Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

The first 72 days in my used P85 with 136,857 awesome miles


Sep 26, 2018
Whispering Pines, NC
This is a continuation of the TMC post “First 30 days in my used 2014 P85 with 130,735 Miles”


First off, have I mentioned that I absolutely love my P85 :) and the natural advertisement that this futuristic cool vehicle displays to all of the ICEs on the road

I took a lot of great advice to heart such as charging to 100% before trips and 20% with a 5% buffer between changing stations. Fan set to 3, drive mode set to on, and regeneration brakes to low in icy conditions. I even put the ice scraper in the frunk. Needless to say there were no issues overall coming and going between VA and NC for a good while. One weekend though I noticed that when I went to charge in my garage that the charge port was not displaying green. It was displaying yellow. And the vehicle was displaying that the charging cable was not fully inserted. However, the vehicle was actually charging, it just wasn’t the typical 22 to 23 miles an hour which I normally get with my 240. I was getting 12 miles though so at least I was getting some charge. I knew that the Raleigh Supercharging station was only 65 miles away and I had about 180 miles of charge. So on Sunday night I headed to the Raleigh Super Charger. When I arrived with about 110 miles I started to try and charge. The charge port however would not latch unto the cable. It kept giving me the annoying noise (is anyone fond of that noise? ) and the orange light. I moved to about 4 other supercharging stalls. No dice. So I called Tesla. The good news at 7 at night was that I only had a 10 minute wait time. I forget who the rep was even though it was a Russian sounding last name. We tried to trouble shoot it but it wouldn’t work. One thing he did bring up was that the “logs” had indicated issues with the charge port, so... I knew at that point I wasn’t going to make it to VA that night. I also knew that if I drove back home I wouldn’t be able to charge. So I drove to the Raleigh Tesla Service Center and dropped my key fob in the overnight box. One cool thing that Tesla did was that they sent a message to the Raleigh center and let them know what my issue was. That night my wife came up and got me. Needless to say she’s not too excited about my Tesla adventures.

The next day Chris from the Raleigh service station contacts me. He lets me know that my charge port needs to be replaced and that my 12v needs to be replaced. A charge port is around $626 and the battery about $150. Total cost with labor +tax - $1058.29. Chris stated that a “12v life is primarily time-based. I have seen an average of about 2.5-3 years.”

One of the other items that I had him check were the possible BMS and the SOC calibration type issues. This is what Chris told me, quote - “One last thing, we did check into your concern regarding BMS/SOC. The battery pack does have some unbalanced cells. However, there is nothing wrong with the hardware in the vehicle. Imbalanced cells are a result of consistent charging patterns (likely from the previous owner(s), such as charging from 50% to 80% day after day and rarely coming out of that range) that don't allow the pack to calculate the SOC at low or high ranges. We recommend running the car down to low SOC (less than 10%) and then charging fully to 100% 3 times over (I actually tried this, not sure how effective it is). This will help to re-balance the cells and allow the car to re-learn the capacity of the HV Battery. After that, things should go back to what you would expect. Thanks again!” Tesla in Raleigh was able to get to the P85 (without an appt.) and get it up and running in less than a day. Really happy with the timely effort, and customer service with Chris in Raleigh, A+

A week after getting the charge port fixed I headed down to NC. The day I left one of my bosses was joking that we needed to have a contingency plan if “Davenport gets snowed in”. News was already reporting a possible snow storm in NC. On the way back to Raleigh on Sunday most of the roads had been cleared of snow and supercharging wasn’t an issue. From Raleigh I had a 25% charge at the arrival for the South Hill VA Super Charging Station. There were some areas of the road heading up that had snow and ice so at times I took the regenerative brakes down to the low setting. However, I also noticed a nice drop in percentage. So at times I would go back to standard. There was some wind all the way up too. When I arrived I was at 14% (32 degrees with windy conditions did not help; the next weekend I actually gained % in 58 degree WX). So, that was the biggest negative shift in % in any leg of the trip. When I arrived at the station the place was covered in a few inches of snow, but nothing too crazy.


