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Timeline of 5.5 Years of Model S Ownership

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
471
272
HOU
After another user posted a timeline of ownership (4 years with Model S | Tesla Motors Club), I was curious how mine would look. Compiled my vehicle's history...turned out to be far different from the "100k+ miles and not a single issue" posts I occasionally see. Decided it was varied enough to share for your enjoyment.


May2015 - Place order for recently revealed 85D with new Midnight Silver Metallic color as a birthday gift. Plan to own for 10 years, as my wife's exact words were, "this is your birthday gift for the next 10 years."
Jun2015 - Take delivery after 6 weeks as part of end-of-Q2 delivery push.
Dec2015 - Complete 1500 mile roundtrip for holiday visits, with highlights of pulling up to SC with 4 rated miles remaining and driving through two blizzards.

Jan2016 - Complete 1200 mile one-way drive.
Mar2016 - Steering rack bolts (warranty), loose ball joint in right front camber arm (warranty), road-debris-damaged HV Battery Skitape (paid).
Jun2016 - First Annual Service (when that was still a thing).
Dec2016 - Faulty PTC heater. Failed in morning, towed to SC during afternoon. No indication what failed.
Dec2016 - Second Faulty PTC heater, 10 days later. Failed at night, towed to SC in morning. Inspection showed that the board was wet, techs traced the failure to a huge cockroach that completely plugged up the HVAC drainage. Had an entire new HVAC (w/ PTC) and new set of floor mats installed. On a later visit, the service center tech who did the investigation told me this failure prompted an Engineering design change for overflow drainage, complete with remarks from Elon. In his words, "if you run into Elon be sure to ask about the cockroach car".

Jul2017 - Second Annual Service (when that was still a thing).
Aug2017 - Made it through Hurricane Harvey flooding with no damage to car (but flooding in the house).

Jan2018 - 12V battery replacement.
Jan2018 - Front Driver Door Handle (sensor failure).
Mar2018 - Replace OEM tires with Pirelli PZero Nero (@34k miles, treads at 2mm).
Apr2018 - Final (to-date) out of city road trip of 700 miles.
Jun2018 - Collision, described in my post at Collision, Repair and DV/LoU Lawsuit: My Nearly 500 Days of Fun | Tesla Motors Club.
Oct2018 - Got the car back, with new steering wheel, airbags, brake booster, front end, 2x refurb HIDs (grr), 12V, etc.

Jun2019 - Made a "we've lived with these annoyances but lets hurry before end of warranty" visit for Failed HID DRL (warranty), Rear Passenger Window Regulator (warranty), Sunroof Seal (warranty), A/C Desiccant (paid), A/C refill (paid), rocker panel (Tesla damaged when lowering/removing car from the lift).
Aug2019 - Driver HID (warranty - was submitted in June with other items, first unit arrived in July but it was the new LED, proper HID delivered August).
WARRANTY ENDS
Aug2019 - Rear Driver Door Handle (paddle failure, replaced with gen 2).
Nov2019 - Front Driver Door Handle (paddle failure, replaced with the "better" gen 3).
Dec2019 - Swap to Pirelli PZero All Season Plus (@51.5k, only 17.5k on the tires but already at 3mm so got significant mileage warranty refund).

Jun2020 - Instrument Cluster (leaking adhesive).

Jan2021 - Appointment is scheduled but likely to be delayed for parts...current items to address:
Center Touchscreen (leaking adhesive)
Tegra Daughterboard (pre-emptive replacement while the screen is already out but with the NHTSA warranty demand, who knows)
Battery Electric Coolant Heater (from Tesla review of Unable To Start logs from 11Jan)
Driver Condenser Fan Bearing (not yet failed, but squeaking)
and possibly more from ANOTHER set of "Vehicle may not restart" and "Unable to drive" messages on 16Jan.

