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My Tesla Story

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
With all the negativity I've been seeing on this forum regards to Tesla's misleading advertising, Tesla's autopilot delay, the MX delay, etc. I wanted to post how I feel about my car and why. I love my Tesla.

So I've had my 70D for almost 2 months now, recently got back from another road trip and wanted to post a review of a bunch of thoughts I have on the car, how it does on road trips, and some deficiencies I see.

In the almost 2 months, I have over 4,800 miles, I've been on 3 unique routes for road-trips (one way each trip was between 240 miles and 500 miles), I've visited superchargers probably 18-20+ times, and I've been to 10 unique superchargers in 6 different states.
We travel with 2 young kids, and made a mistake on our first 450 mile road-trip. We supercharged for about 40 mins while the kids played outside, and then decided to stop again about 20 mins later to eat, which took another hour. This made the commute a lot longer than anticipated. So from then on, we started planning much better. Now we try to time the longer supercharger stops with meal breaks. And this has worked perfectly. The car is almost always ready before we are. Even for the quick 15min charging stops, by the time I get the kids out of the car, go to the bathroom, give them a snack, load them back in, the car is ready. It does take a little more planning, but nothing major and while the length of time does increase for a roadtrip compared to how we used to do ICE trips, my wife likes it more, she says it's more relaxing for everyone.

For the Myrtle Beach road trip, the hotel wouldn't tell me if they have charging (they weren't listed on plugshare), but I booked the hotel before I got the car, so I still went ahead knowing there is a Nissan dealership which is Tesla friendly. I called Tesla and asked if I bought a Chademo adapter from them, but didn't open it or use it, if I could return it. They said yes. So I bought one (and returned it this week) as an insurance policy. When I got to the hotel, I asked the front desk again about finding an outlet for me. They said they don't think they have any, but called maintenance to ask. Maintenance said they have had several EV's and they were able to charge, and showed me one location which had an outlet. That was good enough for me, I no longer needed to use the Chademo! Charged the car up over several nights, and it was great. I also added them to plugshare.

Those ~5k miles so far cost me somewhere between 1 and 2 tanks of gas. So that's kinda awesome too.

As for the whole Autopilot debacle, TACC is amazing on road-trips. I can't wait for the auto-steering to come out, and each time I bring it up my wife laughs at me and says that with Elon time it'll likely be a while.
To be fair, I made a mistake with another product I purchased based on a promise (OTA DVR, promised DD5.1 "shortly" after release, 18 months later, still on the "road-map", but still only stereo... eh, whatever), and just like some members here I was spreading the word about the other product until at one point, I was no longer enthusiastic about it. I still use it, because for my needs it's one of the better products on the market, but I'm not "selling" any of them anymore.
Long story short, when I was getting the Tesla I set my exceptions correctly -- I'm paying for what's available now, not what can potentially be released in a future update (auto-steering. Don't care about self parking, I grew up in NYC, I can easily parallel park in very tight spaces). Because, from my prior experience, promises will be broken.

As for reliability, I've had 1 service center appointment so far. They fixed a broken door handle (these are the Gen II's, that don't extract all the way), and replaced my steering wheel scroll wheel (it worked great, and now it's occasionally doing what it did before. I'll bring it up when I have my next appointment. Maybe it's normal? But I would expect when I scroll it, that it always reacts, not 90% of the time). They checked my AC vibrations (which seemed odd to me, but maybe my ICE did it too, but the engine noise made it almost not noticeable), and said it's "consistent" with other models.
I have another service center visit scheduled in 2 weeks, this time my drivers right armrest fell apart (it's held by 2 torx screws, FYI), first the front fell out, and it was a PITA navigating through the cup-holder to put it back in, and now the back one fell out, and I don't feel like taking it apart on my own. And my rear parking sensors are acting up. It randomly thinks something is there and tells me to stop, and I can see that there is nothing even CLOSE to the car.
I think that for a new car this is still acceptable. I hope that in the next few months all the minor production issues shake out and the car will be very reliable.

I still use 120V charging at home (my daily commute is very short). But now that I started driving the kids to preschool, it adds just enough miles that I barely have enough to get back to 90% by the next morning. I'm sure I'll either pay someone to install a NEMA 14-50 (if I get a reasonable quote) or do it myself, before winter hits.


In hindsight I do have one regret. I should've gotten the UHFS audio upgrade, not because it makes the audio SO much better, but because even when I set the audio to the complete rear of the car, my kids complain that they can't hear it from the trunk (the UHFS adds speakers to the trunk, IIRC). So I end up cranking the volume up higher so they can hear it, but then it becomes hard to hear them talking to me...


