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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got a Tesla Model 3

Cars

Last June, I took the plunge and decided to buy a Tesla Model 3. I was oddly nervous before buying it- is it worth the price? Will I regret having an electric car? How will I ever go on road trips!?

I watched every YouTube video. Looked up everything I possibly could before buying the car. Still, there were a few things I wish I knew before I got my Tesla Model 3…

7. Supercharger Wait Times Can Be Over An Hour

I live in Los Angeles, which has the most Teslas in any city in America. Yet- there are only about 5 Supercharger stations in the greater Los Angeles area. This results in long wait times if you need to use a Supercharger.

Really, this doesn’t effect me at all because I charge at home. I do think this is important to know for someone that lives somewhere that they can’t charge at home though. If you lived in an apartment where you couldn’t charge at home, it would be an extreme hassle to wait to Supercharge- this is why I don’t really recommend getting a Tesla unless you can charge at home.

I’ve heard that the long wait times are mostly an LA problem and that other cities have reasonable wait times. I’ve road tripped my car to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Vegas, San Diego and Big Sur and only once have I had to wait for a charger while road tripping!

6. It’s Very Low To The Ground

My Model 3 is so low to the ground it actually scrapes my driveway when I park. I’m somewhat worried about this causing damage to the car, but I kind of have no other choice if I want to charge it. Supercharging is kind of a nightmare, remember?

I’ve found that if I back in at an angle, I’m usually able to avoid scraping. Probably 1 in every 10 times I park, I’ll scrape the bottom. It’s just very hard to tell when it’s going to scrape, you have to hit it at JUST that right angle to avoid it.

I’ve had my car for 8 months, and scrape it all the time. I don’t think any real damage is being caused other than a cover.

5. Car Washes Are More Expensive

Prior to owning a Tesla, I would go through a drive-thru car wash for $12. Sometimes I’d go to a “hand wash car wash” because there are a ton of these in LA and it’s more convenient. I was shocked, however, when I took my Model 3 to the car wash I usually went to and it was triple the price.

I’ve gone to some car washes that charged me $50–60 to wash a Tesla. You really have to be careful about where you take a Tesla because some places will ONLY hand wash it, which is usually more expensive.

4. You Can Give Your Wheels A Makeover For $50

The Model 3 comes with a set of wheels that, in my opinion, are hideous. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. But they certainly don’t have a sports car look that the rest of the has, and they really just don’t fit with the car!

You can pay $2,000 to upgrade to the nicer wheels… or you can $50 for the wheel cap kit!

I bought the wheel cap kit directly from Tesla’s website and it took about 15 minutes to install. I’m not good with car things- no clue how to change oil (not that I would need to), flat tire, etc. but I found the wheel cap kit was very easy to install.

It’s important note when you take off the aero wheels you do lose about 5% of range. They are pretty easy to pop back on if you need more range for a road trip, but to be honest, I’ve never put them back on and gone on several road trips.

2. You’ll Probably Scrape The Wheels

Tesla’s are very known for being prone to curb rash. Before I bought mine, I rented one on Turo from a Tesla owner. The owner warned me that the last 3 people had scratched the wheels, so to be extra careful. I was very careful but sure enough I scratched them too!

It turned out to be $206 to repair the scratches to one wheel, not awful when it comes to car repairs, but this was something I never really seemed to deal with with my previous car.

I later learned this is pretty common with all cars. Walk through any parking lot and you’ll see quite a few cars have curb rash. Over time it becomes very difficult to avoid, and it’s really not a huge deal, but for some reason it’s just very easy to do with the Tesla Model 3!

1. There’s No Physical Buttons

The Tesla Model 3 has a very minimalist interior. It can be off putting to people are first, since most people are used to having physical buttons for everything.

The only buttons you really have are two on the wheels that allow you to scroll, skip music, activate voice control and raise/lower volume. You also have a hazard light button- but that’s really it!

Everything else is controlled within the iPad-like screen in the center of the car.

Despite all these things, I still think it is the best car you can buy right now.

What are other car has free software updates, autopilot, Netflix, Spotify, the list goes on…

The truth is Tesla’s are the best electric car you can buy these days, and I think the best car in it’s price range. Not once have I regretted buying a Model 3! No car is absolutely perfect, but this one comes very close.

 

This article was originally published by Shelby Church, Medium.com

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