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?

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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.

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Tesla Long Range Model 3 AWD – First Impressions

Ridiculously Comfortable

Model 3 Black Interior – Click to Enlarge

The premium interior is included with currently available configurations, in the future it will be an option. The option is rumored to be worth $5,000. Worth every penny. Of all of the features available for the Model 3 this is the one to get, you’ll enjoy the benefits every inch you travel. Other options maybe useful from time to time, this one keeps on giving.

It’s hard to put into words how comfortable these seats are, I arrive relaxed and rested after driving.

The premium interior also comes with the panoramic all glass roof. A neat feature but overrated in my opinion, sunlight overhead can be annoying at times as it shines through the roof into the top of your vision.

Brutal Acceleration

Model 3 Accelerating – Click to enlarge

Overtaking is effortless with this vehicle, other than overtaking I can’t see a need for acceleration this powerful as it pushes you back into your seat with a force I can only describe as brutal. The performance model is even quicker, yikes!

Despite the availability of aggressive acceleration, the car can be driven very slowly and smoothly from a dead stop, the accelerator is intelligently setup. You can drive the model 3 like a Cadillac or like a Corvette, your choice.

Who needs a dash?

Model 3 Interior

The minimalist interior has a large touchscreen monitor that houses almost all functions of the vehicle including windscreen wipers and lights. Until you’ve driven a Model 3 it’s hard to understand how you can drive without separate wiper or light controls. However these functions are fully automatic. The wipers activate when it rains, the lights when it gets dark and the high beams are also automatic. It is possible to flash high beams with the stalk like most cars and if the automatic wiper is a tad too slow for your liking you can tap the windscreen wash button on the end of the stalk for a quick wipe.

Automation of functions is taken to a new level with the Model 3 which is how they were able to eliminate all but 3 buttons from the dash. The hazard warning light button is required by law and is located above the rear view mirror. The other two buttons are on the steering wheel where you will find scroll wheels that also act as buttons when depressed or pushed from side to side.

The elimination of the binnacle with the speedometer/indicators/dials  is very controversial, causing many to cancel their reservations. For someone who grew up driving a mini, with its center mounted binnacle, I don’t understand what the fuss is about. The speed is just to the right of my right hand as I drive, hardly inconvenient. Audible speed alerts are available, and quite frankly much more useful for complying with speed limits. Complying with speed limits is the *only* reason you need to know your speed, audible alerts are far more effective at compliance than occasionally glancing at the speedometer.

Buy as much hardware as you can up front, software can be purchased later.

Leaf and Model 3 side by side both juicing up at the same time.

I opted for AWD instead of autopilot. You can’t add options like the premium interior or AWD later. Features such as autopilot or full self-driving can always be added later. There is strong evidence that the only difference between the AWD vehicle and the performance Model 3 is a software configuration limiting power to the rear motor on AWD vehicles. I expect to see an upgrade available in the future to add performance if you wish.

Tesla have started making features such as AutoPilot more and more expensive when purchased later to encourage customers to buy these options up front. Autopilot comes with lots of features. It’s quite conceivable that Tesla could unbundle the autopilot package and sell Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC) separately for a few thousand dollars. I prefer the wait and see approach, I will buy autopilot when it’s ready for prime time and no longer beta software. Right now it’s in Tesla’s interest to boost the average sales price of new cars while they work through their backlog of reservations. Later, once the backlog is met and demand is consistent Tesla will want to generate extra revenue from the existing fleet of cars by selling software options to them, expect discounts and special promotions once the reservations have been met.

For a quiet car it’s quite noisy.

AWD Motor configuration – Click to expand

The whine from the front motor and gears is distinctive and a little intrusive at around 30-50 mph, especially when maintaining a steady speed. Under gentle acceleration a growl is heard from the front motor and gears. It’s a “woody” sound, not at all “tinny”. something that might appeal to ‘piston heads’ who dislike totally silent electric cars. Personally I could do without it. Better sound proofing for AWD vehicles should be considered by Tesla. The new Nissan LEAF is much quieter than the AWD Model 3. I haven’t driven the RWD Model 3 to know if the rear motor whine is intrusive or not, I suspect not.

Proprietary Tesla charging connector is a nuisance.

Model 3 Charging Port – Click to Enlarge

I’ve only used a Supercharger once, just to prove that I could do so using my Tesla account. Every other time I have charged my vehicle I’ve had to use a J1772 adapter. I already have a charging station in my garage which I want to keep, I don’t want to spend $400-$500 for a Tesla specific charging station when I have a perfectly serviceable charging station already in my garage.

In Europe Tesla’s all use the standard “Type 2” connector regardless if they are supercharging or charging slowly on a household outlet. One connector for all situations. Makes sense.

