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M3 reliability- problem free driving

M3 reliability- problem free driving

With new EVs coming to market, it’s important to compare and contrast the reliability and/or material defects, design defects, etc. that arise through the normal use of your vehicle.

For me, the M3 SR+ is the most reliable car I ever owned. My previous Toyotas (Prius and Camry) were reliable and problem free but they still required regular oil changes and other maintenance which if not performed would void the warranty. The M3 has given me over 13k miles with no defects or problems whatsoever.

I rotated the tires at 8.5k miles DIY in my garage, but the benefit of tire rotation is not limited to EV. I did need a windshield replacement due to a rock strike but any car windshield would have broke from that impact.

So as a daily driver with a 90 mile round trip commute, I have had no issues, reliability or otherwise. I took delivery in March 2019 and I plan on driving it for many years to come.

Certainly there were issues with initial M3 production but they seem to have been addressed. I wonder how reliable and problem free the initial BEV production cars will be from Ford, Hyundai, and others.

crosby.matthews | 1 December, 2019

Thanks for giving that feedback! I placed an order for a M3 LR two days ago and could not be more excited. I’m happy that early manufacturing issued have been addressed based on people I’ve talked to (and a fair amount of forum lurking). Looking forward to many years of emission free driving.

raqball | 1 December, 2019

For me, the M3 SR+ is the most reliable car I ever owned.
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Same here....

No issues at all with mine and I am getting adjusted to battery -v- gas but it's a lot to take in and take a commitment to change way of thinking.

Bighorn | 1 December, 2019

No issues in 41k miles. Haven’t been to service. Changed tires out at 31k miles and put two tires in the shed for possible future duty.

vmulla | 1 December, 2019

"Certainly there were issues with initial M3 production but they seem to have been addressed. " @Lonestar10_1999

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I think you're right about this.

I cannot say I had problem free ownership, I had several small issues that were promptly addressed/acknowledged.

I can say that the car was extremely reliable as far as drivability goes - the issues I encountered were not anything that affects drivability or safety.

Oh, I'm at 49,646 miles now.

jamilworm | 1 December, 2019

16k miles here with zero issues and zero maintenance. I haven't even rotated tires but I should check my tread and see if I need to. I keep hearing about how great the mobile service techs are so a tiny part of me is almost hoping for something minor to go wrong so i can try it out... but no, I am happy with zero issues.

gballant4570 | 1 December, 2019

14 months and 21k+ miles, all trouble free. Best car I have ever owned to this point, and I really cannot see that changing.

F.vanalstine | 2 December, 2019

June, 2019 Model 3 LR RWD. One minor bug, clunk sound when fast suoercharging. Known issue fixed with 15 minute visit to local service center. Other than that, 6500 miles so far and perfect.

gmr6415 | 2 December, 2019

@jamilworm, Why would you not rotate your tires for 16k miles? That's well known practical maintenance.

From the Michelin Tire Owners' manual,

Treadwear

If the tire treadwear does not reach its mileage warranty a pro rata replacement of the tire may be available under this warranty. For the mileage warranty associated with a specific tire, please see your Michelin tire retailer or visit www.michelinman.com/promise.

In order to maintain the treadwear warranty on your tires, the tires must be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (10,000 -12,000 km), or as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, whichever rotation period is less. Failure to rotate the tires as provided herein voids the treadwear warranty.

paulbourgeois20 | 2 December, 2019

I just picked up my model 3 SR+ on Friday. I love it so much but wanted to ask about one thing... Has anybody else dealt with a battery over-usage problem? What I mean is, I'm not too heavy footed and my drive to work is 42 miles. When I got to work this morning I had lost 55 miles of battery. I'm in AZ and it was only about 48 degrees this morning but I'm not sure if it's even weather related. Is this common? If not, how do I prevent it?

foodking | 2 December, 2019

Not having any driveability issues, but have been running into stuff since my 8/18 delivery. Currently, the dark portion of the my right turn stalk keeps popping up, like the adhesive wore out. Actually had this problem before and they fixed it, but it's back after the SC replaced the whole unit because my left turn signal stopped working. Also, when the SC replaced the front windshield because of damage they did during service, the flat black plastic piece below the windshield wasn't installed correctly and makes a high pitched whistle. They fixed it by pushing it down, but now I have to push it down every other day or else the whistling comes back. Don't want to take the car into the SC for uber credits so i'm planning on waiting til mobile service comes out to me with HW3

jdcollins5 | 2 December, 2019

August 2018 build, Model 3 LR RWD. 17k miles and no issues. Rotated tires every 5000 miles and checked Cabin Filters at 1 year.

