LEAF driver leaves me thinking why? Just Why !?!

In the eight years of driving an EV I have witnessed all manner of good and poor charging etiquette and habits. However, none of my extensive experience has adequately prepared me for today’s bizarre charging of a LEAF.

Puhleeze. The charging port is at the front, pull in already!

If you really must reverse into a parking space, consider an EV with a rear charge port like a Tesla.

This is too bizarre. Your comments are most welcome.

Update: 2019-03-14

To better illustrate my attempt at humor here is a perfect example of “how it’s done”

Front Charging Port – Pull In
Rear Charging Port – Reverse In.
This doesn’t have to be difficult.

 

Posted in Bizarre, BMW i3, Electric Car, Level 2 EV Charger, Nissan LEAF, Schneider, Schnieder | 3 Comments

Model 3 is the first car I’ve owned that adjusts its clock automatically

Daylight Savings Time

I fully expected the Model 3 to adjust to daylight savings time and it did.

Reflecting on this I realize this is the first car I’ve owned that has adjusted its clock automatically. The 2011 LEAF has two clocks both of which require manual adjustment. So I still had to do that this past weekend. It’s kinda surprising that many cars have not automatically adjusted prior to now. I wonder how long before this basic feature becomes standard for all new vehicles.

Posted in Nissan LEAF, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tesla Take Care of (some of) their Customers

Tesla Model 3

Tesla announced across the board price cuts for their vehicles at the end of February 2019. Does this mean the 2018 customers overpaid? Is this the price of being the first on the block with a Model 3? Many customers are upset that Tesla have reduced prices, headlines such as “Tesla owners are enraged that the Company cut it’s prices”.

Despite significant price cuts of $6,000 I have calculated I am only $1,750 worse off for buying in October 2018. If I choose to add Autopilot or Full Self Driving then I will be $1,250 better off than waiting until now. Tesla have taken care of their existing customers by discounting Autopilot and Full Self Driving substantially for purchase after sale. For those existing customers who purchased Autopilot and Full Self-driving with their cars they are worse off because they paid full price for these software features. A quick analysis of the price changes since I purchased my car is shown below.

July 2018 March 2019 Difference
Base (LR+Premium) $49,000.00 $43,000.00 $6,000.00
Blue Paint $1,000.00 $1,500.00 -$500.00
AWD $4,000.00 $4,000.00 $0.00
Vehicle Price $54,000.00 $48,500.00 $5,500.00
Tax Credit -$7,500.00 -$3,750.00 -$3,750.00
After Credit price $46,500.00 $44,750.00 $1,750.00
Add-on Features March 2019 March 2019 Difference
Auto Pilot $2,000.00 $3,000.00 -$1,000.00
Full Self Driving $3,000.00 $5,000.00 -$2,000.00
Final Cost $51,500.00 $52,750.00 -$1,250.00

Owners who purchased full self driving with their vehicle purchase are rightfully upset. They paid $3,000 for a feature that was to be available sometime in the future and now find existing owners able to buy the feature for $1,000 less just as advanced features are being introduced. Original owners did not benefit by paying for a feature that has not existed until now. Here is a detailed explanation in Ars Technica why original customers are upset. “Price cuts anger some Tesla customers who pre-ordered self-driving

I count myself lucky to have got my car at a fair price even taking into consideration a $6,000 price cut from the vehicles base price.

Posted in Cost Benefit, Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | 2 Comments

First Tesla Service Experience

Booking the Appointment: A+

Schedule appointment directly in phone app

Making an appointment for service is done via the Tesla App. You are able to enter a description of the service items you wish to have accomplished. I had created a Google Docs document with a list of items including photos of the issues I had experienced, I included a link in the service entry. Tesla had no issues accessing this and understanding my concerns. Traditional automakers are less tech savvy and would probably be unable to accept such a submission and prefer email, phone or face to face. Very convenient.

Prompt email correspondence and feedback: A-

I received a response from my local Tesla Service Center quickly. Some of the problems I reported are known issues and will be included in a future software update. Some problems reported such as a weak paint on the front door pillars is apparently how the cars are made with the top coat being applied with the car doors mounted on the car.  I was assured the corrosion resistant base coats will protect the paintwork. A little weird, I asked that my concern be put on file should corrosion appear in those locations. I had a tech examine the paint in person and he confirmed this is normal, I pointed out its the first I’ve seen like that ona new car and he acknowledged that improvements are being made to the manufacturing process all the time based on customer feedback.

Occasional fogging of the rear passenger tail light is considered normal if it dissipates after 30 minutes of driving or less. In my case the fogging dissipated quickly so was not considered a fault to be fixed.

