Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Impressions of the Model 3 and Tesla service after 2 months of ownership

vogz

Member
Dec 5, 2019
263
342
Batavia, IL
Background:
Last fall, the possibility of buying a Tesla wasn’t even on my radar. I’ve owned only manual transmission, forced induction performance oriented cars for the past two plus decades. I’m a gear head and a serious auto enthusiast. I like to work on and modify my cars and take them to HPDEs, 1/2 mile air strip events and the 1/4 mile drag strip. My impression of Tesla last year was that it was start up “beta-ish” car company with lots of bugs to work out that had cars that accelerated quickly, but didn’t do much else well. Had god awful interiors, and were boring and soul-less. This seems to be the general consensus in the enthusiast community among those who have never even been in a Tesla, let alone driven one.

As of last fall, my daily driver was a modified 2011 Audi S4 with a 6-speed manual trans, and my weekend car is a modified 2003 911 Turbo with a 6-speed as well. I was very happy with the Audi, had owned it since new, and it had been extremely reliable even though I had added over 100hp and changed some drivetrain and suspension components. I really had no intention of buying a new car. Then I test drove a Model 3 Performance...

It all started sometime last fall when reviews of the Model 3P started popping up in my YouTube feed. I started watching more videos about the Model 3 and eventually started lurking on here to research the car. What really intrigued me is what gear heads that loved high performance ICE cars had to say about it. I decided I needed to test drive one.

I set up a test drive online and headed out to my local Tesla store. The SA that helped me was super knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. I was immediately impressed by the interior of the Model 3. I know it’s simple, but coming from an Audi, I thought it would feel cheap and cobbled together based on what the “internet” says. It’s anything but. Everything was well put together, and the only cheap hard plastic is low down and mostly out of sight and touch range. The tech is obviously fantastic and better than any other vehicle I’ve experienced. I don’t love everything about operating almost all car functions through the touch screen, but overall it’s fantastic. Driving it, I was impressed by the quick ratio steering, and how nimble it was for how heavy it is. The acceleration was what really got me though. We stopped on an empty frontage road, temp was 29F outside and the road was dry but had road salt all over it. The car was on 20s with the Pilot 4S tires. The launch dead hooked. Not a hint of wheel spin. Amazing for a car with this much power. I was sold. I just had to convince myself that this was the right thing to do even though I still loved my S4. That didn’t take long, and the price drop on the Model 3s didn’t hurt either.

Buying/owning experience:

I placed my order about a week later (Nov 25) and the estimate was 3-5 weeks. I got an update via text to setup delivery a little over 2 weeks later (Dec 9th). Ordered up a winter setup, mats and some other accessories. Picked up the car on Dec. 23rd. It took less than an hour start to finish and the car was near perfect even though the store was busy at the end of the year. It had one very small paint chip on the driver’s rear quarter panel that was easily fixed with a little touch up paint (They offered to have the panel re-painted, but I declined). It was the easiest and smoothest car buying experience I’ve ever had by far.

Through two months and almost 2K miles the car has been fantastic. I work some late nights and overnights and love being able to warm the car up super quickly before I head home. It’s done as well or better than my S4 in the snow we’ve had and the tech and performance continue to impress me.

Service:
After the first month plus I decided I really wanted Homelink. I ordered it online and set up an install appointment through the app. I was worried about what service would be a nightmare based on things I’d read online. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I dropped the car off late last Friday and the service advisor was super helpful with getting me checked in and setting me up with a Model S loaner. She updated me via text regularly and the car was done yesterday afternoon. I worked until late last night, so I wasn’t able to pick it up during business hours. No worry, she said. She left my key card in the center console, parked the car on one of their outdoor chargers and locked the doors. I simply swapped the loaner for my car last night and dropped the loaner key in the drop box. Super easy, and fantastic communication. Plus I LOVE the homelink integration. It’s the best implementation I’ve had in a car yet with the auto open/close setup.

I know people have had issues, but my experience so far with owning a Tesla has been nothing short of fantastic. I don’t miss my S4 and I don’t even miss driving manual like I thought I would (plus I have the Porsche once it warms up again to get manual trans turbo ICE fix).

Sorry if this is a little long, but I know people are more likely to post about problems/issues vs good experiences. I took a chance on a Tesla and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
 

Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,373
Colorado
Nice to hear a positive perspective for a change, although I'm betting that your background with cars has a lot to do with that (you'd be surprised how many people would have seen the small paint chip and treated it like it was the end of the world).

