Tesla Model 3 After 6 Months: Durability, Issues, Suggested Improvements

DEC 19 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 63

Is this Tesla Model 3 holding up? What issues have occurred and how can Tesla improve it?

YouTube Channel 6 Months Later Reviews focuses on home and tech products after six months of use. While the Tesla Model 3 isn’t really a home product, it’s surely a tech product. In fact, many people consider Tesla a tech company just as much as a car company.

6 Months says the Model 3 may be the most significant vehicle of our time, but it’s not devoid of issues. There’s always room for improvements, and Tesla rallies its owners to share their experiences and help make its electric cars better.

Hopefully, this latest review by 6 Months makes its way to Elon Musk. The Tesla CEO is adamant about getting input from owners, since Tesla is on a mission to constantly update and improve its vehicles. The Model 3 has already come a long way since it was first released, and it only stands to get better.

While the host of 6 Months says the Model 3 is the best car he’s ever owned, he’s honest to share the issues he’s experienced. He goes on about the car’s positive qualities, but we’ll spare you for now, since most of it has already been said. You can watch the video to learn about his many compliments.

Issues and Suggested Improvements

In terms of faults, he notes that the piano black console area is difficult to clean and easily scratched. Also, as with any EV, you’ll have to plan for extra time on road trips. Even with the Supercharger Network, you just can’t travel as fast as you can in a gas-powered car.

Early on, his charge port door sensor wasn’t functioning properly and the driver’s side windshield wiper was loose. In addition, the hood wasn’t aligned properly. Tesla fixed the issues, but damaged the car in the process. He also notes that the center armrest squeaks when you pull it up, some rubber in the car is discolored, and a metal part fell out of the charging port door.

In regard to Model 3 improvements, 6 Months mentions that the music streaming service is not up to par. The automatic windshield wipers are also inconsistent. Additionally, he suggests adding a less accessible manual release for the front doors.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below.

Video Description via 6 Months Later Reviews on YouTube:

Tesla Model 3 Review – 6 Months Later

The best features of the Model 3 after 6 months of ownership, how well the car has held up, issues we’ve had with the Model 3, and improvements Tesla can make to future versions of the car.

TESLA MODEL 3

Tesla Model 3
27 photos
The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open. Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge) Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen

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63 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 After 6 Months: Durability, Issues, Suggested Improvements"

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I own Model 3 for three months with 6000 miles with zero problem, one could divide Tesla vehicle in two parts, core function of car and Autopilot, entertainment etc all subject to software upgrade. Car is solidly built when comes to core function of car.

In 6 months, Model 3 has indeed been subject to software upgrade. By 18-24 months, if the pattern holds, the car will begin to see software downgrades. Hopefully, Tesla stops treating its cars like iPhones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvGnj5u2fcU&t=24s

Software updates are one the very positive aspects of Tesla ownership. Stop living in the past, pjwood1.

Take your head out of the sand, and at least watch the video.

It can happen to Model 3, and probably will, if people plug their ears and say nah, nah, nah.

Just another hater than has never even sat in a Tesla…

It only points out that many would say the vs 8 to 9 upgrade was not positive in EVERY way but it does not talk to the fact that most would say the upgrade added value in other ways and is better overall. Plus, with enough chatter, that split screen functionality may come back.

software upgrade on a fixed hardware has short longevity.
The “core of the car”, as OP calls it, will far outlive the software part of it.

This isn’t about hardware limits, though. It is about taking software backwards. The value of the “core of the car” goes down, as features drop, or accessing them becomes more cumbersome.

What good are my CV joints going to do, if I increasingly risk an accident by having to look further down a Model S screen?

Hmmm! So many down-votes!

My Model 3 has already had a downgrade!
I’m no longer able to let the car take its own lane change actions when using Nav based autosteer.
I do get the screen messages related to upcoming lane change acknowledgement etc. But the need to intensely monitor the mid/lower part of the left screen in traffic seems way more dangerous than letting the car do its thing while eyes-up monitoring the situation and taking manual control if needed.

Pity. Hoping it makes a come-back soon.

Re: I’m no longer able to let the car take its own lane change actions when using Nav based autosteer.
Actually, I don’t think this was every in official Tesla OTAs. Some white hat hackers were able to see/use an early version of the software that had an option to do the lane changes by itself. Removed for production as they needed many more miles (millions) of test scenerios.

