I’ve now had my Tesla Model 3 AWD for six months and 10,000 miles. Here are my impressions so far.
Overall, I still love the car and do not regret purchasing it at all.
My expenses have been:
Registration – $200 extra to make up for the lack of paying gas taxes
Tire Rotation (every 6,500 miles) – $24
Superchargers (road trips) – $43 (after burning through my 1,000 mile referral bonus)
Home Charging – about $70/month in electricity
Here are the highlights of the car:
Acceleration – The acceleration is immediate, amazing, and smooth. A friend of mine compared it to being on a roller coaster when it first shoots out of the station. I’ve never experienced anything like it.
Autopilot – Not to be confused with the Full Self Driving beta (FSD), Autopilot is basically lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control turned up to 11. You still need to keep a hand on the wheel and need to pay attention, but it makes highway driving for road trips so much easier.
Comfort – Another road trip benefit. The seats are very comfortable. I was perfectly fine even after a 12+ hour road trip to New England.
Software Updates – For some reason the car was delivered a couple of versions behind on the software, and it took 3-4 weeks before they started showing up. That was frustrating, but apparently is typical. After that initial delay, however, they began showing up regularly. I know some people didn’t care for the V11 update but I was OK with it.
Supercharger Network – These are everywhere. A couple of months into owning the car I took a trip to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. I had no issues finding Tesla Superchargers along my route. Other people have made this observation before, but I actually found it relaxing to have to stop every three hours or so to get out of the car and charge for 15-20 minutes. A charging session takes longer than gassing up, but you can plug the car in and walk away. Most of the charging stations are at convenience stores, and by the time I was done in there the car was close to being ready to go anyway.
I have had a few minor issues with the car since purchasing it:
Clearance – The Model 3 has roughly the same clearance as a Honda Civic. You have to be mindful of some uphill turns or you might scrape. Fortunately the bottom of the car is well protected.
Rattling – When I’m driving on some bumpy or poorly maintained roads (for example, 80% of local WV driving), I can sometimes hear a rattling coming from either the seat belt connector or the back seat. First world problems, I know. Tesla service found the issue with the back seat, but I’m waiting for a part to come in. For the seat belt, I found a fix on YouTube.
Water in Camera – One time after washing the car I got some moisture trapped inside the drivers side rear-facing camera. This disabled the camera. As a result, Autopilot was entirely disabled. Again, fixed by Tesla Service.
In my original post I recommended a number of accessories. All of them have turned out to be great and useful except for the sun screens. They might be good, I just haven’t used them yet.
Having the car for six months has given me some additional insights into the two biggest objections to going with an EV:
Range Anxiety – This is a non-issue. I charge at home every night, and for daily driving have the battery set to 70% capacity. I pull out of the garage every morning with a 250 mile range, more than enough for anything I’m doing during the day, including my 80 mile round trip to work and back. It’s really nice not even having to think about stopping for gas.
Battery Wear – The battery is warranted to maintain at least 70% capacity for ten years, which is still 250 miles. That’s the range that the VW ID.4 comes with now. That said, battery costs have been declining rapidly. By the time my car needs a new battery, the replacement will be much cheaper and/or have a much higher capacity. I’m not worried about it.
Getting the Tesla has definitely been a positive experience. I would encourage anyone looking at switching to an EV to do whatever you can to make charging at home an option, though. The benefit is definitely diminished if you can’t do that.
There are a number of states where you can’t purchase a Tesla directly. West Virginia is one of them. Your only option is to order online and pick it up in a neighboring state.
So this is a guide to doing that based on my own experience.
Why I Purchased a Tesla
Let’s get this out of the way first: I don’t think I’m saving the world. I am aware that the initial environmental cost for the construction of an electric vehicle (EV) is actually higher than for an internal combustion engine (ICE) car. I am also aware that currently the vast majority of electricity in my state is produced from fossil fuels (mostly coal).
One study I read said I’d have to drive around 70,000 miles before I made a net-positive environmental impact. If you want to look at it another way, this is your opportunity to drive a coal-powered car in West Virginia!
So why do it? Here are my reasons:
Maintenance: The only maintenance items are tires, brakes, and wipers. No oil changes, no 50,000 service, no mufflers, no belt changes, etc.
Financial: The move to EVs is coming. I read an article about a year ago predicting that 2018/2019 ICE cars may be the last to have a good trade-in value. Of course, that was before the big chip shortage. Related to that, with the chip shortage and spiking used car values, this seemed a good time to trade-in my 2018 car and make the jump.
