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Tesla Roadster Ownership

10571 Views 66 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Simon Mac
I thought it might be interesting to log some of my Tesla Roadster ownership experiences :)
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On the plus side Kevin, you can cart around a load more stuff in the S, and it is actually meeting your range needs.

I know it's not a 2 seater sports car, but is it growing on you yet ?

I've been reflecting on my test "ride" of the i8. The use of a gearbox was the biggest let down..

I suspect it would cope admirably from a NVH pov over a 200 mile drive, especially compared to the Roadster. Next time I meet up with you or Alex, I'll have to blag a ride to see if my hunch is right though. ;)


P.S. Hope you get your car back soon
I've driven the model S several times over the last few years and it's not for me. Bends that I can take at speed in the Roadster have the Model S wallowing all over the road and I have no doubt I'd be in a ditch in no time :)

You also need to find a huge parking space which I find really inconvenient.
I know exactly what you mean.

Sounds like the i8 will be the right tool for the job then. OK it's not pure EV, but I'd imagine it's more comfortable than the Roadster over long distances, but still able to go round corners.

In fairness to Tesla I've not driven one with the plus suspension setup on 21's which I'm sure would take some of the wallow out.

In non-P guise, it's by no means bad in context, i.e a comparable Audi A7, but then a 2 tonne luxo-barge isn't going to corner like a 750kg track car ;)
Tesla Roadster annual service £400 + VAT...

View attachment 2211
£40 for a wiper blade :eek:

They are £5 on ebay!

Even more reason I will be taking my S to a local mechanic for it's annual inspection ;) Here's my choices as I see them right now:

Option 1:
Stop on way to work at backstreet garage
Mechanic: "Hmm yep, brake pads look OK"
Me: "Thanks here's a £20, buy yourself a pint."

Option 2:
Drive 150 miles to the nearest service centre
Tesla: "We will need your car a day"
Me: "Ok, See you tomorrow"
Drive 150 miles home
Next day.
Drive 150 miles back to the nearest service centre.

Tesla: "We changed you windscreen wiper. It was OK, but we changed it for you anyway as part of our customer centric approach"
Me: "And the brakes?"
Tesla: "They were fine. The car is very light on brakes, due to our awesome Regen system"
Tesla: "That will be £500 please"
Drive 150 miles home

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I used to believe that allowing Tesla to operate without dealers was a good thing but today I have serious doubts about a manufacturer selling cars direct :(
Me too.

its critical we get the right and information required to repair our cars. Today Tesla insist they undertake the annual service as part of the warranty so i'm tied into them for another two years or 30,000 miles (iirc).
I suspect your case is slightly different, because yours is now in an extended warranty situation. (A bit like how BMW will continue to honour warranty if you service at franchised dealers)

For the first 4 years, in the S's case, there is no such limitation since the EU changes of the "Block Exemption Rule"

I'm sure you know this, but for the benefit of others that might stumble across this thread:

Whilst I suspect for now many S owners wouldn't dream of taking their cars outside Tesla (or have bought on a finance deal that mandates it), come 4 years time they will, and Tesla will be facing a sticky situation because they will be flouting EU legislation. TBH I suspect it's why Tesla have so carefully termed it "inspection" rather than "service".
I'm watching the evolution of Tesla's business model with great interest. It's a fascinating blend of free market capitalism and totalitarianism! :) Arguably the worst elements of both.

Yep, very interesting. I have no doubt the plan will soon include some sort of "recurring revenues". Some sort of subscription push, as in the IT world are my suspicion on where they will end up.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Model 3 has an £x per month service contract, to cover the 3G, "My Tesla Service" and Superchargers.

The goal will be to lock people in to some sort of "ecosystem", with (relatively) easy entry, but much harder exit. With this you get a constant flow of income, and only have to invest in just enough innovation to keep competition under control. (Remind you of another Californian based company?)

In fact when you buy a Tesla, you are also "signing up to a subscription" on the order sheet. Just the price is £0 per month.... sooner or later that will no longer be the case.
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Interesting assessment of the Tesla-only service model. @Simon Mac, you raise the subscription model -- another obvious "pay to play" option is the firmware updates. Indeed, Tesla already appears to be signaling that if you don't pay for annual service, you'll stop getting software updates. Here's the text describing "pre-paid service" directly from the website:

How many owners would be willing to opt out of these updates? They've been tremendously valuable so far. And there's no one else besides Tesla who can provide them. By bundling these updates with "inspections," Tesla will have a very strong hand.
Yep I agree, bundling the updates with the services does add value, and goes some way to offsetting the cost. Saying that the biggest feature improvement so far (for me going v5>v6) is calendar integration. The majority of the others are bug fixes, which arguably are a warranty item.

For example, my car came with the steering wheel a/c for the drivers side linked to the passenger side of the car. Obviously a warranty issue. How would Tesla ship me the fix in isolation, without the calendar app upgrade?

They could have multiple versions of firmware, and some logic to decide who to ship which to, but I suspect the management overhead of having multiple branches of their software outweighs the need to withhold updates from the handful that don't pay for the inspection. (Especially as all Tesla sanctioned financing effectively enforces Tesla inspections)

This probably explains the rumours that Tesla's systems aren't discriminating yet, and a few that haven't had their car inspected are still getting OTA updates.
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All other car companies work like this with software updates.

Example: If you want to update a Merc COMAND system, you have to either get it done during a service (was done for "free" as part of my last ~£800 service - wish I had taken out the prepay plan when I bought the car), or buy the expensive satnav update, which is only legitimately available from Mercedes authorised service centres.
Tesla are in a bit of a different situation though because they are using cloud hosted servers. It is cheaper for them to upgrade everyone, than target specific vehicles.

A good example is the voice command.

Some of the new commands started working before the firmware in which they were announced was installed on the car. The simple reason being this functionality is provided much like Siri, and sends the audio over 3G to the internet to be processed on a central server before sending the result back to the car.
Not being funny, but I'm not sure I'd buy a 3 year old Model S off you matey, not if you've only spent £60 on maintenance and that was only to get the mechanic pissed ;-) (£20 for a pint down your gaff? crickes!)
To be fair it will still have 1 years manufacturers warranty, and will probably go back to Tesla as a deposit on the next car, so no need to worry ;)

I guess the point is (flippancy aside about some dodgy backstreet scenario) is in real terms, a mobile Tesla "inspection" (which is the only practical way without using 2 days driving back and forth Heathrow) is going to cost north of £600. For exactly the sum of checking pads, and changing wipers.

Literally there is nothing else on the car to "service" apart from maybe a cabin filter. I've had ICE cars that have 2 year service schedules, so an EV requiring an eye watering service bill annually is really poor.

We can all moan and bitch about it, but unless some of us refuse to pay, the price will stay the same.

Hopefully our local Mercedes Benz independent, will get qualified on the B Class BEV, and I'll take it there (after all it's the same motor and power electronics)
Did anyone grab it?
It's still downloadable. I think @Jimbo's point (and a valid one, is it isn't current).

It was however what your $500 used to get you, and the US lot felt a bit ripped off. Basically it's all "visual" inspections, and actually much less work than on a Mercedes "A" schedule for an E Class (as you would expect for a car with no ICE)
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