Most frequent questions and answers
When the car has been asleep the contactors are disengeaged, when you go to open a door, plug it in, or anything to wake it up, the contactors engage. Contactors are like huge power switches to connect the main battery pack. A contactor is a large switch controlled by an electromagnet under software control. It connects the battery pack from connections outside the pack (to the motor inverter, chargers, etc.). There are two contactors inside the battery pack – one for positive and one for the negative. This is a clever safety design, because if one fails shorted, software can still disconnect the battery from the outside.
With creep mode on makes it exactly like an automatic. The car will slowly roll forward on its own without pressing the accelerator pedal. Some people prefer this especially when pulling into a tight space and wants the car to move very slowly. Without creep mode, you have to push the brake pedal down so it will “hold” the brakes in place and keep the car from rolling forward or backwards while stopped.
AP can be described as a driver’s assistance tool, where the driver is supposed to stay in control even when AP is on. It will maintain your speed, it will stay in the lane, if you put on the turn signal is will use its cameras to make sure the lane is clear, and when it is able to change lanes safely, it will move over to the next lane and turn the signal off. The driver is expected to pay attention and in control if something goes wrong.
FSD is hands-free where the driver does not need to be involved. The software can read signs, stoplights and make all adjustments, stops turns and adjust to traffic needed to drive the car itself to your destination entered on the navigation. While FSD has been available to purchase, it is not available to use yet. This is a feature that will be enabled in the future for those who have it.
When purchasing either AP or FSD you get it at a discounted rate, either can be purchased and downloaded later for a higher price.
Most new cars these days do not offer spare tires any more and Tesla is not exception. It makes sense to decrease weight and provide extra room. As long as the tires are properly maintained and replaced when needed, flats are very rare. Most of the problems are slow leaks due to a nail or other sharp object. That is why it is recommended to use a tire inflator with sealer to stop the leak until the tire can be taken in to be repaired.
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Unlike gasoline cars, Tesla vehicles require no traditional oil changes, fuel filter, spark plug replacements, or emission checks. As an electric vehicle, even brake pad replacements are rare because regenerative braking returns energy to the battery, significantly reducing wear on brakes. Our inspections instead focus on checking wheel alignment and tire condition, assessing replacement parts like key fob batteries and windshield wiper blades. The cars get ongoing software updates called Over The Air (OTA) updates, you will need to be connected to wi-fi in order to be able to download the latest updates. This is similar to getting the updates on your smartphone.
Tesla can travel up to 300 miles per charge depending on the size of the battery pack that was purchased with the vehicle. Tesla has the largest network of chargers across the country. Most cities have multiple Supercahrging stations located at places like restaurants and shopping. Most charging times are about 40 minutes depending on how depleted the battery is. When traveling long distances, I estimate driving about 3.5 to 4 hours and then taking a break from driving to charge.
According to Tesla service:
The displayed range in your vehicle is always an estimation and is determined by various factors. The amount of range that you may get from the vehicle will be different based on things like how fast you drive, if you use climate control, are you driving on inclines, are there passengers in the vehicle, etc. Many times the estimation of range may look different than what was expected, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is less energy in the battery. Sometimes the estimation of how many miles you will get out of a certain charge will change as the vehicle learns your driving habits and estimates how many miles you will get from that same amount of energy, while using things like climate control, driving at a certain speed, opening windows, etc.