Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

What's the EV life like when Model 3 is the only car and drives 40k+ miles a year? Spoiler Alert, very long experience sharing

Thanks man. I am sorry I cannot read this much text.
As my boos would say, give it to me in 5 bullets. Or maybe thats
what my partner would say. Love the long version, for bottom readers we
just need to know the key points.
1. love the car
2. trunk has lots of space for having fun
sorry, need to go, law and order is on.
happy hour, never mind
my book review of 2001 a space thing was shorter than this
I can't see your book taking up "space" on my shelves.:) Although, to be fair, I would guess that it is a slim volume;).

Warning: The following could be the longest sentence since Henry James' explorations of the middle class human condition.

Living, as we do, in a world of sound bites and unsound bytes, excessive coping out to bullet points and excessive cop fired pointed bullets,
breaking news and faking news, much reduced attention spans and overwhelming junk and spam, it is a pleasure to read a comprehensive account from a member who took the trouble to share his Tesla owning experience with us. Thank you.
 
Having been on this forum for a while, I noticed that we don't have a lot of user experience sharing after some extended time owning a Tesla. I'd like to share some of my experiences that hopefully may shine some light. This is not a review, I'm not talking about the 4680 battery, nor the 0-60 time, just want to share my personal experience with new/future owners.

Background
USA Mid-West by the lake. MKE-CHI area. I've owned/driven a Ford Taurus, Subaru Forester, Chevy Equinox, MB GLK350, Infiniti G37x as my daily. I do all my maintenance myself in my garage (oil change, brake, sparkplug, etc.) I'm interested in cars so I can speak in car language at a certain level :)
My initial Tesla encounter was a 2017 Model X 100D from a close family. I was shocked by its power and tech (Wing & AP). At the same time, I was also blown away by its price tag (125k).
Fast forward to the end of 2020, I was tired of my G37x (long story short, I had two at that time, 2010 and 2012. Change in personal life, I sold one and realized I'm still in the same car. I wanted a new one!). I was mainly looking at Macan S, Cayenne, Model S, and Model 3.
I know they are different cars, but I was deciding from practicability, performance, reliability, and cost to own. Model 3 won the fight not only because of the cost to own (I drive a lot, ~40k miles a year, and business miles will be compensated or tax credited) but also I got a chance to get a 2018 AWD w/FSD & 19' wheel for a very low price (right before the bubble).
Ah, yes, in addition, the previous owner of my new house owned a 75D and had a NEMA 14-50 installed in the garage. This outlet urges me to get an EV every time I pull into my garage.

Bad things first
I had 3 services.
The first one was the rear passenger brake light. I noticed pretty bad condensation after a carwash. It finally went down not too long after that. I think I went through car washes way more often than the previous owner and broke it right in time. Filed a service ticket, mobile service fixed it in my company's parking lot within about a week.
The second one was some plastic noise from the rear. Went to the SC in MKE, they "fixed" by reinstalling the rear brake light. The noise went away-ish. I still can hear some squeaking noise once for a while. Not consistent, but it was there.
The third one was about 1 week after the second one. I visited Chicago on a weekend and all of a sudden my rear passenger brake area was making some horrible noise. Filed a service ticket, got a slot second day morning, sent in, got a loaner, came back after 3 hours, the control arm was replaced. It took them a while to figure out what was going on.
All 3 services happened in the first 10k mile of owning the car while I still have the warranty. All experiences were very positive (lucky me, never had a problem with parts shortage.)
Now I had another 30k miles on it in the last 10 months, no issue at all since then.
Not a fan of Winter
MKE-CHI area is a typical cold mid-west weather. A 2018 Model 3 AWD without the heat pump can be annoying at times. Yes, it has the greatest AWD system to handle snow but the range shortening is challenging. I charge my car battery to 80% in the summer, and 90% in the winter. I call it "240 miles" in summer and "180 miles" in winter. You will be fine once you get a hold of it. But for new owners, please be very conservative on your heat in winter, it makes a huge difference in range.

Now it comes the interesting part, can't call it good because some of them are very subjective.