I resorted to buying a second J1772 adapter from eBay. Tesla’s price for an adapter is overpriced at $100. I will leave this second adapter permanently attached to my home charging station.

Tesla Mobile App is very good.

Tesla Mobile App – Click to Enlarge

The Tesla mobile app is awesome. It is quick to connect to the vehicle and has a lot of very useful controls and features. Knowing the interior temperature is very handy. With my LEAF I would turn on climate control anticipating a cold or hot interior. With the Tesla app I can see the actual interior temperature and know if its worth turning the climate control on or not. The vehicle’s current location is very precisely identified on a map. my wife has found this particularly useful being able to see where I am on my commute home, and what speed I am travelling at. Maybe not the best feature if you have mistress or toyboy, but great for the rest of us.

Mobile key isn’t that great.

Model 3 Credit Card Key

Using your mobile phone as a key is a great innovation. Genius in fact, if it worked reliably that is. It can take 15-30 seconds before the mobile phone will enable the car to start, a very long-time if you are in a hurry. This issue seems to be worst with Android phones, I have a Pixel XL phone. Too bad, despite the problems I have not carried a bunch of keys in my pocket since getting the Model 3, I leave them in the bedside drawer at home now. Our home is keyless entry as well so a keyless entry car is a perfect companion. Here’s hoping Tesla fix the issue soon. In the meantime I place my wallet next to the cupholder to ensure the car starts when I want it to. I have the backup “credit card” key in my wallet.

I will probably buy the optional key fob when it’s available. Handing a credit card key to a valet or third party repair shop will pose problems for them in storing the credit card key with other car keys which are normally hung on a hook. As innovative as it is, the rest of the world isn’t ready for it (yet).

An electric car with a very practical range

220 Miles with 70% charge – Click to enlarge

The long range AWD Model 3 has a real world range of 306 miles. Hunting down public charging stations in order to complete a busy day on the road is a thing of the past. I do still frequent Whole Foods and take advantage of their free EV charging, not because I have to, but because I want to support merchants that support EV’s. It doesn’t hurt that I get 25 free miles of driving during my lunch break. With my LEAF I got just 8 or 9 miles during for the same time period, the Model 3 charges so much more quickly.

October 5, 2018 – March 11th, 2019

Model S, Model X and Model 3: Six Months of Free Supercharging

If you buy a Tesla Model S, Model X or Model 3 through the link below, you’ll get six months of free Supercharging. If you buy without a test drive you receive an extra three months of supercharging for a total of nine months free supercharging and you retain the right to return the vehicle and get a full refund for up to 3 days if you don’t like it. Essentially you get a 3 day test drive.

JP’s Referral Code  https://ts.la/jp75580



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EV Hole Hall of Shame

Back in 2012 I started a ICE Hall of Shame to highlight gas car drivers who blocked EV charging spaces. Fast forward to 2018 and EV drivers are now beginning to show poor etiquette when parking their vehicles. EV Hole is the name used when an EV driver parks in a charging space but does not even bother to plug in and uses the space for parking only.

Here’s our first entrant, spotted in Franklin TN at the McEwen building. The signage on the ground says EV Charging Only, No Parking.

Model 3 owner is our first EV Hole. Click to enlarge

The second entry into the EV Hole Hall of Shame was also parked at the McEwan building in Franklin. This one had temporary tags. New EV drivers may not realize what they are doing, at least until they are inconvenienced.

New Model 3 parked but does not charge

Shown below is the latest example of very poor EV etiquette. An EV Hole parks their LEAF in a CHAdeMO bay and does not plug in preventing others from charging. The parking lot was largely empty. Why?

Ignorant LEAF driver block CHAdeMO charger in an empty parking lot.

The latest badly behaved EV driver was spotted at Whole Foods in Franklin TN. Parked in an EV space and not plugged in.

Model X owner parks without charging. That means no one can charge at Whole Foods until they leave.

Posted in ChargePoint, Electric Car, EV Hole, Level 2 EV Charger, Tesla Model 3 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Tesla delivers five days early using “Tesla Direct” service

My Model 3 delivery date was set for 6:30 PM October 30th several weeks ago. and then I got this text at 9:33 am on October 25th.

Surprise text from Tesla

Five and half hours later Jonathon of Tesla arrived with my new Model 3 at Capstar Bank in Hendersonville where we completed final paperwork, payment and took ownership. The delivery experience took no more than 10 minutes. We got some extra help and advice while Jonathon was waiting on a Lyft ride back to the showroom.

