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High in the Rockies (Cottonwood's Story)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Cottonwood, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #1 Cottonwood, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    I have had my Model S, SSL#40, VIN#37 for a few days now. Here are some pictures and first thoughts.

    Where the Roadster is full of raw power and gusto, the Model S is full of a wonderful quiet, refined power. The Roadster roars with electric power, and the Model S is so quiet, you are doing 70 mph without even noticing. Here are my beauties:

    Two Teslas.jpg

    Saturday, I had the fun of trying out what we could load in to the car and go high in the Rockies. We drove from Boulder up to Estes Park with 3 adults and a 65 lb dog, then added two more adults and drove up Fall River Road and back over Trail Ridge Road to Estes Park and back to Boulder. Trail Ridge tops out at 12,183 ft, so I will claim this as the highest Model S so far. :biggrin: The car performed incredibly well. 5 adults were comfortable, and there was plenty of room for gear and the dog in the hatch back. This is no Roadster.

    TR-Visitor.jpg

    I got a little worried about range in the middle of the climb when I saw energy use as high as 1,300 W-Hr/mi and predicted range of 57 miles. This part of the trip was 11 miles long, at an average speed of 11 mph and grades as steep as 17%. However, I quickly realized from Roadster experience, that I would have much better performance going back. In fact, as you can see from the second, fuzzy shot below, it went to 23,496 miles at one point.
    Range-3.jpg
    Range.jpg

    My overall stats for the trip were 136.9 mi; 43.1 kW-Hr; 315 W-Hr/mi, not bad for a full load and mountain driving. Of course the average speeds were low.

    Here are some of my observations and thoughts:

    The maps need a lot of work. Here is a typical view that I had in the mountains with weak or no cell coverage.
    Map.jpg
    As you can see, I drove out of cellular coverage. With a little work in the nav app, it could easily cache data ahead of need when the cellular coverage is good. This would also help when the cellular coverage is weak because of location or traffic load on the network.

    The auto day/night mode on the displays is easily fooled. When I drove through a brightly lit tunnel at night, I was almost blinded as the displays went to day time mode. The GPS can easily calculate day/night status and assist the day/night display modes and brightness.

    I was annoyed at the big jumps in the cruise control speed that you get from pushing the cruise control lever up and down. I learned today from the Denver service manager that a little push gives you 1 mph change adjustment and a big push gives you a 5 mph change, much better. Also, when you do a big correction (5 mph), the speed change is pretty abrupt, not jarring, but a little too much jerk.

    The key fob does not work or works poorly when in the same pocket as an iPhone. My educated guess is that this is because the key fob is a challenge-response, two-way device and the iPhone is interfering with the key fob's receiver.

    The map needs the ability to set waypoints. Even Google Maps on the iPhone has this. Many destinations, like trail heads, do not have addresses.

    The map really needs a direction of travel up. This is very common in GPS's and extremely useful in the moving map mode.

    Routes cannot be modified for local knowledge, more scenic route, go through a specific place, etc.

    I sometimes drive for miles on gravel roads, the suspension can be set to "high" mode, but goes back to normal mode at 16-18 mph. For these gravel roads, I want a way to keep the suspension high to stay away from flying gravel and have a little more bump buffer. An adjustable "go to normal" threshold speed would be nice.

    After cold soaking at 45˚ for an hour and a half at dinner, the handle would come out on the driver's door, but the door would not open. This happened multiple times, and the only way to open the driver's door was to reach in through the passenger door. After warming up overnight, the problem went away. I have not had the opportunity to try to recreate this problem.

    I was able to recreate the "lock the fob in the hatchback" problem that Rod and Barbara discovered. With the driver's window down and the second fob in the kitchen, and the car locked, I opened the hatchback, tossed the fob in the back, and closed the hatchback. Sure enough, there was no way to open the car. I reached in the open window, unlocked the driver's door, used the screen with fob2 to open the hatch back, and recover fob1.

    Tesla already has this list and it is being fed up the corporate ladder.

