Unbelievable! + Day 1 Experience

Unbelievable! + Day 1 Experience

Updated:Tuesday, 8 April 2014 (after SECOND service visit) (changes marked in italic)
Updated: Wednesday, 26 February 2014 (after first service visit)

(sorry for all the typos, btw)

I have to pinch myself because I find it so hard to believe, but tomorrow I can finally PICK UP MY TESLA!!!

Sorry for this useless thread, but I had to say it :-)
Alright... I'm good. Feeling better now.

Day 1 - Friday, 21 February 2014

Pickup time was 12:00
I arrived at the Tesla Service Center in Zaventem at 11:30
Michael Vanhees (??) led me through the delivery. He is a delivery specialist at Tesla. Dutch. He was just having lunch in anticipation of my arrival, but didn’t seem bother by it at all. He was a bit too slick and overly nice to my liking. I guess I’m just not used to be treated nice by a “car dealer”. Maybe he should’ve insulted me a few times instead of being so nice? Anywho.

The car was charged to 90%.
Software was 5.8.7 1.49.84

I was so excited that it was impossible for me to run through Nick’s checklist. Kudos to those of you who were able to do that. You people sure know how to keep your cool! I don’t. No worries. I did find two things, though.

Issue #1 (resolved): a 5 mm round dark red stain on the lower plastic lever at the side of the driver’s seat (electric seat control).
Resolved: mechanic wiped it away with a cloth and an undefined product.

Issue #2 (resolved): driver’s outside door handle is sticky. Sometimes it extends fully (it doesn’t have the “click” as the other doors do). That means that you need to yank it 2 or 3 times before the door opens. I mentioned this to the DS who said that I’d need to come back with it if “the problem persists”. In the meantime I know that it does persist.
Resolved: They tuned the door handle so that the electric lock now unlocks when the handle is pulled.

Driving Home

It was like driving in and on a cloud. The car seemingly floats from one location to another. At rocket speed, if you opt to do so. With a cargo of deflating balloons in the trunk (see Issue #7) It wasn’t so much that I was driving the car, but more like IT was taking me home.

Odometer at delivery was around 30 km.
Odometer at the end of day 1 was 107.8 km.
I’ve driven a total of about 77 km. (Yes, I know my math!)

Coming Home and checking the car

Issue #3 (resolved): Dirty black hand print (four fingers) on the alcantara roof lining on the B-pillar. I didn’t notice this at delivery, although I checked the B-pillar specifically, so I assume that the mechanic who resolved Issue #1 caused it.
Resolved: I wiped it away with my bare hands. That worked.

Issue #4 (resolved): There’s something wrong with the plastic part above nose cone. You know, the part which has the Tesla logo on it. Facing it, the bottom right side of it is white, instead of black. The white is only visible in the seam between that part and the nose cone. I think it will to be replaced. It’s not very visible, but it’s not pretty either.
Resolved: It was waxing residue. They wiped it off and it's gone :-)

Issue #5 (resolved): Door handles don’t always auto-present. But that may be due to newbie error. The last three times I walked to the car they worked perfectly. Together with the sticky driver’s door handle of Issue #2 it’s not an entirely smooth experience if you want to show the car to someone. In fact, it is a bit fiddly, because even when you press the door handles for them to present, that can take a few tries before anything actually happens. Luckily, people are used to me looking like an idiot.
Resolved: This must have been a newbie error. They work fine now.

Driving the car and showing it to people

I took several pictures of the car which I posted on Facebook to judge people’s reactions. (Said people are supposedly my “friends”, but in reality I hardly know some of them. I do know what they have for breakfast, though. The joys of facebook.)

Great reactions all around. “Wow! What a beast! A pearl! Fantastic! She’s a beauty!”, are only a few of the reactions I’ve gotten. My favorite was when someone said that my car had a high Maserati-content. I’ve never had a Maserati. Heh.

Issue #6 (will not resolve): You need to slam the doors hard for them to close properly. It seems to be related to the door mechanics, not the air pressure inside the car. No one who sat in the car yesterday was able to close the door the first time. They all had to reopen them and slam them shut. I’m sure it’s something you get used to as an owner, but for guests it can be inconvenient.
Resolved by: there's nothing to resolve. I'm used to it, and the doors work just fine. And I don’t have many friends, so not many people driving with me anyway.