The Tesla Direct service is a great time saver for the customer. We were debating the best way to get three cars 40 miles away from home back home with just two drivers. Arranging for rides, driving the return journey twice, a first world problem maybe but is was a great relief to not have the issue to deal with anymore. Capstar Bank is one mile from our home. The Tesla Direct service is wonderful.

In addition to being convenient the early delivery saved us $140 in car rental expense with Hertz, a vehicle in the family was totalled after we ordered the Model 3 and it made no sense to buy a second car when we only needed one. Thanks for the early delivery Tesla!!

Leaf and Model 3 side by side both juicing up at the same time.

We are now a two Electric Car family. I deleted Gasbuddy off my phone home page and replaced it with the Tesla App. Now my cell phone is my key. I will not need to carry keys anymore (our home is keyless entry as well). There is a credit card sized key in case the phone is not working or if I use a valet.

Acceleration is brutal, the car hugs the road like it is on rails. This is going to be a fun car. There is a surprising amount of road and motor noise for an EV.

First charge after I got home. 32 amp charge rate at a rate of about 27 mph.

With my LEAF I charge when I get to work and again at home. I anticipate I will charge at home once every two days with the increased range the Model 3 affords. I will go from ten charge sessions per work week to just four.

Difference between Home Delivery and Tesla Direct

Tesla have delivered to your home for sometime now, the original Home Delivery service involves you paying for your car in full then it is loaded onto a flatbed truck and delivered to your home, which maybe hundreds of miles from the delivery center.

Tesla Direct, which became available in September 2018, is different in that a Tesla employee drives the car to your home or location of your choosing, you inspect the vehicle to be sure its OK and complete paperwork and make final payment on the spot. Then the Tesla employee leaves in a rideshare, Tesla seem to prefer Lyft. Tesla Direct is only offered to customers who live close to the delivery center and within the reach of rideshare services. Initially you had to live within 30 miles of the delivery center, this may have been expanded or the Nashville delivery center decided 36 miles to our local bank was OK.

Want to buy a Tesla for yourself? Use my referral code and get free supercharging for 6 months!! https://ts.la/jp75580 

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Good luck getting your Tesla charged at the Brentwood TN Supercharger

All six charger bays occupied during Model 3 delivery rush – Click to enlarge

With increased delivery activity surrounding the Model 3, Tesla at Brentwood Tennessee are using all 6 supercharger bays to charge up vehicles prior to delivery. This means that if you want to get a charge you will need to go inside the showroom and ask for them to move a vehicle (which I’m sure they will do willingly).

Hopefully after hours they leave one or two open charger bays. The photo shown here was taken at 4:30 pm Tuesday 23rd October 2018. There is a destination charger also available at Brentwood in the public parking lot, this was charging a car ahead of delivery as well. The Brentwood store is charging 7 vehicles simultaneously in addition to any charging they maybe doing in the service/delivery bay.

Activity at the Brentwood store seems to have peaked, this week there was a lot less activity and I saw no double parked vehicles as was the case a few weeks ago.

Downtown Supercharger Site Overdue

Nashville needs another supercharger location separate from the showroom, the showroom isn’t in an ideal location unless you are travelling I-65. I-40 and I-24 drivers are inconvenienced by its current location.

A planned downtown supercharger location at Gulch Crossing was due to open in summer of 2018, now it’s October and cold outside I’m comfortable saying the goal has been missed. No word on when planning permission will be granted for this location, Tesla’s supercharger site is now showing 2019 as the target opening.

The original supercharger at Brentwood was late which may point to Tesla having trouble finding a site host and getting planing permission.

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Tesla Model 3 AWD – Obtained!!

I have my pickup date/time.

Within hours of posting a blog post (and cross posting on Twitter) detailing the unending wait for a Tesla Model 3 AWD I  received “The Call” from Tesla Las Vegas setting up delivery for October 30th. A coincidence? Maybe. This comes exactly 4 calendar months after placing the order.

The buying process is a little different to a traditional auto dealer. First you setup a specific appointment date and time. Second you need to arrange insurance using the VIN # provided and have that proof of insurance before your appointment date. Third, only cashier checks are accepted, personal checks are not acceptable to Tesla. I paid for my LEAF with a personal check along with many other second hand cars. Tesla are a little fussy.

Insurance was arranged with my carrier Nationwide easily enough. The VIN number Tesla provided was not accepted by Nationwide’s computers. After confirming the number was correct the insurance agent asked me “is this a Tesla Model 3”? I had not indicated what car make or model I was adding at that point, apparently it’s a common issue that Tesla VIN’s are not fully registered.

I have asked my delivery advisor where the car is. I see the VIN is in the mid 95,000’s and Tesla have registered a VIN today in the 135,000’s. It maybe already be manufactured and on its way.

I’ll post updates as they come.


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