Convenience: With home charging, I liked the idea of leaving every day “with a full tank of gas” and never having to stop at a gas station. Or paying attention to gas prices.
Updates: A Tesla is like an iPhone that you drive around in. And like an iPhone, it gets frequent software updates with new features.
Resale Value: Teslas hold their value really well. In fact, with the ordering backlog, I’ve read that some used ones are selling for more than new ones because they’re available immediately (and because people are insane).
Curiosity: I just really want the experience of owning an EV to see what all the fuss is about.
Owner Satisfaction: Everyone I know who has a Tesla loves it and wouldn’t go back to driving anything else.
Typically I get a car and drive it into the dirt. I traded my last car in at 120K miles, and only because my wife wanted me to drive a car with the latest safety features (she likes me or something). During a discussion about this, a friend of mine wondered if it made more sense to get an EV and drive that into the dirt rather than your current ICE vehicle. That’s the theory I went with here.
Choosing a Car
In my case I chose the Model 3. Most of the time it will be just me driving the car to work, so I didn’t need anything big, and I didn’t have a need for the extra space to justify the additional expense of a Model Y.
However, I did want to shell out the extra money for AWD and longer range because of the weather here (and range anxiety). I opted against the performance package since frankly I’m not that interested and the range actually decreases, which seems counter-productive.
The next step was color. White was the first obvious choice because it’s the least expensive and looks nice. However I feel like most Teslas I see are white, a lot of cars in general are white, and my current car is white. Also, I didn’t like the look of the default 18” wheels when paired with a white body. The 19” wheel upgrade looks good with white, but now you’re up to the same price as choosing another color, and you actually lose range with the 19” wheels.
I don’t like Tesla’s red and blue. That’s just a me thing.
So it was down to upgrading to black or grey with the default 18” wheels. My wife, my daughter, and I all independently choose the grey, so I felt pretty good about that.
You definitely want to check with your insurance company on how your rates will change after purchasing the Tesla. Mine wouldn’t change much, but I’ve heard stories of people having to switch companies because their current company wanted to massively increase their rate for having a Tesla.
Placing the Order
Just like any car, you pay for your Tesla through a combination of an optional vehicle trade-in, optional financing, and cash. Your total cost will be the car itself (based on your selected trim and options), a $1,200 destination fee, and a $4 tire fee.
You will have to put down a non-refundable deposit when you order, but this comes out of your final cost when you settle up before delivery.
I decided not to purchase Full Self Driving since it was in beta and can be purchased for the same price later anyway. That ended up being a smart move since they offered a month-by-month option shortly after I ordered.
Don’t just accept the trade-in offer from Tesla. It’s a joke. You seriously want to shop around. Try Carvana or CarMax. Look into other local dealerships who are buying used cars. I ended up finding a local dealership that purchased my car for $2,500 more than Tesla offered, matching the offer from CarMax. That saved me a trip to the DC area.
This wasn’t as bad as the trade in. I actually got a competitive rate on the financing through Tesla and went with it.
Between selling my car and cash, I covered about 60% of the cost of the car and financed the remaining 40%.
The Ordering Process
When I was purchasing my Tesla, I had a chat session open with a sales rep. She offered to stay on the chat if I had any questions during the ordering process, which was nice. My advice: If you want to do this, do the actual order in a separate window. I lost the chat session on the second or third screen in the ordering process.
However, literally as soon as I hit submit on the page with my contact info, I got a call from my personal sales contact with Tesla. I wasn’t even done with the whole ordering process! He was also super helpful and offered to answer any questions I had. He also gave me a number where I could text him with questions.
He told me my car would take about 9 weeks. On the website it said 11-17 weeks. Turns out he was dead-on.
There are a number of items you should take care of while you wait for your car. Fortunately you have plenty of time to do it.
Change Delivery Location
By default, Tesla sends all WV deliveries to the dealership in MD. You can move it by calling the dealership you want to move it to and giving your order number. In my case my personal sales contact was able to move it to the Wexford, PA dealership. That’s a 90 minute drive for me vs a 3 hour drive. Someone from Tesla Operations told me that only PA residents can pick up their cars in PA for tax reasons or somesuch. Totally wrong. You can pick up in PA. The Wexford dealership does it all the time.
Prepare Home Charging
You really want to be able to charge at home. It’s best if you’re able to park in your garage.
