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First Time Driving a Tesla- Just got my MY

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
148
185
Fishkill
So I just got my Tesla MY AWD LR yesterday and drove it home. It was the ultimate in leap of faith because I haven't ever driven ANY Tesla before- not even test drive or rental. So I wanted to write something for those who were like me and ordered the car and didn't know what to expect when first driving it out of the lot.


Here are my top 5 Wow/What? as a very first time Tesla driver:

  1. Standard Regen is REALLY slowing. So I'm sure like me you know when you get off the gas the car regenerates power- and people have said you can drive "with one foot." I had no idea what that meant till yesterday. I wrote in a different thread that it was like learning stick shift. I would step on the gas and the car would lunge forward in power, so I would get completely off the gas and the standard regen would act like firmly (not emergency) applying the brake- and my passengers would whiplash forward. So like learning a stick everyone in the car is swaying forward and backward as I step on the gas and off the gas (it was hysterical actually). I would say it similar to driving a bumper car. And if you stick it out for a few miles, you'll get the hang of how to finesse the gas pedal so it slows gently and accelerates gently. You can also reduce the regen to "mild" I think- you still feel it but it isn't as powerful. I will tell you I decided to go full regen and get used to it- and by the time I got home I love it- and I think I used the brake twice in 50 miles (not an exaggeration).
  2. How do I turn it off? So I know your supposed to just walk away and it turns off. But really? The A/C is still on, screen still blaring the "P" - just walk away? YES- take your phone and walk away, then go visit the car without your phone and you'll see it has gone dark. Its funny, the idea of getting into the car and having it ready seemed completely natural, but just walking away? I've been driving cars for nearly 35 years- it will take some time to learn not to worry about "turning it off."
  3. Autopilot. So after about 10 miles my car's cameras were calibrated so Autopilot said it could be used. So then I stopped at a rest stop and turned on the features- then is was off to the highway to try it out. On the highway it did well- it saw a car swerving into my lane (clearly texting while driving) and it slowed down appropriately. I will say it was on "mild" aggressiveness for lane changing- and if you're from NY that will just drive you crazy, you have to at least go to standard otherwise your autopilot won't want to change lanes unless you're like 10 below the speed limit. BUT the weirdest thing was driving Autopilot on a state, curvy road. IMO autopilot likes to turn the wheel about a half second after I would have turned the wheel- so I'm constantly like "should I take over" and then the car moves the wheel and takes care of the turn... that half second I'm sure I'll get used to, but it will take learning. Overall though I can see myself using this a lot.
  4. The car is big- but not minivan big. So I got this car so my family of four could go on vacation and travel to see the grandparents, etc all comfortably. And both my kids have less school in front of them than behind them, so my wife and I see this car as our future "empty nest" car. For that I think this car is perfect. Now I will say, I've watched WAY too many videos reviewing the MY- and every camera angle shows the trunk as HUGE. Its big, its like a large hatchback- I do love it, but its not minivan big. I guess when I lifted the hatchback for the first time I was expecting a cavern like I've seen on YouTube- no cavern but a nicely sized hatchback. So I'm thrilled- it is perfect for what I want it to do, but if you're coming from a big SUV or Minivan, go look at one first. They are showing up in Tesla dealerships and you can at least snag a glimpse at one.
  5. The Doors are Heavy- so opening and closing the doors require some serious pull/push. I mean not like weightlifter effort, but coming from a Toyota Camry and Sienna, yeah, more. Plus you have to get used to pushing the button to get out (maybe BMWs, etc have this already, but if you're coming from a simple Camry this is all new). These door are solid. I certainly feel safe, but watch your screen because its not unusual so far for one of the kids doors to be registering as open when they think its closed (besides the screen, the giveaway is also the window isn't up).
Those are my top 5 things as a first time Tesla Driver. Now let me just note a few things I was worried about but it was no big deal:

  • Do I need a HUD or speedometer in front of me? Nope, I was really worried about this but it took all of 1 min to learn to glance right. I really couldn't believe how non-important this was to me until I drove the car.
  • Night Driving- so we took the car out last night when it got dark to see what its like. Its weird because there is no light in front of you when you're driving. I knew this but it is different to experience it yourself. I'm not saying its bad, actually I felt like it was easier to see everything in front of me without the dim lights of the dashboard-but its different.
  • Everything in the "iPad" in the middle. Ok, I haven't driven in the rain yet so I'm not sure about the windshield wipers, but honestly- it was way easier than I thought. I put this in the no big deal category.
  • Everyone comments on your speed- because the speedometer is so big and centered and now everyone is a critic- and its incredibly easy to speed in this car, which is why I see me using Autopilot so much.
Hope some new Tesla people find this useful... And its fun to have joined the Tesla Family.
 