My previous car was a 2010 Prius that was at 137,000 miles and no issues when sold. I hope to do the same with my Model 3.

peldor427 | 2 December, 2019

@Bighorn - no service yet even at 41K miles? I thought there was service at 25K, even if it's just to check the brake fluid?

I've had mine for 15 months and 12.5K miles and all is well - no service, no problems. Except I need to have a scratch fixed from when it was hit in a parking lot, but thanks to Sentry Mode, that is being handled by the perpetrators insurance. :)

rdh37 | 2 December, 2019

11k miles coming up on 1 year, no oil change yet :) Will do a tire rotation at 12k. I had stopped in the local SC and they looked at the tires at 8k, minimal wear. So doing a 12k rotation at the recommendation of the SC. Other than some cosmetic work, nothing of note. Love the no maintenance driving. The only time I have been to a gas station in the last year was to fill up my wife's ICE. Have a nice day.

Bighorn | 2 December, 2019

@peldor
No service schedule anymore. I was at 25k a few months in. Plus I’m almost 500 miles from service. They do recommend brake lubrication in northern climes.

raqball | 2 December, 2019

F.vanalstine | December 2, 2019
June, 2019 Model 3 LR RWD. One minor bug, clunk sound when fast suoercharging. Known issue fixed with 15 minute visit to local service center. Other than that, 6500 miles so far and perfect.
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Mine does this as well but I didn't;t worry as I read a thread somewhere here where others said it's normal..

Should I schedule a service appointment? Whats the known issue?

GHammer | 2 December, 2019

55k one side marker camera replaced very efficiently by mobile service. The mobile tech also cleaned the air con condenser and changed air filters while he was here. Tire rotation and seasonal swaps done in my garage. Great service, great car.

Bighorn | 2 December, 2019

@raq
Updated breather valve for those who mention it as an issue. Ameliorates clunk.

raqball | 2 December, 2019

Bighorn | December 2, 2019
@raq
Updated breather valve for those who mention it as an issue. Ameliorates clunk.
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Thanks.. I don't really want to waste their time is it something I should do or need to do? The kaboom sound does notbotzer me so if it's not going to hurt the car or cause other problems I'll just leave it be until I schedule an appointment for other reasons down the line.

GHammer | 2 December, 2019

Does the new breather valve really work?, I thought I read that there were mixed results.

gmr6415 | 2 December, 2019

@rdh37, Are you saying that the SC told you to not rotate tires until 12k miles, which according to Michelin, will void your tread wear warranty?

"In order to maintain the treadwear warranty on your tires, the tires must be rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (10,000 -12,000 km), or as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, whichever rotation period is less. Failure to rotate the tires as provided herein voids the treadwear warranty."

rdh37 | 2 December, 2019

Yes and no. It was an informal convo with a tech who I happen to know. I did not read the Michelin tire warranty. My bad I guess. I was going to wait until the tire wear indicated a need for a rotation as opposed to a mileage limit. I drive very gently I guess. The tech recommended that I do a rotation at 12k at the latest regardless of the wear. That is what I will do.

As a side note, on my previous ICE vehicle, I had the original tires still on the car when I traded it in on my 3. Car had 77k miles and the wear was still even (yes the tires were rotated and balanced as needed). Very "frustrating" as the dealer, an honest one if there is such a thing, has a free tire replacement policy on new vehicles for life. I really wanted to use it. However, each time I took the car in for service, and I did all service at the dealer, they checked and the tires were still good. If it matters, one set of brakes replaced once and the other was still original. No, I do not recall which was which.

On a tangential note, I really liked the service center/dealer for my previous vehicle. I was worried as to the level of service I would receive at my local SC. I am happy to report (and have said so on numerous other threads) that my local SC, Rockville, MD, meets and very probably exceeds the service I received from my former ICE dealership. Have a nice day.

Bighorn | 2 December, 2019

@Hammer
Hence ameliorates and not fixes. Apparently it’s an upgraded valve and not a novel implement.

raqball | 2 December, 2019

Bighorn | December 2, 2019
Apparently it’s an upgraded valve and not a novel implement.
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So I should not bother making an appointment? I rather not waste their time and can just add it to my next service appointment.... I assume I'll have them rotate the tires and give the car a once over after winter so I can just have it addressed then I guess..

