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First Time Driving a Tesla- Just got my MY

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
Regarding the jerking of acceleration and braking, I strongly recommend using "Chill Mode". You can access it via
Controls > Driving > Acceleration. Chill limits acceleration for a slightly smoother and gentler ride. It makes the accelerator pedal travel further to get the same amount of acceleration, and this makes it much easier to modulate the pedal to accelerate gently and smoothly. I have used Chill mode since early on, and when I recently decided to give standard mode acceleration a try again, it was as bad as I remember it was. I quickly went back to Chill mode.

Thanks- yeah, I haven't left chill yet.
 

TW1898M3

Member
Jun 20, 2019
20
10
Irvington, NY
I was going to say Chill (mode) too. I used it for the first few months that I had my M3, then got used to Standard and I haven't gone back.

Anyway, congrats and welcome to the club!
 

GoBlue88

Member
Apr 1, 2014
853
263
Carlsbad, CA
I suppose it may be useful to post this again...

I see this come up a lot with Tesla owners. Tesla cars do indeed have a gas pedal.

Definition of GAS PEDAL

Gas pedal: "a pedal in a vehicle that is pressed down to make the vehicle go faster : accelerator"

My diesel truck has a gas pedal too.
Definitions occasionally need to be updated as technology evolves. This is a prime example of one.
 

Saguarojoe

Member
May 28, 2017
123
60
Tucson, AZ
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 fun!
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
So I have an update of something I discovered over the weekend that I wanted to share.

Autopilot- changing lanes- and using the signal.

I've been running autopilot with the confirm lane change feature. So it wants to change lanes (or when I wanted it to), I would move the blinker into the direction- blink one, blink two- the car starts to move over and I let go of the blinker-
AND THEN THE CAR SWERVES BACK INTO MY EXISTING LANE.

At first I thought it may have seen something, a car, shadow, something that freaked autopilot out.
And then I learned I WAS DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

In my previous cars you just hold the blinker a bit, it blinks and as you move over you let go of the blinker. But you never actually move the blinker completely over, like you were actually turning.. you would just lightly push lever up or down a bit so it would blink but not get into that "clicked" position. Yeah DON'T DO THAT.. not with Autopilot.

I figured out that I was letting go too soon. Autopilot I guess thought I changed my mind and it would put me back into the original lane (or I would "freak" and take control) and then I realized just push it into the clicked, blinking position- autopilot will undo the click when it moves the car.

Yup- live and learn.

I also learned that if you are in autopilot, push the lever up to disengage it- no need to hit the brake or something.

So this is what I've learned about autopilot this weekend:
  1. The above blinker thing.
  2. Construction Zones- Yeah, when that jersey barrier gets close to the side, the car is not happy- so I basically take over in all construction zones.
  3. Between Interstates... the ramps- yeah, it can do it, but I think I'll do it myself for now. If anyone on this thread is from the NJ area I was taking the exit off of I287 South onto I80 West in Parsippany NJ- That's a fairly sharp turn. When I had to make a trip alone on Saturday I thought I would see what Autopilot would do and it entered that exit at full speed- then slowed down quickly and made the turn in mid-exit. I was totally ready to take over... and I was getting nervous but autopilot did the job... BUT the next day, with my family in the car, yeah, manual mode thank you.
  4. I don't think I'll ever turn off lane change confirmation- I think everything works but it doesn't take politeness into account. If I see a car tooling down the fast lane and I want to pass the car in front, I would wait for that car to zoom by- autopilot doesn't care, it was time to move over (and this weekend one of those cars was a NJ State Trooper- not a good plan to get in front of a zooming trooper car). Not me- I wait. Also it wants to move over too fast for an exit- meaning at T-2.0 miles the car wants to move over to get ready for the exit- even if its uphill with really slow trucks in front of you. Nope, I'll move over at T-0.8 miles after I pass the slow trucks thank you.
  5. Changing lanes is a bit slow. So from blinker to accelerate and move over is about 1 to 1.5 seconds vs when i do it, its gas...er I mean accelerator (I'm paying attention to the thread :) ) and move at the same time. So with autopilot I like to make sure my move-over spacing is larger than if I was driving.
Overall though- Autopilot does have you arrive less tired. I like it a lot.

And thanks to all those comments I was getting... I really do love this car.
 

DDrawer

Member
Mar 25, 2019
656
592
PA
I'd recommend you take a read through the manual. You are using multiple features that are in "beta" testing right now. To use them without knowing how they work could be dangerous.
 

3CostcoFans

New Member
Jun 24, 2020
2
4
Virginia
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.

Thank you so much for posting this! I picked up MY last Friday and your post helped me tremendously! I like you had never driven a Tesla before this. I would have freaked out trying to turn off the car as well. And you had me rolling on the floor talking about the acceleration and braking - whiplash. Every time I did that I thought of you and how thankful I was for your post! Excellent points - thank you! I'm loving MY!
 
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Bad Dolphin

Member
Dec 13, 2018
52
34
Hawaii
Regarding the jerking of acceleration and braking, I strongly recommend using "Chill Mode". You can access it via
Controls > Driving > Acceleration. Chill limits acceleration for a slightly smoother and gentler ride. It makes the accelerator pedal travel further to get the same amount of acceleration, and this makes it much easier to modulate the pedal to accelerate gently and smoothly. I have used Chill mode since early on, and when I recently decided to give standard mode acceleration a try again, it was as bad as I remember it was. I quickly went back to Chill mode.

