Tesla Model 3 replacing my 13 year old Honda Civic Hybrid, let's see how that goes. So far, so good!

Posted by Paul Braren on Dec 23 2018 (updated on Feb 3 2021) in
  • Efficiency
  • EVs
  • IoT
  • Tesla
  • Z6p92TA8fHg-thumbnail

    At the start of this video this video, Roadshow's Tim Stevens proclaims:

    What you're looking at is the most anticipated car of all time. With more than a half million pre-orders on the books, the Tesla Model 3 has piqued the interest of more people around the world than any car in history.

    See also these lofty claims:



    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. 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!

    A vehicle is usually the second most expensive thing we buy in our adulthood, right behind the cost of a place to live. So making a buying decision like this isn't exactly a decision I take lightly, and in some sense this journey began 13 years ago, with the purchase of our family's first hybrid, a year after my wife got her 2005 Honda Civic EX. Yes, we've owned Honda Civics for 29 years.



    2006 Civic Hybrid has 5 star front and side driver protection.

    What moved my family from just-in-case/someday pre-order back in August of 2017 to actual order just this past Wednesday? It was partially about safety, freeing up my beloved 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid to be given to one of my sons with some car troubles. The Civic features side and front airbags, good crash protection, excellent economy, and modest insurance costs for a young person with an excellent driving record.

    Well, it's not quite that simple. Let's take a look back at when I really started my long journey of trying to get away from gasoline and oil...

    Supporting true innovation

    Yes, I'm sometimes a bit of an Early Adopter. I'll admit that there was considerable allure to joining in to the growing Hybrid trend back in March of 2006, when I placed my order for my light blue/gray Honda Civic Hybrid with Tan leather seats in February of 2006. A "green" car was a bit more about the promise than the reality, back then. That was a long time ago.

    Image from NADA Guides.

    I quickly fell for my little Hybrid during a test drive, and ownership went well, driving a LOT for my job commuting an hour each way every day back then. I could even use the HOV lane even when driving solo on Long Island, where many of my customers soon were. My efficient, aerodynamic, and modern good looking ride has been featured in articles right here at TinkerTry and on Twitter, and it has been far and away the best car I've ever owned, especially when measuring operational costs per year. Another big reason was that I also love the automated climate control that was only available in the Hybrid, and I’m glad I got the navigation option, allowing me steering wheel controls of my years of podcast listening.

    Yes, driving a Civic Hybrid was a statement, much like the Toyota Prius, but a whole lot less goofy looking, see specs at Honda.

    Yes, that's what 47.0 mpg looks like, and I've been used to that for 13 years! Well, when the car was younger, and in great weather, and going no faster than 65 mph.

    Yes, I drove my elementary and middle-school age sons around a LOT in this car, and it sure got the job done. No significant maintenance issues outside of normal wear items, and a Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) Battery that thankfully died right around 98,000 without stranding me, still drivable. Replacement didn't cost me anything under the 100,000 mile warranty. I've never owned a vehicle with so few issues, and yes, I did feel I had dodged a ~$2500 bullet with that fortuitous timing.

    It's at 165,000 now, that's 12,692 miles per year. This hybrid sometimes obtained a remarkable 47 mpg, seen here, headed from central Connecticut straight to JFK. It's especially nice to see my sons become more interested in avoiding gasoline chugging vehicles with less of a carbon footprint, having been accustomed to compact cars all their lives. I personally can't believe how many huge sport utilities vehicles Americans drive around these days.

    What were the drawback to this small car? It wasn't a particularly quiet ride, even with the continuously variable transmission. Acceleration could be quite weak when in traffic during hot weather, when the 20 horsepower electric motor isn't boosting the modest 110 horsepower gasoline engine much, if at all.

    Why not a new Honda Insight Hybrid?


    New Hondas, such as a Civic? They no longer make a Civic Hybrid.
    How about the Insight? It's not all electric is the big thing, do I really want to drive such a thing for the next decade+? Civic and to some extent the Insight have a muscular youthful look that prioritizes cosmetics way above mileage. Sorry Honda, not for me, but thank you again for a great 13 years!

    Even if there were an all-electric Honda that suited me, having access to a charging network would certainly be a challenge for what I need right now, a car that gets me to work, and to customers and back again, getting back home faster and far more efficiently, with a network of Superchargers to save me should I actually run low when out and about.

    Why not any other all electric?


    Same issue with the Chevy Bolt, just not enough ways to charge it quickly when you're far from home. Then again, the "Destination Charging" network of stations is growing, detailed here, but such options are still much slower than Supercharging. See also Marc Benton's Tesla Model 3 vs Chevy Bolt - An opinion from someone who owns BOTH video.

    Specifications comparisons


    Detailed at this spot in TinkerTry's Design and specification changes between Tesla Model 3 2018 and 2020 model years and between LR AWD and SR+ models article.

    Price comparison

    2006 Honda Civic Hybrid compared with 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor (AWD).

    Dec 23 2018, our 2018 Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Tesla Model 3 and our 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid.
    • Price
      Window sticker.

      2016 Honda Civic Hybrid: $23,900 sticker, $37,366 total in 2018 (adjusted for inflation).
      As-delivered with dealer installed options, tax (exempt), and registration/title fees, ~$30,000 in 2006 dollars, which is equivalent to $37,366 in 2018 US dollars.

      Window sticker.

      2018 Tesla Model 3 LR AWD: $48,200 sticker, $52,582 total in 2018.
      As delivered with factory options, taxes, and registration/title fees, $60,082. The CT Sales Tax rate is 7.75% for vehicles over $50K, accounting for $4314.42 of that $60K, ouch. But we'll be getting a $7,500 rebate on our 2018 tax return. So total family outlay for this vehicle will be $52,582.
      The $3000 Connecticut rebate for Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) went away on Oct 14 2018.
      The RWD shorter range $35,000 Model 3 isn't expected until mid-2019, or thereabouts, details here and even more recently here.

    Bottom line
    Effectively that's $37,366 for the Civic Hybrid with Navigation and $52,582 for the Tesla Model 3 LR AWD, which is effectively a 29% rise in cost to my family, without accounting for fuel and maintenance differences after the purchase. That kind of analysis is done here:


    An eye toward the long road ahead

    The Tesla Model 3, the less expensive smaller one.

    From Tesla.com
    From Tesla.com

    At first, I was a little afraid to publish this article. My thinking was along the lines of the potential backlash from my readers, purchasing what is perceived as a luxury car, who goes and talks about it online. But if you know me, you know I love to share my enthusiasm for tech. Yes, I'm blessed, I'm darn well aware of that.

    I thought about the virtualization and IT enthusiasts that I follow online, who I've come to trust. If any of them had published their all electric car ownership experiences, I'd certainly have read all about it, as I'm always curious about emerging technologies. Why wouldn’t I share the thrill of getting my hands on this marvel of technology, and all the tech behind it? Teslas sure are amazing examples of always-connected IoT (Internet of Things), rather expense thing. Then again, Tesla is getting very close to the average American car price. Still, this (low-interest, financed) purchase is quite daunting, and more than a little scary.

    By the way, even though the Model 3 is the smallest car in their current line-up, it's still a bit larger than the Civic, but smaller than an Accord. It certainly has a lot more headroom up front and in back. That glass roof is amazing, while managing to be strong enough to far exceed roll-over safety requirements.

    I'm aware of the concerns

    Yes, I know there's a lot of stories about Tesla, long term viability, how it treats its employees, and how unpredictable and volatile Elon Musk can be, especially in the second half of 2018. I also know about some quality control concerns, as with any new car. I fully realize I'm likely to encounter some services annoyances, and maybe even the door handle issues some have reported when in icy conditions. But I'm rarely parked overnight outdoors in the winter. I'm ready to put up with some issues, and the overall experience of being in this car seems so worth it, based on the test drive experience I share below. Only time will tell if it turns out to be a good investment, and since I’ve gone public, you’ll be able to follow along.

    Here's the thing. I don’t currently see any serious alternatives. It's that simple. So "protesting" by buying some other a gasoline-powered car from another company isn’t going to do much good.


    I listen to a lot of podcasts, with many smart folks like Allyn Malventano of PC Perspective and Marco Arment of ATP (Accidental Tech Podcast), who openly say how they love their Model 3 and Model S Teslas (respectively). That's not to say their adventures haven't been without some problems, such as Marco having to wait for months for Tesla finance to clear up his lease issues, but that’s been resolved. Marco talks about his rationale here. He still very much loves his Tesla.

    FYI, Marco is also the developer/creator of Overcast app that I listen all my podcasts on, available on iOS, and I'll certainly be continuing to listen to such podcasts in my Model 3, with convenient steering wheel controls connected to my iPhone X Max via Bluetooth. Don't forget to also check out Fred Lambert's electrek podcast with the tagline "Tracking the transition from fossil fuel transportation to electric and the surrounding clean ecosystems." It's Fred whose referral link I used in haste when placing my order, but kicking myself for not giving Allyn's name instead.

    2018 Model 3 Pros

    • Safety, including recent report that it may be the safest car ever tested.
    • Model 3 is now about 18 months into production, less early-adopter risk.
    • Looks (aerodynamic).
    • Efficient and relatively green, although I fully realize some fossil fuel is burned elsewhere to let me recharge, just less of it.
    • Still eligible for $7,500 tax credit through Dec 31 2018.
    • Dashcam ability is built-in, just add USB flash, I'll give this one a try.
    • Electric cars need routine service much less often.
    • Incredibly responsive acceleration that generates smiles, at least for the driver.

    2018 Model 3 Cons

    2018 Model 3 Considerations



    Some of the many things I'm really curious about include

    • How does a new car company handle orders, specifically, my order?
    • How good is the delivery experience?
    • Not too many car companies announced new features any old time of year via Twitter. Sounds kind of fun. Will there be more nice surprises coming soon? Bugs? Cloud issues/outages?

    Charging at home, and on the road

    It will take weeks to get an electrician to install a proper charging station or NEMA outlet in my home, given the amount of business the $7500 incentive has caused. i just used Tesla's Find an Electrician page and two days later, I already had a visit, now I’m just waiting for the free estimates.


    Meanwhile, my garage has a 30 Amp TT-30 outlet (RV-style) I can use to get at some of my charging done overnight. The company that comes up a lot in discussions about whose adapter charges the fastest with TT-30 outlets is called EVSE Adapters, here's one such post:

    kevin_rf | September 24, 2018
    You need a special third party TT-30 adapter to charge. Your RV 30amp is 120v at 30 amps, not 240v 30 amp. The wiring is slightly different.

    A few people make them.... Here is a link to one: https://www.evseadapters.com/products/tt-30-adapter-for-tesla-model-s-x-3-gen-2

    btw. EVSEAdapters somewhere on the site says you will charge at something like 8 miles per hour with it.

    Here's some of the EVSA Adapter “Answered Questions”:

    sanjeevdhanda 3 months ago
    Q: How much faster is this than using the standard 120V outlets?
    sanjeevdhanda sanjeevdhanda 3 months ago
    A: The TT-30 outlets can supply twice as many amps as a regular 120V outlet. So your charging speed will be twice as fast.
    CCN 4 months ago
    A: There are no warranty issues at all. Our adapter has the same internal circuit as Tesla's OEM adapters. Additionally, consumer law protects you when using third-party equipment - so Tesla cannot refuse to honor their warranty due to your use of this product.

    Various sources seem to indicate that instead of 4 miles per hour max charge rates from regular AC outlets here in the US, this adapter should get me to 6 miles per hour of charging.

    The test drive

    Dec 15 2018, West Springfield MA, at the Tesla Superchargers.

    Not many folks would make such a huge purchase without a test drive. What if it's scary to drive? What if I don't find the visibility to be good for my tall torso? I had a lot of questions. Only getting into one and driving gives such answers. Out of the blue, in mid December, as a pre-order holder, I heard from Tesla that test drives were being offered in my area on December 22nd. Sign me up, just in case we do decide to change cars around in my family, that was the thinking. I went in with the idea that perhaps someday I might be buying one. Little did I know just how soon that would be.

    To my surprise my wife was willing to tag along to check it out. I really had no idea she'd be on-board with actually buying one, but apparently the test-drive went well enough to consider it. A few days later came the issues with one of my son's car. It was suddenly time to get our known-good used hybrid over to one of my sons, driving it to new home town, as soon as possible. This changed everything. We were suddenly discussing not waiting for the shorter capacity $35,000 Tesla Model 3, which isn't due to arrive for at least another 6 months. These discussions were in depth, and happened over the span of several days.

    Instant response

    Sitting behind the wheel last Saturday at the Tesla Supercharger station in West Springfield last weekend, I immediate felt very comfortable. The steering wheel is slightly smaller than most cars, just like my Civic Hybrid. The large iPad-like display was easy enough to figure out, and glancing to the side slightly for a speed check was no big deal, as I was already used to glancing at the heads-up like digital display on the Civic. And Blake, my test-drive co-pilot, was an excellent at describing all-of-the-things, and handling all questions my wife and I pummeled him with.

    Why it's exhilarating, and it's not what you think


    I learned a lot, driving around 15 miles during those exhilarating 30 minutes together. Why exhilarating? Not because I drove recklessly, I'm rather conservative, and I've gotten no speeding tickets for years.

    The thrill came from that profound sense that I was suddenly fortunate enough to know first-hand what it's actually like to drive the future. And it was good.

    The eye opening acceleration, only when demanded, was the most impressive thing I've felt on the road since I was 11, during a brief ride I enjoyed in a souped-up '77 Corvette. I still remember the g-force, and the ridiculous roar, and a bit of fear. None of that fear this time. Just a grin.

    The solid road feel that comes from a heavier vehicle with a low center of gravity is important. For me and my family, it's ALL about arriving at my destination alive, ideally with less stress along the way. It's just risk reduction assessment, analogous to the many risk reduction projects I've done as an IT worker, along with a bit of energy use reduction too.

    It doesn't hurt that occasional bursts of needed acceleration to merge into traffic is done with ease, without ANY of the usual throttle lag associated with any internal combustion engine powered vehicle.


    Remember how I mentioned our family prioritizes safety? The words in this Clean Technica article should get your attention, and if you're an engineer, it's likely you'll also appreciate the videos found in this article too:


    Nothing can change your life more suddenly than a car wreck, no matter who is to blame. I've been through some, and so has my wife. We were rear-ended by a drunk driver a month after our first new Honda Civic in the 1990s, with my parents onboard too. It wasn't good.

    Where possible, I prefer to increase our odds, all our odds, even if it means a huge stretch to the family budget.

    Return Policy

    This may be my last vehicle. Because of my test-drive, my return window shrank from 3 days down to one. It's all spelled out in the Return Policy - Terms and Conditions.

    I realize a car is just a machine, and I can't let the obvious visual appeal cloud my judgment whether this car is a good fit for my family and I. Are the seats comfortable for long rides? Is the climate control good? We'll be trying everything, and gladly we have some hours of holiday driving ahead of us anyway.

    Here's a selection of the article's videos that I found to be the most compelling:

    Tesla, Inc. Channel - Rigid Pole Side Impact | Model 3 and Lexus ES 350
    Tesla, Inc. Channel - Front Impact Test | Model 3 and Audi A4
    YOUCAR YouTube Channel - Tesla Model 3 vs Volvo S60 CRASH TEST

    You've made it to the end of today's blog post. I still haven't told you which model and options my family chose. for those tid-bits, you'll need to wait until I actually pick up the car, which is actually happening tomorrow, December 23 2018!

    The Tech

    Interior design, autonomous driving, and more...


    There will be many more posts about my experiences with this vehicle added right to this article, so come on back and revisit! The focus will be on my experiences using and owning the car. I also have a whole-home Sense Energy Monitor, along with the Tesla app, so I should get a pretty accurate look at what recharging actually costs my family. See also this Sense discussion thread about the challenges with detecting EVs.

    In a separate article, I will be covering Model 3 accessories, including a way to keep phones charging at full speed, and a way to charge both cradled phones even with the USB flash drive using up one of the two USB ports used by the dashcam. And finally, the ways I'll be keeping that winter muck from our shoes off the black carpet. Yes, we keep our vehicles a long time in this family, and we strive to keep up the value in our significant investments.

    I sure can't wait to take my wife and my sons for a ride today, and give them their turns, of course. I'll even have a chance to give my mom and dad a ride this Christmas! We’ll be starting out from the very same big driveway behind the house where I grew up, playing for hours on end with my remote control car. Guess what it ran on? Rechargeable batteries. Sound familiar?

    Tesla Model 3 stock photo, from tesla.com

    Dec 18 2018

    Family decisions made, it’s a go. Called my sales rep in Dedham MA to place my order, making a deposit of $2500 with a credit card. He placed the order with Mt Kisco location.

    Dec 19 2018

    From my hotel room in New York City, I was able to finalize the pre-approved financing and request a check be mailed. I was also able get my VIN#, then tell USAA insurance that VIN, then upload proof of insurance. Nice to have all this legwork behind me, ready for a delivery date of Sunday, Dec 23rd.

    Dec 20 2018

    Tesla called in the evening, giving me answers to some Connecticut-specific questions that I may publish separately. I was also assured that my vehicle would be moved from Syosset NY to Mt. Kisco in time, routinely done by truck apparently.

    Dec 22 2018

    Tesla called this afternoon, at first I thought it was going to be bad news. The Mt. Kisco rep named Michael also had my insurer USAA on the line, to let me know that the original Tesla Model 3 in Silver with the options I wanted was still in Syosset NY, but not to worry, that they had found another VIN with just the right options. So a new insurance ID card was being uploaded into the tesla.com portal, to be sure the delivery still went smoothly.

    Yes, our car would be ready for my 11am Dec 23 pick-up. USAA is also my auto-lender by the way, beating Tesla's 3.99% financing. I chose a 6 year pay-off period, and thank goodness we recently got approved to help refinance our recently graduated sons' student loans at under 4% as well. Otherwise, this car purchase would have been a no go.

    Dec 23 2018 Update

    Note odometer reading as I took delivery of the car on Dec 23 2018.

    Odometer 7 mi. date of manufacture Nov 2018. Yes, it's a new car!

    Here's the options we chose:

    • Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive
    • Midnight Silver Metallic Paint

    Comes with:

    • 18" Aero Wheels
    • Premium Interior

    For interior, it's black or white, I chose:

    • Premium Black

    We knew the $5000 Enhanced Autopilot option could be added later (for $7000, or $5500 during promotional free trial periods), but all wheel drive and the extended range features could not.

    Delivery went smoothly, and everything looked good and worked well! This was definitely a good day.

    One of my sons, my wife, and I arrived at 10am, and we were greeted, seated, and waited on by 10:20am. By 10:45am, we were done with the minimal paperwork signing, mostly stuff having to do with disclosures and DMV paperwork, and we were soon walked out by another saleswoman to our fully charged Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive Tesla Model 3 by 10:45am. No issues with the vehicle were noticed, but the salesperson gave me her card just in case, to email her pictures of anything that might be identified later on.

    As for the dealership and delivery experience, let's just say it's an expedited process, in a fairly austere environment, with only about a dozen spots for deliveries to be made from. We had about a dozen other people in the small "dealership," and it only got busier the longer we were there. I'm fine with simple facilities, and avoiding the cost of a fancy dealership is fine by me, I don't plan to spend much time there anyway.

    Just one intersection away from the dealership, I found myself far below a traffic light, and just as I began to stoop forward to check on the traffic light's status, I remembered to simply look up. Love that always-on sunroof, the light was green, and I was good to go!


    The 80 mile drive home went smoothly, and it was fun to have a chase vehicle, as we got accustomed to the controls. Being a solo driver for delivery wouldn't be nearly as good, with my wife kindly doing the co-piloting duties during that first mission to arrive home safely. She even noticed that the tires were ranging from 44 to 47 psi on that drive home, took note to circle back and check on those again after an overnight rest in the cold. The door label says 42 I believe, then there's this tweet about comfort.

    It was mighty tempting to want to tinker with the screen more than focus on the driving task at hand, but as a team, we did very well, even during this first hour of unfamiliarity.

    Pulled into the driveway for the night, joined home's WiFi, then used the app to kick off the firmware update, which took under 1/2 hr from start to finish.

    Dec 24 2018 Update

    Drove around 75 miles to family's houses today, including our first trip with 5 passengers. Everybody was comfortable, and headroom was more than adequate, including 2 6' tall males in the back seat. Even had a chance to give my late-twenties nephew a 2 mile turn, together.

    Dec 25 2018 Update

    This was a fun day. As my sister and her daughters were checking out the inside of my parked car, they were asking what kind of engine is it. I popped the frunk (front trunk) with the app, and had them have a look for themselves. No engine.

    Later that Christmas Day, I had a chance to take my brother and parents out for a ride too, and my brother even had a brief turn behind the wheel. Future tests with my sister and 6'4' husband will need to wait for some other day. It should be interesting to hear their impressions about getting into and out of the car, seat height, and overall comfort.

