Everyday Usage Anxiety

Everyday Usage Anxiety

Apologies if this has been discussed :)

Hi ALL: I'm a kid-free Chicago suburbanite (30's) w/my finger nervously hovering over the SUBMIT button to process ownership app/payment form. I'm no executive or entrepreneur or car collector that would only drive this sedan on Sunday mornings & special occasions...the Model S would be my EVERYDAY vehicle.

Snow performance IS a concern, BUT the general public worries me more. +_+ We've all seen luxury vehicle owners park "football fields" AWAY from the minivans & SUV's at the grocery & mall ( rightly so )

I dont plan on selling - so I guess a door ding isn't so bad (*sob sob sob*) I drive on an expressway for work & construction is perpetual. Semi trucks kick up pebbles & cement granules. *gasp* I'd become an OCD wreck ( no offense ) checking for nicks & damage to the paint EVERY time I park. Thats no way to live & enjoy the vehicle....sigh... I know its just a machine - but I cant be the ONLY one who feels this way...

Are there any owners who have the Tesla S as their ONLY mode of transportation?

Thumper | April 6, 2013

Yes, my wife and I are retired and the MS is our only car. Love it. Damage WILL happen in spite of your best efforts. Accept that up front. Don't let it come as a surprise. Relax and enjoy your car.

ir | April 6, 2013

I was petrified of the first scratch or ding. Got full body custom paint armor and now feel better using it as my daily driver. Still not looking forward to the first dent.

Don't worry, once you start driving, you will not want to drive anything else. Doesn't matter how badly scratched or dinged. As long as it can do 0-60 in 4.2 / 5.4 / 5.9 seconds you'll still love it.

Jolinar | April 6, 2013

Well, consider purchasing paint armor, however I have no experience with it, so maybe somebody with that could comment on it...

japaradis | April 6, 2013

>Don't worry, once you start driving, you will not want to drive anything else.

Amen to this. I've enjoyed my Model S for four weeks as of today. It's far and away the best car I've ever owned in fifty years of driving.

Damage is inevitable, unfortunately. The best attitude is 'It's just stuff.' Don't let the prospect of wear and tear stop you from driving what is a fabulous car. Press SUBMIT. You won't regret it.

herkimer | April 6, 2013

There are other threads here that discuss paint protection options, some of them sound very good, and probably worth the price, to minimize damage to the paint (better apparently than the factory-installed paint armor. Check for threads on this topic.)

Other than that, remember that your Model S will be the quietest, quickest, and most comfortable car you will find in the world today for daily commuting. It makes driving so much fun and so much more relaxing!

As for snow performance, I have read extensively on this topic as it has been a concern of mine as well. Not to worry. As with any car, the key will be your tires (and get the Air Suspension, too). Get the winter tires for winter.

I have always found rear-wheel drive cars to be TERRIBLE on snow and ice. Turns out this has a lot to do with weight distribution (engine in the front, heavy, and drive train in the rear (light) makes your car want to spin round and round. Tesla Model S has very different and consistent weight distribution, with the motor and drive train directly over the rear axle, and the rest of the weight evenly distributed. Add to this the excellent traction control, and with the correct tires, the car performs very well in snow and ice indeed.

(There is a video somewhere on one of these threads of a Model S owner in Canada who went to a track in the iciest conditions to test the Model S. His short video on the subject is full of useful hints and info. And you can see the car perform very well on the course. If I have time, I will try to find and post the link here.)

From what I can tell, you have to learn to drive a little differently because of the effects of regen (best advice seems to be to turn it down when driving on a slippery surface, but this is just a matter of selecting the option from the touch screen.)

All in all, I think if you do a little digging you will find lots of information about the S in winter conditions, and also about protecting the paint and finish. Should find it reassuring as I did.

Beyond this, the savings on fuel and oil changes and so on will continue to add up year by year and make your car more and more cost effective.

Then there is the fact that you will have the most gorgeous car with the most exhilarating drive experience available anywhere, with the most cargo space, etc. Any car will be subject to incidental damage, no need to worry, especially if you intend to keep the car for many years.

Cheri630 | April 6, 2013

Thanks Guys ! That certainly calmed my nerves...I mean...I'm sure everyone feels the same about their cars no matter if its a Chevy or Benz...but...I kinda regard the Tesla as my very own Faberge Egg...LOL. If I had to...I'd carry a car tarp with me everywhere!

Unlike city residents - I wont have to worry about "bumper bandits" folks who tap & ding the bumper when parallel street parking - but even with a bumper ding...I dont know if I'd let some joe @ ACME Autobody do the repairs....methinks I need to spend a day with the service guys down at the Tesla dealership...