Lifestyle change
This is the BIGGEST change after owning an EV. I have only visited a gas station twice only to get fuel for my riding mower in the last year... I used to be a loyal Sams Club member who goes there and fills up the gas tank 3 times a week! No more extra Sams Club purchase, no more "I'll stop by the store since I'm here anyway". The gas price is never my concern. I don't have a good MPG with a G37x and it used to hurt by thinking how much I have spent on gas in the past week (I cannot let go of its performance to switch to a Prius). It's also annoying to answer questions like "I have 1/3 tank of gas left, should I go to the gas station today, tomorrow, or the weekend when shopping? Am I going to make it?", "Should I go to the Shell on my way to my work? Or the Mobil next to the place I'm visiting tomorrow?" Waking up with full charge is a lifestyle I recommend to everyone. A lot of daily activity decisions were no longer made based on the car situation. (You will be surprised how much you are doing so right now with an ICE car).
MKE is different from CHI, people here still see Tesla as a special car. Most people still believe it has a 6 digit price tag, and of course, everyone wants to see it driving itself.
People are not talking about the performance, nor the cheap electricity when they say they are not going back to a gas car. I truly believe it is the lifestyle/life arrangement that people cannot let go of.

Plan
People say driving an EV you need to plan everything... Yes, and NO. You still plan your gas-filling trip driving a gas car as I mentioned above. I drive a lot, but mostly in the city visit different stores. On most days, there is no need to plan as long as I remember to plug it in the night before (it happened once or twice in the beginning). To new/future EV owners, please don't be scared by the statement "You have to plan everything". No, this is not true for most people.
But yes, I have made myself in bad situations. I got home with 1~2% of charge left sometimes. It was scary, but you know the limit better as you drive more. Make the energy consumption page your friend in the beginning, please. Still, the "anxiety" only happens to me who may all of sudden need to take a 100-mile round trip after the daily errands have drained the battery. My best day was about 350 miles and 2 supercharging sessions.

Charging Anxiety
Then the story hits the charging part. I realized that the "range anxiety" is not truly due to the range, it should be called the "charging anxiety". The gas cars have no anxiety is not because they have a high MPG or big gas tank, it because of the number of gas stations available.
There were so many times I started my 100-mile trip with 30% SOC left. I don't worry about it at all since Tesla has the best SC network and it's still expanding. I may become worrisome if I'm going to an area without SC. I learned how to use Plugshare and familiarized myself with all available charge stations in the areas. Now I am an experienced EV driver, no problem at all!
On my tesla app, in the last 31 days, I have 60% charge at home, 10% on SC, and the other 30% are all from the free charging stations. (Don't forget I drive 40k miles a year). Take a minute and think about a grocery store that is providing free gas for you... isn't it amazing?
To fully take advantage of an EV now, you HAVE TO have access to an overnight level 2 charging station (AKA home charge). Otherwise, you are only counting on the SC/EA network which nowhere to compete with gas stations. I would not recommend anyone who cannot get a home charge to have an EV as the only car for now.

Cost to Own
This is a big point, and this is the point I kept showing off to my colleagues. I'm on time-of-use and pay $0.09 per kWh to charge my car overnight. I always say it takes me $6 to run 250 miles. With everything (company reimbursement, gas savings, tax credit, etc) into consideration, the car will be "free" after 4 years of driving it...
I said I was a car guy who does all maintenance myself. So far I did 4 DIY maintenance on my Model 3 - by topping off the windshield wiper fluid 3 times and replacing the cabinet filter once. I was so bored that I gave all my tools to my cousin and asked him to invite me when he is doing something on his ICE cars.
The more you drive, the more "save" you will get. Well, no one gets a Tesla for "saving", but with 40k miles a year, I kinda DO and it DOES save.

AutoPilot / FSD
AP is a lifesaver. I am NOT going to have any car without a decent level 2 driving automation system. Driving between MKE and CHI is a blast, 350 miles in one day was like nothing. My boss loves it (LoL) too because I can do a lot more on the road now. The day after I received my booster dose, I was in a very bad situation (had nothing from the 2nd dose so took the chance and still came to work). Called the boss, left work, and let the car drive me home. I cannot imagine how I am making myself (and others on the road) home safely with my old G37x. Once is enough to prove itself.
Not to mention some rainy days I summoned my car to the front of the store from the parking lot. And also moving my car in and out of tight spaces without worrying about the door space. I like seeing people's reactions to this. Gimmicks? Yes. Help? Yes, sometimes.