NevadaFrenchy

Member
Feb 22, 2020
147
83
Bay Area, CA
So I just got my Tesla MY AWD LR yesterday and drove it home. It was the ultimate in leap of faith because I haven't ever driven ANY Tesla before- not even test drive or rental. So I wanted to write something for those who were like me and ordered the car and didn't know what to expect when first driving it out of the lot.


Here are my top 5 Wow/What? as a very first time Tesla driver:

  1. Standard Regen is REALLY slowing. So I'm sure like me you know when you get off the gas the car regenerates power- and people have said you can drive "with one foot." I had no idea what that meant till yesterday. I wrote in a different thread that it was like learning stick shift. I would step on the gas and the car would lunge forward in power, so I would get completely off the gas and the standard regen would act like firmly (not emergency) applying the brake- and my passengers would whiplash forward. So like learning a stick everyone in the car is swaying forward and backward as I step on the gas and off the gas (it was hysterical actually). I would say it similar to driving a bumper car. And if you stick it out for a few miles, you'll get the hang of how to finesse the gas pedal so it slows gently and accelerates gently. You can also reduce the regen to "mild" I think- you still feel it but it isn't as powerful. I will tell you I decided to go full regen and get used to it- and by the time I got home I love it- and I think I used the brake twice in 50 miles (not an exaggeration).
  2. How do I turn it off? So I know your supposed to just walk away and it turns off. But really? The A/C is still on, screen still blaring the "P" - just walk away? YES- take your phone and walk away, then go visit the car without your phone and you'll see it has gone dark. Its funny, the idea of getting into the car and having it ready seemed completely natural, but just walking away? I've been driving cars for nearly 35 years- it will take some time to learn not to worry about "turning it off."
  3. Autopilot. So after about 10 miles my car's cameras were calibrated so Autopilot said it could be used. So then I stopped at a rest stop and turned on the features- then is was off to the highway to try it out. On the highway it did well- it saw a car swerving into my lane (clearly texting while driving) and it slowed down appropriately. I will say it was on "mild" aggressiveness for lane changing- and if you're from NY that will just drive you crazy, you have to at least go to standard otherwise your autopilot won't want to change lanes unless you're like 10 below the speed limit. BUT the weirdest thing was driving Autopilot on a state, curvy road. IMO autopilot likes to turn the wheel about a half second after I would have turned the wheel- so I'm constantly like "should I take over" and then the car moves the wheel and takes care of the turn... that half second I'm sure I'll get used to, but it will take learning. Overall though I can see myself using this a lot.
  4. The car is big- but not minivan big. So I got this car so my family of four could go on vacation and travel to see the grandparents, etc all comfortably. And both my kids have less school in front of them than behind them, so my wife and I see this car as our future "empty nest" car. For that I think this car is perfect. Now I will say, I've watched WAY too many videos reviewing the MY- and every camera angle shows the trunk as HUGE. Its big, its like a large hatchback- I do love it, but its not minivan big. I guess when I lifted the hatchback for the first time I was expecting a cavern like I've seen on YouTube- no cavern but a nicely sized hatchback. So I'm thrilled- it is perfect for what I want it to do, but if you're coming from a big SUV or Minivan, go look at one first. They are showing up in Tesla dealerships and you can at least snag a glimpse at one.
  5. The Doors are Heavy- so opening and closing the doors require some serious pull/push. I mean not like weightlifter effort, but coming from a Toyota Camry and Sienna, yeah, more. Plus you have to get used to pushing the button to get out (maybe BMWs, etc have this already, but if you're coming from a simple Camry this is all new). These door are solid. I certainly feel safe, but watch your screen because its not unusual so far for one of the kids doors to be registering as open when they think its closed (besides the screen, the giveaway is also the window isn't up).
Those are my top 5 things as a first time Tesla Driver. Now let me just note a few things I was worried about but it was no big deal:

