Thank you for reading the Tesla Owners Club of Maryland’s Frequently Asked Questions! The intent of this page is to be a resource for the Maryland Tesla community to augment documentation that comes with the Tesla products. Familiarity with the User’s Manual as well as the official Tesla ABC’s presentations are strongly suggested and assumed.

Everything written in this document is believed to be true at the time of this writing. Any feedback should be directed to info@marylandtesla.com or you can post a comment below. 

Every answer applies to all Tesla cars unless others noted in the answer (or, if it’s about the PowerWall or Solar Roof products, which clearly applies to those products instead).

Service Centers

How do I get my Tesla car now that it’s finally ready?
Taking receipt of your brand new Tesla EV is a fairly straightforward process at its heart. Tesla will be in communication with you on the details of your delivery. Most of the time you schedule an appointment to go to the appropriate service center, get an introduction, do a brief inspection, sign some papers, and off you go. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this became touchless, in that you never actually talk to someone. The requisite paperwork will be in the glove compartment. Install the Tesla app on your phone before you pick up your new car so you’re able to get inside for touchless deliveries.
How would Tesla resolve any issues, or any other issue once I’ve taken delivery? What about body work?

Making an appointment with Tesla for service is done exclusively from the Tesla application. The Rockville and Owings Mills Tesla service centers do body work as well. While this is very convenient and usually pretty easy to set up, it can also be frustrating because that’s the only way to initiate any conversation with Tesla Service. Text messaging and emails can be used later, but it’s still mostly done through the app.

Then it’s just a matter of filling out the details. If something can be done via the Mobile Tesla Ranger service, the app will choose that automatically (you can make a note of your desire for mobile service in the comments as well; personal experience has been they are pretty good at honoring that, although there aren’t many data points because the car doesn’t need much service).

If you do end up dropping your Tesla off at a service center, and you cannot wait, you will most likely get Uber credits. Getting a rental from Tesla is spotty — sometimes you may get lucky and get a Model S rental, but don’t expect it.

There are also other certified body shops around. You can search for certified body shops on the Tesla Body Shop Support page. Insurance handling is like any other car and depends on your coverage and your provider’s body shop relationships.

The following body shops have been recommended by other club members:


Software

What can the Tesla app do?

Aside from scheduling service center appointments or otherwise communicating with Tesla Service, the Tesla app (for either iOS or Android) is one of the primary ways you can control your car. It should have already been set up as your Phone Key. You can control some aspects of charging (stopping, starting, charge level), you can turn on climate control and change its settings, you can lock, unlock, vent windows, open (and close if you have the appropriate hardware) frunk and trunk, turn on or off Sentry, Summon your car (depending on what features you purchased, that includes Smart Summon), you can request immediate Roadside Assistance, and you can of course spend more money by buying available upgrades.

There are lots of third party applications as well, which can provide handy analysis of battery usage, battery health, trip and charging statistics, and even provide some automation including voice commands to do all of the above. Note that third party applications do require you to authenticate with your Tesla account username and password and get a token, which some people are not comfortable with.

How do I know if I have the latest software in my Tesla?

Tesla releases new firmware updates for its cars at least once a quarter (with major releases taking usually around a year to a year and a half to come out). There are times when bug fix releases seem to come every other week. Knowing whether or not you have the latest requires knowing what your car has (the smartphone app tells you, as does the center screen) and what the latest version is.

A handy way to determine the latter is with the TeslaFi Firmware Tracker. TeslaFi is one of those third party applications mentioned in this question, but you don’t have to be a paid TeslaFi member to see this data. There is a setting in your Tesla under the Software menu for Advanced or Standard updates. Advanced means you get new, generally available releases right away, while Standard puts you in a queue of unknown length before your car will notify you it’s ready. Note that downloading firmware updates requires being connected to WiFi, and the actual update usually takes 20-25 minutes; the car is not driveable while updating.

What voice commands are available?