BEST Research Project EVER!!!

f-tal | April 6, 2013

I got my S early March. It's the first car I've purchased for >$25k, so I feel a bit nervous about it too. I got the S as my daily driver, since it's the only car I have - I sold my CRV last weekend. I don't even have a garage, just a driveway. I do park far away in parking lots, but I figure the exercise is good for me. I'll do my best to keep it in good shape, but if I'm not going to drive it, then what's the point of getting it? I think it's a fantastic car. If it were cheaper -- EVERYONE would be buying one. In fact, I would had preferred a smaller, more modest, less expensive car, and I don't need this cars performance.... But.... Now that I have it.... I'll make it work. :) :)

herkimer | April 6, 2013

You tube video Tesla Model S on ice:

gasnomo | April 6, 2013

I live outside of NYC, my MS is my only car. Zero anxiety. Long trips just require more planning. On a daily basis, zero anxiety. I also opted for full paint armor, first Tesla's factory installed, which stinks (don't get it), and then someone local who did a full wrap.

GettingOldFast | April 6, 2013

Another point of concern is the WIDTH of the car. My previous daily driver was a Prius, and the model S is over a foot wider (including the side view mirrors). It's closer in width to my gmc Yukon xl, so parking lot spaces are indeed a concern, especially in the city where shopping malls (large and small) seem to label over sixty percent of their spaces as 'compact' in order to meet civic parking code requirements. I've stuffed my Yukon into compact spaces, but will not be doing so with the MS. Still, I'm lovin' it, and yeah, the exercise will do me good.

KWTESLA | April 6, 2013

Cheri630 Your worrying about a ding on a car you have not bought yet! I dinged mine the first day with the garage door. I was not quite far enough into the garage. The lift handle sliced a nice neat slice on the hood leading edge, the chrome trim and the black acrylic nose cone before it reversed. Dings keep you humble. It is after all only a car. Probably the finest car I have ever driven!

Push the button and then you can find out all the great things the car can do!

shop | April 6, 2013

A car is a car. It gets you from point A to point B. But you'll enjoy doing it a lot more in a Model S! And if it gets a ding or two, it'll still be the best drive around. Go for it, you won't regret it.

tommy-tesla | April 6, 2013

I drive ~ 14,000 miles a year and the Model S is my only car (currently at ~ 3600 miles). My wife still has an ICE but she loves driving the Model S and we intend to get a Model X for her eventually.

I have the Tesla *partial* paint protection, but think I should have skipped that and gone for a 3rd party *full* protection. I cringe every time I hear a stone my car. However my last car I kept for ~ 12 years and I plan to exceed this with the Model S, so it's less of a financial concern.

"The only things in life you regret are the things you didn't do"


JoeFee | April 6, 2013

I feel your pain re :EVERYDAY USAGE ANXIETY. For me it is the cost of the car (highest price before the SIg was 40K) which drives the “anxiety” about damaging it. Everything is relative. For some 100K is not a big deal e.g. I saw a new Maserati with a large dog riding shot gun…that put it in perspective for me! If you can easily afford to repair/replace the car…I guess the less you worry about it.

inverts | April 6, 2013

Relax. As preparation for your MS ownership, get the TV series "Life"; netflix, Amazon, choose your provider. Then watch for the "I am not attached to this car. I am not attached to this car."-mantra. My MS is now also my only car; my wife has a second car, but the MS is not some sort of special occasions vehicle.

Got the first minor ding on day 2, I believe. Nobody will even notice, except for me. Spilled coffee after a week on the driver's seat; fortunately the leather cleaned up nicely, but some of the stitching of the grey leather, now is rather tan. My behind is covering it up most of the time :-) Today (good two weeks into MS ownership) I put a propane gas cylinder in the frunk, and made a nice circle mark on the inside of the frunk liner.

And, no, I did not get paint protection and don't plan on getting it. It's just a car.

mallynb | April 6, 2013


You can control where you park; next to or near large vehicles, the cart return at the mall, etc. Or how far you are behind a gravel truck on a freeway. Enjoy your Model S. Don't sweat the things you can't control.

P.S. Our newest car is a '99 ACURA RL with 173,+++ miles, accumulated in the suberban 37-mile commuter/freeway area in St. Louis, MO, similar to your Chicago environs. It has two dings!

olanmills | April 7, 2013

My Model S is my only car. I got it fully wrapped in Xpel. I want to keep it at pristine as possible, of course, but I also want to enjoy the car and use it as it's meant to be used.

I commute with it every day to work. I am mindful of where I park it. I try to park in places where there won't be much activity around it.

dbourne | April 7, 2013

Model S is my daily driver as well and I love it! I do a lot of driving (20K a year) and it's one of the reasons electric makes so much sense! My enourmous $400 -$500 a month gasoline bill is gone! Anyway, using Model S as your daily driver is exactly what the car was designed for. You're not really helping the environment or your wallet by just driving it for special occasions.