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M3 Performance Plus thoughts @ 14k miles

Jason_G

Member
Sep 1, 2018
174
165
Midwest
Speaking for myself, I went with the P3D- (when it was availble) because I wanted the insane power/acceleration but I didn't want the 20" wheels and I DID want the special low drag calipers. The low-drag calipers are designed with special piston seals that pull the pistons back further from the disk to insure no light contact between the pad and rotor when the brakes are not applied. Since I will not be taking my Model 3 to the track, even the base brakes and rotors are overkill. I also wanted to fit any 18" wheel I chose on there without regard to caliper clearance. I didn't want to pay a lot of money for wheels/tires I would have to sell right off the bat (what a PITA). Plus, the 18" OEM wheels are actually very light and strong. They have less rotational inertia than ANY DOT approved 20" rim that will fit the Model 3. Big wheels and low profile tires are primarily for looks. If you really want to race, get some nice light 18" rims and performance tires and leave the 20" poser wheels for the posers.

Now there are some armchair Internet experts out there that theorise it's stupid to have all that power on tap without bigger brakes. But they don't know what they are talking about. You only need bigger brakes if you are exceeding the thermal capacity of the regular brakes. I haven't even come close to doing that, I primarily use regen braking. These same Internet armchair theorists surmise that you must not be using all the power of the Performance "tune" if you're not bringing the smaller brakes past their thermal capacity. Again, I say complete hogwash. The small brakes and rotors are more than adequate to haul the P3D down from any reasonable speed you will reach on public roads and when used in conjunctiion with regen braking, they can do multiple threshold stops in a row without fading, particularly in the cooler climate that I do most of my driving in. But I don't do multiple stops from high speed because I don't need to throw away all that power as heat radiating off the disks. The beauty of electromagnetic regen braking was one of the strong attractors to an EV like the Model 3. And, no, this does not mean I don't find the eye-popping acceleration of the P3D useful. I'm a motorcyclist and have two motorcycles that have almost identical 0-60 mph and 1/4 mile times. There are plenty of opportunities to use the amazing acceleration on public roads in a safe, responsible and even legal manner. Or not.:D

So I would have to agree that it's too bad Tesla doesn't offer the P3D with different brake, tire and wheel options. Oh well, I have what I want, a very capable, yet high efficiency Performance Model 3 that can rip up the dry tarmac as well as be insanely competent on snowy roads in a winter wonderland. If I needed to by another now that the P3D- is no longer obtainable, I would probably settle for the AWD rather than deal with the big brakes and 20" wheels. I would miss the extra thrust but not THAT much. :cool:
This succinctly catalogues my thought process, and reaffirmes my decision. Thanks for the validation!
 

DrDabbles

Active Member
Jul 28, 2017
1,150
1,543
NH, US
You had it misdiagnosed as that by somehow who didn't understand what was actually happening (which is uneven pad transfer).

When you have uneven wear due to pad material being deposited on the rotor, the effect is very obvious when you mount the rotor to inspect it. But I'm sure the shop I've gone to for years had no idea what they were talking about, no idea how to use dial gauges, didn't check the rotor for true when the put it on the fixture and when they put it on the flat table, and were totally trying to rob me blind when they said they'd happily machine the faces rather than sell me a different set. It couldn't have possibly happened. I'm sure the table they had checked for true by a specialist was wrong. The job shop guy that had on staff that had been a machinist for decades probably didn't know what he was talking about either.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,673
23,267
NC
But I'm sure the shop I've gone to for years had no idea what they were talking about

I'm sure of that too- since they gave you a misdiagnosis that the folks who design and manufacture brakes are telling you doesn't happen no matter how "hot" you get the brakes.

Again I'd suggest you actually read the article since it explains what's actually happening, and even suggests why a shop like yours would have made the mistake it did.

and were totally trying to rob me blind when they said they'd happily machine the faces rather than sell me a different set.

If they could machine it it meant they were just going to grind off the uneven pad wear.