Two of the six service items remained on the list for my visit to the service center. Brake squeal at low speeds in reverse and also a scheduled tire rotation.

The only negative from the email correspondence I experienced is that my last question regarding if I would need to wait on the service or get a loaner went unanswered.

Check In to Service: B-

I pulled into the service bay. At a traditional automaker, such as Nissan, I would be greeted within seconds and details of mileage and service items taken down, not so at Tesla!. Ungreeted I got my belongings I went through several doorways until I found the right one to meet a service writer. After this rather lonely experience, things went very well. The service writer Justin was very friendly, retrieved details of my service and confirmed items to be accomplished. As I handed over my card key I enquired about getting an additional card key which is available only through the service center. I was quoted $10 which I accepted. Tesla offered me a ride home or an Enterprise rental, I chose the rental.

Enterprise Rental: A+

Nissan Frontier is my Enterprise Rental.

We waited in the showroom waiting area for Enterprise to arrive. We were offered a cookie by a very friendly customer rep and enjoyed a Keurig brewed coffee.

As usual Enterprise did a great job. After waiting for 5 minutes or so in the showroom waiting area I was greeted by an Enterprise rep who had my “car”. I did all the paperwork on a tablet device and was handed the keys.  Other than show my drivers license I didn’t need to provide any other information, all information was transmitted electronically from Tesla to Enterprise. Very convenient for the customer. Good job Tesla and Enterprise. The only vehicle they had was a Nissan Frontier pickup truck.. Gas is included in the rentals for Tesla, so I had access to a full tank of gas without the need to refill. Upon return I handed the keys to Tesla and they arrange for Enterprise to pick up. Shame they don’t rent Tesla vehicles in Nashville.

Pickup Experience: A+

I received a text to advise me that my car was almost ready.

Friendly text when car is (almost) ready for pickup.

I was asked to arrive between 5 and 6 pm. I arrived 30 minutes before the time indicated in the text, left the rental car keys with the service writer and waited one hour for my car which was ready at 5:30. The waiting area is better than the average car dealership. I noticed on my Tesla app that two key cards were added to my vehicle while I was waiting.

Quality of Work Performed. A+

All areas of concern were addressed. The car was washed and vacuumed at no extra cost as is customary with good car service. I enquired how the brake squeal was addressed, the service tech noticed a loose bolt on the brake assembly. They tightened the bolt which addressed the issue. I was assured the rotors were not damaged by the loose bolt. So glad I took the car in for what appeared to be a minor annoyance, it turned out to be a safety concern. Yikes!!

Loose bolt in my brakes!!

Tire Rotation costs $62.50, quite expensive. The brake repair was covered by warranty. I got one freebie from Tesla. Apparently they don’t sell single key cards, but sell them in pairs. Tesla provided the second key card at no additional cost and the credit for the second card was shown on my final paperwork.

Electronic Signature

Tesla ask you to electronically sign the paperwork emailed to you within 30 days. I signed with a wet signature at the service center, so I’m not sure what this is all about. An electronic only signature would be fine, but both seems unnecessary.

Crisis? What Crisis?

Given a lot of negative service experience reviews recently on YouTube, I found my experience to be really good. No complaints here.

Posted in Customer Service, Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Senseless Accident Captured on Dashcam

I’ve always wondered how an accident can occur in stationary traffic at a red light. Here is an example of a driver not paying attention to traffic ahead shortly after the light turns green and traffic starts to move.

Look closely at the white pickup truck in the right lane, for some reason once traffic began to move he/she launched the vehicle as if there was nothing in front and simply hits the slower moving vehicle in front. Totally avoidable and totally senseless.

Posted in Accident, Dashcam | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Emergency Tire Repair – Screw in tire with audible air loss

Wheel removed for Tire Repair

It was a cold, wet, dark ride home. I was tired and keen to get home. Then I saw and heard a warning on the dash of my Model 3 – Low Tire Pressure warning. The Model 3 displays the tire pressure on each wheel, I could see the rear right tire had lost over 10 psi and was at 30 psi instead of 42. After a few minutes it dropped to 29 psi. Rather than risk running the tire too low I stopped at a gas station and added air to the tire. After re-inflating the tire I could hear air escaping from the tire and it lost another 5 psi on the way home. Clearly this would not stay inflated until the morning to allow me to call by the Tesla Service Center, so I found the only tire shop still open at 6:30 pm. Tire Discounters of Hendersonville, TN.

Reverse Logic Jack Pads

Jack Pads Required

Just one week earlier I had purchased Jack Pads made specifically for the Model 3 from Reverse Logic. The Model 3 has small and specific jacking points and a Jack Pad is required to allow for safe jacking of the vehicle using standard jacking equipment.