Charging at South Hill VA

I charged up to 25% to get me to Chester VA Super Chargers. I had decided to go for the quick charge and then continue to the next station due to bad weather, 32 degrees and bad road conditions. On the way to Chester and predominately the fast lane, there were many trees that had fallen on the interstate but had been cut away by service crews. However, due to continued winds a tree had fallen and had backed up traffic at one point.


Waiting for a tree to be pulled off the interstate.

Once cleared I confined to Chester. During most of the drive I stayed in the slow lane unless I came upon someone driving really slow. During the drive I came up on a truck that was going slow and decided do pass him. When passing I was about halfway passed the truck when a small pine tree about the diameter size of a tennis ball had fallen into the fast lane and almost extended all the way over into the slow lane. At this point, and traveling at 78 MPH to get around the truck I had 4 options for which I ran through. 1. I could go left but there is a guard rail, 2. Go right and run into the truck 3. Hit the brakes and potentially slide out of control on the cold wet road 4. Essentially eat the small tree and hope for the best. Option 4 seemed logical. My suspension setting was at standard and not low which was a good thing because the front end cleared the tree. I nailed the tree with a thud and immediately the P85 had a reduction in smooth driving performance at the 70 plus speed. There was a slight vibration as if I knocked the wheels slightly out of balance (I would later find out that the two front rims and the back passenger rim were bent from the contact). The P85 still drove decently and I continued on to Chester. Once I got to the super charging station I tried to hook up the cable. It took a while to find one that would begin to charge. All of the chargers were wet from snow. Once I found one that worked I began knocking off ice from inside the wheel wells (ice was so packed in that it reached the tires) and checking for any damage to the front of the P85 and tires. Nothing out of the ordinary. At Chester I charged enough to get me to Glen Allen VA. When I left Chester I noticed right away that the road noise was getting louder, and continued that way all the way to Glen Allen. I had pretty much figured that I had a flat somewhere. When I got to the Glen Allen Supercharging Station and checked the tires the back passenger side was completely flat (I later found out the entire inside wall was blown out). At this point I got on the Geico App to start the road side assistance. In less than 5 minutes they called me. They got some specifics and started calling their affiliated towing companies. Geico stated that due to the crazy weather conditions that the towing companies would not risk coming out until first light (Later Joe from Blairs Towing told me to call him direct next time) and to call back at 7am. I also called Tesla to see if they could send a message to the Glen Allen Service Center to let them know I would be coming over for a new tire replacement. The service center was conveniently located 20 minutes from the Supercharging Station. Like any Tesla owner in this situation I tried to sleep in my driver’s seat listening to the snow plow clear the parking lot all night long. 6:50am rolls around and I call Geico, Geico calls Blairs Towing and within 1 hour Joe shows up (during the wait I walked over to Panera to get some coffee and a bagel - this is important information for later since they were actually open).


Within minutes Joe from Blairs Towing has the P85 on the flat bed prior to heading over to the Tesla Service Center of Glen Allen VA


The parking lot is full of new Teslas covered in what looks like a foot of snow in Glen Allen

Joe off loads the P85 and takes off. There was another Tesla owner named Glen in a Model S waiting for his service appt. to begin. Every year he gets his Model S serviced at Glen Allen. He is parked right behind the service center garage door. It’s around 9am and the Tesla Store and Service Station are not open. Glen’s wife asks me if I wanted to hop in the back to get out of the cold (another Model 3 owner also had an appt. comes in the back seat to wait as well). Glen calls Tesla to see why the service center wasn’t open yet. Tesla then says they will reach out to the manager of the store and service center. He comes back on and states that the manager says there is “2 feet” of snow and will not be coming in to open the store. Glen responds with something to the effect that there isn’t 2 feet of snow and that he drove a fair distance for his appt. After a while the two Tesla owners take off. I decide to call Tesla to see if they would be willing to get me to Tyson’s Corner Tesla Service Center. They said that due to lack of warranty I would have to pay for it. I called Geico and they said they could only do one tow but not 2. I then called Joe who initially had said if I had called him directly at midnight he would have come out and put a Tesla spare on my vehicle. So, I call him and he says he can be back out to help me in 30 minutes but that I would have pay for the spare tire, 100 bucks which is better than $4 a mile for a tow to go 106 miles to Tyson’s corner. Also while waiting a Mercedes shows up and parks right outside the Tesla showroom floor door. I decide to walk up and see if the store had actually been opened. There are two guys inside and one walks up to tell me they aren’t open but that he had come in to get some work done. Another funny part about waiting was that two new potential Tesla employees showed up for their first day of work at the Store and Service Center. One guy (in his 20s) I talked with stated that he was working for Walgreens Pharmacy making $16 an hour and was willing to take a pay cut just to work for Tesla. He stated that he would essentially be picking up trash in the service center work area.