    My wife was the first to notice one small issue with the car, a bit of condensation on the inside of the right front fog lamp. I emailed my sales rep at Tesla and included a picture, just to have the issue documented. I'm not going to bother with a service request for this yet, I'd like a bit more time in case something else gets noticed.

    Dec 26 2018 Update

    Since charging at home isn't going fast enough to ensure a full charge before our trip to Boston on the 27th, it was time to head to the West Hartford Supercharger our first time there.

    Last night, at 34°F, I lowered the tires to 39 psi, to see if there's a noticeable difference on our big family road trips.

    Couldn't resist having a little fun late one night, with nobody around at Cumberland Farms. For some reason there aren't a lot of Teslas or EVs here.
    Hmm, a very bad idea. Where's the electron pump? Turns out some Cumberland Farms have EV chargers, but not at this location.
    Oh, that's what I came here for, to adjust the tire pressure to 39 psi.

    Dec 27 2018 Update

    Odometer 300 mi.
    Drove to Cambridge MA near Boston with family today, and back again, a 222 mile journey. No issues.

    Look ma, no tailpipe!
    With my Mom and Dad as copilots, luck would have it that we found ourselves in traffic right behind another silver Tesla Model 3, with some really distinctive Massachusetts EV plates. Second time I've spotted our same car in the wild anywhere.

    Very nice plates in Massachusetts, I do wish Connecticut had something like that. Still driving on temporary New York plates myself.

    We stopped by the Tesla Dealership at Prudential Center, just so I could see how my parents did getting into and out of the Model S. They actually had more ducking to do to get under the roof curve on the Model S than the Model 3 right next to it. Strangely, this location had no Model X.

    The trip all went very well. We departing at 9:30am with about 300 miles available range indicated, and arriving back home at 9:30pm with around 40 miles left, just as the low power warnings began. The temperatures stayed right around freezing temp all day, with a variety of 3 to 4 passengers total, and some use of seat heaters so my Dad could recline and snooze on the way back. That was an exercise in how smooth I could drive! Maximum speeds were about 68 mph, with most time spent between 50 to 65, with moderate city traffic those last 3 miles.

    Road comfort was quite good, enjoying conversation between the back seat and front seat passengers. There is still some road noise, but it's far less than any car we've ever owned before.

    Once thing we noticed is that the Tesla app on mobile shows the vehicles location and current speed. That's something to consider. Not an issue with key-card-only access.

    Dec 28 2018 Update

    Dec 28 2018.

    Headed to Tesla Supercharger behind Red Robin in West Hartford, CT again early this afternoon, to top off before heading down to Union Station in New Haven, CT with 4 passengers. There, I spotted another Silver Model 3 owner in the nearby parking lot, with a big grin as they spotted me too.

    Notice the orange cast to the roof's solar protection, it's only noticeable on rainy days. Having a sunroof in the front and the back has been a hit with the family.

    Our family drive to New Haven's Union Station was at night, in heavy rain and heavy traffic. This was a first time in adverse conditions. I felt quite comfortable as the driver, and occasional Autopilot tests proved it worked well even with low visibility.

    One thing we all soon noticed was that the windshield wipers set to "Auto" don't wipe fast enough, soon enough. As a workaround, I merely had to manually boost the speed occasionally, manually. There is no stalk control for this, close-at-hand on-screen controls only. This lack of proper rain detection is apparently being addressed soon, listen to the Nov 30 2018 electrek podcast at this spot, where a fix was estimated to be due by the end of December. So no biggie.

    Dec 29 2018 Update

    Odometer 587 mi.
    Doing a lot of research on installing a Wall Connector today, with a quote pending. Leaning toward a 100 amp sub-panel installed in my garage, just in case there's another EV in my garage at some point in the (distant) future. Also looking at ways of using my Model S/X/3 Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle 20 foot cable, to get from where a sub-panel and 14-50 outlet(s) would go. Seems do-able, and avoids the multi-week wait for the Model S/X/3 Wall Connector.

    Dec 30 2018 Update

    Further investigation into charging options, including a look at 14-50 outlet(s) installed near my sub-panel. Extensive garage cleaning project, kicked off a week ago, continued.

    Got to be a back seat passenger today, and found myself very impressed with the height of the rear bench seat (raised 2 inches since the first Tesla Model 3 cars were made in late 2017). Between the seat height and the full sunroof, you really have a sense of openness, with a commanding view of everything around you. Despite the black interior, the feeling is the opposite of claustrophobia.

    Also had a chance to talk to fellow Tesla Model 3 Long Range owner Allyn Malventano, who advised me to not go to 100% charge routinely, along with a bunch of other wonderful electrical advise.

    Dec 31 2018 Update

    Odometer 609 mi. (pictured below).

    My VIN# ends with 6 digits, 119XXX. These indicate how many vehicles of this Model 3 were manufactured this year. Note that our Model 3 is in the one hundred and nineteen thousands, certainly not one of the first off the line. Also, it was manufactured in Fremont CA, according to Teslarati's Here's how you decode the Tesla Model 3 VIN.

    More work on my home's two car garage is coming along nicely, cleaning away 24 years of accumulated fossil-fuel-burning related stuff.

    As of 10:48am, I'm still unable to order from the Tesla Store, I suspect it's some sort of payment issue. This is my 3rd day trying.

    After 3 bids for the electrical work, this afternoon, I confirmed my chosen electrician that will be doing the install, and we agreed to have that work started this Thu Jan 03 2019.


    Dec 31 2018.
    Dec 31 2018.
    Dec 31 2018.
    Dec 31 2018.
    Dec 31 2018. Notice the Odometer reading of 609 mi. Sorry about the moire pattern artifact, still learning how to take pictures of the screen properly.
    Dec 31 2018, window "sticker" that was inside our Model 3 at delivery.
    May 22 2019, 10,633 miles later!
    Referral code PAUL68544 is worth more through May 31 2019.

    Jan 01 2019 Update

    Jan 01 2019, heading up I-84 East toward Boston.
    Jan 01 2019, heading over the Charles River near Boston.

    Finishing up preparing the garage for the electrician's visit, weather in the upper 40s but sunny and windy, good enough to get some painting done.

    Another family road trip to Boston and back is planned for later today. Yesterday, I left the car charging set to stop at 250 of 310 miles range, to help with battery longevity. I had totally forgotten doing so might mean I wouldn't have enough time to get to full before this trip, since I only see about 4 to 5 miles of additional range per hour of charging from a normal 15 amp circuit.

    Having the ability to get a full charge quickly at home will be a much appreciated capability to have, glad that day is just two days away!

    10:30pm update
    Despite not having time to fully charge, the trip went very well. We left with 281 miles of range, arrived back home with 38 miles of range left. The weather was terrific for enjoying a back seat view out the sunroof as one of my son's drove, and the driving experience was great. We noticed that on the Massachusetts Turnpike, recently repaved areas exhibited far less tire noise than the still-smooth but older stretches of highway. Dramatically less.

    Driving back at night, we stopped at a Massachusetts Turnpike rest stop. Parked by the convenience store entrance, with my wife on the phone, a Massachusetts State Police Trooper gently knocked on her window. I rolled it down, he simply asked if our plate was temporary, and how many days were left until it expired. I explained that the temporary plate was good for 30 days from my Dec 23 2018 delivery date, and that the New York Tesla dealership told me it could take nearly 30 days to get my new Connecticut plates in the mail. That was it, it wished us a Happy New Year, and we were on our way. I'm thinking perhaps the strangeness of having my plate in a cheap plastic frame in the plate area, instead of taped to the instead of the rear window, is what caught his attention.

    Jan 02 2019 Update

    Odometer 824 mi.

    No big trips planned for today, just more garage cleaning and household chores. Accessories shopping still underway, as well as some returns, I plan to publish details in a separate article.

    Unfortunately, the electrician called, regretted he had to delay the install date to Monday Jan 07th, which is fine too of course.

    Jan 03 2019 Update

    Garage is now ready, with thick plywood now painted and ready for the surface mounted panels and conduit.

    Luck would also have it that I'm on a podcast tonight live tonight at 9pm ET, talking about various TinkerTry tech updates, but I'm guessing we'll also be talking a bit about this car too. How very timely, given Jim Collison also have a 2006 Civic Hybrid, and was just recently talking about various EVs on his recent episode with Mike Wieger at this spot, full shownotes and subscribe buttons at Pimp Your Christmas Lights with xLights, Is Rivian a Tesla Killer and a New Monitor – HGG381.

    Specifications comparison section and accessories section added to the article above.

    Jan 04 2019 Update

    Refined specifications sections for legibility.

    Came across the spectacular videos about the 11 speakers of my premium sound system, part of my Premium Upgrade that I needed for Long Range. That explains why I came to tears when I sat alone in the car one night to really try the sound system out, and the bass started, and it was good. Very good. Check out DDoes Tesla Model 3 Have Best Sound System?

    The sound may even be better than the Model S or Model X, watch and listen for the reasons why.

    Living Tesla YouTube Channel: Model 3 Premium Audio Frequency Response
    TAVA YouTube Channel: Why is the Tesla Model 3 Sound System So Good??

    Today, my wife and I played around with the fireplace (easter egg), which gave us a good laugh. Especially once we tapped the screen, then discovered the realistic flames were now accompanied by a love song, and what seemed like warmer air coming from the vents. Nice touch!

    Jan 05 2019 Update

    Accessories article published!

    Odometer 877 mi.
    These are the biggest grins I've ever seen from this journalist originally from Engadget, but now clearly enjoying driving and writing for CNET at Roadshow. He also happens to be a long time ice racing enthusiast, from nearby Upstate New York. Who better to take the Model 3 out for a "spin"?

    Click to view the whole article featuring a full transcript and video.

    At 8 minutes 46 seconds, Tim says:

    It's got more responsiveness than any other all wheel drive car on the road, really, because there's no differential that you need to worry about, clutch plates, or a viscous center diff, or anything like that that needs to adjust. Basically they can adjust as much power to the front or to the rear as they want, pretty much instantaneously. And as a bit of a differential nerd as I am, the potential here makes me pretty excited for something like ice racing, where you really need a lot of quick power shifts to be able to get the car to do what you want it to do when you want it to do it. And this is such good fun I cannot begin to tell you. [LAUGH] Now granted this isn't the kind of thing that your average Model 3 owner's going to do, but uh, it sure is good to know that you can. And again I can still feel the car doing some work to help me. It's still doing some breaking across the axles to help the car pivot. And it's still doing some work to help again make sure that I'm keeping in control and not getting too far out of the line. But again it's letting me do what I want to do, and the car is doing what I want it to do. And that is beautiful.
    But at the end of the day I am incredibly impressed. If you've read like coverage of the Model 3 you I haven't always been in this car biggest fan but to be able to do a skin and even flick like that with the traction control on that's pretty special stuff. Yeah I wish I could turn everything off without having to rely on an engineer with a laptop. And yes, if you're driving these cars in the cold, you will lose some range. But if you're a Tesla owner and you put your car up for the winner, you're making a terrible mistake.


    Also noticed that my Tesla Account's Vehicle page shows my Supercharging Status as "Six Months of Supercharging" due to my mention the referral code when placing my order. See also this Tesla forum thread Account finally changed to free unlimited Supercharging.

    Took my parents to my sister's concert, and some ergonomic issues did surface, with my Dad having a bit of a hard time getting in the back seat in this smallish car with a sloping roof line. He also struggled with the seat belt latch a bit. Getting out of the vehicle required some reminders too, with the window button often hit instead of the door open button. Not a big deal, just things to be aware of.

    Jan 06 2019 Update

    Odometer 933 mi.

    Today, noticed that the front passenger window was down about an inch when we were about to back out of a parking spot. Not sure if it was user error, but I think this may bf the second time we've seen this. I'll keep an eye on this.

    Home Depot, beautiful day.

    Later today, I also spotted a Tesla Model 3 Performance version in red in Rocky Hill, CT, and another Tesla Model 3 charging behind Panera Bread in Wethersfield, CT. The elated driver and fellow Connecticut resident said he took delivery just 3 weeks ago in New Jersey. He absolutely loves his Model 3. Then had to hurry off to his waiting family, but not before letting me know I could charge if I wanted to. Very considerate!

    I noticed my wife had a brief struggle latching her front passenger seat belt, something about the angle, but puffy winter coats don't help. Again, not a big deal, she and I certainly quite enjoy driving around together these past 2 weeks.

    Finally, as others have noticed, when driving around 40 mph with very strong cross-winds today, I noticed a bit of wind noise was apparent from the inside, mostly from the top of the windshield. This might be reduced with the RPM Tesla Model 3 Wind Noise Reduction Kit. Or it could be just that there is so little engine noise, such wind noise is more pronounced on such EVs. I won't know more until I get a chance to test later in January 2019.

    Tomorrow, my electrician arrives, and I'm rearranging the cable modem and UPS below my 200 amp service panel to make space. for the generator transfer switch he's also installing.

    Jan 07 2019 Update


    Elliott Bell from BCL Electrical Contractors worked diligently from 9:30am to 6pm to complete all specified work, which I'll hopefully have time to detail in an upcoming article.


    Turns out he knows fellow Electrician Christopher Hing from Elite Electrical Contracting, LLC, but Elliott was available to get the work done a bit earlier, here's my HomeAdvisor review of his work. Both of them are extremely well rated on HomeAdvisor.

    If you're living in Connecticut in area code 860, I expect you'll be happy with either of their work, I just can't speak to Chris's work first-hand.

    Getting the full 32 amp charging rate that I was expecting, this is good! Note that I don't normally charge to 100%, and that the end of the charging tends to take longer.

    Later this evening, I headed out to get some quick dinner at D'Angelo with my wife, and that's when I noticed some strangeness with the Phone Key, which toggling Bluetooth or rebooting my iPhone X Max didn't fix. Used my key card instead.

    I also vacuumed up, removed all floor mats, and placed these new floor mats in, no clips required. I'm much happier with these, details here.

    I'm seeing the full 32 amp charge rate I expected with my Model 3's Gen 2 charger on a shiny new NEMA 14-50 outlet. This is good! Especially since I'm headed to Boston again later this week, in the cold, with some garage parking. No more worries about whether I'll get to 100% on time.

    Jan 08 2019 Update

    Odometer 961 mi.


    Drove a bunch of errands in crummy, rainy, foggy weather, again felt nice and safe. When getting in to drive away, I was prompted to use my key card to be able to drive away, with my iPhone as key not working. I remembered this when parking at Lowe's, and noticed no horn chirp to indicate automatic locking as I walked away. So I used the app to manually lock the car when parking there since the proximity automatic lock wasn't working.

    Today, I noticed that a new vehicle software update was being offered via the app,
    2018.50 7e49f8a

    I scheduled the upgrade for 4pm while parked and plugged in, and on WiFi. The car took care of this upgrade for me from there, uneventfully, this is good.

    Here's the 2018-50 discussion on reddit, Tesla Forums, and Tesla Motors Club. It seems to be a minor release, mostly about this issue, Tesla releases software update to help unfreeze charge port. No apparent changes noticed during my driving this evening. I decided to go ahead with seeing if I could fix my phone as key issue by using Lock menu in the Model 3, removing my iPhone, then re-adding it again. All is well again.

    Jan 09 2019 Update

    Older son arrives home, to drive Hybrid to my other son the next day.

    Jan 10 2019 Update

    Installed RPM Tesla LEDs, bright, nice! Installed carbon fiber center console wrap, too about 40 minute, easy enough.

    The Honda Civic Hybrid makes it to its new home in Pennsylvania.

    Jan 11 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,001 mi.
    Drove to Boston today for a flight from Logan Airport, pushing my luck with 17°F temps. We’ll see how this goes!

    We set out with 307 miles of range indicated (full charge), but I made the mistake of not warming the car up for a while while on the charger in my garage, given I was parked overnight on this 20°F night.

    Near Boston, we parked our Model 3 in a garage that has no chargers, knowing I could Supercharge on the way home if need be.

    08:38 am - 163 mi of range indicated, 25°F ambient temperature.
    09:19 am - 162 mi of range indicated, 26°F ambient temperature.
    05:43 pm - 159 mi of range indicated, 24°F ambient temperature.

    As for the Honda Civic Hybrid, we head straight from airport to a license plate place, handing the title transfer and new plate.

    Jan 12 2019 Update


    02:13 pm - 144 mi of range indicated, 28°F ambient temperature, snowflake indication shows up, the cold battery warning.

    Jan 13 2019 Update

    This rather rapid vampire drain really caught my attention, I should have paid closer attention to my son's warning about third party apps affecting the battery charge. I logged off the Remote S app around noon today, and it seems to have reduced the drain, evident with dramatically less battery charge loss seen below.

    11:17 am - 140 mi of range indicated, 24°F ambient temperature
    04:24 pm - 136 mi of range indicated, 27°F ambient temperature.
    09:46 pm - 136 mi of range indicated, 26°F ambient temperature, started driving home.

    As we got back to our chilly Model 3, the door handles were a little crunchy, with a little ice apparently in there, but we had no issues opening the doors.

    The Tesla Navigation to "Home" warned us to stop at a Supercharger, but I wanted to see what it would say if I removed the charging stop. It said to stay under 65 mph if we wanted to make it to our destination. Given the cold temperatures, this was not true, we wouldn't have made it home regardless.

    We decided to stop at the Framingham, MA Supercharger for 22 minutes, from 10:18pm to 10:40pm. This moved us from 105 miles to 148 miles of range left, while physically 88 miles away on a very cold 18°F (-7.8°C) night. That means we should have arrived with 60 miles left, at least in normal weather.

    We also received some low tire pressure warnings on the left rear tire showing 39 psi, and the others at 41 psi, common for outdoor parking in very cold weather. I'll probably go with 42 psi when back at home, using my garage's new tire pump, to avoid warnings in the future with this compromise between economy (47 psi) and comfort (39 psi).

    Jan 14 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,225 mi.
    12:04 am - 19 mi of range indicated, 18°F ambient temperature, as we arrived home and plugged in.

    That's just 6.1% of battery left. So in hindsight, we should have Supercharged longer, to avoid going below 10% of battery capacity, or is that 20%, discussed on Tesla Forums here.

    09:07 am - 267 mi of range indicated, ~25°F ambient temperature in our garage, after charging at 32 amps overnight. It's very good to know that we can fully charge overnight right here at home, and that our investment in the install of the NEMA 14-50 outlet was worthwhile.

    What else did we learn about long distance winter travel? That we're real glad we went with the Long Range model! Winter seems to incur roughly a 33% penalty on range, at least with interior heat at 68°F. Honestly, my Honda Civic Hybrid also suffered pretty poor mileage in the deep of winter too, roughly the same degradation actually.

    • Extended travel at under 25°F will incur roughly 33% battery range loss.
    • Each day about 20 miles of range lost with 3rd party apps running, in sub 25°F temps.
    • Each day about 6 miles of range lost with 3rd party apps logged off, in sub 25°F temps.

    All these lessons learned will come in handy, for when I head back to Boston's Logan Airport again Monday January 21st. Guess what temperatures are predicted that day? High of 13°F. and low of 6°F. Ouch. I might want to look into using one of Logan Airport's charging stations, signed up for ChargePoint already, just in case. Also good to know that VMware Boston's LaFayette Garage has a ChargePoint Charging Station.

    My Model 3's new CT License plates arrived today, that's 22 days after taking delivery in Mt. Kisco NY, about as expected. Very nice to not have to go wait on line at the Wethersfield DMV!

    Jan 15 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,238 mi.

    The New Owner Frequently Asked Questions site is quite useful, including:

    What should I know about driving in cold weather?

    Both cold weather and a 100 percent battery charge contribute to limiting the effect of regenerative braking. You can prep your Tesla for cold temperatures from your mobile app or car touchscreen. Follow these best practices for improving your car’s performance in cold weather:

    • Precondition your car from your Tesla app for about one hour to heat your battery before driving, especially in near freezing temperatures.
    • Charge your car while preconditioning to reduce the amount of energy loss from your battery pack.
    • Turn off Range Mode to avoid limiting the power available to precondition your car, even when charging.
    • In temperatures below 40° F (4° C), use washer fluid with antifreeze. Not using antifreeze can impair visibility through the windshield.

    even more detail at Tesla's Preconditioning in Cold Weather article.

    The Money Guy Show - PART 1: The Economics of Owning a Tesla Model 3
    Roadshow - Tesla Model 3 Long Range Review: So close to perfect

    Tim Stevens starts this video saying:

    What you're looking at is the most anticipated car of all time. With more than a half million pre-orders on the books, the Tesla Model 3 has piqued the interest of more people around the world than any car in history.

    See also:


    Jan 16 2019 Update

    In this clip, you'll see some pretty bold moves that highlight just how well the traction control works, even when in slip start mode, even on a single motor / rear wheel drive Model 3. Yes, he floors it, in the snow. He also mentions ABS pulsing, which I've never noticed in my Dual Motor / All Wheel Drive Model 3, but I haven't driven in the snow yet.

