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First Week Model S - Range Anxiety, Fit/Finish Concerns, 48 vs 40 Amp

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by mleblanc, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. mleblanc

    mleblanc New Member

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    Location:
    Redding, CT
    I surprised myself that I could wait 4 months, while I finished the payments on my Audi Q7 lease, but finally last week I took delivery on 7/19/2016 of my Model S 70D at the Milford store. My Delivery specialist Jordan was very helpful and polite. But here are my observations, for what it is worth, and hopefully to be sure I get my issues resolved.

    1) Paint Defects: As I walked around the car, I noticed right away about 6 tiny little problems on the hood of the car, mostly what I would expect from a car that had been driven a while and gotten nicks in the paint from road debris. This seemed strange to me, as I would expect any car worth $88K would be protected during transport. The guys from the detail department came over, took a good look at the problems and took the car in the back to be fixed. ONE of the imperfections was a strange little "fisheye" as they called it -- an optical blemish that really stood out, and was larger than the rest.

    They returned the car to me an hour later, and at first I was thankful they touched up the issues. I was told they "wet-sanded" the fisheye (this sounded strange). Then when I got home, the sunlight finally reflected just right to show me what they had done -- which is to say, my hood looked all uniform except for the 3-4 inch circle where they had sanded my hood and now there was no shiny finish in that spot. UGH - it was all I could think about as I drove the car and showed it off to my friends. (It is currently in the shop and I have a loaner, while they bring the car to a body shop to have this somehow repaired. Reminder, this is a brand new car; it should not have to go to a body shop. What ever happened to quality control in the factory?)

    2) Door Separation: On the second day I had the car, I was pulling the driver door closed and I felt the whole inside portion of the door (the leather and plastic/handle, etc.) pull away from the metal. I then saw that there was as much as a one inch separation of the interior from exterior portions and could see the little white plastic clips that attached the two pieces together. Every time I closed the door I could hear a snapping sound when the pieces met briefly. I could snap it all back together, but it didn't last. (I just got them to repair this yesterday, but I still have a loaner while they fix the hood paint issues.)

    3) Consumption Chart: One of the most important things for an EV car like this is to manage your range, and get used to adjusting your driving style so that you know when to be conservative about your electrical use and avoid running out of battery on trips. The way Tesla does this is with the consumption app (whatever they call it) that shows you a graph of your 5, 15 or 30 minute usage. Mine seems to be broken. It always shows me being above 900 WH/M (watt hours per mile?) no matter what I do. While they still have my car, they are supposed to look at this as well. I am curious why this is broken. (I KNOW mine is broken because the one year old loaner MS 85 I am driving had this feature working great and I now understand what I have been missing!)

    4) Range Anxiety: Speaking of range, I now FULLY understand what range anxiety is all about. The 3rd or 4th day I had the car I had to drive 50 miles north to a potential customer's office. I had charged the car overnight to its recommended level (which for me is about 209 miles out of of 240, or about 87%). I drove to the prospective customer's in the morning for that important meeting, and then got in the car for the ride home. As I was about to drive away I got a call asking if I could go to another meeting at a different prospective customer that was past my house and another 40 miles south.

    Simple math: 209 miles range, minus 100 miles (50 miles each way) and then another 80 miles (40 miles each way) = 29 miles left over.

    Ok - so maybe I should confess I am a brand new Model S drive and still like the jack-rabbit starts. VROOOOM! And maybe I don't really drive 55, but more like 85. And some of the driving was up hills on back roads to get to this customer. And yes, it was hot, so I was running the A/C. But I immediately realized as I was driving back home that I would never make it to my second meeting. When I returned home, I only had 31 miles of range left, after only driving 100 miles. That's about 131 out of 209, or 62.6%. And in actuality, I probably didn't even have 31 miles left but maybe 20. So maybe I really only had 57% of my range. I did a LOT of reading about the Model S during the 2 months before making my deposit and the 4 months I waited for it and I don't remember hearing I would have close to 50% of the stated range based on my driving style or other factors!

    Remember #3 above? (Having a non-functional usage chart?) Of course now I know to drive more conservatively. I pull away gently on all starts. I also know to drive more like 65 on long trips if I want range. I'm hopeful this will give me closer to what I was promised for range. But is my experience typical for how much you lose based on your driving habits??