As for things that still bother me (that are released, not things I'm waiting for)
1. The "Beta" (aka Alpha) route planning sucks. Though with the more recent updates, I believe it leaves a buffer of 7% for the timed charging (whereas before I could have sworn it was 20%, but I might be wrong)
2. The nav sucks too. Google maps does a much better job at avoiding traffic, and correctly timing the commute. Even my morning to-work commute, google maps tells me "25 mins" (for example) the nav takes me on the same route and tells me "20 mins". Seems it's not accounting for traffic as much, or at all.
2a. The nav does poorly in another location - when it's routing me on roads, it often doesn't take the best route compared to google. I'm assuming it does it to save a few rated miles or something, but really? Why can't I chose to have the fastest route, especially when I'm not worried about charging.
3. The AC controls are poor. I keep needing to fiddle with it, and I know that I'm not alone. If I set it to LO it'll blow cold air at a fan speed of 11. But if I set it to 67, it wont set the fan high enough to cool the car off.
4. The service centers need to grow with the customer base. My one visit and upcoming visit are very minor issues, I understand that, but why is there a 3 week wait?
5. I was planning on buying the extended warranty, but after finding out that I need to do annual service for the ESA to be valid, that puts a damper in my plans. I did not plan to get the car serviced at $600, when I require no fluid changes. That seems ludicrous (see what I did there?) to me. Now I'm either going to have to do all 4 service visits (I have 5 days to decide if I'm getting the prepaid plans or not...) and get the ESA, or do service visits every 2 year and hope my 50k-100k miles will be mostly trouble free.
6. The rear seats have no AC. Seriously? Sigh... my kids will only sit there when it's less than 85 degrees outside. I put on heat reducing tint and got the rear sunshade and got them handheld fans. But this is a serious design flaw with no retrofit in mind. They like the seats, but haven't been able to use them much.


I'm sure as Tesla grows, some of my issues with the software will go away. It's still the coolest car I've driven, a blast to drive, and I have no regrets getting the Tesla vs. another car manufacturer.
 
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Hi Max *

I have been enjoying Tesla for about 10 months now and I can try commenting on some of your thoughts: I believe there are veterans who have owned the car for more time and did lot of road trips (which I am planning to take soon).

My comments

1.and 2. Beta trip planner and Nav sucks and I don't use it at all...I rather use google maps on my phone. When I picked my car we had to pay for Tech pkg and this bothers me that navigation is still an issue.
3. Agree with AC ...wish the controls are more receptive
4. The closest service center to my home is Dallas Service center and I firmly believe that the physical space is small and they need a bigger service center in Dallas area
5. I drive about 30,000 miles each year and debating whether to buy the extended warranty..I understand we have to have service visits but I would rather pay $4000 and have extended warranty and have that peace of mind. Please refer to posts where fellow Tesla owners complain how expensive parts are once the warranty is expired.

I will join with you to hope Tesla grows and also the parts and labor costs go down. Wish Tesla works on Nav and Beta trip planner as well.:smile:
 
Great post - thank you for this write up. I am 1500 miles in and loving my ride more and more each day. Feels totally different to drive this car than any of my ICE cars before. It doesn't feel like a "car", as it feels like it takes much less human "effort" to get to where you want to go. Can't explain the feeling any better than that.
 
Hi Max *
4. The closest service center to my home is Dallas Service center and I firmly believe that the physical space is small and they need a bigger service center in Dallas area

In the Dallas SC the other day, an employee said they are actively looking for and are in talks with getting a bigger space. So hopefully this should be a reality soon.

I echo your other sentiments. I use the Tesla navigation but usually cross check it with google and common sense. I like to use it to monitor my energy usage. I find I'm getting more and more comfortable with it. I know others are far more courageous than I, but yesterday I got home with 25 miles rated after a semi road trip coming back from Dallas. I"m gaining more and more confidence in how I drive vs energy usage, etc.

Good post OP
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
I echo your other sentiments. I use the Tesla navigation but usually cross check it with google and common sense. I like to use it to monitor my energy usage. I find I'm getting more and more comfortable with it. I know others are far more courageous than I, but yesterday I got home with 25 miles rated after a semi road trip coming back from Dallas. I"m gaining more and more confidence in how I drive vs energy usage, etc.

So this would make you nervous? ;)

IMG_20150706_103530_nopm_.jpg


No worries, I slowed down a little and got there with a whole 2%!

