after 3 years
in our Model 3
Mark D Larsen
Blast from the Past
(Click to enlarge)
Its been nearly 3 years and 38,297 miles since we took delivery of our Correcaminos, and I can honestly state that it is the very best car I’ve ever owned. Indeed, it is a much better car that when we drove it off the lot and took the above photo! Since then I have received no less than 56 software updates automatically downloaded to the car, adding scores of truly amazing, whiz-bang features. What’s not to like about the car?
Well… okay… there are still a few things that I would like to see improved, so I have compiled below a list of suggestions with the hope that Tesla might consider implementing them. This is the third time I have posted such feedback, so I know very well that not all fellow owners will agree with them, but I hope they’ll at least keep in mind that most of these suggestions could be set with “optional” buttons in the Control Panels so that they can choose whether or not to enable them. Readers might note that I made some of these recommendations previously, but… they apparently fell on deaf ears.
- Dog Mode Vents
Please allow owners to open the rear vents for their pets when using Dog Mode. Why the rear vents are disabled in that mode makes no sense —since pets are usually in the back!
- Both Sentry and Dog Mode
Allow both Dog Model and Sentry Mode to function simultaneously —but turn down the alarm volume to not panic pets in the car if it goes off! We’d like to be able to still receive Sentry alerts and view their clips if anyone approaches the car with our pets inside. Indeed, if possible, it would sure be nice to be able to view the interior with the inside camera via our Tesla app so that we can see what our pets are doing.
- DashCam Clips
On the topic of video clips, it makes no sense to delete the last recorded DashCam clips if the car sits idle for more than an hour. When driving, the system starts to overwrite the oldest clips anyway after an hour, so it couldn’t be a question of saving storage space on the USB. Just leave the last hour of recordings intact until owners start driving again to overwrite them.
- Speed Limit Detection
Please have Autopilot start to slow down (or speed up) before reaching a different speed limit sign. Since it can start to slow before reaching a yield sign, a stop sign, or a traffic light, why have it wait until it passes a speed limit sign before lowering its speed? That delay puts drivers at risk for a ticket in a “speed trap” in small towns.
- Backing Up Driver Settings
Set up a Tesla cloud server accessible via our accounts to store backups of owners’ preferences so that, if the car requires a hard reset, it is possible to download and reinstall those settings (driver profiles, HomeLink settings, bluetooth phones, trip odometers, driving and autopilot preferences, entertainment and web usernames and passwords, etc.). It is irksome to have to set every one of them again by hand!
- Navigation Waypoints
When using navigation to a particular destination on the touchscreen, allow users to also set some waypoints —like in Google maps. There are times when you’d like to take a different route than the “default” that navigation plots, yet still be able to see how much charge you will have when you arrive.
- Restore the Green Battery Icon
Restore the battery icon to its previous green color! I might be wrong, but get the impression that the majority of owners are unhappy with the new grey color and want it restored to green.
- Make the Regen/Power Line More Visible
Make the regen/power line a bit wider and more noticeable. It is too hard to see clearly, especially if daylight glare on the touchscreen washes out the green regen line.
- Efficiency Option
Tesla allows us to toggle between various settings: km or miles, F° or C°, remaining percentage or distance. Now please allow us to also toggle between Wh/mi or mi/kWh.
- Washing Door Windows
As we all know, when you open a door, the window automatically lowers a couple of inches. This is so that, when you shut it, the window rolls back up and creates a good, tight seal with the car’s rubber gasket. However, this features gets in the way of washing the lower portion of the windows. I would suggest adding a button to the Tesla app that allows you to roll the window back up when the door is open for 5 seconds, just enough time to allow you to effectively wash the bottom of the window before it rolls back down again.
- Disabling AP and TACC
Speaking of toggling options, there are three ways to cancel Autopilot functions:
- Flip the shift lever up.
- Touch the brake pedal.
- Manually torque the steering wheel.
However, only the first two methods disengage both Autosteer and Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. The third cancels Autosteer —but not Cruise Control! I deem this a mistake. For the sake of consistency —and safety!— I suggest that Tesla put an optional button in the Autopilot settings so that drivers can choose to have all three methods disengage both functions. At least give owners the choice.
- Dealing with Tailgaters
I loathe drivers who dangerously tailgate. I thus wish Tesla would allow an option with the rear sensors and cameras so that, while driving faster than a given speed (40? 50? 60 mph?), if the vehicle behind stays closer than one car length for a given length of time, the Model 3 will briefly engage the emergency flashers for a few seconds to warn the tailgater to back off.
- Watching Videos
Besides Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. I really wish I could play a video from my iPhone or iPad on the touchscreen —but only when the car is in ‘P’ark, of course. I can already stream music and audiobooks via Bluetooth to the car. How difficult would it be to also stream videos when parked?
- Open Communications
Please be open and transparent whenever changes are implemented via updates, rather than just state generic “minor improvements” and “bug fixes.” For example, the 2020.48.35.5 update apparently installed a new algorithm for projecting range per charge, which dropped my extrapolated battery capacity by about ~1%. No big deal, I know, but why not let owners know when such calculations have been improved for accuracy?
Also, I would appreciate explanations when something is announced, yet later doesn’t happen. For example, a couple of years ago Elon Musk stated that Model 3 Long Range RWD owners would be getting a range boost from 310 to 325 miles. Some owners received it, but… I never did. It’s not that I am unhappy with my cars original range, it more than suits my needs, but I would simply like to know why some owners received the boost and others did not.
- Original Features Now Lacking
Finally, I have noticed that there are things missing in newer models that I wish Tesla would restore:
- grocery hooks in the frunk
- colored tinting in the roof glass when wet
- “premium” lifetime connectivity
It irks me when companies start to nickel-and-dime to widen their profit margin. I mean, how much more do the above amenities cost? I can’t imagine they “break the bank.” Frankly, I would be willing —was willing!— to pay a bit more for the car if Tesla again includes those items.
My 3¢ worth, anyway. With time and even more miles, I’ll undoubtedly add a few more pennies to the bowl.
Thank you, Tesla, for a truly amazing car!