Misc
The gauge cluster layout is very subjective. I don't have any problem with the extreme simplicity in Model 3. And I enjoy it more and more. I visit Chicago Auto Show every year, I've sat in all kinds of cars. I test drove Polestar 2. I continuously felt overwhelmed by all the buttons, screens, and controls others have. My drive style now is "tap-tap", then "you (tesla) figure it out". Plenty of designs can be better in a regular manner. But in most cases I can understand how they were carried out under the concept of "All human inputs are errors." I'm no longer in my 20s that always wants to be the fastest on the road and swirls back and forth in the traffic. I follow the traffic speed and keep my distance from others (Oh, definitely not in a grandma manner. You still do stupid things with a car like this). I don't need to know how exact fast I am driving all the time, I don't need to know my rev, I don't need to know if there is a car I'm going to crash into when I'm checking the map (HUD? I get the point why tesla is not providing it, but we have to admit there is still a gap between the concept and reality). Anyway, simple is better, and I enjoy it.
Currently, I am seeing 7~10% battery degradation and it has been stabilized in the past few months based on the calculation. But given the inaccuracy of the estimate from the system, I don't feel bad about it at all. ICE cars MPG decreases as aging too. There are a lot of high mileage Teslas out there, and I'm planning to keep it for a long time. The last 40k miles gave me a lot of confidence in it.

Love the car, love the lifestyle
Thank you for this excellent account.

(I can't see the @one2many, book taking up "space" on my shelves.:) Although, to be fair, I would guess that it is a slim volume;).)

Warning: The following could be the longest sentence since Henry James' explorations of the middle class human condition.

Living, as we do, in a world of sound bites and unsound bytes, excessive coping out to bullet points and excessive cop fired pointed bullets,
breaking news and faking news, much reduced attention spans and overwhelming junk and spam, it is a pleasure to read a comprehensive account from a member who took the trouble to share his Tesla owning experience with us.

Thank you.
 
I recently rented an Audi Q5 to drive about 300 miles over a few days. Honestly I hated the million individual buttons requiring me to decipher little symbols, it was noticeably louder than my M3P (even on my 275 race rubber), and the lane assist was far less capable. I definitely also cross-shopped Tesla’s German competitors and for many many reasons I still have zero regrets.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,648
4,380
Maine
I recently rented an Audi Q5 to drive about 300 miles over a few days. Honestly I hated the million individual buttons requiring me to decipher little symbols, it was noticeably louder than my M3P (even on my 275 race rubber), and the lane assist was far less capable. I definitely also cross-shopped Tesla’s German competitors and for many many reasons I still have zero regrets.
My dad, who's owned numerous German cars over the years, and I would joke that there's a Germany engineer for every button and his job is to make that button a little better each year. If he doesn't, his button and his job gets eliminated. As far as I can tell German engineers are good. Buttons never get eliminated, only added.
 
@herbicider

Good write up and I was quite happy to read a more detailed thoughtful post. That may be because I agreed with a lot of your points 😉

I have done 30k miles, but in 3 Teslas as I have changed them after six months. That is my way of driving a car for free as it has been possible recently to take delivery of a car, order a new one, use the original for 6 months, sell it for a profit, take delivery of the new one and start the cycle again. This option won't last forever of course, once supply meets demand.

