I’m off Uber for a few more months—until the next catastrophic tyre failure—and finally able to enjoy the so-called Full Self-Driving hardwire. For the most part, the driving experience is unchanged. I did have to reconnect bluetooth and was told my phone wasn’t smart enough to send Texts—even though an earlier Tesla software edition could!—and update my autopilot settings. Fortunately, it seemed my HomeLink was still intact—though I’ll have to verify this when next I use it—as well as my Address Book and comfort settings.
I didn’t have long to wait for the computer to be back up and running and was able to use Navigate on Autopilot almost immediately and right away there were traffic cones—and fire hydrants—coming up as orange cones on my screen. Stop lights hung from the screen as well, with any stoplight which was red, correctly marked.
…don’t get my started on my plan for the Affordable Self-Driving Electric Car NOW!page I’m planning to start in about 8 years…
Overall, it’s not much of a change but I am quite satisfied. I still think we are close to a mostly autonomous vehicle in the year 2020, and have been saying as such for the past 9 years, as you can see from the pull-quote above.
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 Service
Number of Tyres
Number of Rims
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.
Did you know that as of today I have officially been writing about electric cars for 11 years. Over a decade of Electric Car knowledge dispensed, that’s three times longer than I’ve advocated for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and four times longer than I’ve been lobbying in Richmond for the Equal Rights Amendment!
I started writing about electric cars with the Affordable Electric Car NOW! page. While I still write to that page from time to time, I find it hard to keep up with all the EV news these days, especially with so much going on (just look at my site header). And of course, #CO2Fre isn’t at all an affordable electric car, it’s a Tesla #P三D and believe me I still owe a lot of money on her! I love her and highly recommend her, but she’s by no means affordable.
That said, I never stopped advocating for affordable electric cars like the Nissan LEAF or Chevy Bolt and have lobbied for electric car changing access at apartments and condos #RightToCharge (VA SB630) and new and used electric car rebates (VA HB717) many times just this year.
I began my page with that simple question. Truth is, I’m not rich. Eleven years of writing about electric cars has not made me by any means famous. I’m no PlugInSites or Transport Evolved. I doubt many, even electric car folks, know who I am. I am, by any stretch, neither famous nor sought after.
But today, I can safely answer No to that initial question! Not only are there a number of consumer level Electrics, including the many Nissan LEAFs [proper plural] I drove. You can even get a used LEAF for under $10,000, and maybe even under $5,000, if you’re lucky. I’m still waiting for the Electric Car under $1,000, but it will happen…
The other thing that I didn’t get to talk about Yesterday as I was finishing summarizing the events from Tuesday is that I got a call yesterday seeing if I’d like the Tesla Hardware Version 3.0 upgrade.
I currently have the NVIDIA 2.5 hardware chip in my Tesla. That chip is nice, but it currently can’t see traffic cones or stop signs. Tesla’s own HW3 is supposed to add that support.
I dropped #CO2Fre off this morning at the Tesla Service Center, Tyco Rd. and hope to have the new hardware installed when I pick it up in a few days. I do plan to vote this weekend, so I hope it’s back by then. I also hope it will fix the problem I’ve been having recently with autopilot fails in the rain. Oh, the anticipation!
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