You know- like the article you didn't bother to read mentions as a way to fix the problem that is not a warped rotor.


If the actual piece of solid iron was "warped" you couldn't just fix that with a grinder and still have a usable disc.

thanks for proving they diagnosed it wrong :)


The job shop guy that had on staff that had been a machinist for decades probably didn't know what he was talking about either.

Probably not.

The warped rotor myth remains surprisingly common, especially among people who have been doing this "for decades" and learned it wrong all that time ago and never caught up with current knowledge on the subject.


And if "decades" doing something was enough to convince you it's weird you don't believe Carroll Smith, who spent over 40 years both racing and engineering cars and braking systems, when he tells you properly mounted rotors don't actually warp from braking heat.


Here's yet another brake manufacturer telling you rotors don't warp (this in the context of police cars)-
Raybestos Brake Tech School, Part One: Rotors Don't Warp | Hendon Publishing
Brake rotors do not warp from heat, even when driven by the most aggressive traffic officer.

They go on to explain the improper install issues that the Stoptech article mentions, as well as other pad related items that can be misdisagnosed as warped rotors.

Here's another brake kit maker telling you rotors don't warp-
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT WARPED BRAKE ROTORS..
The fact is: The discs were never warped at all. Every warped brake disc that we’ve investigated with the assistance of our suppliers shows uneven patches of friction material from the brake pads on the surface of the disc. These patches cause variation in thickness (run-out) and the vibration under braking. Brake manufacturers have been struggling to deal with this situation for years because warped discs are so readily blamed for brake-related vibrations

Then they, too, go into detail on what is actually happening and why- and how to prevent it and what to do if you have issues.


Here's the editor of Brake and Front End magazine telling you the same thing BTW-
Warped' Rotors Myth - Correctly Service Brakes: Runout, Disc Thickness

Here too he explained rotors don't really warp, and goes into some things misdiagnosed as that, including the main one that the Stoptech article discussed-uneven pad transfer.

Brake and Front End magazine said:
Disc Thickness Variation
This is the real culprit behind most of your “warped rotor” claims. A normal braking event requires a brake pad to be applied squarely against the rotor. Each time this happens, a tiny layer of friction is removed from the pad and is deposited on the face of the rotor.
Or any of the other, myriad, sources that debunk the warped rotor myth-
6 Brake Rotor Myths Debunked - OnAllCylinders

What is often described as “warping” is actually the presence of two separate phenomena that can happen in isolation or in combination with each other, and neither has anything to do with warping
 
Last edited:

DrDabbles

Active Member
Jul 28, 2017
1,150
1,543
NH, US
Disc Thickness Variation

This is your problem. I said warped, not uneven wear. Warped is different to wear. So I'll explain, because apparently I need to.

With a warped rotor, the rotor itself has the same thickness when measured all the way around. Obviously not the exact same thickness, but we're talking within thousandths or less. The same thickness all around, but a rotor whose faces move toward or away from dials as it rotates. This indication means the rotor surface is warped.

With an unevenly worn rotor, you still see the faces move away and toward your dials, but when you measure the thickness, you find that they aren't equal. Because they're worn away by being machined by the pads. This is how you know you have worn and not warped rotors. I can not make this any more simple. Warp = same thickness but deformed faces. Wear = uneven thickness.
 
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Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,673
23,267
NC
This is your problem. I said warped, not uneven wear. Warped is different to wear.

Yes, it is.

As brake expert after brake expert I just linked and quoted tell you- brakes don't actually warp if properly installed. The DO wear. Often unevenly.

And the ignorant often diagnose this as the mythical "warped rotor" which, again, doesn't really happen when installed correctly.

So I'll explain, because apparently I need to.

With a warped rotor, the rotor itself has the same thickness when measured all the way around. Obviously not the exact same thickness, but we're talking within thousandths or less. The same thickness all around, but a rotor whose faces move toward or away from dials as it rotates. This indication means the rotor surface is warped.

No, it does not.

