Once the pandemic hit and we went into lockdown, the only time we went out in the car was to go shopping, that was usually once a week. The cars just sat in the garage looking quite forlorn. I didn't even need to wash them as they never got dirty. It was an odd time for all. The only other times we went out was to walk and get some fresh air and it was most definitely fresh. As there was hardly any traffic, as no one was allowed to go anywhere but essential travel, the air was so clean and fresh. Studies that were done found that particulates in the air had decreased quite a lot. Without all those petrol and diesel burning vehicles on the road, mother nature had a chance to clean things up and you could tell. We felt that we could breathe easier and that there wasn't that constant stench in the air. As well as not many vehicles on the road there was also no landscape gardeners out there with their 2-stroke engines blowing leaves everywhere and making even more air pollution. It was so nice and made us realise how things would be if everyone was driving electric - it was a lovely dream, shame it wasn't to last.
So once the lockdown ended, we did start to go out and about, we just kept away from everyone else, which would find us driving 65 miles to the beach to take an early morning walk down there, which was great for a change of scenery and for the fresh air. After our 5 mile walk, we’d pick up some food from our favourite vegan cafe, Seed to Sprout and then sit by the lake down there to eat - there was no indoor eating but we were more than happy in our Model 3.
On one of our journeys down there, while we were sat in the car I started playing around with the car designs on the touchscreen display, under Settings. I was looking to see what colour options there were for the car that you can have shown on the screen. Ours is currently silver, obviously, but... guess what they had pink! I think my car would look great in this colour - off to the wrap shop we go… See you later! Stop, wait, what.. My sidekick says I cannot make the car pink, now I am very sad. 😞
As things eased more we were able to venture out a little more. During the last 3 years we have been up to Connecticut a few times, mostly day trips as they have a FatFace shop there - well I do like my British shops! We also stayed there once, when the hotels were open again and we had had our vaccines and things were generally getting better. Life still felt wary though, and not the same anymore.
Car wash places didn't want to wash the Model 3 - it was too new and different - they couldn't make it work as once you get out of the car it turns off, there is no neutral so it doesn't roll.
During the last 5 years the Tesla Model 3 has been great. As I said previously the worst thing was the phantom braking on AutoPilot, but other than that the car really does just work. Its comfortable, especially with the lowered suspension, it drives so much better. There have been many software updates over the last 5 years, from bug fixes to improvements. Some have been better than others. They have tried to fix the phantom braking but it does, on the rare occasion suddenly break hard because “it” thinks it has seen something.
The car still looks great thanks to my excellent washing and ones sidekicks waxing. I really do not like having a dirty car and wash it as soon as I can when we've been out in the rain. Although if the Smart ED is available we do take that out instead... I guess the Model 3 is still a little bit of a "garage princess".
We did have a knocking noise from the suspension and after many trips to the Tesla dealer they did finally agree it was the suspension bushes and replaced them. Then it was all quiet again.
Ones sidekick is always so excited with each software release - what will it be this time? He's been hoping for ages to get on the Beta trial for the full self driving, but you had to have a 98% safe driving record to get that and through no fault of his own the car kept dinking him for doing this and that, when in reality that was not happening.
So he gave up trying and after a few months he got the software with the full self driving beta in. Needless to say he was super duper happy! Bye sidekick - off he went to play with the car. I wasn't ready for the car driving itself yet, I mean I'm yet to try out cruise control!
Version 1 for us - June 2022 - Although it does look like its zapping the car in front!
On our trips down to the sea, my sidekick would turn on full self driving but only when we were on the motorway - at that time it was still too much like an impatient teenage driver on regular roads. It also didn't avoid potholes which was annoying as it would basically hit them all, so you have to drive it yourself round these parts. For the most part it did drive pretty well, it was still a little (read a lot) over enthusiastic when setting off and would put "its" foot down (head hits the headrest) and the same with breaking, it's far too harsh. Even changing the settings to allow for more distance between vehicles and the chill acceleration setting, doesn't seem to change anything. Hmm, it doesn't make for the most pleasant drive.
We still haven't been on the long drive with the Model 3 yet. Once the world started to open up again and we could travel internationally we went home to see family and friends who we hadn't seen in 3 years. It was a great month catching up with everyone and while we had been gone it seemed that many people in the UK had bought a Model 3, there was so many of them everywhere as well as lots of other manufacturers EV's.
We've continued travelling down to the sea whatever the weather, -16C, torrential rain and wind gusts of over 20mph - nothing stops us. There's always a nice welcoming and warn Tesla waiting for us. But next on the list is the long drive, we are thinking Canada as we really like Niagara on the Lake, its 418 miles, so will defiantly need to charge on route but that's fine as it's too long to sit in the car for that length of time.
So... I still haven't tried the cruise control, well to be fair I don't get to drive it too much, someone (not mentioning any names) always gets there first. Which also means I haven't tried the full self driving yet, I did say I would but only at 3am while no one else is on the roads. I'm not feeling very confident about the car being in control, after all I have seen how it behaves when my sidekick is driving. I think for me if the car isn't reacting how I would then I'd be keen to take over rather than wait and see what it does. I'm plucking up the courage and I'll let you know when it happens.