For clarification, the Tesla app question was talking about voice commands enabled by third party applications on your smartphone. That depends greatly on the third party application and what you manually set up.

There is a fairly complete list of all available voice commands from inside the car here. There is also a list on the NotATesla website here. And, there is an iOS app available here.


Sentry Mode

How do I enable Sentry Mode?

Sentry Mode is a security feature that arrived via an over-the-air software update back in early 2019, in response to a rash of break-ins on Model 3’s in Southern California (the little triangle window behind the passenger door does not trigger the alarm when broken, and people were smashing that to then fold the seat down to see if anything was worth stealing in the trunk). It expands on DashCam, which uses the same cameras as AutoPilot. All Model 3 and Model Y vehicles support Sentry Mode. All Model S and Model X cars built after 2017 as well as any that have been upgraded to MCU > 2 should be Sentry Mode capable. You will see the option in your car’s settings and in your smartphone application.

The other requirement for Sentry Mode is a USB storage device plugged in to the front USB ports (newer cars, as of 2021, actually have a USB port in the glove compartment, for added security). The drive needs to be formatted in either FAT32 or ext4, and must have a directory called “TeslaCam” at its root. Preparing a new USB storage device for Sentry use can be done within the car with recent software updates.

Once those are taken care of, you just enable Sentry Mode from your car or smartphone app. It may be a good idea to turn off Sentry Mode at home and maybe work, as even with recent software versions (including 2021.4.x) there may be a lot of false positive noise, as Sentry Mode reacts to any perceived nearby motion, including heavy rain. Another reason for periodically disabling Sentry Mode is to minimize the chances for writes to fail and the drive to become corrupted.

The larger the storage device the better, but 128G should be absolute minimum. Note that SSD drives do work, but that is not the best use for that technology as this will be heavily skewed towards writes and not reads. As such, SSD drives may fail sooner than expected in those environments (they should still last longer than you have the car and others have said they last longer than most USB thumb drives, but portions may fail sooner than expected). You also want one with fast write speeds; if the device is too slow, you will get a warning in the car and videos will be degraded if they work at all. One described as for “gaming” should be more than adequate.

How can I view my Sentry Mode videos?

As of Tesla software version 2020.12.5, you can view DashCam and Sentry Mode videos on the main screen in your Tesla. Tap on the Sentry icon when parked and choose the option to view.

If you wish to export those videos or archive them off the car, you have two options. One is to just remove the Sentry USB storage device and copy the files to where you want, perhaps having two USB storage devices on hand to avoid having no active Sentry while you’re copying (while it is possible to have an adapter to copy to another device right in the car, this may take a while).

The other option can be fairly complicated. You could purchase a Roadie, which is basically a Raspberry Pi device with some software, or you could build your own Raspberry Pi device. The benefit here is the Raspberry Pi device is basically its own little computer with WiFi, so you can copy files off (as long as the USB port is powered) wirelessly. The Roadie device has its own iOS application that does this, although the app itself is limited in features. It is possible to configure the Raspberry Pi device along with other services on your local network to automatically copy files over, but that is fairly complicated and beyond the scope of an FAQ response. Please post a query to the Facebook group for more information, if wanted.

One iOS/macOS application that works very well for viewing Sentry Mode videos either from the USB storage device directly or copied elsewhere is Focus Dashcam Organizer.


Charging

What should I know about charging my Tesla?

The first thing you should know about charging your Tesla is, be aware of Range Anxiety. It happens to everyone, and it’s usually not an actual problem as long as you follow the car’s recommendations. With that said, let’s talk about how to charge your Tesla.