You mention several things that ring bells with me (all IMHO of course):

If you buy a Tesla you are unlikely to have range or charging anxiety.
Charging at home,especially on a ToU tarrif, makes all the difference to both ease of use and cost of use.
In the UK, unless you have limited demands on a car, don't buy a non-Tesla EV unless you have home charging, the public charging network is not yet fit for purpose.
Don't buy an EV if you need to do any significant amount of towing.
After a while with a Tesla other cars controls appear cluttered and confusing.
After a while with an EV even the better combustion cars feel sluggish & unsophisticated (stop/start, vibrations, gear changes, slow off the line).
In day to day use you spend less time re-fueling an EV than an ICE vehicle.
The plain interior of the M3 and MY is quite robust, it still looks fine after 10k's of miles.
Tesla warranty support for minor issues is pretty good, I can't speak to major issues as I haven't had any.
AP removes a lot of stress from motorway journeys, especially on quiet roads. Like you I would not want a car unless it had good Lev2 functionality.
 
Last edited:
Unlike the ICE unless the auto- off-on works well
Starting an ICE uses fuel in a way that is not efficient so although it may help some in traffic with many long dead stops, it won’t be that much better. It also puts a lot of additional cycles on the starter and solenoid, and I would expect increased wear since engine parts don’t have good lubrication until the engine is runnin. Hybrids would benefit more as they can run on battery only at low speeds and stop/go traffic.
 
Starting an ICE uses fuel in a way that is not efficient so although it may help some in traffic with many long dead stops, it won’t be that much better. It also puts a lot of additional cycles on the starter and solenoid, and I would expect increased wear since engine parts don’t have good lubrication until the engine is runnin. Hybrids would benefit more as they can run on battery only at low speeds and stop/go traffic.
We live near a crossroads with very unequal traffic light periods despite both directions carrying a high traffic volume.
Walking past the longer still-stand one cannot fail to notice the poor air quality caused by running engines. When using that stretch of road or in any other protracted jam I would switch off if the stop/start failed to function.
I would always happily sacrifice a solenoid or a few mph for 4 plus minutes X 25 plus cars worth of reduced city pollution.

However, I can now be a self satisfied smug bas tard because I drive a Tesla🥳😇😉
 
Starting an ICE uses fuel in a way that is not efficient so although it may help some in traffic with many long dead stops, it won’t be that much better. It also puts a lot of additional cycles on the starter and solenoid, and I would expect increased wear since engine parts don’t have good lubrication until the engine is runnin. Hybrids would benefit more as they can run on battery only at low speeds and stop/go traffic.
Auto stop systems are now proven to be very efficient and good long term. Starting a modern ICE uses no additional fuel than idling for a few seconds uses. As for lubrication, the time the engine sits off is not going to be long enough for oil to completely drain away and leave parts unlubricated. I have even heard of some auto stop systems having electric motors that keep the oil moving in addition to some even powering AC units but this is unconfirmed. Starters in auto stop vehicles are oversized and overbuilt to withstand the additional cycles. Auto stop systems are also smart in that they wont allow an engine that hasn't reached proper operating temperature to shut off, further reducing the wear of restarting it due to insufficient oil coverage and reducing the fuel expenditures needed to start it back up (starting an already warmed up engine is generally quite easy) which also reduces the load on the starter.

That being said, I prefer instant torque with zero emissions ever over the auto stop power lag any day haha
 

Zaxy

Member
Jul 26, 2022
13
13
NJ
Living, as we do, in a world of sound bites and unsound bytes, excessive coping out to bullet points and excessive cop fired pointed bullets,
breaking news and faking news, much reduced attention spans and overwhelming junk and spam, it is a pleasure to read a comprehensive account from a member who took the trouble to share his Tesla owning experience with us. Thank you.
A tesla driver and a poet! Well done sir!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Wattsisname
If an auto-stop system doesn't keep pressurized oil flowing to the turbo shaft bearings the turbo won't last very long. Shutting off a turbo engine after highway cruising at 75 MPH without an idle-down period = bad.
It is generally bad though I believe it's also pretty standard to be dual cooled now. I'm not sure of it's frequency of use but I know some use oil and coolant to keep the turbo cooler. I never see manuals for turbo cars that aren't high performance recommending any kind of cool down. I know my 10th gen Civic was like this. I did usually idle for a little after spirited driving to make sure it wasn't too hot still though. I did consider installing a turbo timer at one point.

