First year and 25,000 miles of Tesla Model 3 ownership went very well, far exceeding our expectations

Posted by Paul Braren on Dec 23 2019 (updated on Jan 5 2020) in
  • Efficiency
  • Tesla
  • It's going well! So well that my wife and I carefully decided to do this last week:

    tesla-tuesday

    We only get a car every 10 to 15 years, so this was a huge decision for us.


    PAUL68544--Tesla-Referral-Program-Paul-Braren-TinkerTry.PNG

    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. There are currently no referrals for Model Y or Cybertruck. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    How is it holding up?

    2020-01-02_20-57-53
    Taken on Dec 24, 2019.

    In a word, great! Luckily, I have no door dings, or any dings. The underside of the front bumper chin is slightly scratched, but it's so low nobody can see it. I have no window chips and no signficant paint chips, not even on the front bumper. The aero wheel covers require no special maintenance and hide the dirty alloy wheels underneath.

    This is the best any car has held up for me for its first year of ownership, which is especially impressive given I drove it nearly twice as far per year than any car I've ever owned. Admittedly, I tend to park away from others, and I tended to keep the car pretty clean using either a touch-less car wash, or occasionally I'd wash it by hand using just 2 gallons of water each time.

    Video

    There's so much I left out of this unscripted video below, but that's OK. I've already spilled a whole lot of (digital) ink on the electric vehicle ownership experience in the many articles I've listed out for you below.

    First year & 25,000 miles of Tesla Model 3 ownership went very well, far exceeding our expectations

    One Year Old

    Since it's now been exactly one year since we took delivery of our Tesla Model 3 Long Range All Wheel Drive on Dec 23 2018, seems like a great time to share some stats. TeslaFi (that I wrote about here) makes that quite easy! Note that I didn't use TeslaFi until I already had the car for about a month already, so about 2,000 miles of data are missing, unfortunately.

    Dec 23 2018 - 5 miles on the odometer at Tesla in Mount Kisco NY.
    Dec 23 2019 - 24,781 miles on the odometer! This was the most I've driven in one year in my life, given my travel heavy day job, and family spreading out across the northeast. We'll easily be hitting 25,000 on the odometer in the next 48 hours, so figured it was fair to round up. We drove in 2.5 hours of miserable holiday traffic today, where the traffic aware cruise control really shone. Even the $36K Model 3 that my wife has it, all trim levels have it. Even better, all Model 3 trim levels include lane-assist now as well, eliminating most of the stress of stop-and-go traffic. I'm so glad they include that now. It's simply awesome, and not something we really anticipated the value of in advance. In fact, my car had neither of those awesome features when I bought it, the ownership has gotten SO much better over these last 12 months. It can't be underestimated how valuable it is to the owner when a car gets better with each firmware update. Significantly better, in many meaningful ways.

    It never gets old. Seriously.

    Every time I walk up to this car, I feel like pinch me, I really own this thing? Well, technically the bank and my wife and I, details. It's literally the car of my dreams for about 3 decades now, listen to the video where I explain.

    When I set off on my next adventure and press the go pedal, it just goes, exactly like I asked it to. There's such an inexplicable thrill in that. No gas car comes close, and wow, when I drive rental cars after distant flights for work, it feels absurd. Seriously, test drive this car, and it will likely ruin you, and all of your passengers. Permanently. In a good way. The auto industry has set your expectations far too low, for far too long.

    Knowing it may well be the safest car ever tested sure helps too.

    About-Tesla

    Remember Tesla's stated mission that they've held fast to for over a decade:

    Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

    The Future

    overhead-pic-of-Tesla-Model-3-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry
    Overhead view taken by Paul Braren from a colleague's condo rooftop.

    Helping take my own small steps by eliminating both of our gas cars from our garage forever was a first step, a baby step. No more smelly gas fingers too.

    At least 4 people I know personally took my wife and I up on test drives, and could ask us anything they wanted to know about owning the Model 3. That also has an impact.

    Finally, writing all about owning an electric vehicle, the biggest impact of all. If just a few folks out there reading this decide to place their order, the carbon footprint reduction is far greater than anything I've written about over these past 8.5 years of blogging about efficient computing. Less than 2% of the world's vehicles are electric so there is a long way to go, but the mass-produced Model 3 sales of over 600,000 already is really starting to give hope as our climate continues to change for the worse. Even better when folks are able to fuel their road trips directly from the sun using solar.

    Gas cars are ancient fossils that burn dead dinosaur juice, and we now have a way to turn those vehicles into mere memories of what it used to be like, back when cars sucked.


    Fleet - Software Tracker

    Your-25-Software-Updates
    So on average 2 updates per month.