    Tech Forum - Fun with the Tesla Model 3 in the snow [with Slip Start]!
    Tech Forum - Tesla Model 3 is at the body shop!

    See also:


    Jan 17 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,254 mi.
    I've used the PlugShare (iOS and Android) and ChargePoint (IOS and Android) apps to help with planning my trip to Boston's Logan Airport this Monday, increasing the odds of finding a charging spot to park our Model 3 for 3 nights. This Monday, Martin Luther King Day, is predicted to be a very cold, not uncommon in the dead of winter here in New England.

    Image from forecast.weather.gov Hourly Weather Forecast Graph for Boston, Logan International Airport MA, Last Update: 7:38 am EST Jan 17, 2019.

    Jan 19 2019 Update

    Teslanomics with Ben Sullins - Honest Tesla Model 3 Review 6 Months In.

    Jan 20 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,368 mi.
    Car has been set to charge to 97% overnight. I'll also be moving to 100% about an an hour before we set out for the 107 mile trip to Logan Airport tommorrow, while also enabling the climate control, much like this tip on reddit, which includes a link to bemental_'s amazing Tesla Shortcut.

    One of my sons found this great video, enjoy!

    Andy Syle - Tesla Model 3: Top 20 Tips & Tricks!

    Jan 21 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,483 mi.

    Hartford CT at 5:05am is -3°F.
    -3°F shown on my Model 3 display at 7:17am.

    06:30am - Charged to 309 miles indicated range, with 0°F temps outside and about 15°F temp in the garage,after also pre-warmed the car for over an hour. We drove 110 miles of mostly highway driving with one brief stop, parking at 9:12am.
    The ChargePoint signage at Logan Airport Central Parking 6th floor Southeast corner was a bit intimidating, and my family didn't really want me to plug in, given any chance of being towed, even on this very cold day. So we parked in the marked electric spot nearby, with no power, with the car indicating 120 miles of range left, but zero degrees ambient temps in the garage.

    I logged all 3rd party apps off, to maybe reduce vampire drain.

    10:05am - 118mi indicated battery range on Tesla app.
    01:43pm - 118mi still indicated since car fell asleep at 10:05am, and couldn't get a newly updated figure.
    01:45pm - 107mi. indicated when I tried again and again and the car finally woke up, with the little snowflake icon over the battery indicating cold temps. I then used the Tesla Plus app to see that the inside temp had fallen to 19.2°F, and the outside temp was 6.8°F

    05:12pm - 106 mi.
    06:52pm - 104 mi.

    Jan 22 2019 Update

    Very cold.

    08:47am - 096 mi.
    09:50am - 095 mi.

    Jan 23 2019 Update

    Warming up a bit, slowing losses.

    08:41am - 090 mi.
    11:24am - 088 mi.
    11:16pm - 088 mi.

    Jan 24 2019 Update

    At 8:29am today, I got the email entitled "Your Enhanced Autopilot Trial has Ended" from Tesla:

    Your Enhanced Autopilot trial has now ended.

    To continue experiencing our most advanced driver assistance features in your Model 3, you can purchase Enhanced Autopilot via the car’s touchscreen or through your Tesla Account at any time.

    This upgrade is currently available to purchase at the reduced price of $5,500. One week after your trial, this price will return to $7,000.

    This part of the Learn More section:

    Please be aware and cautious once your trial ends as all Enhanced Autopilot Features will be disabled. The Traffic-Aware Cruise Control feature that comes with the trial will revert to standard cruise control and will no longer automatically adjust speed based on traffic.

    is the strongest up-sell-iest part of the feature set, as even modest Toyota Corollas have adaptive cruise control these days, which they call the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control System. Many other cheap cars have it too. Yes, I sure wish at least the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control was available to all Tesla Model 3 owners, and yes, it works particularly well. I'm certainly glad that I was able to try Enhanced Autopilot out these first 5 weeks of ownership.

    09:42pm - 101 mi. - 43.7°F outside, range actually went up from low of 88 mi. just from the temperature rise, remember the car wasn't plugged in.
    10:27pm - 099 mi. - Started the Model 3 and left Logan Airport Central Parking, stopped in Cambridge, MA, and decided together we could safely make it to Auburn MA instead of Framingham MA Supercharger, partly to check it out for our first time there. Took some 4K video of the facility.
    11:46pm - 027 mi. - As we parked and started to charge at the Auburn MA Supercharger.
    12:16pm - 215 mi. - Unplugged from 30 minutes of Supercharging, and set out for 65 more miles to home.

    Temperatures climbed, predicted range actually improved. My flight was 3 hours delayed, landed at Logan Airport at 9:26pm, and had some stops. This meant time to Supercharge, we went for Auburn MA, and in 30 minutes, we had far more than enough to make it home.

    Jan 25 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,599 mi.

    Added this article above.

    Visual Capitalist - The History of Tesla in 5 Minutes

    Jan 26 2019 Update

    Odometer 1,834 mi.

    Went to Cambridge MA today for a family related trip, stopping at Framingham MA and Manchester CT Superchargers along the way back for some shopping, taking some 4K footage and photos of each facility too.

    Heading into the sunset on I-84 in Tolland, CT
    Jan 26 2019 - Manchester, CT Supercharger
    Jan 26 2019 - Manchester, CT Supercharger
    • If you're a computer nerd, buy the Tesla model 3
      Jan 04 2019 by Brad Templeton at Brad Ideas Robocars & More

      The driving, acceleration and handling are delicious. The low center of gravity and the powerful electric motor provide a driving experience unmatched in this cost range. This and other advantages of electric cars are quite large, and why they will take over from ICE cars fairly quickly...

    Jan 27 2019 Update

    I have been dabbling with TeslaFi.com, a website that has no app, includes a huge amount of information. Not comfortable with providing My Tesla Account credentials with any 3rd party, I used Windows Tesla Auth Token Generator to provide TeslaFi a way to see my vehicle, then turning on TeslaFi Sleep Mode.

    You can get going with a free 14 day trial by setting up a TeslaFi account using the TinkerTry referral link.

    I also finished up the cable routing around my Wall Connector with 14-50 Plug, and am happy with the 40 amp charging speeds.

    I came across a good (albeit older) article with an intriguing overhead picture, seen below.

    Image Source: Motor Trend.

    Jan 28 2019 Update

    With just a few days left of the discounted Enhanced Autopilot trial, there were serious discussions about whether it was worthwhile. We opted to get the Enhanced Autopilot, and once purchased in the Tesla Store.

    Here's how to add Enhanced Autopilot to a Model 3 that wasn't ordered with it:
    1) go to tesla.com/teslaaccount
    2) click on the MANAGE button below the VIN #
    3) scroll down to Shop, click on the Autopilot Upgrades image
    4) click the Buy for $5,500 button under Enhanced Autopilot
    (goes up to $7,000 one week after your Enhanced Autopilot trial ends.)

    We haven't decided on the value of the now-$5000 "Full Self Driving Capability" option, which will likely cost more later, it's not clear cut, read more at arstechnica here.


    Jan 29 2019 Update

    Odometer 2,225 mi.

    I drove 368.48 miles today, a lot for one guy in one day. It's part of my job, and I need to say I felt a lot safer getting that transport job done, and more relaxing overall. It was a great opportunity to test of efficiency and range on yet another cold winter day, and a chance to really try out Enhanced Autopilot in stop-and-go 20mph traffic. It worked well, with only a few odd behaviors noticed that were never dangerous, such as the Model 3 deciding to stop a lane change when already straddling the dashed white lines. Not a problem, nobody was around.

    TeslaFi really helped me track my moves and my Supercharger visits, and I continued to record footage of my experiences at the Edison NJ and Danbury CT Superchargers. Your right, I didn't really have to stop twice, but given it's free for me these next few months, it sure made more sense to take a food break at a Supercharger than anywhere else.

    You can get going with a free 14 day trial by setting up a TeslaFi account using the TinkerTry referral link.

    Also kind of funny, the location in NJ, you know, the whole Thomas Edison thing. It sure seemed appropriate that the high voltage lines were evident (almost) above the Edison NJ Supercharger, note that this is near Menlo Park NJ, where Edison's home and research labs were located.

    This evening, during some windy cold weather, the power in our home had some brownouts lasting about 10 seconds. This stopped Supercharging, which is fine by me! UPSs on all computers and internet modem & router kept things healthy during those events. Guess it's good I have a whole home surge surpressor that handles everything in my home, via the 200 amp service panel. But that doesn't help with brownouts, which can do bad things. Gladly, everything seems fine.

    Jan 30 2019 Update

    I have reached out to Tesla Support, and was directed to an agent who gave me the following clarifications regarding “Full Self Driving Capability.” These are not official Tesla responses, provided here for informational purposes. If you have questions, you should directly contact Tesla for the latest information.

    Autopilot 3 (AP 3.0)

    I asked if Autopilot 3 (HW3) hardware always be available to Autopilot hardware 2.5 (HW2.5) owners like me, and the answer was yes.

    Full Self Driving Capability (FSD)

    $5000 option. There is no time limit as to when it will be available on tesla.com, and it will include HW3 hardware and software. As for exact time-frame, and how much earlier folks who pay now will get their upgrades then, that's unknown. All Model 3s compatible with the HW3 upgrade will be eligible for the FSD platform.

    My electrician visited again, finishing up the minor change my town's inspector suggested, everything is all set now.

    Extremely cold temperatures predicted tonight into tomorrow, lows of 2°F and high winds, so my garage will likely dip to around 12°F. I'm keeping my Model 3 at 90% charge today. In case a long drive this weekend is needed, I'll do what I did yesterday in preparation for that 368 mile day. On my Model 3's screen, I scheduled it to charge about 2 hours before I was set to leave, then I changed the charge limit from 90% to 100%. In the morning, about an hour before departing, I also turned on the interior climate control too. Looking at the data in TeslaFi, it's seems this "preconditioning" helped make that drive quite efficient.

    Jan 31 2019 Update

    I put the finishing touches on this article:


    Came across this gem of an idea today:

    Basically, you use the Model 3 browser to play Spotify from your phone over Bluetooth, and it works! How? No worries about data, it's very lightweight, it just tells your phone what Playlist or song to play via tiny API commands. All the heavy lifting of streaminig or downloading of songs is done on the phone's data plan, and the music is sent to your car via Bluetooth.

    Set Up

    How to configure Remote control Spotify from Tesla web interface:

    1. on your Model 3 screen, select your phone as your music source, and be sure your phone's volume is set to high
    2. open the Model 3's Browser, and key in bit.ly/TesPlayer which redirects to
      alternatively, you can paste this URL into a calendar entry on your phone, then tap it when you're next in your Model 3, sparing you the onscreen typing
    3. tap on "Click To Login to Spotify"
      (sometimes it takes a little while, or takes multiple attempts)
    4. provide your spotify credentials
      (yes, there's a level of trust here)
    5. use your steering while or on screen controls to select your Playlist
    6. be sure to Favorite that view (tap the heart at top-right)
    7. you're all done, tap on Playlists or Songs to select what you're in the mood to hear, note the large playback controls at the bottom for your co-pilot, since you can just use your usual steering wheel controls

    Feb 01 2019 Update

    Found this comment on the Tesla forums, by LarryZ on February 1, 2019:

    I too had a Volt and when the lease ended, I got a Model 3. I got AWD so I could use it to go up to the mountains, where AWD is required to avoid chains on days with weather. I had been borrowing my wife's Audi Q3 for that, but she was turning it in on an Insight. I really liked the Volt, especially when it was on electric, so knew I wanted to head in the electric direction. What I didn't anticipate was how much better I'd like the Model 3 than the Volt. My experience in the snow with the Model 3 (multiple weekends in some pretty impressively bad conditions) has been excellent.

    Also came across some videos you may also find interesting.

    Dolug DeMuro - Here's Why the Tesla Model 3 Is the Coolest Car of 2017
    Marques Brownlee - Let's Talk About Tesla "Killers!"

    Feb 02 2019 Update

    To potentially reduce vampire drain of TeslaFi itself, at Tesla Motors Club forum, on Jul 24 2018, GregRF suggested these settings:

    Just be sure to turn on the basic sleep settings or it will keep your car awake. I have sleep mode enabled with 12 minute "Time to try sleeping" and 10 minute "Idle time before trying to sleep".

    Feb 03 2019 Update

    From this video, I found this gem of a URL today:

    model3man - Someone Killed My Model 3 - but we're uninjured!
    Teslanomics with Ben Sullins - Tesla Model 3 vs Honda Civic - Why 400+ Miles Makes Sense
    Gur814 - Which Tesla Model 3 Options Should You Buy?

    Feb 04 2019 Update

    • Tesla Model 3 'Brings the Most Joy' to Its Owners
      Feb 02 2019 by Veronica Neto at Fortune:

      Consumer Reports then listed the 10 top vehicles in a list that appeared to “bring their owners the most joy” (an ode to Marie Kondo) with the Tesla Model 3 coming in first place. The all-electric vehicle beats the Porsche 911, which Electrek reports has been repeatedly the most-loved car by its owners. Tesla’s Model S also came in fifth place.




    Feb 05 2019 Update

    On the main streets in my town, I recently realized that i was initially fooled into thinking that they added those grooves to not just the center double yellow lines, but to the side solid white lines. Why? Because of the vibration the Model 3 adds to your steering when when it detects your right-side wheels are on the line. Yes, it simulates the wheel shake so well it seems like the pavement has texture. It's just Tesla doing their thing, even when you're not in any kind of cruise control or Autopilot mode. It's like lane assist, without the actual assist. It's their lane departure warning, kind of like the taptic engine feedback Apple uses with their trackpads. Just another pleasant realization even many weeks into driving around. Subtle and effective.

    Feb 06 2019 Update

    Despite the over-the-top, link-baity title, there is some good information in this video. Bottom line, for now, if you're parking in a higher risk area, consider using the frunk or even your covered sub-trunk to stash your valuables while you're away.


    As I mentioned in this tweet, no brand is perfect, thoughtful discussion here:

    Teslanomics with Ben Sullins - What's Wrong With Tesla Service? Talking w/ Kim from Like Tesla

    Yet another magic moment in the Tesla ownership experience today. I finished my shopping at Home Depot, returned to my Model 3, and was going through the small bag of electrical items I had just gotten. I turned on the interior light to the left of the rear view mirror. As I put the bag away, I was about to reach up and turn off the dome light. I figured I'd not bother to turn it off, just to see if it would do that for me as soon as I put the car into Drive. Sure enough, it did, with a nice smooth dimming. Delightful, just another example of an extreme attention to detail. I know these little things sound like they don't really matter, but in aggregate, they do.

    Feb 07 2019 Update

    This is promising, Tesla's attempt to shake things up in the automotive repair industry. Impressive.

    Like Tesla - Our Model 3 Crash & 24 Hour Turn Around!

    Also learned 7 minutes into that video that Light Silver was discontinued back in September of 2018, but after seeing it in person at the Auburn Supercharger, it is a little too light to hide winter salt mess. For England, it would seem that something right between Light Silver and Midnight Silver would be ideal.


    Feb 08 2019 Update

    Odometer 2,403 mi.

    I spotted door release stickers at these 3 places:

    Same idea, different implementation, I'll add whichever ones I like to my every growing Model 3 Accessories article.

    I was able to attend a portion of this event in Hartford Connecticut at the DEEP headquarters today:


    see also detailed agenda. I have added my notes to the bottom of my charging article:


    Feb 09 2019 Update

    It's been a few weeks since I've driven my parents about. This time, I had door stickers installed, but even so, with no prompting or guidance for me (intentionally), both of my parents still opened the window instead of the door on their first pass. They also failed to remember to push the door open after pressing the correct release door button. Later on during our return journey, everything went smoothly, including less fumbling to find and click in their seatbelt latches.

    Feb 10 2019 Update

    I have not had the time to watch this whole video yet, even sped up a bit: I need to get my tax preparations done, including filing for that $7500 federal deduction.

    You can check out some of the comments on reddit too.

    Autoline Network - Sandy Munro's Tesla Deep Dive - Autoline After Hours 447

    But already, some segments caught my attention and had me dropping back to 1.0x speeds, here's my collection of highlights for starters.

    1. Engineering - Sandy Munro was asked from engineering point of view, how would he rate the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3? Here's the video segment, queued to just the right spot.

      They have...the best electronics designs, the best harness design...drives like it's on rails...everything...apart from the skin is brilliant, I think it's brilliant.

    2. Cooling - Next up, the discussion about the unique cooling system. Yes, the super bottle, handles both AC and battery cooling duties, it's truly a unique Tesla design.

    3. Efficiency - Here is where the efficiency of the Model 3 versus the Jaguar I-PACE is explained. A fun comment in the YouTube chat surfaced:

      Joeys Cleaning Lady​ - Jaguar uses off the shelf supplier components and integrates them. Tesla is vertically integrated and maximizes the efficiency of all the powertrain parts

    4. Motor cost - Here:
      • Tesla Model 3 - $754, 46.10 kg (101.6 lb)
      • BMW i3 -------- $841, 48.37 kg (106.6 lb)
      • Chevy Bolt ---- $836, 51.49 kg (113.5 lb)
        Screen grab from "Autoline Network - Sandy Munro's Tesla Deep Dive - Autoline After Hours 447" on YouTube.

    Sandy Munro is a straight-shooter, and pretty much craps all over the Model S and Jaguar I -PACE in this discussion, engineering minds are likely to enjoy it. He has some pretty strong criticisms for the Tesla Model 3 as well, so don't listen if you prefer to believe the car is perfect.

    See also:



    Here's the article that is referenced:

    Feb 13 2019 Update

    • Tesla Model 3 — Cold Weather Tips
      Dec 04 2018 by Tom Harrison at Tom Harrison's Blog

      There are tons of videos with tips for driving EVs in the winter, but they take time to watch. It’s very old-school of me to use all these words. I have condensed what I have learned so far in videos, and in my own driving in the Boston area. I’ll update as I go — add your comments. I hope this is helpful.

    For long road trips, even in the middle of winter, this video points out an interesting possibility.

    Next week, I have business trips to southern NJ, NYC, and greater Boston planned, so that'll be nearly a thousand miles in all. The plan is for it to be uneventful.

    Tesla Canuck - Sleeping in my Tesla Model 3 in -17C/1F | Surprising Energy Consumption Result
    Teslanomics with Ben Sullins - Tesla Winter Driving Secrets!

    From this video:

    Like Tesla - Tapping Into Tesla's Hidden Range!

    I created some screenshots below that I found rather interesting, summarized here:

    • Tesla Model 3 driving 1,600 miles per month costs $38.40 in Georgia.
    • BMW 3 Series driving 1,600 miles per month costs $129.00 in Georgia.

    That's at Georgia's 10 cents per kWh. Here in New England, it's more like 17 cents, but even still, that's well under half the cost of gas per mile.

    Screenshot from Like Tesla video
    Screenshot from Like Tesla video

    Feb 15 2019 Update

    Went through a touch-less car wash today, and came up with list of 4 tips car

    Tesla automatic car wash tips:

    1. pull up to the right spot, then put the car into P
    2. make sure all windows are closed
    3. push and hold fan indication on touchscreen to turn off ventilation (fan becomes dim)
    4. turn off the wipers

    when you're done:

    1. turn ventilation back on with a quick tap of the fan
    2. turn wipers back to auto
    3. put car into D

    Feb 16 2019 Update

    Spent some time with family this weekend, and shuttled 5 of us to an event in comfort, with the center rear seat occupied by a nine year old. One thing that helps is to ask everybody to consider putting their bulky winter coats in the trunk, which makes getting seat belts latched easier too.

    A relative spotted the Model 3 in when she parked behind it, came inside, then asked if that electric car was mine. I asked her how she knew it was electric, and was expecting an answer along the lines of recognizing the T logo for Tesla, but the answer was much simpler than that. "No tail pipes." Ah, yes, both simple and true!

    Feb 17 2019 Update

    Tomorrow, getting my wife to work in the morning, in 4-6" of snowfall that's expected overnight. Then an evening 200 mile drive to NJ. Yes, this electric car doesn't get coddled: it's our daily driver.

    On another topics, you may want to hear about the process of Tesla software version releases, and some bumps in the road that early adopter's feel the most.

    Tesla Raj - Feb 17 2019 - Did Tesla Squash the Bugs? 2019.5.3 review.

    As for me, I'm still waiting for 2019.5.3. Now that I know the blind spot detection still isn't there, I'm even more glad I have my low-tech blind-spot mirrors, described here. I have about 900 miles of road ahead of me, this upcoming Tuesday to Friday.

    No car is perfect. Maybe you've also heard about delays in repairing busted up Teslas. Here's a set of two videos that go over MKBHD's first-hand experience.

    Marques Brownlee - RIP Apollo [for now]
    Marques Brownlee - Feb 15 2019 - Apollo is Back - My Tesla Repair Process!

    Here's some video about the improvements to Autopilot.

    Scott Kubo - Feb 07 2019 - Tesla Autopilot Fast on Winding Road - V9 versus V8

    Finally, ending on a more fun note today, there's this video, with a fun title and a bit of over-the-top commentary.