For the record, I've always had great experiences with my local service center. It can be a little stressful not knowing if you're going to get a loaner or Uber credits, but so far I've always gotten a loaner or rental when I ask. They've also been very proactive about letting me know the status of my car when it's being services, which is another very common complaint.
 

vogz

Member
Dec 5, 2019
263
342
Batavia, IL
Nice to hear a positive perspective for a change, although I'm betting that your background with cars has a lot to do with that (you'd be surprised how many people would have seen the small paint chip and treated it like it was the end of the world).

For the record, I've always had great experiences with my local service center. It can be a little stressful not knowing if you're going to get a loaner or Uber credits, but so far I've always gotten a loaner or rental when I ask. They've also been very proactive about letting me know the status of my car when it's being services, which is another very common complaint.

Yea, I realize even new cars aren’t perfect. Some people don’t. When I picked up my S4 back in 2011, one of the wheels had damage on the lip.


If you pay from your pocket like you did for Homelink you will not have problem. Wait untill you need some warranty repairs. After 2 years come to this tread and tell us how is service department doing!

Are you insinuating that they give poor service to customers that are getting warranty work and good service to customers that are paying for work?
 

Zcd1

Member
Sep 2, 2018
723
841
Walloon Lake, MI / LaQuinta, CA
Background:
My impression of Tesla last year was that it was start up “beta-ish” car company with lots of bugs to work out that had cars that accelerated quickly, but didn’t do much else well. Had god awful interiors, and were boring and soul-less. This seems to be the general consensus in the enthusiast community among those who have never even been in a Tesla, let alone driven one.

As of last fall, my daily driver was a modified 2011 Audi S4 with a 6-speed manual trans, and my weekend car is a modified 2003 911 Turbo with a 6-speed as well. I was very happy with the Audi, had owned it since new, and it had been extremely reliable even though I had added over 100hp and changed some drivetrain and suspension components. I really had no intention of buying a new car. Then I test drove a Model 3 Performance...

It all started sometime last fall when reviews of the Model 3P started popping up in my YouTube feed. I started watching more videos about the Model 3 and eventually started lurking on here to research the car. What really intrigued me is what gear heads that loved high performance ICE cars had to say about it. I decided I needed to test drive one.

I'm right there with you, and also owned (and loved) a modified 2011 Audi S4, though I swapped it for a 2013 Audi S6 before I picked up the TM3P.

I've had mine for almost 14 months, and still look for excuses to drive it. Enjoy - maybe I'll see you around!
 

facedown

Member
Dec 10, 2019
54
74
Denver
I have had a similar experience to that of the OP. I took delivery of my stealth in mid-December and had Homelink installed (mobile install) mid-January. Aside from the stress of "will I get in by end of year or not", the buying experience was very smooth. The service experience with the Homelink install was wonderful. I love the practice of them coming to me.

I've got over 2k miles on the car now and don't regret getting it for one moment. I've taken to the mountains for skiing and drive it to work every day. There was one squeak in the car (the plastic hinge for the cell phone tray) that was easily solved with 3-1 oil. And, occasionally I'll get the sudden braking in AP at night as I approach one specific overpass on the highway. The car really hates that overpass on I-25. Other than that, it has been perfect.

When I stop and think about it, the mechanical simplicity of the car is the logical step towards reliability and efficiency. I hope that the reality persists for many miles.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,296
6,860
Canyon Lake,CA
Most every vehicle owner bitches about poor dealership service and heavy repair and maintenance costs after warranty. Tesla is no exception.

From my experience Tesla overall require much less maintenance costs and repairs than other vehicles. The Japanese manufacturers seem to have the best automotive reliability experiences, but they still need to go into the shop a couple times a year for fluid changes and valve train adjustments.

Tesla has no need for tune ups, oil changes, brakes last a longer time, no engine air filters, coil packs, spark plug wires, fuel injection cleaning etc.

Much fewer moving parts in a Tesla than either ICE or hybrid designs. They still need parts replaced from time to time, but seems like ICE vehicles generally need more time in the shops.

Seems like millions of ICE vehicles get lemon law'd back to their manufacturers. Dealers are known to lie to their customers to make additonal money. They often fix a part in 10 minutes, but still charge the book rate of 1 hour if they can get away with it.

Some negative people take a couple forum posts and try to extrapolate that they are terrible vehicles, cost a fortune to drive and are impossible to fix. Reality is that overall I believe electric vehicles will take over the entire automotive market. Seems like they are improving at a quite remarkable rate.
 

vogz

Member
Dec 5, 2019
263
342
Batavia, IL
I'm right there with you, and also owned (and loved) a modified 2011 Audi S4, though I swapped it for a 2013 Audi S6 before I picked up the TM3P.