  • Do I need a HUD or speedometer in front of me? Nope, I was really worried about this but it took all of 1 min to learn to glance right. I really couldn't believe how non-important this was to me until I drove the car.
  • Night Driving- so we took the car out last night when it got dark to see what its like. Its weird because there is no light in front of you when you're driving. I knew this but it is different to experience it yourself. I'm not saying its bad, actually I felt like it was easier to see everything in front of me without the dim lights of the dashboard-but its different.
  • Everything in the "iPad" in the middle. Ok, I haven't driven in the rain yet so I'm not sure about the windshield wipers, but honestly- it was way easier than I thought. I put this in the no big deal category.
  • Everyone comments on your speed- because the speedometer is so big and centered and now everyone is a critic- and its incredibly easy to speed in this car, which is why I see me using Autopilot so much.
Hope some new Tesla people find this useful... And its fun to have joined the Tesla Family.
Great write up! I was confused reading #1 at first. After reading you came from a Camry and Siena, your tendency to lunge forward by pressing too hard on the accelerator suddenly made much more sense. Came from a BMW 3 series and neither my wife nor I had this issue on our test drive, probably because we’re used to a more sensitive accelerator.
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
148
185
Fishkill
Great write up! I was confused reading #1 at first. After reading you came from a Camry and Siena, your tendency to lunge forward by pressing too hard on the accelerator suddenly made much more sense. Came from a BMW 3 series and neither my wife nor I had this issue on our test drive, probably because we’re used to a more sensitive accelerator.

Yeah, I have a Toyota Camry Hybrid with a CVT tranny... so from a stop basically you floor it to start moving like a regular car. It did great, BUT not a good plan on a local stop sign in the MY. :)
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
148
185
Fishkill
Re: #2 Turning off. Watch out when you drive a non-Tesla. More than once after I got my first Tesla I was driving my wife's Camry Hybrid and neglected to turn it off after parking. That fact that it was a hybrid and the engine wasn't running makes it easy to do.

Good Safety tip... thanks! I find valets do that often.
 

dandrewk

Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2019
1,221
857
Marin County, CA
Awesome write up. Your experiences mirrors many of those new to Tesla and/or EVs. Once you get used to it (e.g. one pedal driving, the quiet ride, never having to deal with keys/fobs) it's hard to go back to ICEs. Oh, and then there's the acceleration! Yowza!

I agree with @RichardKJ. We actually have a couple of non-Teslas :)D). Many times I've tried to start the car and am surprised it doesn't respond. Oh... I need to push a button... how quant! :). Then when I exit, I open the door and the car starts beeping at me? Huh? Oh yeah, I have to push a button to turn it off and manually (gasp!) engage the parking brake. That is soooo 2018! :D
 

chengka

Member
Dec 6, 2019
112
91
Denver, CO
Thanks for your post..I often wonder about the fixation over a speedometer. I mean why do I need one. I generally base my speed on other cars and experience. Just keep away from 15mph school zones
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
148
185
Fishkill
Thanks for your post..I often wonder about the fixation over a speedometer. I mean why do I need one. I generally base my speed on other cars and experience. Just keep away from 15mph school zones

What I actually miss is WAZE and its map of- lets say "slow down zones." I might get the device that slips over the top of the screen and puts a cell phone charger/holder just to the upper right of the screen (found here on amazon)- because I really think I need my WAZE. (it also can be changed to the upper left side of the screen for those on the other side of the pond.)
 

dandrewk

Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2019
1,221
857
Marin County, CA
What I actually miss is WAZE and its map of- lets say "slow down zones." I might get the device that slips over the top of the screen and puts a cell phone charger/holder just to the upper right of the screen (found here on amazon)- because I really think I need my WAZE. (it also can be changed to the upper left side of the screen for those on the other side of the pond.)

FWIW, you can get Waze via the website on the car's web browser. Sadly though, it doesn't auto-refresh.
 

WeRDisturbed

Member
Mar 15, 2020
7
4
Little Elm, TX
Regarding driving in the rain, I noticed my Model 3 wouldn't turn on as often as I liked. I applied RainX to the windshield which fixed most of those scenarios. One thing I learned after driving the car for a while was if you press the end of the turn signal in, it will run the wipers once, press it firmly and it sprays the cleaner and runs the wipers a few times. So if there's a bit of a mist and it's not triggering the auto, I just give the button a quick press and it takes care of it. After that there's really never a need to click into the console to mess with the wipers while on auto.
 