    The Money Guy Show - Nov 12 2018 - 9 Tesla Magic Tricks Every Owner Should Know!

    Feb 18 2019 Update

    Odometer 2,818 mi.

    If you're interested in what one creative YouTuber is doing to deaden sound at higher speeds, subscribe to his new SD Tesla channel, where he's also looking into Front License Plate brackets. Actually subscribing makes all the difference in encouraging folks like this to keep on doing it, I know, as my early years on YouTube were really rough. I love his all-in approach. He even offered anybody who buys a Tesla through his referral link a ride in his Roadster, if he wins one.

    Here's just one of his videos with a self-proclaimed clickbaity title: he really loves his car overall, and he also chose the Nomad Wireless Charger for Tesla Model 3.

    SD Tesla - Dec 17 2018 - Two things I hate About My Tesla Model 3

    Also spotted many great tips in this helpful video.

    Andy Slye - Jan 18 2019 - Tesla Model 3: Top 20 Tips & Tricks!

    One that is particularly useful is to use the right scroll wheel to remind Autopilot you're alert, rather than a wheel-wiggle that might be disconcerting to passengers. What's really nice is that he also has all his video's great tips right there in the YouTube video's description as well!

    Feb 21 2019 Update

    Odometer 3,720 mi.

    My Model 3 217 mile adventure - New York City to Boston

    Feb 21 2019, Milford CT Supercharger.

    I wound up stopping roughly half-way at the Connecticut Post Mall Tesla Supercharger in Milford CT. When a mall based location has all mall facilities closed at 10pm, I did have to make a short walk to Dunkin Donuts for a beverage and bathroom pitstop. Then I recorded another video overview of this Supercharger facility in 4K of course. After 31 minutes of Supercharging, and a quick touch-less car wash at Mobil across the street to get some of the salt grime off the car for better visibility, I was on my way again, having been off the highway for just 40 minutes in total. This worked out just great, and the rest of the drive was rather easy.

    Feb 23 2019 Update

    Finally a moment to write up how this 900 mile week really went. In a word, very well! Now for some of the details.

    • Mon Feb 18 - 195 mi. - CT to Greater Philadelphia PA
    • Tue Feb 19 - 241 mi. - return to home in Wethersfield CT
    • Wed Feb 20 - 122 mi. - home to Times Square, Manhattan, NY
    • Thu Feb 21 - 217 mi. - Times Square to Downtown Crossing in Boston MA
    • Fri Feb 22 - 125 mi. - Boston to Logan Airport drop-off to home

    My Model 3 is not coddled, it's my daily driver. It has to handle inclement weather. Wednesday Feb 20th wasn't exactly great weather, so I waited until traffic and freezing rain had mostly ended before heading into the New York City for work meetings the next day. It was quite the adventure, and the timing of my events meant no Amtrak this time around.

    There were zero hair-raising moments, and only one momentary side slip that got my attention as the rear end slid about 3 inches to once side, no problem, things straightened right out quickly. That's it. The rest was routine cruising. A safe, uneventful 3 hour drive that should have taken 2 due to slow speeds, and a remarkably thick crust of ice across the whole front of the Model 3 that collected. So thick that some of my left headlight reflected back at me somewhat if I sat up tall. These weren't exactly normal driving conditions, but I was most definitely relieved to have 4 wheel drive!

    White Plains NY Mobile rest stop on Feb 20 2019 at 9:44pm. Time to stop and clean the headlights off.
    Arriving in Times Square at 10:46pm.
    Arriving behind Hilton Times Square on 41st, for valet to garage park.

    Feb 24 2019 Update

    I just came across this video below today, and I wasn't even looking for it. It features a Model 3 driving from Penn Station NYC to South station in Boston, without stopping to charge. It was done in October with warmer weather. For me last week, I had no choice but to Supercharge en route. Why? When planning my NYC to Boston trip, I couldn't find solid information on where I could park near my Times Square hotel and charge. Ideally, self-parking in a place where I could safely leave my Model 3 for 20 hours, and have it fully charged for my 8:30pm to 1am drive to Boston. I'm a bit of a night owl and prefer to drive when nobody else is around. Also, Acela didn't have anything that seemed to work for my tight schedule on this particular trip, would have certainly been far more costly, and would have had me arriving in Boston even later on this already short night.

    THE DRIVE - Tesla Model 3 Vs. Amtrak Acela Express: The Electric Future Acid Test

    What the video fails to mention is the cost of Acela versus the cost of driving.

    I think you'll find the efficiency seen in my TeslaFi report below to be pretty remarkable, especially since it's winter! I'm still in my first 6 months, so I still have free Supercharging, so the "Cost" column is really an estimate of what my Supercharging costs would be.

    Click the screenshot above to get started with TeslaFi.

    TeslaFi - You can get 30 days free free, or 14 days free using the non-affiliate link. For the access token TeslaFi requires so it can get data from my car, I avoided sharing my Tesla.com credentials by creating this token on my Windows system with the simple and free Windows Tesla Auth Token Generator, and steered clear of the "Enable Controls" option in my TeslaFi account. For Mac OS and iOS, you can give Tesla Token a try.

    My TeslaFi report, Feb 24 2019, Times Square to Milford CT Supercharger.

    Charging in Boston

    Pilgrim Parking, Lafayette Garage, Boston MA 02111. Click to view Google Map directions, since ChargePoint doesn't currently support direct links to their charging stations.

    I had meetings at VMware in Downtown crossing, and conveniently, the Lafayette Garage below VMware has 10 EV parking spots right next to the elevator, with 4 ChargePoint chargers. Perfect! I chose to overnight park there instead of at my nearby hotel, this worked out well, allowing for an easy run to Logan Airport to drop a colleague off, then straight home, with no need to stop to charge on the way.

    Lafayette Garage, Downtown Crossing, Boston MA, 1am Feb 22 2019.
    Lafayette Garage, Downtown Crossing, Boston MA, 1am Feb 22 2019.
    Four ChargePoint chargers. Filling my tank of electrons took about 13 hours and $21.55, plus the garage's $40 parking fee. In hindsight, I could have stopped charging several hours earlier and moved my car to a charger-less EV spot to save perhaps $10, with enough charge to make the cold 120 mile trip to the airport then home without stopping to charge.


    Sense Energy Monitor
    The image here shows my Sense Energy Monitor at a particularly busy moment, with a nice way to visualize the relative power use of the biggest devices typical in our home. I won't really know how this will look when the AC turns on this summer, but I'm confident my EV charger outlet electrician did things right.

    Factory window tinting, as seen on a rainy day
    As I returned to my Model 3 after finishing my supermarket shopping, the colors of my giant windows was rather apparent. The fog on the windows really accentuated the look, which I found rather startling and kind of fun. FYI, these iPhone XS Max photos have only been cropped, but are otherwise unchanged.


    TeslaFi Lifetime Map
    I love data, and I'm now quite fond of TeslaFi. You can see I've gotten around quite a bit since I began running TeslaFi 4 weeks ago, on Jan 27 2019.

    Click the screenshot above to get started with TeslaFi.

    TeslaFi - You can get 30 days free free, or 14 days free using the non-affiliate link. For the access token TeslaFi requires so it can get data from my car, I avoided sharing my Tesla.com credentials by creating this token on my Windows system with the simple and free Windows Tesla Auth Token Generator, and steered clear of the "Enable Controls" option in my TeslaFi account. For Mac OS and iOS, you can give Tesla Token a try.

    TeslaFi Lifetime Map

    Feb 25 2019 Update

    I noticed that Connecticut's CHEAPR program page has been updated to include more details on the Tesla Model 3. Alas, because my sticker is above $50,000, I get zero rebate, explained at CT EPA's EVConnecticut CHEAPR site here:

    Which Tesla Model 3 vehicles are eligible for CHEAPR?

    After February 6, 2019, the Tesla Model 3 Mid Range Rear-Wheel Drive and the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive models with an MSRP of $50,000 or under are eligible for CHEAPR. The Tesla Model 3 Performance and Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive models with MSRPs that exceed $50,000 are not eligible. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range Rear Wheel Drive has been discontinued by Tesla. This information reflects MSRP pricing as of February 6, 2019 and is subject to change.

    From October 15, 2018 to February 5, 2019, the Tesla Model 3 Mid Range Rear-Wheel Drive and the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive were eligible for CHEAPR. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive and Tesla Model 3 Performance models were not eligible because the base MSRP of each model exceeded $50,000. This information reflected MSRP pricing as of October 22, 2018 and is subject to change.

    Before October 15, 2018, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive and Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive models were eligible for CHEAPR. The Tesla Model 3 Performance model was not eligible because the base MSRP of this specific model exceeds $60,000.

    Filtering for my town of Wethersfield CT zip code 06109, I can see that so far, there were currently only 5 Tesla Model 3 owners who received a CHEAPR rebate.

    Also, today I spotted this fascinating video below. Enjoy! If you want to slow down playback, no problem, use Video Speed Controller Chrome Extension.

    Tesla - Dec 29 2018 - How Model 3 gets made

    After making some good points about how sensationalist local news is funded (hint - car dealerships), he also challenges watchers who have never driven in one to ask themselves if they've ever heard Tesla owners saying this thing is a rip off. Good points!

    The Money Guy Show - Nov 5 2018 - Top 5 Tesla Ripoffs!

    Feb 26 2019 Update

    Odometer 4,001 mi.


    I decided to try this Manhattan garage out that offers charging, here's how it went.

    Mar 03 2019 Update

    Drove from home in Wethersfield CT to Pittsburgh PA and back this weekend with my wife, that's about 485 miles each way. This brought our Model 3's odometer from 4,018 on Fri Mar 1st to 5,010 on Sun Mar 3rd.

    The trip was uneventful, which is of course what you want. Charging proved to not really be much of an issue, needing food and bio breaks every 2.5 to 3 hours anyway, and doing a bit of shopping at the various stops on our weekend date together.

    I've included a screenshot below of a particularly efficient segment, a mere 226 Wh/Mile. Not bad for a 36°F evening!

    That we drove 1,000 miles in a weekend and didn't arrive back at work Monday morning exhausted is remarkable.

    A remarkably efficient hour of travel, a mere 226 Wh/Mile!
    My lifetime driving map so far, as of March 14 2019.

    Mar 04 2019 Update


    Woke at 4:45 am to a snowstorm wrapping up, had about 8" to clear with the snowblower so my wife could get out of the driveway by 6 am. Then I found that there were no Ubers available to take me to my local Bradley Airport (BDL) for my 8:25 am flight to Las Vegas for work. So I plowed a path out for my Model 3, and off to the airport I went, gladly finding one of the very last parking spots available in the Long Term Garage, but unfortunately on the roof. Gladly, a few spots were already cleared of snow, so that's where I parked.

    Once again, four wheel drive came very much in handy, with the factory all season snow tires handling the conditions more than well enough for me to feel quite safe on this 22 mile drive. Again, this car isn't coddled, it needed to replace my Honda Civic Hybrid in all situations that are pretty normal for life in New England.


    Mar 08 2019 Update

    Well, my one stop Delta flight from LAS to BDL got delayed, mercifully, they re-booked me on a direct flight to Boston instead. It was up to me to get myself from BOS to BDL, this meant a one-way Avis rental car, arriving home at 1:30am on Saturday Mar 09. Much better than a red-eye one stop journey which would stretch well into Saturday!

    But wow, ouch, driving that Ford Focus with 32,000 miles already on it made me appreciate my Model 3 so much more. That rental was dirty, it smelled, and it made very loud engine noises when attempting to down shift to accelerate in a herky jerky fashion. It just felt ancient, but it did get me home safely to my family.

    Mar 09 2019 Update

    I had to leave of the Avis rental car the next day, and had my son with me. When we caught up with the Model 3 on the garage roof, it was 80F inside in the sun, and there was zero chance of any residual ice from a sub-freezing overnight. Yet, the front passenger window apparently didn't auto retract, and the door seemed to not close properly. Sure enough, the window was still all the way up, on the outside of the chrome. Darn, time to request service. Notice my first issue with this window was mentioned above back on Jan 09. Appointment made for Friday, Mar 15 2019, added that I had some occasional intermittent orange flashing on my backup camera display, which was hardly a big deal, but figured if I'm going anyway.

    Mar 14 2019 Update

    Odometer 5,331 mi.

    Another overnight trip to New York City earlier this week, found another garage with Tesla charging, details here.

    Went from software version 2018.50.6 to 2019.5.15 on Tue evening Mar 12 2019, the first day this was finally showing as available to me, see also TeslaFi Software Tracker for rollout progress.

    Many little changes noticed that are most definitely not captured in the cursory release notes. Here's a few of them:


    1. Using the Tesla app on iOS, opening the app seems to always wake my Model 3 up in under 10 seconds, this is a huge improvement (it used to fail to wake or take very long to wake most of the time, even when on good WiFi)
    2. New side views in saved and recent /TeslaCam folder on my USB drive, haven't noticed this potential issue with USB filling up, at least not yet.
    3. When testing the use of Autopilot around town (40 mph roads), the algorithm for centering between the pain lines is more aggressive, with the car more abruptly changing the path to maintain center, this can be odd when two lanes become one. Losing the right lane, and your car veers to the right as the space between the left and right paint lines temporarily becomes large.
    4. To enable the new Sentry Mode after the update, you need to open up the Tesla app on mobile, select CONTROLS, then turn the SENTRY MODE slider on. Alternatively, from the Model 3's touchscreen under Controls, Safety & Security, Sentry Mode.
    5. The new auto-fold of the side view mirrors based on location worked well for me, but now I need to rely on the rear view camera view only when backing out of my driveway.


    1. When my Model 3 LR AWD is in my garage and plugged in, it begins charging for 3 minutes, roughly every 55 minutes. It isn't doing anything other than saying it's going from 90% to 90%. So far, the only work-around that I've found is to charge to 90% when I get home, then move the Charging "Set Limit" slider to 80% after it completes that first, actual charge.
    2. Sense Home Energy Monitor no longer recognizes my Model 3 charging sessions, as reported here.

    Mar 15 2019 Update

    Last night, the Model Y was unveiled by Elon Musk at Tesla Design Studio in Los Angeles, CA. Details appended here to this recent article:


    Tesla of Milford CT's loaner 2015 Model S 70D with 30,000 miles on the odometer, and 240 miles of range.

    Today at 11:15am was my Tesla Milford CT Server Center appointment. The 50 minute drive was easy, and drop off staff were quite courteous. I also took some pictures of the damaged chrome. Everybody was great at keeping me informed, and handled my many questions about this appointment, and service policies there in general. Why? Because this is the only service center in Connecticut, so it's by far the closest one that I'll likely be visiting again.

    Those light leather seats don't look great when yellow with age.

    I was told it might take 2-3 hours to fix. After hanging out in the huge waiting area for only about 45 minutes, a representative came out to tell me that the issue with the door/window assembly was different than what they expected, and it would take longer to fix than they though. I was told that it would likely be best for me to drive away in a loaner Model S. I'm impressed that they offer me this option, instead of an Enterprise rental, I really didn't think Model 3 owners would get this sort of premium treatment. I did have to sign a form about penalties for speeding, and/or driving more than 200 miles per day, along with providing them with a credit card. For security, I hope that form gets shredded once I return the car in the same shape it was in.

    The plan now is for Tesla to call me later in the day to hopefully get my car back before closing at 6 pm, or during their handy Saturday hours that are for pickups only.

    Mar 16 2019 Update

    Late Friday afternoon, I noticed the Tesla app wasn't keeping me apprised of repair updates, and the text messages I was getting didn't really explain. So I called Milford service, and it was explained that the needed part was being overnighted, for delivery on Monday. It would seem doing service on a Friday wasn't my best idea, but it sure was funny to see my wife's reaction to driving around in the 2015 Tesla Model S P70 with 30,000 miles on it. She hates it. She misses our Model 3, and appreciates it all the more

    Here's my more nuanced observations, describing things that are different on the S than then 3:

    1. my immediate impression when driving this Model S was that it feels like a boat, making it much less fun to drive, given my strong bias toward smaller cars
    2. while the shocks and ride were a bit software than the 3, I found the floaty drive far less sporty, just not my taste
    3. I was very surprised that the road noise getting into the cabin from the rear tire area was quite similar to the Model 3 actually, I had figured there'd be a bit more sound deadening material in a car that is so much more expensive
    4. despite automatic lane changes with Autopilot engaged, you have to physically move the blinker stalk back up
    5. that little Tesla-car-like key fob is not great, really missing my automatic lock/unlock via my iPhone's proximity
    6. there is not really any usable extra room for the driver, actually, my knee now hits the dash
    7. the position of the arm rest and cup holders is bad
    8. the big empty center console bin down low is not great for my wallet, key fob remote, and garage door opener, with the lack of pockets in the door rather surprising
    9. Poor windshield washer spray nozzle aim, a problem avoided on the Model 3 by building the nozzle into the wiper arm assembly
    10. Poor visibility out the narrow rear window

    All in all, my car feels twice as good at half the price, but I'm super grateful for the wealthier folks who blazed those early-adopter trails long before I did, making the much more refined Model 3 possible.

    Mar 17 2019 Update

    I found this excellent article by Matt Ferrell, along with his video:

    Undecided with Matt Ferrell - Oct 30 2018 - Apps For Tesla Owners - Tezlab vs. TeslaFi

    For TeslaFi, you can sign-up for a free 30 day trial, or use this non-affiliate sign-up for a 14 day trial instead.

    I also found another excellent, technical video by Matt about the sound system features and bit rates. Consider contributing to Matt on Patreon as well.

    Undecided with Matt Ferrell - Nov 20 2018 - Tesla Model 3 Audio System Review
    This dense TeslaFi Calendar view of my February drives is really pretty incredible.

    Full Self Driving

    I didn't order this $4000 option with my Model 3 that came with AP 2.5 (AutoPilot hardware version 2.5), hoping the price would drop. I later tried the EAP (Enhanced AutoPilot) feature for 30 days, then decided to buy it for $5000, getting me the automatic lane centering steering and TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control) that I have used successfully for many thousands of miles of clear weather, clear markings highway driving.


    Last week, the price for FSD for customers who recently bought EAP dropped. Through Monday Mar 18 2019, FSD (Full Self Driving) was available to me at tesla.com at $2000. I decided to go ahead and order it, paying attention to which credit card I had on file before doing so. Warning - you can't save two cards in your profile, only one at a time.

    Ryan McCaffrey discusses the price hike.

    No, Tesla's definition of FSD doesn't mean you can take a nap or read a book, it's still stay-alert, hands-on-the-wheel. But I'm hoping that at least some features like Lane Assist will become better with newer hardware on board, and that's my primary driver in my decision.

    Ordering this now is a big risk in case FSD ability never arrives due to regulatory constraints or other unforeseen impediments, but at least the risk is halved, if $4000 winds up being the FSD price. Ordering FSD early may also help me have a greater probability of being able to blog about FSD earlier, presumably getting me a little better shot at getting my half hour swap of my GPU/computer behind the glove box done sooner, maybe even using the Tesla Mobile Rangers to avoid the drive to the Tesla Service Center. It's anybody's guess what Tesla will do with that Full Self Driving price between now and whenever installs of AP 3.0 hardware become available.

    Mar 18 2019 Update

    This next update is pretty darn remarkable. Based on experience and an analysis of the telemetry data, Tesla has decided to up my power by 5% via firmware update. Awesome! I do wish that Tesla would stop bragging about absurdly high top speeds though, instead doing something like Volvo's plans to limit speeds to 112 mph in 2020.

    • Tesla Drops Model 3 Mid Range, Increases Peak Power By 5 Percent
      Mar 18 2019 by Mircea Panait at autoevolution

      According to the Palo Alto-based automaker. firmware version 2019.8.2 levels up the output “by approximately 5 percent, improving acceleration and performance.”
      Launched in July 2017, the Model 3 now numbers in the 223,000s according to Bloomberg's tracker.

    See also Introducing V3 Supercharging published by The Tesla Team on March 6 2019.

    Service Update - I called Milford CT Tesla Service for an update today, and the required parts for the repair arrived today as expected. Repairs should be complete by late morning Tue Mar 19. This is good, as I have a work-related road trip coming up to NYC & NJ this Wednesday to Friday, and I much prefer having my own car with my own stuff. Having less worry that the right window/door assembly might malfunction for my wife will also be good, especially since that was the only remaining unresolved problem of any significance. The slight moisture in the fog lights went away on its own months ago, and the occasional orange flicker of the backup camera view is getting fixed with a software update.

    Note that I seem to have no ability to communicate with Tesla Service using the app, at least not while it's actually being serviced. None of the submenu options are relevant. I resorted to asking Tesla Service to text message me.

    I checked out the trunk when I had some issues with the charge port not releasing in my garage. The manual talks about an access port on the left, and when looking around, I noticed some Dynamat style sound deadening stuck on the sheet metal under there.