I have experienced issues with the auto wipers, but I am aware that they are listed as beta in the operators manual. As pointed out before, there are better off the shelf products for auto wipers, though I support Tesla’s reasoning for choosing to use their existing sensors. This allows them to eliminate another component winning the battle of pennies which will matter in the future. Currently, their wipers have four settings. My answer to their current issue is to simply add a fifth and I believe at least my issues would be covered.

I would like to see future voice commands for all climate controls. Doing so would practically eliminate the need to engage the touch screen at all while driving.

With the latest update I find that the auto wipers work pretty well. The only time it doesn’t is when there is a very dense light mist of rain or when there is very little rain but road traffic kicks up a mist that covers the windshield. It somehow can’t see this mist as well and the wipers don’t want to turn on. Another issue we have with our wipers – it may be just a problem with ours – is that when the auto wipers or manual wipers are set to a lower speed they make a clunking sound when they hit back at their start point. On higher speeds it doesn’t do this. It seems that there is a threshold speed where the wipers essentially go back to their off position before turning back on and they make a clunking sound as they come to a stop. So on lowest speed they make a clunking sound every wipe which is like every 5 seconds or so which can get quite annoying. It seems like this could be fixed with a software fix if of course it isn’t just a specific problem with our car only. If it isn’t… Read more »

Haven’t tested them in the latest version so good to know. I like using auto wipers all the time. If I had the voice command to override your mist scenario it would free me from engaging the screen during marginal driving conditions.

When I say voice commands for climate controls I would like to see them for the heated seats too. In general, I like to have an option for anything that is layered on the interface. The fronts seats are a visible one-touch feature on the main interface. The rear seats require climate-seats-rear seat-low-close, so five touches. I would prefer voice command “heated seat right rear low”

Yeah, my son always wants he seat heater on in the back so it does take a few taps to get there.

On the S, there is a button on the end of the stalk that when pressed, will cause the wipers to make a single swipe. Great complement to auto wipers. Might the 3 have a similar function?

Yes there is. button on the left stalk. tap to wipe once, hold down to engage the washer fluid.

Wish that was on the 3….

Am I getting downvoted because people don’t believe me or because they don’t like that I have some very minor gripes about my windshield wipers? You just will never please some people.

Honestly, Philip D, you shouldn’t let just 1 or 2 downvotes bother you. Some people apparently downvote anything that doesn’t agree 100% with their own opinions. You have to feel sorry for those who don’t see the value in differing opinions.

Now, if you get to the degree of something like -8 or -10 downvotes about a comment, then perhaps it’s time to ask why your comments are upsetting people.

You’ve got downvoted for simply owning a model 3😂 I’ll give you an upvote

I’ve had two cars with auto wipers and find them annoying to useless. I would try to avoid them in future. Variable intermittent wipers adjusted using my eyes and brain controlled arm work better

Some auto wipers are really good. It is relaxing to use them.
I have also used a car were the auto wipers were not sensitive enough, and then you can’t really trust them to do the job.

My wife’s 2015 Volvo S60 has auto wipers that work almost flawlessly. Love my Model 3, but I really hope they improve the wiper functionality over time.

If you put it like that….. 99% of driving via my brain is better than any A.I. driving.

My auto windshield wipers are great. The car overall is a step change in personal transportation. I will never buy another ICE car again. It does not take me any longer on road trips with my Tesla. I stop and get out, eat, etc…. at least as often as required to charge up, and the Supercharging process is extremely fast. Once you own a Tesla, there simply is no going back.
I’ve had mine for about 3.5 months, and so far zero durability issues. I couldn’t be happier.

My wisecrack is the battery lasts longer than my bladder! seriously in my road trip from Atl to Cape Cod I maybe spent 15min/day extra, the rest I was eating, peeing or getting coffee, not bad! The auto wipers aren’t perfect but better than manual 5 months, 10K miles.

Ha ha! This made me laugh because that’s basically what I tell people when they ask about range and charging. My bladder or my stomach (or both) are going to cause me to stop every 3 hours (or less) anyway, so that’s when I charge.

pretty much like my ICE car. we pump gas even when not empty to use the restroom.

“Tesla fixed the issues, but damaged the car in the process.”

