Things I will miss about my gas car...

Things I will miss about my gas car...

I live in gas-friendly California, so when I get my Model S, I will really miss:

My 300HP car gently rocking back and forth as another Prius races by me in the HOV lane

That awesome 'pointing hand' icon next to the words "Smog Check  Required"  on my registration bill

This car requires 'premium' electrons for another 20 cents per mole...

Using Shell gift cards (scrip for the kids' school) that promise cash back, but instead become worthless if they get below a dollar.  I get it... cash back for Shell!  They get up to 1% on a $100 gift card.  I should have read the microscopic text next to the asterisk. What a great lesson in marketing!  Thanks, Shell!

Getting to go through the fill up process twice when the gift card runs out, which it will quickly because the fill up costs over $50.

The joy of standing out in the cold (ok, it's CA, but it's still relatively cold), repeatedly re-squeezing the handle that says "do not top off" because the pump keeps shutting itself off and trying to ignore the one-channel TV they force you to listen to.

Idly staring at a sticker that says: "Prop 123 Warning: The fumes entering your nose and making you nauseated contain chemicals known by the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects..."

The privilege of having this conversation: "So, what did the 'check engine' light mean this time? ... uh huh... a leaking seal... the smell is burning power steering fluid?  It's leaking onto the hot exhaust manifold? What's it going to cost me?  You're kidding!  Oh well, at least I'll get cash back* on my credit card..."

The shade provided by that  'next oil change required' sticker in the corner of the windshield. "Why do you have a square on your face?" "Oh, yeah, that reminds me, I have to get my oil changed...".

The fun of repeatedly pressing the button to dismiss the  'oil change required' reminder popping up on the screen in the car every few thousand miles.

The marvelous smell of burning clutch when I try to start out going uphill.

The charming cacophony of squealing belts and grinding gears.  I didn't want to hear the stereo anyway...

The inside of the car just starting to warm up when I arrive at work...

Oh, well.

I'll just have to get used to it! **

* - not really
** - not really

Tom A | April 27, 2012

If I were to buy a Model S, a concern I would have along these lines is being a Federal employee. With all of the unjustified vitriol against us rank-and-file public servants (on top of the ludicrous debates over tax incentives, R&D loans, the idiotic anti-union banter, and the antics of the leadership), having any vehicle of value or status is just begging for scathing/snide expressions and/or remarks.

I won't have to worry about most of that for a while, since I won't be buying one until I have a place to plug it in at night.

However, I just now recall that I have already had to deal with the anti-Fed attitude amongst some acquaintances of mine shortly after I bought my Mercury hybrid two years ago, right before Ford's hybrid tax credits ran dry. I didn't tell them how much it cost, they just saw "Hybrid" and "Mercury" and assumed a lavish price tag.

It was the base model hybrid SUV, no AWD, no navigation, no sunroof (but had more features than the base ICE version) for exactly $30k. As it turns out, that was a little under the average price for a new car in the US in 2010. So, it certainly wasn't out-of-line with the norm, but gov't employees have targets on our back, by our fellow citizens that we serve!

Sick times. I'm truly more concerned about my safety from our home-grown wingnuts (like that Sovereign Citizen Militia, or whatever those poor, misguided fools call themselves) than I am from foreign terrorists.

BYT | April 27, 2012

Sounds like a subject for the next "Electric Car" documentary. Now that electric cars have shown to be not only viable but better, how do we get passed it ignorance for those who are still skeptical or those who believe that only a fortune 500 CEO can afford one?

Maybe another angle for OPEC worshipers, talk about producers of HOT air in all senses of the words.

At my school this week they are focusing on Earth Day and had all of us state our pledges while tossing a handful of dirt at a freshly planted native Oak. Mine was to drive a purely electric car and generate some of my electricity from Solar for 2013 and beyond.

There, ended with a "warm and fuzzy" to start the weekend... ;)

Sudre_ | April 27, 2012

I have to agree with Tom A in many ways. I am not a public employee but I am a union electrician in the US and that "you make too much money" thing is VERY common. I imagine that even some here on this forum believe that just because I am a union member means I don't work and make too much money.

My ability to afford a Tesla is because I have been saving and investing towards it for almost 12 years.... and can still barely afford it.

