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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience of Tesla's support for repairs etc in areas far from service centre?

I'm considering getting a Tesla in the near future but am somewhat concerned about living in rural Scotland and being ~300miles and a ferry trip away from even the upcoming service centre in Edinburgh, nevermind the current Manchester one.

Also, it occurs to me that the always connected nature of the Tesla is unlikely to apply for big streches of Scotland. Does anyone have any advice on the implications of this? I'm particularly thinking remote diagnostics, but presumably other features will be affected.
 

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Does anyone have any experience of Tesla's support for repairs etc in areas far from service centre?

I'm considering getting a Tesla in the near future but am somewhat concerned about living in rural Scotland and being ~300miles and a ferry trip away from even the upcoming service centre in Edinburgh, nevermind the current Manchester one.
Limited experience myself, as I've had relatively few problems with my car, but the summary seems to be that Tesla give good support for serious problems no matter how far away (sending flatbed to collect car etc) - it's the more niggling problems and routine service that get painful, as non-urgent appointments are hard to get (may be better at the Edinburgh SC), and they expect you to bring the car in for these sorts of thing.

Also, it occurs to me that the always connected nature of the Tesla is unlikely to apply for big streches of Scotland. Does anyone have any advice on the implications of this? I'm particularly thinking remote diagnostics, but presumably other features will be affected.
Internet music will obviously be unavailable; more of a penalty than it might sound since it's the best part of the entertainment system. But music from a USB stick, bluetooth from a phone, or FM/DAB radio will still be available.

Biggest loss will be the navigation system, where entering a destination is more tricky without internet and having the live google maps on the big screen are one of the highlights of the car, making up for some of the other nav system deficiencies. Without internet, the nav still works but becomes like a bargain-basement standalone nav - street address entry only for destinations, no big map just the turn-by-turn directions on the dash, and obviously no traffic sensitive updates. However, it does depend just how bad your coverage is: if you have coverage on the main roads or towns and just have to last through small stretches of no coverage it's not too bad at all (maps will reappear as soon as you do have coverage and are cached to a small degree); if you have no coverage at all along your route it's more tiresome.

Finally, internet connection where you are parked is highly desirable so you can do remote pre-heating/cooling and control charging without having to go out to the car. If there's no coverage in your garage, you can fix this by providing WiFi to the garage - highly desirable also so you can at least start out with full-function navigation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. That's very helpful. A few more questions occur to me if you or anyone else can help:

Are there any parts that will be serviceable by a local garage? I'm thinking particularly glass in the event of a breakage or tires/wheels in the event of a puncture. It seems like these should be possible anywhere, but there's a nagging doubt in the back of my mind.

You mention that the non-urgent appointments are hard to get. How do they work exactly? Is it a matter of booking in advance? Do you have an idea of how fast the turnaround time on services/repairs generally is?

With the mapping, is there any option to store areas for offline use like I would on my phone for google maps?

For the benefit of others, I've found the following useful in judging the repairs options:

Warranty
Roadside Assistance Policy
The official line seems to match Arg's summary in that for most defects the owner is responsible for getting to a service centre but if the vehicle requires towing, 500 miles is provided free (not for flat tires or lockouts)
 

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Tyres are certainly best handled by a local tyre place - the only snag being that they are a relatively unusual size and there may not be one in stock nearby. As the car has no spare wheel, you might possibly want to consider buying a spare tyre to keep at home, so that if you do need to visit the local tyre shop with an unrepairable flat you can give them the tyre to put on. OTOH, maybe up in Scotland you are planning to have a set of winter wheels anyhow? If so, those can do the job of the emergency spare.

Glass I'm not sure about - on the one hand I thought I had heard Tesla used to call in Autoglass to do actual bonded glass replacement, on the other hand I heard that the autopilot camera etc. means Tesla have to be involved in changing windscreens at least. Possibly both are true...

All service centre visits expect you to have an appointment. For something urgent they seem to give priority - I got one about 3 days ahead for a dying 12V battery warning, so as to get it fixed before it turned into a serious issue; at the same time they were booking about a month ahead for ordinary service appointments (this being West Drayton). My 12V appointment they did as a while-you-wait appointment, but it felt like a mighty long wait in their lounge even though I declined having the car washed so as to make a quicker getaway. Normal appointments they offer a loan car while yours is in the shop. The other issue a few people have had with service (though more so with accident repairs) has been a long wait for parts.

No, there's no manual way to get offline big maps - as I mentioned, there's a small amount of automatic caching, and the actual navigation map is always offline.
 

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2016 Tesla Model S70; 2021 Renault Zoe R135.
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Before purchase I spoke to a sales advisor about snagging and servicing. They said for serious warranty issues they would collect the car and provide a loan vehicle. At the time we were looking at Birmingham-Aberdeen although Manchester opened before I collected the car. True to their word they have collected my car for a couple of snagging issues and it's been relatively hassle free.

Servicing might be different as it's not a requirement of the warranty so you might be expected to take the car in yourself. I'd check with a sales rep at Tesla in your case. They will often go beyond the level of service stated in the Ts & Cs. Wait times will depend on how quickly they get the Edinburgh service centre staffed up I guess.

The autopilot camera & sensors would need calibration by Tesla if you needed a replacement windscreen. Official repair shops are thin on the ground in the UK as a whole, let alone Scotland.

Online connection can be via WiFi as well as mobile, so if you have a network at home/work with a strong signal the car could tap in for updates and diagnostics. I think the Sat Nav will work offline if destinations have been searched for while online but as arg says the main map needs a live connection to update. Intermittent signal is annoying but not impossible to live with.

A few Teslas have done trips along the NW coast and visited some of the isles so it's perfectly doable!
 

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I think the Sat Nav will work offline if destinations have been searched for while online
That's true, but they've fixed a while back what used to be the real limitation (that you couldn't enter a location at all with a flaky connection).

You can now:
  • Enter locations via google lookup when online.
  • Enter locations by street address whether online or offline.
  • Pick entries from your search history (provided you actually succeeded in resolving the search into a destination whether online or offline and with history going back a long way.
  • Select from saved favourites likewise.
I believe the facility to take destinations from your phone calendar (which I find very useful) only works via the google lookup to resolve the address into a location, so needs to be online.

Once actually entered, all destinations are equal - there's clearly a look-up process when you enter the destination that converts it into a point on the map that's then used for the actual navigation (hence the saved entries from the history, where there are two tabs - to do the search again, or take the actual location (can't remember what that tab is labelled).
 

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@arg my calendar app also shows all my meetings (synced from Outlook calendar, via the phone) which most of the time are in one of our internal meeting rooms.

The sat nav has a whale of a time finding "Meeting room 4" :D


It is a nice touch for the very odd offsite meetings I go to though. Providing whoever booked the meeting didn't just set the location as "Our Offices" :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help again. The end result of lots of deliberation (mostly budget related) is a reservation for the model 3 and buckling up for some hard comparisons of used EVs in the interim. See you at a supercharger in a few years time!
 
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