In fact, the links I provided, including by companies that manufacture brake rotors for a living tell you it does not.

And explains what is actually happening, and why.

You seem steadfast in refusing to read or educate yourself though for some reason.
 

DrDabbles

Active Member
Jul 28, 2017
1,150
1,543
NH, US
You seem steadfast in refusing to read or educate yourself though for some reason.

That's not what's happening. What's happening is you're citing blogs and a book. Fine. I'm citing actual real life, real world experience from a consumer-grade product used in a track setting. Let me quote mine a few things.

Written by PFM Staff

So not actually the manufacturer, but an author for an automotive publication for fleet management.

Brake rotors do not warp from heat, even when driven by the most aggressive traffic officer.

Yup. Agreed. That's a street application, which isn't what I'm talking about.

This uneven wear is caused by the brake pads themselves as they intermittently touch an out-of-true rotor.

Floating calipers are a thing. So an out of true rotor (presumably caused by corrosion buildup between the rotor hat and hub) would simply cause the caliper to move back and forth as it followed the surface of the rotor.

or the tire was improperly torqued to the hub during the last tire change.

Which would cause other, much more severe problems when on a track. Like your lugs cracking, wallowing out the bolt holes on your wheels, massive vibration under cornering, and potentially failure of the lugs and loss of the wheel. Of course, you usually check your lug torque when doing safety checks in the morning, and you'd be wise to do them after every session because the heat building up on the rotors is enough to turn them straw yellow to shiny blue.

All of this is important for fleet managers because their vehicles have the tires removed frequently and the pads and rotors replaced frequently.

This is why it's important to clean the mating surfaces when inspecting or changing pads for a track event. Again, this is something that someone with experience would know. If you're a fleet manager and you don't know to clean the rotor hat, hub, and the back of the wheel, then you're not a very good mechanic.

You won’t solve a problem caused by wear if you treat it as a problem caused by heat. Instead, fix the rotor installation or wheel lug nut torquing.

And what happens when both of those are fine? Then maybe the problem isn't from wear as an artifact of improper maintenance that couldn't happen in my case anyway because my calipers follow the rotor surface.

The problem of pedal vibration,

Pedal vibration in my case would only come on if the rotor thickness was changing, sending a pulse back up into the booster and into the pedal. That isn't what happened with my car. You're making a lot of assumptions, and none of them seem to be "Maybe this guy isn't a know-nothing, and maybe he's got experience with a car on a track rather than on a street, like he was saying initially".

by the use of specially processed rotors

I wonder why specialty rotors exist if heat isn't an issue. :rolleyes:

or drilled and slotted rotors.

It's at this point you should start to doubt the understanding this author has of brake components. First, drilled and slotted rotors don't address a heat issue with the rotor. In fact, they make rotors weaker and are a source of stress cracks when temperatures get high.

Slotted rotors allow brake pad material to escape and be carried away from the rotor surface, and they're only handy when you have extremely dusty, extremely aggressive, basically single-use pads. Dimpled rotors allow for gasses escaping from the pad material when under high heat to escape from between the interface of the pad and rotor, keeping the pads from floating off the rotor. I've never experienced this, and I doubt it actually happens. It's more of a cosmetic choice.

Drilled rotors are basically a track-only design for a purpose built race car. They're dimpled rotors taken to the extreme, giving dust and off-gassing tons of passages to escape through, and also allowing air being pulled through the cooling vanes to cool more of the rotor's material. Because there's less surface area, though, you need to be more aggressive with your pad material, so these can wear super fast. If you see drilled rotors and they aren't a two-piece design, then you're looking at an idiot.

Also of note, when you have a two piece rotor, the rotor is usually floating on the hat, which keeps the hat from distorting as the rotor heats up. Usually the hat cones, but depending on materials and design, it can do all kinds of things as it expands at a different rate. As brakes heat, they don't heat evenly, they get distorted, they cool unevenly, and they can warp. That way.

Instead, you solve the wear problem by fixing the shortcuts in rotor installation or the improper lug nut tightening.

