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Three year report, mostly good.

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,436
3,653
NE Tennessee
We have now had our Model 3 for 3 years and 55,500 miles. So, I thought I would give an update, and fortunately, it is mostly a good update.

Range - One big question people have is range and how much have we lost? And you could say 3 or 8%. If you look at the graph below, we are down 3% or 9 miles from when we got the car. If you include the 5% range boost, we received a year into owning it, we have lost 8%. After owning a Roadster for 9 years, I learned not to obsess over the battery. When I take a road trip, about every other month, I will often charge to 100%, and I am not worried if I drop below 10%. Normally I charge to 90%. I learned on the Roadster that there are two battery issues we are trying to balance. If you charge too high, too often, then yes you will damage your battery. But if you rarely charge above 80% or let the pack go below 20% the BMS never gets a chance to balance the cells or learn the true top and bottom of your battery. Both issues will decrease your range. Balancing is important (on the Roadster this started at 83%), then you will be limited by the weakest cell. A cell that does not have a chance to balance to bring it back in line will be noticeably weaker than the other cells. And if it has been months, or worse years, where the BMS has not seen the true top or bottom or bottom of your pack, the BMS will be conservative and keep you from reaching the full top and bottom again reducing usable range. The second thing you might notice from the graph is variation. The miles can change 4 miles from one day to the next. So do not obsess if you see a change. As possibly the next day you will see a change back. Or after an update range will apparently drop, then 2-3 updates later it can come back up.

Issues – Fortunately we have been quite pleased with our Model 3. We have had 3 minor issue, none of which have kept us from driving. All were easily and conveniently fixed by a mobile Ranger in our garage. One issue was our glove box would pop open on a bump. He added a stronger spring. We also had an issue with the Frunk not releasing. So, on a second trip he replaced the actuators as I heard they had a bad batch. The third issue was a plastic ring in the charge port was missing and he came and put in a new one. No repair took over 20 minutes, none kept us from using the car. So yes, we had a few issues, more than we have had with our other cars, but they were all quickly and easily resolved. Therefore, we are still bullish on our Model 3 and Tesla.

Special Care? – For us the Model 3 is a car. No ceramic coating, no special care, and I even have taken it through a few car washes. That said I do try to hand wash when possible and keep it clean. I wax it several times a year and clean the inside and seats with shop towels and rubbing alcohol. The car, inside and out still looks very good. Yes, I have had a few scratches, mostly by me, and mostly on the rims that I have touched up a few times with touch up paint. But overall, it is in very good shape. And I am looking for the next 55,500 miles.

Changes? – What if anything would I change? Nothing really. Most updates have made the car better. And I can truly say the car is noticeably better than when I got it. But some updates appear to cause a drop in range, or like a recent one that replaced a nice portion of the maps with silly car animations that add nothing. I wish we had the ability to pause on updates or not accept the ones that appear to be a step back. But I guess we need to take the good with the bad and so far there has been more good than bad.
Model_3.png
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,552
3,216
Maine
We have now had our Model 3 for 3 years and 55,500 miles. So, I thought I would give an update, and fortunately, it is mostly a good update.

Range - One big question people have is range and how much have we lost? And you could say 3 or 8%. If you look at the graph below, we are down 3% or 9 miles from when we got the car. If you include the 5% range boost, we received a year into owning it, we have lost 8%. After owning a Roadster for 9 years, I learned not to obsess over the battery. When I take a road trip, about every other month, I will often charge to 100%, and I am not worried if I drop below 10%. Normally I charge to 90%. I learned on the Roadster that there are two battery issues we are trying to balance. If you charge too high, too often, then yes you will damage your battery. But if you rarely charge above 80% or let the pack go below 20% the BMS never gets a chance to balance the cells or learn the true top and bottom of your battery. Both issues will decrease your range. Balancing is important (on the Roadster this started at 83%), then you will be limited by the weakest cell. A cell that does not have a chance to balance to bring it back in line will be noticeably weaker than the other cells. And if it has been months, or worse years, where the BMS has not seen the true top or bottom or bottom of your pack, the BMS will be conservative and keep you from reaching the full top and bottom again reducing usable range. The second thing you might notice from the graph is variation. The miles can change 4 miles from one day to the next. So do not obsess if you see a change. As possibly the next day you will see a change back. Or after an update range will apparently drop, then 2-3 updates later it can come back up.

Issues – Fortunately we have been quite pleased with our Model 3. We have had 3 minor issue, none of which have kept us from driving. All were easily and conveniently fixed by a mobile Ranger in our garage. One issue was our glove box would pop open on a bump. He added a stronger spring. We also had an issue with the Frunk not releasing. So, on a second trip he replaced the actuators as I heard they had a bad batch. The third issue was a plastic ring in the charge port was missing and he came and put in a new one. No repair took over 20 minutes, none kept us from using the car. So yes, we had a few issues, more than we have had with our other cars, but they were all quickly and easily resolved. Therefore, we are still bullish on our Model 3 and Tesla.