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Reactions: Fred42

AnneFC

Member
Mar 7, 2020
8
6
Santa Barbara
We picked up our MY last Tuesday and I also had never driven a Tesla. Felt like I had just purchased a spaceship and now needed to figure out how to drive it. I’ve now been out and about in it 3 or 4 times (don’t judge we don’t drive much during these crazy times) and driving and getting used to the braking system was slightly bizarre. Very choppy driving for the first few miles, but getting better at it. Walking away with radio and ac going was also strange. We had to check a couple times to see if it had locked and weren’t sure if having it in the garage did lock it. Went to pick up groceries yesterday and I loved that I could raise the back with just a quick touch of the screen and then shut it when groceries had been put in. Still figuring out what the rolling balls on the left and right side of the steering wheel do. I know they change mirror positions, increase volume on audio and use right side for telephone calls. Feel like it’s going to be a learning process for awhile. Plugging it in for the first time felt great!
 

wordragon

New Member
Oct 14, 2019
4
6
Philadelphia, PA
Great summary! On #3 (Autopilot) - I found the hardest thing for me to get used to on my 3 was its insistence on driving in the middle of the lane (I generally drove more to the right side). It took me awhile to trust it knew what it was doing. It's a great tool for dealing with some of the drudgery in traffic on a daily commute.
 

Blueboy

Member
Jan 13, 2020
28
17
San Jose, CA
> IMO autopilot likes to turn the wheel about a half second after I would have turned the wheel

I drive an M3, and have a MY on order. With the M2 autopilot, this is one of my big complaints. Expressed differently, autopilot seems to want to hug the outside of the curve, while my driving style and what I was taught oh so many years ago is to hug the inside of the curve. It also doesn't adjust its lane position when passing another car or truck in the adjacent lane. Now put those two things together - say you are in the left lane, passing a big truck in the lane just to your right, and the road curves to the left. AP will have the car go uncomfortably close to the truck as it hugs the outside side (right side) of the lane, even as the truck is on the inside (left side) of its lane. I've had to take over control several times when it seemed like we were going to bump into each other (at 70 mph).
 

GoBlue88

Member
Apr 1, 2014
853
263
Carlsbad, CA
  1. Standard Regen is REALLY slowing. So I'm sure like me you know when you get off the gas the car regenerates power- and people have said you can drive "with one foot." I had no idea what that meant till yesterday. I wrote in a different thread that it was like learning stick shift. I would step on the gas and the car would lunge forward in power, so I would get completely off the gas and the standard regen would act like firmly (not emergency) applying the brake- and my passengers would whiplash forward. So like learning a stick everyone in the car is swaying forward and backward as I step on the gas and off the gas (it was hysterical actually). I would say it similar to driving a bumper car. And if you stick it out for a few miles, you'll get the hang of how to finesse the gas pedal so it slows gently and accelerates gently. You can also reduce the regen to "mild" I think- you still feel it but it isn't as powerful. I will tell you I decided to go full regen and get used to it- and by the time I got home I love it- and I think I used the brake twice in 50 miles (not an exaggeration)
Nice, and congrats!

One thing you need to train yourself to do, and I know it is hard (I drove gas cars for 28 years before getting my Model S in 2014), is change how you refer to the pedal that makes the car go. It's "the accelerator" not "the gas". :D
 

JC 3s wild

New Member
Apr 11, 2020
2
2
Chula Vista
So I just got my Tesla MY AWD LR yesterday and drove it home. It was the ultimate in leap of faith because I haven't ever driven ANY Tesla before- not even test drive or rental. So I wanted to write something for those who were like me and ordered the car and didn't know what to expect when first driving it out of the lot.