Issue #7 (resolved, largely): Under hard acceleration, there’s the already discussed but rather annoying deflating balloon sound. I find that the sound is pretty loud, especially considering how quiet the car is otherwise. I’m hoping that a future update to 5.8.8 eliminates the noise, as some have experienced. (Day 2 update: it didn’t.)
Resolved: I was wrong. 5.8.8 largely resolved this issue. The squeal is still there, but only sometimes and a lot more silent. Amazing what they can fix with software!

Issue #8 (will not resolve - don’t care): Sighing brake pedal. When you press the brake pedal (car standing still) or when you need to brake while driving (doesn’t happen too often), there’s a distinct sighing sound audible. Like when you sleep on an air mattress which starts deflating in the middle of the night. Have you guys had that? (The pedal, not the air mattress.)
Resolved by: I won’t have this resolved, obviously. It’s just one of the quirks of an all electric car, I guess.

Issue #9: During the first test drive with my son, the map went grey. I noticed that I still had 2 or 3 bars on the 3G reception indicator, but that the 3G symbol had disappeared. Luckily I read my forums, so I immediately knew that I needed to reboot the system. I safely parked the car and held both steering wheel buttons until the big screen went black. A minute or so later, everything was fixed and the map worked again. Mind you: I had hardly driven more than 30 km when this occurred. If it’s something common, I would expect the DS to explain how you can reset the system during their delivery pitch. He didn't, though. Whatever, it worked again. I was happy.

Issue #10 (resolved during 2nd service visit): Sticky turn signal. When I take a lefthand turn and fully turn on the turning signal, the blinker stalk often doesn’t return to neutral. The blinker keeps going forever, until I manually return the stalk in the center position (which obviously is not forever).
Resolved: they replaced the complete (Mercedes) lever module around the steering wheel. The turn signal stalk now works as it should. No more need to manually turn off the turn signal when you straighten the steering wheel. Man, that really felt like I was in the 70s.

Issue #11 (resolved): The chrome bar around the windows didn't align at the rear doors on both sides.
Resolved: they moved the chrome bars on the rear doors upwards 2 mm and now my car looks even slicker!

Issue #12 (resolved) My shoe sometimes got stuck behind the plastic plate next to the dead petal. Annoying.
Resolved: they pushed the plastic part a bit deeper. There isn't much else they can do, I think. I'll see how it works out.


Currently (haha!), I can only charge at 230V / 16A, limited by the car to 13A. That seems to equate to 12 km/hr (about 7 -8 miles/hr). So if I do a trip of 120 km, I need to take into account that I’ll need 10 hours to recharge the car. I’m planning to make a 120 km trip on Sunday at highway speeds. Better keep my car plugged in and charged to 90% at all times!

App & VisibleTesla

The iPhone App works great, but VisibleTesla is really invaluable! It records everything the car does and works flawlessly. Great software. Thank you, Joe!


Wow! What a car! It is really incredible to drive. Some issues do need to be resolved: notably the driver’s side door handle (Issue #2), the blinker stalk (Issue #10), and the nose cone (Issue #4). I have a lot more driving to do and I’ll take a closer look at the car tomorrow, when my blood pressure is down a notch or two.

Can’t wait until tomorrow! (Which is actually today, but it’s weird to type that I can’t wait until today.) More to come, if you guys are interested, at least. | 20 February, 2014

I'm sorry that you're going to have a hard time getting to sleep tonight! Congratulations as the fun starts tomorrow!

nickjhowe | 20 February, 2014

Congrats Chris!!
make sure you have the Checklist

NKYTA | 20 February, 2014


Enjoy. The. Grin. :-)

Mathew98 | 20 February, 2014

@chrisdl - How long have you be dreaming of this date? Report your initial ownership experience and don't come back for a few weeks. You need to get the grin out of your system!

J.T. | 20 February, 2014

@chrisdl Really happy for you. Have a great day!!

