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First Days with a Model S - Observations, Suggestions for Tesla, Etc.

Discussion in 'Model S' started by wdolson, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I've had my Model S for a little less than a week now and probably haven't driven it as much as some did the first week. I did need to work as well as had some issues with the car that I'll get into.

    I still think this is the best car out there, we had to go to Olympia, WA on Friday. My SO was on a state committee that was meeting for the first time and we took the opportunity to try out the car on the road. I got a chance to recharge the car at a supercharger and generally the trip was pretty good.

    My experience hasn't been perfect though. There were a couple of minor manufacturing defect. It appears some red paint got mixed in with the white under the frunk lid. There were little blotches. After the car walk through and such they took the car into the service center to try and deal with it. It took them about an hour and they apologized for not getting all of it, but they got about 90% of it, which I can live with until the next time the car goes in.

    Additionally a couple of the sensors weren't fully flush with the rear bumper and that will have to be fixed later, but as long as they work, that's good enough for now.

    There are some quirks and issues some I think Tesla should address. Some are some software changes and some are hardware, but I don't think any of them are very big. I could probably do most of the software changes over a few weekends if I had the source code, I'm sure their programmers can do it quicker than I could...

    1) Outgassing - I noticed some people on the forum said they were queasy in the car when they first got it. Some helpful people suggested it might be due to the different acceleration, but that's not it. I've been getting queasy in the car too, even if I'm sitting in it while sitting still! My SO got a severe sore throat the first time we took it out to run errands. I've had an occasional scratchy throat too when I've been in the car.

    We're pretty sure it's all the new stuff outgassing in the car: carpets, upolstry, leather, etc. We both have some sensitivities to new stuff like carpet and such. When the car is parked, we leave the windows open a bit, and have vinegar and baking soda in the car. I also got some of these that I leave in the car all the time:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015CPK4G2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008K6FFF6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I don't know if they are helping any, but we have noticed the smell has diminished. My SO also swabbed down every surface with a mild solution of vinegar, baby shampoo, and water. That seemed to help too.

    2) Eye strain from the blue in the LEDs backlighting the screens - This is the biggest one for me and was the reason I was very depressed Monday night because I didn't think I was going to be able to keep the car. I'm kind of the canary in the coal mine about this, but there is a growing body of evidence that white LEDs (which are blue LEDs with a special coating) cause headaches, eye strain, and mess with your circadian rhythm.

    I have an unusual sensitivity to blue and the specific frequency of blue light blue LEDs produce is very intense to me. I can't focus my eyes on blue LEDs and I have to cover them up in my environment because they are like shining a bright light in my eyes all the time. White LEDs have a pleasant blue hue to them, but being around white LED lighting for any length of time causes to much eye strain it feels like my eyes are being pulled out of my head.

    About 2/3 of the way home from picking up my car, I felt the white LED eye strain coming on. This was despite having the screens in night mode and the intensity turned way down.

    Last year I had to replace one of my work monitors and I found EIZO made an LED back lit monitor with filters to remove the excess blue. Of the 4 monitors I use daily (2 desk top computers with two monitors each), it's the best one for eye strain. Monday evening I was doing research on anything I could do to filter out the excess blue on the Tesla's screens. I found several monitor makers are now advertising blue filtering monitors and there is more research on the eye strain issues with white LEDs.

    If anyone is getting headaches, dry eyes, or eye strain driving their Tesla, it's probably from the extra blue coming off the white LED backlit screens.

    I found 4 different brands of screen protection for the Tesla. Mostly they are sold as touch screen protectors, but the descriptions mention anti-blue properties, though only two quantify it. Here are the brands I found:

    a) Glareshield - this is made by one of the competitors to Xpel and can only be installed by people who do that brand of wrap. One price I found was $90 and nobody in Portland does it, so that was a dead end. They advertise 35% blue reduction, which was the best I found, but they only make it for the center screen, not the instruments.

    b) Abstract Ocean - They have 4 types of screen protection available on Amazon, relatively cheap (under $20), but only available for the center screen. They need to make one for the instrument screen too.

    c) Topfit - also available on Amazon, but the Amazon descriptions are rather thin. On another site I found they do have blue reduction (but don't say hoe much), have an instrument protector, and they are thin glass (stiff rather than flexible). They are more expensive then Abstract Ocean, but they are the only instrument protection I could find.

    d) NuShield - These guys make the biggest deal about blue related eye strain and make blue reducing screen protectors for many cars as well as many commercial computer screens. They advertise blue 32% reduction. You have to order directly from them and they are on the east coast, so it takes longer to get to me than Amazon.