Here are my top 5 Wow/What? as a very first time Tesla driver:

  1. Standard Regen is REALLY slowing. So I'm sure like me you know when you get off the gas the car regenerates power- and people have said you can drive "with one foot." I had no idea what that meant till yesterday. I wrote in a different thread that it was like learning stick shift. I would step on the gas and the car would lunge forward in power, so I would get completely off the gas and the standard regen would act like firmly (not emergency) applying the brake- and my passengers would whiplash forward. So like learning a stick everyone in the car is swaying forward and backward as I step on the gas and off the gas (it was hysterical actually). I would say it similar to driving a bumper car. And if you stick it out for a few miles, you'll get the hang of how to finesse the gas pedal so it slows gently and accelerates gently. You can also reduce the regen to "mild" I think- you still feel it but it isn't as powerful. I will tell you I decided to go full regen and get used to it- and by the time I got home I love it- and I think I used the brake twice in 50 miles (not an exaggeration).
  2. How do I turn it off? So I know your supposed to just walk away and it turns off. But really? The A/C is still on, screen still blaring the "P" - just walk away? YES- take your phone and walk away, then go visit the car without your phone and you'll see it has gone dark. Its funny, the idea of getting into the car and having it ready seemed completely natural, but just walking away? I've been driving cars for nearly 35 years- it will take some time to learn not to worry about "turning it off."
  3. Autopilot. So after about 10 miles my car's cameras were calibrated so Autopilot said it could be used. So then I stopped at a rest stop and turned on the features- then is was off to the highway to try it out. On the highway it did well- it saw a car swerving into my lane (clearly texting while driving) and it slowed down appropriately. I will say it was on "mild" aggressiveness for lane changing- and if you're from NY that will just drive you crazy, you have to at least go to standard otherwise your autopilot won't want to change lanes unless you're like 10 below the speed limit. BUT the weirdest thing was driving Autopilot on a state, curvy road. IMO autopilot likes to turn the wheel about a half second after I would have turned the wheel- so I'm constantly like "should I take over" and then the car moves the wheel and takes care of the turn... that half second I'm sure I'll get used to, but it will take learning. Overall though I can see myself using this a lot.
  4. The car is big- but not minivan big. So I got this car so my family of four could go on vacation and travel to see the grandparents, etc all comfortably. And both my kids have less school in front of them than behind them, so my wife and I see this car as our future "empty nest" car. For that I think this car is perfect. Now I will say, I've watched WAY too many videos reviewing the MY- and every camera angle shows the trunk as HUGE. Its big, its like a large hatchback- I do love it, but its not minivan big. I guess when I lifted the hatchback for the first time I was expecting a cavern like I've seen on YouTube- no cavern but a nicely sized hatchback. So I'm thrilled- it is perfect for what I want it to do, but if you're coming from a big SUV or Minivan, go look at one first. They are showing up in Tesla dealerships and you can at least snag a glimpse at one.
  5. The Doors are Heavy- so opening and closing the doors require some serious pull/push. I mean not like weightlifter effort, but coming from a Toyota Camry and Sienna, yeah, more. Plus you have to get used to pushing the button to get out (maybe BMWs, etc have this already, but if you're coming from a simple Camry this is all new). These door are solid. I certainly feel safe, but watch your screen because its not unusual so far for one of the kids doors to be registering as open when they think its closed (besides the screen, the giveaway is also the window isn't up).
Those are my top 5 things as a first time Tesla Driver. Now let me just note a few things I was worried about but it was no big deal:

  • Do I need a HUD or speedometer in front of me? Nope, I was really worried about this but it took all of 1 min to learn to glance right. I really couldn't believe how non-important this was to me until I drove the car.
  • Night Driving- so we took the car out last night when it got dark to see what its like. Its weird because there is no light in front of you when you're driving. I knew this but it is different to experience it yourself. I'm not saying its bad, actually I felt like it was easier to see everything in front of me without the dim lights of the dashboard-but its different.
  • Everything in the "iPad" in the middle. Ok, I haven't driven in the rain yet so I'm not sure about the windshield wipers, but honestly- it was way easier than I thought. I put this in the no big deal category.
  • Everyone comments on your speed- because the speedometer is so big and centered and now everyone is a critic- and its incredibly easy to speed in this car, which is why I see me using Autopilot so much.
Hope some new Tesla people find this useful... And its fun to have joined the Tesla Family.
Welcome to the Tesla Family.
You will enjoy that everytime you drive you learn something new.
What will inpress you is all the updates you will receive.
I have had my 3 for a year and it is not the same as when I got it. It improves every time you get a down load. Enjoy
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
148
185
Fishkill

Yeah, I think I would love to see an autopilot setting that's "slightly left of lane center," "lane center," "slightly right of lane center." So I would pick slightly left of lane center- and the ME in the UK would be maybe slightly right of center. It would also help with merge lanes when the car wants to center itself in the temporary huge lane of merging.
 

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