TL;DR-
Five and a half (5.5) years owned.
Currently 63k+ miles.
Nine (9) states passed through.
Twenty-one (21) SuperChargers, 2x CHAdeMO, 2x homes with 14-50, 1x 6-50, 1x 10-30.
Eight (8) visits to Service Center for maintenance/repairs, with a ninth scheduled.
Seven (7) mobile ranger visits (the passenger airbag recall happened but I don't remember when so it's not in my list).
Disabled requiring tow three (3) times (almost a fourth with a flat tire).
$3200 in non-warranty/out-of-warranty service (not counting the estimated $2200+ in Jan2021 if all work items are approved).
$2930 in maintenance/tires.
Longest gap of no failures: 12 months (Jan2017-Jan2018)
Source of one (1) Engineering design change applied to future Tesla vehicles.
History of one (1) collision w/ airbag deployment.
Subject of one (1) Diminished Value lawsuit.

And the last thing, the million dollar question...given the wild and crazy ride so far, do we keep on going towards the planned 10 years of ownership?
 

FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
548
367
California
What jumps out at me most from the stats: Only 21 Supercharges in 5.5 years

That tends to support that FUSC isn't that valuable for most folks. OP Supercharged on average once every three months. In our 18-months of ownership, we have taken a few road trips but really only needed to Supercharge 5-6 times, so a similar average. This is our first Tesla and I thought I would make more use of FUSC. I would hate to lose the perk if we upgraded to another Tesla but paying for Supercharging probably isn't too bad in exchange for all the recent price drops.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
471
272
HOU
What jumps out at me most from the stats: Only 21 Supercharges in 5.5 years

That tends to support that FUSC isn't that valuable for most folks. OP Supercharged on average once every three months. In our 18-months of ownership, we have taken a few road trips but really only needed to Supercharge 5-6 times, so a similar average. This is our first Tesla and I thought I would make more use of FUSC. I would hate to lose the perk if we upgraded to another Tesla but paying for Supercharging probably isn't too bad in exchange for all the recent price drops.

I should have been more specific in my wording. We've visited 21 unique Superchargers (and actually now that I think about it, I forgot a road trip that bumps it up to 24). Some of those were on a route we traveled only once; some were visited weekly (back in the pre-Model 3 days).
 
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FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
548
367
California
"this is your birthday gift for the next 10 years."

LOL. I might have to use that to convince the wife to let me get an X. I just can’t remember if I already used a similar excuse when we got the S.
 

No2DinosaurFuel

Active Member
Apr 16, 2015
1,383
712
San Diego, California
Wow that is pretty bad. Most right after warranty period. I guess tesla factored that in to maximize profits. So much for lower cost of ownership compared to other cars. You might be saving on maintenance, but repairs overshadows the out of warranty cost.

My out of warranty serving cost has not been that bad, but am having leaks on both screens which I have been putting off for years nows. Temporary fix was to hardend it a bit more with a UV source. Plenty of other problems, but most were addressed before warranty was out. There are a few more, but i am too cheap to repair them on my dime. MCU is having more issues lately, but so far resets have fix it until the next one.

Interesting thing is my max mileage is similar (slightly higher) despite having primarily supercharging my car compared to you. Cost has come down, but they just removed the cost of supercharging.

I dont know how other car companies EV turns out after years of usage, but I have stop recommending tesla to my buddies due to repairs issues and cost after warranty period.
 
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FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
6,541
5,947
Silicon Valley
After another user posted a timeline of ownership (4 years with Model S | Tesla Motors Club), I was curious how mine would look. Compiled my vehicle's history...turned out to be far different from the "100k+ miles and not a single issue" posts I occasionally see. Decided it was varied enough to share for your enjoyment.


May2015 - Place order for recently revealed 85D with new Midnight Silver Metallic color as a birthday gift. Plan to own for 10 years, as my wife's exact words were, "this is your birthday gift for the next 10 years."
Jun2015 - Take delivery after 6 weeks as part of end-of-Q2 delivery push.
Dec2015 - Complete 1500 mile roundtrip for holiday visits, with highlights of pulling up to SC with 4 rated miles remaining and driving through two blizzards.