    In the end I bought the Topfit and Abstract Ocean from Amazon with one day shipping which got it to me Wednesday. I didn't drive the car Tuesday. I applied the screen protectors as soon as I got them and both worked worked! I had to pop the Topfit under the instrument bezel just a little bit, but it does the job. I also ordered the NuShield in case and it arrived Friday. I'm holding it in reserve.

    Request to Tesla - please consider doing something about shielding the blue on the screens! I may have to drive a loaner car for a couple of days at some point and while I can mitigate the blue eye strain a bit with BluBlocker glasses, they make the screens very hard to see (the glasses liminate ALL the blue) and it is too dangerous to drive at night with them. I'm an extreme case, but others are probably affected by this too to a lesser degree. There is a growing awareness of this and anti-blue filters for screens should be getting easy to come by for an OEM.

    3) Air Suspension and Long Legs - All my height is in my legs. I'm perfectly fine without the pano roof, but most cars leave me stove up on a long trip if they don't have enough leg room. The Model S has plenty of leg room for me, which was one of my first concerns. However, I found I am very grateful for the air suspension, I need it just to get out of the car without hurting myself. Because of my long legs, when the car is low, I can't get enough leverage to get myself out of the car if it isn't jacked up all the way. I was flailing around grabbing the window, door frame, steering wheel, etc. just to get out of the car. I have bruises all over my thighs from my attempts.

    I was worried I wouldn't be able to get out of the car at all if I was carrying anything. Fortunately I found jacking up the suspension to max allowed me to get out of the car with ease. My only concern now is prematurely wearing out the suspension from jacking it up to high all the time. I'm no athlete, but I'm reasonably spry, I would expect people who have mobility issues would have a lot of trouble getting out of the car without it cranked up to max.

    For anyone who is debating getting the Air Suspension option, I recommend it to anyone with long legs or any difficulties getting out of anything that is too low.

    Instead of having to crank up the suspension every place I stop, it would be nice to have a setting that would automatically adjust the suspension to high every time I put the car into park.

    3) Seats - I have the cloth seats which might have different stuffing from the leather next gen seats, but they feel about the same hardness. My SO has complained about how hard the seats are and overall I would say the seats in my 24 year old Buick are far more comfortable (both when they were new and now). These seats have the back adjustment settings my Buick doesn't have and I tweak them often. I have heard many talk about how comfortable the seats were, have car seats degraded in quality that much in the last 20 years?

    4) Tunein - It's great for podcasts and such, but why no search capability? There are categories, but browsing for the show you want is fine if you are just looking, but if you know what you're looking for, it's a painful process. You can create a Tunein account on another device, save favorites, then log in on the Model S but I haven't been able to log in. The cell signal in my garage is non-existent and I haven't been able to get a reliable wifi signal out there yet either. I'm working on that.

    5) Manual - I like the electronic manual in the car and I've used it several times already, but why no search function?

    6) Normal Regen Braking and Light - I find normal regen is good for most driving conditions, but it's downhill to our driveway and if I try to "coast" with the regular regen, I end up crawling along at Creep speed (I have Creep turned on) which is usually under 5 mph. I can put the car into neutral for part of the hill, but it does get going a bit fast by about 1/2 way down. It would be very handy to have a quick way to switch to light regen temporarily for situations like this. Otherwise I notice I'm actually burning about 280 Wh/mi to go downhill if I want to maintain a normal speed.

    7) Autopilot Warning - I've noticed the warnings always appear at the bottom of the instrument screen, which is blocked by the way I have the steering wheel. I can see it if I lean forward, but in my normal position, I can't see the warnings. At the top of the instrument screen would be easier to see. The tone for the Autopilot warning to put your hands on the wheel is also a bit subtle.

    On our trip last Friday, we had some chaos on the way up. My SO is usually a paragon of steadiness emotionally, however she was nervous about the meeting, had to make some phone calls when cell service was spotty, and was generally flapping because she was up earlier than usual. With her flailing about trying to get organized, I missed the hands on the wheel warnings a couple of times and the car suddenly decelerated while in Autopilot. I was watching the instruments and the road, but because the warning popped up behind the steering wheel and I couldn't make out the warning tone with all the other noise going on in the car, it escalated to slowing down the car.