There are essentially three levels of charging for electric vehicles:

  • Level 1 charging is your basic 110v outlet. It’s available almost anywhere, all Tesla Mobile Connectors that come with the car can connect to it, and it provides roughly 5 miles of extra charge per hour.
  • Level 2 charging is what most public charging stations are, and what most home charging stations beyond Level 1 are. The most common plug is the J1772 (the adapter for which should have come with your car) for public stations and perhaps a NEMA 14-50 outlet for home charging, unless you go with the Tesla Wall Charger, which of course uses the proprietary Tesla connector. Typical charge rates are anywhere from 30-50 miles of range per hour.
  • Level 3 charging is DC fast charging. For Teslas, that means a Supercharger that provides potentially up to 1,000 miles of range per hour. These are placed all over the country (and, well, globe) and are meant for quick charging stops during long distance travel. Other charging networks are coming online with Level 3 charging, typically using CCS (not yet available for Model 3/Y in US) or CHAdeMO (becoming obsolete, but there’s an adapter from Tesla available) plugs.

How much you pay for charging depends on many factors. Home charging is typically about a quarter of equivalent gas prices (which, as gas prices fluctuate wildly, is an average estimate). Level 3 charging is usually about half of what gas would cost or more, depending on what network you’re using and what local electricity rates and rules are.

When should I charge my Tesla?

Tesla recommends in the User’s Guide that you should plug your car in whenever you can, so its Battery Management System can keep the battery happy. This is the formal answer to the question, even if you don’t drive much. Put another way, A, B, C, Always Be Charging.

If you can’t plug in all the time (either due to no charging capability where you live or where you’re visiting), then charge when you can. It’s a good idea to charge if you’re approaching 20% state of charge, as that is when other features like Sentry Mode stop working.

There is no need to drain the battery and then charge it up to maintain health. Some have recommended draining the battery to below 10% and then charging to 100% to recalibrate Battery Management System so that the remaining charge percentage gets more accurately reset once every quarter or so, but there is no known direct evidence to support this. Doesn’t hurt to do it infrequently, though.

What should I set my charge limit to?

The official guidance from Tesla is to set your maximum charge somewhere in the ‘Daily’ range on the app and car (50-80%) unless you are going on a trip, where you can then go from 80-100%. Note that it is definitely bad for the battery to let it sit at 100% for extended periods of time (or to frequently charge up to 100%), so if you are going on a trip, try to time the charging so that it finishes right before you leave. This helps with pre-heating the battery to make it more efficient and can also handily coincide with warming (or cooling) the cabin too.

Note that during peak times, select Superchargers will actually not let you charge above 80%, and the “idle time” charges will kick in once you reach 80%.

How do I go about getting a charger installed at home?

Assuming a Level 1 charger is not good enough for you (e.g. you drive more than 50 or 60 miles a day or otherwise just want to be able to charge faster), there are basically three options. One, get the Tesla Wall Charger. Two, get some other Level 2 charger. Three, install an adequate 240v (e.g. NEMA 14-50), probably 50 amp, outlet and either use the included Tesla Mobile Charger or even buy another one with the appropriate adapter to leave at home.

The Tesla Wall Charger is the most expensive choice, but it looks better and gives you slightly faster charging (up to 50 miles of range per hour). The wall connector comes with an 18’ cord with easy storage so it’s always ready. A third party Level 2 charger would essentially be very similar to what you could get at a public charging station, and, like the third option, will give you about 30 miles of range per hour of charging.

Placement of the charger should be within 18’ of where the charge point ends up when you park your Tesla. You do NOT want to have an extension cord with a cable that thick. They tend to get hot and lose efficiency the longer they are. Melting charging cables is bad.

Can I install a home charger myself? Who can?

Sure, if you’re a certified electrician, you can install one yourself. When dealing with 240 volt, 50 amp circuits, it’s best not to fool around. There are plenty of electricians who can do this for you. How much it will cost depends on many factors, including whether your existing house panel has capacity for an additional circuit, how far said panel is from where the outlet is going to be, and perhaps even whether or not you mention Tesla when asking for a quote. Expect the ballpark of $1,000 plus or minus a few hundred.

The following electricians have gotten good reviews from the community:

Also note that you may be eligible for some rebates. For PEPCO customers, check out https://www.pepco.com/SmartEnergy/InnovationTechnology/Pages/Residential-Charger-Rebate.aspx

Does the battery keep its charge if I don’t use the car?