Jan2016 - Complete 1200 mile one-way drive.
Mar2016 - Steering rack bolts (warranty), loose ball joint in right front camber arm (warranty), road-debris-damaged HV Battery Skitape (paid).
Jun2016 - First Annual Service (when that was still a thing).
Dec2016 - Faulty PTC heater. Failed in morning, towed to SC during afternoon. No indication what failed.
Dec2016 - Second Faulty PTC heater, 10 days later. Failed at night, towed to SC in morning. Inspection showed that the board was wet, techs traced the failure to a huge cockroach that completely plugged up the HVAC drainage. Had an entire new HVAC (w/ PTC) and new set of floor mats installed. On a later visit, the service center tech who did the investigation told me this failure prompted an Engineering design change for overflow drainage, complete with remarks from Elon. In his words, "if you run into Elon be sure to ask about the cockroach car".

Jul2017 - Second Annual Service (when that was still a thing).
Aug2017 - Made it through Hurricane Harvey flooding with no damage to car (but flooding in the house).

Jan2018 - 12V battery replacement.
Jan2018 - Front Driver Door Handle (sensor failure).
Mar2018 - Replace OEM tires with Pirelli PZero Nero (@34k miles, treads at 2mm).
Apr2018 - Final (to-date) out of city road trip of 700 miles.
Jun2018 - Collision, described in my post at Collision, Repair and DV/LoU Lawsuit: My Nearly 500 Days of Fun | Tesla Motors Club.
Oct2018 - Got the car back, with new steering wheel, airbags, brake booster, front end, 2x refurb HIDs (grr), 12V, etc.

Jun2019 - Made a "we've lived with these annoyances but lets hurry before end of warranty" visit for Failed HID DRL (warranty), Rear Passenger Window Regulator (warranty), Sunroof Seal (warranty), A/C Desiccant (paid), A/C refill (paid), rocker panel (Tesla damaged when lowering/removing car from the lift).
Aug2019 - Driver HID (warranty - was submitted in June with other items, first unit arrived in July but it was the new LED, proper HID delivered August).
WARRANTY ENDS
Aug2019 - Rear Driver Door Handle (paddle failure, replaced with gen 2).
Nov2019 - Front Driver Door Handle (paddle failure, replaced with the "better" gen 3).
Dec2019 - Swap to Pirelli PZero All Season Plus (@51.5k, only 17.5k on the tires but already at 3mm so got significant mileage warranty refund).

Jun2020 - Instrument Cluster (leaking adhesive).

Jan2021 - Appointment is scheduled but likely to be delayed for parts...current items to address:
Center Touchscreen (leaking adhesive)
Tegra Daughterboard (pre-emptive replacement while the screen is already out but with the NHTSA warranty demand, who knows)
Battery Electric Coolant Heater (from Tesla review of Unable To Start logs from 11Jan)
Driver Condenser Fan Bearing (not yet failed, but squeaking)
and possibly more from ANOTHER set of "Vehicle may not restart" and "Unable to drive" messages on 16Jan.

TL;DR-
Five and a half (5.5) years owned.
Currently 63k+ miles.
Nine (9) states passed through.
Twenty-one (21) SuperChargers, 2x CHAdeMO, 2x homes with 14-50, 1x 6-50, 1x 10-30.
Eight (8) visits to Service Center for maintenance/repairs, with a ninth scheduled.
Seven (7) mobile ranger visits (the passenger airbag recall happened but I don't remember when so it's not in my list).
Disabled requiring tow three (3) times (almost a fourth with a flat tire).
$3200 in non-warranty/out-of-warranty service (not counting the estimated $2200+ in Jan2021 if all work items are approved).
$2930 in maintenance/tires.
Longest gap of no failures: 12 months (Jan2017-Jan2018)
Source of one (1) Engineering design change applied to future Tesla vehicles.
History of one (1) collision w/ airbag deployment.
Subject of one (1) Diminished Value lawsuit.

