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Pre-Purchase Questions

TonyJag

Member
Mar 16, 2020
222
121
Central MA
This is my first post on this Tesla forum. I am a retired engineer and DIY gear-head since the 50's. I participate in Swedespeed regarding our 2015 Volvo XC60, before that on SaabNet for a series of 9000s and a 9-5, and briefly on some Acura forums for my 2002 RSX-S, which will be replaced by a new Model 3, then passed-on to my heirs.

I have ordered a Model 3 Performance and have some questions that Natick is not able to answer and are not adequately covered in the owner's manual.
1. What measures are taken to avoid rust of the steel body parts, particularly the dog legs and rocker panels?
2. How are steel and aluminum parts joined to avoid galvanic corrosion?
3. Each axle seems to have a gear case containing a 9:1 reduction and open differential, but there is no info about fluid type, capacity, servicing, etc.
4. The owners manual says it cannot tow a trailer, but the DIY Model 3 website shows a removable hitch as part of a towing package. Please clarify.
5. It is advertised that if one motor fails, the other can keep you going. What is the probability of a failure that freezes up an axle?
6. In the Park "shifter" position, is there an independent locking mechanism in the rear motor/gearbox or does it depend on the electric rear brake motors?
7. Is there really neither hand brake nor emergency brake pedal?

They answered yes on #7, but said the others were too technical and some answers may be proprietary. I am not looking for any trade secrets, just assurance the these issues have been adequately addressed, particularly #1 and #2, given that Model 3 is Tesla's first predominantly steel car. I also tried an on-line chat with Tesla, who regarding #4 said there is no towing package and came across as very arrogant on the other questions, telling me to contact my service center, which Natick already did.

Any advice or comments from forum members on these questions, or on what to look for during a test drive scheduled for Wednesday March 18, will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance,
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
13,653
23,198
NC
This is my first post on this Tesla forum. I am a retired engineer and DIY gear-head since the 50's. I participate in Swedespeed regarding our 2015 Volvo XC60, before that on SaabNet for a series of 9000s and a 9-5, and briefly on some Acura forums for my 2002 RSX-S, which will be replaced by a new Model 3, then passed-on to my heirs.

I have ordered a Model 3 Performance and have some questions that Natick is not able to answer and are not adequately covered in the owner's manual.
1. What measures are taken to avoid rust of the steel body parts, particularly the dog legs and rocker panels?
2. How are steel and aluminum parts joined to avoid galvanic corrosion?

https://www.tesla.com/sites/default...sories-body-repair-limited-warranty-en-us.pdf

Sheet metal is limited lifetime warranty.

3. Each axle seems to have a gear case containing a 9:1 reduction and open differential, but there is no info about fluid type, capacity, servicing, etc.

No routine service is ever required here.

Outside of brake fluid, no routine fluid service is ever required on the Model 3 at all.


4. The owners manual says it cannot tow a trailer, but the DIY Model 3 website shows a removable hitch as part of a towing package. Please clarify.

There's a hitch available in Europe- not in the US.

You can install one here anyway but it's not supported (and they won't warranty any issues it might cause)


5. It is advertised that if one motor fails, the other can keep you going. What is the probability of a failure that freezes up an axle?

Very very low- but AFAIK because the front and rear are a different type of motor- only one of them can die and you can still drive the car- if it's the other one you're stuck even if the first works fine

6. In the Park "shifter" position, is there an independent locking mechanism in the rear motor/gearbox or does it depend on the electric rear brake motors?
7. Is there really neither hand brake nor emergency brake pedal?

The button on the end of the right stalk is your Ebrake
 
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holmgang

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
1,342
1,484
eu
3. Most modern cars have trans and diff fluid rated for the useful life of the car. I.e. servicing interval not listed in manual. Some Tesla owners have reported the computer notifying them of needing to tend to the gearbox fluid.

4. The car is physically capable of towing. OEM towing rated for up to 910kg in EU market.


5. A lie. I, and a few others, have had the computer show notice of failure of motor, and then the entire car promptly fails. So the redundancy of dual motors hasn't been proven. (That said I don't think there's a worry of 1 motor locking up and causing an accident...I imagine they would properly engineer a failsafe against that scenario)

6. Dunno about a physical lock mechanism besides the brakes engaging when in park

7. The parking brake is activated manually by touch screen, or automatically when shifter placed in Park. If you hold down the park button, it's supposed to activate the ebrake
 

TonyJag

Member
Mar 16, 2020
222
121
Central MA
Thanks for your replies. At my test drive tomorrow, i will bring up your points and should learn Tesla's answers and will share them here.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,855
3,565
Maine
This is my first post on this Tesla forum. I am a retired engineer and DIY gear-head since the 50's. I participate in Swedespeed regarding our 2015 Volvo XC60, before that on SaabNet for a series of 9000s and a 9-5, and briefly on some Acura forums for my 2002 RSX-S, which will be replaced by a new Model 3, then passed-on to my heirs.

I have ordered a Model 3 Performance and have some questions that Natick is not able to answer and are not adequately covered in the owner's manual.
1. What measures are taken to avoid rust of the steel body parts, particularly the dog legs and rocker panels?
2. How are steel and aluminum parts joined to avoid galvanic corrosion?
3. Each axle seems to have a gear case containing a 9:1 reduction and open differential, but there is no info about fluid type, capacity, servicing, etc.
4. The owners manual says it cannot tow a trailer, but the DIY Model 3 website shows a removable hitch as part of a towing package. Please clarify.
5. It is advertised that if one motor fails, the other can keep you going. What is the probability of a failure that freezes up an axle?
6. In the Park "shifter" position, is there an independent locking mechanism in the rear motor/gearbox or does it depend on the electric rear brake motors?
7. Is there really neither hand brake nor emergency brake pedal?

They answered yes on #7, but said the others were too technical and some answers may be proprietary. I am not looking for any trade secrets, just assurance the these issues have been adequately addressed, particularly #1 and #2, given that Model 3 is Tesla's first predominantly steel car. I also tried an on-line chat with Tesla, who regarding #4 said there is no towing package and came across as very arrogant on the other questions, telling me to contact my service center, which Natick already did.

Any advice or comments from forum members on these questions, or on what to look for during a test drive scheduled for Wednesday March 18, will be much appreciated. Thanks in advance,
5) If the rear motor fails, you're stuck, as it's the permanent mag motor. If the front motor fails, you can limp somewhere. Failure rates seem quite low; at least compared to my Chevy Volt. That forum was filled with people getting "Shift-to-park" failures.

1) In some parts of the World, Canada, Finland and other places, Tesla is giving owners mudflaps to mitigate any sandblasting of the rockers and doglegs. If you have to buy your own, they range in price from $20 to $150. I PPF'd my rockers and lower part of dogleg for $120.
 

TonyJag

Member
Mar 16, 2020
222
121
Central MA
Thanks to everyone for all your answers! The test drive was OK, but they could not come uo with any 2-motor version. Tesla has NOT yet responded, neither corporate via the web site nor the local sales advisor, who punted the questions to the local service center. The car is scheduled to arrive Wednesday. I will start a new thread on that subject.
 

MrMassTransit

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Mar 7, 2019
299
515
Washington, DC
Thanks to everyone for all your answers! The test drive was OK, but they could not come uo with any 2-motor version. Tesla has NOT yet responded, neither corporate via the web site nor the local sales advisor, who punted the questions to the local service center. The car is scheduled to arrive Wednesday. I will start a new thread on that subject.

Congratulations on the purchase!
 

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