BYT | April 27, 2012

Yup Sudre_, I agree, apparently it's easier for people to believe you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth rather then believe you genuinely worked hard for it with blood, sweat and tears. Being compared to normal hard working folks in my cheap gas car is all I will miss... ;) See how I tied it all back there? Huh, HUH? :D

DallasTXModelS | April 28, 2012

absolutely nothing

jerry3 | April 28, 2012

I'll miss the bragging rights :-)

01/31/12____130503____600____69.8 (3.4)
02/23/12____131050____546____69.4 (3.4)
03/07/12____131679____629____72.2 (3.3)
03/23/12____132319____638____71.3 (3.3)
04/12/12____132987____668____74.0 (3.2)

cablechewer | April 28, 2012

@Petero - I will actually miss the lottery tickets. I usually only buy them when I buy diesel.

I may also miss my fuel economy bragging rights from my diesel. It will all come down to what response I get with my Model S. If its a bunch of querulous remarks about the price or my income it will take most of the fun out of it.

One thing I will have to start doing is carrying pads and towels in my car to protect it from internal damage. My hobby is woodworking and right now my 12 year old diesel gets abused a little when I pick up lumber. A scratch on my dash in my new Model S will have me either swearing profusely or crying. At some point maybe I will need an electric truck to go with my Model S...

petero | April 28, 2012


Does it matter … if you win the lotto?

Brian H | April 29, 2012

You remind me of some vid I saw of someone who'd taken a small Ford pickup, electrified it, and attached a trimmed logo that identified it as an 'F50'! Heh.

Timo | April 30, 2012

Jerry3, I don't know how to read your "bragging rights" chart. What is being measured there?

Volker.Berlin | April 30, 2012

Timo, he is talking about hypermiling on gasoline. The last column is mpg (l/100km). Obviously Jerry3 maintains a detailed log of every gallon of gas used.

jerry3 | April 30, 2012

- I don't know how to read your "bragging rights" chart. What is being measured there?

01/31/12____130503____600____69.8 (3.4)
02/23/12____131050____546____69.4 (3.4)
03/07/12____131679____629____72.2 (3.3)
03/23/12____132319____638____71.3 (3.3)
04/12/12____132987____668____74.0 (3.2)

The INC column is the number of miles traveled on that tank of gas.
The AVG column is the average MPG (km/l) over that tank -- some people complained about no metric values.

jerry3 | April 30, 2012

Volker, I like to think of it as "effective driving".

Jason S | April 30, 2012

Pretty sure the km/l should be directly proportional to the m/g. For instance: 74 miles per gallon equals 31.46 km/l.

For each of those numbers: 70 = 29.8, 71 = 30.2, 72 = 30.6, 74 = 31.5.

(73 = 31.04, or 31.0)

Brian H | April 30, 2012

Kwik Konversion;
1) Take 235
2) Divide by l/km to get mpg, and vicey versey.


Volker.Berlin | May 2, 2012
Timo | May 2, 2012

As Volker link says, that is l/100km not km/l or l/km. I like US method better, so pure km/l would say more than our traditional way of measuring fuel consumption.

jerry3 | May 2, 2012

- As Volker link says, that is l/100km not km/l or l/km.

Right. I made a typo. Sorry about that. 1/100 km is correct.

What I actually like about the 1/100 km method is that the 0.1 increments are far enough apart so that a change in number makes a practical difference. Other than that, the 1/100 km method is backwards to the way I think.

MandL | May 3, 2012

I stopped by the DC showroom yesterday and the store manager said the reason they don't recommend going through automatic car washes has nothing to do with the paint.

They feel high pressure spraying of detergents and waxes on the underside of the car is an unwise thing to do in an electric car.

Volker.Berlin | May 3, 2012

MandL, thank you for sharing! That automatic car wash issue is going to haunt me for a while. I am still waiting for Tesla to publish some hard info on this topic, specifically wrt the Model S.

jerry3 | May 3, 2012

- They feel high pressure spraying of detergents and waxes on the underside of the car is an unwise thing to do in an electric car.

If that's so, then you had better not drive your car in winter or in any salt areas or even in the rain. I think that explanation doesn't even come close to passing the sniff test.

Robert.Boston | May 3, 2012

I'll miss being accosted by beggars who hang around gas stations, knowing they have a captive audience for their begging until my tank is full.

I'll miss standing by my car, pumping gas in sub-zero (Fahrenheit) gales.

I'll miss my gloves smelling like gasoline.

I'll miss carrying around a couple of quarts of synthetic motor oil to ensure that my car (which eats oil) doesn't run dry on long trips.

I'll miss having to think about shifting gears, which keeps me aware of how to operate a vehicle with an narrow band of acceptable torque.

I'll miss the 2% rebate on gas purchases on our credit card and knowing, with grim satisfaction, that the $4.29 gasoline is really only costing $4.21.

