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Roadtrip: The Rest of the Story

Discussion in 'Blog Archive' started by bonnie, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Oh where to start ... Good times in Portland with a bunch of wild and crazy Model S reservation holders. Easy charging. Accommodating hotel. Easy drive from Portland to Tacoma, WA ... blah blah blah. Let's cut to the chase: I'm home in Loomis, my car is cell-less in Seattle. And I should have it back later this week, via the Model S Express.


    Three days in Portland

    I was wondering how the heck I was going to easily charge my car while in Portland, without hanging out at the Tesla store and using their chargers at night (not that that's a bad thing). Imagine my surprise to find two Blink chargers on the side of The Round office complex parking lot. No charge (but I needed a Blink card). And no problems charging at all. I'd leave work at the end of the day and my car was fully charged. Pretty sweet. ... I did have a couple of weird error messages on the trip while charging, but the car charged fine and the messages went away. (Remember this part, it's important.)

    TIP: If you see an error screen, take a picture before dismissing it. Then you can email it to Tesla Service. A picture eliminates the whole "well, I think it said that something was wrong with the electrical doohickey thing," - which typically leaves Service thinking you're an idiot. (There's plenty of opportunity to offer additional proof regarding if you're an idiot or not, but at least take a picture to make the error easier to troubleshoot.)

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    After my work week was done, I met up with several of you from the TMC forum for dinner and swarming the Tesla Portland store in Washington Square. Tesla was accommodating, but looked oh-so-dubious to all of us piling in one of the cars and taking over the store. -waves at Tesla employees and says THANKS!- I'm sure we sold some cars for them that night. I tried to get Troy to come over to the restaurant and pay for our dinner, but somehow the text messages didn't seem to get through until it was too late. Yeah, okay, I know. He ignored us. pffffyt. (That's me riding shotgun. I've let the others self-identify.)

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    I did use one of the charging stations located in the Tesla garage space. Looking mighty lonely there with no Roadsters, no Model S. I'm sure that's been remedied with a test drive Model S by now ... and oh. More of those strange charging error messages. But once again, the car was fully charged, ran great, error messages went away. Awesome.



    Tacoma / Seattle

    I headed up to Tacoma to hang out with my college roommate in Tacoma, now a family doctor in the Tacoma area. (It's great reconnecting with old friends!) We hit the art galleries in Seattle, drove along the coast, ate great seafood, and played lots of Scrabble. (She beat me every. single. time. I'm not used to that. Just sayin'.) I found chargers in all sorts of places. Parking garage at the Museum of Glass. Parking lot near the grocery. Wherever I stopped it seemed a charger was nearby. And those damn charging error messages made a reappearance sometimes.

    Again, the car was charging, everything was good. It was Labor Day weekend, so on Tuesday morning, I called Menlo Park and said 'hey, had these weird errors, anything I should be concerned about?'. Tesla Service seemed concerned (as in 'you can still drive the car?'), so I took it to the Seattle Service Center (just 30 miles away) to get checked out. (Oh hey, don't you think that California|Oregon|Washington should have some sort of reciprocal agreement regarding use of HOV lanes? Yeah, me too. Driving 30 miles to Seattle with an empty HOV lane next to me was torture.)

    So let's stop for a minute before everyone goes OMGOMGIknewyoucouldntcountonanelectriccar. Stuff happens in ALL cars. I've had issues one time or another with ICE vehicles, too. My car was fully charged, operating perfectly. Error screens went away. So... all good here? k. Moving on.

    Lots of questions between Seattle and the engineering team and the final resolution was easy. Tesla didn't feel comfortable letting me drive the car home, even though there didn't appear to be any identifiable issue. So after negotiating that I could have the car back for the events over at the Seattle Center (the original reason for the roadtrip), I left the car behind and headed back to Tacoma. I returned the car to Tesla after the last of the events ended (more on that below) they sent me back to Tacoma in a nice town car, I flew home the next day.

    So here's what I know -- the charging errors didn't seem to impact the car performance or range. But I was uncomfortable & so was Tesla in letting me drive home when we didn't know exactly what was wrong. I do know that after we decided I shouldn't drive home, the charging error screens came back. So the right decision was made. I do have a new battery now. :) I suspect that's more so that the engineers can do further failure analysis to understand what caused the problems, more than the fact I needed a new battery. My old battery was pulled last Thursday. A new one was put in on Friday and my car charged all weekend. Tests were run today, more will be run tomorrow, and then if all goes well, they will bring my car back to me (800+ miles) on Wednesday. Yay. (And since so many are currently concerned about warranty coverage, this was all done under my warranty. No charges, no money out of my pocket.)


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    I'll write more on the Beyond Oil event at a future date. Thanks to Chad Schwitters for inviting me to join the crew in Washington. I was able to meet more forum members there (shout out to Vincent, Tom, Kathy, Ron, and others). And I saw some pretty cool electric vehicles. In the meantime, here we are all lined up waiting to go onto the grounds around the Space Needle. That's a lot of electric cars in one place. It was pretty amazing to witness so many cars moving in silence ...
     
  2. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    *sob*

    Sorry Bonnie, I didn't mean to make you suffer without your beautiful car for so long...at least I got to see it at the conference!

    At least you got a new battery out of the deal. Sure wish I'd get a charging error...oh, some time in the next two weeks.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Well...a new battery is nice. Look forward to hearing what the cause was.
     
  4. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

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    Bonnie - Thanks for the story. A great read. You won't recall, but I met you at the pre-Factory event meet up on Oct. 1st 2011. That was lots of fun, and so was the factory event. I've got a few more months until my Model S arrives in Florida. If we still had our place in San Diego, I think I would just pick up my car from the factory.

    Anyway, I'm not surprised by the level of service that Tesla provides. Cost aside, it's nice to receive First Class service from an organization. Enjoy that new battery, and your new Model X.
     
  5. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    That was a fun party, wasn't it! I hope there are more opportunities for Roadster owners, Model S, Model X, enthusiasts to get together in the future.

    I'm off on a trip, so I'm missing my car coming home. But I have no doubt that it will be parked in my garage, plugged in, and waiting for me when I get home. You're right, can't beat the service. That's why I'm getting an X, too.
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Interested to hear an update.
     
  7. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    Yea, what's the update? <interested look>
     
  8. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Okay, okay!

    Update: I arrived home late Saturday & my car was in my garage with a brand spanking new battery installed, under car cover & plugged in. I took it out on Sunday & much to my surprise, the battery was already fully balanced, showing 191 ideal miles in standard mode (214 in range). I have no doubt that if I charge in range mode, I will get the full 245 miles of range.

    I love this car.
     

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