Nervous about Tesla

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by dBdt, Oct 3, 2021.

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  1. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    My Model 3 should be ready in the next few weeks, but if I'm getting a glimpse of what it is like to own a Tesla, I may walk away from the deal. I have a question about installing the Tesla EVSE (Wall Connector) and there is simply no one to call. I tried using their contact web page and requested a phone number or other contact info and was ignored. After a week, I sent a second query through their contact page asking if the contact pages worked. No reply. I contacted the salesperson who sold me the M3. He made a half hour effort and said he didn't have the info and also didn't have access to contact info...he just has access to sales. I tried their online chat, but every time I typed out the question, I was disconnected. I'm not going to say they hung up on me, but the outcome was the same and I tried three times.

    So, is this what it is like to own a Tesla?
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  3. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    Tesla is not the only one. I tried to get a warranty replacement battery for my electric lawn mower. They don't answer the phone there even with a phone number. So if you want help, you leave a voice mail message and hope you connect.

    Some of the issue may be with Covid. Some folks are out sick, and some folks are working from home on a crummy internet connection with no IT support. The crummy internet connection and lack of IT support might explain the disconnected chat issue.

    Unfortunately, too many of these companies are relying on internet forums to offload their technical support. It would seem if you want an answer, that is the way to proceed. Sign up with a dedicated Tesla forum.

    I guess you have two options: buy the Tesla or cancel the purchase. Frankly, I don't think Tesla really cares since they are selling every car they can make. With the huge number of cars they are selling, I can't imagine things will get much better in the short term. Other's have canceled their purchase due to a lack of support so you wouldn't be the only one.

    The trouble with the buying another band of EV, is the charging network and the difficulty of getting a car. You might be trading one set of issues for another set of issues if you cancel the purchase.

    Good luck with your decision.
    turtleturtle likes this.
  4. marshall

    marshall Active Member

    One other thing would be to look at the resale value of the car. If it's not too big of a hit, then you might want to go ahead with the purchase, knowing you can unload it if you can't tolerate the service.
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Did you check the YouTube videos?

    Bob Wilson
  6. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    This is more formal than YouTube. A proper installation will follow both the NEC adopted at the location and the manufacturer's instructions. You cannot contradict either without risking the listing and becoming liable. The manufacturer's instructions only mention feeding the EVSE via conduit even though the openings seem suitable for use with wet location UF connectors. The electrician needs a formal reply from Tesla saying that UF plus a connector is an allowed installation. Absent that, we must use conduit, per the instructions, even though we're pretty sure the alternative just mentioned is probably fine. The electrician I work with is strict and formal for this sort of thing. I've assisted him in the past and done the leg work to contact manufacturers when questions like this arise and, for every situation, it has been trivial to find contact information and a clear answer was always easy to get within a day or so. Here, we cannot even find the contact info.
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  8. I'm not an electrician but I will say this, code is code. There's nothing magical about Tesla or anyone else's EV charger. An electrician who knows code can look at the label "required" and install it correctly. Single phase electricity only works one way. Just get a license and bonded electrician who knows their stuff you'll be fine.

    Maybe $250-$500 install for a car you paid...?
  9. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    Not only is the electrician bonded and insured, he also is an inspector and contributes to code updates via at least one panel. Also, code ins't just code. Local authorities modify various versions of the NEC when adopting. For example, our local code has about two dozen modifications. In any event, this is not a code issue. This relates to maintaining the listing of the EVSE. If you do not install equipment according to the manufacturers requirements, you can remove the listing. You can put people at risk of fire, electrocution, and damaged equipment. The listing is part of the value of the equipment and represents how the equipment design was tested against various standards. Electrical work is not just knowing and following code. It is knowing things like this (responsibilities, liabilities, and ethics), working responsibly to maintain the performance of the equipment (including safety ratings), and asking for clarification / help when needed. Sometimes, that means asking the manufacturer. Sometimes, it means asking the local authority for their interpretation of this or that. In this case, it means asking Tesla.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  10. Sorry, you totally lost me.
    turtleturtle and bwilson4web like this.
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Couple of questions?
    • Would your electrician install a NEMA 14-50 circuit with an access box?
    • Would he (or you) put a NEMA 14-50 plug on the EVSE?
    • Did your EVSE come with an "Owner's Manual" showing how to limit current to 40 A?
    This thread would be more useful if you would share photos of the EVSE. In particular, there should be a data plate showing model, voltage, and current. If you can not find this EVSE data plate, take the defective part to your nearest Tesla service center.

    Bob Wilson
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  13. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    The electrician contacted a colleague at the listing agency. Based on the listing process, we were able to make a determination. I am deliberately not posting photos or making detailed suggestions for this installation in a public forum. The discussion here is not meant to be about electrical work. It is about Tesla. Tesla should be reachable. Period. The issues at hand cannot be resolved via the tag on the device. Switching to a different installation method is not the point. We _can_ install this. We don't need help in that regard. If we must use conduit, we will. But it would be preferable, in our circumstance, to use an alternative code-compliant method. Tesla should have been reachable. Tesla's own sales guy should have been able to find a number. Tesla's own contact form should have led to an answer. At the least, Tesla's own contact form should led to a confirmation when I asked later, "is this form live." This thread is _not_ about electrical work and not seeking electrical advise.
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    “Tesla should be reachable.” You will be disappointed until you trade in or sell the Tesla. I can’t help you but sometimes posting in Twitter reaches Elon.