According to Tesla, you should expect to lose about 1% of range per day at minimum just for basic housekeeping tasks the car does, specifically around managing the battery condition. It is possible you will see higher battery drain (commonly known as “phantom drain”) depending on the environment and what else you have configured, knowingly or otherwise.

Common things to look out for are:

  • Sentry Mode can drain up to 10-20% per day depending on how many times the sensors detect something to report.
  • Keeping the cabin temperature at a set point (Dog Mode, Camper Mode, just keeping the climate control on) will be a significant source of drain, depending on how different the interior temperature is to the outside temperature.
  • Having Summon on Standby has been known to cause significant (1-2% per hour?) drain.
  • Third party apps that keep the car awake will by definition drain the battery a little bit faster, because the car is always awake.

This does mean you should prepare for this if you have to leave the car unplugged for days at a time (such as when traveling). If there is no way to leave the car plugged in even to a Level 1 charger, it’s a good idea to turn off features that aren’t needed, refrain from checking on the car every hour to see how it’s doing, and maybe arrange to have someone plug it in if possible.

How do I find where all the chargers are?

For Superchargers, your Tesla does that for you during navigation, and it even displays nearby Superchargers along with the number of open stalls. For maximum efficiency, it’s best to navigate to a Supercharger (either directly or as an automatically selected waypoint) as that also lets the Tesla pre-condition the battery for faster charging. While the car is pre-conditioning, you may hear a different whining sound, at least on a Model 3 AWD, as this is done by making the front motor a little less efficient to generate more heat to warm the battery. This does in fact use more battery, but if you’re going to a Supercharger, that’s not a big issue. There are also several third party websites that provide this map, including “Superchargers for Tesla” (iOS app, Android app) by Ndili Technologies.

For others, there following services are quite handy:

  • PlugShare, website and iOS app, to find a lot of public chargers with nice filter capabilities
  • EV Hotels, website and iOS app, to find hotels with EV chargers, very useful for selecting which hotels you wish to stay at now that you have an EV.

Battery Management

When should I charge my Tesla?

Tesla recommends in the User’s Guide that you should plug your car in whenever you can, so its Battery Management System can keep the battery happy. This is the formal answer to the question, even if you don’t drive much. Put another way, A, B, C, Always Be Charging.

If you can’t plug in all the time (either due to no charging capability where you live or where you’re visiting), then charge when you can. It’s a good idea to charge if you’re approaching 20% state of charge, as that is when other features like Sentry Mode stop working.

There is no need to drain the battery and then charge it up to maintain health. Some have recommended draining the battery to below 10% and then charging to 100% to recalibrate Battery Management System so that the remaining charge percentage gets more accurately reset once every quarter or so, but there is no known direct evidence to support this. Doesn’t hurt to do it infrequently, though.

What should I set my charge limit to?

The official guidance from Tesla is to set your maximum charge somewhere in the ‘Daily’ range on the app and car (50-80%) unless you are going on a trip, where you can then go from 80-100%. Note that it is definitely bad for the battery to let it sit at 100% for extended periods of time (or to frequently charge up to 100%), so if you are going on a trip, try to time the charging so that it finishes right before you leave. This helps with pre-heating the battery to make it more efficient and can also handily coincide with warming (or cooling) the cabin too.

Note that during peak times, select Superchargers will actually not let you charge above 80%, and the “idle time” charges will kick in once you reach 80%.

How come my range isn’t what it should be?

The key thing to remember about the displayed range remaining in your Tesla is, it is simply taking your battery charge and multiplying by the EPA estimate. Because other things affect how efficient your car is, the actual range left is most likely never going to be the same as the displayed range left. Cold weather, driving style, tire pressure, wind, elevation, extra weight in the car.. all of these affect how efficient your car is, thus causing deviations from EPA estimated range left vs. actual range left. Sometimes you can be more efficient too.