    With winter's chill easing up a bit lately, I'm imagining a time soon where full braking regen is available right when I pull out of my driveway, upping my efficiency and range. I'd also like to see my car actually clean at some point. Good thing Tesla actually offered to wash my car, since so far, I haven't laid a hand on it quite yet, just using touch-less car washes to date.

    Mar 19 2019 Update

    Picking up my car went very smoothly, with service answering my many questions. My service rep was fantastic, and his passion for the success of Tesla was evident from the second I met him.

    My passenger window and door close properly now, and I was assured the service technician had tested it over and over and over again, just to be sure. This is a good ending to the one extremely intermittent problem that I had, now in my rear view mirror. Wasn't bad to have a clean car this clear day, right before many hundreds of miles I had planned for We/Th/Fr this week!

    Total bill - $0.

    Mar 20 2019 Update

    Wawa in Woodbridge NJ has 8 Tesla Supercharger spots!

    Drove to Manhattan in the morning, a smooth trip, and now I know where to park too. After my event attendance was done, I drove over to Woodbridge NJ, where a Supercharger happens to be less than mile from my hotel. Filled her up for about half an hour, and now I have plenty of range left for the drive home tomorrow. I didn't have to charge that long, I was just checking out Wawa anyway, and sharing.

    I also turned on Sentry mode, for a little extra piece of mind when parking behind my hotel overnight.

    Mar 21 2019 Update

    Tesla's new referral program announced Mar 21 2019, click for details.

    Heavy rains this evening here in NJ, but again, such a solid glued-to-the-road experience, I need not fret about it. Not a false sense of confidence at all, one that has been built up over these past 5,600 miles of safe driving experiences in all sorts of horrible weather. Never had a car that ever felt anywhere near this safe to drive in crummy weather.

    One minor I noticed today was that Sentry Mode may have deactivated itself for some reason this evening. Not sure why, but I'll keep my eye on whether it happens again. It was no big deal, as I simply made sure it was still on when turning in for the night.

    A surprise from Tesla this evening, with the referral program coming back. Should you find my content and videos of value, my code to enter when you make your Tesla purchase is PAUL68544.

    Mar 22 2019 Update

    Odometer 5,592 mi.

    Sentry Mode still on this morning. With temperatures staying right in the mod 40's°F last night into this morning, after about 10 hours, battery range showed a loss of about 10 miles, dropping from 170 mi to 160 mi. This is some evidence of the increased battery drain from Sentry Mode. Very results the previous night. Still enough range for my drive home planned for later tonight, but I also have some driving to do to get to an event here in Woodbridge NJ today.

    Mar 23 2019 Update

    Odometer 5,787 mi.

    We took delivery exactly 3 months ago! No regrets, still the smiles.
    I did a bunch of errands around town with my wife today, including a trip to Sam's Club where it was evident just how much more trunk capacity this car has than my Civic Hybrid had.

    Mar 25 2019 Update

    My wife noticed the right-side window button was intermittent at first, always working on the second push. A few pushes later, it seemed to work every time. We'll keep an eye on it.

    Mar 31 2019 Update

    There will soon be 8 happy new Tesla Model 3 owners, spotted this truck on I-84 East-bound toward Boston on March 31 2019.

    Apr 01 2019 Update

    Just marking the beginning of April, so the now-month table of contents above can link you here.

    Apr 03 2019 Update

    E for Electric - Elon Musk on Twitter: Pros and Cons

    Great discussion between Alex Guberman and Eli Burton. Not just the bad, but also the good, the incredible value of Elon responding to owners publicly on Twitter. It's "delightfully effective" for public suggestions for features and fixes to be implemented in just a few months, it's incredible. Elon goes on to say he's still waiting for anybody else to do this even half as effectively.

    Apr 04 2019 Update

    This video shows that my successful and simply Model 3 software update. As shown in the video below, going from to 2019.8.3 to 2019.8.5 took about 26 minutes. Best viewed fullscreen on mobile in portrait mode.

    TinkerTry - Model 3 Firmware Upgrade using Tesla App on iOS

    See also 2019.8.5 Release Notes - NOA No Confirmation Lane change. There is also this discussion 2019.8.5 3aaa23d installed today, and includes seamless Navigate on Autopilot, here's an excerpt:

    rhossain4648 | April 4, 2019
    Got it this afternoon . LR M3 . NY city area.
    I just went out for a drive. NOA mad max mode . Lane change super smooth and fast . You do have to nudge the steering wheel to give it the ok to change lane or keep your hands on the steering wheel.
    Noticeable improvements on autopilot as well. I didn’t get any jerky motion when pressing accelerator to close gaps between cars. I’m very impressed .

    Honestly, this is a bit soon for me to really trust this, figuring originally that FSD-like features like this would require AP 3.0 hardware, not the AP 2.5 car most Model 3 owners are on. But it is certainly exciting to see this innovation moving forward already, and I seem to be getting my firmware updates quickly lately, then again, see also TeslaFi Software Tracker, that's a whole lot of 2019.8.5 getting pushed out there today, with 1113 TeslaFi subscribers already running it.

    Apr 05 2019 Update

    Drove around a bit to test the automatic lane changes, and wasn't terribly impressed, but it was still very intriguing to try it. The hesitancy in lane changing which are sometimes inexplicably delayed for a very long time can make the system appear as if a very inexperienced driver is behind the wheel. More time testing (safely, at speed limit) is needed.

    Very interesting article today:

    Apr 06 2019 Update

    Found myself following this Model 3 today.

    I'm not entirely sure snarky plates like this open minds to the benefits of EV. Maybe it's off-putting, and reminds folks that some EV owners can kind of be gasholes.

    Not sure I'd want to encourage keying behavior, like such plates may foster, but that's just me and my personal opinion. The world is far more interesting with all sorts of folks in it, to each his or her own!

    Interesting that the new FSD (formerly called AP 3.0) hardware is now coming of the Model 3 production line, see Tesla confirms new full self-driving computer is in production, will demonstrate capability this month, with the public demonstration planned for April 19th now pushed to April 22nd.

    Also interesting to poke around the parts catalog for the Model 3 here, to me anyway.

    You can hear Seth Weintraub discuss his feelings on the Model 3 versus the current Model S, sharing many of the same thoughts I left under this video in the comments. It's just a better car in every meaningful way for both me and him right now. But the news of new motors for the Model S and perhaps other changes imminent, the outlook for Model S lovers is likely to change very soon, for the better.

    I enjoyed seeing a close look underneath a rear wheel drive Model 3 in this video below, featuring a look at glycol hoses & radiator, along with an oil filter. That's right, EVs have some of those familiar parts, but less of them, with longer service intervals.

    Ingineerix - Feb 16 2018 - Tesla Model 3 Stripped - Part 2 - The Dark Side

    Sandy Munro warning up to Tesla a lot since last time. Much like I did with the earlier Sandy video above, Paul Fosse gives us a wonderfully summary index at CleanTechnica's Auto Industry Expert In Lean Design, Sandy Munro, Gushes Over Tesla In New Video.

    Autoline Network - Apr 04 2019 - Sandy Munro Talks About Tesla in China - Autoline After Hours 458

    And now, an even messier video with dismantled vehicles, awesome!

    Jalopnick - Apr 03 2019 - A Look Inside The Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt, and BMW i3

    I had a chance to have my octogenarian mother take a turn driving her first EV today. First, adjusted seats and mirrors. I also quietly turned Creep mode on and Regen down, which I mistakenly forgot to do when my sister had driven once last month. I wanted to make the experience feel much more like a "normal" car. It went well. No crazy acceleration, but she certainly appreciated and commented on the instant pedal response. Always all safe driving, all good. Feels normal, she said. She certainly enjoyed Sorry, no video to share, as I didn't want to make her any more nervous, and I needed to focus on answering the slew of questions new drivers invariably have for that first shift into drive, then it was all quiet from there.

    Apr 07 2019 Update

    Yesterday, I finally had a chance to record some footage of this promising new feature:


    I need to remind readers that I'm the pilot in command of this vehicle. As the driver who can override any actions the car may suggest, the car gradually earns a bit more of my trust these past 6,600 mostly-highway miles.

    Same goes for lane changes. I can refuse them. I can also tune the frequency of how often it suggests those lane-changes intended to pass slower traffic in the travel lane, and for getting back to the right to get positioned for the next exit. These highway speed minor movements of the wheel are very easily overpowered by any driver. Finally, the car won't even change lanes unless it's sure that BOTH:
    a) the driver's hands are on the wheel.
    b) there's no traffic in the lane it's planning on entering.


    In other words, it's not scary, as long as I stay completely aware of what is happening at all times. In the video below, I try to cover my own personal use cases for Navigate on Autopilot. My family's reasons for this vehicle choice are discussed earlier in this article, focused much more on efficiency, economy per mile, and safety. Over time, like many Tesla drivers, I have begun to realize that some of these niceties that are geared toward an even safer driving experience down the road are becoming more and more intriguing, and less and less scary than they seemed before I had a chance to drive a Tesla for myself.

    Have a look at the video for yourself, then feel free to leave your constructive observations as a comment, curious what you think about this less than perfect, real-world demonstration of some pretty amazing advancements in not just software, but the Neural Net becoming smarter that is the smarts behind this new software.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Apr 07 2019 - New semi-automatic lane change safely demoed on a Tesla Model 3 using Navigate on Autopilot 2019.8.5

    See also Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot performs amazingly with automatic lane changes at Teslarati. If you want to see footage of a much riskier around-town driving using Autopilot (which I still think should be called Copilot), have a look here.

    Apr 08 2019 Update



    • Tesla is working on in-car video playback, will work on WiFi at Supercharger stations
      Apr 08 2019 by Fred Lambert at electrek

    • Tesla to Enable Video Playback for Parked Cars
      Apr 08 2019 by TMC Staff at teslamotorsclub.com

      The most recent entertainment addition is support for video playback, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter. The feature will be available while the car is in park and connected to a WiFi network.
      Musk did not offer a specific rollout date or details for Tesla’s in-car video playback capabilities, however when asked if the feature will support video streaming services like Netflix and YouTube he replied “Version 10.”

    Apr 12 2019 Update

    Drive into Battery Park area of New York City last night, departing from

    Apr 14 2019 Update


    It's been an amazing couple of weeks in Tesla news lately. The Model 3 was the #1 selling vehicle of any type (gas or EV) in The Netherlands last month, along with several other European markets, especially Norway. These kinds of numbers despite the fact that only the most expense Model 3 versions being exported there, so far. Then there's the million mile longevity claims, and batter pack longevity expected to be between 300,000 and 500,000 miles. Then there's the 5% increased power through a software update, and a look inside the guts of the vehicle when dissected, and news that the Model 3 is holding its resale value better than any other car right now. Finally, there's the neural net improvements, coupled with our current hardware, hitting around 80% of capacity, but with the new FSD (Full Self Driving) computer arriving in all new Model 3s built in April 2019 onward reducing that to 10%., the rest of the year is looking even brighter. Yes, this FSD is available as retrofit for existing Model 3s built recently like mine.

    I've been hitting the road again for work again lately, and with each trip, I'm becoming more and more impressed with what Autopilot can do with each software update. I'm now on 2019.8.15, and it's pretty amazing how much better my car has become since I bought it nearly 4 months ago. There's the added alarm features that I've been using when parked in cities, including video recording. There's the dashcam enabled now with side cameras. Then there's the improving Autopilot, with more automated lane change options that can be overridden with ease at any time, or turned off completely, for those of you reading this and freaking out a bit. Tried it out with my wife yesterday, and she barely noticed anything, which is saying something.

    It's not until you've actually driven in a Tesla that you'll begin to see what's actually possible today. Only after driving one yourself, on long road trips, then you'll really get to see how much better you can feel upon arrival, with a little bit of the drudgery of long-haul drives reduced.

    Apr 15 2019 Update

    Today, a day trip to New York City for work, and parked at LM 29 Park, LLC. for my 3rd or 4th time now, with zero damage, and a big greeting from the friendly and now familiar staff. This is good. No need to pay the $10 fee for a charge-up this time around though, with warmer weather, I had enough capacity to get to NYC and back home again with 14% left to spare.

    Apr 22 2019 Update

    04:30pm ET

    Today was Tesla Autonomy Day. Significant announcements from Tesla were expected during their 2pm Eastern time live streamed presentation, and it's still going on live now actually.

    In this video segment I marked below that is cued to the right spot at 1 hour 14 minutes and 18 seconds in, you'll see an overview of the FSD (Full Self Driving) design in all Tesla models being manufactured since about 10 days ago. The whole development cycle took a little over 3 years to come to market, and it uses under 100 watts to enable retrofit into existing vehicles, such as my Model 3. Yes, I've already paid my $2000 for this FSD upgrade, as I explained earlier in the article above.

    More noteworthy tidbits that hardware enthusiasts might appreciate are detailed below, as the design required Tesla to engineer a solution in a thermally and power constrained environment:

    • 14nm FinFET CMOS process
    • 260 mm²
    • 250 millions gates
    • 6 billion transistors
    • AEC Q100
    • 1G pixel/sec

    Neural Network Processor

    • 32MB SRAM
    • 36 TOPS @ 2 GHz
    • 2 per chip, 72 TOPS total (Trillion Operations Per Second)

    Main Processor

    • 12 ARM A72 64b CPUs

    Neural Network Accelerator

    • 2100 frames per second

    Elon Musk today making some bold claims, even for him:

    At first it seems improbable. How could it be that Tesla, who has never designed a chip before, would design the best chip in the world? But that is objectively what has occurred. Not best by a small margin, best by a huge margin. It's in the cars right now. All Teslas being produced right now have this computer. We switched over from the NVIDIA solution for S and X about a month ago, and we switched over Model 3 about 10 days ago. All cars being produced have all the hardware necessary compute and otherwise for full self driving.

    He went on to explain that event attendees will have a chance to see the latest software refinements with this new hardware during this event.

    Tesla - Apr 22 2019 - Tesla Autonomy Day

    I'm actually heading out on a ~200 mile round-trip to the Boston area tonight, in our Model 3 actually. Will be interesting to carefully show one of my sons just how far Autopilot has come since his last experience with it a couple of months ago. He used to manage to hit 47 mpg on our Honda Civic Hybrid actually.

    Tesla - Apr 22 2019 - Full Self-Driving

    Apr 23 2019 Update

    Great balanced view of yesterday's announcements.

    Undecided with Matt Ferrel - Apr 23 2019 - Self Driving Car - Tesla Autonomy Investor Day

    Fred Lambert does a great job at Electrek too, pulling together a bunch of articles with Tesla Autonomy Event news hub, and adding this article today, NVIDIA disputes some of Tesla’s FSD computer claims, but they miss the main point.

    Apr 25 2019 Update

    Had a colleague from work in the car with me, and we had a bit of a magic moment. I was on I-95 North in Northern New Jersey, headed back to Manhattan, in the center of 3 lanes. A truck was in the right lane, and just as we were beginning to pass it, its left tires began to creep onto the white dashed line separating us, and the Model 3 slowed down smooth, getting us back to safety without any drama. Nothing artificial about the way it felt, and it didn't freak my passenger out either, even though he was on his phone at the time.

    A similar incident happened on the same trip, with me in the right lane this time. An accelerating car was zooming up the highway on ramp, and my Model 3 politely slowed a bit to allow that car to enter my lane safely, again very smoothly.

    Why is this a big deal? Because the car suddenly felt like it was a grown-up now, growing its driving skills from the 14 year old amateur it felt like back in December, to a 17 year old with some experience. I'm getting more and more impressed with these little magic moments, whose significance is big.

    I've been thinking about self-driving since I was doing visual perception research at Cornell back in the 90s, and I'm delighted to get to witness the dawn of this new era, first-hand. It's pretty darn amazing.

    Apr 26 2019 Update

    Uh oh, my wife noticed that the front passenger window didn't go back up again after she got into the car. Seems I'll probably need to have that repair attempted again, at a date that's convenient. Unfortunate, but not a big deal, only happened once in the past 3 months since the first repair.

    Also had an opportunity to drive my wife's car, a 2015 Honda Civic EX, and I cannot believe how ancient it all felt. Everything about it. It's remarkable how profoundly and irreversibly changed my perception of every other car is.

    May 02 2019 Update

    Incredible videos, I totally nerd out about inside looks like this. So cool that CleanTechnica gained such access with 4K cameras rolling, showing far more than any prior tours of Tesla factories. Enjoy!

    CleanTechnica - Apr 07 2019 - Tesla Fremont Factory Tour, Part 1 — CleanTechnica Exclusive
    CleanTechnica - Apr 21 2019 - Tesla Fremont Factory Tour, Part 2 — The Seat Factory

    Detailed analysis of the Full Self Driving Video.

    i1Tesla - May 02 2019 - Full Self Driving Video

    For comparison, here's the original Tesla video, available in up to 2560x1440 resolution.

    Tesla - Apr 22 2019 - Full Self-Driving

    At 1 min 33 seconds in to i1Tesla's Full Self Driving Video analysis, I noticed the Model 3 is clearly heading past 3401 Hillview Ave at left (see also Google Streetview), which is VMware HQ in Palo Alto, my employer. This happens right near the end of the video, as they return to Tesla HQ in Palo Alto CA. I sure thought those rollings hills looked familiar!

    That's VMware HQ in Palo Alto CA at left, and SAP at right, as seen from the Tesla Model 3 with pre-release software.
    That's VMware HQ in Palo Alto CA at left, and SAP at right, as seen from Google Street View.
    That's VMware HQ in Palo Alto CA at left, and SAP at right, as seen in Google Maps.

    If you're wondering what acceleration feels like your first time you or your driver really stomps on the pedal in a Tesla, this brief but exciting video of a (SpaceX) rocket launch should help. A Model 3 feels a whole lot safer of course: no wheel spin, a little hum, pure fun.

    May 03 2019 Update

    Tesla called about my upcoming service visit, to let me know the service could be performed in my driveway. Naturally, I asked if they'd have parts on hand that hadn't been replaced already, and the person calling immediately read me the two suspect parts that were already replaced, and they'd be installing a 3rd part that hadn't been replaced yet. Of course, I agreed, having my car serviced on a day I work from home sounds good to me. She mentioned somebody from Tesla would be in touch to make an appointment.

    Soon, I noticed the upcoming appointment reminder disappeared from my Tesla app. I'm still kind of on the fence about whether or not I'll proceed with this repair. The issue with the front passenger window not going back up after closing the door hasn't happened again, and when it did just that once, the odd thing was that it was a good 2 inches down, not the usual 1 inch to clear the chrome trim.

    Good new article:

    May 04 2019 Update

    Odometer 8,359 mi.

    TeslaFi Software Stats, click to enlarge.

    Today, I noticed 2019.12.1.2 5c87371 became available on my Model 3, so I performed the upgrade, with more information on changes available here. It sure is nice to have a car that keeps getting noticeably better. I noticed that so far, my Model 3 no longer swerves a little to the right to stay centered when it encounters a merging lane from the right that doesn't have small dashed white lines. Instead, it continues to track along the left dashed white line, as it should. In other words, more like human. A minor thing, but I also noticed that the web browser is noticeably better, and considerably faster. This is useful for occasionally using persistent Spotify playlist playback, weather radar, etc.

    Read more about the new Lane Departure Avoidance features in Tesla's post:

    • More Advanced Safety for Tesla Owners.
      May 02 2019 by The Tesla Team at Tesla.com

      While no car can prevent all accidents, we work every day to make them less likely to occur. The massive amount of real-world data gathered from our cars’ eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and forward-facing radar, coupled with billions of miles of inputs from real drivers, helps us better understand the patterns to watch out for in the moments before a crash.

    I had a chance to re-watch the CNBC video entitled Chamath Palihapitiya: Musk the Edison of our generation featuring Scott Wapner.

    Click to launch the CNBC video playback.

    Ride the Lightning's Ryan McCaffrey explains, at this spot in Episode 196 that Chamath makes a calm, factual, rational case for why he's bullish on Tesla, a masterful segment.

    Here's some quotes/excerpts that I found interesting:

    The kind of technical sophistication that he has in his mind, that he's been able to apply across his companies, is second to none, quite honestly. So when we looked at Tesla, what we saw was a company at an inflection point, that was as close to a, its version of an iPhone moment, and what I mean by that is a company that had been growing up, taking risks, and it finally found the mass-market product that would unlock an enormous amount of product market fit, and that was the Model 3. And so far I would was say he is living up to what he has signed up for, which is to commercial electrification, to commercialize an incredible user experience, at a price point that has frankly cannibalized its competitor, and what you see in the results in my opinion is a company that is now maturing under all that demand. And so again is it the best suited company if you want to drive and observe quarter over quarter precision and performance, but if you want to take step back and take a 3 to 5 year view and see where can I compound my money...so to me, it was a risk less option on the Edison of our generation...if you take a 5 year step back, and say what has he promised in 2014 to what is he doing in 2019, you'd be ecstatic. Similarly, if you take a step back from say 2019 to 2024, let the man do his job, will we be better or worse off, as a planet, as a species, as humanity, as consumers, we'll be better off...The Model 3 is an incredible car, I just bought one...