And the last thing, the million dollar question...given the wild and crazy ride so far, do we keep on going towards the planned 10 years of ownership?

Great write up... thanks for posting!
 

AW9nineteen

Member
Aug 15, 2019
110
22
Maryland
interesting. I am 40k miles in 16 months in a 19 Raven. Knock on wood but it has been ok. Really only one warranty item and it was the axle, shaft or something along those lines.
 

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,182
672
Cary, NC
Coming up on 6 years in May. 83k.
Only been to 3 states including my own. I need to get out more....
12 supercharger sites - 25 sessions (Actually maybe only 10 sites, 2 I only hit with the newer 3)
Out of warranty costs $1300 (2 12V batteries and battery heater, 2 DIY handles)
Tires - 2 sets - about $1000 each.
Tows - 1 - hit a deer.

Current issues
Daughterboard requested but denied. Not nearly as bad as some here but getting slower to wake gradually
One horn out - so my sound is weak
One rear door latch intermittent (not sure what the fix is so am ignoring)
Slow supercharging - like most everyone else. I can't get above 50 kw but I haven't tried that often. 104 was max earlier.
Limited regen when cool. Like everyone else. Model 3 is much better here.

Range at 91% of new. (218/240 - 70D)
 
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MrTuna

Member
May 3, 2020
271
187
South Bend, Indiana
Curious how 6 year old 3s will look. In most car lines the mass market is more reliable / easier to repair. Tesla makes third party parts a lot harder, so we have that going against us...
 

SmartElectric

Active Member
Jul 9, 2014
2,426
2,060
Toronto,Canada
2013 Model S

Two door handles. One refurb motor. Cabin heater core. Battery heater core. Air Suspension (both rear replaced). Suspension bolt recall/repair. <- looks like OP had some of these similar issues.
Hundreds of free supercharges, 160000 km, 95% original capacity, still charges as fast as new, no out of warranty work performed so far.

Our MCU1 is still working OK, but Tesla had to log in a few weeks ago and delete corrupt files (including our personal settings), they did this for no cost and resolved issue within an hour of using the phone app to report the issue, even though we are well out of warranty.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
471
272
HOU
"this is your birthday gift for the next 10 years."

LOL. I might have to use that to convince the wife to let me get an X. I just can’t remember if I already used a similar excuse when we got the S.

Sadly I did not impose the same requirement on the wife when she ordered an X.

...
So much for lower cost of ownership compared to other cars. You might be saving on maintenance, but repairs overshadows the out of warranty cost.
...

It's apparently all relative. I was discussing the repairs with a former coworker that is my former group's "car guy". He has a 2003 (Dodge) Ram 1500 Laramie that he maintains/repairs at home, a 2011 BMW 335d and a 2017 BMW X5 (forgetting the trim). When I mentioned how much we'd spent on our car, he responded, "Wow, you're lucky! I wish I only had to spend an average of $1k a year."

...
Our MCU1 is still working OK, but Tesla had to log in a few weeks ago and delete corrupt files (including our personal settings)
...

This is being performed for us as well - the wording in the service messaging when they asked for permission was, "The techs noticed you have an excessive amount of storage on your vehicle's memory chip. They need to clear it out for better functionality. This will remove your settings though."
 

FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
548
367
California
I agree that the repairs are all relative and still cheaper than a comparable-class ICE car.