There will also be times, especially on Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, where the Battery Management System will become a bit out of sync. You can read a detailed technical explanation of why, and what to do to help resolve this, by clicking on this article or this one or this one.

Many people change their display to be percent battery left, not range (miles or kilometers) left, for precisely this reason. Note that the percent battery left is what’s probably not accurate, but this does hide the miles.


Paint Protection

Should I put some paint protection on my Tesla? What’s the difference between ceramic coating and PPF wrapping?

Like many answers, this will come down to personal preference. Ceramic coating is like a semi-permanent wax that lasts 3-5 years. It certainly helps protect the paint creating a super slick surface that bird droppings and dirt slide off of and generally makes the original color “pop” more, by providing a clear “shield” layer. Paint protection film (PPF) lets you wrap your car with a clear, protective film, or letting you choose an entirely different color, including shimmering ones. You may also choose to pair ceramic coating over PPF to provide years of low maintenance. When installed properly, neither will interfere with AutoPilot radars, cameras, and ultrasound.

Costs will vary depending on which product, which installer, and how much of your Tesla you wish to protect, but can easily run into the few thousand dollar range.

The following vendors have received good reviews from the Maryland Tesla community:


Wheels and Tires

How often do I need to rotate my tires?

Teslas have nothing special about them when it comes to tire maintenance. Tires should be rotated when there is sufficient difference in tread wear. For RWD cars, the rule of thumb is about every 10,000 miles. For AWD cars, they may never need rotating.

How do I fix curb rash?

Curb rash is almost like a badge of honor. Based on how many times this is asked, a significant percentage of owners have it happen to them at one time or another. Given how easy it is to do, you first have to decide if it’s worth fixing, as it may happen again anyway.

Because the wheel rims are wider than the OEM tires, the rims are the first thing to hit that annoyingly placed curb. One option to avoid this in the future is to replace your tires with wider ones, so the tire takes the hit, not the wheel rim. Please read this answer for more information on that.

Several places have been recommended to fix curb rash. They are, with no recommendations other than someone else liked them:

Do I really need all wheel drive (AWD) or winter tires in Maryland?

That question is actually two questions. The first one, do you really need all wheel drive, is more about the benefits of AWD in general. AWD provides more performance and better handling, with slightly less range. Whether or not you “need” it becomes personal preference. If the concern is over winter driving, unless you get a whole lot of snow in, say, western Maryland, then you probably do not “need” AWD. But you do need winter tires.

Winter tires in rear wheel drive cars give you much more control in wintry driving conditions than AWD without winter tires. Teslas by their basic design handle very well already, but bad tires won’t help whether two or four provide power.

What tires do you recommend?

This question too becomes one of personal preference. The basic stock tires that come with Teslas are generally quite good, although they may tend to wear out much faster than you’d expect (especially if you can’t resist exuberant driving, given how brutal Teslas can be). Tesla winter tire packages are also decent, although they may seem pricey. The Model 3 18” Pirelli SottoZero’s handle quite well in wintry conditions, and getting four wheels as well as four tires, TPMS sensors, and installation makes the $2,000 list price not too much higher than going somewhere else, like Tire Rack.

It has been said that the Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 tires are the best winter tires. There’s a place in Baltimore that does installations.

It has also been said that the Michelin CrossClimate+ (link goes to Model 3 18” size) are great tires for all season tire replacements. The Michelin CrossClimate 2 tires have also been positively commented on.

But you’re going to get a whole lot of recommendations. One thing to keep in mind is how quiet the tires are, as there’s of course no engine noise to drown the noise out. Another thing to consider is maybe getting wider tires to help guard against rim rash, although wider tires aren’t necessarily problem free either. They may have a greater impact on range, they may affect the accuracy of the speedometer depending on the difference in size, and they may introduce a greater blowout risk when taking hard corners. There isn’t much verifiable information either way on that, but those considerations should be factored in.

When should I replace my tires?