In the context of auto stop I would surprised if this hasn't been planned for in some way. Maybe like an electric oil pump to keep things flowing.
 

birdsquared

Fan-man (too old to be a fanboi)
May 15, 2020
76
82
Burnaby, BC
To fully take advantage of an EV now, you HAVE TO have access to an overnight level 2 charging station (AKA home charge). Otherwise, you are only counting on the SC/EA network which nowhere to compete with gas stations. I would not recommend anyone who cannot get a home charge to have an EV as the only car for now.
I have had my Model 3 AWD+ for 2 and a half years, with 46000 km driven. It is my only car, and I couldn't disagree more with this anti-recommendation. I live in an apartment, and I have no charging at home. I do have charging at work, though not reliably (shared with quite a few other EVs at the workplace). For the first year and a half, the closest Supercharger was about a 20 minute drive away, now it is less than 10 minutes (from a new SC, not a move on my part). I have driven almost 1200 km in a day (for work), and the last 400 km had no SC on route (I would NOT have been able to do it in the winter, but managed to arrive with 11% from drafting behind an RV at 90 kph for over half of it). There is NO way I would have driven that far in one day without AP.
As long as there is a SC within a reasonable distance, you can absolutely use it as a daily driver only car with no charging at home.
 
I have had my Model 3 AWD+ for 2 and a half years, with 46000 km driven. It is my only car, and I couldn't disagree more with this anti-recommendation. I live in an apartment, and I have no charging at home. I do have charging at work, though not reliably (shared with quite a few other EVs at the workplace). For the first year and a half, the closest Supercharger was about a 20 minute drive away, now it is less than 10 minutes (from a new SC, not a move on my part). I have driven almost 1200 km in a day (for work), and the last 400 km had no SC on route (I would NOT have been able to do it in the winter, but managed to arrive with 11% from drafting behind an RV at 90 kph for over half of it). There is NO way I would have driven that far in one day without AP.
As long as there is a SC within a reasonable distance, you can absolutely use it as a daily driver only car with no charging at home.
Agreed. There are multiple free or very cheap level 2 charging options in most cities. I can get a free l2 charge at the grocery store, very cheap or free at all but one shopping center, and free at dozens of locations in this mid sized Canadian city of just over 1 million people. I only use SCs for road trips with very few exceptions. For many people there are free or cheap L2 charging options near their home or work and for the majority of drivers their commute is not long enough to require charging every day. With the CCS adapter we have access to many more chargers now.

I recommend people thinking about an EV download PlugShare and see how many chargers are available in their area before making a decision.
 
Hi everyone,
I am this close 🤏 to buying my first Tesla. I have always purchased Toyota and Honda because my main priority is reliability. What is the consensus on long term reliability of Tesla Model 3? I can trust my Camry to run for 200k with very little maintenance or break downs. Is Tesla as reliable or better? I pay off my cars and keep them for 8-10 years or more. Thank you!
I've had four Teslas, with two in the garage right now. My last two I sold with over 100,000 miles on them. I don't remember doing any maintenance on either one, and my current ones have not needed maintenance either. I don't even need windshield wiper fluid top ups where I live. I used to do all my maintenance on my ICE cars, but the Teslas use regen for stopping, with brakes only used for the last few feet, so hardly any wear over the life of the car. There are of course no oil or filter changes, and I never needed any in-cabin filter changes. And filling up in my garage while I sleep sure beats driving to the gas station and standing out in the heat or cold or sleet or rain while I fill up my car with gas. I've done that, and I'm glad I don't have to do it anymore.

I'd say Teslas are far more reliable. There are those who have kept their Teslas for 400,000 miles, and of course never needed an oil or filter change. Your "8-10 years" of service would be quite do-able. What might wear out? Well, the battery is warranted for 8 years, so it ought to last longer. As for electric motors, well, I have a refrig in my garage that's near thirty years old and it's still running. Electric motors last a long time. Gas engines are a big pile of parts that WILL fall apart over time, and I've moved on. No more tune-ups, no more spark plugs, oil filters, gas stations. Love filling up in my garage while I sleep, with a full tank awaiting me in the morning. And I get about 400 miles on $14 worth of fuel. Beat that, Chevron!
 

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.


SUPPORT TMC
Top