I've had mine for almost 14 months, and still look for excuses to drive it. Enjoy - maybe I'll see you around!

Good stuff man. Did you have a similar username on Audizine? Like Zcd 2.7T or something? I think I remember you.
I'll be around. Throwing MPP sport coilovers on this bad boy this spring. Will probably take some trips to Autobahn CC, GLD, etc. ;)
 

Zcd1

Member
Sep 2, 2018
723
841
Walloon Lake, MI / LaQuinta, CA
Good stuff man. Did you have a similar username on Audizine? Like Zcd 2.7T or something? I think I remember you.
I'll be around. Throwing MPP sport coilovers on this bad boy this spring. Will probably take some trips to Autobahn CC, GLD, etc. ;)

Might have been me, yep... ;-)

I've been to GLD a coupla times already - always fun.

Considering doing the MFD Classic @ Grattan the end of April - my favorite track in the area, and all types of cars welcome.

Enjoy!
 
  • Like
Reactions: vogz

Kilotango74

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,336
1,129
Palmdale, CA
If you pay from your pocket like you did for Homelink you will not have problem. Wait untill you need some warranty repairs. After 2 years come to this tread and tell us how is service department doing!
If they dont have the service department figured out in two more years then Tesla will have bigger problems.
 

drj3

Member
Jul 1, 2016
144
320
Idaho
Nice to see the great review! I've had mobile service twice for minor warranty issues and it has been fantastic. Last time they came and replaced a taillight with some condensation in it and proactively changed some part in the charge port in literally 5 minutes - right in my garage. It would have taken me longer than that just to get checked in at a traditional dealership, not to mention the hassle of taking it there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jersey and vogz

vogz

Member
Dec 5, 2019
263
342
Batavia, IL
Nice to see the great review! I've had mobile service twice for minor warranty issues and it has been fantastic. Last time they came and replaced a taillight with some condensation in it and proactively changed some part in the charge port in literally 5 minutes - right in my garage. It would have taken me longer than that just to get checked in at a traditional dealership, not to mention the hassle of taking it there.

The mobile service thing is a great idea. I wonder if I live to close to a service center (30 min drive) to qualify for it.
 

szhosain

New Member
Aug 1, 2019
3
5
San Jose, CA
I picked up my Model 3 in June of 2018 and now have almost 36k miles on it (in Feb 2020).

Quite literally, I have been to the Tesla service folks only once in that time. On a highway down south, a truck dropped a plastic pail and I simply could not avoid it - hit my bumper and knocked in a sonar sensor behind the bumper.

So, I needed the Tesla folks to remove the bumper and put the sonar sensor back into the location it was in before the impact. The visual damage to the bumper from the pail is not something I care about, to be honest, so I have not bothered getting the bumper replaced or repainted.

My next visit will be for an all-wheel alignment (recently bought tires from Costco) and get Tesla to replace the air filters. Yes, I could do that second one myself, but I am saving on avoiding "regular" service intervals of ICE cars that it is simpler to pay to get them to do the work!

Is the car perfect? No. My Infiniti had better overall build quality, better internal noise reduction from the outside world, and a few other things that I miss. But, I don't miss the need for regular service to change engine oil and filters, etc., etc.!

Are there things I would change? Yes. But a number of them have already occurred with software updates! And that is the icing on the cake - that features can be added and also fixed over the air ... with my car sitting comfortably in my garage!

I was recently asked if I would buy a Model 3 or another Tesla vehicle again, and my answer is "In a heartbeat!". I have recommended the car to people and had two or three (so far) purchase Model 3's based on my advice.

Z
 

rhc19

Member
Oct 13, 2019
16
19
USA
I think people confuse a couple of things. I have seen little, if any, negative comments about the service centers. Indeed, my experience with them has always been positive.

However, for those of us living remote from a service center, the service experience has been less satisfying. Remote service is highly limited in its abilities, and the total reliance on instant messenger can lead to frustrating, confusing exchanges. I recently had one such experience where the technicians got cruise control totally wrong - I had to go to the service center (a 4-hour drive away) to get someone to actually look at the problem and understand what was going on, even though they also felt it should have been resolved remotely.

Lots of apologies were certainly nice to get - but I still had a long drive plus an overnight hotel bill to pay.

