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My First Tesla and I have questions

Hello all, couple of days back took delivery of my first Tesla, Model S Long Range deep metallic Blue. Very exited to own this. Coming from a Porsche Caynee, so the experience is a little different with drive and interior aesthetics. But from what I have seen, I liked the MS the most luxurious of all the Teslas I test drove.


Anyways, to my questions:

Wheel Rim covers - I learnt the actual rims of the car are covered that can me removed and clipped back on. I am not sure why. Are these required for safety or increase the range? What do you guys do, keep them on always or take 'em off?

Car Wash - How do you guys wash your car? Do you go to the regular car wash like the tunnel ones or exterior wash, or do you guys wash it yourself. I've owned other luxury cars before, but always used the regular car wash with no issues. But I saw some videos that claim the car wash messed up their car paint and some sensor, etc.

Insurance - I have Progressive insurance for our cars and their quote came around $230/m but I have to pay for the whole year, which I did not want to commit before I saw the car (in case I have to reject the delivery), so the App offered me Tesla insurance, which I took. But now I realize, it only lists Me as the policy holder. Did not take the details of my wife or son and there was no option to add them. Are they automatically covered if when they drive the MS. I live in DFW, TX

Paint protection - I have seen a lot of videos where folks are spending close to 5 grand to cover their entire car with a layer of transparent skin (don't know what is the right term). Is that really required? The paint on Teslas are that delicate? What am I missing?

Home Charging - Since this is my first EV, I have no clue about the home chargers. What do you guys recommend? There seems to be multiple options. The default charger that came with the car takes for ever looks like. How much does your electricity bill increase when you charge your car every day at home?

Thank you for your time and advice on the above.
 
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Oh boy, I did not expect these many responses. Really appreciate all of you taking the time to read and respond.


Car Wash - I did find a touch less carwash near my place and tried it out today. The max is $16, not bad, but it does not dry completely. So, there are some spots of dry water droplets which was annoying. I'll stick to my regular car wash next time around, that I use to take my Porsche Cayenne. I am never a big fan of washing my car. Too lazy and old :rolleyes:

Insurance - I did reach out to a local Progressive agent and waiting on quote from them

Wheel Covers - I removed one to check it out. TBH, I loved the alloy wheel that was hidden. Coming from a Prosche Cayenne, I am used to that look. But I could not find the...

Tam

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Nov 25, 2012
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Visalia, CA
Wheel Rim covers - I learnt the actual rims of the car are covered that can me removed and clipped back on. I am not sure why. Are these required for safety or increase the range? What do you guys do, keep them on always or take 'em off?
They increase your range. If you have enough range in your battery, you may take them off if they bother you.

I myself prefer functions over beauty so I would keep them on for the range.

I would do hand wash or if it's automatic, I would use touchless washes that have no rollers that might peel away something like repeater cameras.

Insurance...pay for the whole year...
I thought it's industry standard that if you cancel the car insurance, they would refund the unused portion back.

Tesla insurance is new so it may not have all the extras like bundles (with home discounts...) or in your case, 2nd driver...

The paint on Teslas are that delicate?
No. I've been owning a total of 3 different Tesla cars since 2012 and I've been handwashing them monthly. The paint still looks very nice with all my Tesla cars, and one of them was 100,000 miles at the age of 5.
Home Charging - Since this is my first EV, I have no clue about the home chargers. What do you guys recommend?
The nicest option is the 240V High Power Wall Connector for $495 plus installation and a city permit.

If you can't afford that you can use the Mobile Connector that comes with your car but as you notice, it would take a long time with 120V outlet.




How much does your electricity bill increase when you charge your car every day at home?
Depends on how your electric bill is calculated.

Some plans would penalize owners for using more electricity so adding an EV could result in a very high penalty fee.

I think all utilities have special rates for EVs so it's definitely cheaper than gasoline.

How much more you have to pay depends on how much you drive.

Your car has a 100 kWh battery that's rated for 405 miles.