Special Care? – For us the Model 3 is a car. No ceramic coating, no special care, and I even have taken it through a few car washes. That said I do try to hand wash when possible and keep it clean. I wax it several times a year and clean the inside and seats with shop towels and rubbing alcohol. The car, inside and out still looks very good. Yes, I have had a few scratches, mostly by me, and mostly on the rims that I have touched up a few times with touch up paint. But overall, it is in very good shape. And I am looking for the next 55,500 miles.

Changes? – What if anything would I change? Nothing really. Most updates have made the car better. And I can truly say the car is noticeably better than when I got it. But some updates appear to cause a drop in range, or like a recent one that replaced a nice portion of the maps with silly car animations that add nothing. I wish we had the ability to pause on updates or not accept the ones that appear to be a step back. But I guess we need to take the good with the bad and so far there has been more good than bad.View attachment 653582
Enjoyed your 3yr report, but why did your car come with approx. 279 miles of range to begin with?
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
105
94
USA
We just went over 100,000 miles at about the same time our Model 3 hit 3 years old.
The only real service was replacing the plastic in the corner of the driver window to reduce the wind noise. That was the 2nd week of ownership.
Since then, we've replaced tires a few times and replaced the rear bumper after a rear-ender heading to the Supercharger in St. George, UT.
We have PPF so few scratches. Almost all washing is in carwashes (specially selected for their soft brushes).
We also have a Roadster so everything was easier with the 3. Our wakeup range is maybe 2% to 4% lower than when new (depending on whether you count the software increase).
Basically, its about the best car i could have ever imagined.
A few interesting performance metrics:
Longest day of driving: 1170 miles (including about 6 hours of sleep).
Longest/fastest road trip: Atlantic Ocean (Hampton Roads, VA) to Pacific Ocean (West LA) in 3 days
 

Pyre

Member
Apr 10, 2021
280
120
Syracuse, NY
We just went over 100,000 miles at about the same time our Model 3 hit 3 years old.
The only real service was replacing the plastic in the corner of the driver window to reduce the wind noise. That was the 2nd week of ownership.
Since then, we've replaced tires a few times and replaced the rear bumper after a rear-ender heading to the Supercharger in St. George, UT.
We have PPF so few scratches. Almost all washing is in carwashes (specially selected for their soft brushes).
We also have a Roadster so everything was easier with the 3. Our wakeup range is maybe 2% to 4% lower than when new (depending on whether you count the software increase).
Basically, its about the best car i could have ever imagined.
A few interesting performance metrics:
Longest day of driving: 1170 miles (including about 6 hours of sleep).
Longest/fastest road trip: Atlantic Ocean (Hampton Roads, VA) to Pacific Ocean (West LA) in 3 days
You dont mind going through car washes that touch the car? Not criticizing as I go every other day usually with my 2020 Ram Limited but everyone here seems to poo poo on that. I understand both sides.
 

sduck

Mr. Duck
Nov 6, 2017
1,458
1,445
Nashville TN
My experience at 3 years (almost - 2 months away) and 50K miles is similar - mostly no problems, what little I've needed done has been done quickly and painlessly. A new battery after one year. Some issue with the hvac system that was a small fix. Tire rotations, and replacement at 40K.

The only major problem I've had is a minor fender bender and the resulting month of waiting for it to get fixed - but that was my own damnfault.
 
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dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,436
3,653
NE Tennessee
Rubbing alcohol on the leather? Ive been advised against that, when clean these do look slick though.
Sorry I misspoke, leather like material, and yes the ranger who serviced me said rubbing alcohol was the best thing to clean seats. Mine remain in good condition so I plan to keep it up.
 
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dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,436
3,653
NE Tennessee
You dont mind going through car washes that touch the car? Not criticizing as I go every other day usually with my 2020 Ram Limited but everyone here seems to poo poo on that. I understand both sides.
Yes I have done it probably a dozen time and I still have my paint. While I prefer to wash by hand sometimes that is not practical. To me the biggest pain is getting the car in neutral and keeping it in neutral.
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,906
1,864
San Jose, CA
No, lifting your butt off the seat puts it in Hold, IIRC. My main problem going through automatic car washes is at the end when I have to step on the brake and shift into Drive. Seems like I always do it too early and the track that the car is on gives me a bump.
 

Pyre

Member
Apr 10, 2021
280
120
Syracuse, NY
I find it sad how few wash stations offer a stationary hands free unit for these situations, and for people like me who prefer touchless. I was touched once, never again.
 

Earl

Member
Jan 22, 2014
105
94
USA
going through car washes that touch the car
There are different kinds of carwashes. Some have cloth that is as soft as a chamois, others might as well be dragging barbed wire.
The thing is a car. None are as bad as what the poor thing experiences on the road. But than, our Roadster is the show car, the 3 is a daily driver.
 
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Kat Jacks

Supporting Member
Sep 26, 2020
119
89
Maine
A great report! My M3 is 6 months old and still perfect as far as I can tell. I have hand washed it so far, even when the outside temp was 40 degrees. In the future, I may use the touchless option in a carwash bay when I'm in a hurry. Thanks for the info about how to clean the seats.
 

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