Let's pretend for a minute I'm not a total idiot, I don't have a death wish, and I take the matter of traveling 120-140 MPH pretty seriously, so I checked all of those things to prevent my certain death.

They don’t get the brakes warm (350 F), let alone patrol-hot (600 F), and never pursuit-hot (850 F)

For reference here, 850F is warmed up for a track purpose. Temperatures in track situations frequently exceed 1000F, and can approach 1500F. You're citing sources about street cars, and I'm explicitly talking about track environments. I'm losing interest in this entire conversation, honestly.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,673
23,267
NC
That's not what's happening. What's happening is you're citing blogs and a book.

No, I'm citing companies that build, design, test, repair, and sell braking systems as their occupation

All telling you the problem you keep claiming you experienced "in real life" is a myth, and what you actually experienced had a different cause, and that your local mechanic diagnosed it incorrectly.

They all go into some technical detail about what actually happened, why it happened, and why local mechanics who don't know any better often get this wrong.

Fine. I'm citing actual real life, real world experience from a consumer-grade product used in a track setting.

No, you're repeating the misdiagnosis your mechanic gave you.

So not actually the manufacturer, but an author for an automotive publication for fleet management.

....what?

That article is quoting from an educational course the manufacturer (Raybestos) gives on brake maintenance.

Where they tell you that barring improper install, rotors never "warp"

What's weird is I gave you at least 6 sources now.... and you decided to go line by line only through the one of them you seemed most dubious about the author of.... rather than address all the others that are not only directly from the websites of brake makers, but from authors who spend decades racing cars on tracks.

all of whom explicitly say you are wrong

(and even then you mostly either insist what that one source is saying is obvious info (but somehow him telling you you're wrong isn't) or you say it just doesn't apply to YOU.

I mean, YOU...YOU'RE SPECIAL!


I wonder why specialty rotors exist if heat isn't an issue. :rolleyes:

Nobody ever said heat didn't matter. Once again you seem to have either not read, or not understood, most of the facts provided to you.

There's lots of reasons heat matters in braking systems.

They said heat does not warp rotors

Because it factually does not.

And repeatedly explained by source after source after source.


You're citing sources about street cars, and I'm explicitly talking about track environments. I'm losing interest in this entire conversation, honestly.


Again you appear to have failed to read or understand most of the sources provided.

The very first source I gave you was from Stoptech and Carroll Smith.

Where (in addition to street cars) they not only address race tracks specifically, the author has done far far far more racing than you ever will in your life- won Le Mans multiple times, and built and designed world-class race cars- including having been on the brake design team for the Ford GT40 program.


he, also, says rotors don't warp from heat.

And he's gotten brakes hotter than you have a lot more often.


Maybe there's a reason I keep providing you source after source from actual manufacturers and professional engineers and all of them say you're wrong?
 

Dan_LA

Member
May 14, 2018
377
142
Los Angeles
I'm 4,000 miles P3 owner (plus I guess, not sure the difference) with the 20" Summer tire. And to me the tire works greatly, but then I live in Southern CA, never tested on the snow and won't try anytime soon, once is worn out I will get the Ultra Performance All Season that folks have mentioned here.

As for the 310 miles, I totally agree as that's misleading, I have opened a post and we discussed a lot about that. Since this is my 2nd M3, and I had driven 10k miles the 1st M3 RWD LR, I can tell there is HUGE difference on mileage, driving normally on LA winter I get 180-200 miles equivalent of 100% full charge as for obvious reason I've never actually driven to 0% to measure it.

With the RWD LR, the range miles on the battery shown was spot on, if fully charge it is 310 miles, if is daily commute 90% it was always 275 miles and you WOULD actually get that but checking how many miles you've driven would be exact amount deducted from the range. But again, I know it's called a RANGE beast that actually was 334 miles, blah blah.

It doesn't matter as the point here is 310 miles on both model 3 is misleading, I don't care if is legal, loophole, that was tested with a 10" kart wheels, it's not ethical at the core. For that, even loving Tesla, I feel is a bad rap.