Jewsh | 20 February, 2014

Hehe... don't worry. We all "suffered" through the same day-before mind fsck.

hermanderoost | 20 February, 2014

@chrisdl congrats and enjoy. My car is postponed for the second time. Eight months waiting time now. Anyway, as I wrote enjoy the car. Grtz. Herman

chrisdl | 20 February, 2014

Thanks guys. Very exciting. I'll be sure to report back!

Nick: Yeah, I've got your checklist printed and ready to take with me. Thanks! I even updated it with all my car information, in case I forget what color or trim I ordered due to excitement.

Mathew98 | 20 February, 2014

Don't forget your daddy's last name and avoid calling out your mistress' name in your dreams (while your wife is in the bed next to you)!

Webcrawler | 20 February, 2014


I am 19 days out and waiting...

NomoDinos | 20 February, 2014

Chris - Congrats!! Hopefully you had some TSLA, and are picking up a free MS ;)

chrisdl | 20 February, 2014

Matthew: As long as I don't shout my daddy's name when I'm in bed with my wife. (Golden tip: always pick a mistress with the same name as your wife, or at least insist calling her that way.)

NoMoDinos: I so wish! ... But no matter, it's still the same car :)

Thanks for the congrats all.

jbunn | 20 February, 2014


(one year in, still got the grin)

amitb00 | 20 February, 2014


leon.gelernter | 20 February, 2014

Congrats Chrisdl!!! You must feel amazing.

I should be picking up mine tomorrow in a week (Feb. 28 ) but my DS still can't confirm if it will really happen... He said my car is still in Tilburg.

Chrisdl, did you really find out you can pick up your car only 24 hours prior??

I am bit pissed. I mean one week before delivery TESLA should be able to say when the car is ready-

But apparently they can't or they won't.

I have no problem if the car comes march 7 th for example...

But TESLA: At least tell me when and confirm that date!!!!!!!!

Joe H. | 20 February, 2014

17 days to grin again, it has been 228 days since my last grin.

david.baird | 20 February, 2014

Will you be driving it around Brussels, Chris?

chrisdl | 20 February, 2014

I got my delivery date on the 11th, so 10 days before delivery.
Mind you: 1 week earlier they told me that it was still in the US and that it was not on the boat yet! Communication has been pretty unreliable, with slow responses and erratic data. They're clearly still learning.

Probably not during the first month or so. I live in Haacht but I don't drive near the center of Brussels too often. I'll probably do some short road trips next week just for fun, though.

NKYTA | 20 February, 2014

"I'll probably do some short road trips next week just for fun, though."

Ha! I'll bet you do more than that. ;-)

david.baird | 20 February, 2014

Trouble sleeping, Chris? I highly recommend Duvel Tripel Hop - around six bottles does the trick!

Velo1 | 20 February, 2014

@Lycanthrope - we should both partake so @chrisdl doesn't drink alone!

I had to use Ambien. The hardest part for me was sleeping the first night of ownership. I couldn't wait to drive our Model S. So after tossing and turning, I got up at 4:00 and went for a 2-hour drive, stopped for breakfast, came home, showered up. and went to work.

enjoy OP

david.baird | 20 February, 2014

Oh, that's a fine proposal @Velo, but I'm already tucked in bed.

I shall drink a fine beer (or three) tomorrow for you, Chris. Will get my MS end of March,miso have this all to come myself.

david.baird | 20 February, 2014

"miso"?? "I"

Velo1 | 20 February, 2014

Then I am doubling up for you, too.

I have had Joules for 14 months (VIN 3271) and still smile every day I see her.

chrisdl | 20 February, 2014

No drinking, guys. I have to drive tomorrow!
Just a small single malt to take off the edge.

Captain_Zap | 20 February, 2014

Have fun! Let us know how it goes!

Car t man | 20 February, 2014

So how much of the "edge" did you end up taking off?

david.baird | 20 February, 2014

Sore head this morning?