In my case, the Telsa purchase kicked off a month-long process of purging and reorganizing so we could finally — after being in this house for ten years — park both cars in the garage. It’s tight, but it works.
For home charging, I went with having a 220v 14-50 outlet (like for an electric stove) installed in the garage, close to where I’ll be parking the car. I then purchased the 14-50 adapter for the charging cable that comes with the car. That’s $45 vs $500 for a fancy Tesla wall charger. The Tesla charger has a slightly better charging rate, but if it’s charging overnight anyway, who cares if it charges an hour faster while I’m asleep?
Purchase Other Items
There are some other items you may want to consider purchasing for your car. You don’t have to order them before you get the car, but you might want to have them from day 1.
This is not a normal car. It’s worth it to read through the manual a couple of times. I keep finding new stuff every time I look through it.
This is the worst part, the waiting.
There’s really nothing to see here. When it’s time to actually do something, Tesla will email and/or text you. If you want to torture yourself, you can login periodically and watch your estimated delivery dates bounce around.
That’s what I did. I even made a chart.
You’ll note that the chart does in fact converge on my actual delivery date as the days progress, except for one point where it was just the end of the quarter. Also, that the very first date range ended up being really accurate!
OK, I lied, there is one thing you can watch for: The VIN. When the car has left the factory and is about two weeks from delivery, the VIN will appear on your account and your delivery date range should stabilize. Some time over the next few days you will need to set up insurance using that VIN, and upload the insurance information to your account. You can’t take delivery of the car without that.
Eventually, you will get an email letting you know that it’s time to schedule your delivery appointment! Just follow the link and schedule a date and time. I’ve heard you only have so many days to pick up your Tesla, but in my case I scheduled for the second day that was available since that’s the first day we could both be off work to go up and get it.
After you schedule, you’ll quickly get a second email to pay off the non-financed balance. The one thing with this is they use Plaid to handle the payment. It only works with certain banks, and you have to give Plaid the username and password for your account with the bank. Yikes.
So be prepared for that.
Exactly 24 hours before your delivery date, you’ll get another email letting you know your purchase agreements are ready for review. Here you want to verify that your full name and address are correct and that the VIN is correct.
You may want to print out the proof of payment to bring with you just in case.
This would be a good time to download the Tesla app for your phone.
The Wexford dealership is in a strange location. It’s behind a strip-mall/office building. You drive around to the left of the building to get to the dealership. It’s a narrow pass that’s easy to miss.
I brought all my paperwork with me, but I only ended up needing my license and proof of insurance (they said the one I uploaded was “blurry” for some reason). There was a sign on the door asking you to wear a mask in the building, so we did, but we were the only ones there wearing masks.
We met our delivery rep, he made a copy of my license, and he led us to the car. It was inside and charged to 88%. The car came set to charge to up to 90% by default.
Some people have put out delivery day checklists. However, it looks like the Wexford dealership has already adopted something similar. When we were shown the car, our delivery rep said the car had already passed their “pre-delivery check”. He left us alone with the car for a few minutes, and I checked a bunch of stuff out, but didn’t find any issues.
When he returned I signed the final paperwork to accept delivery along with paperwork for my temporary PA plate and for them to send me the package to self-register for WV (and pay the WV sales tax). We also set up my phone as a key.
After that, I was on my way. I’d recommend stopping before you go too far and do the following:
Connect your phone via bluetooth. This is different from setting it up as a key and allows you to access music and send/receive text messages.
Set the car to auto-lock when you walk away.
Create a driver profile and adjust the seat, steering wheel, and mirrors.
Driving the car was disconcerting at first, but once I got used to it, it was a blast. I found myself laughing out loud at the acceleration when I needed to pass a truck on I79 on the way home.
We made several stops to do some shopping while we were up there, but I still had 55% battery when I returned home. I plugged it in, and it was up to 65% after only a couple of hours and we took it out again. It easily charged back to 90% overnight.
There are a number of configuration settings I recommend after you get home:
Set max charge: My car was set to 90%. I’ve heard 70%-80% is even better for preserving the battery. Take it up to 100% for road trips only.
WiFi: Connect your car to your home network.
There are a couple of additional items you should consider:
This, I think, is the big whiff from Tesla. Homelink doesn’t come with the car. It’s a $325 option that they mail to you, then you have to have them install it for you. At least the installation is included in the price. When you get it, don’t open the box. They won’t install it if the box has been opened.
