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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/7/24 11:38 a.m.

I've never come across anything like that in the owner's manual. An AGM that's disconnected from load can sleep for months and months. The manual definitely says you want to stay attached to a main battery charger, though. Which does make me wonder about storing something like a Roadster for the winter, I guess you'd need access to power instead of just locking it in a warehouse.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/24 12:40 a.m.

The service visit has come and gone. The Tesla Ranger was a little later than expected getting here because he has to cover a bunch of area, but I got notifications of his expected arrival time and it was bang on. The service itself was simple enough - the battery is just a little more difficult to change than a normal ICE because you have to disconnect something under the rear seat (takes about 10 seconds) but otherwise it's a two cables and a holddown.

The trunk harness took a bit longer because, well, it's an electrical harness. The problem is that a wire to the trunk lid can break, and that means the reverse camera goes dark - that's why it's a recall. The endangered wire in question is actually a coax cable, and you can identify the problem harnesses by checking the color of the cable sheath. Ours is the one that requires a full harness swap. It runs around inside the trunklid (taillights, reverse camera, trunk latch, etc) and into the C pillar where it terminates under the rear parcel shelf. The ranger had done a bunch of these so he didn't even have to think about what he was doing. 

Like the last ranger, this guy was a car guy. The sort who owns an SVX and who's hoping to make it to the Rennsport event at Laguna Seca. So we talked the entire time :) I learned all sorts of random trivia about things like changes to the trunk interior trim fasteners and he was happy to have a car guy to talk to. He was doing service in both Montrose and Grand Junction today from the Gypsum service center, which means he was driving at least 350 miles in between actual service. Like last time, he was driving a big Ford pickup.

Took right about an hour to get all the work done - mostly the harness of course - and it did indeed only cost $118 to get that new battery delivered to my house and installed. That's still ridiculous. Is it less expensive for Tesla to offer this sort of service than to build service centers in every town? Maybe it is. I certainly can't complain about the convenience of it. And I didn't just get lucky, a friend of mine who lives in CA put in a service request for noisy upper ball joints (it's a known weak point) and they had his car on the lift at a local service center 12 hours later.

Janel will be very happy to get her heated seats back :)

onemanarmy
onemanarmy Reader
3/12/24 8:57 a.m.

Liking the updates!   

and yes, that is a steal for a battery

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/24 5:07 p.m.

Service time! The car's about due for brake fluid and a tire rotation, so I kicked the race car off the lift. Nothing too exciting about the fluid flush, but add another $13 to the maintenance costs of the car :) We're at about 44k in case anyone's interested, and this means my total maintenance to date is two brake flushes and two sets of HVAC filters. And a set of tires.

We have become a visual storytelling society, so here are some pictures. My brake bleeder bucket is a sharps container that happens to have a convenient handle, a lid and two holes that are the perfect size to hold a hose. As before, I had the driver's window open and used a broom handle to pump the pedal. Nothing but the highest technology here.

I left a note for Future Keith.

I also reset the tire service indicator, which I apparently forgot to do last time I rotated the tires. Note that as part of wheel/tire calibration, I can tell the car what wheels it's running (and if the aerocovers are on) and if I'm on winter tires or not. It will take this into account when calculating range.

Also, I discovered the owner's manual suggests avoiding hard acceleration for the first 24 hours after new tires are mounted as the lubricant might not be completely dry and you can spin the wheel inside the rubber. Whee!

The onboard owner's manual also gives full wheel specs, although I'm not completely sure why there are two identical listings for the 18" and 20". I was mostly looking for the torque spec.

Tire wear looks fairly even (and minor) although I'm seeing signs (again) of a bit of toe out in the front. My toe plates say maybe 1/16" or 3/32", but I'll have it checked by the pros. That's overdue anyhow. It could also be dynamic toe under acceleration, but it's a RWD car mostly.

johndej
johndej UltraDork
4/13/24 6:22 p.m.

Oh man, there's a hertz used car dealer here with a ton of these like $20-25k.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/24 7:06 p.m.

They're a little different in that they're the RWD "standard range" model, but they also have LFP batteries.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/23/24 11:37 p.m.

Big news in Teslaworld today, the new Performance is out and it's a killer deal. Only $3k more than we paid for our Dual Motor (now called Long Range) more than 4 years ago, and only $5k more than the current Long Range. In 2019, I think there was a $12k jump to the Performance.

It's not enough to make me want to trade in, though. There are some things in the 2024 "Highland" cars that I like, such as the heat pump, improved noise isolation, much improved aero, matrix headlights - but none of them are enough to make a meaningful difference to us. The extra performance is mostly academic, as we've never found the car to be lacking on the street and we have other cars for the track.

