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Tips for New Owner - 1K Mile Road Trip as First Drive - Firmware Update?

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
If all goes right, I will be flying out to get my 2015 MS 90d next week and immediately driving 1000 miles back to Chicago. I'm planning my supercharger route and loading FLAC tunes on USB sticks. Any helpful hints from wiper and stereo settings, to charging tips would be much appreciated. The car has all options except subzero and rear seats - it does have "AutoPilot Convenience Features."

One other question - the current owner just had a tech visit to replace the 12v battery and look over the car - he said that the next time its driven the firmware will update. Will that firmware update interfere in any way with my drive, including navigation and music, or with charging?

Thanks much.
 
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andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,542
Welcome to the family.

You mentioned you're driving back to Chicago (my old home town), but not where you're picking up the car. The good news is that more than likely the supercharger network will make your drive easy. Just keep in mind that energy use goes up when the outside temperatures get cold (below 40F). As a first time owner, give yourself adequate "buffer" range until you understand how the car operates.

As to your firmware question, you choose when the car updates. It takes 20-60 minutes, and the car cannot be used during the process. You don't even want to sit in the car, because silly stuff like opening a door can cause the update to partially fail.
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
Welcome to the family.

You mentioned you're driving back to Chicago (my old home town), but not where you're picking up the car. The good news is that more than likely the supercharger network will make your drive easy. Just keep in mind that energy use goes up when the outside temperatures get cold (below 40F). As a first time owner, give yourself adequate "buffer" range until you understand how the car operates.

As to your firmware question, you choose when the car updates. It takes 20-60 minutes, and the car cannot be used during the process. You don't even want to sit in the car, because silly stuff like opening a door can cause the update to partially fail.

Thanks - picking it up in Pensecola - so should get good range for the first half of the drive at least.

How do I get to "choose" when the car updates? Do I have to accept the update on the screen or is there some other method? Should I play it safe and wait until I get home to update? I'd hate to have an update fail and be stranded - or is that being overly paranoid?
 

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,542
Thanks - picking it up in Pensecola - so should get good range for the first half of the drive at least.

How do I get to "choose" when the car updates? Do I have to accept the update on the screen or is there some other method? Should I play it safe and wait until I get home to update? I'd hate to have an update fail and be stranded - or is that being overly paranoid?

If any update is available there will be an alarm clock icon on the top of the center 17" screen. If you select it, it will give you options to schedule the update (overnight, for example) of install now. If you have time to update it before you leave, it might be useful for the autopilot functions if the current version is very old. More than likely it's almost up to date, in which case I recommend you wait and schedule it for while you're sleeping. You REALLY don't want to touch the car while it's updating.

Here are a few tidbits on supercharging:

1. The stalls are labeled <number><A,B>. For example, 1A, 3B. Stalls with the same number share supercharging infrastructure/capacity. Because of this, you want to use a stall in which the pair is also not in use. For example, if a car is using 1A, avoid 1B is possible. If a car using 2B, avoid 2A. If both 3A and 3B are open, use either one; they're equal. The first car to plug into a pair gets priority.

2. The speed of supercharging slows as the state of charge of the pack increases. It also starts off slow if you get below ~10%. If you're trying to optimize time, try to keep your SOC between 10-80%. It takes just as long to charge 80-100% as it does 20-80%.

3. If you do encounter very cold temps, you want to charge the car ASAP. Better to plug in immediately at your stop, vs. allowing the car to sit in the cold overnight and charge in the morning. The car will use energy and time to warm up the pack before charging occurs.

Have fun!
 

Sprandt23

Member
Sep 13, 2017
248
171
St. Louis
I had a similar experience, flew out to Phoenix to pick up my CPO and road tripped 1500 miles back to STL - and it was awesome. It is a great chance to get to know the car and all its great features.

The navigation will route you through all available superchargers, and it will generally recommend stopping at every one - which seems counter intuitive, but works out in the long run as Andrewket mentioned, your optimal charge rate is between 20-80%, so there is no need to take the time to 'fill up' to 100% at each stop, it will take forever.

The "Auto Pilot" features are great for highway driving - just take it slow at first to learn its quirks...but it really makes long trips easier. With AP1 you basically get lane assist that will keep you in the lanes, and adaptive cruise control that will keep pace with traffic.

The best part for me was meeting other owners at the SC stations and hearing about their experiences and love of Tesla as well.

Most of all enjoy the new ride and have a great trip!
 

Half Dollar Bill

Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant, innkeeper
Oct 19, 2013
1,736
2,399
Freeport Maine
You really don't need to bother with the usb tunes, Slacker is a fine alternative. You can request any song, album or group. And I've discovered so much more interesting music by listening to what comes up after the initial request. Make sure to fiddle with the equalizer during your initial set-up.
Congrats on the purchase and enjoy your first ride. Don't be surprised when you want to do more.
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
You really don't need to bother with the usb tunes, Slacker is a fine alternative. You can request any song, album or group. And I've discovered so much more interesting music by listening to what comes up after the initial request. Make sure to fiddle with the equalizer during your initial set-up.
Congrats on the purchase and enjoy your first ride. Don't be surprised when you want to do more.

Thanks - I do enjoy being exposed to new stuff through Deezer, the streaming service I use, so that will be useful on Slacker. But on my test drive I found the sound quality of FLAC to be vastly better than Slacker (with Ultra HiFi) so its worth it to me to make the stick.
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
If any update is available there will be an alarm clock icon on the top of the center 17" screen. If you select it, it will give you options to schedule the update (overnight, for example) of install now. If you have time to update it before you leave, it might be useful for the autopilot functions if the current version is very old. More than likely it's almost up to date, in which case I recommend you wait and schedule it for while you're sleeping. You REALLY don't want to touch the car while it's updating.