Sounds like a certain friend of mine’s experience with his Roadster. I’m sorry to hear this is still happening. Not that it doesn’t happen with other cars (I’m looking at you, Ford!)

The person my car was sold to got plenty of new parts and therefore got an exceptional deal. You must be talking about Ford’s car charger….

If you have a service center near you, that is probably the best thing since talking to people in person always gets better results.

Our Model 3 with 10K miles on it has had no problems. Best car I have ever owned. Auto wipers is fantastic, one wipe button on left stalk is always an option.
The only suggestion I have for Tesla is to design and sell a snow cover for the charging port to save time by not having to clear snow off the port area. It should work with J1772 plug and adapter as well Supercharger plug. I’m currently using an unattractive styrofoam cooler for the purpose.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

LR RWD Aero pickup on Nov. 25th. about 1300 miles. Auto wipers work perfectly. Fit and finish are perfect upon delivery. I would like voice commands on environmental controls as well. But for me I would like to have a location option on the automatic charge definition. I would like to be able to set the charge to only happen at home if the SOC is 30% or less and then to charge to 50% but at work have it set to 50% to 90%. That way most of my charging is done at work but on those rare occasions I get home and the SOC is low the home charger would bring it up to a safe number. I leave the car plugged in over night but I don’t charge it. this would allow me to plug it in without having to turn off the charger.

One thing that doesn’t work very well for me is the garage door opener. It almost never sends the close door command upon leaving. Works perfectly upon arrival.

If Model 3 is like MS, something that may help is to take advantage of the geo-fenced charge amperage setting. Going lower, at home, or limiting the start time, may help you lean on the work based charging.

Have you tried stopping the car just outside the garage (i.e. as near as possible) and then shutting the door? That works most of the time for me.

get chamberlin wifi bridge. Tell siri to close it for you via apple watch.

The main problem of the car:
The car spent over 10% of its time in the shop! And the first 6 months are probably the best ones.

In 180 days it has spent over 18 in the shop? That is quite a bit. What precisely were the issues?

It’s a really nice car for sure! The one urgent suggestion I have is: please please offer rust proofing for those in the snow and coastal areas. The door frames are steel, so are the wheel casings, and there is no sealant at all. I carefully did it myself, using a waxoil (which is said to be eco-friendly), but you have to be really careful with all the sensors. It would be great if Tesla would offer this service to M3 owners.

Moshe Vaknin - The Electric Israeli

Great Review. Here is a video I made about installing a Thule Rails and cargo on the Model 3. Great flexibility and durability. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx1Ns2eOngI&t=1s

I’ve had my car for less than a week so far and already the TPMS light has come on. I’m guessing its due to the cold weather — it’s currently 30º in NY. I think it’s a little over-sensitive as it only dropped down 2psi (40psi down to 38psi).

Can’t use the speed warning chimes because most of the speed limits are incorrect and there is no way to correct them! It would be really nice to touch the sign and pick the right speed to match the real sign. Auto wipers are okay. I use the single swipe button in misty conditions. No quality issues in 4 months and 8000 miles. M3 AWD

I suspect the reading of speed limit signs will be coming very soon. Seems like an easy and low risk autopilot addition.

The “fart” mode was the best software upgrade EVER!!

…for five-year-olds.

I own the “weird mobile” the Chevrolet Bolt EV. I’m not going to spend 60K on a commuter car and risk it on Califmexifornistan’s deathways. I spent 43K not 60. I dont like there’s no shop manual, the higher M3 projected insurance and maintenance costs, low to the ground, attracts attention, etc.
Yep, I love my “weird mobile”.

You can get a M3 for $46k now, not just $60k.

You can get a Premier trim Bolt for $32k.

I admit I have never driven a bolt, but based on what I’ve read, the $14k price gap is totally worth it! I got a LR AWD Model 3 for $60k. By far the most expensive car I have ever bought. If I had it to do over again, I would DEFINITELY still get the Model 3. If you can afford it, best car ever!

Model 3 RWD LR owner since 9/19 and I would have to agree with the wiper comments. While they _have_ been getting better with SW updates they still have a way to go. My only serious dislikes with the car are 1) USB audio is flakey at best. Once I can get my nice uncompressed files playing the sound is _excellent_ but getting them to play reliably has been hit or miss at best and 2) There is no locking mechanism on the back of the rear seats to prevent easy access to the trunk contents by a thief breaking the rear side window. The relatively secure trunk is one of the few advantages of the “3 box” form factor and Tesla squandered that on the model 3. I am just glad I don’t live in CA where it seems like every other model 3 has been broken into by thieves aware of this flaw.