So I completely understand why people express anger at Tesla's service reputation. It isn't undeserved.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: vogz

NIKOLA696

Member
Jun 21, 2019
13
9
CO
Background:
Last fall, the possibility of buying a Tesla wasn’t even on my radar. I’ve owned only manual transmission, forced induction performance oriented cars for the past two plus decades. I’m a gear head and a serious auto enthusiast. I like to work on and modify my cars and take them to HPDEs, 1/2 mile air strip events and the 1/4 mile drag strip. My impression of Tesla last year was that it was start up “beta-ish” car company with lots of bugs to work out that had cars that accelerated quickly, but didn’t do much else well. Had god awful interiors, and were boring and soul-less. This seems to be the general consensus in the enthusiast community among those who have never even been in a Tesla, let alone driven one.

As of last fall, my daily driver was a modified 2011 Audi S4 with a 6-speed manual trans, and my weekend car is a modified 2003 911 Turbo with a 6-speed as well. I was very happy with the Audi, had owned it since new, and it had been extremely reliable even though I had added over 100hp and changed some drivetrain and suspension components. I really had no intention of buying a new car. Then I test drove a Model 3 Performance...

It all started sometime last fall when reviews of the Model 3P started popping up in my YouTube feed. I started watching more videos about the Model 3 and eventually started lurking on here to research the car. What really intrigued me is what gear heads that loved high performance ICE cars had to say about it. I decided I needed to test drive one.

I set up a test drive online and headed out to my local Tesla store. The SA that helped me was super knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. I was immediately impressed by the interior of the Model 3. I know it’s simple, but coming from an Audi, I thought it would feel cheap and cobbled together based on what the “internet” says. It’s anything but. Everything was well put together, and the only cheap hard plastic is low down and mostly out of sight and touch range. The tech is obviously fantastic and better than any other vehicle I’ve experienced. I don’t love everything about operating almost all car functions through the touch screen, but overall it’s fantastic. Driving it, I was impressed by the quick ratio steering, and how nimble it was for how heavy it is. The acceleration was what really got me though. We stopped on an empty frontage road, temp was 29F outside and the road was dry but had road salt all over it. The car was on 20s with the Pilot 4S tires. The launch dead hooked. Not a hint of wheel spin. Amazing for a car with this much power. I was sold. I just had to convince myself that this was the right thing to do even though I still loved my S4. That didn’t take long, and the price drop on the Model 3s didn’t hurt either.

Buying/owning experience:

I placed my order about a week later (Nov 25) and the estimate was 3-5 weeks. I got an update via text to setup delivery a little over 2 weeks later (Dec 9th). Ordered up a winter setup, mats and some other accessories. Picked up the car on Dec. 23rd. It took less than an hour start to finish and the car was near perfect even though the store was busy at the end of the year. It had one very small paint chip on the driver’s rear quarter panel that was easily fixed with a little touch up paint (They offered to have the panel re-painted, but I declined). It was the easiest and smoothest car buying experience I’ve ever had by far.

Through two months and almost 2K miles the car has been fantastic. I work some late nights and overnights and love being able to warm the car up super quickly before I head home. It’s done as well or better than my S4 in the snow we’ve had and the tech and performance continue to impress me.

Service:
After the first month plus I decided I really wanted Homelink. I ordered it online and set up an install appointment through the app. I was worried about what service would be a nightmare based on things I’d read online. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I dropped the car off late last Friday and the service advisor was super helpful with getting me checked in and setting me up with a Model S loaner. She updated me via text regularly and the car was done yesterday afternoon. I worked until late last night, so I wasn’t able to pick it up during business hours. No worry, she said. She left my key card in the center console, parked the car on one of their outdoor chargers and locked the doors. I simply swapped the loaner for my car last night and dropped the loaner key in the drop box. Super easy, and fantastic communication. Plus I LOVE the homelink integration. It’s the best implementation I’ve had in a car yet with the auto open/close setup.

I know people have had issues, but my experience so far with owning a Tesla has been nothing short of fantastic. I don’t miss my S4 and I don’t even miss driving manual like I thought I would (plus I have the Porsche once it warms up again to get manual trans turbo ICE fix).

Sorry if this is a little long, but I know people are more likely to post about problems/issues vs good experiences. I took a chance on a Tesla and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Wow vogz, you're commentary hits home with my experience on every note except the homelink. I'm a car guy from Detroit. I used to belong to the Porsche Club. I've done about ten HPDE's...on and on and on. My SM3P will be with me forever, unless I trade for Cybertruck. Welcome to this amazing family...
 