Again, Teslas have nothing special about them when it comes to tire maintenance. The only change here is, because Teslas are pretty brutal in laying down power to the road, you will probably have to replace them sooner than expected. The stock 18” tires on a Model 3, for instance, may not last 25,000 miles. When the tread depth is below 4/32”, you should consider it. If it gets below 2/32”, you’ve become a road hazard. If you don’t have a tread depth measuring tool, just put a quarter into the tread. If the top of George Washington’s head is flush with the tread, that’s a good time to start thinking about new tires. If you see the entire head, please start shopping.


Driving Tips

How can I maximize my range if I have to travel long distances?

There have been many posts about this in various Tesla forums. The standard rule of not driving too fast applies all year, where “too fast” is generally above 65mph, which is when efficiency takes a significant hit from air resistance. Many people have determined that using the seat warmers is the most efficient way to warm the cabin (instead of using the air heater). While this has been proven to be true, what this really comes down to is what’s your comfort level. There are enough Superchargers around (typically spaced 100-150 miles apart) that you should not have to worry about actually running out of battery, but you should plan ahead and assume cold weather trips may take a bit longer.

The official Tesla recommendations can be found here and here.

What voice commands are available?

For clarification, the Tesla app question was talking about voice commands enabled by third party applications on your smartphone. That depends greatly on the third party application and what you manually set up.

There is a fairly complete list of all available voice commands from inside the car here. There is also a list on the NotATesla website here. And, there is an iOS app available here.


Cold Weather Tips

Do I really need all wheel drive (AWD) or winter tires in Maryland?

That question is actually two questions. The first one, do you really need all wheel drive, is more about the benefits of AWD in general. AWD provides more performance and better handling, with slightly less range. Whether or not you “need” it becomes personal preference. If the concern is over winter driving, unless you get a whole lot of snow in, say, western Maryland, then you probably do not “need” AWD. But you do need winter tires.

Winter tires in rear wheel drive cars give you much more control in wintry driving conditions than AWD without winter tires. Teslas by their basic design handle very well already, but bad tires won’t help whether two or four provide power.

Are there any other things I should consider when doing winter driving?

Yes. There are several other items to keep in mind for winter weather (e.g. snow and ice and freezing temperatures):

  1. Especially in slippery conditions, turn on Chill mode so you don’t accelerate your way into a ditch.
  2. Along those same lines, set your Regen mode to low if you can (later cars with later software may not have this option), so Regen braking doesn’t cause unwanted tire sliding.
  3. Others have had problems with folding mirrors getting frozen, so turn off the auto-fold option in the car’s Settings.
  4. If you can, preheat the cabin using your smartphone app to melt off any snow and ice on the windows and doors.
  5. In freezing conditions, run an old debit card along the bottom of the window to break the seal so the glass can slip into the door when opened.
  6. If the door handles or charge port won’t open because they’re frozen, the official recommendation, past pre-heating the cabin, is to give it a fist bump to break the ice (without, it should be said, breaking anything else). Pouring hot water or using cellophane have been mentioned, but that just risks more freezing and/or more plastic pollution, and should not be necessary.

Tesla’s official support page on this topic can be found here.

I’ve heard that EVs are bad in cold weather. What should I keep in mind?

The first thing to keep in mind is that EV’s aren’t bad in cold weather. In some ways they are much better than ICE cars (said with irony, given that Internal Combustion Engine acronym). Cold weather certainly affects all cars, it’s just with an EV you can measure it more accurately and you don’t have that extra benefit of all the wasted heat energy from a gas engine.

There is no avoiding some range loss associated with cold weather, due to simple lithium-ion battery chemistry. That, plus the need to heat the cabin without burning fossil fuels and using that heat byproduct, will give you some range loss in colder climates. A good rule of thumb is expect 10% range loss for temperatures around 50F and 20% range loss for temperatures around freezing.  Maryland doesn’t typically see temperatures past that, but the colder it gets, the more range you’ll lose. Extreme heat would have a similar impact, although exact numbers are not available.