I have owned my Model 3 for just under 2 months and 8k miles. Most of the fit and finish issues have been addressed, mine is excellent. I agree with the article regarding the piano black interior bits (dust and fingerprint magnet) and the auto wipers which are very inconsistent. Also the auto dimming rear view mirror doesn’t work well, as I end up fighting the headlights behind me at night. Going to tint the rear glass (and sides) to compensate.

So my issues are rather nit picky. Overall, the car is fantastic! Super fun to drive, high quality, comfortable as hell, and ridiculously fun to drive. Some kid in a Nissan Z car pulled up next to me at a red light a few weeks ago. He looked at me, revved his engine, and when the light turned green I quietly smoked him! Don’t worry, I was very safe and the “race” didn’t last long, just long enough for him to know he got smoked.

I’m having more fun than a 46 year old dude should be aloud to have. 😎

I’ve been working to help Tesla owners organize and coordinate, so we can share our most wanted features and fixes with Tesla. It’s a personal side project, dedicated to Tesla team and Elon: https://MoreTesla.com, then change the search order to sort by popularity to see what owners care about most.

One suggested improvement might be more safety.

The IIHS just released their TOP SAFETY PICKS –

No American car company was on the list so:

GM: NOTHING
FORD: NOTHING
FCA: NOTHING

TESLA:NOTHING (So much for fanboys and Elon falsely stating they make the world’s safest cars. – If it is any consolation the only non-Asian car brands making the list were BMW and Daimler).

IIHS said they were very impressed since they are tougher this year, yet the number of winners went from 15 last year to 30.

Source: Crain Publications.

They haven’t fully tested the Tesla Model 3, so it can’t be a Top Safety Pick. It earned a superior for its front crash prevention, but that’s all that was tested. It can still be a Top Safety Pick once the rest of the testing is completed. However, it can’t be a Top Safety Pick+ due to getting an Acceptable rating for its headlights. In order to be a Top Safety Pick or TCP+ it has to have an Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention, which it does. We’ll see where the other ratings come in.

The 2018 Model S wasn’t tested, but we’ve been told the headlights have been improved. The similar 2017 model has all the crash test ratings and front crash prevention that it needs to be a Top Safety Pick, but it misses the mark due to Poor headlights. The Model X wasn’t tested by the IIHS either.

So, you can’t really say that these cars were not Top Safety Picks since none of them have been tested.

I don’t know why they weren’t tested, and no offense, neither do you. Perhaps there was not enough of a change. But earlier i DO KNOW that the ‘s’ was dinged for having crappy headlights – which still didn’t prevent Tesla from saying they were the safest cars in existence.

Yes I’d expect at least one or 2 American models would qualify for their top safety picks. All I can say is that to date, when Teslas HAVE been tested, they haven’t made the grade.

SO its word games to say that Teslas are top safety picks, since they haven’t made the grade yet, those that have been tested. Now if you think there has been an absolutely fantastic design change suddenly that will vastly improve safety, why not report on it?

And this year, to get a TSP, the car has to excel on both driver and passenger front small overlap tests (simulates side swipes).

It is way way jumping to conclusions until the Teslas have been tested to say that undoubtedly they will win.

Yes, we have no idea if they will get the top safety pick or not. The Model 3 and the Model X have never been tested, however. Whereas the Model S was tested in the past and received top-notch crash test scores, but its headlights kept it from getting the top safety pick designation. Having Acceptable headlights has nothing to do with the car’s crash integrity or advanced safety systems, but it’s still a factor. If all that needs to be improved are the headlights, one would think that could be taken care of, but who knows. What I’m saying is that you have now said twice in the comment section that the IIHS doesn’t call any Tesla vehicle a Top Safety Pick. But, the truth is, two of its three models have yet to be tested. While we don’t know if the Model 3 will be a Top Safety Pick, we also don’t know that it won’t. You told the Tyler that the IIHS doesn’t agree with the NHTSA about the Model 3, but that is completely false. The problem here is that when you spread false information, some people believe it. It is sad to me that no… Read more »

Oh now you’re twisting what I said. The NHTSA have themselves REPEATEDLY criticized Tesla for saying they make the safest car – they said they don’t rate cars in that way. The only true information is we don’t know what they are going to say in the future. That is hardly spreading false information.