Good luck, I am keeping my Model 3 Performance forever, unless any serious issue comes up in the next 4-6 years.

Cheers!
 

Mysta

Former Vendor
Feb 4, 2019
233
159
Greenville, SC
You can make 20s work but the depth has to be there, which is why 18s do well. Tesla also can improve software side of snow, which many manufacturers would charge for it just not do. Not sure about you but I've never gotten my hwy or city range in a car. My last car was a lexus IS350, loved it, rated for 21 City / 28 hwy. At 17 Gallon tank. Range should be 357 - 476. My best highway only trip was like 336 with 7 miles estimated remaining, where they also say not to go due to contaminates etc. They don't advertise range like that because it's easier to digest a few numbers lower than 100+.
 

jackospd

Member
Oct 1, 2018
13
25
NCal
Am I the only one that has been happy with the auto-wiper functionality? I live in the Midwest, and have seen a decent bit of rain and some wintry mix with temps around 0F-30F. Aside from the capability of the factory all-season tires, I’ve been very pleased with the car in the winter. (Snowy mix tomorrow, so knock on wood!)

Lol. I totally agree. I have been happy with the wipers. I rarely adjust them manually and just let them do their thing. It's also pretty easy to adjust manually if necessary. I'm in the SF bay area, normally not a lot of rain but the wipers have come in really handy the past few weeks! I have the M3P+ and the car seems to have been made perfectly for those in Northern California!
 
Buy a tank next time . Just seems to me anyone can come up with a million excuses not to be happy about anything. If you like driving in the snow, buy a snow mobile. I dont’t care what car you put in snow, out the gate you are in the wrong set of rubber, why you complaining? Buy a lifted 4x4, that’s what those are for. Tesla’s are intended for road use not off-road nor winter wonderland wheeling. Give me a break with the mamby pamby whining. I so happen to own a 1980 International Scout Turbo Diesel, bulletproof off-road(EMP proof too), but not for traffic or daily driving. That’s the thing, you have to put your expectations in their intended areas.
 
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I will admit though, as someone in SoCal who barely ever uses them...the autowipers do leave a lot to be desired. That said, it's really not a huge deal breaker IMO since none of my previous cars had auto wipers either :D

Agreed and there are worse out there. The auto wipers are actually an upgrade for me compared to the bi-polar wipers on my edge.
 
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Ficheh

Member
Jul 3, 2018
80
54
SF
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Luckily I haven't had the issues the OP had. I do have 2 points to make. 1) If you live in very cold surroundings you will get less range, but that's true on ALL cars, EV or ICE. It's just like how driving up an incline will reduce range (again on ALL vehicles). Common sense dictates it. How you'd expect optimum range when you've lived in that situation for so many years is surprising. 2) Most people who buy the Performance version of the M3 are probably going to drive more aggressively, I know I would if I had bought that version, which will also reduce range. On a personal note, I've driven 210 miles from sea level over a 7200+ peak, ending @ 5000 ft elevation and had 62 miles of range remaining (the reverse route left me with 144miles of range). I find that my car is pretty accurate in estimating range. I am interested in knowing the wh/mile of the people diving in cold weather, and/or driving very aggressively. I average 230-250 wh/mile.
 
Just to reiterate, Tesla Model 3 Performance with Performance upgrade owner here in the North East, attached is my Lifetime driving map over the past couple months from when I started TeslaFi. Driving on Prelli Winter Sottozero III tires on 19" wheels, TSportLine aftermarket tire set. Drove the first few thousand miles on the stock summer tires then switched to the winter tires. No problems, except that big gap in Illinois where we had a slash in a tire that couldn't be repaired and we had to be towed, driving in ice and snow conditions. Couldn't be happier with the performance of the vehicle in sub-zero F weather, better than the 4x4's and big trucks sliding all over the place and off the road. Not sure what the big deal is, buy the right tire for the job and you are golden.
Lifetime Map.png
 
Howdy,

I’m not posting here any longer.