I'll miss wondering how long I'd have to escape my vehicle after an accident before I died in the fireball (knowing that, in a Volt, I'd have a week to escape).

I'll miss dealing with schmarmy car dealerships who will always manage to find at least $500 of service needed on my car or (true story) will break things so that they can fix them.

Well, no, actually, I won't miss these things. The only thing I might miss is the ability to do crazy things like drive through the night to get from Maine to Pennsylvania (which, in truth, I am seriously considering). But rental cars will do for that.

EcLectric | May 3, 2012

Thank you, Robert for getting this thread back on track.

By the way, I'll miss the pseudo-sad voice that the service guy puts on when he tells me the 'check engine' light will cost me another $300 because ANOTHER oxygen sensor went bad. Oh and by the way I'll be lucky if it doesn't strip when they try to take it out of the exhaust manifold because it's been frying in there for years...

Volker.Berlin | May 4, 2012

I'll miss wondering how long I'd have to escape my vehicle after an accident before I died in the fireball (knowing that, in a Volt, I'd have a week to escape). (Robert.Boston)


petero | May 4, 2012

Robert.Boston. “I'll miss dealing with schmarmy car dealerships…”

Thank goodness TM owns its’ retail dealerships! If we purchased our “S” from a traditional (franchised) auto dealership, they would add approx. $20-$25K “added market valuation” to the MSRP. This happens to almost all hot cars where demand far exceeds supply.

I too won’t miss the schmarmy dealerships. However, it will be interesting to watch the schmarmy owners 'trying' to sell their “Ss” at a nifty profit.

jerry3 | May 4, 2012


Right you are. The local dealer was really upset with me because I got the 2004 Prius using the Pioneer Program and they couldn't mess with the price.

Mark E | May 4, 2012

I'll actually miss changing gears - I enjoy driving a manual & using heel/toe braking to match revs when braking and changing down simultaneously. No gears in an EV makes it redundant.

Volker.Berlin | May 22, 2012

Update on the car wash issue in another thread:

I specifically asked about running Model S through a car wash when I visited the Menlo Park store a few weeks ago and was assured it would be OK. (ddruz | May 22, 2012)

Brian H | May 22, 2012

Yeah, but you get to play with the "sweet spot" for drive, coast, regen. ;)

steven.maes | May 30, 2012

I drive a toyota landcruiser now. I will miss the fact that I don't have to watch the curbs and speed bumps very carefully.

If I hit a curb with those 19" or 21" weels, I will probably cry my eyes out.

stephen.kamichik | May 30, 2012

I WILL miss my 1976 Datsun 280Z, that is if I can bring myself to sell it.

Beaker | May 30, 2012

@stephen +1 I will miss my 1967 Mustang. I've got a for sale sign in the window but I can't bring myself to put it on Craig's list.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | May 30, 2012

@Beaker, I'm a huge EV enthusiast and green nut, but if I had a '67 Mustang I'd never sell it. I wouldn't drive it every day, but there are those summer afternoons which beg for the throaty rumble and atmosphere destroying thrill that a car like that brings.

AlexSV | May 30, 2012

I won't miss anything. Tesla wil be the car for very short everyday commute (14 mi round trip). With smallest battery For everything else I still have a normal car. I guess three years lease is more then enough to understand if I like this iPad on wheels. :)

Beaker | May 30, 2012

@Mike, the Mustang's in the Model S's slot, since there's only one spot in the garage.

If you (or anyone else) are interested in seeing more pictures or other details fire an email off to the Mustang's gmail address "gt350kh".

Beaker | May 30, 2012

Trying again with the image.

Brian H | May 30, 2012

the image HTML is standard:

<img src="URL">

Brian H | May 30, 2012

Note that the URL must be a web address, not a local drive etc. on your system. Use FLICKR or some hosting site if necessary.

Beaker | May 30, 2012

@Brian, I did that. The links are good. I can get the context menu and open them in another window/tab and see the images. Oh well.

Brian H | May 30, 2012

I just used Flickr for an image, and the URL looks like this:

and shows like this:

EcLectric | May 31, 2012

The sense of mystery as my car makes an ever-unique grinding noise when I rev it....

- What is that?
- Is that the oil pick-up tube breaking again?
- I wonder if I'll make it to work?
- Will the 'check engine' light go on or not?
- I wonder what this will cost me?

ICE engines are so 'wonder'ful.

Epley | May 31, 2012

I won't miss anything.

jerry3 | May 31, 2012

Brian H
- I just used Flickr for an image...

You know you've been reading these forums too much when you read: I just used Fisker for an image...