My TOU-D-Prime Electric Rate in California is $0.21/kWh.

Thus a whole battery charge is worth 100 kWh x $0.21/kWh = $21.00 for 405 miles.

That's $0.05 for each mile ($21.00/405miles)

Average travel per year is 12,5000miles x $0.05/mile = $625/year or $52.08/month

That's an illustrated calculation but of course, there is parasitic/vampire/inefficiency loss that's not included above so the actual cost would be slightly higher but not that much.
 
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The 120V charging is slow, but you won't be in the garage strumming your fingers waiting. You'll sleeping or doing whatever you're doing when you're home. You'll get 3 to 4 miles of charge every hour, so roughly 40+ miles a night on a work day. Any day it sits not driven is another 90-ish miles. The 120V is the only home charging I've had for a few years now, and it's worked perfectly for me in my situation.
A higher-speed charger at home is very convenient, but it's not absolutely necessary in all cases. The wall outlet gives you some time to find a good electrician and consider your options.
 
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dmurphy

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If you can't afford that you can use the Mobile Connector that comes with your car but as you notice, it would take a long time with 120V outlet.

It should be noted that the Mobile Connector (the cord that comes with the car) is capable of MUCH faster charging.

If you could get a 240V outlet installed in your garage, that Mobile Connector will support it. The most common outlet is called a “NEMA 14-50” - it’s used for welders and RVs.

If you had an electrician install that outlet, all you’d need to do is change the plug on the Mobile Connector with the correct one from here: Gen 2 NEMA Adapters

On a Model S, you’d go from approximately 3-4 miles per hour of charging to about 23-25 miles per hour. So you’d have no trouble getting about 200 miles of range in 8 hours

For even faster charging, the Wall Connector as mentioned (basically a permanently installed charging station) would deliver about 35 miles of range per hour. Faster but likely not necessary, especially given the higher cost.

That little Mobile Connector is quite powerful; don’t underestimate it! Just mate it up with an RV 50amp outlet (again, tell the electrician NEMA 14-50) and you’re good to go.
 
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EVRider-FL

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Aug 18, 2015
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Regarding the car wash, there have been heated discussions about that in this and other Tesla forums. Some owners refuse to use automatic washes, others (including me) are fine with it. Do what you would do with any other comparable car. Brushless automatic washes are always better than brush systems.

Regarding charging, another option is having a 240V outlet installed and charge with your mobile connector and a NEMA 14-50 adapter, which used to be standard but now costs about $45. Not quite as convenient or quick as using a Tesla wall connector, but much better than 120V. With the mobile connector and adapter, you can charge at 32 amps (which requires a 40 amp breaker); with the wall connector, you can charge at 48 amps (60 amp breaker).
 
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dmurphy

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Plus, the 14-50 is a standard plug. Most electricians probably have one in their vans already. It could be cheaper to install if the electrician doesn't tack the "Tesla premium" on to the price of the project.

… that’s why you tell them you need it for an RV or a welder. :)
 
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mswlogo

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Don’t mess with stupid 14-50 outlets. Have a Wall Connector installed.

Even if you pay an insurance company a year, if you switch to another they will credit the balance back.

Never use an automatic car wash on any car. Anyone that does isn’t a true car lover.

Your choice on wheel covers. Beaten to death topic. You want to get lug caps and center plug kit if you run no covers. Covers, no covers, new wheels. Take your pick.

Tesla paint being soft is BS. Your choice on PPF. Many levels of quality. Beaten to death topic. Probably way more than $5k for a good job. Location matters. Some think it’s a waste. Needs to be redone if you do get in an accident. Many insurance won’t cover. Doesn’t add much to selling.
 
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I really like the Gen 3 wall connector. Had a circuit run out to my garage for it, 48 amps on a 60 amp breaker. It is slick, convenient, and attractive. With EV getting more popular, having a high amperage circuit out to the garage might be a plus for a buyer when I eventually sell the house one day. Or so I told myself to justify the expense! Where I live in NC there are none of the wacky power company issues.