I said that the IIHS has not rated Teslas as a top safety pick. Obviously you are hoping for a positive TSP rating, but they have not made that determination as of yet. Its arrogant to jump to conclusions, especially when the NHTSA has said to not do that.

If your rejoinder to that is that the NHTSA is not the IIHS, then you are just trying to find fault.

Oh, and btw, its more than just headlights this time that is stopping the top safety pick. The cars must be tested for both passenger and driver front overlap tests.

Its arrogant to assume you know what the result of testing is going to be. I can’t be any clearer than that.

Loveday: “… In order to be a Top Safety Pick or TCP+ it has to have an Advanced or Superior rating for front crash prevention, which it does….”

WRONG… Not True. False information. That list *WILL NOT* get it a Top Safety Pick.

It must ALSO have stellar driver and passenger front overlap test ratings, which by definition if they have not tested for that yet (the passenger side test for this year is brand new) – so they haven’t tested for it, they can’t get it until they do. In other words, they cannot get a Top Safety Pick until the results are Stellar for BOTH tests, in addition to the other things on your list, plus other things you haven’t mentioned.

My first 7 months has just past with my Model 3. 7650 miles. I had some initial delivery problems fixed at the beginning. Around 6500 miles I had the tires rotated by a mobile tech (free for the first rotation). The only major issue is that the frunk latch release broke a couple weeks ago. It was fixed a week later by the same mobile tech. There are numerous software bugs that crop up frequently (much more so than when I owned my Volt). I get the rear camera blacked out sometimes (I have to park and hit reverse to get it to work again), streaming radio issues where the LTE sporadically cuts out for no apparent reason, sometimes the voice control goes bonkers, swiping to get the tire pressure/mileage counters lock up, plus a few others. The Teslatari games are very buggy for me. A recent software update introduced (a common problem) the traction control/regen/AEB/steering assist all are disabled warning. It’s a bit disconcerting when it happened. The solution is to put the car in park, shut down, and restart after ten minutes or so. The car resets and hasn’t had a problem since. Charging works well, I have… Read more »

Auto-dimming mirror is garbage.

The most important thing about Model 3 is that Tesla has managed to produce a steady high number of cars. Issues with alignment and quality control is adjustments and may require some extra work and quality routines. They are much better then before. Automatic wipers and auto dimming of rear view mirrors are things they either can have a fix for, or at least improve on with a small upgrade on a 2019-2020 model of Model 3. Now that they have achieved volume production, they will have a steady income, that will pay for future upgrades of Model 3, S and X + development of Model Y, the semi, pick-up and what not. The more they produce the quicker will they have paid for Model 3 development costs, assembly line and tooling costs. If they can produce the Model 3 for 10 years with only minor (cheap) upgrades, they have a cash cow. Model S should also have a small (cheap) upgrade to make it look a bit more modern. See if they can reduce manufacturing costs, while improve quality. Modern headlights and rear lights would be smart to offer. The car is good looking, and the body need very… Read more »

I doubt even Elon Musk has a good idea of when Tesla will start to sell the Model Y. They are going to have to figure out where to make it, first.

I have a Model 3, 8 months, 20K miles (drive a lot!). It stopped charging two weeks ago in my garage. Just stopped and wouldn’t let go of the charging cable. Had to have it towed from inside my garage to Tesla, where they replaced the 12V battery, then returned it to house without testing it first to see if it charged correctly. Now it will only charge at 15MPH. So, back in service to replace the PCS, which they diagnosed by phone but took 2 days to rediagnose after I dropped it off. Last I heard, it was in line behind 8 other cars, and I have received no updates in 36 hours. No clue when it will be ready. Like a service black hole – won’t answer multiple calls to service or respond to texts and have tried for 2 days. Love the car, want it back, and each day I don’t have it costs me two hours as I can’t take the HOV lane without it. I had better experience with service with my Prius and that car cost a lot less.

Courtney, is the Service Center local to you, or do you use ranger service, or do they pick up the car from you? I had much bettery luck dealing with Tesla when I could talk to the people actually doing the service work.