    Statistics

    TeslaFi-Affiliate
    Click the screenshot above to get started with TeslaFi using the TinkerTry referral code.

    I love stats! 1,572 drives, about $2260.33 saved already over gas, but actually I didn't pay for the $500 worth of Supercharging. Also, I've been reimbursed 56 cents per business mile. A LOT of business miles. Do the math. Yes, this is how I was able to step up from about 30 years of Honda Civic ownership. My secret is out, and TeslaFi keeps me from having to manually track my aventures. Expense reporting sure is easier now. Even if you don't drive for work, perhaps you can still see why others write articles like how it's generally more economical to own a Model 3 car for 5 years than a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla.

    Drives - Lifetime Map

    lifetime-map
    There are 22,764 miles tracked by TeslaFi, but my odometer is at 24,781. So that means I drove 2,012 miles that first untracked month.

    Charges - Battery Report

    battery-report
    This all looks pretty normal, with most folks losing around 4% their first year, then much less for subsequent years.

    AC Charging Charges - AC Charging Totals

    AC-Charging-Totals
    Charge-Summary
    Because I bought my Tesla with a referral link, I didn't pay anything for Supercharging, saving about $522.80.

    Drives - Drive Summary

    Top-Ten-Longest-Drives-Rebuilt-Table--TinkerTry
    Top Ten Longest Drives.
    2019-09-03-TinkerTry-Longest-Drive
    This was the longest single drive segment, lasting 4 hours and 34 minutes, with an incredible 163 MPGe rating.

    Feb 01 2020 Update

    Expenses

    Here's highlights, at 26,400 miles and 13 months into ownership. Close enough to a year, thought you might be interested.

    $   964 new tires with 4 wheel alignment, detailed [here](https://tinkertry.com/crossclimate-plus-for-tesla-model-3-for-better-performance-and-curb-rash-avoidance)
    $   175 brake cleaning and lubrication
    $    93 tire rotation from Tesla Mobile Service
    $    46 windshield wiper blades
    $ 1,278 TOTAL

    Tires
    You can read the Model 3 Owner's Manual's page 155:

    Tire Wear
    Adequate tread depth is important for proper
    tire performance. Tires with a tread depth less
    than 4/32” (3 mm) are more likely to
    hydroplane in wet conditions and should not
    be used. Tires with a tread depth less than
    5/32” (4 mm) do not perform well in snow and
    slush and should not be used when driving in
    winter conditions.
    Model 3 is originally fitted with tires that have
    wear indicators molded into the tread pattern.
    When the tread has been worn down to 4/32”
    (3 mm), the indicators start to appear at the
    surface of the tread pattern, producing the
    effect of a continuous band of rubber across
    the width of the tire. For optimal performance
    and safety, Tesla recommends replacing tires
    before the wear indicators are visible.

    Tire Rotation, Balance, and Wheel Alignment
    Tesla recommends rotating the tires every
    10,000-12,000 miles (16,000-20,000 km).
    Unbalanced wheels (sometimes noticeable as
    vibration through the steering wheel) affect
    vehicle handling and tire life. Even with regular
    use, wheels can get out of balance. Therefore,
    they should be balanced as required.
    If tire wear is uneven (on one side of the tire
    only) or becomes abnormally excessive, check
    the alignment of wheels.
    Note: When replacing only two tires, always
    install the new tires on the rear.

    Brakes
    Model 3 Owner's Manual's page 64:

    Brake Wear
    Model 3 brake pads are equipped with wear
    indicators. A wear indicator is a thin metal
    strip attached to the brake pad that squeals as
    it rubs against the rotor when the pad wears
    down. This squealing sound indicates that the
    brake pads have reached the end of their
    service life and require replacement. To
    replace the brake pads, contact Tesla Service.
    Brakes must be periodically inspected visually
    by removing the tire and wheel. For detailed
    specifications and service limits for rotors and
    brake pads, see Subsystems on page 179.
    Additionally, Tesla recommends cleaning and
    lubricating the brake calipers every year or
    12,500 miles (20,000 km) if in an area where
    roads are salted during winter months.
    Warning: Neglecting to replace worn
    brake pads damages the braking system
    and can result in a braking hazard.

    Tesla Milford Connecticut service charged me $175 for this brake service.


    PAUL68544--Tesla-Referral-Program-Paul-Braren-TinkerTry.PNG

    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. There are currently no referrals for Model Y or Cybertruck. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    See also at TinkerTry

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    tinkertryd-tesla-charging

    CrossClimate

    first-v3-supercharger-in-the-northeastern-us-in-fairfield-connecticut

    tesla-on-hgg429

    differences-between-2018-and-2020-tesla-model-3

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    See also

    203_co2-graph-061219

    climate-change-the-world-is-on-fire-and-things-are-not-fine