I wanted to share one last post.

We have 14k miles on ours. I’m not sure we’ll buy another Tesla. We’ll see. Quite frankly if Audi caught up I’d look real hard at buying from them given our experience.

I’m still really sore about having to buy 18” wheels and new snow tires just to feel safe. My car with 20” wheels and snow tires just isn’t acceptable up here. And if anyone doesn't believe me, I'll put the wheels and tires back on and prove it. Good news is now that I have 18’s with Nokians, the car feels good.

Tesla makes blanket statements about its AWD that just aren’t true. The videos you see on the Internet, Tesla's in the snow, are about as useful as making a decision based on a snapshot in time. Who cares what a car does in a snowy field with no one around, or in the snow when there's not a car in the other lane on the highway going 60 when it's big time winter? Not me. No one else should, either. These videos are misleading.

The wipers not working is also a sore spot. It’s an expensive car. The Auto Wipers just don’t work. It pisses me off. And it’s dangerous, having to fiddle with the wipers in the snow.

AP up here is so-so. It’s fine as long as you’re not going around a bend with a car next to you. I don’t know. Maybe here in the mountains lane lines are narrower? I think Tesla also makes claims here as well, that are a stretch.

I think Tesla isn't doing anyone any good advertising that their cars get 310 miles range. It's misleading.

TACC works good. But new Subarus come with this same tech.

Last night at Copper Mountain was my first experience with the car handles being stuck. Luckily, not stuck to the point where the door wouldn't open. What were they thinking?

There's other things with the car that clearly show Tesla didn't do their homework, didn't spend near enough time testing in real world winter conditions.

All my issues being the case, I knew I was taking a chance. But I expected better. Still, I'm not selling the car. But I'm not sure I'd buy another Tesla.

Someone from here contacted me about buying a RWD 3. They said they plan on keeping their ICE AWD for snowy days. Here’s what I wrote to them.

Howdy,
There's a rumor Tesla is discontinuing the RWD version. So I'd be careful.

If you have a backup AWD, fine. But why not go for the AWD? I know it's more.

So are you fluent with EV's?

Do you get that the advertised range really isn't?

First, you never use 100% of the battery. So plan your range on using 80% of the battery. For the RWD, the real range (using 80%) is 211. Then discount it a little once the battery loses capacity. The battery will lose 5% of its capacity in the first year. Now your range is more like 200.

Then factor in cold weather, wind, and road conditions. In the cold (less than 35 degrees) battery range takes a hit. For example yesterday I drove back and forth to Copper Mountain. 112 miles total. I used 189 rated miles due to the cold and snowy roads. So I was using 1.7 rated miles for each mile I drove.

Same thing with wet roads and wind.

You should also know that Tesla just acquired a battery company, here's the link:
Tesla acquires ultracapacitor and battery manufacturer for over $200 million

What this means is that the battery storage and performance will surely increase -- soon. Probably not in the 019 model year, but for sure in the 020 model year. So you may want to wait.

There's also some other gotchas you should be aware of. If your car ever needs body work, it could take a few months. I have a small dent that needs to be fixed. I started looking for repairs in January. The soonest I could get in was late March. Some shops were booked until June. The reason why is Tesla's are hard for a body shop to work on.

Tesla's service is getting better. But it's been painfully bad. My experience has been just so-so with them. Calling them is getting better. It used to be a waste of time.

Some of the tech just doesn't work right. For example the Auto Wipers just don't work. Surely that'll be fixed with a software update one of these days. But it sure is frustrating.

We bought ours because we care about the environment. And, we needed a new car. I wasn't going to buy another ICE car. Would I buy another one? An EV, yes. But maybe not from Tesla. We'll see. While they do some things great, there's a lot not to like about them.

For example we bought the Performance+ version. The car is simply not safe with the stock 20" wheels and snow tires. I had to buy 18" wheels and new snow tires. It pissed me off. But now the car goes good in the snow.

