There are four ways your Tesla can be serviced: The usual ways, by bringing your car to their service center, or through a road call, but you can ALSO get your car serviced over the phone, via wifi, and with a “house call”. During my first 10 months of ownership, I’ve experienced three out of the four.
My first experience with Tesla’s service was a house call to install my garage door opener, ‘Home Link’. I made the appointment using the Tesla app on my phone, got instructions to ensure that the service rep would not be exposed to any Covid danger, and received confirmation of the date and time. Easy and efficient.
One of the many nice things about Teslas is there is so much routine maintenance you will never need, like periodic ‘lube, oil, filter’, tune ups, brake jobs (I rarely use my brakes). The maintenance schedule tells you to check your tires, your fluid levels and your wiper blades. That’s it. And you don’t even have to do that, because your car will TELL you if something is amiss…which it did several weeks ago, with an alert on my screen that the front passenger airbag needed attention, leading me to my second experience, service via phone and wifi.
Although the service rep certainly gave it her all, we ultimately concluded that I needed to bring the car in. Still, our time together wasn’t a waste because I learned that you “reboot” by simultaneously pressing both scroll buttons on the steering wheel, a handy thing to know. (Yes, I also could have read the manual, but what fun is that?)
After the technician determined it was safe to drive, I headed for one of the two Tesla Service Centers in New Jersey, my third experience. Lucky for me, it is a mere 17 miles away.
The loaner I was given was another Model 3. If they had been smart, they would have given me an S, so I could notice all the cool things THAT model had that my 3 didn’t. Instead I got a “standard” 3, which made me congratulate myself on the wisdom of my choice. One difference that I noticed immediately were the shiny metal pedals. I figured those were what you got when you bought the cheaper “standard” model. Nope. I subsequently learned were PERFORMANCE pedals, available for $150 from the Tesla Store. As I mentioned earlier, I RARELY need to use the brake, and I only use the accelerator when I’m not in self driving mode, so I can’t comprehend why ANYONE would pay more for shiny pedals. Does it make the car go faster? Does your foot grip the pedal better? Maybe it’s a guy thing? Speaking of “guy things”, I discovered the car was set to “chill” mode, which prevented me from driving like a 17 year old, experiencing the power and grandeur of a Tesla for the first time. (Okay, that was definitely sexist. There are certainly female speed demons out there.)
It turns out that the problem was with the front passenger seat, which had to be replaced, so a new seat had to be ordered and delivered. The Tesla App on my phone kept me updated on the expected completion date. How wonderful not to be subjected to the annoying prompts on an Interactive Voice Response System: “Press 1 if you want to buy a new car, press 2 if you are considering killing yourself so you don’t have to listen to this annoying music while you wait for what feels like hours…” Another easy, positive experience.
I can’t report back on the fourth experience, road service, because so far I haven’t needed it. I’m thinking that a flat tire might be likely reason for summoning help. Teslas do not come equipped with a spare tire in the trunk, although you could probably buy one if you so desired. I definitely don’t desire, because I haven’t ever changed a tire in my life, and I have no intention of starting now. But for those who have the “do it yourself” itch, there is also something that you can buy from the Tesla store (which will be discussed in a future post). If I DO use road service, you can count on me to report back.
Bottom line, as I approach my first year of ownership (March 5th is our anniversary), I have to give high marks to Tesla for service, especially because of the need to access it infrequently.
3 thoughts on “The Tesla Chronicles- 4. Service”
Yikes!! You hardly ever use your brakes. What happens if the traffic light turns red? Who thought reading about cars could be so entertaining!
Well, it depends. If you have activated “self drive” and a car has already stopped at the light, your car will also stop ( applying the brakes at the optimal time to maximize recharging the battery). If you are driving, you just take your foot off the accelerator and the car slows to a stop. You only use the brake if there isn’t a car already stopped at the light or if you are so close and going so fast that you wouldn’t stop in time. Of course, if you were t as cheap as I am, you would have purchased FULL self drive, in which case you just sit back and let the car do it all. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Within a day, I had completely mastered the technique.
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I too marvel at the low maintenance costs for my EV. But, since I purchased mine from a dealership that also sells gas-powered cars, I still get postcards from them alerting me to discounts on oil changes. HA!
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