  • Love
Reactions: vogz

nealh

Member
Jan 14, 2020
50
27
Tampa
Background:
Last fall, the possibility of buying a Tesla wasn’t even on my radar. I’ve owned only manual transmission, forced induction performance oriented cars for the past two plus decades. I’m a gear head and a serious auto enthusiast. I like to work on and modify my cars and take them to HPDEs, 1/2 mile air strip events and the 1/4 mile drag strip. My impression of Tesla last year was that it was start up “beta-ish” car company with lots of bugs to work out that had cars that accelerated quickly, but didn’t do much else well. Had god awful interiors, and were boring and soul-less. This seems to be the general consensus in the enthusiast community among those who have never even been in a Tesla, let alone driven one.

As of last fall, my daily driver was a modified 2011 Audi S4 with a 6-speed manual trans, and my weekend car is a modified 2003 911 Turbo with a 6-speed as well. I was very happy with the Audi, had owned it since new, and it had been extremely reliable even though I had added over 100hp and changed some drivetrain and suspension components. I really had no intention of buying a new car. Then I test drove a Model 3 Performance...

It all started sometime last fall when reviews of the Model 3P started popping up in my YouTube feed. I started watching more videos about the Model 3 and eventually started lurking on here to research the car. What really intrigued me is what gear heads that loved high performance ICE cars had to say about it. I decided I needed to test drive one.

I set up a test drive online and headed out to my local Tesla store. The SA that helped me was super knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. I was immediately impressed by the interior of the Model 3. I know it’s simple, but coming from an Audi, I thought it would feel cheap and cobbled together based on what the “internet” says. It’s anything but. Everything was well put together, and the only cheap hard plastic is low down and mostly out of sight and touch range. The tech is obviously fantastic and better than any other vehicle I’ve experienced. I don’t love everything about operating almost all car functions through the touch screen, but overall it’s fantastic. Driving it, I was impressed by the quick ratio steering, and how nimble it was for how heavy it is. The acceleration was what really got me though. We stopped on an empty frontage road, temp was 29F outside and the road was dry but had road salt all over it. The car was on 20s with the Pilot 4S tires. The launch dead hooked. Not a hint of wheel spin. Amazing for a car with this much power. I was sold. I just had to convince myself that this was the right thing to do even though I still loved my S4. That didn’t take long, and the price drop on the Model 3s didn’t hurt either.

Buying/owning experience:

I placed my order about a week later (Nov 25) and the estimate was 3-5 weeks. I got an update via text to setup delivery a little over 2 weeks later (Dec 9th). Ordered up a winter setup, mats and some other accessories. Picked up the car on Dec. 23rd. It took less than an hour start to finish and the car was near perfect even though the store was busy at the end of the year. It had one very small paint chip on the driver’s rear quarter panel that was easily fixed with a little touch up paint (They offered to have the panel re-painted, but I declined). It was the easiest and smoothest car buying experience I’ve ever had by far.

Through two months and almost 2K miles the car has been fantastic. I work some late nights and overnights and love being able to warm the car up super quickly before I head home. It’s done as well or better than my S4 in the snow we’ve had and the tech and performance continue to impress me.

Service:
After the first month plus I decided I really wanted Homelink. I ordered it online and set up an install appointment through the app. I was worried about what service would be a nightmare based on things I’d read online. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I dropped the car off late last Friday and the service advisor was super helpful with getting me checked in and setting me up with a Model S loaner. She updated me via text regularly and the car was done yesterday afternoon. I worked until late last night, so I wasn’t able to pick it up during business hours. No worry, she said. She left my key card in the center console, parked the car on one of their outdoor chargers and locked the doors. I simply swapped the loaner for my car last night and dropped the loaner key in the drop box. Super easy, and fantastic communication. Plus I LOVE the homelink integration. It’s the best implementation I’ve had in a car yet with the auto open/close setup.

I know people have had issues, but my experience so far with owning a Tesla has been nothing short of fantastic. I don’t miss my S4 and I don’t even miss driving manual like I thought I would (plus I have the Porsche once it warms up again to get manual trans turbo ICE fix).

Sorry if this is a little long, but I know people are more likely to post about problems/issues vs good experiences. I took a chance on a Tesla and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
How do you feel the handling compares to the S4 and 911?

TIA
 

White3P

Member
Feb 13, 2020
7
1
Northern California
Vogz, I agree with all your comments. I came from a long road of modified cars myself and was skeptical of getting a TESLA. But I am extremely happy with the M3P. For a performance model, the handling could be better, but I think some of the hesitancy I feel might be due to not being used to the car yet.
My personal sales experience could have been better, but as far as the car goes, I am very pleased with it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vogz

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top