All in personal preference! As former stick shift drivers, both my wife and I find standard mode amazingly wonderful. We love the strong engine braking and have developed a gentle touch in the accelerator/decelerator pedal. And to knkw that we have the brakes in reserve beyond engine braking is neat.

Not to mention down hill driving! We live on Maui, and my wife was both surprised and delighted when she drove friends up to the Haleakela 10,00 ft summit and then all the way back down in a smooth ride without having to use the brakes—no chance of overheating and brake fade, and great to have fresh brakes in reserve.

Based on manual transmission driving,I suspect that mastering this for driving on slippery surfaces would be much better than conventional braking which can more easily lock up the wheels.

But isn’t it cool that Tesla offers both choices fir your preference and for ours ?
 
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SparkyTX

Member
Feb 26, 2020
266
84
Houston, Tx
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.

Remember the button on the left stalk will run the wipers once if you only press it lightly, like the Mist function in ICE cars. I just leave it on auto as the only time you need to worry about adjusting that is if you go into a car wash and I don't plan on using those with this car. Also when you press it to run the wipers once, the wiper settings appear on the display so you can change it then if needed. It works way better than the auto wipers I had on my Acura.
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
All in personal preference! As former stick shift drivers, both my wife and I find standard mode amazingly wonderful. We love the strong engine braking and have developed a gentle touch in the accelerator/decelerator pedal. And to knkw that we have the brakes in reserve beyond engine braking is neat.

Not to mention down hill driving! We live on Maui, and my wife was both surprised and delighted when she drove friends up to the Haleakela 10,00 ft summit and then all the way back down in a smooth ride without having to use the brakes—no chance of overheating and brake fade, and great to have fresh brakes in reserve.

Based on manual transmission driving,I suspect that mastering this for driving on slippery surfaces would be much better than conventional braking which can more easily lock up the wheels.

But isn’t it cool that Tesla offers both choices fir your preference and for ours ?

It is very cool...

And I should update everyone... I now switch between Chill and Standard. Chill with the family- Standard when by myself. I suspect I'll be standard all the time... The other drivers in my family are still a bit, not nervous but anxious about driving a, and I quote, "rocket ship" so I keep it on Chill when I'm with them so they never have a moment that makes them think about the "rocket" part of the rocket ship.

BTW- trying out the tow hitch this weekend with the bike rack!

I should also add that after watching way too much YouTube videos of people driving their performance Y, I'm so happy to have the LR Standard w 19" wheels. I haven't been in a 20 or 21" wheel performance car, but the video always shows off the stiffer suspension when they go through bumpy roads. My 19" is much smoother (as you would expect, its not setup for high speed turning)- and since I'm not taking it to the track, I'm very happy with my 19s.

And I want to point out- I'm not saying anything bad about the 20 or 21" tires- they are good looking... but my family wanted more of a soft ride, and the 19" tires I think help in that regard.
 
Last edited:

dandrewk

Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2019
1,225
874
Marin County, CA
It is very cool...

And I should update everyone... I now switch between Chill and Standard. Chill with the family- Standard when by myself. I suspect I'll be standard all the time... The other drivers in my family are still a bit, not nervous but anxious about driving a, and I quote, "rocket ship" so I keep it on Chill when I'm with them so they never have a moment that makes them think about the "rocket" part of the rocket ship.

BTW- trying out the tow hitch this weekend with the bike rack!

I should also add that after watching way too much YouTube videos of people driving their performance Y, I'm so happy to have the LR Standard w 19" wheels. I haven't been in a 20 or 21" wheel performance car, but the video always shows off the stiffer suspension when they go through bumpy roads. My 19" is much smoother (as you would expect, its not setup for high speed turning)- and since I'm not taking it to the track, I'm very happy with my 19s.

And I want to point out- I'm not saying anything bad about the 20 or 21" tires- they are good looking... but my family wanted more of a soft ride, and the 19" tires I think help in that regard.

Also be sure to get used to voice commands. That was just about the best added feature in the last few months. Don't know how we lived without it.

Let us know how the bike rake works. I have the hitch and will use it for bike racks. Are you going to use Tow Mode?
 

StanT

Member
Jan 23, 2020
149
185
Fishkill
Also be sure to get used to voice commands. That was just about the best added feature in the last few months. Don't know how we lived without it.

Let us know how the bike rake works. I have the hitch and will use it for bike racks. Are you going to use Tow Mode?
Also be sure to get used to voice commands. That was just about the best added feature in the last few months. Don't know how we lived without it.

Let us know how the bike rake works. I have the hitch and will use it for bike racks. Are you going to use Tow Mode?

Sure will... I'm not using tow mode this weekend, but I will use tow mode in the near future (following weekend)- I have a small trailer that I use to move things that are too big for the car- like couch, etc. But I'm most likely going to just try it out on a nice double axle trailer when I visit my brother in law's house. we both want to see what the car can do... and that's a good test, though well under the max tow.
 
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