    If the warnings popped up just above the current speed, they would be a lot more visible and this probably wouldn't have happened.

    8) Operating the Windows - This one is a bit of a mystery to me. I've been opening the windows in the garage to help the car outgas and for some reason you need the key fob to do it. The A/C will come on and the radio will start playing when I get open the door without the key fob, but to operate the windows, I need it. Maybe it's a thing to keep kids from getting hurt playing in the car, but kids playing in the car could do quite a bit to change settings that could give the next driver a nasty surprise.

    If it is some kind of safety thing, it would be nice if there was a setting to allow the windows to operate without the key fob. The youngest member of my household is a car old enough to drink in the US (21). Nobody is going to be messing with the car.

    On the upside, my SO (who likes sports cars) was putting the car through its paces. She normally hates large cars, especially sedans, but I think she's getting to like this one. In about 20 miles of driving she burned off about 40 miles of range. She still doesn't want a large car for everyday driving, but she has said she would have a lot of fun with a P90DL. The local race track has open nights for people to drag race street legal cars. She has said she would do that if she had a P90DL.

    With the instant torque and big acceleration I have found I can confidently slip into merging traffic on the freeway with ease. I can get much more precise speed control than I ever could with an ICE and it was amazingly easy to get used to.

    It's also handy the Model S is a little shorter than my Buick (though same width and same wheelbase). It gives us a little extra room in the garage.

    Despite all the negatives above, I am happy with the car. I am just so thankful the screen protectors dealt with the blue problem. It's depressing to feel sick after bringing home your new car!
     
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  2. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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    Wow, those are some pretty unique issues (at least I hadn't heard most of them mentioned in Tesla forums). I'm curious, did you test drive the car including the seat configuration you picked before you ordered it? I hope you resolve them to your satisfaction quickly.
    Re: TuneIn, if you log in using the same credentials as your mobile app it should carry over your favorite stations to the car.
     
  3. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I hadn't seen the issues raised before either. I've been unable to log in with TuneIn.

    I wasn't able to try the cloth seats before buying. I did a test drive, but they only had next gen seats in their cars in stock. Tesla builds very few inventory cars with cloth seats. I did drive a local owners car last summer, but his car was VIN number 90 (regular production) and he had the original leather seats.

    I don't recall the cloth seats are all that dramatically different in feel from the leather, but I would have to sit in both back to back to get a good comparison.
     
  4. William13

    William13 Member

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    Interesting observations and concerns. I hope Tesla looks at a few of them. Seats, tunein, autopilot I think are universal concerns. The outgasing is likely worse due to production to delivery time frames. The blue LED issue is unlikely to be dealt with in the current design. If others have issues they will need to do aftermarket fixes. Orphan disease.
    The regen going downhill actually works well after you learn how to do one foot driving with more confidence.

    Great critiques that are articulated with a new viewpoint.
     
  5. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Regarding out-gassing, we noticed out new Tesla was pretty new-car-stinky, too. What helped a lot for us was leaving it out in the
    hot sun with the windows and doors open. If you don't have hot sun available you might try closing it up, cranking the heater for a while, opening it to air out, and then repeating this process. I don't think washing/cleaning is going to do you much good, since what you're
    looking to remove here are volatile chemicals in the plastics (which are a) generally not water-soluble and b) not right at the surface).

    Regarding the AP warnings, maybe it is just the way you described it, but it sounds like there was an unsafe amount of distraction
    going on in your cabin. As you will see stated over and over on these forums, no matter what capabilities the car may seem to have,
    it is still ultimately 100% your responsibility to drive and control it. Not saying you weren't, but that would include maintaining a safe
    driving environment.

    Sorry to hear about your more "idiosyncratic" problems with that car. It's a bummer to discover problems you may not have even
    imagined could be problems. I hope you can find workable solutions so your enjoyment of your electric beast can be unhindered.
     
  6. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Only one comment, on the regen. Regen is controlled with the power pedal. If you want to do 10 mph down your driveway, gently push the pedal, and regen diminishes. Regen is not all or nothing; you control it.
     
  7. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    The first couple of days we parked it in the driveway with the windows open, but it's been rainy the last few days. It was a little warmer today and didn't rain, but I forgot to put the car out. The weather is supposed to close in again tomorrow. I also found running the HVAC system on bioweapons mode helped too.