Anthony J. Parisio | 2 December, 2019

paulbourgeois20,
That is normal. At 48* your car is heating the battery and you (if you have climate controls set to on). That causes the high draw on power. In winter we have to asume 1/3 less range than the estimate says. Also your speed will use up power faster. If you only drove at 21 miles/hour in Summer you would get close to 600 miles. Try that at 90 miles/hour and you might only get 200 miles. In any case this is normal.

Bighorn | 2 December, 2019

@raq
I would not and have not made a special appointment. It’s a 15 minute add on to something necessary.

Tyerc | 2 December, 2019

@Raqball I was told the “thunk” from underneath the car is known by Tesla it’s the shield under the car responding to temperature variation. I’ve heard it several times generally after charging then driving.

jamilworm | 2 December, 2019

gmr6415 - I haven't rotated tires because I'm lazy, and I didn't know about the warranty requirements. Although I remember reading in another thread that the warranty only applies to cars bought before October 2018 or something like that... not sure if that is true or not.

Anyway, I used to have my tires rotated at the same time as oil changes. Now I need to go out of my way just for the rotation. But I guess I should get around to doing it.

Lonestar10_1999 | 3 December, 2019

I rotated my tires at 8k miles but I have no receipt for proof because I did it myself. I intend to rotate them at 16k, and 24k miles, then look for a new set once I hit 32k miles.

I would be pleased if I managed to get over 32k miles on the original set of tires.

M3forMe | 3 December, 2019

Jul 2017 LR RWD with almost 30K miles - only tires rotation every 10K so far with minimal tread wear. 1 service visit 3 days after delivery because the front USB ports weren't plugged in from the factory. So far so good. BEST CAR Ever for me!

afetzer | 3 December, 2019

Well, I am glad that other people have such good luck but my experience continues to be a nightmare. Autopilot scares me and my wife on every trip Phantom braking is a constant problem and self steering has my car weaving all over the road. First experience this weekend with supercharging and navigating on strange roads and feel lucky to get home alive! One supercharging station slowed to a crawl at about 80% which lead me to a nailbitting drive to the next station. Thanks to help from a Nissan dealer I made it, but finding the charging station was another bad experience.
All I want now is for Tesla to buy back this mistake.

triumphbob | 3 December, 2019

Not sure if there's any way to help that.

jamilworm | 3 December, 2019

@afetzer - if, as you describe it, AP almost kills you on every drive, then you are extremely irresponsible for continually using it.

GHammer | 3 December, 2019

@afetzer What you are describing is a dissatisfaction with the vehicle performance, not reliability. If you dont like AP dont use it.

As for your charging mishap, that's just user error. You'll learn. In tens of thousands of miles of road trips I have never had a "nail-biting" experience

Bighorn | 4 December, 2019

In hundreds of thousands of miles, no nail biters. We knew competency levels would drop with mass adoption.

rdh37 | 4 December, 2019

Ouch @Bighorn. Funny though.

Kathy Applebaum | 4 December, 2019

35K miles and no issues after a couple of minor initial things that Tesla took care of. I've mostly driven super-reliable cars (Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Lexus), and reliability was one of my concerns when I switched to Tesla -- glad it's not been a problem for me.

CharleyBC | 4 December, 2019

We’re at about 28000 miles in 16.5 months. Our car has never needed to visit Tesla service yet. Even so, it’s hard to label it “most reliable car ever” just yet. My former 1998 Honda was amazing in that regard. In 20 years it had the factory stereo die and one weird engine problem. So Wattney has a high bar!

h2ev | 4 December, 2019

~21k on our car. Other than recently discovering the trim piece behind both outside mirrors (the black triangular piece) coming loose from the top edge, 100% trouble free.

I DIY rotated the tires at 16k, yeah put it off way too long. The inside edge of two opposite corners were more worn than the other two corners. Could be normal wear and tear, or could be off from the factory, but since I put off the rotation for so long I'll call it normal wear and tear. I did just get an alignment at Firestone (lifetime deal for $159) when I put new snow tires on so that should take care of that.

@afetzer autopilot has improved a lot since the last update or 2 ago. I don't often use it, but I have not seen phantom braking since, which was repeatable when driving under a particular overpass on an interstate highway here. And it is now able to navigate a very hilly and windy backroad near me which before the update could not do without crossing the double yellow lines where a ridge meets a curve.