Here are a few tidbits on supercharging:

1. The stalls are labeled <number><A,B>. For example, 1A, 3B. Stalls with the same number share supercharging infrastructure/capacity. Because of this, you want to use a stall in which the pair is also not in use. For example, if a car is using 1A, avoid 1B is possible. If a car using 2B, avoid 2A. If both 3A and 3B are open, use either one; they're equal. The first car to plug into a pair gets priority.

2. The speed of supercharging slows as the state of charge of the pack increases. It also starts off slow if you get below ~10%. If you're trying to optimize time, try to keep your SOC between 10-80%. It takes just as long to charge 80-100% as it does 20-80%.

3. If you do encounter very cold temps, you want to charge the car ASAP. Better to plug in immediately at your stop, vs. allowing the car to sit in the cold overnight and charge in the morning. The car will use energy and time to warm up the pack before charging occurs.

Have fun!
Very helpful, thanks
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
The guy I'm getting the car from sent me a report from the mobile service tech that makes the following reference to the firmware. Unclear to me whether the v. referenced is already in the car or that is the update that is ready to load. Can anybody decipher this:

Courtesy Inspection
Pulled logs and checked for faults: (12/1/2017)
Checked firmware version 17.46.80-50d6145355U (SX)
Topped off washer fluid
 

croman

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2016
5,061
7,811
Chicago, IL
You should have AP1. You're going to love this road trip. We just did our usual 1600 mile round trip visit to the in-laws for Thanksgiving in our AP2 75D. The Nav's range estimator is slightly conservative except in winter or mountainous areas. Use the energy use screen to better approximate your actual usage. Rated use is around 290wh/mi. If you find yourself using more than that, you're going to get less mileage than what it says on the IC (where your battery indicator is). If you travel >75mph or there is a strong wind or the temps are <45F you will likely use more than rated. So keep that in mind. The nav will shoot to get you to a Supercharger with >6% battery. I usually plan my route and might roll into a charger with single digit miles. Never had an issue over 7 long road trips but I had prior EV experience. I've found that the range estimates are fairly accurate but using a service like EV Tripplanner gives extra information like elevation changes that help in asercertaining which superchargers you can skip. I will avoid all that involve driving >5 miles away from the highway as it eats up range getting to those chargers (distance that could otherwise be applied towards getting to the next SC) and time.

I can stop 3 times on a 800 mile journey to charge. You should have an even easier time with the extra kwh in your 90D. Have fun!
 

croman

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2016
5,061
7,811
Chicago, IL
The guy I'm getting the car from sent me a report from the mobile service tech that makes the following reference to the firmware. Unclear to me whether the v. referenced is already in the car or that is the update that is ready to load. Can anybody decipher this:

Courtesy Inspection
Pulled logs and checked for faults: (12/1/2017)
Checked firmware version 17.46.80-50d6145355U (SX)
Topped off washer fluid

That is the latest firmware.
 

Half Dollar Bill

Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant, innkeeper
Oct 19, 2013
1,736
2,399
Freeport Maine
Thanks - I do enjoy being exposed to new stuff through Deezer, the streaming service I use, so that will be useful on Slacker. But on my test drive I found the sound quality of FLAC to be vastly better than Slacker (with Ultra HiFi) so its worth it to me to make the stick.
Don't be surprised to discover that over time, what you believe to be superior sound quality is really due to the lack off the throbbing engine in front of you. During most trips, I rarely need the sound level above 3 or 4.
 

croman

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2016
5,061
7,811
Chicago, IL
Interesting - I wonder whether the guy misunderstood the service tech and the firmware already has been updated - or whether this is "on" the car but not yet loaded/implemented. Anybody care to hazard a guess?

You cannot tell what firmware is loaded until its installed. The car will only tell you what firmware it currently runs and you can surmise the latest firmware is probably what it has downloaded and waiting for installation (yellow clock symbol).
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
You cannot tell what firmware is loaded until its installed. The car will only tell you what firmware it currently runs and you can surmise the latest firmware is probably what it has downloaded and waiting for installation (yellow clock symbol).
Sorry but I don't understand. Do you think that the service guy's notation is "what firmware it currently runs" meaning that I do not have to wait for the car to update? Or do you think that is is "downloaded and waiting for installation?" I understand that the yellow clock symbol would answer the question but unfortunately nobody is there to look at the car for several days - and probably not until I arrive to get it.
 

deaddog

Member
Oct 29, 2017
192
67
Chicago
If you aren't picking it up until next week, and there is a firmware update pending, why doesn't the current owner just do you a solid and install it for you?
He's a good guy but knows nothing about the car. It was the company car of a former exec. Based on our interaction to date, he is a solid guy but I don't want him doing anything even remotely sensitive. Feel free to tell me I'm being paranoid but I'm thinking I'd rather drive on the old firmware until I get it home - then if something goes wrong, I have Service Centers right near me.
 
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thegooch49

Member
Sep 6, 2017
185
104
Pacific NW
He's a good guy but knows nothing about the car. It was the company car of a former exec. Based on our interaction to date, he is a solid guy but I don't want him doing anything even remotely sensitive. Feel free to tell me I'm being paranoid but I'm thinking I'd rather drive on the old firmware until I get it home - then if something goes wrong, I have Service Centers right near me.

That makes perfect sense, and I don't think you are being paranoid at all. I would do the same :)
 

ABC2D

Active Member
Dec 19, 2016
1,118
1,502
Home
You really don't need to bother with the usb tunes, Slacker is a fine alternative. You can request any song, album or group
Well, I'm not sure if AP1 cars are affected, I think they are, but the USB music might be a good idea - streaming is practically unusable at the moment: constant buffering and connection errors.
 
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