(I had the bright idea of ordering it early and calling the dealership to have it installed immediately after getting the car. At the time they said that wouldn’t be a problem, but when I called back to arrange it after setting my delivery date, they said their service department was too busy and actually couldn’t do it — so sorry)
Tesla service is really backed up. When I went to schedule the installation, the closest date was a month from now! Our delivery rep said that mobile service was available since we live so far away, but that didn’t show up as an option when I scheduled. The Wexford dealship suggested sending a message along with the appointment, requesting mobile service. I did that, and got a message back the next business day letting me know the appointment had been switched to a home install. Only a week sooner, but at least I don’t have to make that drive!
Other Tesla owners (and mechanics) highly recommended getting a set of Lift Pucks to protect the battery when the car goes on a lift, for example to rotate the tires.
I’m really impressed with this car and I’m glad I made the switch. I was about halfway home when I thought “I’m so glad I did this. This car is amazing.” If you have any corrections or additions for this guide, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!
TL;DR: When you mount drives in your /etc/fstab, don’t use the drive designations (/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.) because they can change upon reboot. You should label the drives instead and use those labels in /etc/fstab.
List your drives:
fdisk --list | more
Give each drive you need to mount a label using tune2fs. For example:
tune2fs -L EXAMPLE_LABEL /dev/sdb
Change /etc/fstab to use the labels. From:
/dev/sdb /my_disk ext4 defaults 0 0
LABEL=EXAMPLE_LABEL /my_disk ext4 defaults 0 0
OK, now to the blah, blah, blah part:
Today I learned that the drives can get detected in a different order on each reboot, so the designations (/dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc.) could change. I’m not sure how I’ve worked with Linux all these years and not clued into that, but here we are.
I have a desktop system running Pop!_OS 20.10, which is based on Ubuntu 20.10. My system has three internal drives and one external USB. Along with root (/), one internal drive is mounted as /data, and the other as /reference. Yes, they are both one big partition each.
A few weeks ago when I updated the system from 20.04 to 20.10 and rebooted, I was hosed. The system said it couldn’t find the ext4 file system. After a lot of googling, casting about, and fixing things that were a problem without being the problem, I noticed that the mounts for the internal drives were all screwed up. My /data drive was there, but it contained the contents of /reference. The /reference drive was gone. Fortunately I still had my root drive.
Looking at /etc/fstab and comparing it to the output from fdisk –list, it was all screwed up. Somehow the mount points were pointing to the wrong devices. I fixed them, rebooted, and I was on my way. Turns out I didn’t really fix it, I just got lucky on that reboot.
Today I had several workspaces going and performance started to get weird. I figured I’d just stop where I was and reboot.
…and got the same issue again. Couldn’t find the ext4 file system. The contents of /etc/fstab looked wrong compared to fdisk –list again. I wondered why fstab kept getting reverted or something, I fixed it, rebooted, and… got the error again!
Looking at the fdisk –list output again, I noticed that the disks has moved around. What was /dev/sdc on last boot was now /dev/sdd. The prior /dev/sdb was now /dev/sdc. That’s when I learned that this was apparently a thing, and I should be using the disk UUID or a label in /etc/fstab.
I figured labeling would be easier. I looked at the output from fdisk –list again and figured out which device was the data drive and which was reference. I then labeled them:
I recently purchased an iDatalink Maestro RR, and was surprised when I read the system requirements for the Weblink Updater: Windows 7 now supported? Internet Explorer 7.0 or greater [Excluding 64 bit version]?
Also, when I downloaded and ran the program, it told me it needed .NET framework 2.0.
I have a 64 Bit Windows 10 computer with .NET framework 4.x installed, but that’s not backward compatible with framework 2.0 apparently. Now what?
After some searching, I was able to flash the module on my computer. Here is how:
You need to enable the .NET framework 2.0+ 3.5. It’s an option on Windows 10, you just need to enable it.
In the search box type “Windows feature” to bring up the Windows Feature control.
Turn Windows features on or off
Check the .NET framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0).
Windows Feature Control Panel
Windows will download the additional files it needs and request to reboot your computer.
You also need a 32 bit version of Internet Explorer. Fortunately, that is also included on Windows 10.
Open Internet Explorer.
Go to Internet Options (upper right gear icon on the browser).
Internet Options Menu
Go to the Advanced tab and check “Enable Enhanced Protected Mode.”
