The truth about Tesla service!

There has been a lot said about Tesla service in the media over the past few years, so being a relatively new Model X owner, I wanted to see first hand what the experience is really like. It all started because I noticed my driver side Falcon Wing (or is it pigeon wing) door closing harder than I would like. A manual recalibration didn't solve the problem…. Quick side note, you can recalibrate your doors by turning off the child locks in the system and holding down the open button until fully open. You will hear an audible beep and the doors will open slowly and recalibrate. You do the same on the way down by holding the close button.

I opened up my Tesla app, hit the button to schedule service, and within minutes had a text message from Tesla Mobile service asking if I could send pics of the issue. I recorded and sent over a quick video and they scheduled a visit for me the next day.

I arrived for my appointment 20 or so minutes early, and an associate promptly helped me out. We went over the issue, and while I was there I showed him a minor issue with a clip on the A pillar that he took note of as well. Within a few minutes they had the info they needed and also provided me with a loner car (A Tesla Model S 85 which I review in the above Video). Even the rental car process is painless. They send you a document to e-sign via email, you provide a license and insurance and you drive off. It was honestly the most painless experience I have ever had at a car dealership.

I was told that they may need my car for up to 5 days, but to my pleasant surprise they reached out to me in less than 24 hours to let me know that they had fixed everything.

So…. That's it. No drama, no fuss, just fast work done by friendly staff, and I got to enjoy driving around in an early Model S that started this whole electric evolution. Pretty badass if you ask me.

Model S 85 notes

Even though the Model S I drove was only 5-6 years old, you can really tell that Tesla has been evolving their cars. Obviously, this car was before the exterior refresh, but even the interior materials have changed pretty drastically. The dash material didn't look or feel as high quality, and the overall interior simply wasn't as nice. I now understand the early reviews that mentioned that Tesla was lagging in that area. I've even had passengers in my Model X make comments like “THis is really nice, I don't know why they say Tesla's don't have nice interiors” (it's because they have been gradually changing them.

I also noticed some small quirks. The steering wheel stereo forward and reverse track buttons used to be two buttons instead of 1, and it felt like it was wearing out on the S. The turn signal stalk is strangely low compared to newer Tesla's. So low that I found myself hitting the cruise control instead of the turn signal. It wasn't ergonomic at all (I'm nitpicking at this point). The charging door doesn't close itself (not a big deal, but I'm spoiled). The first night I had the car, it rained, and I realized that a non-all-wheel drive electric car in Colorado would be a death trap. It was a little too easy to get the back end out from under me. It reminded me of my first time driving my 05 C6 Corvette back when I had it.

Probably the two biggest complaints I had were

  1. The lack of autopilot… Holy hell I must use autopilot for 90% of my driving because I found myself trying to turn it on constantly, and felt like I barely knew how to drive a car.
  2. No self-presenting doors. I had to open and close my own doors like some kind of animal ;). First world problems, I know, but I don't know that I could go back after having that on our X. It's little details like that that really set the X apart from every other car on the road.

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