Also. Where do you live? Can you charge at home? If not, then don't buy one.

Good news is that charging at home works out to being way less than gas. Last night I went 112 miles in the cold and snow. I used 30 kWh, which is worse case. That's less than $3 bucks in electricity. The same trip would have cost me at least $10 in gas.

Anything else I can help with let me know.

Peace and love,
Howdy,

I’m not posting here any longer.

I wanted to share one last post.

We have 14k miles on ours. I’m not sure we’ll buy another Tesla. We’ll see. Quite frankly if Audi caught up I’d look real hard at buying from them given our experience.

I’m still really sore about having to buy 18” wheels and new snow tires just to feel safe. My car with 20” wheels and snow tires just isn’t acceptable up here. And if anyone doesn't believe me, I'll put the wheels and tires back on and prove it. Good news is now that I have 18’s with Nokians, the car feels good.

Tesla makes blanket statements about its AWD that just aren’t true. The videos you see on the Internet, Tesla's in the snow, are about as useful as making a decision based on a snapshot in time. Who cares what a car does in a snowy field with no one around, or in the snow when there's not a car in the other lane on the highway going 60 when it's big time winter? Not me. No one else should, either. These videos are misleading.

The wipers not working is also a sore spot. It’s an expensive car. The Auto Wipers just don’t work. It pisses me off. And it’s dangerous, having to fiddle with the wipers in the snow.

AP up here is so-so. It’s fine as long as you’re not going around a bend with a car next to you. I don’t know. Maybe here in the mountains lane lines are narrower? I think Tesla also makes claims here as well, that are a stretch.

I think Tesla isn't doing anyone any good advertising that their cars get 310 miles range. It's misleading.

TACC works good. But new Subarus come with this same tech.

Last night at Copper Mountain was my first experience with the car handles being stuck. Luckily, not stuck to the point where the door wouldn't open. What were they thinking?

There's other things with the car that clearly show Tesla didn't do their homework, didn't spend near enough time testing in real world winter conditions.

All my issues being the case, I knew I was taking a chance. But I expected better. Still, I'm not selling the car. But I'm not sure I'd buy another Tesla.

Someone from here contacted me about buying a RWD 3. They said they plan on keeping their ICE AWD for snowy days. Here’s what I wrote to them.

Howdy,
There's a rumor Tesla is discontinuing the RWD version. So I'd be careful.

If you have a backup AWD, fine. But why not go for the AWD? I know it's more.

So are you fluent with EV's?

Do you get that the advertised range really isn't?

First, you never use 100% of the battery. So plan your range on using 80% of the battery. For the RWD, the real range (using 80%) is 211. Then discount it a little once the battery loses capacity. The battery will lose 5% of its capacity in the first year. Now your range is more like 200.

Then factor in cold weather, wind, and road conditions. In the cold (less than 35 degrees) battery range takes a hit. For example yesterday I drove back and forth to Copper Mountain. 112 miles total. I used 189 rated miles due to the cold and snowy roads. So I was using 1.7 rated miles for each mile I drove.

Same thing with wet roads and wind.

You should also know that Tesla just acquired a battery company, here's the link:
Tesla acquires ultracapacitor and battery manufacturer for over $200 million

What this means is that the battery storage and performance will surely increase -- soon. Probably not in the 019 model year, but for sure in the 020 model year. So you may want to wait.

There's also some other gotchas you should be aware of. If your car ever needs body work, it could take a few months. I have a small dent that needs to be fixed. I started looking for repairs in January. The soonest I could get in was late March. Some shops were booked until June. The reason why is Tesla's are hard for a body shop to work on.

Tesla's service is getting better. But it's been painfully bad. My experience has been just so-so with them. Calling them is getting better. It used to be a waste of time.

Some of the tech just doesn't work right. For example the Auto Wipers just don't work. Surely that'll be fixed with a software update one of these days. But it sure is frustrating.

