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My New Model S by Soflauthor (First 24 Hours and then 1 week later...)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Soflauthor, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Soflauthor

    Soflauthor Model S, Sig#422

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
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    Location:
    South Florida
    Report After One Week with My Model S (Soflauthor)

    Here are a few more random thoughts after one week of driving my Model S (VIN # 184) …

    The Car

    I continue to be amazed by the quiet ride, the smoothness of every driving action, and the overall wow factor. In one week, three friends and acquaintances, after seeing and riding in my car, are just about ready to drive to Dania and put money down. Another friend from CT is coming to visit next month and says if he likes what he sees (he will) he’s putting money down.

    The most driving fun I’m having is going from, say, 30mph to 60mph is ½ second (okay, I’m exaggerating, but just a little). We have six-lane main streets (speed limit is often 50 mph) where I live (e.g., Glades Road), so going 30 to 60)is not all that uncommon.

    I used my Valet Parking Instructions on Tuesday evening at Mizner Park -- an upscale open mall with boutiques and restaurants. I still gave a verbal overview to the valet, who then wanted to park the car right in front with two exotics, and a Bentley GT convertible (actually, I did the parking :)). When I returned, there was a small group of people looking at the Model S, and the other cars looked lonely. It would have been nice to have had Tesla Model S brochures to hand out.

    Because I’m testing the CCI prototype in the car, I’ve taken it over some rough roads (to test for CCI rattles, movement in the channels, etc.). The Model S handles the bumps very well. It’s ironic that because the car is so quiet on smooth roads, going over bumps sometimes gives the impression that it’s noisier than it is. In fact, all you hear is the tire noise on the bumps.

    I had my first overnight software update on Sunday night. Worked fine. As an aside, in addition to the email summary, it would be a very good idea to have a summary of the key update items displayed directly on the Model S display when the “update successful” message appears.

    Tesla engineering asked to “take over” my car to try to debug my Homelink problem. The theory was that the signal timing for Homelink doesn’t conform to the timing for some (older?) garage door openers. They reprogrammed signal timing and found that 6 second signal duration works well with my configuration. It’s very bizarre to have Telsa control my Homelink from 2,500 miles away.

    The car is wide, and it takes a little practice pulling up to a curb on your right. I’m paranoid about getting curb rash on my wheels so I’ve found that I wind up further from the curb than I’d like. I’ll need to practice to get the feel of the proper approach.

    Visibility out the rear window is problematic. I rely almost solely on the backup camera, but to repeat from my 24 hour report, it really does need a set of computer-generated guide lines so that it’s easier to estimate distance to objects.

    Took the car to a touchless wash. It survived with absolutely no problems.

    The 21” wheels have cheesy plastic caps on the valve stems. Will replace them with more substantial caps, but I really shouldn’t have to do that on a car at this price point.

    Interior

    After a week inside the car, I must say that the interior design is calming. The minimalist look of the doors, the dash, and the seat design are pleasing to the eye. But the open (negative space) center channel area is too much minimalism for me.

    The screen does smudge from fingerprints, and you’ll need a optical cleaning cloth in the car. However, because the screen is always on (unless you disable it), the smudges are really not that noticeable. I live in SoFla (lots of sun) and I have not yet been in a situation where glare impacts my ability to read the screen. In fact, I wear sunglasses when I drive, and the screen remains quite readable.

    As I mentioned in my first report, the roof continues to filter both sun and heat beautifully. I honestly don’t think I’ll opt for a sunshade. Just not necessary.

    I have had the CCI (shameless plug: teslaccessories.com) in my car for the entire week, but I did take it out for half a day just to get a feel for the “open space.” After 4 hours, I missed by stuff (including a newly added optical cloth) in the CCI closed storage space and my phone caddie. Back went the CCI.

    The glove box is quite small (wide, but very little vertical height) and does not really serve as an adequate storage space for anything but papers and very small items.