I came from a 2013 Lexus LS 460. New it sold for about $75K, so close to what we paid for the S. Despite the Lexus reliability, regular maintenance and a coolant leak required about $2500 after the warranty period. I am actually quite disappointed that recent Lexus vehicles are not as dependable as the early 2000s model years. In any case, the LS also cost me $3600 a year in gas whereas the Model S is $500-600 a year in electrons. I am not counting the price of tires in my comparison, but if I did it would almost be the same cost since I used the same Pirelli P7+ 245/45/R19 tires on both the Model S and LS 460 (both cars happen to share the same tire specs). One could argue the Model S wears out tires faster but the LS 460 was 4600 pounds and the Pirellis only got half the rated tread life, same as the Model S (about 35K miles).
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
330
430
Arkansas
I've been to 13 States and 47 unique Supercharger locations, driven 16,000+ miles, in 5 months. What's up with you slackers!? Hit the road! See this great nation! ;)

Cool writeup - this is good consumer information.
 

r1200gs4ok

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,357
454
Irvine
Wow that is pretty bad. Most right after warranty period. I guess tesla factored that in to maximize profits. So much for lower cost of ownership compared to other cars. You might be saving on maintenance, but repairs overshadows the out of warranty cost.

My out of warranty serving cost has not been that bad, but am having leaks on both screens which I have been putting off for years nows. Temporary fix was to hardend it a bit more with a UV source. Plenty of other problems, but most were addressed before warranty was out. There are a few more, but i am too cheap to repair them on my dime. MCU is having more issues lately, but so far resets have fix it until the next one.

Interesting thing is my max mileage is similar (slightly higher) despite having primarily supercharging my car compared to you. Cost has come down, but they just removed the cost of supercharging.

I dont know how other car companies EV turns out after years of usage, but I have stop recommending tesla to my buddies due to repairs issues and cost after warranty period.
I worried too....waiting to see what Lexus comes up with for 100% electric and the range
 

Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,165
376
USA
I have had 1-5 SC and mobile service visits per year, car never left me on the road, 70k miles now. Would I drive anything else? Absolutely positively not, not until legacy automakers pull their xxxx together to make fast and reliable EVs with a reliable nationwide Level 3 infrastructure.

IMHO a lot of the Tesla ownership experience has to do with where you live, as you will be a captive of your local service center, especially in sparsely populated parts of the country. Kudos to the Columbus SC team for always being there for me!
 

Snerruc

Member
Apr 16, 2016
963
1,351
Palm Bay
I’ve had 2 Model S. Neither has seen a service center after driving them home. Twice had a Ranger stop bye and program my 3rd fob to a car. Neither has needed an alignment. Tire wear about average for performance/ weight. I’ve Supercharged numerous times on trips of 1000-1700 miles. The Superchargers I’ve visited are getting pretty busy, so I think it’s useful to a lot of people like me.I had a minor accident and Tesla shipped all parts in two days and kept me appraised of their transit.
 

No2DinosaurFuel

Active Member
Apr 16, 2015
1,383
712
San Diego, California
Sadly I did not impose the same requirement on the wife when she ordered an X.



It's apparently all relative. I was discussing the repairs with a former coworker that is my former group's "car guy". He has a 2003 (Dodge) Ram 1500 Laramie that he maintains/repairs at home, a 2011 BMW 335d and a 2017 BMW X5 (forgetting the trim). When I mentioned how much we'd spent on our car, he responded, "Wow, you're lucky! I wish I only had to spend an average of $1k a year."



This is being performed for us as well - the wording in the service messaging when they asked for permission was, "The techs noticed you have an excessive amount of storage on your vehicle's memory chip. They need to clear it out for better functionality. This will remove your settings though."


Well I can definitely say for the 8 years I had my civic prior to my tesla, I spent an average of $120 per year on the car and that includes tires and expensive dealer oil change. Ended up selling at a similar miles to my current tesla. Granted I drive the tesla 2x as much in the same period.

So far my cost for the tesla including tire change is around $2500 and that is me being a cheap skate and not repairing my mcu's screen or taking it in for servicing at recommended intervals. My cost would've been way more if I didnt get a lot of issues corrected prior to expiration of the original warranty.

Yes not apples to apples comparisons, but most people who went the extra miles to get a model s early on before the model 3 was hoping for lower or at least similar maintenance cost compared to even the miserly Japanese ICE.
 
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