    Wiping down the surfaces did help a bit, it got the oils that were on the surfaces, but more has bubbled up since.

    It's definitely better.

    I was watching the road and the instruments, there was just too much noise to hear the subtle noise and I can't see the warnings at the bottom of the instrument screen. I don't trust AP enough yet to sit back and let it happen, even if it was completely safe to do that. I tend to be hyper alert about new tech, especially anything that could kill me if it goes wrong.

    It is frustrating, but nothing is perfect.

    Good info, I'll have to experiment.
     
  8. Larry

    Larry Member

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    Regarding getting in and out set up another driver profile(I call mine eject) and raise the car to max height and moving everything else where you find it easiest to get out. When you get somewhere just change the profile and you are good to go. I'm 6'5" and this has been working well for me for 3 years
     
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  9. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Great idea on the eject profile! I'm going to do that.
     
  10. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    The only problem I've had with my Exeunt profile is I keep forgetting to change it back when I get and then a couple miles
    out I start wondering why nothing is configured the way I want it...
     
  11. Naonak

    Naonak Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how tall are you? I'm 6'2" and have absolutely no problems getting in and out of the car. That said, I also manage to get in out and of my Exige just fine (though it's a chore, for sure).

    On the note of the instrument cluster being blocked by the steering wheel - that one is easy. If it's blocked, your steering wheel is adjusted improperly (and probably unsafely) ... you need to adjust your steering wheel properly and into a safe configuration. The rule of thumb is you should be able to lean back and have your wrist draped over the top without discomfort or stretching. I'm not a big proponent of that method, as I find it a little far away for me, so playing with that metric a bit would yield better results for you perhaps. However, if you can't see the instrument cluster, it's definitely in an unsafe position. Yes, it will require some retraining of your "comfort" setting in your brain, but once it's retrained, all things will be fine.

    This goes for seat position as well... I see many people with improper seat positioning in the car (and I used to be the same way), it takes a few days to get used to the proper positioning, but once you do, you don't have any desire to go back to the funky positioning you used before.

    Here is a good starting point for the wheel and seat: How to Adjust Seating to the Proper Position While Driving

    Like I said, it takes some getting used to if you have been doing it improperly for years... but once you do, it will feel natural.

    With regards to the autopilot tones - how can you miss those? They are loud screeches and impossible to miss from an audio standpoint. If you have too much noise in the cabin to miss the audio cues, you need to quiet the cabin down a bit. Missing the dash notifications is understandable if your attention is elsewhere, but the audio tones are very "in your face" and very annoying in their frequency.

    Lastly, I want to thank you for the info on the blue light reduction screens - I don't have the problem you have, but I wouldn't mind reducing the blue light from the backlights and now have an excuse to buy one of those protectors to see how it improves things. I would like if you could report back on which one you like better.
     
  12. msnow

    msnow Active Member

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  13. MDMGSO47

    MDMGSO47 Member

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    I have a problem with getting in and out of the car, and I am an average sized guy. Practically every car in this price range has a drivers seat which automatically retracts to the farthest back position to assist entry and exit from the driver seat, and automatically returns to the last preset after the driver gets back in the car and puts his/her foot on the brake. On the Model S, you have to make it go back manually to exit the car, and hit the preference preset bar with you foot on the brake when you get back in.

    This should be easily achievable with a firmware update. This feature is particularly necessary on the Model S since the front door openings are cramped and at an angle due to the aerodynamic shape of the car.

    Below is my Email to Tesla and Tesla's response.


    "2. Driver Seat Auto Retraction. Practically every car in this price range automatically retracts to the farthest back position to assist entry and exit from the driver seat, and automatically returns to the last preset after the driver sits on the seat and puts his/her foot on the break. This should be easily achievable with a firmware update. This feature is particularly necessary on the Model S since the front door openings are cramped and at an angle due to the aerodynamic shape of the car."

    "2. I will put in a feature request about an ‘exit’ seating adjustment."

    My guess is even if Tesla ultimately upgrades, it will be part of a premium package.





     
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  14. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Maybe try less flailing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    I am 5'8" and have a hard time squeezing into the driver's seat. To alleviate it I ended up lowering the seat all the way down as my driver position. It feels a bit low for my comfort but helps entry/exit and I don't have to fiddle with the touch screen every time I enter/exit. Please please Tesla give us entry/exit assist!