Enhanced Protection Mode
On the Security tab, verify that Enable Protected Mode is checked. It should be. If not, check it.
Enable Protected Mode
In the search box, type “user account control”.
Select “Change User Account Control Settings”.
Verify that the slider is not set to “Never notify.”
Try flashing your module. If you get a prompts at the bottom of the browser asking for permission to run the “adsService.service”, select yes.
If your computer doesn’t recognize the Maestro, try unplugging it from the computer, logging out of iDatalink, refreshing the iDatalink page, logging back in, and plugging the model back in.
It took me a couple of tries to get the module to flash completely. The first time the progress bar made it all the way to the end and then froze. The second time it worked, and the status of the module showed the correct firmware installed. I installed it in my car and it works great!
Getting the Synthesizer plugin installed correctly on Ubuntu took a couple of tries. Here are great instructions for adding a PPA to your config so you can just use a couple of apt-get commands to install Gimp and many useful plugins, including Synthesizer. It came down to this:
Here are step-by-step instructions for installing a QI Wireless charging + NFC antenna sticker on your LG G3, replacing your existing NFC-only antenna. As a bonus, I was able to get the existing NFC antenna off in one piece without damaging it (I think), so in theory I could put it back on if I needed to go back. I don’t know why I would do that, but it’s good to have options.
These instructions should generally work for other similar phones and compatible Qi stickers.
Note that there are two stickers here. The one on the right goes on first. The top two connectors are for the NFC antenna. The bottom two are for charging.
I used a hairdryer, a pencil, and a small screwdriver.
Step 1 – Turn off your phone and remove the back.
Note the location of the sticker. Again, you are replacing the first two connectors (far right in this orientation), and you will be adding two more to the left of them for charging. It’s important that these line up correctly when you install the new sticker.
Step 2 – Mark the location of the connectors
Using a pencil, mark the location of the metal connectors on the exiting sticker, both vertical and horizontal so you can line up the new sticker correctly when you install it.
Step 3 – Remove the existing sticker
Set the hairdryer to high heat but low fan. Use the hairdryer to warm the area of the sticker where the connectors are located. This will loosen up the glue on the back of the sticker and allow you to pry it away from the back of the case with the small screwdriver.
Use the hairdryer to heat sections of the sticker as you pull it away from the case. Remove the side where the connectors are, then begin to work up the other side until you finally remove the small strip on the opposite side of the hole in the case. Basically you are working in a “U” shape starting with the connector side, and working to the bottom and then up the other side.
When you are done, the existing antenna should have come off cleanly.
Step 4 – Install the new sticker
Starting with the small strip with the connectors, use your pencil markings to carefully line them up. Once you have that right, work your way down and stick the large part of the sticker to the case.
Double-check to make sure the top two connectors look like they are in the right place per your pencil markings. You want to make sure this is right before you go to the next step.
Step 5 – Install the covering sticker
I have to admit, this part was a pain. I rotated the case around a lot trying to make sure I understood exactly how this sticker should fit over the first one.
Again, I started with the strip that covers the portion with the connectors, then worked my way across, down, then back up the other side. I had a couple of false starts, but was able to pull back the sticker and start again until I finally got it.
Step 6 – Test!
Put your phone back together and turn it on. Connect the Qi pad to a micro-USB port. Place the phone on the Qi pad and see if it works. You need to get the pad centered on the location of the sticker. It’s slightly below the mid-point on the phone.
Once everything appears to work, go ahead and erase your pencil markings.
I hope you found these instructions helpful. Good luck!
I recently purchased an LG G3 phone. The phone is awesome, but I was having some trouble getting it to connect to my Mac running OS X 10.7.5 so I could copy files over to it. After wasting some time trying to download the OS X USB driver from LG, I ended up just going with Android File Transfer.
The process is simple (just download, install, and run), but in the event that it can’t find your phone, there are two things to check:
Make sure your phone is connected as a Media device (MTP). This will be in the notifications on the phone.
Use the USB cable that came with the phone.
I could not get the phone to connect until I tried with the original USB cable. Then it worked perfectly. I just wanted to get that hint out there. Good luck!
Update: I also contacted LG customer support about my issues with downloading their USB driver. They got back to me quickly, but not until after I had figured it out and made this post. They told me to use Android File Transfer. 🙂
Update 2: Make sure you do not have Samsung Kies installed on your computer. It will prevent Android File Transfer from operating correctly.