    Funding secured, what was that?


    Ok, maybe he stepped out of bounds, my point is, you're getting caught up in the window dressing, I'm focusing on the main course, the main course is on the table, the choice for you as a buyer or a seller of that stock is do you want to eat it. If you get caught up on all the stuff around the edges...your job as a smart investor is to separate the facts and the news from the fiction and the noise, and all of that stuff doesn't matter, it does not change the fact that tens of thousands of consumers are buying that car faster than they can get their hands on it, it doesn't change that the minute you sit inside that car, your definition of what's expected is altered forever. And you wonder why every other car around you that you ever step in that you may buy doesn't have the same things that that car offers. So at the end of the day whether you like his style or not his substance is irrefutable...Betting against entrepreneurs that are changing the world has never been a profitable endeavor, why start now?

    May 05 2019 Update

    A couple of weeks ago, I discovered this video.

    Tesla Fans - Apr 17 2019 -How To Reduce Tesla Model 3 Road Noise [easy and cheap]

    I went ahead and purchased the seals on Amazon for a mere $27.27 total ($9.29 + $9.29 + $8.69). I figured it was a low risk effort to see if road noise was reduced in a noticeable way, followed the instructions in the video above.

    Yesterday was Saturday, and the weather was finally warm enough to install them, about 70 F. I washed my Model 3, then used some rubbing alcohol to wipe down the door edges where the seals were going, and thoroughly dried them. I then installed these P and Z seals on all 4 doors.

    It took about 1 hour to install all the seals, and I'd say this is a job best done outdoors on a cloudy day, since you really need to see well. This is especially true for the front door hinge area. You do seem to have to slam the door a little harder to be sure it's closed all the way, we'll see if folks taking a ride in my car wind up having any issues with that. The other benefits of double seals are that the door thunk sounds more solid, and the door sills should stay more dirt-free over time.

    My Midnight Silver paint is much more forgiving of mis-aligned sections of the seals than the white car the video above. I did mess up once and had to pull of a strip and start with a fresh piece. Since the 3M tape had only been stuck down for a few seconds, it didn't seem to be a problem, leaving no residue, and sticking down solidly the second time around. I'm not very sure how these seals will hold up over the years, only time will tell. Of course, I'd much prefer if double door seals were built into the car in the first place, but I'm still pretty satisfied with the value of this little DIY project, even if I have to redo it every few years.

    While traveling on the same exact stretch of highway at the same exact 65 mph, the seals do seem to have worked. My perception of the improvement seems to be more about the reduction in the higher frequencies, and not so much about the roughly 1.8dB reduction overall. It's a modest but noticeable difference, as heard in the 4K video footage I recorded before and after below. I did use the built in mic on my iPhone XS Max. I realize that's not ideal, given its automatic mic levels. To help counter this a bit, I also used a dB meter visible in the video. More helpful was the iOS app I also used called Octave RTA - Real Time Sound Frequency Analyzer by ONYX Apps in conjunction with the video clips with the running average set to medium, coming up with roughly 1.8dB reduction in overall noise. Octave RTA was then used to create the helpful visuals for the two screenshots below. I've used it in the past in my quest for ever-quieter Home Server PCs. From this site, you can see that going up 1.8dB is a 1.2x increase in loudness, defined as volume of the sound.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - May 06 2019 - Tesla Model 3 interior noise measurably reduced by inexpensive self-stick car door trim
    Before the seals were added.
    After the seals were added.

    These seals are available at Amazon and eBay, I ordered mine from Amazon.



    See also far more scientific videos about this topic by SD Tesla on Mar 18 2019 - Model 3 Sound deadening update - results from door seals, and by LivingTesla on March 22 2019 - Cheap Door Seals Reduce Model 3 Noise and Dirty Door Sills where he uses Audacity. Please thumbs up their videos to encourage them to keep going, as it takes a great deal of time and effort to produce such content.

    The final video in this series is now available, enjoy!

    CleanTechnica - May 5 2019 - Tesla Fremont Factory Tour, Part 3 — The Body Shop and General Assembly 3

    May 06 2019 Update


    I've found a Windows application called Sentry Keeper, which seems to work pretty well. Since my USB drive fills up eventually, from time to time, I drag and drop (move) those folders over to my local PC's SSD. It would be helpful to be able to point the application to my copied
    folder that's not on USB.

    May 07 2019 Update

    Having wondered why Tesla doesn't use 2FA, I found this new video intriguing.

    Teslanomics with Ben Sullins - May 07 2019 - How to Steal a Tesla and What You Should Do to Protect Yourself

    May 13 2019 Update

    Discovered TeslaCam Viewer Windows Application over at Tesla Owners Online, also on GitHub, with direct download here.

    Also, had a road trip with 5 of us in the car to the Brooklyn this past weekend, it went well. We even found a Park Kwik garage that offered destination charging for our Tesla, and we didn't even have to provide them with an adapter. This removed any chance of any range issues with a car full of family, and was an extra nice perk.

    Two of the rear seat passengers were about 6' tall, with one of them sitting in the center seat, which isn't ideal. After a 2 hour 15 minute drive back, there was some discomfort reported by the rear seat passengers given their limited hip room. The two outboard passengers shifted their weight to the bump to avoid annoying the center passenger, which probably exaggerated their minor discomfort.

    May 19 2019 Update

    An unplanned roadtrip get-away with my wife to from home in Connecticut up to Ogunquit Maine went very smoothly. We charged for nearly 2 hours for free (4 hour limit) ChargePoint spot in the public garage at 1 Church Street in Salem MA on the way up since we needed to park to walk around anyway, adding 11.28 kWh. We stopped in Portsmouth NH and used affordable metered street parking, which was more convenient than the large public garage (that offers charging). The idea for vacation days is to keep the hassle factor way down.

    Twice the screen glitched and rebooted during the trip, which was only the 3rd or 4th time I've ever seen this. My wife noticed both of them even as passenger, and found it a bit disconcerting, until she realized I was unfazed and unaffected. I assured her it would spring back to life and pick up right where we left off on the GPS in about 20 seconds. It did.

    On our way back home, we got to witness the new v2 speeds that Model 3 owners enjoy, seeing 500 mph/142 kW rates at the Supercharger in Seabrook NH. We could have stopped charging after only about 15 minutes, but since the charging is free for another month or so (car is 6 months old on June 24), we stayed for 26 minutes, adding 39.43 kWh total. TeslaFi continues to be pretty awesome for tracking such stuff automatically.

    May 22 2019 Update

    Today, mid-afternoon eastern time, I noticed that a new vehicle software update was being offered via the app, so I upgraded from:
    2019.12.1.2 5c87371
    2019.16.2 73d3f3c

    As usual, the process went smoothly, and completed minutes before I needed to use the car to pick up my wife. Immediately enjoyed the new higher-resolution graphics of the overhead view of my vehicle, more clearly showing brake lights and turn signals, and a smooth transition from the straight down view when parked to a view down and from behind while driving.

    More importantly, Sentry Mode can now automatically be active whenever I park somewhere other than home, which I love. I was frequently forgetting to activate it manually using the app, especially when relaxing on a recent weekend get-away road-trip.

    I've been collected some articles and videos these past few weeks.

    Over in Tesla Support, check out Do It Yourself - Model 3, filled with great information about the many ways you can avoid calling service.

    In Tesla Motors Club, check out Model 3 firmware features table, it's really demonstrates how far my car has come in these last few months of regular updates. It's truly remarkable.

    Electrek's Fred Lambert gives his perspective on the recent podcast episode at this spot, speaking about the state of Tesla's competitors. They're simply far behind, which is actually unfortunate for the health of the EV industry. Fred and Seth also get into some details of the computer vision problem behind Full Self Driving, and discuss the waning interest in requiring LIDAR.

    Despite the horribly link-baity title IS TESLA DOOMED??, Ben Sullins is excellent at making his case about some of the reasons for the recent uptick in Tesla hate, despite continued almost universal love of the Model 3 by actual owners.

    Consumer Reports test track is right here in Connecticut, and I know the areas very well where the Autopilot testing was apparently done in preparation for this article, Tesla's Navigate on Autopilot Shows the Promise and Problems of Self-Driving Cars by Keith Barry. It off the mark in numerous areas, but also makes some good points.

    Excellent counter-points and video found at Tesla Autopilot | Consumer Reports is WRONG | Navigate on Autopilot is Safer Than Humans by ALL Electric.

    May 23 2019 Update

    Odometer 10,633 mi., and today marks 5 months of ownership!

    So much fun to finally have some decent weather to drive around in. I can't say December was the best time of year to get a new car, but I'm sure glad I took delivery then given the $7500 tax rebate, and for the tremendous about of driving I was about to do.

    Jun 01 2019 Update

    I quite enjoyed talking to the public at this all volunteer event today, see photos and video at:

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - June 1 2019 - Discussions with Philip Huerter and Tesla Model 3 owners at Celebrate West Hartford

    For my second time, I came across this article about an interesting new service. It appears I hadn't mentioned Bound before:

    Image from ridebound.com

    Jun 03 2019 Update

    Odometer 10,933 mi.

    Today, mid-afternoon eastern time, I noticed that a new vehicle software update was being offered via the app, so I upgraded from:
    2019.16.2 73d3f3c
    2019.16.3.2 a19d0e4

    Everything seems to work fine, it's a minor update.

    Jun 05 2019 Update

    Yet another amazing review, by non other than Motor Trend. Wow, that's exactly my car, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Long Range!


    Jun 07 2019 Update

    You know I pride myself on being open and honest, sharing both the good and the bad. Here's a Model 3 repair story that it would be good to be aware of, with the pain of parts shortages for Model 3 repairs felt very keenly by this owner/vlogger.

    The Fast Lane Car - June 07 2019 - It Keeps Getting Worse! You Won't Believe How Long & Much to Fix Our Tesla Model 3 - Thrifty 3 Ep.11

    Jun 14 2019 Update

    My home was built in 1994. It's unfortunate that I had to replace the builder's grade asphault shingles about 4 years ago, but I couldn't imagine wanting solar panels on my front roof. You can see from this article of mine back in 2015 that I've been thinking about this stuff for a while, it was titled Elon Musk's Powerwall, time-shifting the energy from that handy fusion reactor in the sky.

    Last night, I spotted some new updates on Tesla Solar Roofs, apparently now in Generation 3.

    E for Electric - Jun 13 2019 - Tesla Solar Roof Update: Cheaper Than Expected | V3

    See also tesla.com/solarroof where you can learn more and/or place your reservation.

    Jun 18 2019 Update

    Odometer 11,644 mi.

    This evening, I noticed that a new vehicle software update was being offered via the app, so I upgraded from:
    2019.16.3.2 a19d0e4
    2019.20.2.1 5659e07

    It's a minor release, discussed here.

    Jun 23 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.20.2.1 5659e07
    2019.20.4.1 66625e9

    It's a minor release, discussed here.

    Jun 27 2019 Update

    The Tech of Tech - Jun 25 2019 - Range anxiety is a gas car thing, not a Tesla thing!

    I jotted down a transcript of the segment of the video I linked to above:

    If your driving is like mine which is like most people in the US [~13,000 miles per year], you will have less range anxiety driving something like a Tesla than a gas car, no matter what mileage it gets. Sure, you might be inconvenienced a couple times per year having to stop at Superchargers, but the entire rest of the year, you will never be inconvenienced with having to stop for gas. Range anxiety is a very understandable concern to be raised by somebody considering electic vehicles. It's an important question to ask. But the answer is unless you're driving regularly beyond the range of whatever electric vehicle you are going to buy, you will have less range anxiety with an electric vehicle than with any gas vehicle you've ever owned. Best of all, the time you save all year long charging at home instead of stopping for gas will more than make up for the extra time you might spend charging on a road trip. For most drivers, it makes no sense to accept the inconvenience of having to hit gas stations to fuel your daily driving just so you don't have to hit Superchargers when you road trip.

    Jul 06 2019 Update

    Today, we had a moment. A Tesla safety moment. Both of my sons were up front, with me in the back. Rain started coming down heavily this holiday weekend afternoon on I-95 South, as we headed to the Stamford train station. Going around 45 mph, just as the driver began to gently brake for traffic ahead, the beep sounded. As passengers, we looked ahead to see what was going on, mostly just a car slowing down. It's what was happening two cars ahead that was the alert was about. That car was slowing down fast, and the Model 3's radar apparently picked that up, applying firmer braking pressure proactively. After the incident was over with nobody hitting anybody, the driver mentioned he had noticed that the large display had shown the slowing car in red, two cars ahead. Yes, radar that can see further ahead then we could was a very impressive and reassuring thing here, and it was instantly rather apparent that the active safety features in the car are a few cuts above anything any of us had ever witnessed first hand like this.

    I didn't think to save the dash cam footage, unfortunately, but far more important that we arrived at our destination safely.

    Jul 07 2019 Update

    Odometer 12,695 mi.


    Embarked on a big road trip, about 1,271 to cover over a span of 12 days.
    Covered 194 miles on my first day with a new record for efficiency, a mere 205 Wh/Mile, which comes out to just $7.19 of electricity from my home's garage.

    Jul 11 2019 Update

    Odometer 13,094 mi.
    I'm driving more than expected each day to and from my work site. This has been the first trip where I've needed to made a 6 mile side-trip to Supercharge once back on Monday, and again tonight. No problem, hung out for the first 11% to 80% half hour session, and did errands for the second session from 19% to 94%, followed by a bit of errands, down to 91% for the overnight at this Hilton properly that has no destination charging.

    I made an appointment to have my tires rotated at the end of this month, and I'll have around 14,000 miles by then. The Tesla technician who did mobile service last month mentioned I have enough of a tire wear differential that I should go ahead and get this done.

    I also have some faint odor on occasion from the AC system, this seems to be pretty common, hopefuly the fix is something simple like this. While the filter can be replaced, a service that can apparently be DIY, the cause needs to be determined. Since I need the tires rotated anyway, so I tacked a mention of the smell onto the service request. I noticed that there is still no request button for Mobile Service, Tesla needs to determine that, then reach out to me to change over from service at Milford CT to service in my driveway.

    Jul 14 2019 Update

    Drove from CT to ME today, 200 easy miles. Other than a scare with a 45 minute traffic jam that would have had me miss my flight, that traffic cleared by the time I got to Maine, and everything worked out fine. I parked at PWM (Portland Jetport)'s garage, which has no charging or outlets, but its protected from the weather and there were plenty of wide spots left. Watching my car's battery usage with Sentry Mode left on, I found it was consistently 1 mile of battery range lost for every hour. In other words, 24 miles of range lost per 24 hour period.

    Jul 19 2019 Update

    Captured this moment in Newington NH, just before meeting Rich.

    On my way home from Maine, The Electrified Garage Open House happened to be right along my path, and he was holding this Open House at Seacoast Cars & Coffee Cafe in Newington NH from 4pm to 90m. I made it just 15 minutes before closing actually, but I still managed to meet both Rich Rebuilds and James Klafehn. James is featured in this video who is from Ithaca NY, where I lived for 5 years, and he stayed late in the parking lot to give me and some others a personal tour of his trailer-based battery extender. Amazing talent. I sure wish my video footage I had taken had decent audio so I could share it, but unfortunately my mic connector was apparently failing. Gladly, Rich does a great job with this video tour of James' trailer below.

    Rich Rebuilds - Oct 04 2018 - The True DIY Tesla Range Extending battery Trailer

    Jul 20 2019 Update

    Finished my adventure without incident, with the odometer moving from 12,695 to 14,286 miles over a 13 day span, that's 1,591 miles in all. No single day was more than 325 miles, which was under 6 hours of actual driving.

    Paul Braren - Jul 19 2019 - Tesla Model 3 time lapse - Port Deposit, MD to Wethersfield, CT in 4 hr 11 min / 255 miles

    Jul 24 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.20.4.1 66625e9
    2019.24.4 73fb1ab

    It's a minor release, discussed here. Dancing cars onscreen may have been reduced.

    Really enjoyable article about Electrek's Fred Lambert spotted today, here you go:


    Jul 26 2019 Update

    Today, my 8:30am to 10:30am range of times that my Tesla Mobile Service service technician was expected to arrive came and went. I politely texted Milford Tesla service at around 11:05am, and quickly the technician called me back, letting me know he'd be arriving around 11:50am, which is exactly when he arrived. He arrived in a Model X, and was polite, smart, and very professional. I was not at all upset that he was running behind, as I was still quite happy I didn't need to drive 50 minutes to Tesla Service in Milford CT, and I had planned to work from home that whole day anyway. I also kept in mind this was a last minute appointment change I had just requested by text message a few days earlier, when it was proposed that my original late July appointment in Milford became mobile service in early August, after some big road trips coming up. I think it helped that I mentioned to Tesla service that at my last mobile service appointment, the technician ran out of time to do the desired tire rotation, during his late afternoon service visit.

    "Lubegard 96030 Kool-It Evaporator and Heater Foam Cleaner" available on Amazon.

    The tires have now been rotated and my AC evaporator now smells fresh, thanks to the Kool It Evaporator and Heater Foam Cleaner service which required the technician to remove my still-clean air filters behind the center console for direct access. I'm very happy about this 90 minute service experience, now I have peace of mind that my car is ready for many more miles on a road trip I have planned soon.

    Recorded the video below, demonstrating my Model 3 smoothly handling a lane split, and stopping at the stop light at the end of a Navigate on Autopilot session using new software version 2019.24.4. There was minimal traffic for most of this recording, with my hands and feet always ready to take-over if any threatened-safety situation arose. You'll also see Navigate on Autopilot has some maturing to do when it comes to deciding when to turn on your blinker to get back out of the left hand lane. This is why I normally don't use it on that often, at least not yet, as you can see in my recent time-lapse of a recent 4 hour roadtrip.

    Jul 29 2019 Update

    "Mothers 06810 Odor Eliminator & Refresher, Unscented" available on Amazon.

    I'm not entirely sure all the smell was completely gone, so as a proactive bit of insurance that my upcoming trip would be scent-free, I went ahead with opening up a can of this Mothers 06810 Odor Eliminator & Refresher, Unscented inside my Model 3 in the garage. It's like a bug bomb for your car. It seems to not leave any visible residue on the inside of the car, including the windows. So far, so good, no scents detected, but only time will tell if the minor, intermittent problem is now resolved.

    Jul 30 2019 Update

    FYI, ProClip mobile mounting solutions now makes 2 mounts for the Tesla Model 3:

    I'm not really sure I really feel the need for this, but just letting you know it's now an option.

    Aug 03 2019 Update

    Summer roadtrip.

    We just completed a 976 mile road loop Wednesday July 31st to Saturday, August 3rd, traveling from Connecticut to Clayton NY in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York, then heading even further north to Ottawa Ontario. We also went through Montreal Quebec on our way down to the ferry from Plattsburgh NY to Vermont. With this successful and pleasant adventure now behind us, I also have numerous new discoveries to share, mostly good, hopefully of interest.

    Dashcam and Sentry Mode Videos
    All videos after August 1st on my 500GB Samsung T5 Portable SSD aren't playable, they seem to be corrupt. This is true for both RecentClips and SavedClips. Anything older (May 17th to July 31st) are just fine.

    What's disappointing is that I had an alarm event pushed to my phone while in Ottawa, when parked for lunch. No damage to the car that I see, but I suspect the car that parked next to me in my distant spot may have bumped with me gently with a door. It's just unfortunate I can't review footage to see what happened.

    Ferry fun

    What a lovely ferry ride from Plattsburgh NY to Grand Isle, VT, and great weather too!
    I noticed the GPS didn't update our location until we reached the opposite shortline then put the car in drive.

    Occassional phantom braking
    Discussion of the issue here. I had 2 incidents of phantom braking in broad daylight with no obvious cause, not bad given I had probably 800 miles of Autopilot engaged during this trip. Both happened with no other cars near to us, but it was quite disconcerting to my wife, who wasn't looking at the road so there's the negative vibes of being startled by the stern beeping and braking that commands attention.

    TeslaCam Issue
    I pressed the onsceen Dashcam icon within a minute of each incident to add the last 10 minutes of video to the /TeslaCam/SavedClips folder, but I can't view that footage either. Might have given me some insight into what the car thought it saw as a threat.

    Windows 10 1903 sometimes prompts me to reformat this SSD when I attached it to my laptop, but not always. Seems it's time to copy the data off, then reformat the drive as FAT32 using Rufus.

    The question of why this happened in the first place remains open. Perhaps I removed the drive once without stopping recording first a while back, but seems unfortunate that this sort of mishap could ruin all footage going forward. The drive was never removed during the entire trip.

    Seems to be gone, at least for now. I may have had a slight whiff of some sort of smell when first using the AC one day after being parked for a short while, but hardly noticeable unless thinking about it.

    We stopped at various malls to eat, shop, and Supercharge, especially since we still have free Supercharging. We didn't really have to make this many charging stops.

