The Equine Practice Inc, Travels With Doc T

Tesla At 30,000 mi and 6 Months

My wife says I’m not a perfect 10 in every category but she won’t trade me in on anyone else.

This is my exact sentiment with my 2017 Tesla X. I have driven everything from a Yaris to an long nose Peterbilt semi truck. My personal vehicle for the last 3 decades has been a pick up truck. I traded in my 2007 GMC 1 ton 8 foot bed 4 door diesel pick up at 519,000 miles for this Tesla X 100D - and I will never go back.

I just listened to a diesel pick up start this morning at 29 degrees (-1) and the familiar sounds floated across the lot: the effort of moving the cold cylinders, the loud diesel sounds pounding each stroke, the hesitation of the revolutions followed by the computer kicking up the revs then a while later the revs lowering and the sound smoothing out. All this time the serenity of the morning lost forever. 15 minutes later the driver places the truck into drive and the serenity and peace returns.

I get into my silent and pre-warmed X, click into D then smoothly and silently accelerate away. I won’t miss my past life with my diesel trucks. The performance of the X is spectacular both in acceleration and stability. It has the highest safety rating of any SUV but that means nothing to me. But I FEEL safe driving which speaks louder than any paper with words. This feeling I have comes from 2 stories.

1) Yesterday I got into a traffic situation where my left front quarter of my X was about to meet the right front quarter of a very large blue Kenworth semi truck with trailer. The navigation situation was so uncommon that my million mile brain spent too much time processing the unusual information. I performed my millisecond calculations and started to brake the car. My X thought faster and as I was slamming on the brake, the X slammed it on harder. It successfully took over eliminating my slow patterned response and avoided the hit by inches. While a driver-less car hit and killed a woman popping out from between cars this week, this automated car of mine was at work saving me from a real headache and even possible death. The newspapers say we should stop and reassess the safety of autopilot development but from my seat, my X did a better job than me.

2) On several occasions with auto steer and traffic aware cruise control active, the X regulates the speed of the car when entering roads with turns too sharp for the speed I am traveling. I was traveling at 58 MPH and a 180 degree turn was up ahead while going down a hill,  There was a cliff on the other side of the guard rail. The X slowed itself to 36 MPH and took the turn perfectly then accelerated to the set speed. This is a safety feature I enjoy using.

Overall these two features with the safety limits creates a less fatiguing driving process. In addition to the 30,000 miles in 6 months I also drive maybe 8,000 miles in very new rental cars with similar diving safety features (traffic aware cruise control, lane assist, auto steering) during the same time period. I really cannot wait to return to this Model X.

Maybe you also run home to your wife or husband after some time apart. However they still load the toilet paper the wrong way on the spool in the bathroom. But you won’t trade them in just for that. They are too good in so many other ways - some of them intangible feelings - for instance you just like them or you feel safe with them.  It is the same for me and this car.

Some Tips and Thoughts

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Note the dashed lines at the 4 o'clock position of the circle below the "kw" towards the "-50". These appear when the battery is cold. It is 31 F.
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The thick solid green line of the circle below the "kw" indicates I am regenerating but not to the full potential. It stops at the dotted line.

Cold weather - charge your car after driving about 30 to 60 minutes or it will not charge or will charge incredibly slow. Also regenerative braking is poor or nonexistent in a cold battery. Use the scroll wheel to select the “Energy” widget for the dash. If there are any dashes on the minus side of the circle then regain braking is reduced. Once the dashes are gone then full regeneration braking returns. So does full speed recharging.

Windshield visibility - Wear polarized sunglasses to enable vision through a heavy rain or when you are behind a truck in heavy rain. Maybe I’m the only one with this problem. I’m nearly blind with my perfect vision and years of driving experience. The solution needs to be found though because I think others experience this in the X.

Blind spots - I added the round convex mirrors to both side view mirrors to decrease the time it takes to recognize traffic to either side of me.   I think a more elegant solution for the Tesla would be to display these vehicles in bright yellow to each side of the Tesla car image on the dashboard.  Then when these images of cars to one side of mine is delivered to the screen my brain would instantly know there are obstacles and a lane change should be avoided.  This is a better concept that the bright lit images in the side mirrors of most modern cars.

Phone contacts - Tesla still allows a limited number of contacts to synchronize. Every rental car instantly synchronizes my 6800 contacts but the Tesla syncs only to my “R’s.”

Spare tire - Tesla should offer a spare tire option. I know I can get one but where do I place it? Weight is the issue, but for me a flat at a farm an hour away from a service station or towing service ruins the day. If a motor fails, there is a second one. If a battery cell fails, there are plenty more. If a tire fails (and they do in the country when you don’t have 10 ply tires) then you are out of luck. Another consideration is to offer a new model called the X Heavy. Steel rims and 10 ply tires with stone protection underneath. This would fill the work truck world, a niche for Tesla because there is plenty of room for just about anything in the back making this an ideal work vehicle in many situations.

Front doors - It would be nice if these automated doors sensed the wind correctly. I have had the door open only a few inches against the wind and I fight with it to open enough for me to exit. On the other hand - just today - I had the wind catch the door and fly it open into the car next door. To my chagrin, the driver was in it eating his lunch. When he whipped hi head around to see the idiot who just damaged his car, food went flying out of his mouth! I begged forgiveness. No damage was visible but it could have been avoided either by Tesla engineering or me being aware that this can occur. But when do I know when to hold onto the opening door and when to push it open harder. See my problem?

Summary

All the blogs in the past should be read to understand my evolution with the Model X Tesla. But at this point, I am Tesla’s biggest advocate. I am recommending this vehicle (or any Tesla) to anyone willing to listen. The strong complaints I have had I have become accustom to and tolerate. The overall vehicle is a beast that I love. If this is too emotional for men and women reading this, then how about this. I now continually ask myself why people have not sold their ICE vehicles and purchased an EV? If it is money or the availability or convenience of charging them, reconsider your thinking.

Owners of EV’s are way ahead of the population. There will be a time when everyone will have an EV and gas stations will be abandoned or converted to charging stations (see the feature image above). Engine mechanics will have new work titles such as automotive software engineers.

And serene mornings where the cold air carries the sounds of spring birds frolicking in the morning sun will no longer be drowned out with the sounds of a diesel warming its cylinders to attain compression. I for one am so glad I decided to go EV and the Tesla X 100D has been the perfect choice for me. You should get one sooner rather than later. No regrets.


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As of November 2018 I will no longer reply to comments. There is just not enough time in the day! I sincerely appreciate all of your interest and am grateful for the time you take to comment here. Doc T

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