    5) Model S 40 Amp vs. 48 Amp Charging: As you know, Tesla upped the charing rate from 40 amps to 48 amps for the Model S during the last few months. I was lucky enough that my new car came with this enhanced feature. I already had a NEMA 14-50 plug in my garage on a 50 amp breaker. I wanted two cables - one permanently mounted in my garage, and one for traveling. I get 26 miles per hour of charging with my MS70D at 40 amps. I should get 34 miles per hour of charge with 48 amps. I finally figured out that the mobile cable you buy from Tesla is permanently limited to 40 amps (it says it on the cable in small print). You MUST buy the "Tesla Wall Charger" to get 48 amps (or 72 if you pay extra for the dual charger capacity). My local personnel didn't quite have this clear. I also have to put in a 60 amp breaker to use 48 amps of charging. A 50 amp breaker is NOT enough. The whole 48 vs. 40 amp thing needs to be made MUCH clearer on the Tesla website. If you go there now, you will see what I mean. It took me a LONG time to figure all of this out of my own, and the local shop wasn't any better.

    6) Seat Sensor Too Sensitive: Often when I put my car in reverse, while I turn my body around to look behind me, my butt picks up off the seat just enough to trigger a sensor to completely lock up my wheels and the car comes to a complete and sudden stop. This needs to be adjusted. It is WAY too sensitive.

    7) "Curb Rash": Going from an SUV with huge wheels (lots of rubber, and rims/hubcaps inset by a few inches) to a small-ish sedan (with thinner rubber tires and rims closer to the ground), it was only a few days until my first curb rash incident (scraping my rims against the curb). In one case it was the Belgian block that lines our driveway. It is raised up about 4 inches, and this is very much where my rims sit. I was very disappointed with how easily the metal "chipped" off of my rim, almost as though they used cheap, non-metal compounds, and not a real alloy like my Audi has. Very disappointed, but not to the point that I want to spend $2,000+ on after market rims.

    8) Auto Pilot Observations: I have been driving my Tesla for a week on mostly back roads, with some highway. Here's what I think...

    First, I cannot believe some of the accidents (and one fatality) happened the ways they did. When you use AP you quickly realize that while it is pretty cool, it is NOT perfect. I would never trust it enough to not be fully watching what's going on. I've been on some pretty well-lined (freshly painted) roads and still (on a curve) had the car veer/stray into the other car's lane (a car coming toward me) to the point that I had to grab the wheel or die. I agree that AP is wonderful in traffic, where I am following a real car. But the idiot that was driving the car at high speeds at 2 AM on a back country road may have deserved what he had coming to him (and certainly must have had a high blood alcohol level). As far as I'm concerned, AP is beta. I will keep using it, especially on long highway trips, but I am cautious.

    9) Own vs. Lease: I purchased my car instead of leasing it. One reason was because of a wonderful spreadsheet I found on this forum made by another geeky Tesla owner. It showed that including the $7,500 Federal tax credit, my savings from owning vs. leasing was about $10,000 over 6 years. I couldn't ignore this.

    10) Question about Batteries: Every techie grew up knowing Moore's law, the principle that dictates a drop in price and increase in speed of processors over time. I'm sure this same thing applies to battery capacity and cost, especially with the giga-factory coming online soon. Given my concern over range, I would love to upgrade my car to use the extra 5KWH available to me, but wouldn't I be crazy spending $3,250 now vs waiting a few years and maybe getting it for much less?

    I'll also say that the service center seemed a little like a ghost town. It is much different than a typical car dealer. There were TONS of cars in the lot, but not a lot of people there. No receptionist, just one guy doing car introductions, and I guess a bunch of guys out back. Just seemed eerily quiet. (I guess they don't hire people unless they are really needed.)

    Thank you for reading all the way down to here. I appreciate any feedback from my fellow Tesla enthusiasts.

    Michael LeBlanc
    Redding, CT
     
    • Informative x 3
  2. commasign

    commasign Active Member

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    Congrats on your purchase!

    Keeping pushing them to take care of any defects until you're completely satisfied. Escalate if needed. Use the email surveys to get their attention if needed.