    Rim rash


    For only the 3rd time ever, I decided to trust my Model 3 to Autopark into a parallel parking spot in Montreal. I honestly hadn't thought about the high stone curbs before doing so. While it did a good job sandwiching us into a fairly tight spot, right at the end, it decided to allow the right-front rim to scrub into the curb. Not a big problem, as I have some matching dark gray paint to touch things up, but I may want to get some of those wheel bands / rim guards. Oh well, things are going to happen when you drive in a city. For now, I'll stick with trusting my own parking skills instead.

    Below, you'll see some before and after pics of my minor paint touch-up job. Kind of a fun use of Summon, as I backed my car up onto my driveway, I could watch as the scratched edges reached the top of the wheel before stopping the car. I've also found Summon to be handy when moving my car when I'm filty from mowing, using my phone through a plastic bag.

    Parallel parked in Old Montréal.
    Parallel parked in Old Montréal.
    Before touch-up paint.
    After touch-up paint.

    Aug 04 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.24.4 73fb1ab
    2019.28.2 320fba0

    I'm loving the Bluetooth fix! No longer do I need to think about what volume level my phone is set to when listening to any music or podcasts over Bluetooth. I used to have to set it to max every time I set out, but this would be annoying when back at home. Now I just get in and drive, and my steering wheel volume control works perfectly, no matter what my phone's volume level is set to. Excellent!

    Aug 07 2019 Update

    Today, in a humid heavy rain day, I had left the car parked outdoors for about an half an hour when eating. When getting back into the car, the AC automatically turned on, and the vinegar-like sour smell had returned, but only for about the first 30 seconds of driving. Not sure what this means, if anything, just making a note of it.

    Also learned that a friend of mine's wife picked up her Tesla Model 3 yesterday on a lease, very happy new campers. Also, last week, an ex-colleague of mine near Boston picked up his Model 3 last week, using my referral link. All new owners get their own referral link, and word of mouth spreading like this is a good thing.

    Aug 15 2019 Update

    Drove to the DC area for work again this week, with no planning whatsoever, other than going to the same self-park hotel garage that has a normal wall outlet near a parking spot.

    In summary, I covered 360 miles from CT to DC on Wednesday August 14th, stopping for the GPS-recommended Supercharger in Newark DE, very convenient, just 10 minutes of charging brought me from 22% to 73%, barely enough time to walk to the nearby Starbucks, use the rest room, and buy some decaf coffee. I then charged for about 15 hours overnight at the hotel, adding only 62 miles of charge.

    On the 377 mile drive back home on Thursday August 15th, I stopped at the same rest stop for 38 minutes of charging from 25% to 93%, adding 212 miles of range. I needed that time to try out the meatless Burger King Impossible Whopper. Pretty good actually, and certainly less greenhouse gasses than cow meat. Nice food court in the main building, but not a lot of healthy food choices, so this worked out fine.

    Got home at 10:54pm with just 7 percent of range left, but that was exactly what it said it would be, despite about 2 hours of miserable stop-and-go traffic, making a 6 hour of driving day turn into 8 hours and 7 minutes of driving. Traffic aware cruise control worked incredibly well to relieve the stress of stop-and-go, and accurate battery life prediction removed range anxiety as well.

    Aug 16 2019 Update

    While I was away, my wife called, her 2005 Honda Civic EX had it's second overheating issue this year, the radiator already replaced. This time, it happened on a Friday evening, with everything closed.

    Aug 17 2019 Update

    On Saturday morning, we had USAA tow the Civix to our Honda dealership. It wouldn't be until Monday before we'd hear what was wrong. While Honda kindly gave us a loaner that they really didn't have to, it was the nudge my wife needed to know that it could be useful for her to be comfortable driving the Model 3 should the need arise.

    So finally, today, almost 8 months into co-ownership, my wife took our Model 3 out for a drive with me. A few minutes into the ride, she mentioned I might need to Uber next time I'm headed away to the airport, leaving our Model 3 at home. That one sentence says it all.

    Aug 19 2019 Update

    Honda found that our 2005 Honda Civic EX's head gasket was been blown. Sigh, this is not good news, having gone through this before many years ago. We did decide to repair it, but this incident really opened our eyes to how vulnerable we are driving this older vehicle. While it only has 78,000 miles on it, it is about 15 years old. Stuff happens.

    Good little article spotted:


    Aug 21 2019 Update

    Unusual for an upgrade to be offered when not on WiFi, a first for me actually. Must have been on the more important than usual, so I decided to risk it and do the upgrade from far away, while my Model was in long-term parking at Logan Airport, plugged into a free ChargePoint station.

    I upgraded from:
    2019.28.3 fd63a5e
    2019.28.3.1 f9e95acd

    Aug 29 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.24.3.1 f9e95acd
    2019.28.32 9d0d19a

    Aug 30 2019 Update

    Close-up of Snap Plate quick release mechanism

    If you wish to have a secure quick release mechanism for your front license plate, the new LivingTesla SnapPlate seems to work quite well, and takes just a few seconds, literally. Details here at TinkerTry.

    Sep 01 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.28.32 9d0d19a
    2019.32.1 53f03e4

    Nitpicking, but I noticed my car’s profile may be forgetting my “Headlights after Exit” preference across software upgrades, I’ll keep an eye on this to be more sure.

    From TeslaFi Firmware Tracker:

    Date New Version Previous Version Model State Location AP
    09/01/2019 11:01 AM 2019.32.1 53f03e4 2019.32 9d0d19a Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor Connecticut United States 2.5

    Wheel Configuration seems to be the significant added feature, see discussion at Tesla Owners Online forum.


    Sep 07 2019 Update

    Odometer 18,913 mi.

    Successful business trip from Wethersfield CT to Richmond VA to metro DC area back to Connecticut this week, covering a total of 1,013 miles between Tue Sep 03 and Fri Sep 6. It was safe, uneventful, and straight-forward, which is exactly what I needed and got.

    Last night, in stopped traffic, I noticed it renders many vehicles now, quite far ahead too.
    Not exactly the greatest weather with some Hurricane Dorian residuals to drive through, coupled with Friday afternoon traffic avoiding Baltimore. Yes, that's 2 hours 8 minutes to go just 55 miles, averaging 26 mpg. Autopilot was a huge blessing for this stop-and-go traffic.
    As of September 7 2019, my lifetime map view from my TeslaFi.com account.

    Sep 09 2019 Update

    I decided to keep an appointment with Tesla Service in Milford CT for some minor maintenance items. I knew driving down there was somewhat of a risk, because it wasn't clear that all parts needed were on-hand. The technician wasn't clear that I was texting with, but I chose to head down anyway.

    Discoloration and marring of my window trim chrome, evident on both sides of my Model 3, mostly noticeable only when within about 4 feet of the car, and from certain viewing angles and lighting conditions. Interestingly, all the other chrome, such as on the side view mirrors, looks fine/like-new.

    I'm getting some discoloration of my window trim chrome, and wanted somebody to have a look to see if they knew why. The app now lets you upload photos, and this came in handy. I also wanted to discuss the return of the HVAC smell, and what I could do to mitigate it.

    When I arrived, there was a bit of a queue. It was about 40 minutes before I got a chance to pull my car into the service reception area and talk to the reception desk staff. As for the chrome, I believe they had that on hand due to my service request, but replacing it would not be warranty. After a quick buff attempt by Tesla failed to make any difference at all, we then got to talking about the fix. I believe something like $500 in parts was quoted to fix it, plus labor. I said no thank you, since it will likely come right back again. I need to find the cause first. Perhaps something in the soap my local self service touch-less car wash, not sure. I go there every week or two, before the bugs have a chance to really get stuck on the bumper forever. I'm not sure what I'll do yet, maybe I'll just do a self-install black-out kit and be done with it. Looking at other Model 3 owners vehicles, I'm just not seeing the same issue.


    When mentioning my HVAC smell issue had returned after a Mobile Service visit back in July, he asked whether my filters were replaced. I said no, and he acknowledged that they probably should have been, with better luck getting rid of the vinegar-like scent if both the cleaning was done, and the filters replaced. I told him I would have been fine to pay for new filters, but I don't believe my technician offered to do so. He had me wait for a little bit while he investigated, then came over to talk to me to explain that Tesla would stand by their service, and offered to set things up so that if I decided to make a Mobile Service request via my Tesla app, he's send the technician out with the filters this time, and I'd pay for the filters, not the labor. Fair deal, I accepted, and made an appointment for Sep 19, a day I'm probably not traveling for work. This is good, as it's been a bit annoying to worry about giving test drives, not knowing the if the scent would affect the experience, which seems to be very weather and how-long-it's-parked (about 1/2 hr) dependent. I'll let you know how it goes. I suppose if this fails, I could try cleaning the evaporator yet again, then self-installing Tesla Raj's recommended aftermarket Model 3 HEPA Cabin Air Filter Replacement that I ordered on September 4th, but has yet to arrive. I'd much rather stick with Tesla attempting to fix it first though.

    Sep 14 2019 Update


    After enduring some outdoor temperatures around 100°F in DC this past Thursday, it was quite a pleasure to get to enjoy some upper 60°F temps right here in the adjoining town of Glastonbury, CT with my wife, and a bunch of EV-curious citizens. A few dozen folks visited the display of about 8 different Electric Vehicles near the back of the event, and we were just there as volunteers to answer any questions passersby had about owning and operating an electric vehicle. They sure had many questions! Some even took a seat in our Model 3 for a while, kids included. The parents would typically ask about the Supercharger network, so I'd demonstrate how the GPS calculates all that for you: just set your destination and go. I really enjoyed talking to strangers with my wife for a few hours, together.

    Clearly, many Connecticut residents care about sustainability, this was evident in the various group conversations that sprang up. What a great way to engage folks that are just starting to learn how pleasant it can be to own an EV!

    One shopper who has been watching Tesla for years but hasn't been able to get his Model 3 just yet showed us a fun tip we didn't yet know. For the vents, you can steer the flow of air left or right. How? Just slide the split stream of air into one, then slide that single stream left or right. Nice! It's always great to learn new little things, even after very nearly 20,000 miles of driving around!

    One of the visitors to this event inquired about possible test drives, and one owner was volunteering to do those with his 5 year old Model S. That visitor also mentioned he had heard that somebody from Tesla was going to be attending, so we asked around together, and soon discovered that we did have former Tesla employee Sara Miltenberger talking to owners and visitors too. What a great opportunity! She had been working at the Hawthorne CA facility, and she clearly was interested in continuing to follow Tesla in her long career in sustainability ahead. Hard to imagine a better start to such a career than to work at Tesla!

    When chatting with an engineer from Pratt & Whitney and later with Sarah, the topic of Tesla and sustainability related podcasts came up. I can't listen to each of these every week, but it sure comes in handy to have the queued up for those drives, such as my road trip to Richmond VA two weeks ago, and to DC last week. Have a listen for yourself, or just search for them in your favorite podcast app:

    I got home at 10:30pm, just enough time to head to the car wash, and print and laminate a little conversation starter. I should have been much more clear that my route from Wethersfield CT to Washington DC was routed around NYC, and was 377 miles in all. That journey took 6 hrs 45 minutes from start to finish, with just one break for 15 minutes of charging.
    Thursday September 12, driving around Washington DC for work meetings. 103°F is the highest I've seen my Model 3's indicator say, quite a range from the -3°F we saw back on January 21 2019!

    Sep 15 2019 Update

    Thanks to TrevP [Trevor Page] for posting an email he received about 2019.32.2.1

    Odometer 19,956 mi.

    I upgraded from:
    2019.32.1 53f03e4
    2019.32.2.11 1a8580f
    The estimate said it would take about 25 minutes, and it actually took 28 minutes to complete. I also noticed that my Connecticut didn't show up on the TeslaFi tracker page, this wasn't an issue I noticed with any of the prior releases. Admittedly, I didn't always remember to check, but when I did, it usually showed up within about 5 minutes of my completed updates.

    Also worth noting that just-prior v9.0 2019.32.2.1 9b8d6cd (09/10/2019) has folks discussing potential fixes for the AC smell that some owners have been reporting, myself included. See also what garsh had to add in the same Tesla Owners Online forum thread:

    This fix is more "preventive". If you already have the smell, you'll want to do something more proactive to get rid of it.

    that sure makes a lot of sense to me! Glad it happened to work out that my firmware is now likely to have a software fix, and the hardware is getting cleaned this Thursday via my already scheduled Tesla Mobile Service. This might get rid of the issue for me once and for all, at least that's the hope. Only time will tell, and as you can probably tell from the absurdly long ownership experience blog above, I'll let you know how it goes. I'd rather not have to remember to turn off my AC a few minutes before I park, since I know I'll forget to do so on occasion. Would much prefer that software be programed to handle that for me, as it apparently has been capable of doing in the past. Perhaps this smell thing cropping up on me suddenly, many months into ownership, was just a code regression mishap, with a code fix that was accidentally dropped from software releases a few months back.

    Sep 21 2019 Update


    Today I briefly stopped by the Drive Electric Week event in Middletown CT while out doing errands anyway. Met some interesting EV owners, and a few curious prospective buyers. Always good fun going to such events, especially with the fantastic fall weather here in New England.

    When parking at a relatives house, I noticed my head lights stayed on for several minutes, and I don't think the car had locked. I checked that walk away locking was set, and that headlights stay on was off, and they were both set correctly. I may have been too close/within Bluetooth range for automatic locking, but the headlights staying on didn't seem to make any sense.

    I've noticed that over the past several months, about 1 in 30 times I walk away, the car doesn't always chirp/lock. I need to pay attention 100% of the time, just-in-case.

    Sep 23 2019 Update

    Today marks 9 months since taking delivery of my Model 3. This also means my free Supercharging obtained by using a referral code would have ended, since it was moved from 6 free months to 9 free months for whatever reason sometime earlier this year. Not complaining!

    This summer, I received another referral bonus when somebody I know bought a Model 3 and used my referral code paul68544, and that got my family 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. So seems I'm set for a little while yet!

    Sep 27 2019 Update

    I upgraded from:
    2019.32.2.11 1a8580f
    2019.32.10.1 0874034

    It arrived Friday night, but got home and performed the update from WiFi around 1am today, Saturday Sep 27th at 1:05am, and the upgrade went smoothly. Waited until morning to really play with it while parked, so I could also log in to Netflix and Spötify. Yes, I did find the Umlaut above the o a bit amusing. I couldn't get YouTube logged in with MFA login enabled, I'll work on that again some other day. Had several road trips planned, great timing.

    So much fun to see the v10 features, including a few small surprises that weren't in the leaks of the betas.

    Tesla Mobile Service arrived early to do our HVAC cleaning (again) and replacement filters. As promised, I was only charged me for the filters, as a courtesy for my trip to Tesla Milford a couple weeks back only to find they only had one filter in stock. It only took the extremely personable and very profession Model X driving technician about 45 minutes to get the job completely done. He's done about 10 of these, and doesn't need to remove the entire frunk liner, just the top access panel.

    So far, no scent noticed at all, this is good. He also assured me the software changes made since I took delivery should keep the problem from recurring.

    Sep 28 2019 Update

    Yes, that's Rich, he brought his Rat Rod with him, which brought a lot of smiles.

    Attended the 3rd Annual Hebert Candy Mansion Electric Vehicle Show, Shrewsbury Sep 28, 2-6pm with my wife, and Rich from Rich rebuilds and his Rat Rod joining the crowd on this beautiful autumn day. There were over 70 electric vehicles there, a very impressive turn-out. Then headed to the Boston area to visit with family.


    Met a co-owners of a Model 3s who had lots of questions about ALL of my accessories, was happy to show him around and point him to my continually updated article:

    Just before leaving the meetup, I noticed a software update download available message on the v10 interface in the form of a yellow down-arrow, so connected my Model 3 WiFi to my iPhone 11 Pro Max hotspot to get the code downloaded while driving toward Boston. When parked, I tried to start the upgrade, but got a warning that I had to disable Sentry Mode first. Then I started the upgrade, and it finished successfully.

    I upgraded from:
    2019.32.10.1 0874034
    2019.32.11 bac8c51

    Since the ChargePoint spots in the Somerville MA parking lot we use were both taken by other EVs, when we headed back home, we stopped for a barely-needed-4-minute-charge/bio break at the Auburn MA Supercharger. Not really an easy-on, easy-off location, but worked out fine. It was a bit odd that the car's navigation was offering to have us arrive home with only 4% of charge left if we drove under 70 mph, which seemed to be cutting a little close for comfort. It did not offer an obvious way to add a Supercharger stop to the trip.

    Sep 30 2019 Update

    I know what Elon said months ago about 90%, but it's interesting that another employee had the following to say.

    Tech Forum - Sep 22 2019 - Matt Shumaker explains his 80/20 rule for best battery longevity. Try to avoid charging over 80%, and avoid discharging below 20%.

    Keeping the amount of time spent overall at below 20% and above 80% to a minimum, for the best overall battery life. For ultimate longevity, you will see less degradation over time if you treat the battery well.

    Oct 03 2019 Update

    2019.32.11 bac8c51
    2019.32.11.1 d39e85a
    Took from 10:20am to 10:41am to complete, just 21 minutes in all.

    Made the ~100 mile drive to Boston and back today for this security event that I attended with one of my sons, and hadn't charged past about 91% before leaving. I did notice about 20% range loss on the return trip with temperatures sinking to the mid 40s along with some pretty heavy rain, but still didn't need to stop to Supercharge, arrived home with 10% left.

    I wish you could set the car charge limit to 100% for this charge only, rather than having to remember to dial it back to 80% or 90% after those occasional long trips. Something like the Do Not Disturb function on iOS devices, with a dialogue prompting you to decide.
    Flughafen München

    There's me on teslafi.com/firmware, in Connecticut.

    Oct 04 2019 Update

    Listening to Ian on the Tesla Owners Online Podcast here really reminded me to mention the amazing cinematic experience of watching Netflix movies while Supercharging, particularly for the front seat passengers. During this V10 early release, I don't have to tether to a hotspot, it works over LTE, and it's quite remarkable to show this to folks when parked. The sound in this car is amazing, coupling it with quality video is even amazing-er.

    I now have video to share of my road trip to Boston, where I highlight the numerous improvements I've noticed in Autopilot in the V10 software release.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel, Tesla Model 3 Autopilot improvements on October 3 2019, featuring V10 software [2019.32.11.1]

    Oct 05 2019 Update

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Oct 05 2019 - Careful look at a Tesla Model 3 with no passengers doing Smart Summon navigation [V10 software]

    Oct 09 2019 Update

    On The Tesla Show podcast episode 103 - V10, at this spot:
    co-host Caleb explains:

    I'm most excited about Smart Summon not for actually using it myself today, but for what it shows about the future of where Tesla is going with full self driving.

    This is essentially the same sentiment I expressed in my video published on October 5th, at this spot, only stated in a much more eloquent fashion.

    One of Caleb's interesting tweets @TheTeslaShow.

    Caleb also mentions how much better the traffic aware cruise control is now when your vehicle resumes from a complete stop. No longer does it hesitate for a very long time before beginning to follow the accelerating car ahead, instead, it accelerates rather briskly now. You no longer need to override the sluggish acceleration, it handles that for you. To Caleb and I, it does feel a bit brisk. In my thinking, it is now more likely to tip your passengers off that you are not controlling the acceleration, the car is, and that's not ideal. It seems to have gone from far to sluggish to a little too aggressive.

    One concern about Smart Summon is have is about the "dead-man's" function. I would think the car should come to a stop much faster when:

    • The operator's finger is lifted from the "COME TO ME" or "GO TO TARGET" button on the app.
    • The internet is lost, so the car can no longer be sure if the operator's finger is on the "COME TO ME" or "GO TO TARGET" button on the app.

    According to what Caleb says at this spot earlier in the same podcast:

    When you take your finger off the button, apparently there's a 1/3 of a second dead man's switch, so the API is looking for a heartbeat...and if it doesn't get that it will stop....you have to hold your finger on the summon button continually while it's doing it, and so if you let up, summon will stop and the car will stop.
    I tried to do it in a parking garage last night, and it wouldn't even enable, Smart Summon wouldn't even turn on, because I didn't have cell signal...it connects through Tesla server...Also, apparently, after every summon event, it is phoning home and sending the full payload of data back to Tesla, and so far, they've had even October 2nd, Elon tweeted they have over half a million Smart Summon uses.

    So this heartbeat signal is should cue the vehicle to whether the internet connection is healthy, and should stop the car should those "heartbeats" stop for whatever reason. Most of the time, the car seemed to stop within about 1/3 of a second when I release my finger from the button, but I have a clip of an exception that I don't have a good, rational explanation for.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Recorded Oct 4 2019 - Tesla Smart Summon V10 test shows "dead man’s control" can take several seconds to stop my Model 3

    Oct 30 2019 Update

    Three of us drove from home in Connecticut to Pittsburgh and back this past weekend, easy, uneventful, exactly as we had hoped for, and this car delivered.