    If you haven’t taken delivery, don’t and don’t pay. There are Tesla Model 3 customers who will take the car. Heck, @R P and @SouthernDude and others will help you discover the joys of CCS-1 fast DC charging.

    Some prospective Tesla customers need ‘reality’ training and a chance to pester other EV makers.

    You might consider ‘short selling’ Tesla stock. Any company that treats their customers like you’ve been treated is surly headed for a fall in stock price. Combine refusing the Model 3 and shorting the TSLA stock will show them.

    Bob Wilson
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    One of the moderators in another forum posted:

    Some day, Tesla will care about those potential lost sales. But not today - they easily sell everything they produce. And this is even without advertising.

    This is why I can advise some to flee from a Tesla. If you expect a lot of dealer and manufacturer care and comfort, Tesla is not that company. Take an early out and look at others. For example, BMW is very customer centered and their "x3" electric looks nice.

    Bob Wilson
  16. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    Being snide doesn't really help. I will complete the sale. It is the best engineering match to my needs. I am very concerned that, over the life of the car, if I need something technical, I will be left high and dry. I will gamble that either Tesla improves its games over the coming years or that they will create a market for 2nd hand service. I posted in this form to explore whether what I was experiencing is a typical Tesla experience. It appears that it is. Fine. I'll trade that for the charging network and charging speed. Lack of service is a fear more than a problem right now. There's no way to fake the charging network, so I'll finish the deal and hold my nose. Maybe I can give them feedback that will make them better (but I won't hold my breath).
    Scottt7257 likes this.
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I ran into a curb that broke the passenger side rims and damaged wheel bearings yet still drove home. I used the Tesla technical site to get details; bought bearings from service department; replaced bearings, and; did a rough alignment before taking it to tire shop. That was about 30k miles ago.

    Otherwise like owning any other car but no oil changes. Just washer fluid and eventually cabin filters. My new tires and rims save about 15-20 lbs each.

    We are strangers so I don’t know if you can turn a wrench. Those of us who can are pretty self-confident. You initial post was a little whiny.

    Bob Wilson
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Most of your questions will be answered in the first three months. I recommend the ‘Tesla Owners’ forum of more patient and people oriented than me answers.

    I’m here for specialized EVSE sharing and cover the Model 3 and Tesla from my point of view. A retired engineer, I’m still in diagnose and fix mode.

    Bob Wilson
  19. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    Whiny, eh? I better go pout about that. :) Reading it again, I can see that. The intention was to find out if this was a typical experience, not to whine, but I did write it when frustrated, so maybe that's why it sounds that way.

    I'm a physicist, or was, so that explains my display name of dBdt. I'm at the end of my career now and have spent recent decade(s) working across mechanical, civil, environmental, and chemical engineering. I have no idea why they are willing to pay me to do this, but I get to learn a lot about a lot of things and tend to ask questions out of curiosity that end up showing what others have missed. I might end up dead in an alley one day, I suppose, but so far people have appreciated it because I only care about the project and am not doing it to be a dork.

    I can build furniture that you'd be able to hand down to your grandkids, have worked extensively with a master electrician, but I never had the opportunity to learn car repair. I've replaced the exhaust system on an old Duster, the headlamp assemblies on a Passat (the dealer wanted over a grand!), but not real engine or brake work.
  20. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    At age 71, I am unemployable but try to keep busy. Actually I knew the software servers were coming ‘end of life’ so I made a point of not learning the new system the new hires worked. When it came time to pull the plug, I was out the door.

    Math, physics, and chemistry remains a calling. It makes life fun.

    Bob Wilson
  21. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    The problem with math and physics is either it keeps getting harder or I keep getting dumber. It must be that it's getting harder (even though some of the stuff getting harder is the stuff I used to know). Actually, it's my increasingly frustrating memory and increasing slowness learning new things that makes me think it's time to move on even though I tend to do well keeping perspective on things and making good calls. I guess this thread is an example of that...dive down into the weeds of customer support and EVSE installation, but don't forget the big picture, which is the overall balance of the car capacity, charging rate, and charging network. If I'm going to buy and EV at all, given my needs, this is the right one, even if they tick me off and worry me about being left high and dry. I'll take my chances and move on with the purchase.
    bwilson4web likes this.
  22. From my understanding and those who own EV can attest, there are no where near as many moving parts so likelihood of needing major service is low. Barring an accident like @bwilson4web mentioned with curb, they shouldn't break. Will you be driving in 10 and 20 years at 90? At 56 my EV purchase should be my last vehicle unless it's totaled.
  23. dBdt

    dBdt Member

    That's a good point. I budget assuming 10 yr service life and hope for more. Usually I get more than 10 with the max so far being 13 (starting new). I'm hoping the EV will be as you say and I did have it in the back of my head when I decided on the long range option. In fact, I'm hoping the long range option will help me keep the car on the road longer. My in laws drove into their 80s and my parents to late 70s. A good friend is hale and hearty and driving long distance in his late 70s. I hope you're right that you get 20+ years!
    Scottt7257 likes this.

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