Jacking Point under front of vehicle with guidance hole

If a Model 3 is jacked without these pads it is possible the plastic aero covers under the car will be damaged or even worse damage could occur to the rocker panels or the battery pack. As the owners manual states, damage caused by improper jacking procedure is not covered under warranty.

Jack Pads keep the vehicle underside separated from the Tire Shop jacking equipment.

If you don’t have these pads then calling Tesla Emergency Roadside assistance is the safest option. In the photo you can see the Reverse Logic Jack Pad sandwiched in between the car and the lift. The Model 3 has foam glued to the inside of the tire to reduce road noise from the tires. To make the repair Tire Discounters cut a 3 inch square out of the foam to provide access to remove the screw embedded in the tire. The technician had to do the repair twice, the first time he had not removed all of the adhesive that holds the foam in place which caused a leak. Once the repair was good the tire was balanced and fitted back on the car.

Lug Nuts Were Re-Tightened to 129 Ft Lbs.

Torque the Lug Nuts

Tire Discounters knew to lookup the correct Lug Nut Torque setting, which happens to be 129 Ft Lbs for the Model 3. The technician remarked that the Tesla uses standard lug nuts, which for some reason surprised him. He also remarked the wheel looks better without the Aero Wheel Covers. Wish the Aero Covers came in different colors.

The best part of the service from Tire Discounters is that they did not charge a penny to perform the repair. I promised them a ride when the weather is better and it isn’t time to home at the shop. They seemed happy with that barter deal.

Tireless Wheel

Great service provided just minutes before Tire Discounters closed for the evening, all for free. Thanks guys, I’ll be back to give you the ride of your life, and again to buy my first set of tires.

Resetting Tire Pressure Warning. Hmmmm

Low Tire Pressure Warning despite normal tire pressures

Despite the tire being repaired and the car shows 41 psi tire pressure the warning persists. I googled the process and didn’t find anything straight away. I emailed Tesla Customer Support to see if they can advise me. I’m waiting for the response which I’ll add to this post once I find out the process.

Update: 2018-12-21

The low tire pressure warning did eventually go away on its own after three journeys. I never received a response to my email to Tesla Technical support. I called by the service center to ask what tire service they can provide. In an emergency the Tesla Roadside Assistance will make arrangements to get your vehicle towed to a repair facility or alternatively fit a loaner wheel and tire and get the flat tire repaired. You visit the service center once your wheel and tire are fully fixed. The Service manager indicated they encourage Tire Shops to work on Tesla vehicles and in no way want to corner the market on Tesla Tire Repairs. Tire shops don’t have the necessary jack pads, maybe Tesla should consider providing local shops with jack pads and jacking instructions to ensure both Tesla customers and Tire Shops are comfortable with getting work accomplished on the vehicle.

Update: 2019-02-03 Tesla Finally Respond to my question.

Almost two weeks after asking Tesla how to reset the low pressure warning I did receive an email response. The official word is

“To reset your TPMS you will need to drive over 10 MPH for about 10 minutes to get the sensor to reset and remove the alert. If this does not work you may need to create an appointment with your local Service Center to have them see what is going on with it.”

As I found out you have to drive the car for a bit before the warning goes away. If you have a question for Tesla’s email support, don’t expect a quick response. We maybe in “Support Hell” at the moment. At least they did answer my question accurately first time.

Parting Thoughts

I have just one question to leave you with. Once all the gas stations are closed after we are all driving Electric Cars, where will we stop to add air to our tires? What’s the answer Elon? Tesla Air Pumps (TAP) delivered by drone?

Posted in Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What’s the difference between a BMW and a Porcupine?….

….With a porcupine the pricks are on the outside.

Boom boom!!

Fancy cars beget fancy behaviour. In the video below watch a BMW driver cut across two lanes in front me and brake check the car next to me in the hammer lane, after which he/she resumes speeding and takes off. I was tempted to zoom past the BMW and return the favor, but that would just make me as bad a driver and potentially create a road rage situation. Bad drivers are best ahead of you where you can keep your eye on them.

In another incident a Mercedes decides that it’s best to take the left fork from the rightmost lane. I flashed my lights to let him/her know that the maneuver was not welcomed. You can see in the thumbnail below the Mercedes was awfully close to clipping my front end, very dangerous. It seems many people on my morning commute are out to kill me. Good job the Tesla Model 3 is the safest car on the road today.

These video are from the Tesla Model 3 front camera which doubles up as a dashcam. Both of these videos are taken at about 6:30 am when it is still quite dark, the quality of the model 3 dashcam leaves something to be desired in low light conditions. Maybe Tesla can fix this in another over the air update.

Posted in Electric Car, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , | Leave a comment