We bought ours because we care about the environment. And, we needed a new car. I wasn't going to buy another ICE car. Would I buy another one? An EV, yes. But maybe not from Tesla. We'll see. While they do some things great, there's a lot not to like about them.

For example we bought the Performance+ version. The car is simply not safe with the stock 20" wheels and snow tires. I had to buy 18" wheels and new snow tires. It pissed me off. But now the car goes good in the snow.

Also. Where do you live? Can you charge at home? If not, then don't buy one.

Good news is that charging at home works out to being way less than gas. Last night I went 112 miles in the cold and snow. I used 30 kWh, which is worse case. That's less than $3 bucks in electricity. The same trip would have cost me at least $10 in gas.

Anything else I can help with let me know.

Peace and love,
 
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Just drove up to South Lake Tahoe from Reno in stock 19"s, M3D. There was a bit of snow and ice going up 50, but there was some really thick patches on the way down. The traction was excellent in both scenarios. I probably averaged 45 on the way up, and 30 on the way down. It was very shady, and the berms were encroaching on the slow lane, so that made it difficult to pass/go any faster. The tail slipped once on the way up on a curve. For some reason going up hill is the only time it happens. Perhaps I'm just more cautious going down hill. This is a regular commute and I carry chains, but I have yet to use them. Peace of mind. I probably could have used them 2 weeks ago when the tail was constantly slipping in much deeper snow around the lake, but didn't have them at that time.

Windshield wipers are hit and miss, but substantially worse than previous cars. Pressing the manual wipe button from time to time is not a huge deal, but Tesla should permanently fix it on new cars.

My only regret is getting black. :p
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
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You can make 20s work but the depth has to be there, which is why 18s do well. Tesla also can improve software side of snow, which many manufacturers would charge for it just not do. Not sure about you but I've never gotten my hwy or city range in a car. My last car was a lexus IS350, loved it, rated for 21 City / 28 hwy. At 17 Gallon tank. Range should be 357 - 476. My best highway only trip was like 336 with 7 miles estimated remaining, where they also say not to go due to contaminates etc. They don't advertise range like that because it's easier to digest a few numbers lower than 100+.


Weird.. my car before the Tesla was an IS350, rated 21/28, and I routinely got over 400 on the highway...(real world highway mileage if I'd just turn on cruise at 9 over was 28-30 pretty much the life of the car)

Was yours an AWD model maybe?
 
Regarding the automatic wipers not working properly, for 10 months I have been complaining to Tesla Service the wipers are virtually unresponsive, which is a safety hazard. Tesla has two responses:

1) It is in beta test. I cofounded a software company and I assure you that is a BS excuse for a known safety hazard. Tesla Service used a hose to test it and said, "It works" (end of story). So I suspect it is not software because the automatic wiper technology has been perfected over the past 20 years.

2) The M3 automatic wiper sensor uses the "front camera". The way the automatic windshield wiper system works on just about every car manufactured today is the TRW system, or similar LED systems. When the weather is dry, the LED light bounces off the windshield and into a set of light collectors. But when a raindrop lands in front of the module, some of that light would refract away from the collectors, and the system triggers the wiper blades to swipe.

The M3 automatic wiper system is especially hazardous because it is insensitive to a buildup of mist rain on the windshield. The auto wiper function on my 10 year old Lexus will initially operate whenever there is any moisture on the windshield, and the system will increase, or decrease the wiper speed to keep the windshield clear under nearly all rain conditions. So, given that properly designed auto wiper technology has been commonplace for at least 10 years, why can't Tesla, after 10 months, complete its beta test to significantly improve the performance of the M3 automatic wiper system? If it were a software issue, it surely would have easily been reprogrammed and downloaded. My hunch is that either the module they are using is inferior, or the sensor technology is not the industry standard, or both. I don't mind Tesla cutting costs for aesthetics, or even comfort ... but to allow a well known and unresolved safety issue to persist without a recall, or a successful fix, is inexcusable. My attorneys advise this issue alone qualifies for filing a request to refund the full amount via the Lemon Law.
 

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