very nice and knowledgeable he basically dropped me off at the car and walked away and clearly didn’t have time to talk. When I came back there was more confusion and they put me with someone who told me that he usually just porters cars to the chargers and hasn’t really talked to someone about buying one before. Sigh. Ok. Unfortunately he couldn’t answer any of my (even basic questions) - things like what are the differences in sound systems between the SR+ and the LR and even though he promised follow up I never heard from him again.

A few months later I decided to place my order when I saw delivery dates starting to extend out to November. Then by late August it was clear that I would get delivery by Mid September. I was assigned a sales advisor who for the first day was great about responding to emails and texts then completely dropped off the map. My buddy who purchased one in Orlando about a month prior had a similar situation with the exact same person and had to get a manager involved to get any answers to questions, etc. I almost would rather they work on commission because then at least I would know I would have someone trying to help me purchase this car. My credit union would only pay by check and that seems to be the last thing Tesla wants to accept. I kept getting conflicting information on how they wanted the check made out, the sales agreement kept getting rejected by the credit union since Tesla kept putting the wrong info on it, etc. I’ve never had an issue like this purchasing a car before.

Delivery date started off with an hour wait from our appointment time since they were “so behind” and then being told that we would have to wait longer if we wanted the car to have more than 45% power since they didn’t have a working supercharger. Then our sales guy was once again completely confused by the check, didn’t know what to do with it, had to go ask someone, etc. Is it that unusual to pay by certified bank check? Then the real fun started - I had read on this forum, Reddit, etc the importance of taking your time to do a full check before taking delivery. He wanted me to sign for delivery before even seeing the car - I politely explained I wanted to do a quick 15 minute check before signing off. He told me that wasn’t possible and I was required to sign for delivery before he could show me the car. I politely pushed back, he huffed, said fine and walked me out. He then held out the tablet again and said before I could check anything I needed to sign for delivery. I explained once again that everything I had read said to not do that because if there is an issue I’m now stuck with the car. He huffed once again - literally said “whatever” rolled his eyes and turned around and walked away without saying another word.

We spent a quick 15 minutes checking everything and found a couple of small things we wanted to ask about. We went back inside and our guy was no where to be found. One of the other advisors said he would help us, was super nice and got us out of there in 10 minutes and answered all of our questions! Why couldn’t that be the experience all the way through!

Car Thoughts!

Positives: extremely fun to drive and I didn’t notice any of the “fit and finish” or QC issues that I’ve seen mentioned on here. I love the tech (for the most part) and it’s actually more comfortable for long distances than I thought it would be based on my test drive.

Things I wish I had listened to from the forum:

Range anxiety when you can’t charge at home is a real thing! I’m very glad I can charge at work usually (although it’s expensive) but I also really wish I could charge exclusively at superchargers without worrying about the battery. It’s a tough transition to “think differently” with this - like there is a slow charger I could use for free about 2 miles away from my house - but then I would have to figure out how to get back and forth from it since it would need to be there 4-6 hours. It doesn’t change my opinion of the importance of going electric, it just makes it more difficult.

The lack of satellite radio! I really underestimated how big of a deal this is for me. I’ve had XM since it came out in every vehicle I’ve owned. I’m doing the Alexa car and streaming thing - but it’s just not the same. This and a lack of other Apple car play features might have been a deal breaker for me in hindsight.

How much more expensive insurance would be. Holy cow! I had read this but once I started pricing it I already had my loan set and was a bit locked in. I should have dug into this first.

Sentry mode if you park in an area where you will have lots of “events” will suck your batter more than I expected. I’m not sure I like having to choose between having sentry on and having range anxiety.

Nitpicky things!
The mapping isn’t good. Why on earth can’t we use Google maps? It really takes away from the overall integrated experience of the car. If you don’t want to let us choose our mapping software at least incorporate some features like alternate route choices, etc.

The AC is not great for Florida. I might just be used to analogue controls but I want an easy way to max out my ac instantly besides multiple touch screen presses. Manual vents seem to work better for aiming even though the screen controls seem flashy, etc.

I really like the cruise control, but autopilot seems to make driving more stressful to me. It feels like a novelty in its current form, I’m sure FSD feels much more natural with lane changes, etc.

The lack of a handle above the doors has been pointed out by every single person I’ve given a ride to!

The bad-
The automatic wipers are pretty much useless. How this passed any type of approval is nuts. Every other car manages to make this work. If you live in a climate with a lot of variable rain, be prepared to go back to adjusting your wipers manually.

I guess I missed this during my research - but no spare tire and no run flats? I have the spare kit on order but having to spend $400 for something every other car I’ve owned has had seems kinda nuts.

Personal preference issues -
I didn’t realize how stressful having a “nice”
car would be. I’m not a “car guy” - I don’t want to spend time detailing it, worrying about where I’m parking, etc. I like that when I get into my Camry that I don’t care if it gets dented. Driving the Tesla has me on edge the entire time. I hope that changes over time.