Interior Accessories

What interior accessories should I consider?

There are a wide variety of interior accessories available. Good ones to consider installing are:

  • A screen protector for the main screen. Getting one with anti-glare makes the screen much more readable in sunlight, reduces fingerprints, and the added layer of protection against accidental impact is useful as well.
  • For Model 3 and Model Y, a USB hub that lets you “hide” the USB storage for DashCam/Sentry Mode. The best one out there is from Jeda, although it’s also the pricest. There is a cheap (both in price and quality) alternative from TapTes, but be warned that the TapTes device is not a true USB hub and may actually damage your car’s USB port if you plug in a USB-C device at the same time as a USB storage device in the compartment.
  • All-weather floor mats. Tesla sells them, and Maxpider makes good ones too.

Exterior Accessories

Can I put a roof rack on my Tesla?

Yes. There are several options to choose from. The Tesla Roof Rack is probably the best in terms of appearance, wind noise, and range impact. Yakima offers a roof rack solution, but the wind noise at highway speeds is comparable to banshees singing at a campfire.

There are suction-cup mounted racks that people have said good things about, although they do have the disadvantage of putting pressure directly on the glass roof and the risk of really bad things happening if the suction fails while driving.

Note that putting something on the rack (bikes, skis, kayaks) will have a significant impact on wind noise and probably range loss.


Upgrades

Is the Acceleration Boost upgrade worth it?

Whether an upgrade is “worth it” depends greatly on personal preference. What can be said is, the half second that the Acceleration Boost (available for Model 3 and Model Y AWD non-Performance cars) shaves off your 0-60mph time is definitely noticeable, and if you like Accelerating, then it may be something to seriously consider.


AutoPilot

What’s the difference between AutoPilot and Full Self Driving? Is FSD worth it?

Please refer to this page for Tesla’s official description of AutoPilot features vs. FSD.

It is important to note that ‘Full Self Driving” is not totally autonomous driving, nor will it be for several years to come (barring any Elon Musk-style major breakthroughs). As the driver, you are always responsible for your vehicle and must pay attention at all times.

If you do not go on long trips or do not wish to have the additional features listed on the Tesla page above, then perhaps spending money on FSD may not be worth it for you. This is mostly an investment in the future as well, but that future could be years away.

As of July 2021, you can get a subscription service for FSD for $199 per month, through the Tesla application.

I keep hearing about phantom braking. Should I be concerned?

Phantom breaking is a real phenomenon while on AutoPilot, where the car decides it needs to stop quickly for no human-obvious reason. There are many theories as to why (overpass shadows, perhaps bad GPS reading combined with inaccurate speed limit data), but nothing has really proven to be the absolute and all-encompassing answer. If phantom braking happens, it does tend to happen at the same place and time, and it can be scary. This is why it’s important to pay attention at all times.

Instances seem to reduce on each software update, and most people never experience it, but it cannot be totally discounted as resolved.


Miscellaneous

What are some useful other websites for good reference material?

There is a wide range of information out there on the Internet regarding Tesla products, beyond the Tesla website, forums, and Engage platform. TeslaFi’s firmware tracker has already been mentioned. It also links to the NotATeslaApp website which is a great place to look at release notes and upcoming features.

There are several Reddit channels specific to Tesla, including /r/teslamotors.

There are even other FAQs out there managed by other groups, including http://www.teslamodel3wiki.com.

There are dozens of YouTubers that provide good information on Tesla or other EV vehicles. Examples in no particular order or recommendation are Bjorn Nyland, Car Confections, DaxM, Dirty Tesla, Don’t Waste Your Time (local member), DǼrik, Frugal Tesla Guy, i1Tesla, model3man, Mother Frunker, Tesla Joy, Tesla Raj, Alex Venz, Andy Slye, Because Tesla, Jeremy Judkins, Pure Tesla, Tesla DIY, and Tesla Owners Online.

 

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