    Overall, I am overjoyed to have two electric cars that use way less energy than I produce at my home, PV, grid-tied, powerplant. Cottonwood Annual Comparison

    Solar PVs.jpg
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    A long time ago when I was driving the DS-21, a truck in front of me lost a load of pallet tubes. Stopping wasn't a good option because of the speed the cars behind were going. So I raised up the suspension and sailed over the tubes. There are more reasons than just bad roads to want the suspension to stay high.
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I lived in Boulder for over 20 years. I am so envious of the drive you described, I know it well. Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Thanks...I LOVE Colorado, esp. Boulder...and the Model S...can I move in?:love:
     
  5. Beavis

    Beavis Signature 991

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    Great drive and you got it in before Trail Ridge closes. Did you go up before the snow hit yesterday? I was hoping mine would come in time to take it over Independence Pass into Aspen, but alas, no fall colors for me.
     
  6. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Great post, super detailed, love it. Made me worried about the long winter and cold days in Seattle though. Hope that is just a software fix and not a servo/HW issue. Would hate to get a call from my wife and kids being locked out of the car.
     
  7. huntjo

    huntjo Member

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    Totally jealous that you stole my idea! Love that drive. Unfortunately, I'm Sig 939, and Trail Ridge will probably be closed by the time I can make the drive. I have a secondary route from FoCo to Steamboat as my first big Model S roatrip.
     
  8. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod Note: Discussions on the Nav system went here - A-brief-look-at-the-Navigation-System

    @Cottonwood: sorry a few of the congratulations comments went with the OT stuff. At least your fame is being spread around. :smile:
     
  9. jimbakker666

    jimbakker666 Member

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    It's fantastic to hear that the only issues or gripes people have encountered so far with real live Model S's are things which will be fixed very easily by Tesla.

    Congrats!
     
  10. Orthonos

    Orthonos Member

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    Thanks :) Great to hear more about peoples' experiences as they get the car. It helps me formulate questions for when I am finalizing and for my personal delivery. Much appreciated.
     
  11. dadaleus

    dadaleus 4GETOIL P85#S70,FdrX,S85D

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    Great notes. I agree with everything based on my experience, although I hadn't tried the locking the fob in the car thing (although I was afraid of that somewhere deep down).
     
  12. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    Congrats to you on your new car, and thank you for sharing your experiences. Same goes to dadaleus.

    It is so great to hear such reports from real customers experiencing real everyday situations and talking candidly about all the little things, problems, highlights etc. that come with owning and using a Model S. Much appreciated.

    Great house by the way. That's American sizes for you. Four garages!? Wow. Not even my local BMW dealer has four :wink:
     
  13. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Thanks much for the review! I'd hoped the key fob thing would be fixed, and still good to know that it isn't.
     
  14. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Yes, that's a lovely house but it's FAR from typical even in America. :)
     
  15. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    Totally agree on the suspention issue. We all know the ride`s gonna be a bit more bumpy, and the power consuption will increase. But how to use the car is up to us to decide :)

    But regarding the door handles, this is quite serious. Are there no "open" buttons on the key fob? On many cars you are able to press and hold open for all windows to open at the same time, and then you`re able to open the door from the inside if the outside door handle is frozen.
    But the Tesla key might not have any buttons?
     
  16. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    We've heard that pressing and holding the top center of the FOB will open the windows (as I recall).
     
  17. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The fob demonstration showed that if you pressed the top of the "car" all four windows would open (I don't know if this made it into production). The problem here is that the windows are frameless so they are likely to be stuck to the seal (not at 45F, but when there is a covering of snow or ice).
     
  18. Oyvind.H

    Oyvind.H Member

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    Well, here in Norway the temperatures vary from 75-80 farenheit in summer down to -10 farenheit in the winter. I`ve never experienced problems opening windows in new cars even in the coldest weather. Maybe bechause windows now mainly are well alligned, and the motors are powerfull enough to do the job? The key is some silicone along the rubber that seals the windows. Maybe that has contributed to my problem-free window opening in wintertime

    Anyway, I regard opening all windows with the key as an emergency sollution, and I of course expect the door handles to extend both in +80 and -10 farenheit.
    A mediocre sollution is to keep the doorhandles extended if the temperature falls below 40 farenheit. I think the doorhandles look good, and don`t mind them being extended permanently throughout the winter even though the extend/retract function is a cool feature and also positive for reducing drag.
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The problem with the cars I've had is not the temperature (in fact, colder is usually better) but the water freezing between the seal and the window preventing the window from going down. This typically happens when temperatures are around freezing. When it gets much colder, there isn't any liquid water so the problem goes away. The 45F problem is likely the lubrication used thickens up too much as it cools.
     
  20. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    The handle popped out fine, but the solenoid mechanism or latch that opens the door itself did not work:
     

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