Hope this makes sense and wasn’t too much of a text wall! To be honest, I do have a little bit of buyers remorse - mostly related to the stress of having a “nice car” and having to worry about it all the time. I likely would have returned it based on that alone if they still had a return policy. That being said, it is a great car - but it is a different experience and you should really make sure you are ready for that experience before buying.
So basically mostly negative experience, cause your "positives" are really negatives.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
11,562
13,494
Riverside Co. CA
So basically mostly negative experience, cause your "positives" are really negatives.

I think you could stop right after this. I am very sorry for your suffering before you got into the Model 3 (I had a Camry too long time ago).

Thats a little rough, especially since this OP took the time to come back and post their experience AFTER making that post and living with the car a little longer. When people get off to a bad start, but then start figuring out how they can make things work better, they almost never come back and say that.

OP, thanks for circling back and giving an updated impression. Like I said, people who are in your specific circumstance (got off to a rough start, then after a bit more time, getting the "stink" of the delivery experience off and figuring out how the car works in their day to day life) almost never come back to say that.
 

alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
1,187
1,204
42
The bad-
The automatic wipers are pretty much useless. How this passed any type of approval is nuts. Every other car manages to make this work. If you live in a climate with a lot of variable rain, be prepared to go back to adjusting your wipers manually.
I learned that wipers can be now trained. They are learning from you when you adjust them manually, and they will try to mimic what you expect of them in the future.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: KenC
- Tweaking AC settings and getting used to the nuances has helped me get more comfortable with it. Although I do still miss the analogue dial and turn it all the way up to full blast on a hot day.


If your car has been sitting outside all day (and probably not as much of an issue now it's November ...), and you don't have a ton of time before getting in - or haven't prescheduled the climate system - use the app to: 1) turn on the AC, 2) vent windows for like 60-90 seconds, then close.

That initial heat release will get you to a super comfy temp much faster.

I know this sounds like, "Well, no *sugar* ...", but I'm surprised at people who don't do this (with any car).

Side note: I'm exploring some 3rd party Tesla apps, some of which allow for automations, I'd love to have a single tap version of the above!
 
  • Like
Reactions: DocHolliday

alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
1,187
1,204
42
- I still feel like I have to treat it like a fragile baby. I really don't know what to do to get past this - the car just "feels" fragile and it is tough for me to not worry about it constantly.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, this often happens to many cars when they are new. I still wash my Tesla manually only, but I consider this a new hobby.
- While not having XM was a "deal breaker" in the beginning. I have hardly used my XM radio Amazon Alexa work around at all. I've started to enjoy what is built in and don't really feel the need to supplement it.
You can find and play basically anything that is available online around the world. During short trials in other cars I couldn't find XM radio worth the money. But I guess it is personal. I wonder how many XM radio stations are actually playing live on the internet and are accessible in Tesla.
- Range anxiety has gone down but is still there. I've adjusted my thoughts about how frequently I will have to charge when I am out, where I can charge, etc.
It is really hard (and rather expensive) to be unable to charge at home. Remember that if the car shows only 20 miles left and 10 miles to the supercharger, you will make it! Planning my trips, I usually add about 20%-30% over the calculated charge needed to reach the destination, then I am always driving in a solid comfort zone. I also found that you can almost always achieve EPA numbers if you drive super-lethargically with AC off. But that is not a pleasant experience. It is a plan B.
-I've started just keeping sentry mode off more unless I feel like I am in an unsafe area. That is helping with my battery usage a bit but does defeat the point of this feature.
I think you can also turn the Sentry mode on and off from your phone when you feel it is unsafe time, not only unsafe place. If you are on 2021.36.8 software version you also should be able to watch what is going around your car.
- Tweaking AC settings and getting used to the nuances has helped me get more comfortable with it. Although I do still miss the analogue dial and turn it all the way up to full blast on a hot day.
Turn on the AC a few minutes before coming to your car, then you may not need a full blast when you enter the car.
-Automatic wipers still suck. I find myself just turning them on and off manually via the touchscreen which isn't ideal.
Find here on TMC or elsewhere how to train your wipers.
-Much more comfortable with Autopilot, but really only when the roads are pretty empty. It is nice for my drive home from work at 2am!
It take some time to learn the limits of the Autopilot. My wife never used it (she's the primary driver), but I use it all the time. If you have FSD then the lane changes are really useful, if I have a car without FSD then I would turn of the Autopilot by tapping the stock up, then change the lane manually, and then reingage. I don't know how you do it, but I would prefer not to overpower the Autopilot by turning the steering wheel. The FSD Beta IS NOT better in driving along straight lines. It is less predictable (not predictable at all) than the Autopilot. It changes lanes on city streets super smoothly though.
Overall I am much happier with the car and glad that I didn't have the option to return due to buyers remorse!
Every new car has a learning curve. With Tesla, the learning curve never flattens as software changes the way the car works. Remember, that Sentry mode did not exist before 2019. Get ready for continuous improvement of your car, a lot of fun ahead.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: jjrandorin

alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
1,187
1,204
42
Thats a little rough, especially since this OP took the time to come back and post their experience AFTER making that post and living with the car a little longer. When people get off to a bad start, but then start figuring out how they can make things work better, they almost never come back and say that.
Okay, thanks, I tried again. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin

tm1v2

Member
Oct 18, 2021
295
200
USA
Is it that unusual to pay by certified bank check?
No it's not, buying a car with a cashier's check is very normal. For my recent Model 3 purchase, once my VIN was assigned Tesla reps kept pushing on me via SMS and phone calls to pay up front, each time I told them we would bring a cashier's check and they'd say oh that's fine. (Actually first I was going to wire the payment, but then I decided there was no reason to pay before the car was in front of me.) When we picked up the car our delivery center staff had no issues with the cashier's check.

He wanted me to sign for delivery before even seeing the car - I politely explained I wanted to do a quick 15 minute check before signing off. He told me that wasn’t possible and I was required to sign for delivery before he could show me the car. I politely pushed back, he huffed, said fine and walked me out. He then held out the tablet again and said before I could check anything I needed to sign for delivery. I explained once again that everything I had read said to not do that because if there is an issue I’m now stuck with the car. He huffed once again - literally said “whatever” rolled his eyes and turned around and walked away without saying another word.

Tesla's whole thing of pay and accept before you even get to open the car is ridiculous. I never before bought a car without first seeing, sitting in, and in fact driving the exact car I was about to purchase, new or used. I did give in to not driving my Model 3 before accepting & paying, but I too very much insisted on giving it a look over inside & out, and sure enough there were two obvious issues that need fixing. Then the staff made it clear they aren't allowed to fix anything there, clearly they're not doing much QC at delivery centers, so I feel absolutely justified in doing some QC myself.

Now I'm not keen on obsessing over every panel gap, I just have different priorities for my cars, and I think Tesla staff have some justification for eye-rolling over the level of inspection detail some people are encouraging. But Tesla does have real QC issues compared to most automakers these days. Actually for all I know other automakers have similar issues...but I think most dealers actually look over their cars first and fix anything blatantly wrong before showing them to customers. The delivery center staff made it clear Tesla doesn't want them fixing anything (even though they have a nice garage bay)...so probably every issue that escapes factory QC or happens during shipment, shows up for customers to see.

Range anxiety when you can’t charge at home is a real thing! I’m very glad I can charge at work usually (although it’s expensive) but I also really wish I could charge exclusively at superchargers without worrying about the battery. It’s a tough transition to “think differently” with this - like there is a slow charger I could use for free about 2 miles away from my house - but then I would have to figure out how to get back and forth from it since it would need to be there 4-6 hours. It doesn’t change my opinion of the importance of going electric, it just makes it more difficult.
Are you getting a wall connector or 240V 40A-50A outlet installed soon? You mentioned "house" so I assume that's doable. I definitely wouldn't recommend an EV if you can't setup L2 charging at home. I've actually been in that situation temporarily at times with my Model S, and it's a bit of a pain even with free work charging + free superchargering nearby.

I really like the cruise control, but autopilot seems to make driving more stressful to me. It feels like a novelty in its current form, I’m sure FSD feels much more natural with lane changes, etc.
You mean you like the adaptive cruise control (ACC / TACC) but not the lane keeping (autosteer)? If so I totally agree! I love ACC/TACC, it's a big physical relief to not keep my foot pressed on the pedal, but I find autosteer more stressful to watch over than just steering myself.

Though I've only used TACC on my new Model 3 once so far, and I am worried about the radar sensor removal. It was okay on that drive home from the delivery center, but it seemed less consistent and less smooth than I remember from Model S loaners, and definitely less smooth than ACC on some other cars I tested (e.g. Polestar 2). But that's just one initial test, I'll see how it goes once I start driving the car more.

Btw FSD is just a novelty in its current state. I don't have it but it's really obvious from videos and user reports. I mean it's kind of neat, but it's obviously much more stressful to drive with FSD than not. Self driving on public roads is really difficult, and I think Tesla has made the problem even more difficult than it has to be with their technological approach. I've been in self-driving cars that were worlds better than Tesla's misnamed "FSD" Beta. Yes those other cars were geo-fenced and covered in big obvious sensors, but at least they were usefully good within their geofencing. Maybe FSD Beta is useful in some specific places, but you'll have to do a lot of very stressful testing to find that out.

Hope this makes sense and wasn’t too much of a text wall! To be honest, I do have a little bit of buyers remorse - mostly related to the stress of having a “nice car” and having to worry about it all the time. I likely would have returned it based on that alone if they still had a return policy. That being said, it is a great car - but it is a different experience and you should really make sure you are ready for that experience before buying.
There is something less stressful about having a beat up looking older car! Too bad the used car market is so crazy right now - it mostly doesn't make financial sense to buy used right now, unless you go for something old enough that it's a pile of maintenance waiting to happen, or just a very undesirable, unappealing junk car.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin

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