While looking at pricing - we would have to pay $1500 for our black paint today (no charge in 2019) and another $250 for the mobile connector that was included with our car. That brings the total for the current equivalent to our car to within a couple of hundred dollars of what we paid, not taking inflation and improved tax credits ($12,500!) into account. We bought the right spec back in the day.

I did take the car in for the long overdue alignment after noting a bit of wear on the recent tire rotation. Turns out all four corners were just a bit out of spec on toe. Not any more! In case you want to know what the specs are and how far out it was, here you go.

Tesla has given us free FSD for the month. It's the full monte, enter your destination and the car takes you there. It's really only Level 2 but it feels like Level 3. There was a major version revision last month and that's what they're putting out there for everyone to try. I tried it, it's quite capable. Not 100% smooth on the throttle sometimes, but overall it doesn't feel as much like babysitting a 16 year old. I'm not going to pay $99/mo when it runs out but I respect the improvement. I have expressed my opinions on the fundamental flaw in Level 3 autonomy in the past, I won't do it again.

One interesting thing about the FSD is that the on-screen display levels up, showing what the car is seeing. It's pretty impressive, especially on complex intersections (I only have the one picture, but you can see the detail). Also, the display no longer shows every other car as a Tesla these days :) That's our car in black, waiting to make a right turn. The blue floating rectangles are traffic signals.

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/3/24 1:14 p.m.

Our month with FSD ended in May. It was pretty impressive to see the current state of the art, but it's definitely not a useful tool for my use case.

Autosteer (basically aggressive lane centering without the ability to change lanes or navigate) is pretty solid these days. I've tried using it on a road trip across Nevada/Utah, but it disengages with a "bong" every time you want to change lanes. The constant audible notifications were not appreciated by the passenger, as was the slight sideways jerk you sometimes get if you don't take over smoothly. FSD would get rid of that, as you can get it to change lanes by triggering the turn signal. But still, I just keep my hands on the wheel and let the car follow my eyes.

The one time Autosteer is useful is when you need to deal with something inside the car, like "whoops my sunglasses just slid off the center console and I need to pick them out from under my feet". Turn it on, let the car keep itself in the lane for 10 seconds as you dig around, then resume driving. It does monitor your eyes using the interior camera so you can't just turn it on and start playing with your phone.

Anyhow, that's not the news. The news is that the latest software update brought some new native streaming apps like Apple Music and Audible. Probably some others, but it's the last one that interests me because I listen to audiobooks while I drive. Also, you can now turn off the various streaming services you don't want so they don't show up in the list. Excellent. Previously, I've been using Audible over bluetooth which works reasonably well, but since I'm not the primary driver I sometimes have to tell the car to connect to my phone. Ah, modern problems. Meanwhile, the stock radio in my 1990 Miata starts playing music instantly when I turn on the ignition...

There were some other UI tweaks in the update, it's just been optimized a bit. The most noticeable change is a much larger font for the speedo, which makes it more distinct from the speed limit and set cruise speed readings. Apparently it also has a trip completion progress bar as well so when kids ask "are we there yet?" they can see exactly how much longer they're going to be trapped in the car.

SQSpeed
SQSpeed New Reader
6/6/24 11:36 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Are you still liking the Special Actives? 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/6/24 11:54 a.m.

In reply to SQSpeed :

I am. They don't work in all applications - due to their nature, they don't play well with short suspension travel so they're not my first choice for an NA Miata - but I'm quite happy with how they're working on the Tesla. I still have the stock shocks, maybe I'll put them back in someday to remind myself what stock feels like :)

I've been driving the old WJ a fair bit of late when Janel is out with the Tesla. I keep forgetting to stop by the gas station so it's down to about 30 miles of range now - I'd better not forget next time. It's easy to get spoiled by a vehicle that refuels itself overnight. Also, I do miss the three camera views and various beeping alerts when backing up. Given that it's going to be 100F today, I definitely miss the AC preconditioning. But it's got a bigger cargo area so I can more easily carry the recycling!

bbbbRASS
bbbbRASS Reader
6/7/24 12:54 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The user interface also shifted the "energy meter" from horizontal to vertical (The green bar for regen, black for acceleration). It was weird to get in the car the morning after I told it to update and not recognize the interface! Make sure you have "Joe Mode" turned on to try to minimize the annoying bong sound. 

Is it just me, or is that lug nut torque quite higher than I'm used to for a passenger vehicle?