IMG_20150706_110102_nopm_.jpg
 

LetsGoFast

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,329
101
Virginia
I'm not defending the climate control logic, which I agree sucks, but I've found a pretty workable solution for me. I leave the temp permanently set to LO and I have the right steering wheel button set to adjust fan speed. I start with it at 11 and manually adjust it as I get comfortable. In humid Virginia weather, the default is usually a fan speed of 2 which is silent and maintains a reasonable cabin temp. I'm sure I read about it here and I find it works well for me.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,058
1,153
Charlotte, NC
Thank you for your post Max*! Yes, we must not think everything is all gloom and such. I want to repeat a trinket I posted in my disappointments thread...
Let me start this off by saying I truly do hope I am just an isolated case and nobody else goes through the trouble I have. In everything there are going to be outliers and perhaps this is the case of me being the "lucky one" (why couldn't this thread be about buying a lottery ticket?!?). I was enamored by the Tesla Model S and Tesla Motors.


I continue to be enamored by the Model S and we should not let isolated cases taint how amazing the car is. Even though I went through tons of trouble with my particular car, I love it and truly am amazed at the kind of vehicle we have now. I am happy to read more stories like Max's!

- - - Updated - - -

In case you didn't notice Max, in the Settings screen under Apps >> Maps, there is a slider to enable/disable traffic-based navigation. Perhaps you have that disabled so the Nav is saying 20 min vs. 25?
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
In case you didn't notice Max, in the Settings screen under Apps >> Maps, there is a slider to enable/disable traffic-based navigation. Perhaps you have that disabled so the Nav is saying 20 min vs. 25?

I'm pretty sure I have it enabled and set to 0 minutes for updating based on the traffic delay.

But I'll check that, thanks.

ETA: Just checked, it is enabled, and set to "ALWAYS".
 
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Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
To add to the weird nav behavior, this happened both ways visiting they Rocky Mount, SC supercharger. It took me off 95 onto the slower side streets, to what I presume was more miles (my red line)., instead of directly taking me to the supercharger (my blue line).

I only noticed after I was off 95... I didn't think it'd make the same mistake twice! lol

Odd Nav.jpg
 
Traffic based rerouting has never worked for me. I've set it to 0,2,5, it doesn't make any difference even in the most obvious situations.

I have been re-routed a number of times effectively in Richmond. When traffic is very heavy, other alternative routes are numerous and conditions are changing rapidly, like I often encounter in the DC metro area, I find that Waze works far better, but the Tesla nav is usually somewhat reasonable.
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,835
NoVa
Traffic based rerouting has never worked for me. I've set it to 0,2,5, it doesn't make any difference even in the most obvious situations.

I have been re-routed a number of times effectively in Richmond. When traffic is very heavy, other alternative routes are numerous and conditions are changing rapidly, like I often encounter in the DC metro area, I find that Waze works far better, but the Tesla nav is usually somewhat reasonable.

I've been re-rerouted too. And it does tick down the time. And I agree, I still think Google Maps/Waze works far better, but the traffic based re-routing does something.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,058
1,153
Charlotte, NC
Haha yes!! I got home with I think 7% last night and was a tiny bit nervous. However, I find that cross checking with EVTripplanner really helps me ease my anxiety.

I'm sure someday I'll come crawling in with just a few miles left!

This past weekend I called ahead and made an emergency stop at my local Tesla store for a 15 minute top-off (I only have 120v charging at home). I then went to our Supercharger on the North side of town and arrived with 3% / 10 miles of Rated Range left. I definitely was gentle with the go pedal getting there!
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,894
Toronto, ON
Traffic based rerouting has never worked for me. I've set it to 0,2,5, it doesn't make any difference even in the most obvious situations.

Mine works, but I wish it would tell you what it is doing. The first time it happened, I knew where I was going and just thought the nav had gone wonky...and so ignored it... until I ran into a big traffic jam. I'd like a pop-up or something when the route changes from normal to the "detour".
 

Ingineer

Electrical Engineer
Aug 8, 2012
1,507
3,714
Mine works, but I wish it would tell you what it is doing. The first time it happened, I knew where I was going and just thought the nav had gone wonky...and so ignored it... until I ran into a big traffic jam. I'd like a pop-up or something when the route changes from normal to the "detour".

Yes, I was just about to mention this. I've got mine set for 10 mins and it works well, and has avoided several bad jams. However when it changes it's mind you get zero indication, not even a lowly "recalulating"! I want it to issue a pop-up and ask me if it's ok to take the new route and show me the difference before I accept.
 

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