I couldn't sleep for thinking about YOUR model S ;0)

chrisdl | 21 February, 2014

LOL! ... Man, I'm leaving in 15 minutes. I get easily excited with new "gadgets", but this takes the cake. I'm not sure if I actually should be driving in this condition :-)

That scotch didn't take nearly enough edge away. Maybe I should have some more now.

david.baird | 21 February, 2014

Full report and photos please! :0)

hermanderoost | 21 February, 2014

@chrisdl I installed my charging station today. If you want to check ik out let me know ;-) Grtz. Herman

chrisdl | 21 February, 2014

Alright, I have my car and it is great! It's like driving a spaceship (I assume, since it's been a while since I drove a spaceship).

I'll put a full report of the delivery experience and my first driving experiences, including some photo's later. (I promise!)

My report will be as neutral as I can be. Don't expect it to an all-hail-Tesla story ;-)

NKYTA | 21 February, 2014

Welcome to the club! Go drive your MS, we can wait for a day or two. ;-)

Tiebreaker | 21 February, 2014

Congratulations, Chris!

plusplusjames | 21 February, 2014


david.baird | 21 February, 2014

Don't listen to them, get writing, finish off that bottle of single malt and tell us all about it :o)

Bighorn | 21 February, 2014

Excellent, and don't be coming back with any of that fanboi malarky! | 21 February, 2014

Congrats--hope you are having fun with your new ride.


Rocky_H | 21 February, 2014

No edge-removing and driving!

jjs | 21 February, 2014


chrisdl | 22 February, 2014

Thank you ladies and gents.
I've added my Day 1 experience to the OP. If you like, I'll post more, but I want to gauge the interest a little bit before I put effort in to it. (That's how I am :-) )

sbeggs | 22 February, 2014

@chrisdl, excellent and detailed write-up of your first day. We take delivery on March 8, so we'll discuss what you found and make sure to look for these items. What options did you order? Enjoy your new Model S!

chrisdl | 22 February, 2014

​P85 - Red Multi-Coat - Pano Roof - 19" - Tan/Carbon Fiber
Tech Pack, Parking Sensors, Subzero Pack, Sound Studio Pack, Lighting Pack, Parcel Shelf

Since I ordered in August, these things (some of which are now optional) were then included "for free": Performance Leather Seats - Air Suspension - CF Spoiler - Alcantara headliner

david.baird | 22 February, 2014

Dumb question Chris, but if you ordered in August, how come you only get the car now?

Interesting to note that the delivery manager at the service centre wasn't one of the usual bunch. I get the impression that Tesla don't have enough local staff to cope with the number of deliveries.

J.T. | 22 February, 2014

Thoroughly enjoyable write-up, and you have tons of friends, they just happen to be here in the states reading your post.
I wouldn't be so quick to just accept things the way they are. I don't need to slam my doors, I don't have my brakes sighing at me and my door handles auto-present every time.
I wouldn't take it in for those things but they'd be on my list of things to check if I ever get to service.
Congratulations and it's hard to believe but it keeps getting better from here.

jordanrichard | 22 February, 2014

Since it is know that the cars are disassembled for export to Europe, perhaps these issues are related to the re-assembling of the car. Just a thought.

chrisdl | 22 February, 2014

My original delivery date was early January. But for reasons unknown that date got moved. I heard that the Dutch got priority at the end of 2013 because of some tax changes over there, but I'm not sure if that's the reason.

Good points. I must write down the list of issues somewhere. ... Oh, wait.

Hm, yes that's true. Probably not the door handles and the nose cone, though, but since they install the drive train and the battery in Tilburg, it could be a reasons for some additional issues. The DS did tell me that they do NOT drive the car in Tilburg. If that's true, it may mean a loophole in their quality control.

chrisdl | 22 February, 2014

Some photos, as requested:

Velo1 | 22 February, 2014

Beautiful, I love the Arrest-me Red!

Your hood has that same small height difference when compared to the front-right side panel as mine. It is clearly a few mm higher along the seam, especially noticeable at the front edge above your right headlight. I asked Service if they could adjust or fix it, but they were not able to do anything to help, and said it was normal. Not sure I still believe that as I have looked closely at other Model S cars and most are perfectly level with each other.

Congrats! Most importantly, what's her name?

fridintl | 22 February, 2014

We all had our share of small problem I.e. doorhandles sticking etc Service took care of all this and I've been driving without any problems for over a year now.I am a signature owner and still very excited about driving every day.