    I am concerned about the fit of the leather on the driver’s seat. After one week, the leather has stretched a bit and doesn’t look taut (has noticeable “waviness”). I think part of the problem may be the underlayment and/or the thickness of the leather, but I don’t think that should happen in a car at this price point.

    My car has black carpeting and that’s a problem. It shows every spec of dirt, meaning regular visits from my ShopVac. Not the car’s fault, but still aggravating.

    A few friends who have ridden in the back seat asked why there was no fold-down armrest. I answered that Tesla was working on one, but they seemed surprised that it wasn’t standard. I shrugged.

    Ergonomics

    Interaction with the display is excellent overall. I still have a few things to learn, but after a week, the interaction is feeling quite natural.

    The internet browser sometimes does weird things when you try to use iPad-like features (e.g., multitouch magnification). It does not enlarge the type size and instead reproduces it in a smaller (default?) typeface.

    The phone app works okay and imported my iPhone contact list with no problem. However, unless I’ve missed it, there is no way other than scrolling to get to a contact deep in the alphabet range. I have hundreds of contact numbers and there should be a shortcut method for getting to a contact beginning with, say, the letter “R.”

    Little Lessons Learned

    You can start and drive the car without having your seat belt on. A tone does sound, however.

    At first it’s disconcerting to get out of a car with the audio system in operation and the A/C on. I’m used to it now and these systems shut down as soon as the fob moves away from the car.

    If you ride the brake even slightly as you simultaneously press on the accelerator, a warning tone sounds. I’m guilty of doing this as I back out of a very tight garage door.

    I’ve noticed that closing the car from the outside is sometimes problematic. A normal push on the door to close it sometimes leaves the door unclosed (not fully closed). The problem is that if you don’t notice this, the internal systems (A/C, radio, etc.) continue to operate, even as you walk away from the car.

    The door handles have worked well throughout. However, once or twice, I have walked up, pressed the handle, and … nothing. Not sure why. I wait a few beats, try it again, and they pop out. Also, they do collect finger prints that are noticeable at close range.

    The auto windshield wipers are VERY sensitive to anything (e.g., a leaf, a big bug) hitting the windshield. They will do a wipe when they sense contact, and it’s a little surprising at first when it’s not raining.

    There has been one instance in which the speedometer display went completely black (on start-up). The car worked fine, but it’s very disconcerting not to have a speedometer. I tried to reboot the display by pressing on the two top steering wheel buttons, above the rollers, but … nothing. I then tried to call Tesla Roadside Assistance, but after going through the sorting automaton, I was channeled to a forever-ringing phone (no answer). Called the Dania store and they suggested that I reboot the display, and turn off the car via the control panel. When I turning it back on, the speedometer display reappeared.

    A “service required” warning appeared on the morning after my software update. The odometer showed all blanks. The problem, diagnosed by Tesla Engineering in CA is that the software versions for the display software and the speedometer software were different and created a conflict. Fixed remotely. Cool.

    ---------

    I’ve got a CCI to build (and authoring work to complete or my editor at McGraw-Hill will kill me), so that’s my reporting on the Model S for a while. I hope you found the 24-hour and 1-week reports to be useful.
     
  2. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Roger ... great working review! I'm glad you're still so impressed, it's creating more anticipation for my arrival.

    Petty curiosity ... how has the brake dust been on the wheels?
     
  3. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    A tad creepy too. Glad I'm not on the run from the law :)

    Nice writeup!
     
  4. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    SF Bay Area
    Thanks for the report.

    My understanding is that Tesla is not working on a fold-down armrest, but is working on a rear seat center console that straps into the middle seat. Obviously, that won't be as convenient.


    I've had cars where the windows open slightly when the door is opened, and then the windows roll back up after the door is closed. That stops air pressure from making it harder to close the doors. I wonder if Tesla could program this in as a software update?

    Doesn't the right hand mirror tilt down when reversing? That should show you the relationship of the tires to the curb.
     
  5. donauker

    donauker Member

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    The windows do move down slightly when the door is opened and up when closed. Not really enough to leave an air gap more so to properly seat the window to the seal.