    900Wh/mile is very high. That's the sort of energy usage you see when driving up a mountain. A Model S 70 should be easily able to stay well under 300Wh/mile while cruising at 65mph. AC usage will increase that but not up to the 900's.

    Some folks on these forums use Alloy Gators or other rim protectors. Yes, it's been noted that the 19" Slipstream base wheels are quite "soft".

    I don't think 5kWh extra will make much difference. Better to save that money for your next Tesla. ;)
     
  3. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    No. I've gotten close to the full 240 miles out of the car. Given, it was summer, and I was going about 75mph on a roadtrip. In the winter, I get less, I don't remember how much less.
     
  4. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    #4 SabrToothSqrl, Jul 27, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
    I have a 2013, and agree the fit/finish isn't that of a similar priced vehicle. Don't shoot me forum people. It's not. deal with it. STILL love me Tesla so much, the wife has one on order, and I want a P85D more than my next breath.


    As far as range. Yea, 'fun' driving and max A/C or heat... KILL it. I'm very glad I bought a 85. my real world has me at 370Wh/mile.

    I've also been known to flat out destroy my rear tires in 7500 miles. (Whoops).

    I already knew a good deal about electricity, but owning this car has pushed me well into a kWh/Amp expert lol.

    You'll get used to what you need to, and love it. If you love driving the car, you're set. I've had mine over a year, and only once wished I had a HPWC. With a super charger now within 20 min of my house... If I really, really need a fill up, I can hit that.

    Speaking of amps... if a normal house is 200 amp service, that's a 200 amp breaker. so you really only have 80% load capacity... = 160 amps. so, if you had two HPWC... you couldn't even run your fridge lol.

    as for range... if you get stuck behind any 'normal' car... you'll get the EPA rating in wH/mile. If it's an open road... you're going to be exercising self restraint the whole time. That GO pedal is just SOOOOOOOO tempting. Even 15 months later, I've never been happier with such a large purchase.
     
  5. zambono

    zambono Member

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    About your #6 use the camera, sensors, and dip the mirrors in reverse. No need to use the center mirror, you can barely see any how with the little rear hatch
     
  6. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    lol, yea #6. I've had a backup camera since 2009... I don't think to look behind me any more... when I got in the wife's old Mazda, I kept looking at the headunit, waiting for it to turn to a camera. lol. Like that kid who expands fingers on a static photo... 7 years of backup cameras...
     
    • Funny x 1
  7. SureValla

    SureValla Member

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    thanks for the write up I read your entire post, as someone who is not an owner presently but eagerly awaiting their M3 its really great to read a non biased fresh mind review.

    As a resident of Shelton, CT I'll also be taking delivery at the Milford service center (in a few years) as was curious as to how well run that location was and what the wait time on getting the car serviced is like. Do they seem overwhelmed? I drive by all the time and always see tons of cars their too and it always thought it did seem like a ghost town.
     
  8. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    Or just put your seat belt on. If the seat belt is on the seat sensor won't shift the car into park.
     
  9. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    I don't think that's true.
     
  10. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    Maybe you should try it for yourself then. :)
     
  11. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    The only spot on the ordering page that talks about the onboard charger seems pretty clear to me:

     
    • Informative x 1
  12. mleblanc

    mleblanc New Member

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    A couple of more things...

    I didn't really write a very balanced post. I SHOULD have said that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new Tesla, just like everyone else. Of course the imperfections I found on day one took a little bit of luster off the car (literally), but other than that, I am in heaven whenever I get behind the wheel. So luxurious and powerful. My wife thinks my car (and by extension, me) are super sexy. (Cars/clothes make the man, right?)

    As for further suggestions for the Tesla service centers, they could be made to be more of a profit center. I wanted to buy things (another charger, clothing, etc.). They were nice enough to give me a few very nice gifts, but I would have spent more on-site if they had stuff. They had virtually nothing and I had to order it online and wait. I would suggest they stock some add-ons (like mats, cables, shirts, hats, etc.).

    Also - I got to use my first super charger stations in the last two days. The one in Darien, CT charged me at a rate of almost 200 miles per hour, and I got 50 miles of charge in a very short visit to the service area. What a concept!
     
  13. mleblanc

    mleblanc New Member

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    I think they are well run, but just must have been a quiet time. I will be getting my car back on Monday and will report how the body shop did on fixing my hood.
     

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