    Also in general I feel the cabin space is very small. I've never had the top of my head so close to the headliner before. It took some getting used to. The first few times I shifted my head forward to see cross traffic, I slammed my head into the headliner. Also, when I take coworkers out, the back cannot fit 3 adults comfortably. The two people on the outside have to duck the entire drive. So after the first couple attempts, I no longer drive when there are 5 of us.
     
  16. RogerHScott

    RogerHScott Active Member

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    Get smaller friends. ;);)
     
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  17. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I'm only 6'2", but my waist is higher than my SO's 6'5" ex.

    First off only the bottom 1 cm of the instrument panel is blocked. If I lowered the steering wheel any further, it would be compressing my thighs.

    And I have to run the seat so far back, it's never comfortable to hang my wrist over the top of the steering wheel. One thing I like about the Model S is the steering wheel telescopes further than any other car I've ever driven, but it would have to telescope about 4 inches or so before I could hang my wrist of the top comfortably. At least for any length of time. I can physically do it without much trouble, but my arms are going to start aching after a while.

    If I move up the seat any I'm going to end up resting my chin on my knees. In my SO's old Outback, I'd run the seat back all the way and I'd still end up with my knees level with the steering column. That's agony on the lower back after a couple of hours.

    Good advice, but completely impossible for me, at least as far as the seat position and steering wheel position go. I have never, in my entire life been 10 inches from the steering wheel with arms at 120 degrees. If my legs are in the best position with the best telescoping steering wheel (Model S) at it's maximum, the distance is about 15 inches and my arms are about 160 degrees.

    First off I'm still unfamiliar with the things the car does. This was the first road trip. When the car started slowing down it did make very insistent sounds that were obvious, but my SO was trying to get her phone to connect and was yelling into it as the signal was bad.

    With the bottom 1 cm of the instruments blocked from my normal seating position (I can see it if I lean forward), I didn't see the notices pop up. They would be much more visible if at the top than at the bottom.

    Topfit is the only one I found that makes an instrument screen protector. I like the glass screen protectors because they are a lot easier to put on. The Abstract Ocean one is working on the touch screen. I haven't tried the NuShield yet, though I did hold it up over some blue LEDs and they went from a blurry blob to a more distinct point of light.

    The Abstract Ocean has the advantage of being the cheapest and easily obtained. They include some instructions which were a good idea to follow. Getting all the dust off the screen took a while. I did it in the driveway on a sunny day so I could see all the dust and I used a really good screen cleaning cloth I got on Ebay a year or so back. I had to wait for most of the dust in the cabin to settle down after I turned off the A/C and many bits landed on the touch screen.

    Once I got all the dust removed it wasn't tough. The protector is floppier than a glass one, but it's thicker than the average cell phone protector, so you can maneuver it a bit easier. The Topfit center screen protector is also glass, so it probably goes on even easier than the Abstract Ocean one.
     
  18. Lex

    Lex Member

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    Congrats and thanks for your interesting write-up.

    I believe the legend goes as follows... veteran owners feel free to correct me.

    The fob used to allow "all windows down" with a double tap on the top button. People loved it. However, other people woke up to a car full of water with the windows down.

    While they had presumably sat on their fobs, many were certain they had not (wonder if the windows have Autopilot style logs).

    Just to make sure it stopped happening the power windows got detached from any remote capabilities (our loss if you ask me) and seem to be "active" only when the car is "on".
     
  19. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    I hope somebody finds some of it helpful at some point.

    A bit of history I didn't know. It would be nice if they could bring the same capability to the Tesla app on phones. It would be much tougher to accidentally drop your windows that way.

    If they want to be really slick, monitor the sensors that operate the rain sensing windshield wipers and if it senses the windows down and enough moisture to trigger the wipers, it sends you an alert on your phone that the windows are open and it appears to be raining. It wouldn't be 100%, but it would definitely work if there was a heavy rain.
     
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  20. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, I just did some measurements from the steering wheel. When the seat is set so I can reach the pedals comfortably, legs at a comfortable angle, etc. With the steering wheel telescoped as far as it will go (as close to me as possible), I'm 17-18 inches from the steering wheel and my arms are at 140 degrees when at 9 and 3.

    I ran the seat up to where I was only 11 inches from the steering wheel and my left knee was pressing against the auto pilot control stock, which would be a very dangerous way to drive. Both knees were at least half way up the steering column at that distance.

    Basically those instructions posted above don't work for me. Just FYI.
     

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