    Mirror tilt on reverse is selectable in the software but it is not yet properly implemented. The mirrors currently move in and up on reverse!
     
  6. Soflauthor

    Soflauthor Model S, Sig#422

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    Location:
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    There is brake dust, but it's not significant. I'm finding that with regen I'm using my brakes MUCH less and that may be why there's less dust.

    --------------

    I was just riding in the rain and encountered a small, as yet, unresolved problem. My wipers have decided not to retract fully, leaving them about 3 - 4 inches above the bottom of the windshield. Even if I turn the wipers completely off, they don't retract. Called Dania service and they're sending someone out. The vagaries of early adoption :)
     
  7. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    Donauker,

    I believe the reverse mirror settings are stored my the car. Try placeing the car in R, adjust the mirrors to where you want them when in R, and save those settings. The next time you move to R the should move to your new location.

    Peter

     
  8. donauker

    donauker Member

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    Excellent! This does appear to be the case. Guess my delivery specialist wasn't notified of this, he noted it as a defect and turned it off. The one tricky item with the new driver profiles is that after setting this or any mirror settings you need to move the seat so it will let you save the profile settings.
     
  9. pguerra

    pguerra Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2011
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    Thank you for this fantastic review. This is exactly what a skeptic like me needs to read.

    1) I am concerned about some of the bugs and disappearing screens, but I'm glad they are fixed relatively promptly.
    2) I do prefer the minimal look of the current center console or lack thereof. I would prefer the infamous rear seat cupholders of course and storage space within the front seat arm rest.
    3) I want the little cubby under the screen. I hope mine has that.
    4) All in all, I am thinking I will like this vehicle - if the quirks don't become too numerous with downtime in the shop. I just want the car to work and be dependable.

    Thanks again for the review.
     
  10. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    In one of the threads I thought the email was posted and it mentioned you could hunt through the menus to save the settings. AFAIK moving the chair is just what prompts the save dialog to pop open on its own.
     
  11. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Works OK for me. Though when I first got the car -- and I'd read about this so I tried it with my DS there -- the right mirror didn't do anything when going into reverse. We tried various ways to fix it ... ultimately we did, but I have no idea how. Both mirrors tilt down and in when going into reverse.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Indeed, there is a way :smile: but it's not on the 17" screen. You can do it via the right steering controls. Without the car in front of me I forget exactly the steps, but tap on of the buttons, use the scroll wheel to select the phone, and then you can get to your contacts. From there, it's grouped by letters.
     
  12. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Video on your wonderful YouTube channel, please!
     
  13. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    Oh yeah! I didn't cover any of the instrument cluster stuff yet. Right. Gotta do that :smile:
     
  14. IlliniT

    IlliniT Member

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    Illinois
    How did it handle in the rain? Any insight into the first Model S owners that encounter snow would also be appreciated.

    I'm expecting delivery in January or February and live in Chicago - hence the curiosity.
     
  15. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Cinergi, could you list all your videos in one spot - then it will be easy for folks to see what's missing and make their requests. :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    but over on your thread .. thought that was where i was. How did Soflauthor's thread get hijacked?
     
  16. donauker

    donauker Member

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    The only place I found has the save button greyed out until the seat or steering wheel is moved.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes works for me know. The trick was setting the mirrors as desired while in reverse and then forcing a save by moving the seat.
     
  17. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Ah. I'll defer to you, I was just going by what I (thought I) saw in the email.
     
  18. stephenpace

    stephenpace VIN S00219

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    For the FAQ since this has hit a few of us now: Mirrors have an R setting and a D setting. If your mirror doesn't do want you want in R, generally it means you haven't set it yet. Some cars come preset, but some are not, or some just had one set. Just go to R, set both your mirrors (angle down, whatever) then go to D and set them again, and you should be good. (If the position doesn't save, move your seat to force it to save.)
     
  19. colinb

    colinb Member

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    They should take a page from the Windows Phone design - the people hub design used in WP would make this quite easy to do.
     
  20. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I'd love giant tiles of my most called contacts to tap!
     

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