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Tesla Model Y Impressions Part II

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It’s been over three months since I jotted down my initial impressions of the Tesla Model Y and a number of things have happened since then.

Bless the Super Charger Network

We took a number of road trips down to Toronto over the summer and early autumn. We took so many road trips that we found ourselves using up all the free KMs that were given to us via the now defunct referral program

Our first impression was not very positive at all. We knew that we had to stop at least once for food, bio break, and the opportunity top up so that we didn’t enter Toronto needing to charge. I chose Kingston as the stop of choice, but that location was too busy, had too few Supercharger, and the charging stations arranged in a manner where people parked in non-designated Tesla spots can grab the cable from the other side. It was annoying to say the least and it left a very bad first impression. 

So we set off to the next major city, Belleville, and its 20 SApechargers. That was a superior experience from top to bottom. There were plenty of spaces and the amnesties were alright. It was located in the Quinte Pointe shopping mall which meant we had access to everything a typical mall has to offer during open hours. It would be ideal to start seeing charging stations at ONroute stops as well, but we’ll see if that 2022 plan bares fruit.

Supercharging Etiquette

Once you find a spot, the actual Supercharger experience was extremely pleasant. There were not additional apps to pull up, no sign-ins required, no need wonder if you even need an app in the first place: it just works.

  1. Pull-up
  2. Plug-in
  3. Wait.
  4. Get the bill afterwards.

We had a 100% success rate with charging stations. Every single one of those stations worked which is something I shouldn’t take for granted. 

Because we punched in the Supercharger as a destination in the navigation, the Model Y began prepping itself for fast charging which saves us time and preserve’s the car batteries’ health. We Supercharged for about 20 – 30 minutes each time when we only really needed 10 – 15 because we often took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat. I’ve had more East Side Mario’s this year than the last 5 years combined thanks to the proximity of that restaurant. 

On one of our trips, we learned something about “Supercharging etiquette” where we’re supposed to space our cars apart and not double up on a charging station if there were other spaces available. It wasn’t for fear of the cooties, but to allow every one to receive the full speed of the charging station. Nobody told us about this until a friendly Tesla owner told us about it.

Basically, if a charging station has numbering like 2A, 2B, and 2A is occupied, one should go to a free 3A or 3B first.

The charging time estimates were usually quite accurate, but once the charging was nearing completion, we would receive a notification on our phones warning us about idling fees. I understand why idle fees exist, but it’s a tiny bit annoying to have to get up to move the car in the middle of a meal. 

Convenient Service

Every car will have its problems, and although people will be quick to point out Tesla’s quality control issues, to me it’s not the mistakes or faults that defines my perception of a product/company; it’s how you recover from said issues. We interacted with Tesla service 4 times over the last few months and they’ve been mostly positive.

1 – TPMS and free PPF Install

I wanted to get some TPMS sensors for the winter wheels/tires. So we visited the Service Center to buy them and I mentioned that I heard Model Y deliveries in Canada started to include the mud flaps and PPF kit and was wondering if we qualified. The service tech told us that our VIN didn’t qualify, but they were going to offer it to us anyways and install it on the spot. It took less than 15 minutes and we got what we wanted and then some.

The mud flaps and PPF kits were not too expensive, but the TPMS sensors were. I took the whole visit as a a net zero. I got what I wanted and we left on a positive note.

2 – Roadside Assistance for flat tire

We made it into Toronto one long weekend, turn the corner to my fiancee’s parent’s street and then hear a noise that sounded like we scraped a curb. We took a look after we parked, but didn’t see anything wrong. Maybe we just scraped the tire?

The next morning, it was evident that what we heard was the tire being punctured. My fiancee had a CAA, but we decided to see what Tesla’s Roadside Assistance offered. We punched in our request through the app and they gave us a very reasonable quote that didn’t require towing whatsoever. We discovered the puncture at 9am or so and by 12:30pm, Tesla had dropped by with the exact tire we needed and swapped it out.