Joe shows back up, within minutes the spare is on (he also asks me to get the Tesla spare back to him) and off I go to Tyson’s Corner Tesla. I arrive at Tyson’s Corner around 230pm. The service center at Tyson’s corner is massive compared to Raleigh and Glen Allen. I have always enjoyed the staff at Tyson’s Corner, highly professional. I ended up getting both sets of the 21”Continentals replaced on the back for $799 and then had the two front Michelins replaced a week later because there was a small bubble that had formed on the front passenger tire from the impact of the pine tree. What’s funny is that Tesla didn’t initially replace the front with Continentals to match the ones on the back but with another set of Michelins even though I had requested all four tires to be the same. Not long after I drove off one of the service managers called to check if they had put on Continentals and not new Michelins. I had to go back to have them re-do it. So funny.

A few weeks later after the holidays I plan my trip back from NC to VA. I fully charged (App said charging complete in trip mode) the P85 to 227 miles for the morning of 2 Jan. The charging more than likely was completed just after midnight. Temps were between high 40s and low 50s F that morning. Not crazy cold. I set to range mode, did not use the heat/fan, and listened to music. The first initial trip monitor reading at the house said I had 24% upon reaching the South Hill VA Supercharging station. The distance from my home to the station is exactly 145 miles. So, 227 P85 miles - 145 actual map miles is a delta of 83 miles. A lot of perceived wiggle room. About one mile in my 24% dropped to 19% and then stabled at about 17% for most of the trip. I initially stayed at no more than 5MPH above designated speed limits. I stopped at one Starbucks to grab coffee, about a 3 to 4 mile max diversion from the original trip plan. About halfway to South Hill my 17% drops to 16%, then 15%, then 14%. I pass by the spot where the P85 shut down back in Nov which was about 9 miles from the South Hill Super Charging station. I approach the off ramp to get to the station and at that point I am 1 mile out from it. The P85 out of nowhere and without zero warnings beforehand to ever slow down my speed tells me it is shutting down. I coast down the ramp, make a left, and stop near the I85 overpass. I am .5 miles from the supercharging station, and the P85 is at 13% charge or 31 miles left. I call Geico, and 45 minutes later I get a tow. I walk the guys through the process because I am now a true expert at this towing thing. Remember tow bar goes counter clockwise to tighten, lol, no righty-tighty here. While sitting for 45 minutes my charge goes from 13% to 9% to 4% to black screen.


Image of shutdown P85 reading 9%, check out the temp at South Hill - 54%, not crazy cold.

At the station we go through a series of chargers, 2 different types of handhelds for the new 12v but they don’t get the 17” up. They then get the jumper cables and that immediately got the screen up. I open the charge port and start charging. Green light comes on and Roger says “It’s green” and I say that’s a good thing. I tell Roger of Browns Towing thanks. They take off. I get up to 50% charge and head to the Chester VA Supercharging Station and then the Fredericksburg VA station. I then get my two front rims at Kwicksilver of Virginia fixed.


John at Kwicksilver with a blow torch Boring style on one of my 21” turbines. I had the first rim fixed after Tesla had told me it was bent, however I didn't know that the two front rims were bent as well so I had those fixed later.

I am highly impressed at how John at Kwicksilver is able to fix bent rims. He knocked of $25 from the price for a grand total of $275. 3 repaired 21” turbine rims for $425 total is not bad compared to the 6K to replace four new 21” turbines. The P85 drives much better now and I am still waiting to get my tire pressure sensors fixed, one day.

Happy New Year Tesla Universe, keep pressing the envelope.

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.