The Hidden Costs of Owning a Tesla Performance

Well, I have the Autopilot Hardware Version 3 installed, that’s the good news.

I took my car in for a slow leak in my driver’s rear tyre last Thursday, also asking them to check the squeaky breaks and to rotate the tyres as I’ve not done that in a while. As mentioned before, I got a call to install the 3.0 version of the Hardware during the same visit. The whole thing would have cost $409.50, mainly because of the $234.00 brake inspection. They expected to be finished by Friday just before our Northern Virginia Tesla Owners meetup at Fuddruckers on Saturday.

Then I got text just before the car was supposed to be done telling me that the tyres were fine, but I needed new rims. New rims!?! I had no choice but to authorize it.

Today, my car should have been totally fixed and But they haven’t even got the rims in stock yet and it might not be before Thursday!

I look forward to when the car will finally be fixed and I won’t have need to order any more Ubers after my final drop-off at Tyco.The Uber may be covered by the Tesla Voucher, but I still have to pay the tips, and those range from $3–$11 per trip! At least, though, I don’t have to drive and every driver I’ve been with deserved his tip.

The thing is, though, those Aluminium rims are expensive. The tyres themselves aren’t cheap either, and in 41,877 miles of driving #CO2Fre, I’ve had to replace no less than 5 tyres and 7 rims for a total of $7,701.70 over the last 18 months!

Date of ServiceNumber of TyresNumber of RimsTotal Cost
2019-03-0401$807.90
2019-04-0822$2,336.60
2019-05-1011$1,168.30
2019-11-0411$1,178.90
2020-01-0310$426.00
2020-01-30(Patch Only)0$78.00
2020-03-0202$1,706.00
2020-03-3120$842.00
Total77$8,543.70

I have no original tyres and am almost on a complete set of second rims! Because I495, the Capital Beltway, is so prone to potholes, there’s, like 4,000 of them! And that doesn’t even include the fact that I have no original glass, be it windscreen, roof, or back. I’ve had to replace my roof twice, in fact, and the latest panel doesn’t even have the cool, reddish sheen.

But my point is this: the Performance Tyres are too expensive, especially for everyday driving. I can’t afford keep dropping nearly $8,000 every 18 months. I’ll have depleted my saving account before I can even pay off #CO2Fre.

It’s come to the point where I am seriously debating cutting my losses and getting some cheep, wide-profile tyres and just give up on my beloved Performance Tyres. If I do go to cheap tyres, I’d still like my Performance Tyres for the track, when, someday, I’m able to bring #CO2Fre to the track, but otherwise just use regular tyres. The thing is, I’d have no place to store the Performance Tyres when I’m not using them, never mind have nowhere to store them.

If I give up my Performance Tyres, I’m probably giving them up for good. $4,000 or more, down the drain, a sunk cost. I just don’t know. It’s a little over $425 per month in addition to the loan payments to maintain the Performance Tyres, and that’s more than I earn in the same period. I just can’t afford to keep them. But I don’t want to lose them either.

On the other hand, since the major expense is the rims, could I just get steal instead of aluminium so they don’t bend so easily? I don’t mind the slightly reduced range if I can save $5,125 a year in tyre and rim replacements!

What do I do?

Update 2020-04-01: As of 1 April 2020, the total cost has risen to $8,543.70 thanks to a follow-up to the 2 March service when #CO2Fre started to have a squeaking sound in its steering and breaking under humid conditions. The table above has been updated accordingly.

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