It turns out that we ran over some metal shard that sliced open the tire. An unfortunate accident that was resolved quickly without us having to pay an exorbitant amount of money. We didn’t need to deal with any towing or figuring out what tire we had to buy. The Tesla service team had all that info which meant we didn’t even need to physically interact with the mobile service tech if we didn’t want to.

A fantastic experience.

3 – Folding Back Seat & trunk door felt panel repair

Mobile service was a game changer. Knowing that many of the service calls can be made without us having to drop the car off, we decided to get a couple of things looked at. The first item was the folding back seat which didn’t fold down when triggered and the other was a felt back panel that wasn’t glued all the way.

A Tesla technician dropped by our house and took care of the felt panel without issue, but the seat needed a spring replacement which had to be ordered and for us to drop the car off at the service center. A couple of weeks later, we dropped off the car and it was repaired without issue. 

A positive experience in the end.

4 – Windshield wiper sprayer stopped spraying

The windshield wiper sprayer stopped spraying  We thought it was out of windshield wiper fluid, but it wasn’t spraying properly after refilling it. We called the mobile technician and after waiting the entire 1:00 – 5:30 pm window, they finally showed up at 5:45pm and got it working within a handful of minutes. Unfortunately, we discovered that the strength of the spray wasn’t like we got it so we scheduled another mobile technician appointment.

Not a great experience, but thankfully we don’t need to drop the car off yet. It’s just silly that this minor issue is even happening in the first place.

Mobile service visits allow Tesla to just drop by our house or even a publicly accessible workplace parking lot to service the car. However, as convenient as it may seem, they cannot solve every issue without a visit to the service center. All  cars are still made by humans and they will all have small issues that need to be addressed by someone. I would have a very different view on the car if I had to drive my car to another city to address relatively minor issues. 

We’re now adjusting to other cars

After many months and numerous kilometers driving with one pedal, aggressive regeneration, not needing to start/stop the car, I find every other car feels weird now. I now drive the Chevy Volt 2016 in L mode which has more aggressive regen in an effort to mimic the Tesla Model Y’s feel. The Volt’s keyless entry and ignition adds a minor step to the vehicle entry and exit process, but it’s amazing to me how dated it feels now.

As expected from the price tag, the noise isolation on the Model Y is on a different level compared to the Volt. Road and wind noise at high speeds are quite noticeable in the Chevy compared to the Model Y.

Having said all that, I still miss Apple Car Play in the Model Y. It’s just a superior audio control experience. 

Improvements over time

As expected, the Tesla Model Y received a number of software improvements since we received the car. The most recent noticeable change was the updated mobile app which gave us the ability to adjust charging amperage and schedule charging remotely. They also made improvements to driver safety by activating the in cabin camera to monitor for driver inattentiveness. They also made a number of small user interface improvements and adjustments like the ability to toggle between percentage and distance easily on the battery indicator.

I didn’t even mention the Full Self Driving beta that was recently released to American owners because 1) we didn’t purchase the upgrade and 2) that FSD beta isn’t available in Canada yet. I don’t think I’ll ever buy FSD for this car at this rate. I think we’re content with just Autopilot for now

Autopilot is good

Autopilot is essentially just driving with a good adaptive cruise control and auto steering. The car does a remarkable job keeping to the center of the road and maintaining a set distance away from cars ahead. It makes long drives a much more relaxing experience in comparison. It shifted the driver’s mentality from being actively engaged to actively monitoring. It actually made the term “Autopilot” make sense to me. Pilots are not actively flying the plane when they put their planes on autopilot, but they are still keeping watch over everything. We’re still monitoring our surroundings and the conditions of the road. Getting in and out of Autopilot was very easy which is important because it can be jarring if Autopilot is not properly disengaged by using the gear selector stalk.

The journey continues…

Winter is around the corner and I’m very curious how the vehicle will handle. I’m curious how the wheels and tires we bought will fare. I’m also wondering what changes the car will receive as time and progress marches forward.

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