    Nov 07 2019 Update

    No smell at all from the HVAC system. The Tesla Mobile service cleaning on Sep 27 coupled with the new Tesla air filters installed have completely resolved this issue. This is good!

    I seem to be stuck on 2019.32.12.1 641e9fa with only 2.9% of the TeslaFi community on this level, with a whopping 64% on 2019.32.12.2 58f3b76. So while it seems I got some firmware within a day of first being spotted on TeslaFi Firmware, I'm now a laggard, this is how it goes. You cannot control how long you're left back-level, it's just the way it goes. Unfortunately, my car is more frequently chickening out and aborting lane changes while straddling the dashed white line, which is a bit annoying. It's likely to be resolved as soon as I get an update to 2019.36.1 0164b9a or later, which has a lot of appealing features:

    Not sure what to make of this:

    • Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD Gets 12 Miles More Range, Tiny Price Bump
      Nov 01 2019 by Mark Kane at Inside EVs

      Tesla started November 2019 with a small change in the Tesla Model 3 offer in the U.S. as the Long Range AWD got more range at a slightly higher price.

      Let's start with the range. It's now *322 miles (518 km) EPA, a full 12 miles (19 km) or 3.9% more than before.

      It's almost on par with the discontinued Long Range RWD version, which at some point had an estimated range of 325 miles (523 km).

    Nov 8 2019 Update

    At 11pm, I notice the new 36 firmware was finally being offered to my Model 3:
    2019.32.11.1 d39e85a
    2019.36.2.1 ea322ad
    which I updated without incident.


    It was about 55°F today in my garage, finally warm enough to apply some DIY ceramic coating. First made sure my car was clean, then did a hand-washing with Optimum No Ring aka ONR. I probably should have then wiped the whole car down with rubbing alcohol, but I admit I missed that step, as it was getting dark and cold quickly and this could have been my last chance for a day above the minimum recommended application temperature of 50 °F for quite a while. Applying the Mothers 01024 CMX Ceramic Spray Coating was straight-forward with the Mothers 156801 Yellow Microfiber Ultra Soft Applicator Pads and wiping off with my microfiber Chemical Guys MIC_506_12 Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels, Gold.

    Nov 9 2019 Update


    Got some hands-on time with the new code, so far, very impressed!

    Here's 4 of the many new features of most interest to me personally:

    • Power increase. The good news is it’s not only for Model 3 owners since Raven models of the Model S and X are also getting this power upgrade. However, Model X and S’ are only getting a 3% increase while Model 3’s are getting 5%.

    • Automatic navigation. Even smoother integration with your calendar. How does Tesla’s Automatic Navigation work? If you have linked your calendar, and have indicated the address of a calendar event, you only need to get in your Tesla and it will automatically load the directions to your scheduled appointment. Pretty cool, eh?

    • Scheduled departure. This new feature will get your car ready whenever you need it, you only need to indicate the time. It will both turn on the AC and finish up the charging so the battery is awake and warmed up.

    • Stopping mode. This is probably one of the most popular features of this release, the stopping mode. Tesla owners have been asking for true ‘one-pedal driving’ for many years, as other EV cars already offered this capability. It also introduces a new stopping mode selection along with ‘creep’ and ‘roll’ (previously creep off), called ‘hold’. In hold mode, the car applies regenerative braking all the way to zero and then applies ‘Vehicle Hold’ when the car comes to a complete stop. This option is only available in Tesla cars with the newer permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors, which previously stopped applying regen at around 5mph. AFAIK the old induction motors aren’t physically capable of applying regen at low speeds which makes me think Tesla is never going to implement this feature for the rest of the Model S and X.
    Brief demo of very smooth one-pedal driving in Tesla Model 3 with software V10 2019.36.2.1

    Nov 12 2019 Update


    I'm in the middle of a multi-day winter trip to the Boston area for work, and today was the season's first snow. It's a reminder that it can be handy to choose a hotel that has an AC outlet somewhere on the property for some free charging. It also gives me some peace of mind that I can keep Sentry Mode going all night (which normally eats up about 1 mile of range per hour) and heat my car up for my passenger each morning without worrying about range loss. I even added my find to PlugShare. Just more reminders of how truly great it is to have a car that is so darn comfortable, even in crummy weather. Would have been smart of me to put my snow brush in the frunk last weekend though, oops. About 10 minutes of heating the car were needed before we could depart, no big deal. It already seems that the ceramic coating causes the ice to be shed rather easily.

    Nov 26 2019 Update

    2019.36.2.1 ea322ad
    2019.36.2.3 4a358fb
    I noticed that Navigate on AutoPilot is still too abrupt in taking exits, with a feeling of heading toward the guardrail for too long before correcting.

    Dec 01 2019 Update

    Drive to Cambridge MA and back home again on Sunday ahead of the winter storm. Charged to 93% before heading out, arrived back home at 10% left.

    Dec 05 2019 Update

    2019.36.2.3 4a358fb
    2019.36.2.4 fc422c3

    Dec 11 2019 Update

    2019.36.2.4 fc422c3
    2019.40.2.1 38f55d9f

    Dec 12 2019 Update

    Drove 37 miles on 2019.40.2.1 today, and have some observations:

    1. Seems to be more sensitive to alerting me to follow distance.
    2. When cruise control or Navigate on Autopilot is engaged and I'm at a stop light behind other cards, it now seems to be just as quick to follow the car ahead when traffic starts moving, but then it accelerates too slow to get up to my set speed. Good for comfort, but a bit too slow to accelerate to avoid people from cutting in front of you.
    3. No comment on wiper performance (dry day), and no comment on improved speed adjustments for Autopilot when passing much slower traffic.

    Dec 16 2019 Update

    Time for a road-trip to pick up my wife's Tesla Model 3 in Mount Kisco New York! You can read all about it here.

    Dec 17 2019 Update

    Delivery was a smooth experience, despite the lousy weather.

    Dec 18 2019 Update


    Dec 19 2019 Update

    I noticed I couldn't use my iPhone 11 Pro Max today to get into either car using just proximity (Bluetooth). So I rebooted the phone, and all is well again.

    After some word of this spreading yesterday, today I received this automated email.


    Given my 0-60 is already 4.2, it's unclear what this would mean. But that is a lot of money, and I do worry a bit if this is a harbinger of things to come, perhaps the early days of delightful little freebies are ending. I can' pretend to be surprised though, and I'm very thankful for this (almost) first year of a very good ownership experience.

    Dec 22 2019 Update

    Spotted this locally relevant article recently, interesting approach to giving test drives to the locals.


    Also, apparently electreks' podcasters Fred Lambert and Seth Weintraub read comments of those watching their live stream, have a listen to this guy at this spot.

    Dec 23 2019 Update

    It's been one year, time for a dedicated article to mark this milestone!


    Dec 27 2019 Update

    Odometer 25,019 mi.

    Dec 31 2019 Update

    Roadtrip to Cambridge MA and back today, which was uneventful, just like we wanted it to be. Autopilot did great. No Supercharging needed. Just for the heck of it, when in the Boston area, I checked in on area Supercharger status. Only one Boston area Supercharger appeared full as I've seen before, which was the Dedham MA Tesla location. I arrived home with 14%, within 2% of what it predicted when I set out, and I made a 6 minute excursion from my planned route when returning for a car wash.

    My car was charged to 90% overnight, so I set the charge limit to 95% about an hour before leaving at 11am. What I forgot to do was set the limit back to 90% again, so the next morning, I noticed the car was at 95%. I unplugged the charging cable and turned on the HVAC system, this dropped the range from 292 down to 268 in about half an hour. I then turned off the HVAC and plugged the car back in. I do wish there was a way to set the charge limit for this next charge only, then revert to 80% or 90% for all other charges.

    Jan 01 2020 Update

    Odometer 25,385 mi.

    Jan 03 2020 Update

    7 Tips for Winter Driving | Tesla Tips & Tricks

    Jan 06 2020 Update

    Tesla Model 3 Parts Catalog - Body.

    Jan 28 2020 Update

    A couple of weeks ago, I decided to bring my Model 3 to Tesla Service in Milford, CT. While discussing the occasional loud banging sound I hear from my garage when charging on cold nights or when at a Supercharger, they offered to replace my battery breathers. When doing my first V3 Supercharge yesterday, the loud clunk was still heard. Oh well, not a big deal, here's a YouTube comment that reports their clunks actually getting worse.

    I was also told to call back in a couple of weeks to ask about HW3 install. This is consistent with the January and February batch comments made in this new video.

    Dirty Tesla - Tesla Scheduled my HW3 Upgrade! | Questions Answered | Tesla Full Self Driving Computer |

    Feb 03 2020 Update

    Great video! Note worthy tidbit at this spot is when Elon mentions that Model 3 battery pack modules will never be something that can simply be swapped. In other words, if your battery encounters a failure in any module, the entire pack will need to be replaced.

    Here's the full set of videos:

    Third Row Tesla Podcast – Elon's Story – Part 1
    Third Row Tesla Podcast – Elon's Story – Part 2

    Feb 04 2020 Update

    From MotorTrend, click to view in full resolution at soure article.
    From MotorTrend, click to view in full resolution at soure article. I sure miss those skeletons they used to have in Tesla stores, would love to see the Model 3 that way.

    This picture from MotorTrend above highlights what seems to be my favorite color scheme, at least in theory. In actuality, I've seen a surprising amount of salt stains on dirty Silver Model 3s spotted in the wild. I also have a nagging feeling that ponying up for white seats for an extra $1000 may have gotten me slight blue-jean stained seats a few years down the road, which would be a pretty epic fail. The stories about their stain resistance seem to vary widely.

    Thanks to electrek, I found some fantastic technical diagrams of the insides of a Model 3 chassis and powertrain, from the MODEL 3 EMERGENCY RESPONSE GUIDE.

    Found a great video that aligns quite well with my 1 year of Model 3 experience, the notable exception being paint quality. I haven't noticed the issues he noticed on his white mid-2018 built Model 3 Performance. It's a really good video.

    Snazzy Labs - The TRUTH About Tesla Model 3 After 1 Year...

    Feb 19 2020 Update

    I'd like to take a moment to re-cap where I'm at when it comes to issues surrounding some minor repairs that have turned out to be a bit of a hassle. This is pretty consistent with what you've heard other Tesla owners report, and none of these make me regret my choice in cars, but they are a bit annoying nonetheless. Tesla Service has long been one of the biggest concerns for prospective buyers, and given I live 45 minute from the nearest Tesla Service Center in Milford CT, getting small things fixed on the first attempt sure helps.

    1) Thunk / Clunk / Bump / Thud / Pop Noise during charging and/or cold weather
    This is a known issue, it's all documented at TinkerTry at this spot in my article:


    I had my HV Battery Breathers replaced already. But when I went to add another look at my HV Battery Breathers during my service that's coming up this Monday to swap my HW2.5 out for the new HW3 FSD computer, I got this estimate line item added. The service rep said somebody in the shop added this, not him. Not sure what's going on here, but I said no thank you. I was told this is a non-safety issue, which is part of why fixing it would cost me $0 in parts and $376.25 in labor, plus $23.89 in CT sales tax, totaling $400.14. Wait a minute, don't freak out, I think this was just a mistake. I think the technician thought I was hearing a noise when rear passengers moved about. At least that's what SB-18-45-002 indicates, and it doesn't apply to my vehicle, because it's only for Model 3 vehicles built before approximately December 1, 2017.

    Given I'm not convinced that the HV Battery Breather work consistently fixes this issue on my 2018 Model 3, there's little reason to consider bringing my wife's 2020 Model 3 in for the same service. I think we'll just continue to ignore the occasional thunking noise coming from our garage, and heard once in a long while when driving into colder temperatures from our somewhat warmer garage.


    2) Michelin Primacy MXM4 Acoustic OE 18" tires don't last long
    It wasn't easy to try to be sure the installers were properly equipped to lift your Tesla Model 3 properly. Also, finding an all-season tire that has high "fuel" efficiency and performs better in rain and snow might be impossible, at least currently. I've found a good replacement, but at the cost of about 10% of my range. I frequently drive 200 mile round trips from my home near Hartford CT to Boston MA for work. In winter, this range loss can mean the difference between making it without having to Supercharge on the way back, or not. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts Turnpike doesn't have any Superchargers at rest stops yet, so the detours are a bit longer.

    The reasons for my ire choice are in my ridiculously detailed article:


    Click twice to zoom way in.

    3) Chrome trim is ruined by washing my car too much?
    I can see the reaction from my wife. You see, she pokes fun of my frequent self-service, touch-less visits to the local car wash for about $4.00 per visit. I call it investment protection, with a history of several of my previous cars looking good for well over a decade.

    So, how many car washes exactly? Well, click on the TeslaFi report at right. Yes, it automatically tracks the number of visits to tagged location. So I wash my car about once a week, which isn't really that much when you consider I've covered 27,571 miles in 14 months of ownership. Given the winter salt and other crud that is tougher to remove if it's left on too long, these little visits prevent me from having to do one of those hand-washed with ONR and microfiber cloths in my garage very often. I probably only did about 4 of those in total.

    During a visit for routine service at Tesla of Milford CT Service, I learned that Tesla will not cover cosmetic issues like this under warranty. So I dug in a little further, and found this forum post at TMC by rogbmurray:

    I too experienced this problem after 3 months of ownership. After much research with Tesla, escalating to their engineering team, and providing the ingredients for every product used on my vehicle, the problem was identified. The rear window trim is made with a stamping process much different than all other areas of the vehicle.

    This is why the finish only changes on that area. The stamping process used cannot come in contact with a PH level higher than 13. I spoke with my local showroom where they shared this information from other owner complaints. (They have an internal case logging area)

    I had taken my car to a touchless car wash a fair amount, it utilized simonez products. I used touchless as recommended in the car manual. What I was not aware of is that every touchless wash uses a high and low PH soap to remove grime and dirt. The simonez soap product (quest/mayhem) has a 13.XX PH level. Above the Tesla threshold that owners are not made aware of.

    I was advised this defect was not covered by warranty but fortunately after a bit of back and forth, they chose to make a goodwill repair this one time with the caveat to only use products below that PH level as it would not be repaired again.

    The recommendation from the advisor is to first ask the facility the list of products they are using and confirm the PH level before use. That really did not seem reasonable so I’ve purchased PH balanced products to wash the car at home moving forward.

    Hope this helps clarify why this is happening for you all!


    See also the essentially identical discussion at Tesla's forum too:

    Cloudy Chrome Advice?
    Submitted by Spartan24 on August 30, 2019
    Noticed about a month ago one area of chrome trim surrounding back windows is clouding up, on both sides of the car. Wondering about a few things:

    1. its not really uniform. in other words, its not happening to the other pieces, and so should i ask to have replaced? my 3 is 8 months old, 7500 mi, garaged daily, but sits outside during work.
    2. in interim, or perhaps instead of having replaced, are there any recommended products that work well to clean them back up?
    3. anybody else experience this with their 3? I did quick search and hadn't noticed so I'm thinking its a relatively unique experience.

    pics here. https://imgur.com/gallery/jHxfn81

    thanks in advance for advice.

    This sure seems to have directly impacted me, see my pic of my marred and discolored chrome taken last summer and posted here.

    So I contacted Mr. Sparkle management, and this is the first they've heard of an issue, and don't have any Simoniz contact names they could offer me, even though they use their products.

    Basically, it boils down to this. It will cost $1,488.94 to replace all the chrome-finish window trim and quarter window/chrome assemblies on both sides. But if I keep using my convenient local car washes, it will happen again. Hmm. So here are some of my options.

    1. Submit a claim to my insurance, at the risk of raising my rates.
    2. Ask my insurance company for advice.
    3. Ask Simoniz if they could talk to Tesla and at least document this issue so I can avoid their car washes and prevent similar damage to my wife's 2020 Tesla.
    4. Spend a Saturday covering my chrome trim with DIY chrome delete from Tesla Bros, resigning myself to having to repeat this again in 2 to 3 years.
    5. Sand the chrome to instantly turn it to a matte finish.
    6. Do nothing.

    $1,488.94 to repair all the trim damage from touchless car wash, possibly due to PH levels.

    Feb 24 2020 Update

    Today is the day for my dual brain replacement, aka HW3 retrofit! I'm very happy about this, and use Autopilot features quite a bit on the highway.

    Image from Tesla Service Bulletin SB-18-44-010 Page 4 Figure 5 [Dislodged pin deadfront at lower right]

    When proactively looking inside my charge port yesterday, I noticed I have a broken pin deadfront, as I head heard this could be an issue. So I modified my existing appointment to include Service Bulletin SB-18-44-010 Replace Charge Port Pin Deadfronts. This is a service item I would have thought they'd do proactively during any one of my prior service visits, but apparently I was wrong. Gladly, I'm still able to charge, and noticed this just in time for a service visit. If the other breaks off before I get this fixed, it could blocked port access, sure hope they have this part on-hand.

    The Tesla app gave me issues today, when trying to save my modifications to the existing service appointment to add this pin deadfront repair. Here's a copy-and-paste, with only the txId and the VIN altered for security purposes. Information about the back-end like this really shouldn't be revealed to the customer:

    Error, try again later
    Failed updating appointment
    env: Production
    deviceCountry: US
    deviceLanguage: en
    hostURL: ownership.tesla.com
    bffVersion: 2.4.10
    bundleURL: https://onboarding-pre-delivery-prod.teslamotors.com
    teslaAppVersion: 3.10.3
    deviceLocale: en_US
    route: /service
    txId: 47a7899c-b2b3-4526-9954-1f2b95264XXX
    vin: 5YJ3E1EBXJF119XXX
    vehicleModel: m3

    Apparently, this same issue dates back to at least Jan 22 2019.

    On a second attempt, similar timeout related error:

    Mobile service is currently unavailable.
    Unable to get service appointment list

    Discovered a great article at TeslaTap today:

    Feb 25 2020 Update

    CleanTechnica - Wicked Tesla & EV evolution — battery energy density, price, features

    I agree with Zach's take on the difficulties in trying to not be seen as an arrogant fanboy.

    Mar 02 2020 Update

    The rear motor is actually called PMSRM:
    Permanent Magnet assisted Switched Reluctance Motor

    @elonmusk's tweet:

    AC induction front & switched reluctance, partial permanent magnet rear. Silicon Carbide inverters in both. Performance drive units are lot sorted for highest sigma output & get double the burn-in.

    See also the comments in this excellent video.

    Ingineerix - Jul 27 2018 - Tesla Model 3 Drive Unit - Part 2

    Ingineerix comment below this video:

    Tesla is indeed using a cutting-edge hybrid motor design variant called a Permanent Magnet assisted Switched Reluctance Motor (PMSRM) as the rear motor in the 3, not IPM. Don't just take my word for it, For additional evidence I give you a tweet from Elon himself: https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/998015873167208448?lang=en

    Mar 21 2020 Update

    Great conversation by the guys from Tesla Owners Online Podcast and Tesla Raj, gushing over the rare Silver colored Model 3s with the white interior. They also mention how silver tends to hide dirt better than white. Fun segment, check enjoy!

    Also, interesting that at this spot in this video, they mention that [Midnight] Silver Metallic is good at hiding paint issues.

    Mar 26 2020 Update

    Good article, hit right arrow on the slideshow at the top. Gladly, my wife and I haven't been bitten by any of the more significant issues listed here on either of our Model 3s:

    I'd say I've seen minor versions of the misaligned panels, and a bit of an occasional condensation problem in the taillights and fog lights after manual car washes using a pressure want from about a foot away.

    Apr 14 2020 Update

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Apr 13 2020 - Tesla 2020.12.5 FSD visualization of tipped trash cans/blowing lights, mailboxes, cones in wind/rain

    May 12 2020 Update

    Lingyan Jiang - Apr 22 2020 - How does Tesla Model Y Heat Pump Work - working principles of the heat pump system and its octovalve

    Jan 18 2021 Update

    I have some catching up to do, for now, here's the short version of my 2 years of ownership:

    • In September 2020, I had some underbody work done after a minor parking lot concrete curb incident that caused some damage to my rocker panels and underside of my front bumper, with $1000 deductible, so that was a painful episode damaging my pride as much as my car. It took a few weeks for parts, and nearly 2 weeks for the repair itself, but I had rental car insurance and the #1 rated and only Tesla body repair facility in Connecticut is only 6 miles from me, Airport Road Auto Body Inc, and they did a fantastic job.

    While the car was still there, indoors and clean, I decided to get 3MPro PPF (Paint Protection Film) applied to my newly repainted front bumper, hood, and front fenders. This cost me $1735 parts and labor by Protection Plus in East Longmeadow MA, and they did the work at Airport Road Auto Body before I even took the car home, a nice convenience as they needed the car to be very clean and at room temperature anyway. They did an excellent job.

    Feb 03 2021 Update

    • I decided to get PPF applied to the dog-leg shaped fender flare areas in front of the rear wheel wells as well as the trunk lip, and I'm going with Protection Plus in East Longmeadow MA again, they might be able to help me with my chrome issue as well, we'll see.


    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. 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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