I have gotten into the enjoyment of doing my own washes and cleanings of the car and taking pride in its appearance. Foam cannon, 2-bucket, clay bar, etc. My car hasn’t seen an automated car wash yet and maybe never will. I agree touchless automated would be the only option but it is undesirable. A modest investment in good cleaning equipment and materials will allow you to keep your car looking great.

I did not elect to do ppf. The topic is discussed at length.

Enjoy your Tesla! For me it has been a unique ownership experience so far, in mostly good ways.
 
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mswlogo

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Btw the wheel covers do pop off pretty easily. Don’t be afraid to give one a tug and then work your way around in a circle to remove them and check out the wheels. I have read the covers improve efficiency like 2-3% so not negligible. I keep mine on for now.
I have covers on, on one side and the other off to help decide. One thing that drives me nuts is knowing the wheel behind the cover is filthy.

Touch-less car washes are risky too, for a number of reasons.
 
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DerbyDave

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Jul 2, 2020
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I have used a very good automatic car wash for 20+ years. It is 30 miles from my house. It has brushes and about 10 guys that hand finish the process. I have had expensive BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes that have sold for top retail dollar when I sell them using this good automatic car wash. I did have an issue with one BMW when the huge wheels got scratched, but that was fixed. It is not practical to hand wash on cold winter days. I use a touchless car wash occassionally, but it just helps keep the salt corrosion down.

The low front hood is a rock chip magnet, and makes the windshield more vulnerable to rocks than some other cars. Don't follow trucks close. I didn't apply PPF film. I'll just get around trucks quickly to avoid rock chips.
 
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Plus, the 14-50 is a standard plug. Most electricians probably have one in their vans already. It could be cheaper to install if the electrician doesn't tack the "Tesla premium" on to the price of the project.

Just a note of caution: The $20 receptacle the electrician has in their van may well be fine for installations like ovens etc, where (a) peak current is only reached for a few seconds, and (b) the appliance remains connected for long periods of time. But for EV charging, where you have sustained high current and (in some cases at least) repeated plugging / unplugging, it's worth investing the extra $75 or whatever in a sturdier receptacle.

I've been researching exactly this recently, trying to figure out the best charging solution for a vacation rental we just bought. There are multiple threads on this showing pictures of melted outlets - but there are also folks out there who have been using the cheaper ones with no problems, so YMMV.

Final thought while we're on the subject: There's also the "corded mobile connector", which has a NEMA 14-50 plug permanently attached and is capable of charging at 40A rather than the 32A of the Gen2 mobile connector. Worth considering if 25% faster charging is of interest. My new-to-me LR+ that I picked up on Wednesday came with both a Gen2 and a corded mobile connector in the trunk, which is a bonus.
 
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DayTrippin

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@VizagDude - I am the DFW area. Feel to reach out and I can show you what I did. My S has PPF (paint protection film) and our 3 does not. I can show the charging options I put in; Tesla wall connector and a NEMA 14-50 for charging other EVs.

As for Progressive - they only wanted a 6 month pre-payment but gave a good discount. Keep in mind there can be differences between a local Progressive agent and doing it online. The pricing can vary too.

Congrats on your new S!
 
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Tesla wall connector all the way. They are very convenient, charge the fastest way possible and you will have a 60a dedicated circuit in the garage for future charging of whatever may pop up. Another thing to consider when opting for the supplied cord is you would want to unplug the cord assembly and bring it with you sometimes as you would have no other 120v charge cord with you if you happen to need one such as visiting relatives who are not set up for EV charging. Other option is to buy another cord set for close to what a wall connector costs. The wall charger looks like a good deal right now doesn't it? Regardless, a permanent connection as opposed to another socket is more reliable and safer in the long run.

The wall connector gets updates and has many features such as only allowing installed serial numbers to charge from it, load sharing and other stuff you can read up on yourself.
 
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