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/7/24 1:32 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to SQSpeed :

I am. They don't work in all applications - due to their nature, they don't play well with short suspension travel so they're not my first choice for an NA Miata - but I'm quite happy with how they're working on the Tesla. I still have the stock shocks, maybe I'll put them back in someday to remind myself what stock feels like :)

I've been driving the old WJ a fair bit of late when Janel is out with the Tesla. I keep forgetting to stop by the gas station so it's down to about 30 miles of range now - I'd better not forget next time. It's easy to get spoiled by a vehicle that refuels itself overnight. Also, I do miss the three camera views and various beeping alerts when backing up. Given that it's going to be 100F today, I definitely miss the AC preconditioning. But it's got a bigger cargo area so I can more easily carry the recycling!

Tunawife drove separately somewhere recently and left before me.

Tunawife: Tuna, I am taking the Bolt home.

Tuna: Ok, why?

Tunawife: Because the van needs gas

Tuna: Uhhh.. ok. Thanks...angry

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/24 1:40 p.m.

In reply to bbbbRASS :

Yeah, there were some other small tweaks (and they might be more significant in newer cars with the faster processor in the center screen, based on what I've read) but I wasn't trying to dive too deep. I do have Joe Mode turned on permanently.

The lug nut torque is fairly normal for a vehicle with that size stud, I think. My Vanagon also uses 14mm studs and it's got the same torque setting.

In reply to tuna55 :

I can see the exact same conversation happening here.

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/7/24 1:46 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

You are much nicer than I.

If my wife tried to pull that, the next time she got in the van it would still need gas. 

 

bbbbRASS
bbbbRASS Reader
6/11/24 8:12 p.m.

It's remarkable how everytime I drive my wife's van, it needs gas!

dculberson
dculberson MegaDork
6/11/24 9:29 p.m.

To be frank it's a lot less of a big deal to get gas as a man. Especially a tall ish man. I'm never harassed at a gas station but it's a common occurrence for women. 

SQSpeed
SQSpeed New Reader
6/14/24 6:48 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The fronts are back ordered till August now. The rear ones arrived in the other day. Tempting to install them but I don't want to cause any weird issues having the active valve on half the car. 
 

Have you found any OEM like solution for a spare tire? The ones I find on the market won't fit in the cubby under the trunk floor, or require the frunk lining to be removed. It may be impossible given the space constraints. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/24 8:32 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

In my wife's case, it's not harassment that bothers her. It's just a chore that has no redeeming qualities :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/14/24 8:33 a.m.

In reply to SQSpeed :

Haven't looked into spare tire options at all, sorry. There's sort of a minimum dimension for those, so they either fit or they don't. I have a fix a flat kit and compressor in the lower trunk. 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/14/24 8:53 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

In reply to dculberson :

In my wife's case, it's not harassment that bothers her. It's just a chore that has no redeeming qualities :)

ditto

 

Now there is another EV benefit aside from not-getting-gas

 

We routinely take a trip to Hendersonville from Greenville, which isn't very far, maybe an hour, but has a bit of elevation change. With the van, this is a problem. You use a ton of brakes on the way down, and a ton of downshifting on the way up. With the Bolt, you just set the cruise and it does the thing without any fuss. We actually gain miles going down. Tunawife takes the Bolt and leaves me with the van for this chore.

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/14/24 9:43 a.m.

the redeeming quality of stopping for gas is being able to get myself a sodie pop from the gas station. I think if I had an EV I'd still stop about the same amount, but I guess I could skip the pump

dps214
dps214 SuperDork
6/14/24 10:17 a.m.
bbbbRASS said:

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Is it just me, or is that lug nut torque quite higher than I'm used to for a passenger vehicle?

Off the top of my head, the sixth gen Camaro torque spec is 140ftlbs. Pretty much anything with M14 studs/bolts is going to be well over 100.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/14/24 10:19 a.m.
gixxeropa said:

the redeeming quality of stopping for gas is being able to get myself a sodie pop from the gas station. I think if I had an EV I'd still stop about the same amount, but I guess I could skip the pump

I mean, you do you and all, but ewww. Not only do I not drink soda, but I've never wanted to be inside a gas station.

Mcivstx
Mcivstx New Reader
6/22/24 2:32 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hi Keith, 

I was hopping to get some Koni Red or Yellows myself and was wondering if you could share your dampner settings on stock springs. Thanks!

-Ricky

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
6/22/24 7:26 a.m.
tuna55 said:
gixxeropa said:

the redeeming quality of stopping for gas is being able to get myself a sodie pop from the gas station. I think if I had an EV I'd still stop about the same amount, but I guess I could skip the pump

I mean, you do you and all, but ewww. Not only do I not drink soda, but I've never wanted to be inside a gas station.

People LIKE gas stations?! I mean I've heard JG say it, but didn't expect there to be others. Wild. 

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